Thanks to the recent addition of Caddie to the collection of restaurants that line the footpaths of Swan Street, the Richmond thoroughfare looks like it will soon be challenging Flinders Lane as one of Melbourne’s hottest foodie destination.
Caddie has taken over the small shopfront that was once occupied by Meatmother. At the helm is some of Melbourne’s hottest talent, Dylan Evans. While he is most recently known for being the head chef at nearby establishment Fargo & Co., Dylan’s resumé boasts work in some of the world’s most famous kitchens, including Manresa in Los Angeles, Alinea in Chicago and the crème de la crème of fine dining, Noma in Copenhagen. Now that he is settled in Melbourne though, he has stepped out on his own to launch a solo concept.
For Dylan, the one thing that has stuck with him from his time at Noma is to know what you are buying. “They really take a lot of care to know their suppliers at Noma,” he said. “Every ingredient is cared for fastidiously and everything always has a story about how it was produced and where it came from.”
This notion has carried over to Caddie’s food philosophy. Caddie is driven by seasonality and what is available at the market. Dylan has created an experience that purely holds good food and great drinks at its core. His dishes cater to the classic Melbourne crowd, and are designed to share. They are displayed on the menu according to their size rather than course. Dylan has also ensured that every element of his menu, ingredients, wine and beer, are sourced from only local producers and change constantly depending on seasonality and quality. His training at Noma has encouraged him to stray from predictable dishes and rather, celebrate individual ingredients in untraditional ways. Expect the unexpected.
Like the menu, the restaurant itself remains small but by no means does it seem crowded. The action is centred around a sleek, navy blue tiled bar and both levels of the restaurant follow a clean modernist design. Dylan chose the décor along with his wife. Their aim, he said, was to create “a minimalist space where the food and drinks are the main attraction.”
The prime location on Swan Street puts Caddie in the centre of the action in Richmond.
“Swan Street has a great feel to it at the moment,” Dylan said. “A lot is happening here.”
While the area did spend some time in limbo trying to establish a new identity, it has truly come to life in the past few years. Caddie is in the thick of it and both the area and restaurant have a great buzz. The crowds are sure to be flocking in no time.