“There's noise coming from Atlas Dining,” says Michael Harden at Gourmet Traveller -- “the sound of an appreciative, if slightly surprised, buzz.”
Atlas Dining “embarks on a fresh culinary journey every four months,” explains Roslyn Grundy at Good Food -- “it's such clever, nuanced and, yes, mature cooking that what might have been dismissed initially as gimmickry has diners scheduling future meals to see how this young upstart handles Mexican and Peruvian food.” The five-course set menu -- “ridiculously good value at $65, by the way” – evolves over a four-month season and changes completely at least three times, notes Larissa Dubecki at Time Out. “It’s an antidote for the bored gourmands of Melbourne as well as the smartest way we’ve seen to draw a repeat crowd,” she comments on Time Out’s best new restaurant of 2017.
The restaurant is led by chef Charlie Carrington -- “a precocious talent whose youth belies his experience in kitchens such as Vue de Monde and Sydney's Marque and Firedoor,” writes Grundy. His first trick, recalls Harden, was a modern take on Vietnamese cooking, where Carrington “came armed with a lengthy repertoire of Vietnamese dishes” that included a “superb” chicken liver parfait that was “flavoured with leatherwood honey, dusted with daikon ash and served with house-made spelt sourdough baguette, prettily crosshatched by the char-grill and slightly smoky, the parfait acted as a kind of mission statement” -- a dish that “showed that youthful ambition and tasty, skilfully cooked food don't have to be mutually exclusive.” As Harden notes, the Atlas kitchen is “equipped with a hearth, wood-fired oven and grills, and that char and smoke are a feature in every dish.”