Inspired by the nation’s best wine bars, Mummucc’ has fast become a neighbourhood staple with a reputation reaching far beyond its suburban setting.

Mummucc’ might be owned by Monsterella’s Tania Nicolo and Ryan Bookless, but it feels very much like a partnership with chef Matt McDonald. His spirit seems to align with the pair, while his scope and skill continue to grow.

Working the kitchen solo, McDonald mines his Italian heritage, but tradition acts as a starting point rather than a straitjacket. Pasta, for instance, might look to Asia (think tonnarelli with XO pipis), while hibachi-grilled sirloin, served with braised lentils and whey-roasted onion, is aged in koji.

Working the kitchen solo, McDonald mines his Italian heritage, but tradition acts as a starting point rather than a straitjacket.

This lively, loud space is geared towards drinking, and if it’s not Nicolo running the show, a crew of wine-informed servers ably navigate a list that preferences cult Italians and new-wave locals. McDonald’s food is closely aligned to the wine program – in other words, the chef knows his way around a snack. Think good charcuterie, cheese and bread, followed by sardines on toast spread with whipped bottarga.

Still hungry? Order a half rock lobster with laver and chilli vinegar for good measure (and even better value). Add smart aperitivo and amaro sections and Mummucc’ neatly fills a gap the city didn’t even know it had. The fact there’s more potential to realise is cause for celebration.