There are a lot of birthdays in June. In my family alone, I share a birthday with a cousin in Queensland, and another cousin Jess has her birthday the day after (she’s a few years older than me). Not to mention several friends whose birthdays also fall that week! Since we’ve never really celebrated together, Jess and I used the excuse to spend a girls’ weekend in Melbourne! I haven’t been there since October 2008 and was long overdue for a visit, so I was very excited about visiting what is probably my favourite city in Australia.
Saturday was spent in Fitzroy, but with so many fabulous vintage and boutique shops to visit, we came back on Sunday as well! One of my favourite places in Fitzroy is the Little Creatures Dining Hall. I’d been there before, and also to the brewery in Fremantle a few times, but I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to go back. Shopping is thirsty work and it was high time for a beverage. I had left my camera back at the hotel, so I’m doing something I’ve never done before and using only iPhone photos in a blog post! These were taken using an app called Shake it Photo for the polaroid effect, which I really love.
We started with a Pipsqueak cider each. I’ve been into cider in a big way lately, and this is one of my favourites. Until now I had only tried it bottled, but it tastes even better on tap. And yes, we did order a second cider each later.
For lunch, it was a hard choice between a pizza or the burger special. I’m a big fan of the Little Creatures chips, and that was the deciding factor. For me, the key to a good burger is to have both aioli and sauce and what a good burger this was! And the chips were fabulous as always! Happy sigh. I think my favourite part about them is that the potatoes aren’t peeled, so there’s a very slight chewiness to go along with the lovely crunch.
Jess had the fish of the day, barramundi this time, pan-fried with potatoes and sauce gribiche. She loved the crispy fish and it was a lovely match for the sauce, which I had heard of but never tried. It reminded me of a chunky tartare. It was actually great to see so many Melbourne restaurants offering fabulous vegetarian dishes, and this was one of them.
Unfortunately we had no room for dessert, although the choices were very tempting – a quince and rhubarb crumble or warm cinnamon doughnuts that I’m sure would have been delicious! Our bill was brought out in a second hand book, a quirky touch. Somewhat appropriately we were given a cookbook, where I noticed other tables had vintage novels or children’s books.
The Dining Hall is a perfect venue for a casual meal. I think this would be quite a busy, buzzing spot on a Friday or Saturday night and a great place to have a few drinks. The staff are knowledgeable and their friendly attitude adds to the whole appeal. Good food, good beer and good fun, in a city that really understands the value of all three. And if you’re so inclined, you can borrow one of the bicycles and ride around the city! What more could you ask for, than for Little Creatures to open a restaurant in Sydney!
Little Creatures Dining Hall – 222 Brunswick St, Fitzroy