Butcher 128, 128 Roberts Street, Yarraville. Phone: 9318 0975
Yarraville is a big suburb.
For several reasons, much focus falls on the maze-like collection of streets in and around Anderson and Ballarat.
But Yarraville stretches a long way towards Geelong – well, to Cemetery Road anyway.
And certainly to Roberts Road, where Butcher 128 is located.
Perhaps its far-flung location is why it’s been off our radar for so long.
Even now, it’s pure happenstance that takes Bennie and I there for a quick Sunday meal.
Much of the previous tenant’s infrastructure has been kept in place – hence the name – and combined with contemporary cafe gear.
There’s a beaut covered outdoor area and play space down the back.
It’s busy in the brunch/lunch peak hour, but the staff are smiling and efficient.
One side of the menu (see below) is mostly dedicated to breakfast fare; we mine the other.
Bennie’s The Meat Hook ($15.50, top photo) is superb.
Right from the first bite, he’s nodding in enthusiastic acclamation of its braised pork belly, BBQ, Sriracha mayo and cabbage/herb slaw.
My The Baron ($14) is just as good.
The house-made salted beef, tender and thinly sliced, is about an inch thick.
It’s joined by cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese, pickle and house mustard sauce.
The bread is the just the right light, perfectly toasted, to house it all.
There surely can be no matter better argument for positing “mere” sandwiches as bona fide meals than our 10/10 pair.
So impressed by the sandwich department, I return a few days later for a bowl dish from the breakfast side of things.
XO crab ($18) has egg noodles, a fried egg, crispy shallots, house XO sauce and a soft shell crab.
It’s a modest serve and a light meal.
And it’s very dry, though the sauce flavour is happily present.
Best of all is the soft shell crab – easily the best I have had.
Well, in Melbourne anyway.
It’s crisp and sweet, and thus a far cry from the drab specimens that have helped make us un-enamoured of this particular specialty.
Our coffees, over both visits, are crazy good.