When it comes to South East Asian food, there’s no suburb more competitive than Richmond, with its masses of cheap-and-cheerful Vietnamese joints. But bar and restaurant Botherambo, Nathan Peck’s first business, comfortably holds its own.
The food is fresh and full of contrast, the way good Vietnamese and Thai should be. In part this is thanks to top-notch produce such as Yarra Valley roe and Robbins Island beef, but mostly it’s due to the ingredient proportions.
Whether you choose from the singles section, with its canape-sized bites, go for a substantial salad, or smash a share plate with friends, ingredients such as mint, lime, papaya, chilli and pickled shallot are on hand to deliver a refreshing and well-balanced smack to your palate.
This sense of colour extends to other aspects of the place, too. The fit-out by Techne is all crumbling bricks and concrete floors, but it’s really pulled together by a lush jungle mural on the back wall. The open-air front bar isn’t bad either, with its potted plants and short list of lighter varieties of beer and wine.