A prize-winning lunch

1 Comment

Erika won our guest post contest with a wonderful piece of writing that touched people – read it here.

Now she’s done it again, finding that taking her family to Woven to enjoy their prize lunch evokes all sorts of fabulous family foodie memories.

She’s a star!

 

joelunch

 

By Erika Jonsson

When my sisters and I were young, Mum used to let us choose the menu for our birthday dinners.

The options were endless. Would it be pasta, Sichuan-style chicken, oyster beef or tacos?

Roast pork with crackling, chicken with lemongrass or wonton soup?

My mouth still waters thinking about it.

Funnily enough, my younger sister and I always chose the same dish, albeit with different sides.

Trish picked steamed vegetables (which I still find odd) while I chose corn and twice-cooked chips.

The meat was schnitzel – usually veal – that was succulent and tender, crumbed to perfection and fried

just long enough to cook through.

It was heaven.

Year after year our menu remained unchanged.

When I was 14 and nine months old, I started working at a toyshop on Friday nights and Saturday mornings.

My family lived out of town, so my little part-time job meant spending the night at my grandparents’ place.

They had immigrated to Australia from England when my mum was a child, and

Grandma’s cooking was Britain’s finest.

Pork pie, battered fish, Yorkshire pud, roast anything.

The only herbs I remember in her kitchen cupboard were salt, pepper and season-all.

Everything she cooked was simple but so tasty.

On Fridays before I started work, Grandma would cook big fat pork schnitzels with chips and corn – my favourite meal.

While the meat was the star of the show, the chips were really my favourite.

Potato in any form was welcome on my plate – with a combination of English and Swedish heritage, that’s probably no surprise.

My love for potatoes led to disaster when I left home and headed to the big smoke to study.

I’d been led to believe a fast metabolism was the reason for my then slim figure.

Well, my metabolism and I both got lazy at uni – and I put on about a dozen kilos by eating twice-cooked chips for dinner around five nights a week.

The day my knee-high boots wouldn’t zip up properly, I swore off chips, lost most of my potato weight and gave away my deep fryer.

Since then, chips have only been an occasional indulgence – a special return to my youthful addiction.

Last week I came as close as I ever have to ordering chips as a main when my family went to Woven in Yarraville for lunch.

And that was after I had already eaten my main.

My meal was a perfectly modern re-imagining of my favourite childhood dish.

The pork tonkatsu burger was made up of a juicy pork loin crumbed in panko inside a brioche bun with house-pickled daikon, Kewpie mayo sauce and a cabbage and fennel slaw.

Right next door to the burger was a generous serve of hand-cut chips, still in their skins – just like I like them.

Those chips transported me to Friday nights at Grandma’s, to special birthday dinners and to university over-indulgence.

Normally, I share my meals with my kids but not this day.

My husband, who had the bang-up burger with chips, also found his plate was under attack – but I protected my potatoes with a ferocity I didn’t know I possessed.

“Please, Mama? Could I please share your chips?” my son Joe pleaded after he had finished with his crumpets with honey, caramelised pear and mascarpone.

I feigned deafness and kept eating with greedy abandon, using my chips to mop up tasty drips of Kewpie sauce.

There is magic in food.

Smells and tastes can evoke stronger memories than pictures – such was the case for me at Woven.

It was a magical meal – I definitely plan to go back soon, though I’ll have to watch my waist.

Thank you to Dan, Dave and their team for a great meal and a great experience.

Thanks also to Consider The Sauce for offering such a special prize – I’ve never won anything so tasty!

Big Yarraville excitement

2 Comments
little4

 

Little Advi, 16 Ballarat Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9689 0004

For a lot of people, particularly those who live and work in the village, their Yarraville eatery has arrived.

As you’d expect, the food line-up at Little Advi, which has slotted into the premises of a former boutique on Ballarat Street, closely resembles that of the mothership, Cafe Advieh, on Gamon Street.

Equally as expected, though, there is no diminuation in terms of quality, freshness, affordability and service.

 

little7

 

The place looks gorgeous, with a lot of old wood, brick and tiling.

The staff area really on the ball in every way.

The menu (see below) has brekky, wraps, focaccias and a longish list of really appealing plates with fritter, falafels, skewers, dips and salads.

 

little1

 

I go for the large dips plate.

I pay $13.50 but it’s so generous that the small at $10.50 may have been a wiser choice.

The dips – eggplant, yogurt ‘n’ cucumber and eggplant – are so fresh they sing with flavour.

Even better, they are personalised in the Advieh fashion, making them delightfully original in texture and taste, especially when sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped pistachio nuts.

With them – and olives and two very nice stuffed vine leaves – come two Lebanese pita breads, brought in, warmed and more than enough to go with the dips.

Little Advi is s breakfast-and-lunch establishment.

