The redbrick building on the corner of Glenhuntly Road and Riddell Parade was once home to The Caulfield Rifle Club. Then it sat empty for about 20 years.

Then Richie Ludbrook and Dave Sharry (The Boatbuilder’s Yard and Riverland) transfomed the unused space into Bang Bang at the Rifle Club, a cafe, restaurant and bar, open from 6am until late.

The menu is French-Indochine (Thai, Vietnamese and other South-East Asian cuisines with a French influence). Matt Dunbar, former head chef at Longrain, is heading up the kitchen.

For breakfast, as well as avocado on toast (with tomato jaew, a spicy Thai dipping sauce) and croque monsieur, there’s a turmeric omelette with pork and prawn, and a smoked trout and prawn congee.

For dinner there’s Spring Bay mussel bouillabaisse with lemongrass, papaya and kohlrabi slaw; ocean trout and banana-flower salad; and a Flintstone-sized chargrilled Cape Grim short rib in a basil broth.

The cocktail list is also influenced by South-East Asia; there’s Thai basil in a Cucumber Smash, and kaffir lime leaves and galangal in the Margarita.

Six Degrees and Chamberlain Architects worked together to transform the old brick building into a tropical sanctuary on the edge of the Elsternwick Station Reserve. There’s hanging plants and palm-leaf wallpaper inside, with a large outdoor area and veranda shaded by palm trees.

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Updated: November 14th, 2017

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