It’s all happening in Richmond at the moment with the area shaping up to be a real culinary hot spot. One of the fairly recent new openings which has been overlooked is Academy Bar & Kitchen on Bridge Road. It’s run by chef and owner Will Manning with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced produce and a “Modern European” menu.
Manning has just revamped the menu for Autumn and I was invited along to check it out. On a Tuesday night Academy was pretty empty and perhaps one of the reasons it has been flying under the radar is the casual feel to the place which is slightly at odds with the food which shows off Manning’s fine dining background.
We started with moreish croquettes filled with macaroni and gorgonzola cheese ($8). These were perfect drinking snack food. A simple salad of heirloom tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella ($16) was also good although the tomatoes are not really at their absolute peak at the moment.
Manning makes his own pasta in house and the pasta dishes were the ones that really impressed. In particular, the goats cheese tortellini ($25) was rich and creamy but balanced by a sauce of tomato “bubbles” which was essentially very light and sweet.
There was no one dish on the short (choice of three) dessert menu that sang out “order me” but the ricotta terrine turned out to be a sort of deconstructed lemon cheese cake with a nice mix of sweet and sour, topped with pistachio and figs.
There’s some great cooking going on at the Academy but on my visit the restaurant was lacking buzz and the ambitious menu didn’t really match the casual setting.
Gourmet Chick was invited to review Academy Bar & Kitchen.
Details: Academy Bar & Kitchen, 318 Bridge road, Richmond (Ph 9427 8231)