Spring and Summer: Melbourne’s best pan-Asian food?

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By Mantis Kane

Six months in, Spring and Summer on Barkly St has been quietly achieving. Stirring the local foodies and picking up accolades from the Melbourne press, including a feature in the Herald Sun’s Hot 100.

Thai-born head chef and co-owner Golf Laovanich not only has a name that begs for stardom, but also a golden pedigree in the kitchen.

Honing his craft at places like Chin Chin and Hawkers Hall, he’s developed a style of his own in pan-Asian which is not an airline, as the name might suggest, but a culinary thread woven between Thai, Korean and Japanese cuisines.Spring and summer. Photo: supplied.

By incorporating his favourite touch-points from each national cuisine, Golf has created a credible fusion menu. It’s a bold venture that combines opposite ends of the taste spectrum, a challenge that could so easily slip into hideous incoherence.

But he’s done his research, and the experimentation has paid off, best demonstrated by their delicate King Fish Sashimi, served in a spicy Thai jus. The tenderness of the fish is man-handled by the sting of the sauce – delicate yet aggressive – Judge Judy on a plate.

The portions are ample.

Their adaptation of the omelette supersedes the western equivalent, royally pimped with oysters, mussels, and prawns. It made the omelette of my youth – two eggs and tomato ketchup – seem measly by comparison, a Nokia to their iPhone 7. I’m sold, and now have upgraded to a smart omelette never to look back.

The venue doubles as a cocktail bar, with Spring and Summer’s upbeat Asian slant. There’s also imported beer, most notably from Japan. If there’s anyone more fanatical than Meburnians about microbreweries and the craft beer culture, it’s probably the Japanese.

Try the Doppo Oyster White Beer or Kinshachi Aka Miso Lager and you understand why the Japanese are revered for their intricate details.

Cosmetically the place has undergone an extreme makeover from the previous tenants, a dingy Irish Pub. It’s now minty fresh: marble bar meets whitewashed exposed brick meets foliage.

It’s multi-layered, much like the food.

All up, definitely worth a visit.

 

Spring and Summer

192 Barkly St, St Kilda VIC 3182

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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