Tani Eat & Drink
100 Gavan Street, Bright, VIC
03 5750 1304
"We love making cheese, preserves, ferments, pickles, milks, and breads," said Hamish, making note of the extensive preparation times that many of these products require. These components are the foundation for dishes such as watermelon, pickled rind, grain, nasturtium, fetta. Hamish and Rachel describe the style at Tani Eat & Drink as a modern approach to regional food. "We use seasonal and regional produce sourced from small growers and small producers where possible," said Hamish.
Their focus on local produce is accentuated by the base use of Japanese technique in collaboration with a contemporary approach to their dishes. “The name Tani Eat & Drink,” said Hamish, “has a sense of place in Bright, as the word Tani translates to ‘valley’ in Japanese. The couple aims to balance this blend of local and international with a comprehensive drink list, and the menu includes a diverse selection of craft beer, wine, and spirits, such as whisky and umeshu, or plum wine. In addition, the restaurant serves a variety of sakes, and you can order a Sake Sample, a flight of three sakes chosen for their varied flavours.
Having worked in kitchens in Europe, Japan and other regions of Australian, Hamish and Rachel chose their favourite elements of each to offer a diverse set of dining options. Some diners come in for a drink and snack at the bar, while others order the restaurant’s eight-course meal option. The menu also features four and six-course meal options, or you can simply order item by item as well. The menu includes such items as pickled octopus with shiso; quail with fermented vegetables, fennel, and citrus; spanner crab with egg custard, salt bush, air dried bonito, and puffed rice; and lamb rump with soba dumplings, chrysanthemum, and shitake sauce. The restaurant also serves beef with asparagus, wild cress, pork salt, sake lees emulsion, and horseradish, and you can choose from three cuts of beef: Tani 60-day, dry-aged beef; 150-day, grain-fed Angus-cross Victoria scotch; or Sher Wagyu rump cap.
Though the meals are sophisticated, Hamish and Rachel characterise Tani Eat & Drink as a casual restaurant, and a bar that expresses a relaxed environment, with good service. The contemporary and chic decor has predominant black, white, and wood tones; there’s a lounge area with a fireplace and leather chairs; and artworks decorate the walls. Hamish and Rachel carefully handpicked the staff – all of whom are connected with their second restaurant, Tsubo Bar & Restaurant, located in Dinner Plain – sharing a bond through their love of food, drink, travel and snow.
Tani Eat & Drink is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday. It has also developed an online presence, in particular, for the benefit of those planning trips to the region, and it uses Twitter and Facebook to announce its latest news and food and drink specials.