Embracing two cultures, Richmond eatery, Anchovy, leans on both South East Asian and modern Australian cuisines for its menu offerings. It offers Asian-Australian, but not as you know it.
The menu here often changes, with newly curated dishes replacing the old as produce changes with the seasons. Regardless of what the kitchen is serving, the menu is infused with local ingredients. Asian herbs and vegetables are sourced from nearby Victoria Street and bio-dynamic farmer, Sarah Schreurs, while meat supplier, Meatsmith, provides quality produce for tasty dishes such as the Whole Grilled Spatchcock and Black Pepper Lamb Ribs.
The food is designed to share, with the menu divided into small, medium and big dishes. Start with a few Freshly Shucked Oysters or a Vietnamese-style Blood Pudding, described as chocolate meat, tempered by herbs and a ginger dressing. Next, order a few of the medium dishes. Try a vibrant Hanger Tartare that is full of herbs, or Clams In Spicy Cơm Mẻ with fermented rice that the team has been tending to since before the doors opened for trade. Finally, move on to the mains. They’re big, so let the team know if you need a breather. We suggest the Black Pepper Lamb Ribs – they’re sticky, succulent and come with a turnip and watercress salad.
As for drinks, the list is short but effective. There are three aperitifs, five or six beers and seasonal cocktails including a house-made cumquat liqueur. Meanwhile, the wines range from a well-priced prosecco to refreshing and crisp whites and to easy-to-drink reds.
Commercial cooking was never a serious consideration for the co-owner and head chef, Thi Le, despite her love of food from a young age. While moonlighting as a design student and travelling around the world, a series of events and a chance meeting gave Thi the opportunity to cook and run a Thai cafe in the Hunter Valley. It was through this experience that she considered a career in commercial cooking and also the realisation that she needed
some formal training.
After completing an intensive one-year program, Thi was placed in an all-female mentoring program with Christine Manfield as her mentor. Both had similar stories: females who became chefs later in life. This experience gave Thi the confidence she needed to continue pursuing a career in the industry. After stints at various esteemed restaurants including Universal (Sydney), Cumulus Inc., the Town Mouse and Luxembourg, Thi went on to open Anchovy with co-owner, Jia-Yen Lee.
Known for its quirky eateries, Bridge Road is the perfect fit for the culturally diverse restaurant. Like its namesake, which is equally grounded in South East Asian cooking and the modern Australian palate, Anchovy perfectly ties the two influences together to make for one selection of vibrant flavours.