he restaurant Fifteen, just off Collins Street, re-opened in January as The Kitchen Cat. The Fifteen Foundation in Melbourne has changed its tack by becoming The Stepping Stone Foundation, which sees young chefs placed in various supporting restaurants around town.
But back in the basement, chef Tobie Puttock has taken the reins of the 100-seat restaurant and is presenting an Italian menu indicative of his experience and strengths. He is an Australian chef cooking good Italian food and places emphasis on share plates, seasonal product, pastas and meaty mains.
This is a simple menu that sits easily next to Puttock’s straightforward ethos of good Italian food; you’ll find Risotto Milanese with roasted bone marrow or classic Bistecca Fiorentina and it’s reasonably priced. The room, redesigned by Woods Bagot, has been brightened up with lots of white and thoughtful placement of mirrors, while lighting and glass bowls holding plants hang from the ceiling.
Despite the great location in a site that used to be the original Momo, the restaurant always seemed a little touristy, as people came from far-and-wide to dine at Fifteen because of the Jamie Oliver connection. Now that has gone, will Puttock’s personal stamp be enough to create a whole new market of diners, or will he find it difficult to shake the restaurant’s former association with the TV chef?
The Kitchen Cat
Basement, 115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne
1300 799 415
Mon–Sat noon–3pm, 6pm–10pm