Lekker is inspired by neo-bistros – a type of lo-fi European restaurant which champions creative yet affordable food. It’s a change of tack for chef Rob Kabboord, who’s probably best known for his popular, now-closed Northcote 30-seater Merricote.
The sharp, five-course set menu aims to subvert expectation and champion low taste. That’s doesn’t come at the expense of flavour – Lekker is the Dutch word for tasty, after all.
A chicken-or-egg dish illustrates Kabboord’s commitment to nose-to-tail dining. A pademelon entrée – served as a tartare with a smoked-oyster mayonnaise – also makes a compelling case for eating wild, overabundant native game. Vegan and vegetarian options also abound.
Your dining options are the $85 set menu (add $15 for a cheese course, a nod to the popular cheese cart at Merricote) or items from the snack menu. There’s bitterballen, small veal and mushroom croquettes; an heirloom carrot salad with ewe’s milk feta and a sherry-spiked dressing; delicate smoked-salmon cigars; and a 24-month-aged prosciutto served with pickled melon.
For dessert, try a spin on boerenmeisjes, a traditional Dutch dessert of apricots preserved in brandy.
The drinks list was designed in part by Kabboord’s wife and long-time business partner Bronwyn. For $65 you can add an eclectic procession of matched drinks to your dinner that might include sake, European beer, and a mix of hard-to-find and more approachable table wines.