On Ballarat Road in Braybrook – right opposite La Porchetta – is a rather unlovely commercial edifice.
The new part houses a couple of furniture outlets and a gym.
At its glassy and more interesting and two-storied end are a childcare centre and the offices of a certain MP.
This building, as I’ve discovered through reader feedback to this post, has a venerable history.
It’s at that end, the official address is actually 17 Lacy Street, that West of Kin is taking shape.
It is the baby of Andy (above) and Tram Tran, who run Kin in Chapel Street, Prahran.
But where that eatery is pretty much an orthodox Vietnamese place, it’s sister restaurant in Braybrook will be of the Asian-fusion persuasion.
Andy tells me there’ll be tapas-style dishes (priced $7 to $10, or three for $20), as well as offerings with Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese influences.
The menu will be developed by consulting chef Sam Pinzone, who has earned his stripes from his time working under Neil Perry at Rockpool, Jacques Reymond and most recently as executive chef at the refurbished The Rose Upstairs in Fitzroy.
The location is a whirl of carpenters and fitting out at present, but Andy reckons they’ll be up and running in about a week.
West of Kin will be no humble ethnic eatery quietly slipping into the neighbourhood.
It’s going to be surprisingly large and very swish, encompassing in an L shape a bar/kitchen area and a more dedicated dining zone.
Those areas will wrap around a “beer” garden, while Andy says the place will be very friendly when it comes to kids and pets.
Andy and Tram figure this is a good location – and I reckon they’re right.
In terms of eating/drinking, there’s not much to be had between Footscray (in one direction) and Sunshine (in the other).
In terms of eat/drinking any time after about 9pm any night of the week, there’s very little – aside from the nearby kebab shacks – for many kilometres around.
Andy and Tram live just a few minutes away so are well aware of all this.
Andy tells me he’s looking for ward to “doing something for the west” by opening a business that means his friends won’t have to travel to the likes of Brunswick for entertainment purposes.
Plans are that West of Kin will be open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and until 11pm.