Lunch Mon-Fri noon-2.30pm;
Dinner Mon-Fri 6pm-10.30pm, Sat 5.30pm-10.30pm
For the past 18 years, any serious survey of Melbourne dining has included Ezard. In itself, that's testament to Teage Ezard's vision (Australian food with both eyes on Asia). That he's now allowing head chef Jarrod Di Blasi more sway is further proof of his acuity. The food leans more to Japan than Thailand now, the menu more focused and the food refined. Regulars may lament the departure of the pork hock, though an updated oyster shooter remains. The soy, sesame and finger lime sauce dotted over cured kingfish was apparently two years in development. It's meaty, elegant and used with admirable restraint: it's two years well spent. King salmon is served with miso and goat's cheese cavatelli, amped up further by tomato consommé spiked with smoked chilli. The flavour matches are inspired, but what really impresses is the subtlety in their application. A renovation has modernised the dining room; service is unfailingly crisp and attentive.