Camus by Pierre Khodja
61 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
03 9486 3063
Camus is the newest restaurant from Algerian-born chef, Pierre Khodja, providing a space for people to gather, socialise and share in their love of food.
Albert Camus was a French philosopher from Algeria who explored the challenges of national identity mirrored through his own experiences feeling like an outsider when his country was under French colonial rule. Similar to this namesake, Algerian born chef, Pierre grew up in Marseille, experiencing overwhelming feelings of displacement amongst French society. His connection to Camus, albeit decades apart, has brought him back to his Algerian roots and can be seen in the food he plates up at his first restaurant.
Pierre owes his love of cooking to his mother, who while during his impoverished childhood, managed to create so much from so little to feed her bustling family of seven children. She turned simple into delicious and is an inspiration for the menu at Camus.
Pierre’s classical French training is combined with the vibrant flavours and spices of North Africa and given a touch of Melbourne flair. Traditional appetizers include bourek – a flaky pastry filled with spinach, goat’s cheese, mint and egg, and spiced lamb shoulder atop a chickpea pancake. Larger share dishes offer Algerian seafood paella, and ras el hanout marinated organic chicken made with the popular North African multi-spice and served with green olives, saffron and preserved lemon.
Cinnamon is an unusual yet welcome addition to the spinach, kale and feta lasagne, and vegetarians can also indulge in a caramelised onion, blue cheese and broccoli macaroni pot. Sweet treats include Turkish delight souffle, and pistachio and ricotta doughnuts with lavender honey and preserved lemon ice cream.
The 100-seat venue offers bar seats for a quick bite and drink, as well as indoor and alfresco dining options. It is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday, and lunch from Friday to Sunday.
Words by Beth Yeoman