Out of Sundaland
Out of Sundaland takes the open kitchen trend one step further. Steaming pans are the first thing you’ll see when you enter the down-to-earth brick building. Owners Kasi Metcalfe and Nathan Richardson were inspired to adopt the format after visiting Tokyo’s many yakitori bars.
Chef Rohan Brophy (ex-Coda, Ezard, Post Office Hotel) runs the small kitchen alone. The word “Sundaland” refers to a prehistoric landmass some have theorised was the cradle for the world’s Asian population, giving his one-page menu a broad remit.
South East Asia is the main influence, seen in dishes such as Burmese split-pea fritters; spicy green papaya and snake bean salad; and shortrib massaman curry with shallots and kipflers. Ingredients such as mirin, soy and bao look slightly further afield.
Working back-to-back with Brophy, waiters pull beers from the six taps, mix simple cocktails and uncap middleweight wines. Richardson spent several years working at White Rabbit and Temple Brewing, which is reflected in the small but interesting list of bottled beers.
The restaurant’s courtyard and four cosy rooms have a homey, DIY character that’s one part intentional and one part, “Wow, that’s how much architects charge?” The regulars (mostly locals) dig it; many have a favourite among the collection of polished plywood tables.