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Get to know The Moldy Fig, Melbourne’s first New Orleans institution

A mother-daughter duo have recently brought their love and expertise for all things New Orleans to Melbourne, and it feels like one hell of a celebration we’re dying to be a part of. 

The Moldy Fig – run by chef/owner Dorelle and her daughter Vivian – is everything a diner seeks in night out; delicious food, cherished culture, and of course, smooth jazz. You can’t miss their venue, as a huge mural wraps the venue entirely. It screams classic music and old souls, which is exactly what’s to be found at this Melbourne-first institution. Everything from gypsy jazz, swing jazz, traditional jazz and blues is available every night of the week. And their food? I assure you’ll be talking about it long after completion. So here are my top picks on how to enjoy an evening at The Moldy Fig.

To start, do order ‘The Hurricane’ cocktail. The drink uses passionfruit and pomegranate as their staple flavours and is presented in a tall, colourful hurricane glass. Worked with dark rum, orange, and of course fresh passionfruit and pomegranate, the drink marries together wonderfully.  

The Cajuan pork belly is my next pick, being traditionally a Mardi Gras dish and is vastly different from other pork belly you’ll find around town. This pork belly is not crispy as expected, but soft and juicy. That’s due to the meat being marinated, then slow cooked, for an entire eight hours before thoughts of cooking have even erupted. Served with a southern sour cream and beetroot salad, this dish should always be on order.

Of course, you can’t possibly dine Southern without a gumbo to comfort in. Dorelle teaches us that cooking styles of gumbo are very controversial, and the way you choose to cook yours may ruffle some feathers at a dinner sitting – although The Moldy Fig’s flavour is certainly the tastiest I’ve tried in this city. This dish is double-cooked, meaning Dorelle first reduces the vegetables into a thick soup, and then adds more for optimal flavour.