What we covered in Melbourne food and drink last week
• Gaea’s Mo Zhou might be Melbourne’s most underrated chef.
• Our first look at Matcha Mate, a CBD pop-up where plated desserts and sweet bakery staples are given a “splash of green”.
• In conversation: chef Annie Smithers and NGV senior curator Dr Ted Gott speak to Broadsheet about the connections between French cooking and fine art.
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• The newly opened Bar Magnolia brings casual French bistro vibes to Brunswick.
• A venerated Italian grocer and bottle shop opens a restaurant and wine bar in Balwyn, with two cellars’ worth of imported Italian vino.
• Opinion: Is burrata boring? It depends. Food writer Sofia Levin wades into the debate – and she has some strong ideas about what kitchens could be doing better.
• Is pandan really the “vanilla of the east”? As the Southeast Asian ingredient makes its way onto more and more Melbourne menus, we unpack what it is, what it adds to dishes and where to find it.
• Chef Thi Le’s Richmond banh mi bar Ca Com is back after a small fire – and it’s now open for snacky weekend dinners featuring Vietnamese charcuterie made in-house, seafood stew and other dishes best paired with wine and bread.
• Prahran Market’s Maker & Monger gives top local chefs, including Shannon Martinez and Tom Sarafian, the baseball-card treatment.
• From a slow start to lines out the door: how Thai diner Soi 38 became a Melbourne favourite.
You might have missed…
• We talked to The Bear co-executive producer and actor Matty Matheson about the hit show’s second season.
• Last week on Around Town we chatted about new CBD Thai eatery Patong, and the fried chicken and hot sauce one Broadsheet editor can’t stop thinking about.
• Collingwood’s new Chiaki is serving some of the best ochazuke (rice bowls steeped in green tea) in Melbourne. And soon it will be opening for dinner, too.
• Hanoi Hannah’s winter soup series has returned, with six soups over six weeks. Enjoy bowls of banh canh cua (crab and tomato broth with tapioca noodles and soft-shell crab), mixed mushroom soup and more, now until Tuesday September 12.
• The new Mali Bakes Fitzroy menu is here – and it includes a roasted-corn cheese cake with dulce de leche cream and corn dust on top.
As seen on the web
• Usher’s dinner party rules, via The Cut.