Charlie Carrington reveals Atlas Dining's new menu, new approach

Charlie Carrington’s hatted Melbourne restaurant Atlas Dining has revealed its 10th cuisine will be American soul food, off the back of his most recent trip to the southern states of the United States. 

The ambitious “revolving restaurant”, which opened in 2016, changes not just its menu but also its cuisine every four months. Three times a year, the young chef embarks on a two- to three-week trip to a new country or province to learn as much as he can about the way the locals cook and eat, before creating a new menu in South Yarra with his take on the food.

“For the last eight months at Atlas, we’ve been exploring the Asian continent – first with Thai cuisine and then through my take of Chinese and Sichuan cooking,”Carrington says. “So, this September, we’ve decided to do something really different – far from what our customers would expect.”

Taking inspiration from Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas, Carrington has created a menu based on soul food, including pickles, charcuterie and biscuit; shrimp ‘n grits with wood-oven corn bread; and fried chicken and gumbo. 

The kitchen set-up already revolves around fire, with wood-fire and charcoal pits being used to cook each one of his menus, so smoking and barbequing meats made sense. 

The degustation-only menu rings in at just $70 a head for five courses. 

“We’ll also be softening our fine-dining service - or whatever you call it we do here,” adds Carrington, who hopes to channel the southern American experience in full with warm, casual service. 

"When you walk through our doors, you can expect to see deli-style brown paper in place of our French linen," he says.

Atlas Dining’s American menu will run from September 3 and until Christmas Eve.