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8° & CLOUDY ON SATURDAY 20 JULY IN MELBOURNE
By Roseanne Tiziani
September 24, 2013
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Ora

An articulate, individual approach to dining deep within the suburbs.
By Roseanne Tiziani
September 24, 2013
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Ora is small on space, delicate in voice, erudite in produce and very much outstanding all-round. In an area void of public transport, a visit to this part of Kew is an investment worthy of your time.

Hold an air of ambivalence. Ora will surprise and confound with a menu that is not always easy to decipher. Don't be put off because you're half way towards your reward. If you're willing to take a stab in the dark, this is the place to do it without the fear of being disappointed. The offering on paper almost runs like a series of haiku poems and is articulate and bold. Surely enough, this is what you will receive. Ora's menu runs seasonally and with the freshest of produce front of mind, with their house favourite being the locally infamous walnut eggs (birds nest, kasundi, soldiers; $18). Simply too inexplicable for words, this dish needs to be experienced to be truly appreciated for the delicate mix of its crunchy, salty rice vermicelli 'nest' and runny, perfectly poached eggs. Assembled as one, it's a remarkably beautiful display. How could you have expected that on arrival? A fine opus, it is rounded out by more unusual appearances including ox tongue, confit duck and spearmint panna cotta.

In somewhat matching tastes, Ora's coffee game is all about speciality. A superb Proud Mary house blend anchors a regularly changing selection of carefully considered single origin blends, each as individual and intense as each other. An iconic display of beakers and siphon items bring a sense of style and legitimate passion to the occasion, bouncing off the cafe's gentle interior of creams and wooden tones. The result is pure consistency. A delicate selection of sweets sitting underneath the tiny front counter are more than perfect accompaniments here and tease with not only their colour, but as the perfect ending to your meal. Miss them at your own peril. Also take note of the later opening hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, when the cafe offers a refined selection of aperitif to while away your afternoon.

Service is friendly and knowledgeable without a hint of overbearingness. Think passionate attendants that frequent the underbelly of an art gallery and you'll gain a sense of the pleasantry of the place. Ora is finery; it is your Sunday best every day of the week. Her intelligence will have you coming back to experience a postmodern sensibility unlike anywhere else. A well-held favourite with locals, it's a classy destination deep within suburbia for good reason.

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