PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
This is an old building with lots of new ideas. Over the years it's been a garment factory, a brothel and a Buddhist temple; now it's a clever multi-storey bar and restaurant. Its former colourful days show in the old sewing machine at the entry, the coloured spools of thread on the wall, the lengths of fabric that make a false ceiling and the clothes hanging from the walls. In the restaurant the bare old timber floor juxtaposes against the new timber tables and chairs of contemporary design. And though the old brick walls are barely covered with paint, the food is as new as can be.
The dishes are contemporary Asian or Asian-inspired, so order a range to share from the regularly changing menu – though it's easy enough to eat them by yourself. Try the dumplings of the day (scrawled onto a chalkboard wall) or a red hotpot full of tofu, mixed mushrooms and other delights in broth. There might be honey-baked Otway pork belly with char grilled sugar cane and garlicky snow pea shoots, or daily specials like sweet-and-sour quail served with a wedge of grilled pineapple. The waitstaff are cool and extremely knowledgeable, and the wine list is excellent. If wine's not your thing then try the cocktails in the upstairs or basement bars.