Imbue Food & Wine opens in Maribyrnong. Being a local, it’s fair to say good dining options are sparse. Footscray is the destination for Vietnamese and a big bowl of steaming pho. Yarraville and Seddon, is for weekend brunches. Flemington is for laksa. Maribyrnong? Well.. there’s Highpoint. The opening of Imbue, ushers much-needed gastronomic love, to the ho-hum franchises that dominate this riverside burb. I love living in Maribyrnong, the views of the river, the proximity to good Vietnamese. The one thing that’s missing, is an up-and-coming food scene. Let’s hope our mates at Imbue, can get the westside train rolling.
The eatery is headed by Phong Nguyen. The ex Movida chef, bringing small-plate dining and his Asian repertoire, to the cosy Imbue kitchen. The style of cuisine is Modern Australian, with traces of Asian influence. The food is designed to showcase produce. A feat most prominent, with Imbue’s signature dish. A seemingly simple whipped feta dish, achieving a harmonious flavour balance, with the addition of fresh honeycomb and dukkah. The honeycomb balances the creamy pungency of feta. The three cheese croquettes, emit concentrated cheesy goodness, crispy and tasty with a capital T.
Beef is sourced from Gippsland, the Great Southern Porterhouse making a meaty appearance, with charred corn. Seafood is another hallmark for Imbue. Mild seared scallops, elevated with smoky pancetta and silky cauliflower puree. Cubes of Tuna, matched with acidic ponzu and wafer thin rice crisps. Keep your eye out on the specials menu, for a rotating selection of seasonal dishes.
For the calibre of food, the pricing is highly reasonable – 3 courses for $40 or 5 for $60. Service is friendly, you can’t miss the jolly restaurant manager. I’m pretty stoked that Maribyrnong finally has some decent food, on par with inner city offerings. Matched with the clinking of wine glasses and cocktails, Imbue Food & Wine raises the Westside foodie scene. Let’s hope the locals embrace Imbue.