Food and Drink
Posted by Trish Gallagher
13. Aug, 2012
I have a love hate relationship with Smith Street, Collingwood – I love its diversity and edge, I hate that I don’t live closer. But I am lucky enough to walk the length of the strip each day and see the ever changing landscape.
The newest kid on the block comes in the form of Rockwell and Sons, housed in what was once Provenance and now transformed with a pared back rustic minimalist décor, if there is such a thing. You know the type – custom made metal and timber furniture set against a rough original brick wall and stunning pressed metal ceiling.
The lads who own this establishment come from extensive fine dining backgrounds both in the kitchen and front of house, so along with the cool and calm interior, expect some exceptional service and food that is blow-your-mind at very market reasonable prices.
My friend and I arrived at about 8pm on Saturday night and were able to get a table easily enough, this was their second night trading so still – but not for long – an undiscovered gem. We were advised that the ‘Sebastien Brunet Chenin Blanc’ was a good drop – who am I to argue?
We started with pickled mussels with aioli and sourdough ($8), the perfect tang of pickling of some top notch soft mussels. American chef Casey is busting out some amazing hush puppies (maybe on his feet, I’m not really sure) but definitely US of A puffy deep fried clouds of cornmeal matched with a maple butter ($6)– my friend and I agreed that we would happily have had seven servings of this dish alone. Each.
Next up was the clams ($19), swimming in the most delicious broth and sprinkled with chunky cubes of bacon and jalapenos. We ordered additional bread to soak up the broth, it was the next best thing to a straw. We then ordered both types of ‘rolls’’ – sweet and soft brioche filled with crispy coated calamari ($11), loaded with kewpie tartare sauce and pickled celery. I liken it to a southern po’boy but it’s better because it’s on Smith Street and much more accessible. The other was a slow cooked pressed rib ($12), soft as you can get and paired with dill pickles, BBQ sauce and a fennel and red onion slaw. Again, seven servings please. Each.
As a newbie to all parts of the beast, I couldn’t pass up the beef tongue with confit potatoes, beetroot (two ways: roasted and house pickled) and horseradish ($18). The tongue was soft and salty, perfectly cooked with a tiny bit of crunch on the outside, the velvet textured potatoes and a creamy horseradish sauce. Personally I would have liked a touch more mustard heat to the horseradish sauce but I’m a sadist when it comes to these things.
Rockwell’s menus slides from casual tasty dishes like the fat double patty smash burger ($10) to sophisticated matchings of sweetbreads and heirloom carrots ($18) making it the perfect place to take a bunch of mates, as there’s something to please even the pickiest of punters. Melbourne’s own Mountain Goat Ale is on tap and a there’s few surprises as well (Korean ‘Hite’ beer!)
Rockwell and Sons is adopting the popular no-bookings policy (there’s a reason and it works). I’d be getting along there before you have to queue up if I was you. And best of all? it’s one of the few places around that will be firing up the furnace on a Monday night.
ROCKWELL AND SONS
288 Smith Street, Collingwood
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 11:30 – 3:30, 5:30 – 11:00
Fri: 11:30 – 3:30, 5:30-Midnight
Sat: 9:30 – 3:30, 5:30 – Midnight
Sun: 9.30 – 3.30, 5.30 – 10:00
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