On a rooftop in the middle of St Kilda, there is a chef grilling pepper berry marinated tofu & vegetable kebabs over hot Mallee root charcoals. Land of plenty set about recreating the traditional Australian backyard barbeque, giving it a lift with traditional flavours. Using all native botanicals and indigenous flavours, the menu plays with lemon myrtle, rosella syrup, and wattleseed.
A 1.8-metre charcoal grill, oozing heat, sits in the centre of the kitchen. With head chef Sam Wills grilling each item to perfection. Due to the nature of cooking over charcoal, as opposed to gas, the chefs need to clean down the grill after anything they cook. They have also split the grill into two sides to separate the meat from the vegan items.
It’s an inclusive environment at Land of Plenty, with the aim to bring people together over food. No matter what your preference may be. But this menu has no place for token items. The plant-based dishes are teaming with complex flavours that show how much thought was placed into them. To note would be the Miso Glazed Eggplant. With mushroom braised native grains, this dish on its own stirs up unexpected deep umami flavours that explode in your mouth. This dish comes alive with the addition of the marinated zucchini which has a tang that breaks apart the eggplant and lift’s it.
It’s all about the Mallee root charcoal, so your best bet is to start with their different skewers. From balsamic mushrooms to fermented cabbage kimchi, to the pepper berry tofu. But you must try the miso-glazed eggplant and get stuck into their vegan cheesecake for dessert.
In the bar, they only stock Australian made and owned drinks. Including the first-ever Australian grown agave spirit (like tequila or mezcal). The cocktails contain native Australian botanicals and are designed to be nostalgic, to bring back that sense of growing up in Australia.