It’s the coolest little warehouse in Brunswick – a hipster haven of reclaimed timber, exposed framing and moody charcoal hues. Host, the first restaurant from the husband-and-wife team behind North Melbourne’s popular caffeine hotspot Twenty & Six Espresso, is the new ground zero for laid-back yet provocative dining.
The vibe is organic, from the low-intervention (read: natural) wine-list to the wonderfully original menu of chef Florian Ribul. Ribul likes the unexpected, serving up flash-fried mulloway wing with a torched belly bright with cumquat, or chicken-heart skewers with pots of fermented chilli or garlic sauce.
It’s not all offal-y goodness: he also does rye crackers bedecked with house-made goats curd, sorrel and thin slices of persimmon, and a brilliant Savoy cabbage, braised into ridiculous richness with anchovy brown butter and toasted pepitas.
Location 4 Saxon Street, Brunswick; 03 9023 5317; hostdining.com.au
Cuisine Modern Australian
Atmosphere Cutting-edge Brunswick cool
Seats 70 inside and 25 in the street-facing redbrick courtyard
Open Wednesday to Sunday 6pm-late; Sunday noon-4pm
Big tick The anarchic spirit of a place that dares not to follow the pack
Must-try Torched mulloway wing