Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest at the following venues
296 High Street
When you get an invite from a fish and chip shop claiming to have made the perfect f*cking chip…you make sure you’re attending.
Located on High Street in Northcote, conveniently across the road from the Northcote Social Club (so easy enough to stumble to after a few too many beers), it’s not at all what you expect.
Beautiful, slick and airy interior fit-out, not too dissimilar from what you might find in a cafe, with the usual blue and white palette, but a surprise hit of pink as well.
Talking to the owners, I learn everything is made in house, from the dimmies to the infamous chips. After being frustrated with middle men supplying half decent potatoes, they took matters into their own hands and source directly what they need, and then craft a damn good potato chip.
Hard to say if it’s the perfect f*cking chip, but as a potato loving girl, I’ve got to say they were damn good. Absolutely golden, crisp (not too crunchy) and with that actual warm potato flavour, not just starch. Potato cakes totally killed it as well.
Can’t go wrong with freshly shucked oysters, and I totally died over the plate of meaty snapper cheeks (which I don’t think are regularly on the menu, but oh my god they should be). I was also majorly impressed with their house-made steamed dimmies, one version made with spanner crab that I loved, and one version made with barramundi which Brad preferred. Regardless, they were actually full of flavour and tasted like seafood!
Freshly made Taiyaki, a Japanese style dessert, with red bean in the middle, is also most definitely worth waiting for. I’ve heard that they’re planning to introduce more Taiyaki flavours, so looking forward to returning again soon!
Bomba Goes to Spain Lunch
103 Lonsdale Street
Jesse Gerne’s got a real good thing going. Once a year (if not twice), he and a handful of his staff from Bomba and Anada make their way to Spain on a smorgasbord of an adventure. Seriously, his stories make you jealous, at times squeamish (how about some bull’s testicles at 8am in the morning?) but most of all, mouth watering.
He returns from these adventure around Spain, and highlights the different areas in Spain visited, with a variety of lunches.
This year, I had the pleasure of having a gastronomical tour through Andalusia, where the boy’s ate cuttlefish vagina’s (the direct translation into English!), at a bar run by a pair of deaf and mute brothers and drank enough sherry for a fleet (or at least that’s what it sounded like)!
These lunches are usually $65 per person, and although it says it’s four courses, you get so much more than that!
From briny Wapengo oysters with sweet nettle vinaigrette, to just the most meaty and delicious Sardinas fritas (sardine fritters) with lemon. Sardines are totally underrated just for the record.
Thin slivers of pickled pork belly leave you licking your lips for more, while the montadito of huevos revueltos with morcilla proves you can totally have scrambled eggs for lunch on perfectly charred bread.
Make sure you pull up your iPhone camera and get some selfie action going on to check your teeth after the cuttlefish and pipies in generous amounts of squid ink, and sigh with happiness over the Rabo de toro; ‘Fighting Bull’s Tail’ in oloroso and celeriac puree. If you’ve had their pork jowl in Pedro Ximenez, it has similarities to that for me.
After a lazy 3 hours of eating, and convincing myself I have space for Pedro Ximenez ice-cream, torrija, sheep’s milk yoghurt and poached pear, Bomba’s ‘Goes to Spain’ lunches prove to be an enjoyable, filling and relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Keep your eyes peeled for the next one!
56 Johnston Street
Even though I do work in a business where we deal with a lot of hospitality operators, I don’t often talk about work. I’ve been quite fortunate that I can keep work and the blog separate, for the most part, but there are times like these when I’m quite happy to bring them together.
The crew who once operated Ayatana came to BrandWorks for a new brand, and a little help with the interiors. Tony, Petch and Joyce were amazing to work with, and it’s been simply thrilling to see their restaurant come to life. All the colour makes me so happy!
Son in Law is the newest Thai addition to Johnston Street, living where Bayte used to be, whipping up Thai favourites such as pad thai and their namesake, Son in Law eggs, but also throwing a little fusion into the mix with sliders and tacos…because why not? I attended the launch, but also visited for dinner with the BrandWorks team, where we ate and loved everything.
Highlights included the sweet crunchy tamarind salad, those son in law eggs, the crispy barramundi fillets and crispy soft shell crab with tight prawns in a traditional Thai green curry. We ate in true family style…and man we were stuffed!