19 Jul Imbue Food and Wine, Maribyrnong
Imbue caused quite a stir when it opened in Maribyrnong in October last year. In a suburb not known for its culinary prowess, there was suddenly now a place for fine dining.
It’s a warm and cosy place, seating only 48, or up to 60 for functions. Their carefully considered wine list is comprised of Australian wines. Local food suppliers are also thoughtfully selected, and the quality of their produce is showcased in Chef Phong Nguyen’s share-style contemporary menu.
One of their signature dishes is the Whipped Feta with chunks of Beechworth Honeycomb and a sprinkling of dukkah. The feta is smooth and rich, complemented by the sweet honeycomb, and perfect for scooping up with the crostini. It’s a dish that certainly whets the appetite for more.
The Raw Tuna hides under a towering structure of large rice crisps. It’s marinated in a salty ponzu and spring onion concoction together with a big hit of chilli. It’s another tantalising eat. The Fried Quail with beetroot and balsamic is nice and tender. Sliced, Chargrilled Octopus has a subtle smokey flavour from the grill, and the flavours of the sriracha mayo, cucumber and bonito are well balanced.
Nothing melts the heart quite like a succulent piece of pork belly with drool-worthy crackling. The pressed pork crackling is perfectly crunchy, and the coriander, green papaya salad with chilli is refreshing and spicy at the same time. It’s the perfect partner for the juicy meat.
King Prawns come with speck and cider. The rich paprika-spiked bisque has a beautiful depth of flavour, with just the tiny touch of sweetness – perfect for mopping up with bread. Daikon and apple kimchi is perfect for cutting through the richness of the Masterstock Lamb Shank. The jus is rich and tasty, and the sweet meat just falls off the bone.
We finish with the vanilla panna cotta with berry compote, sorrel and freeze-dried raspberries. The panna cotta is silky smooth with an appropriate wobble. Strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries all make an appearance, providing a slight tang that balances perfectly with the subtle sweetness of the panna cotta.
The calibre of food and service at Imbue made it well worth the trip across the river. The flavours were well balanced, and the dishes were executed so well. It’s a gem that I hope will stick around for a long time. Journey into the West; it’s really not that far.
Disclaimer: I was invited to Imbue Food and Wine as a guest, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own, and are based on my experience at the time
Imbue Food and Wine
2/419 Gordon St
Maribyrnong, VIC, 3032
(03) 9318 8866