Littlefoot, 223 Barkly Street, Footscray. Phone: 9396 1282
Consider The Sauce’s gaze was largely elsewhere as Littlefoot was coming together
So it was long after it opened that a happy bunch of CTS regulars hit it after going Indo-Chinese up the road apiece.
We were there only briefly, for post-dinner drinkies and dessert.
But one of those desserts – a foundation menu listing – was so brilliant we vowed to return to take the whole menu for a spin.
In the meantime, yours truly was at Littlefoot for the Letters To The West event that was part of the Emerging Writers Festival.
And a fine night it was, too, with me playing catch-up in terms of just what a very cool additional piece is Littlefoot in the Footscray/inner west scene/jigsaw puzzle.
So it is that the following week the exact same crew of six plus two more great CTS pals front up for a mid-week dinner.
It’s been a chillingly cold day so Littlefoot is almost empty when we arrive.
Thankfully, a more cheery bar vibe evolves as our meal progresses.
The round front table is ours for the night and proves precisely right for the eight of us.
I’d been a little concerned about effective photography but the light proves OK.
Littlefoot really is a fine place to spend time with friends and conversation – with or without food.
I’d thought that with a table of eight we’d pretty much try everything on offer food-wise.
As one of our party enthusiastically quipped when Littlefoot plans were afoot: “Eat everything!!!”
But as it turns out, our collective eyes are drawn to specific menu items at the expense of others, though we try quite a bit.
It’s all good, better than good or really good.
Yep – pork rind chips ($3.50) look just like the trash food that comes from convenience store plastic bags; but they taste way better.
Perhaps it’s for the best that our single bowl provides each of just a nibble or two before we move on to things more robust and (ostensibly) healthy!
Fried chicken spare ribs ($10) with crunchy crumbs and wasabi mayo are terrific.
The coating really is crunchy, but also grease-free.
The ribs are suitably meaty and flavoursome and the wasabi mayo a true delight as a foil.
The chips with beer cheese ($12.50) are fine but it seems I’m the only one unwowed by the beer cheese dip.
I don’t find it to be a bad taste – it simply doesn’t turn me on.
(Going by this wikipedia entry, that I don’t find beer cheese a winner seems surprising – no matter; in this matter, at Littlefoot, I am a minority of one amid a table of eight …)
Several serves of both versions of banh “mini” ($5.50) – teriyaki tofu and BBQ braised beef – are ordered.
They’re as fresh and tasty as could be desired.
One devil’s advocate wag points out that they are both smaller and more expensive than the regular banh mi to be had just a block away at Nhu Lan and other outlets.
To which my immediate thought is: “Meh … this is a bar …”
Slow-cooked kangaroo on Ethiopian bean ful, topped with hemp seed dukkah ($18) is another outright winner and good value for money given the generous size of the portions.
The photograph here shows the big chunks of roo meat broken up – very tender and toothsome!
The bean mix is a cool blend that reminds me of chilli con carne.
That’s fine by me – Littlefoot’s aim is to embrace and celebrate the surrounding food cultures, not replicate them; best to leave notions of authenticity at the door.
Rolls of injera and excellent greenery complete a fine dish.
I suspect that when it comes to a “main course” concept at Littlefoot, this roo dish is it – there is only one item that costs more, the $25 tasting board.
We are presented a duck pizza by the management, an on-the-house gesture that is appreciated.
By this time we’re all getting fullish so it’s just right that there’s a pizza slice each to appreciate.
It’s good, the meaty duck complemented by nice crunchy things.
And once more, we inhale enjoy the injera and hazelnut chocolate pinwheels with creamy coconut dipping sauce ($9.50) had on our earlier visit.
What a superb and utterly delicious piece of imagination is this, perfectly encapsulating the Littlefoot food philosophy.
The sourness of the injera does a sexy tango with the sweetness of the hazelnut/chocolate, this time even more ooozy and plentiful, all of it lubricated by the coconut sauce.
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