Before 7am on opening day, Left Field had a line snaking down Koornang Road. By half-past, the 130-seat cafe was packed.
That Left Field deftly discovered an uncatered-for appetite in this pocket of Carnegie is unsurprising. Its founders – Matt Vero, Hugh Hindle, Steve Rowley, Kerrie Townley and Ryan Lording – already collectively opened a string of hits such as Tall Timber, Touchwood, Rustica Canteen, Marquis of Lorne, Homeslice Pizza and, most recently, Short Straw. Together, they’re a well-oiled machine.
Designed by Fiona Drago and fitted out with custom-made furniture from iamnotmason, Left Field is a series of discrete dining spaces, with significant street-side seating and a little courtyard out back.
Lording, former head chef at Tall Timber, brings a Middle Eastern vibe to the menu, making generous use of tahini and cumin, house-made dukkahs and fresh chermoula. Breakfast includes beetroot-cured ocean trout, its skin seared, served with quinoa salad and avocado salad. Also, a smoked-beef short rib braised in pomegranate and served with spicy black beans, feta and a fried egg on Turkish bread.
Lunch features a pulled-pork burger served on a triple-decker black brioche bun with jalapeno jack cheese, apple, cabbage and chilli slaw, seasoned with fresh coriander and lime. “It’s a badass dish,” says Lording. “It’s our version of a Big Mac, basically.”
358 Koornang Road, Carnegie
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat to Sun 7.30am–4pm