In a modern age that has seen eaters become increasingly detached from the provenance and preparation of their food, all the while spending more and more on kitchen equipment – a counter culture was bound to be born.
And thanks to the Global Financial Crisis – less cash has meant a lot less flash.
Recession-era dining shifted the edible emphasis from over-indulgent fine dining to an appreciation of value for money, which in turn has given birth to a flurry of quality dining in understated locations.
‘Outpost’ is one such project in which Paul Jewson – a chef with serious gastronomic pedigree catering for Admirable Crichton and Conran in London – has joined forces with coffee specialists St Ali to head their low-key South Yarra ‘outpost’.
While chefs were once chained to their stoves, sweating away in a steamy backroom, the barriers between kitchen and dining rooms have been gradually coming down, now to full revelation.
With a homely tiled floor and range oven fully exposed, Melbourne’s latest laneway eatery, by design firm Hecker Phelan and Guthrie, offers a dining setting so domestic, that even a pinch of the bespoke is in the recipe, where the chef is all for audience participation.
Amidst fresh sprouting herbs and fragrant bags of Single Estate roasted coffee beans, eaters are invited to perch on a stool and experience their meal be prepared.
With 40 covers now also spilling out onto the laneway, the ‘Outpost’ offers a daily-changing seasonal lunchtime menu with an emphasis on rustic cooking with robust flavours.
The result is immediate, affordable, comfort cooking – just like mamma used to make.
9 Yarra St, South Yarra
61 3 9827 8588