When you get an olfactory hint of fire, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Native ingredients and a wood-fired hearth are the lifeblood of Aru. Found on buzzy Little Collins Street in Melbourne’s CBD, it’s the work of chef Khanh Nguyen and Adi Halim, who’ve taken inspiration from the ancient trade and seafaring routes between Asia and Australia in conceiving the menu. It’s a coming together of culinary foodways that champions the primal arts of preserving, curing, smoking and fermenting to delicious effect. The contemporarily earthy dining room – with an open kitchen running the full length – complements it with designways driven by nature. To eat? A set menu is your only option, where dishes like 'otak otak' – a spanner crab curry parfait with finger lime – and its buttermilk roti with vegemite curry meld together the cuisines of Asia and Australia. Gorgeously simple presentation is the hallmark of a chef who knows they’ve nailed it.
268 Little Collins St, CBD , Melbourne, Victoria, VIC 3000