Embla – Dave Verheul’s little hole in the wall – has come a long way since opening several years ago.
The quaint wine bar, potentially missable from the front, has become a Melbourne icon. With an industrial interior, a sweet front bar and open kitchen with their famous grill, the eatery is loud and alive.
Chef Verheul’s food is adventurous and inventive, with exciting and inspiring creativity. Start with fluffy house-made bread served with cultured cream. A circle of raw blue eye is a perfectly balanced dish with pretty flowers, herbaceous notes and subtle asparagus and microherbs. While octopus, oregano and potato may sound simple, this palate-pleasing dish is anything but, with charred pieces of octopus on a white emulsion made from a spud, and bursting with gorgeous flavours. The roasted half chicken is juicy and succulent, with plump white breast meat and crisp skin in a robust, rich jus. It matches perfectly with a side of English spinach atop an olive and oregano puree.
PSST! Embla now takes lunch bookings, so you can plan ahead to make sure you get a table.