Food and Drink
Posted by Nola James
15. Aug, 2011
If you’ve been on the 112 lately you might have noticed a few changes on the Brunswick Street strip. Some call it gentrification, some call it progress. I call it lunch, and extend a warm welcome to the very new and shiny Eat Drink Man Woman (EDMW).
With an interior mostly designed by owner/ operator Marcello Tummino (of The European and Melbourne Supper Club fame) the room is a cavernous space of blue tiles and shiny gold walls – with clearly much more attention to detail than a lick of paint. Perhaps a nod to the retro (or maybe just an appreciation for good design) at EDMW wicker chairs are making a comeback, cool and comfortable around the 100-plus seat dining room and the long diner friendly bar that frames a very open kitchen.
Chef Daniel Shelbert’s menu wavers from the oriental to the continental. For breakfast, Son in Law Eggs are a fast favourite, served with a herbed salad of Thai basil, Vietnamese mint, coriander and peanuts to create a gentle balance of salty, sticky and sweet. Add bacon and a you’ve a perfect hangover cure, with a supporting act of charred roti to scoop it all up with.
By far the best jaffle in Melbourne, a Croque Monsieur jaffle is rich and tangy with melting cheeses – it’s a triumph of ham and simplicity. Add an egg for a Croque Madame but don’t let its tiny package fool you, this ain’t no share house toasty.
Dinner options are succinct (yet meat heavy, with only one main vegetarian offer in six), served from 12 noon and playing to popular flavours like BBQ beef ribs, or a Calabrian style half-chicken with preserved lemon, smoked pimento and garlic… then yet more BBQ, this time with Balinese pork belly, lemongrass, shallots and turmeric.
It’s an eclectic yet delicious selection with the roof-high wall of daily specials providing a rotating range of new options for locals. The wine list is as international as the menu, mixing Heathcote shiraz with Argentinian malbec and American ale. EDMW is a no bookings affair (would we expect anything more these days?) so get in before 7.30pm for dinner service to ensure table.
It’s a neat set-up with only one serious flaw, the outside dining area is seriously under-utilised. The current set up is a few tables in an uncomfortable and exposed area. However summer is coming and a few strategically placed barriers would control the space. Service has been patchy, but standards are improving as the opening team settles in, hopefully, for the long haul.
Eat Drink Man Woman
413 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Mon – Fri 7am – 10pm
Sat 8am – 10pm
Sun 8am – 5pm
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