Weekend Australian Magazine – 2017 Hot 50 Restaurants

Big flavours. Generosity, in every sense. Britpacker Paul Wilson has been in Australia 18 years now and every turn of the chef’s career has produced new benchmarks of power, finesse and an ever-greater focus on small-scale artisan producers with whom to collaborate. The guy loves to feed people. Now, finally at the helm of his own multi-tasking cafe/enoteca/restaurant, he’s giving it his best shot with food that reflects his British roots yet embraces the New World, specifically Asian and Latino flavours. Throw in the extensive use of wood and smoke and the results are sensational.

It might be a raw tuna signature somehow melding Middle Eastern and Mexican ingredients that will floor you; or a Wilson twist on a classic whole-fish dish such as sole à la Grenobloise, adding fried school prawns to the classic caper/lemon sauce. Between, house-prepared everything, such as smoked ocean trout, or the guanciale paired with squid and radicchio “salad”. Nothing on this menu fails, and the “wine wall” is a bargain. W&M will take some tweaking before it can be called truly great; service is inconsistent. But it is awfully close. Right now in Melbourne, there may be no more satisfying, generous and big-flavoured food to be had.

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