on air now

Scorcher reviews: Fook Shing in Kyneton — ‘a town that punches above its weight in the restaurant stakes’

82-84 Piper St, Kyneton VIC 3444

It’s a stiflingly hot 44° Friday and I’m wearing tight black jeans and a dark T-shirt. It’s a bad decision and one I’m fast coming to regret.

But despite my misguided choice of outfit, I’ve also made one incredibly good decision today and that is to escape the city for some relief and recuperation in regional Victoria.

Whenever the occasion allows, I believe it’s important to recharge your system by doing not very much at all and an obvious place to do that is in the calming climes of the country.

If you go one hour north-west by train from Melbourne you’ll arrive at Kyneton, a blissful little town that punches above its weight in the restaurant stakes.

Kyneton, with its heritage charm and alluring property prices, is becoming a hot stop for treechangers. If moving there is too much of a commitment for you, then an overnight or weekend stay is just as rewarding.

This charm-charged town is luring folk from Melbourne due to the rich pickings of restaurants on offer; Piper Street, the town’s main foodie drag, has such a wonderful concentration of first-rate restaurants it’s almost possible to eat at a different top-notch place each night.

The latest hot spot to land on Piper Street is Fook Shing, a southeast Asian restaurant housed in a former Gold Rush-era hotel.

There’s a lot to love about Fook Shing; there’s a plush bar to unwind in after you’ve stuffed yourself with Thai/Malaysian/Chinese delights, a deck out the back for when the weather is fine and the dining space itself is quirky and comfortable.

With food offerings broken up into “small”, “medium” and “large” sections, the menu is a confusion-free zone; as is the modern way, all the dishes are shareable and you won’t need an encyclopaedia to help you make your selections.

To start off with, try the crab egg custard with XO sauce or perhaps the taut prawn and chicken dumplings with spicy Sichuan sauce.

Moving on to mediums, the Portarlington mussels, chilli jam, lemongrass and holy basil are a touch spicy but lively and delightful. The crispy pork belly in a nest of coriander, peanuts, spring onions and black sesame will banish all thoughts you may have about pork belly fatigue.

Your larger options include a veggie pad Thai; rabbit jungle curry with apple eggplant and baby corn; pork curry with lemongrass, pea eggplant and salted duck egg; and a whole fried snapper.

Like Fook, I recommend you dispatch yourself to Kyneton and conduct your own probe of the city; there’s much to uncover and if you pay a visit to Fook Shing you’re sure to strike gold.


Midnight Starling, 60 Piper St, Kyneton

Source Dining, 72 Piper St, Kyneton

Spaghetti Bar, 58B Piper St, Kyneton

Little Swallow Café, 62 Piper St, Kyneton

Duck, Duck, Goose and Larder, 17/19 Piper St, Kyneton

Major Tom’s, 57 Piper St, Kyneton