When Ételek comes to town, don't walk, run. The travelling Jewish-Hungarian restaurant recently wrapped up its longest stint yet – six months at the former Antipodean site in Sydney's Potts Point – and earlier this month hosted a one-off plant-based menu at Paperbark.
Now, they're heading to Melbourne on 31 March, for a one-night-only appearance at Sunda.
It's the third time Ételek has ventured to the city, with previous pop-ups at Lee Ho Fook and the Lincoln Hotel. "We love coming to Melbourne," says chef Adam Wolfers (ex-Yellow). "Whenever we bring Ételek to Melbourne, the support from friends and guests is amazing. [Sunda head chef] Khanh Nguyen is one of our great friends who used to work with us at the Bentley group."
Marc Dempsey, one half of the Ételek duo, will be pouring wines from Chile and Western Australia, and a short list of cocktails; while Wolfers will present a seven-course menu of the greatest hits from their Potts Point residency.
There's the "everything bagel", a snack-sized crisp bagel filled with cream cheese, dill and horseradish; a parsnip schnitzel with hot sauce and labneh; and skewers of cabbage and guanciale, served with a mustard glaze, pickled cucumber and flatbread. And of course, the addictive lángos, the Hungarian street snack of deep-fried sourdough bread with smoked cultured cream, hazelnuts, caraway seeds, and paprika.
"It's almost like a pizza fritte," says Wolfers. "The Hungarian version is a lot more greasy and smothered with sour cream, raw garlic and cheese. I used to eat it as a kid and dip it in my goulash."
Ételek's version is lighter, more refined, and more forgiving on the pungency spectrum. "There's a lot less raw garlic, and we let the guest decide how much sour cream they put on."
Ételek takes over Sunda, Sunday 31 March, Sunda, 18 Punch Ln, Melbourne, Vic.
Tickets are $85 per person, with optional matching wines for $65. For reservations, email email@example.com