If its Asian fare you’re after, but can’t decide whether its Thai or Chinese, Japanese or Vietnamese, there’s an unassuming little venue that is ticking all the boxes, pulling culinary ideas straight Out of Sundaland and straight into Thornbury.
Opened in 2016 by owners, Kasi Metcalfe and Nathan Richardson, Out of Sundaland was their vision for a Pan-Asian eatery serving up high end quality food way out in the suburbs. Having tried their hand across Melbourne’s thriving restaurant scene for the past 15 years, they fell in love with hospitality’s ‘family’ culture that unites like minded people with their love for good food, good drinks and good service.
The pair was drawn to Thornbury for its up-and-coming vibe and endless potential. With an air that could easily be mistaken for Smith Street or Sydney Road, this area is one to keep an eye on in terms of budding restauranteurs. Kasi noted of their location, “we liked the idea of being that little place you have to go and find, and are well rewarded when you do” – and when word of a good thing spreads like wildfire, its no wonder Out of Sundaland is fast attracting a loyal band of frequenters who just can’t get enough.
Curated by Head Chef, Rohan Brophy, whose career has spanned the likes of Coda, Ezard and Nora, Out of Sundaland’s menu features strong modern Asian flavours from across the board. Don’t be surprised if your meal begins with Japanese style sashimi and finishes with a Thai style curry – any Asian flavour, combination or ingredient is fair game. Dishes are designed to be shared, such as the soy marinated duck ribs seasoned with chilli and tamarind, or the roast pumpkin, red curry with snake beans and a kick. In the absence of a dessert menu, a cocktail should do the trick; like the Sundaland Sour that plays on the classic Aperol Spritz by adding ginger liqueur, fresh lime juice and shisho shrub. An impressive selection of craft gins is also in popular demand, as well as draft beers, a handful of international wines and Capi sodas to quench your thirst.
If being decisive when it comes to ordering is not your strong suit – you’re in luck. Out of Sundaland is currently trialling a bistro style set menu for dinner, allowing you to have a taste of the best for an affordable price ($35 for 3 courses, $45 for 5 courses). In terms of lunch, keep your eyes peeled for their monthly Saturday lunches celebrating various festivities, particularly their upcoming first birthday party, hosted by Kasi and Nathan for a day of casual barbequing and cocktail drinking by the pitcher.
With fare that could easily be found in the kitchens of a fine dining CBD restaurant for just a fraction of the price, a down to earth culture and an ambience that feels like dinner at a mate’s place, Out of Sundaland is paving the way for casual dining with top tier food. Led by passionate owners and chefs who put their heart and soul into providing an experience worth remembering, be sure to give them a wave as they welcome you when you arrive, bid you farewell when you leave and make sure you are well and truly satisfied in between.