 

Little Advi on Urbanspoon

 

little3

little2

little5

little6

Meal of the week No.2: Bax Food Co

Leave a comment

bax22

 

After having already hit Gamon Street’s fab new Jamaican eatery with a largish group that pretty much ran through the entire menu, I’m excited to be taking Bennie there.

And I know just what to order to press my teenage dude’s buttons.

Mine, too.

BBQ pork ribs, jerk Piccapeppa chicken wings, BBQ corn, cassava chips.

It’s a lip-smacking feast for two moderately hungry lads.

The chicken wings, at $9, strike us as a bargain.

The superb chips provide affordable bulk.

Between the slaw with both meat choices and the corn, there’s enough veggie action going on.

Even with a couple of $3 soft drinks, we pay a very good $41.

As we amble back on to Gamon, energetically flossing our teeth, Bennie opines:

“That’s the best food I’ve had in Yarraville.”

I’m inclined to agree with him.

See earlier review here.

Jamaica in Yarraville: Review

5 Comments

bax13

OK, Roderick – you’ve for sure taken care of us tonight; now we need some sugar!

 

Bax Food Co, 83 Gamon Street, Yarraville. Phone: 0402 751 108

How wonderful is it that a Jamaican restaurant is up running in Yarraville?

“Very” is the conclusion of our table of five after a spectacular mid-week dinner.

There’s enough of us to try – and share – just about everything on the menu.

It’s all good or better.

And much of it is very, very good indeed.

CTS has a long, pre-blog relationship with these Gamon Street premises – oft times Bennie and I used Gravy Train as a regular breakfast spot, those breakfasts being mostly made up of just toast and hot beverages.

Somehow along the way, Gravy Train seemed to get overtaken by foodie developments in Yarraville village, Seddon and several points in between.

So fronting here, to a refurbished location, to join my four dining companions has something of an air of circles turning and regeneration.

 

bax12

 

The makeover, both inside and out, is substantial but also very colourful and funky rustic.

It fits the casual, happy vibe of the place to a tee.

We found the service to be very fine and the wait times for our choices shorter, if anything, than we might have expected.

 

bax2

 

Cassava chips ($7) are plain of flavour but a crisp delight nonetheless.

 

bax3

 

Ackee, saltfish and mushroom patties with tomato love apple sauce ($10) are like delicate treats something like curry puffs with a taste like mum’s homemade fish pie.

 

bax4

 

Jerk roast corn with coconut jerk may ($6) is a wild, different and delicious contrast to plainer versions of roasted corn.

Yum factor: High.

 

bax5

 

In a meal of many highlights, perhaps the most giddy, moan-inducing reactions come with dishes that mirror and even best many of those we’ve enjoyed in recent months at various BBQ joints around town.

These smokey BBQ pork ribs ($13), for instance, are immense in every way – spicy, charred, OMG.

 

bax10

 

Likewise with the jerk Picapeppa hot wings ($9).

These are even spicier than the ribs, a little more piquant and every bit as awesome.

 

bax8

 

Goat curry ($24) has wonderfully tender, fall-off-the-bone meat and is gorgeous.

 

bax7

 

Our curry is served with roti bread (also available as a side, $4) unlike anything roti we’ve tried before.

It’s almost-crisp and spongey but does the mopping-up job expected of any kind of roti just fine.

 

bax6

 

Oxtail stew with butter bean and carrots ($25) has sweet meat easily exctracted from gnarly bones and is another winner.

With its star anise, you know what this reminds me of?

Vietnamese beef stew!

Only two of our party had any depth of experience with Jamaican food before our meal, but I had a strong intuition that the Bax fare would be somehow familiar in any case, perhaps based on my familiarity with New Orleans and South Louisiana food.

Such turns out to be very much the case.

The Bax goodies can sit comfortably alongside other westie options such as  Vietnamese and African – right at home but strikingly different.

As chef Roderick points out, such is always going to be the case as creole food (using the word in it its most universal sense) the world over often draws on shared traditions.

As regards to pricing, the oxtail stew and the goat curry are substantial, bigger than they appear in the photographs, are sharing material for up to four (with other dishes alongside) and  quite good value.

 

bax9

 

Rice ‘n’ peas ($6) is a Jamaican staple that is nice enough but gets a bit lost amid the richness of what surrounds it.

 

bax11

 

Sadly, the same can be said of our fried snapper with pickled condiments and salad ($28).

The fish is beautifully cooked but arrives at our table last of our mains and at a point where we’re just about full to the ears, its plainness overwhelmed by the spiciness that has preceded.

Full, maybe, but still able to find room for shared desserts …

 

bax14

 

Dark Shadows ($10) is an intriguing mix of condensed milk and grapefruit – it’s tangy and smooth.

 

bax15

 

But sweet potato pudding ($12) is more our go – it’s like a very dense, rich bread and butter pudding-meets-caramel slice.

