Skipping Girl Take Away, 70 William Street, Abbotsford. Phone: 0474 837 612
Skipping Girl Take Away is located a long block away from the hustle and bustle of Vietnamese Victoria Street.
But in metaphorical terms, it’s a long way removed.
As with parts of other intense inner-city locales – Richmond, Collingwood, even Footscray – these back streets of Abbotsford bespeak days of an older Melbourne.
The Skipping Girl shop isn’t 1900s ancient, though when proprietors Eyal and Nolan took it over it had long been unused and was an utterly grimy rathole.
But instead of gutting the place, they peeled back and scrubbed away the dirt, leaving the old takeaway shop pretty much as is/was.
The essential configuration of grill, deep fryer, servery, customer seating, floor coverings and mirrors has been retained.
This fits in perfectly with their gameplan of approaching their food offerings with an old-school ethos that evokes takeaway joints of earlier decades that have over the years ceded quality and importance to newer trends and tastes – but with class and quality way beyond supermarket patties.
They appear to be succeeding admirably, having been open a couple of weeks.
The signs are everywhere – there’s plenty of skipping girl mementos and artifacts.
And there’s not an old-school takeaweay joint on the planet that offers the range of sauces and dressings these guys do.
If there’s necessarily a level of artifice in the marriage of old-school takeaway shop with a contemporary, hip approach, it is done so seamlessly and cleverly that I have no problem embracing it without inhibition.
Especially when the food is as excellent as we enjoy, our selections brought to our table housed in army ration tins.
We choose from the freshly delivered “new” menu (see below), which is split into two sections – “burgers” and “more awesome burgers”.
As you do.
Bennie goes for the Blue Moon ($18), which is the double beef (with two patties, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, Skipping Girl sauce) with blue cheese added.
It’s two-handed dynamite, with the blue cheese coming through strong but in the sense of aiding and abetting rather than overwhelming.
This is a most excellent burger.
I enjoy my fish burger ($15), but feel the delicate flavour of the lemon-and-pepper-dusted blue grenadier is swamped a bit by overt generosity in the pickle department.
There’s not a burger alive I want to eat without pickles, but in this case about half or less of what I’m delivered would’ve been fine.
Still good, though!
Nat is happy with his regular beef burger ($13) with bacon but finds the bun not quite to his complete liking. Too dry, I think.
We share a regular serve of triple-cooked chips ($6).
They’re excellent, especially towards the bottom where the smaller, crunchier ones live!
They’re served with a really fine house-made tomato sauce. Nat reckons it’s a bit like an Indian kasundi – he’s right, but we’re told the sauce also has a homegrown component in the form of wattleseeds.
Eyal and Nolan, who have long histories in the Melbourne eatery/hospitality game, are intent on doing something different.
They’re also having a whole lot of fun.
Check out Skipping Girl Take Away and you will, too.
Skipping Girl Take Away is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-9pm. Cash only though there is an in-house ATM.