What was a takeaway sandwich shop in Prahran is now Franco Choo’s, a small restaurant of around 20 seats owned by chef Steven Choo. Choo was a landscape architect but his love of cooking distracted him to the point that he ended up spending years working in kitchens, then studying a commercial cookery course and is now an owner/operator.

“I always wanted a small neighbourhood restaurant that served Mediterranean and Asian food,” says Choo. There is a stronger leaning toward the Mediterranean style at Franco Choo’s, which is named after Choo and his Italian partner Franco. “We tried other names but kept coming back to that one.”

Franco Choo’s is very definite in what it offers. The weekly changing menu contains two entrees, two mains and two desserts, that may be from either or just one cuisine. And it’s very reasonably priced.

The wine list is a treat of strictly Mediterranean varietals from Victoria, so sip on a Sangratino, Sangiovese or Vermentino while you sit in the small room designed by Patrick Meneguzzi Interiors. They’ve given the place an earthy, approachable charm that follows Choo’s brief.

“I wanted a homely, rustic feel, with recycled materials where possible,” he explains. The large photo (taken by Choo in Sicily) of a three-wheeled truck loaded with crates after market day is a striking addition to the room.

There is no doubting Franco Choo is Steven Choo’s story. He’s only open for dinner at the moment but is considering lunches down the track.

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Franco Choo’s
179a High Street, Prahran
(03) 9529 7310

Tues–Sat 6pm–late