 

bax16

 

Rum and raisin ice-cream ($5) is brought-in but nevertheless very good – it has, as several of my companions note, an unusually high level of “rumminess”.

In her review on Fill Up On Bread – see here – Mairead comments that perhaps Bax has gone a little overboard with the bax (box) concept in the form of too much cardboard, especially given the prices.

To tell you the truth, we have been so busy eating and enjoying we didn’t notice.

Bax Food Co, it seems clear to me, is sure to be a successful ornament to the local eats scene.

Very highly recommended!

 

Bax Food Co on Urbanspoon

 

bax17

bax18

Jamaica in Yarraville: Update

1 Comment

bax1

 

Bax Food Co, 83 Gamon Street, Yarraville. Phone: 0402 751 108

SEE REVIEW HERE.

Since our initial story reporting the exciting news that a Jamaican restaurant is soon to open in Yarraville, Consider The Sauce has made contact with two of the three partners involved, and enjoyed some cordial conversations with Dalton and Roderick about their plans.

Unfortunately, efforts to synchronise all three partners and myself to be in the same place at the same time for a photograph were bettered by busy schedules all round.

Oh well – it’s time for an update anyway, especially as opening night is almost upon us!

Here’s the details …

The restaurant will be known as Bax Food Co and will operate out of the former home Gravy Train at 83 Gamon Street.

Opening night will be this coming Friday, February 20, on which night there will be 6pm and 8pm sittings.

Bookings can be made via roderick@bossmanfood.com.au 0402 751 108.

The “bax” part of their name comes from a casual style of eating in Jamaica whereby instead of sit-down meals, customers get a “bax” (box) full of goodies.

Bax Food Co will, of course, serve their food this way, too, though Roderick assures me some of the sides will be presented regular style on regular plates!

At the time of going to press, the menu was still being completed … but Roderick did number off several dishes that will be available:

Jerk chicken.

Oxtail stew.

Goat curry.

Salted cod.

Rice ‘n’ peas.

BBQ ribs.

Casava chips.

Spicy jerk roast corn with coconut jerk mayo.

Fish will be in the form of whole snapper, which will be the top-priced item at about $30.

Yarraville eats goss: Jamaican eatery

1 Comment

jamaica3

 

Inspired by this mind-blowingly interesting job advert, Consider The Sauce has tried phone, email and Facebook message in a bid to nail the details – so far to no avail.

Here’s what we know thus far …

A Jamaican restaurant will soon be opening in Yarraville.

It will be housed in the Gamon Street premises that for many, many years hosted Gravy Train and which are currently undergoing renovations.

The people behind the restaurant are those who run Boss Man Food – see website here and Facebook page here.

With that sort of pedigree, I reckon we’re all fully entitled to hope for something amazing.

How about that for something to look forward to?

 

jamaica4

 

Another Gamon Street gem, the good ship Advieh, is staying right where it is.

But in about a month those fine folks will be bringing their wonderful Middle East-inspired food to Yarraville village.

Little Advieh will operate out of a prime spot on Ballarat Street and not too far from the now-permanent park.

Wonderful news, we reckon!

 

jamaica1

 

Meanwhile, plans to fill the ground floor space of the old St George’s Theatre with a hospitality industry business appear to be taking time to come to fruition.

Finally trying the local F&C

2 Comments

under3

 

Under The Sea Fish & Chips, 49 Anderson Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9687 6912

Consider The Sauce has long held a preference for fish and chip joints that offer more than paper-wrapped bundles.

We like our F&C and accoutrements fresh-as and eaten at restaurant-provided seating – even if it is of the most rudimentary kind.

We like it, too, when proper cutlery and crockery are part of the deal.

So we’ve never gotten around to trying our very popular local fish and chippery.

But with Bennie being a happy fish eater these days, he’s several times recent in months declared his preparedness to troop around the corner and bring our dinner home.

So off he goes … and back he comes with a meal I find OK in some regards but disappointing in others.

Low expectations met?

Yes.

 

under1

 

The chips are hot but on the dull side for me.

Ordering instructions had been for a small so naturally the medium Bennie gets is excess to our requirements.

The calamari rings are of the reconstituted surimi variety, so are automatically graded “OK”.

Fish of the day is blue grenadier and it’s real good.

What’s more, we receive three generously sized pieces instead of two, so we eat really well.

But the batter of one of them is stuck to the paper and is only messily removed.

It’s been good fare, especially as the whole lot cost something under $20.

But I won’t be in a hurry to return.

 

under2

 

And with dinner?

Bickford’s, of course.

We go through at least a bottle of this stuff a week – lemon or lemon barley now that the bitter lemon variety seems permanently unavailable.

But tonight at the IGA we spied a new flavour – apple and cinnamon.

I detect only the faintest of spice undertones but Bennie reckons it’s the best of the lot.

 

Under the Sea on Urbanspoon