Dinner Thu-Mon 6.15pm-10pm
There's nothing else like Nora in Melbourne. Obtuse dish names and loopy flavour combinations on a dégustation menu from a self-taught cook should spell disaster, but instead bring gorgeously complex, light-footed results. Thai Cupcake Wanting to be Western is a dessert of baked potato skin filled with a potato soufflé made with sugar and coconut cream, and it's wrapped in foil. Too Many Italians and Only One Asian is green papaya "tagliatelle" tossed with a sator bean, cashew nut and school-prawn pesto, a witty tribute to Nora's Italian neighbourhood. Chef and co-owner Sarin Rojanametin deftly uses ingredients from his Thai upbringing - fermented shrimp, sweet fish sauce, coconut milk, fried fish bones - tying them to his Australian food experiences. The room may be austere, but a thoughtful juice-matching option, challenging and interesting wine matches, and a sense of the unique make Nora a must for any food adventurer.