12 Apr What’s Good Wednesdays: Peter Gunn
Melbourne’s Best Restaurants Right Now, According to Melbourne’s Best Chefs and Pros, Every Wednesday.
Welcome Chef Peter Gunn, the exceptional New Zealand-born Head Chef and owner of Collingwood’s IDES with a very impressive rap sheet. From Ezard to the Royal Mail to Ben Shewry’s Attica, Gunn has had his very talented hands on Victoria’s hottest venues, so he know’s What’s Good. It’s ingrained in him. Now, we’re putting his gifted mittens all over your Wednesday in the hope that some of the magic rubs off.
Gunn does things his own way. He ran IDES as a pop-up restaurant whilst still working at Attica and alters the usual fine dining custom to suit his own style – chefs act as the waitstaff and the whole concept of the menu can change at a whim. If you’re like us, you’ll take advantage of IDES’ ‘One day Sunday’ project where Gunn and his team change the entire concept of their dining experience for one day each month with a big focus on experimentation. For April? Seafood. When this team is steering, there’s one place you’ll want to be: on board.
This, too, is the vibe of Gunn’s go-to venues: mood-driven and real. Want beautiful, treat yo’self breakfasts in the morning followed 5-star dinners in the evening then indulgent midnight snacks from dodgy kebab shops? This is your list.
Check out Chef Peter Gunn’s five best Melbourne restaurants right now in his What’s Good Wednesday List.
1. Footscray – AANGAN (Indian)
Perfect For: Lazy Dinner / Take Away / Gettin’ Cultural
WHY: “When my wife and I have one of those nights when neither of us can be bothered, Aangan delivered is a godsend and Melbourne’s best. I’ve been to the restaurant multiple times and for me, when I’m surprised or enlightened by an offering, no matter if it’s delivered or not, that’s what good food is.“
GO-TO DISH: “The Chicken Tikka w Saffron Rice & Butter Naan, which is like eating puff pastry.”
2. West Footscray – DUMBO (Mod Aus)
PERFECT FOR: Breakfast / Families
WHY: ““Dumbo is a favourite of my family’s because it’s ‘our spot’. It’s a great breakfast/brunch spot in the West for families that’s pushing the envelope for cafes over this way. Brunch is an incredibly competitive market and their non-traditional menu sets them apart whilst my son and I just kick it and talk about Blaze and Monster Machines.”
GO-TO DISH: “Aside from their great batch brew coffee, I almost always go with the Chorizo and Brioche Burger. The chorizo is really fatty and the bun, I dunno, I’ve got this love/hate relationship with burgers and buns and Dumbo’s is spot on every time.”
3. South Yarra – DINNER BY HESTON (Contemporary)
PERFECT FOR: Date Night
WHY: “My wife and I had our one year anniversary at Dinner By Heston recently. In my opinion, this is what a great restaurant is. Service is attentive, the vibe is great, wine list packs a punch, and the food – you get the idea. I even went there on Monday night just for the dessert.”
GO-TO DISH: “Sirloin of David Blackmore Wagyu (c.1830) w mushroom ketchup & triple cooked chips for $125 – I don’t fuck around. And then there’s also the Tipsy Cake (c.1810) w spit roast pineapple for $32 – they don’t fuck around.”
4. Fitzroy – FITZROY KEBABS (Cuisine? It’s kebabs, mate.)
PERFECT FOR: Midnight Munchies
WHY: “The best restaurants worship consistency and Fitzroy Kebabs is so consistent. No matter how busy they are or the number of drunks harassing them, they cook chips to order and they cook them well. Raff, IDES’ restaurant manager and sommelier, and I have seen a lot of hours after service talking, planning, drinking and eating these chips in the early hours. I don’t know much, but I’ve had a lot of deep fried chips in my time and these are by far the best in Melbourne. They’re seasoned with chicken salt – I don’t even care if it’s straight of the shelf – and they use a mayonnaise that’s not kewpie, which is a breath of fresh air. I’ve been having it once a week for a year and a half.”
GO-TO DISH: “Large chips with Mayonnaise, every time.”
5. Melbourne CBD – SEZAR (Armenian)
Perfect For: Celebrating
WHY: “Ultimately, Sezar is satisfying and easy. We had the IDES Christmas party and it could not have been more perfect. Armenian is a tasty style of food I’m not at all familiar with, so it’s an exciting and intriguing experience. When you’ve got a young family with another on the way, you’ve got to make sure you’re 1, not wasting money and 2, getting real value, and that’s Sezar. It’s satisfying, comfort food with genuine hospitality in a comfortable environment. If you go, be sure to sit upstairs.”
GO-TO DISH: “Slow-Cooked Lamb Shoulder plus all the sides and sauces. It’s to share, it gets messy, and you want to get greedy.”
That’s Chef Peter Gunn of IDES and this is What’s Good!
Access the local venues that Australia’s best chefs and pros dine at. Hit Hood Food Guide up: