Elwood residents make way for chef Geoff Lindsay who brings his new brand of casually stylish, modern Vietnamese dining to the bayside village.

After selling out renowned Richmond restaurant Pearl last year, chef Geoff Lindsay took some time out to refocus and after six months of hard work and planning has made an inspired return with the much-anticipated opening of Dandelion in Ormond Road.

The long, narrow space is elegantly kitted out with high quality tableware, distressed brick walls, Eames-replica seating and low, sexy lighting. The central, plant-filled atrium makes a striking feature and the long marble bar attracts a mellow crowd of casual visitors.

Its informal versatility makes Dandelion an ‘ideal world’ local where solo diners are welcomed at the unique hawker-style “wrap and roll bar”. A fortunate few can access front row seats at the pass as deft hands wrap betel leaves or prep dishes right before their eyes.

Well-known Vietnamese staples such as pho and rice paper rolls are taken to another level with high-end ingredients like wagyu beef and fresh mud crab, and there is a big emphasis on shared dishes.

“Vietnamese food is so tactile and hands-on, so it made sense to keep it casual,” says Geoff’s wife and business partner Jane. “We really wanted to create a space that welcomes regulars, groups and families to come and eat together.” The menu showcases Geoff’s long-held passion for Vietnamese food and culture and is a celebration of the cuisine’s diverse flavours, textures and regionality.

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Geoff’s inventive menu is backed up by a punchy, food-focused wine list curated by his old friend and long-time collaborator Grant van Every. He believes that, unlike other heavily spiced Asian cuisines, Vietnamese food has a freshness and subtlety that lends itself to the often-elusive food and wine match.

With proud locals already singing its praises, Dandelion looks set to deliver a fresh new dimension to contemporary Vietnamese eating in Melbourne.

133 Ormond Road, Elwood, Melbourne
(03) 9531 4900

Tue-Fri 5.30pm-late
Sat-Sun midday-late