Attica, in the inner suburb of Ripponlea, is now at the forefront of Melbourne dining. Attica has earned many awards including Chef of the Year 2014. In 2013 Attica also came in at No. 21 in the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and is considered now to be the best restaurant in Australia.
A deep connection with nature characterises Ben Shewry’s unusual food. His cuisine remains uniquely imaginative and original, with dishes often referencing the landscape and memories of his childhood on the wild west coast of NZ’s NorthIsland.
The menu changes frequently and is studded with earthy flavours and foraged ingredients, while the dining experience is simultaneously sophisticated and deeply grounded.
“Walnut in its Shell” – Walnut purée, white mustard leaf, shavings of mushrooms
Mussels The face that is painted on the shell of the mussel is done by New Zealand artist Claire du Bosky. The face is of the “mussel man”, Lance Wiffen from Portarlington – considered to be Australia’s capital of mussels. Shewry pays homage like this more than once during the meal.
The salt-crust roasted kumara (sweet potato) is extremely tender, without any hint of fibrousness. Once broken, the yolk spilled into a deliciously salty cheddar cream sauce that coated the kumara. The greens are a welcome refresher from the richness of the other ingredients.
In the back of the restaurant there is a herb garden. Most of the herbs and veggies you see in the meal come from here. Attica has also an off-site farm about 20 minutes away for sourcing greater quantities of vegetables and herbs – all commercially difficult to find.
Visit Attica website here: http://www.attica.com.au/