Shepherd performs that neat trick – unprepossessing from the outside, exciting within. It’s all fairy lights, hip pot plants, a dining space split over two levels, a lengthy bar and an open kitchen where diners can perch up at the bar. It occupies a prime spot in the laneways and has an excellent reputation, thanks in part to the pedigree of its owners Shepherd Elliott and Sean Golding. With effusive and friendly staff it exudes fun and a welcoming, happy vibe. Golding owns a bar just across the laneway and has imprinted his flair on the innovative and diverse drinks offering with a brilliant selection especially of beers and cocktails. Elliot’s menu promises much and ably delivers some intriguing and flavour-packed dishes such as confit chicken and celeriac puree topped by nutty beluga lentils and a sprinkle of baby nasturtium leaves.