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Middle Eastern

Pierre Khodja shares a few biographical similarities with his restaurant’s namesake, author Albert Camus: both were born near Dréan, Algeria and both lived much of their lives in France.

Khodja grew up in Marseille, then trained in classical French cuisine in Paris and London, working in Michelin-starred restaurants including Ma Cuisine and Bistro Bruno (with top English chef Bruno Loubet).

After moving to Australia in 2001, Khodja began exploring his culinary roots, first at the Albert Street Restaurant in Mornington and Canvas in Hawthorn, and now, most explicitly, at Camus.

The menu uses the spices (cardamom, cinnamon, cumin and star anise), cuts and braises of North Africa, but with French expertise.

Though the menu changes regularly, examples of what’s offered include bourek with kale, goat cheese, mint and a soft-cooked egg, and marinated quail with parsnip, dried fruit and smoked honey. A steamed and seared goat shoulder comes with sweet onion and raisins.

The High Street space seats 100 at tables made from Australian oak, and on leather chairs along a marble bar. There’s a private dining room decked out entirely in white, and a beer garden is in the works.