Until recently, Collingwood was one of Melbourne’s less-salubrious suburbs. Now, it’s in a state of flux. Characterised by cafés where graphic designers sip piccolo lattes juxtaposed with down-at-heel pubs, it is an unusual choice for a fine-dining restaurant. But then, Ides is an unusual restaurant in itself. Chef-owner Peter Gunn brings all the flair and finesse from gastronomic giant Attica, where he was sous chef for five years, to an understated room where tattooed staff deal in a friendly line of badinage with guests and brilliant sommelier Hayley McCarthy rips up the rule book with irreverent drinks pairings that include saké, champagne, raspberry beer and organic wines. The set-price menu focuses on native ingredients such as rock oysters, riberries and saltbush lamb. A bowl of broth with tiny flowers made from daikon floating on the surface is as pure and delicate as a treble’s voice, while a cube of chocolate spills forth a balanced medley of pear and buttermilk pearls when cracked with a silver hammer. Expect quality food designed to be enjoyed rather than revered – a modern approach to fine dining.

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