Hawker-style dining is nothing new for Melbourne, but it has finally made its way to the Bayside suburbs, with Ms Elwood opening her early this year.
Helmed by Dan Dixon (of Elwood cafe The Joinery), this newcomer takes over the Ormond Road space originally destined to become a second Hanoi Hannah outpost. It's promising all the fun, buzziness, and double entendres of Melbourne's other mod-Asian offerings, along with a covetable list of new-school cocktail creations.
The bold-flavoured food menu invites punters to 'stay saucy' with its mix of well-loved classics and inventive delights. Soft shell crab pancakes and brisket banh mi head up a selection of quick hits, while the likes of a kombu kingfish bowl, Cape Grim flat iron teriyaki, and shichimi chicken tempt heartier appetites. At the pointy end, sweet treats like matcha doughnuts with yuzu curd and chocolate chilli sauce, and banana sticky rice with honeycomb, offer a modern interpretation of those Asian dessert flavours you know and love.
But perhaps most exciting for thirsty Baysiders this summer is Ms Elwood's very nifty cocktail list, a collaborative effort with Yarra Valley's Four Pillars Gin that'll make the whole frosé trend seem so 2016. Expect a genius mash-up of Aussie botanicals and oriental ingredients that stands up beautifully to those bold flavours on the menu. Here, they're upping the ante with a watermelon-laced gin and tonic number, infusing their frosé with gin, and throwing down a frozen G&T creation that'll see you battling those summer sweats in style.