Little Creatures Dining Hall, Fitzroy

Where: 222 Brunswick St Fitzroy

When: 7 days, 8am till late

Contact: (03) 9417 5500

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While the spacious layout of Little Creatures Dining Hall seems to make more sense when you consider its W.A. roots, Melbournians have embraced the huge eatery despite their fondness for small, hideaway cafes. If you have a large group of 10 or more, they kindly take bookings but for small groups it’s pretty easy to get a table. The only issue to contend with is the scout-hall atmosphere which is echoey and fairly impersonal, however the staff are always on their toes and never leave you feeling abandoned. Popular with families by day and beer-guzzling rowdy groups by night, Little Creatures has its finger in all the pies. Speaking of pies, their daily one comes with a fantastic salad, drenched in good quality homemade dressing, a good serve of marinated capsicum and fresh cherry tomatoes. Sometimes even great cafes forget how to do a nice side salad these days. The pie itself is also good, with crunchy, buttery pastry. On the day I ordered it was beef and mushroom, both of which you could clearly see falling out in delicious tender chunks once piercing the crust. No fatty off-cuts here, but for $22 you’d be unimpressed otherwise. While the gravy and meat were top notch, after a few bites and in conjunction with the aromatic tomato chutney it all got too sweet. Never mind, let’s move on the Cheese kransky with sauerkraut and chutney ($13.50). More of an entrée than a meal (actually they recommend it as a shared item) this little sausage comes with the same sweet aromatic chutney as the pie, which matches much better with the tangy sauerkraut. Although not as oozy as past cheese kranskies I have enjoyed, the snag delivers what you’d expect.

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Pie of the Day; Steak and Mushroom ($22)

As you’d probably guess, the beers are all of the Little Creatures craft beer family, plus an extensive wine and spirit selection. Staff are even happy to offer you a tasting while you figure out what to order. If you’re the type to order several different beers in a night, try the Pony glass, they’re great for mini-drinks.

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Cheese kransky, sauerkraut and chutney ($13.50)

Food: 3.5/5

Service: 4.5/5

Ambiance: 2.5/5

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