The Mornington Peninsula, with its plethora of excellent wineries and attached restaurants, is a place where European flavours and ideas are the norm. It’s also the reason why Many Little, located in a high-street-like cluster of shops in Red Hill, is such an interesting destination.
The pale-tiled restaurant and bar comes from the team at nearby winery Polperro, but in enlisting Sri Lankan-born chef Gayan Pieris (ex-Cumulus) and letting him cook with the flavours of his homeland, they’ve added something totally different to the area.
That said, Many Little would stand out anywhere. Pieris’s menus combine the kind of top-quality produce (seafood particularly) and minimalist plating typical of Australia’s contemporary wine bars, but add intrigue with ingredients like curry leaves, lunu dehi (pickled lime), tamarind chutney and mallung, a condiment made of shredded greens. There’s a set chef’s menu with optional matched wines, or a breezier bar menu for snacking your way to fullness, a la carte style.
This being a winery-associated venture, the drinking is equally fine. The attached bottle shop sells Polperro and Even Keel wines to drink in or take home, plus dozens of other local labels. Less expected are the three creative varieties of bottled cocktail made on the premises, including a Ceylon Old Fashioned made with Woodford bourbon, Valdespino PX sherry, Ceylon tea and bitters.
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