Out of Sundaland a Joyous Restaurant in Thornbury
Out of Sundaland is a stunning restaurant revelation in popular dining precinct Thornbury, a mixture of Australian and Asian flavours and cutting edge beer offerings. You can tell when a restaurant is a labour of love and Out of Sundaland takes pride in every dish and dining experience. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to sample some of the menu of this still relatively new eatery on the scene. And we were highly impressed!
Rock up to Out of Sundaland for a unique casual savvy dining experience. This is what Melbourne is all about. The first thing you are struck by is the excellent range of local beers on tap in the chic bar. This is no surprise as co-owner Nathan Richardson has a background in some of Melbourne's finest brewing establishments. Nathan knows his beer. He also knows how to pair beer with food. Which makes Out of Sundaland part of the new breed of beer meets food restaurants. It's relaxed. It's modern. It just works.
For example we couldn't go past the Temple Brewing Bicycle Beer on tap. Your new fresh crisp spring/summer ale friend. Nathan will passionately talk about beer (pictured above) and has his finger on the pulse when it comes to tap rotations and what's cutting edge. The other co-owner Kasi Metcalfe is an affable host and you feel like Nathan and Kasi are living their foodie dream. One of the best things to do in Melbourne (and joyous) is to discover an dsupport your local restaurant heroes. And Out of Sundaland fits the bill.
Happy with the Temple Brewing Bicycle Beer, we sampled some of the share plates. The philosophy is to order a selection of share plates around a few drinks. Soft shell crab came with Asian influences and was served in a bao - brilliantly creamy as much as it was crunchy. This is a crispy whole soft shell crab with house made pickles, pea shoots, tangy sirarcha ranch sauce, wrapped perfectly in a bao bun. Soft shell crab can be hit and miss in Melbourne but this is definitely a hit.
The Taiwanese style chicken ribs were also a hit, with quality sweet soy chilli dipping sauce. Cooked to perfection with spice nuance.
Nathan brings soul and character to this unique and compelling eatery in Thornbury. We love the philosophy of Out of Sundaland expressed on their website-
The name “Out of Sundaland” refers to the theory, that the now submerged, area known as Sundaland or the Sundaic region, is the possible cradle from which the world’s Asian population originated from.
It’s a biogeographical region of Southeastern Asia which encompasses the Sunda shelf, a part of the Asian continental shelf that was exposed during the last glacial period of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110 000 to 12 000 years ago making human migration throughout this area easier. This area includes the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Java, Sumatra and surrounding islands.
The idea of not being limited or defined by one region or country is where we take inspiration for our menu from. Australia is very much apart of Asia, so we are working towards bringing you the best flavours and techniques from across all Asian countries married with our native, sustainable ingredients to celebrate the cultural diversity and outstanding food producers that make up modern Australia.
We were struck by the modern feel of Out of Sundaland and the artistic flair, but also the array of beers on display in this cabinet.
Another surprise was the simply titled Big ol' pile of veggies. Seriously, how can a pile of veggies be this good? Nathan and Kasi have heard the cry of locals for a few more veggie style dishes. The World Loves Melbourne is more meat than veggies but we can turn when it's this good. Golden roasted cauliflower and pumpkin on a creamy tofu puree with green beans, crisp kale in a ginger-capsicum dressing. This is vegetarian food with savvy; taste and texture well balanced and rewarding. The proof comes in not being able to stop eating it; moorish indeed. Creamy, crunchy and big flavours.
The Roasted bone marrow has become a cult dish since they opened. How good is this dish with creamy flavoursome marrow jelly complemented by a zesty hot marinade. Nathan remarks that many bones come back "clean" and we admit we sucked on the bones while no one was watching. One of the best small dishes we've had all year.
The scorched bread meant you can load up the marrow on the bread as if it was a pate. A brilliant way to experience the marrow. Don't forget the squeeze of lemon.
Cushions, artwork, timber tables, and quirky decor adorn. You will be surprised by the elongation of Out of Sundaland and cool spaces. A haven in Thornbury.
Out of Sundaland is a cheerful restaurant with enthusiastic owners who simply want diners to have a good time. We can rave about both the share plates and the beverages, as well as the engaging service and overall vibe.
Authenticity is a keynote at Out of Sundaland. Get on it!