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Anchor Restaurant

This charming neighbourhood eatery is giving modern Australian cuisine a Mediterranean makeover.
By Libby Curran
August 03, 2022
By Libby Curran
August 03, 2022

A little slice of the Mediterranean, right here on home turf. That's what Rosalin and Oliver Virnik set out to deliver with their Elwood restaurant Anchor; a warm, neighbourhood spot that launched in late 2021.

The Ormond Road space is an inviting one, with plenty of exposed brick, colourful wall art and a lush atrium running along one side.

In the kitchen, chef-owner Rosalin is cleverly fusing modern Australian fare with a dollop of comforting Mediterranean flavour, ensuring top-notch local ingredients are heroed wherever possible. The menu's got both finesse and soul, kicking off with bites like Victorian mussels in a ras el hanout sauce ($18), garfish tartare done with lemon myrtle aioli ($18), chermoula-marinated lamb cutlets ($24) and Cape Grim beef dumplings ($24).

Grilled spatchcock is elevated with hummus and a pomegranate salsa ($42); slow-roasted pumpkin gets a generous hit of tahini ($15); and there's a duck cassoulet ($44) worth getting excited about. And don't look past the oozy chocolate pudding, featuring the unlikely, but genius addition of caramelised eggplant ($22). Meanwhile, a five-course tasting menu invites you to explore the best of the lineup for $75.

Anchor is also kicking big goals for the country's agriculture industry — it's the first restaurant ever in the world to use Aussie-grown sesame seeds, now featuring the prized seeds from Cairns in its beloved tahini and other signature recipes.

Images: Nicole Cleary

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