Isolation Interviews: Victor Liong

Considering our current circumstances; what is your desert island dram or drink, and do you think now would be the time to crack open ’that’ bottle?

I drink all sorts of beverages, I feel a mood for certain drinks and tap into the idea of a ritual, in terms of scotch, I’m a beginner, I’m really enjoying the Glenlivet founders reserve – I like it in a highball with soda or a big pour on the rocks, it’s really easy drinking it’s well priced and I know it lacks the robust characters of connoisseur whisky and it’s not fashionable but I’m into it.
I used to save and collect wines, but as times go on, I open the unicorn wines and drink them with friends, it’s those moments that’s we’ve created that I remember in these times, and look forward to.

What does this industry mean to you, and how did you end up in it?

I’ve always wanted to work as a chef, I started an apprenticeship after university and had a drive to open my own restaurant, I’ve had a short and lucky career, but it’s also been hard work and sacrifice, the industry is a big part of my life and I love being in it. It’s multifaceted and complexly layered, it’s instantly as well as incrementally rewarding, it’s hugely satisfying and rewarding, it’s also so nice to work with knowledgeable, inspiring, creative, skilled and passionate people.

Have you adopted any new daily routines (or adapted any of your old routines) to keep happy and healthy in isolation? 

I’m lucky to be back at work in a capacity that allows me to serve to community, pay my staff, support my suppliers, and be a little creative – I try and support other industries around my routine, I train with my trainer who has had her business decimated by this and I’m looking forward to visiting my barber this week who’s going through the process of restarting his salon, everyday in every way we are getting better.

You once told GoodFood that “I could probably drink 10 Negronis and still feel fantastic. I think I might be 50 per cent Negroni.” So, when venues are opening their doors once again, where are you going for that first Negroni, and where to next? (This could be for food, drink or socialising)

I do love a Negroni, it’s a perfect ratio and a good metaphor for life – it’s pretty looking at it, it’s bitter to start and a bit sweet if you can make it to the end and kids don’t understand it.
I’m looking forward to perching up at a bar and enjoy the energy and fun vibes.
I’d love to have a shot with Joe at Romeo Lane, drink an old pal by Hayden at Above Board, have a glass of wine at Embla, eat a pork skewers and a Greek salad at Butchers Diner, lunch at Francesoir, drink a vermouth on tap and snack on a sobrassada at Bar Tini, have a coffee in the afternoon at vacation, eat an affogato from the traveller, smash noodles at Soi38, eat a plate of oysters at Cumulus, finesse some pearl meat at flower drum, twirl a forkful of pasta at cellar bar – read a book in the park, watch a movie, stare at art, drink until I can’t see, snack and eat until I end up at Butchers Diner – there is no better place to enjoy life than Melbourne!
P.S I’m really craving Raw fish/sashimi, dry aged marbled steak, charcuterie, oysters and beef tartare! I miss restaurants
It’s not where you live, it’s how you live

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