Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Jimmy Grants + N2 Gelato

So I reckon George Calombaris (and the Made Establishment Group) are doing some pretty clever things at the moment. Although it was sad to hear the closing of The Press Club, and have another fine dining giant close it's doors on us, it's definitely been interesting to hear how Gazi is doing, with it's fresher and much more approachable concept. Whilst I'm no industry expert, I can only imagine how much the industry has been changing, especially in these past couple of years and it seems that evolving to a younger and fresher approach, seems to be a fairly smart one. 

Whilst I haven't been to Gazi yet, I would imagine Jimmy Grants is an extension of this new approach, offering tasty and affordable souvlakis, for eat in or takeaway, in a casual and relaxed environment (with a touch of hipster, let's all be honest here).

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Brad and I visited Jimmy Grants very shortly after it opened, I don't normally chase after restaurant openings, but I happened to read about it, we happened to not have any plans and I also happen to not have much money on me after visiting America, so cheap and cheery sounded all good to me!

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You can spot Jimmy Grants just off Smith Street, with it's neon blue light, beckoning you to grab a beer, and relax in it's slick, but playful fit out. 

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Basically, it's all about the souvlakis here, with a little less grease and a bit more delicious, with a selection of five for the adults, and a little something smaller for the kids. You can pair it up with some salads, dips and sides. 

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I opted for the Bonegilla, with a combo of chicken and lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions and parsley. Brad got the Mr Papadopoulous, with lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions and parsley. 

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Both came wrapped in fluffy, fluffy pita bread that was just so light and so delightful (and felt quite wholesome) with the various fillings. The chips in both added a nice crunch (and a bit of naughtiness), and whilst I love how rich and succulent the lamb was in the Mr. Papadopoulous, it was surprisingly rich (even for me!), and I found that the Bonegilla had more complexity in flavours which i found more appealing. I could taste the mustard aioli punching through, which I felt wasn't as prominent in the Papadopoulous. It just had me licking my lips ravenously. I love mustard yo.

But really, picking between the two is like picking whether you want chocolate or caramel ice-cream (to me anyway) and both essentially showcased beautifully roasted meats which you really can't complain about!

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We got a 'Village Salad' on the side, which came with cucumber, pearl barley, feta, oregano, mint and coriander. It was a lovely cool salad, which would be brilliant in the summer weather, but was also great for lightening up our meal with something cleaner for the palate. Simple, but so good.

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And although we tried to be good with the salad, I still couldn't resist ordering a side of the chips, that came with garlic oil, feta and oregano. 

Oh mama. What a beauty. I would have never thought to put feta on my chips, but it's seriously such a delicious combo. Go try them. Go. Go. Go. And never regret it!

Although dessert tempted me, I happened to be in one of those peculiar moods where I just needed to have ice-cream. Even if it was totally freezing out. 

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So whilst I originally had Trampoline on the brain, I was really more than happy to find out it had been turned into N2 Gelato. More than happy. Grabbing-Brad's-hand-and-dragging-him-across-the-road-and-nearly-getting-run-over happy. 

N2 Gelato originates from Sydney and I kind of don't want to tell you guys about it because I don't want to be batting with people for this, but it'll happen anyway because this is the internet generation right?

All the gelato is made on the spot, with the joy that is liquid nitrogen, Heston style. It's a concept that's been hanging around in the States and in London (I think) but is still finding it's legs in Australia. 

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I'm so happy it's in Melbourne now though. There's always something so magical about watching that smoke just waft out of the kitchenaids and know that something beautiful is being crafted. Just for you. 

Actually funnily enough, I just watched a show where Heston Blumenthal makes the biggest ice-cream cone, probably ever, and he explains that because liquid nitrogen freezes the ice-cream so fast, the ice crystals are very tiny, so you end up with a dessert that is very, very smooth. 

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And that's really what you get. I tried the 'Me-So-Happy' flavour, miso caramel with peanuts served on a milk gelato. The milk gelato is so, so, smooth and creamy, dense, without being heavy. If it didn't melt it would make an awesome spread. Like nutella, but smoother. I wish I could put it into words! I also loved the 'miso caramel', it was an intriguing flavour, as you definitely had the caramel, but subtle hints of the miso coming up from it. Bit of a surprising umami hit, that worked quite well. 

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Also, N2 Gelato have a totally cute area to hang out back, dressing everything up with a bit of astroturf. How appropriate totally appropriate for Fitzroy.

Souvlakis, beer and liquid nitrogen gelato. A bit of a random food adventure night, but who's complaining here?

113 St. David Street

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

View I'm So Hungree in a larger map

N2 Gelato
329 Brunswick Street

N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

View I'm So Hungree in a larger map


  1. I was planning to hit up Jimmy Grants on Friday for a cheap option for dinner, I've been craving their soft souvlakis filled with chips ever since I first tried them at the Taste of Melbourne festival years ago! So good, can't wait :)

    1. Souvlaki is not a usual for me, but now that I've had it again, I want it more! :)

  2. Sounds like a great night out - although I hear Burch & Purchese are doing Jimmy Grant's desserts which could be hard to go past!

    1. Ooh, is that so! The doughnuts sounded good, will have to pop by for those next time :)

  3. I went to N2 in Sydney last year, it was fun. By the way, Trampoline is still at the same spot, just a short walk down. So many frozen treat shops on Brunswick St now! Actually I think I saw you tweet about N2 while I was literally just a stone's throw away, at the boyfriend's place, haha!

    I went past Jimmy Grants on their opening night whilst on my way to somewhere else, was really tempted to grab something... I will next time!

    1. Oooh, I must have misplaced where it was, hehe, still glad I saw N2 before I saw trampoline! ;) Thanks for verifying though!

  4. Mmmm, sounds lovely. I was pestering The Sparky about Jimmy Grants the other day but Fitzroy is just so far from home :( I do have N2 on my list for Sydney next week though ... hopefully it's as fun as it sounds :)

  5. Haha I'm so glad I heard about N2 from you! Apparently they have a buttered popcorn ice cream out this week so I will see if I can make a special trip out for that :)

    I also want to try Jimmy Grant's but heard the lines were crazy - might have to see if I can sneak in an early weekday dinner before the crowds arrive. Mmmm.

  6. I'm SOOOOOO happy to hear N2 is in Melb now too! Means I can finally try it out after hearing so so much abt it. And what a great location to be in seriously. Love the Fitzroy food scene heaps. Can so see myself grabbing dinner at one of the many restos in the area before heading over to N2 for dessert. Summer, Oh Summer, where art thou?! Get thy ass here quickly NOW!

  7. Souvlaki and gelato sounds like the perfect combo! We are a little deprived of good Greek restaurants over here in Perth. I guess we don't have the big communities over East to get that authenticity.

  8. want want want. all of it. going to the top of my city eats list!
    Heidi xo