VenU, Level 1 Building D, corner of Nicholson and Buckley Streets, Footscray (enter restaurant via Albert Street). Phone: 9919 8708
Tertiary education and other training and teaching institutions – and their people – have become ever more entwined in western suburbs life.
And, of course, some of this training and education involves courses and (mostly) young people looking to pursue careers in the hospitality industry.
They include those taking part in the Victoria University Polytechnic’s VenU restaurant for the next month or so – until early December.
The students man every part of this enterprise from the kitchen through to front of house.
After enjoying lunch there as a guest (full disclosure below), the CTS verdict is in.
It’s really, really good!
It’s super affordable!
You should go!
There are representative menus below.
Lunch and afternoon tea are available on Tuesdays.
Lunch and (early) dinner on Wednesdays.
For more details phone, 9919 8708; online bookings can be made here.
For lunch, I am joined by Megan and Denise from the VU marketing department and we have a very nice time.
The first surprise comes in the dining room.
Instead of the canteen-like vibe I am expecting, VenU is a real-deal restaurant with snappy, on-the-ball staff (students) and even linen napkins.
We have everything offered in the lighter fare found on the day’s lunch menu – and it’s all lovely.
Owing to countless unfortunate incidents in my childhood, pumpkin is pretty much my least favourite vegetable.
But the VenU pumpkin soup with cooconut ($5) wins me over – completely – with ease.
My housemade potato gnocchi with a “cream reduction” ($12) look like they’re they’re going to be oh-so-stodgy.
They’re far from it – they’re light, fluffy and delicious.
Though I do consume only as much of the rich sauce as is necessary to enjoy the pasta pillows.
My companions enjoy their seared pork belly with pickled vegetables ($12) and …
… roasted onion and goat cheese tart with red pepper relish and greens ($12) every bit as much.
The apple strudal with vanilla cream ($4, top photo) is a cracking dessert dream.
The cafe latte I have with it is excellent.
(Consider The Sauce dined at VenU as guests of the management and we did not pay for our meals. We were free to order whatever we wished. VenU management neither sought nor was granted any input, oversight or pre-publication access to his story.)