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Will Northcote give the third re-invention of Chowhound a chance?

There’s been another changing of the kitchen guard at Chowhound. The once noodle-joint, then Moroccan-Malay-Spanish eatery now sports a shortlist of shared mod-Aus gear.

The décor has been streamlined, art injected, and the laid-back servers put through boot camp. So why didn’t they change the name? Yorgos Tserexidis is still in charge, but chef John-Paul Fiechtner’s intricate dishes of young beets and goats curd with smears, dashes and powders make this a new proposition entirely. The drastic change sans explanation has clearly ruffled local feathers – it’s Thursday, and we’re dining alone.

And yet there’s little to fault on the short menu. A gently poached egg nesting in soft barley with a rich chestnut broth is a winter pants-kicker. Duck and lamb are fairly interchangeable – both braised and pulled, there’s a little too much smoosh-factor for us, but redemption is found in clever veg work – sweet young carrot spears; crisp roasted potatoes with preserved lemon. There’s potential here.

Fiechtner’s passion for produce (the back yard is becoming a garden) and skill, is evident. And if they come out swinging, put a few less powders on plates we reckon a few more bums in seats will follow.

Updated on 13 Jun 2013.

By Gemima Cody   |   Photos by Graham Denholm

Chowhound details

235 High St, Northcote 3070

Telephone 03 9486 5885

Nearby Stations: Northcote; Merri

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Open Tue-Sun 6-10pm

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