Melbourne: No Coogi Sweaters At Huxtable

For the rest of the month of January, Contributing Editor Matt Rodbard will be filing reports from Australia. Fact: Kangaroo is edible (and good). Fact: The coffee scene in Melbourne rivals Seattle, New York and San Francisco—combined. You can also follow along via Twitter (@FoodRepublic), on Instagram and on our Facebook page.

Huxtable, located in a former junk shop in Fitzroy — arguably Melbourne's most up-and-coming eating neighborhood — is indeed named after the Cosby show patriarch. "We needed a name for opening a corporate bank account," shrugs chef-owner Daniel Wilson when asked why the staff uniforms were not designed by Coogi. "It sounded good, and that is it."

And true to Wilson's words, the name is mere pop culture reference. The cooking, a smart selection of sharable dishes driven by the city's vibrant markets and international food scene, is what he wants people talking about. I was joined for a late dinner by Melbourne Wine & Food CEO Natalie O'Brien during a meal that proved the New Zealand-born chef's kitchen skills. And, thankfully, no JELL-O pudding was served. Here's a visual recap: