I will put my hand up and admit it right now; I could be described as a little judgemental at times. I mean, I like to think it’s in a witty and funny way, but I’m sure there would be some who don’t agree. (Whatever.)

So, when I talk about the western suburbs, or ‘The West,’ with a judgey tone to my voice – (I’m an eastern suburb snob now) it’s all in good fun… 

Recently I got asked if I wanted to visit West of Kin in Braybrook, a suburb located in the west of Melbourne. Of course I was keen, but not without a little consideration regarding paying a visit to The West. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive upon driving along the street in the area that I thought it was located. It was an industrial looking area that didn’t look like it housed anything even resembling a restaurant. My friend was making all kinds of exaggerated comments about The West while I shushed her and scanned the street for signs of life. We finally found it (I’m also the first to admit I have absolutely no sense of direction, which probably didn’t help) on the corner of Lacy Street and Ballarat Road. 

The exterior is a little inconspicuous, with the courtyard surrounded by glass walls near a building that almost looked like a hospital or office building. Stepping under the strings of fairy lights, through the courtyard and inside, you are instantly at home. The beautiful interior has exposed brick, high ceilings reminiscent of a warehouse, and a cascade of hanging lights to make you right at home. 

We start off with some cocktails recommended to us by our friendly host – the Geisha ($16), which is a strong passionfruit, vodka malibu concoction, and a Dragonfly ($18), which has vodka, lychee, ginger and mint for a refreshing kickstart to the evening. 

The menu is designed for sharing – a winner for indecisive gals like me. We opt for a share plate of three of the ‘taste’ starters (choice of 3 for $26), because why not! 

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The cheese croquettes with bacon mayonnaise are a winner -you had me at cheese. How could you go wrong with something like that? 

The Jiangxi style chicken bao packs a flavour punch. With mint, coriander, chilli and chicken, it is fresh and zingy. 

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The star of the trio though (and probably of the whole night) is the Yunnan style lamb ribs, with sesame seeds and sweet and sour soy laquer. With four hours of slow cooking under its belt, the meat slides off the bone and melts in your mouth. It is the perfect combination of savoury with a touch of sweetness. I would go back in a heartbeat for those ribs. And I will! 

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For main, we decide on the master stock shredded duck with egg noodle ($28), xo sauce, spring onion, coriander, chilli and fried quails eggs. The meal is generous in portion size, perfect for sharing while still allowing room for dessert after. And the flavour – rich and tasty duck, perfectly balanced with fresh cucumber and mint. Plus the mains come with seasonal sides – ours was kimchi and pickled veggies. 

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Of course we had to get dessert, as if that’s even a question. We were just going to share two out of the three desserts on the menu (restraint) but our host talked us into (totally twisted my arm) getting all three. 

While all the food is pretty darn Instagram or Snapchat worthy, the desserts take the cake (See what I did there?). The West of Kin Sundae ($12) is fresh and delicious, with ice cream and freeze dried fruit. 

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The Chocolate delice ($12) is a rich, decadent indulgence with the right amount of fresh berries and freeze dried fruit to balance it out. Plus, it’s super pretty #foodstagram

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My friend got a fair amount of entertainment from the wobbly Panna cotta ($12); are you ready for this jelly? 

West of Kin is not just beautiful food – the location is pretty special too (despite my original judgements). The building that houses the restaurant is heritage listed – meaning they are not allowed to put any signage up outside. Directionally challenged people aside, this makes it a little bit more of a hidden gem. The restaurant is the sister restaurant of Chapel Street Thai restaurant, Kin. West of Kin is the cool little sister – Asian fusion style food with a modern twist. With brunch now on the menu as well, it’s definitely time to go west and check it out. 

West Of Kin
17 Lacy Street, Braybrook, Melbourne, VIC
Phone: (03) 9317 7553
Web: westofkin.com.au

West of Kin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I Ate My Way Through dined as guests of West Of Kin

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The biggest decision of Jess's day is often what to have for lunch. A coffee addict, sweet tooth and glutton all rolled in one; Jess has a love for food. She has a reputation among her friends as a big eater, and has taken on several eating challenges just to prove a point. Jess loves to bake, mainly to indulge her own sweet tooth, but also to share the dessert love! Jess works in hospitality and is constantly surrounded by delicious food - she is always first to volunteer as taste tester when any new recipes are being created. There’s no need to ask if Jess is hungry – she almost always is.
  • KennyWeir

    Ooooh thanks so much for being so very brave and risking life and limb to visit us here in the west! (PS: It’s sometimes hard to see such comments as “all in good fun” when they are so often ignorantly directed at the community in which one lives and especially when such fun stuff is simply assumed and not explained or enumerated in any way …)

    • Jess Cronin

      Hi Kenny,

      This is a lighthearted attempt at humour (it’s always handy to know you’re not as funny as you think you are) not meant to offend. In the words of the oh so wise West (Kanye) “ya attitude determines ya latitude.” I’ll go anywhere for a good meal anyway.

  • Bazoobazoo

    Don’t ever come out here again. You are not welcome.

  • JessCronin

    KennyWeir 
    Hi Kenny,

    This is a lighthearted attempt at humour (it’s always handy to know you’re not as funny as you think you are) not meant to offend. In the words of the oh so wise West (Kanye) “ya attitude determines ya latitude.” I’ll go anywhere for a good meal anyway

  • KennyWeir

    JessCronin KennyWeir Hi Jess! Ah, yes but you are perpetuating stereotypes – and frankly westies get sick of it! I’m not sure why you said what you did – you obviously run a beautiful and professional blog. When we cross the Maribyrnong – passports not yet required – to eat in, say, Springvale, the CBD or Coburg, I wouldn’t dream of saying anything like that.
    My mood in terms of West Of Kin, which we loved, was not improved by reading in another review by an another eastern suburbs blog/site the following:

    “West
    of Kin is a great little restaurant and foodies in the western suburbs
    of Melbourne should rejoice that their ‘food scene’ is improving with
    quality restaurants like this.”
    The ill-informed, judgmental chutzpah of this is breathtaking! Improved on the basis of what westie experience and on what criteria???
    I’m tempted to bang out a blog post on this but … nah.
    I’d much sooner you join me for a weekend lunch at one of our real westie hidey holes – the kind that don’t have pubilcists!

  • JessCronin

    I appreciate your passion and I can see how this may have been taken. I’m from a working class town that people often like to look down on and I laugh it off as they generally have no idea what it’s actually like. Not that you should have to do that. There are so many truly undiscovered gems in every suburb that often only the locals know about and really appreciate.