The Wilde, Fitzroy

Where: 153 Gertrude StFitzroy

When:  Sat: Lunch and Dinner- late, Sun: Lunch and Dinner, Tues-Fri Dinner-late

Contact: (03) 9416 4116

Vego :)

 

Is it possible to have Traditional English Pub Food without being in a “Traditional English Pub”? Fortunately it is, thanks to the sweet ambiance-makers at The Wilde. That’s right; you won’t find any cover-bands and drunken backpackers here. Gorgeous plaster ceilings, mood lighting and some tasteful wall decal make the venue feel snug yet sophisticated. At the time the music (some thumping club number) was a little out of kilter with the dinner-crowd vibe but it soon righted itself.

The Wilde Burger: Angus Beef Patty, Char-grilled Onion Relish & Vintage Cheddar Cheese in Organic Sourdough Bun with Chips ($18)

The food is done well too; something very important when you’re dealing with the Volatile English cuisine. The menu is fancy-friendly with a few creative options and lots of traditional favourites. The smalls/shares menu has plenty of indulgent little nibbles to get you started or to accompany a drink. The tin of sardines with lemon, butter and toast ($9) is a less sophisticated option but somehow incredibly appealing.

Oxford Sausages (pork, nutmeg, lemon, parsely) with Mash, Braised Red Cabbage and Onion Jus ($22)

From the Mains menu we ate the Homemade Oxford Sausages (pork, nutmeg, lemon, parsely) with Mash, Braised Red Cabbage and Onion Jus ($22). As well as The Wilde Burger: Angus Beef Patty, Char-grilled Onion Relish & Vintage Cheddar Cheese in Organic Sourdough Bun with Chips ($18). These were no gut-buster meals but every inch of them was put together lovingly (those wishing to have their guts busted are advised to order one of the Smalls to start themselves off). On the burger, the cheddar was crumbly, messy and real and the sauce was a mellow homemade concoction. If I were to complain about anything it would have to be the burger bun, which lacked substance and “bounce-factor”, leaving it crumbly. The homemade sausages managed to surpass the usual too salty or too samey trap and the sweet, spiced red cabbage was a treat. These meals arrived perfectly in time with others at our table; kudos to the kitchen.

 

Tin of sardines with lemon, butter and toast ($9)

Although The Wilde is probably one of the more expensive pubs, it offers a relaxing and enjoyable experience that could either wind down the day or kick off the night.

Food: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

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Grigons & Or Corner Store, North Melbourne

Where: 445 Queensberry St North Melbourne

When: Weekends 8am-4pm, Weekdays 7am-4pm

Cash Only

Vegetarian :)

Dine-in, take-away for milk-bar items

Contact: (03) 9663 5192

 

Remember the days when you could get everything at your Corner Store? All your groceries and a milkshake too? If you don’t remember then it’s probably because this distorted piece of nostalgia owes itself to something out of 1950’s America rather than anything you, (most likely) growing in Australia, have probably ever experienced. But for those with a whimsical sense of fake nostalgia, Grigons & Orr Corner Store might just give you a little thrill. Grigons is decked out like a Ye Olde milk-bar with shelves to the ceiling stacked with a mix of modern-day groceries and retro adorables. Atop the front cabinet are some tasty looking fresh muffins and slices while behind the glass you’ll find WizzFizz. I’m not sure if this is what most parents would call a “kid-friendly café”, but as a kid I know I would’ve been in sugary heaven.

Grigons & Or seemingly have very few tables unless you realise there’s a dining room upstairs; something not immediately apparent. The tables outside are subjected to a sloping footpath and some nasty road noise, while the ones inside downstairs are, well…there’re just three of them. It might matter to lazier readers how close to the cash register they’re seated as you’ll need to walk up to the counter to order. Glasses of water are also DIY. And another warning; try to have cash on you, otherwise you’ll need to go on a hike uphill to Errol Street, not recommended.  

 

Uncle Bennies ($14.50)

Once you’ve found appropriate seating and filled your wallets with cash you might notice that the menu is very large and quite “egg-centric”, (Dining Partner’s words, not mine) While large menus are rarely a good sign, G & O did manage to deliver on the goods; the food was great. Dining partner ordered the Uncle Bennies (Poached eggs on toast with hollandaise and choice of bacon/spinach/ham) for $14.50 and I asked for the Coddled Eggs (cooked with fresh herbs, creamed spinach and served with cheesy soldiers) at $12.50. Aside from being too small, the Uncle Bennies was picture-perfect with trimmed, high quality bacon and decent hollandaise. My coddled eggs were cooked nicely and did indeed contain plenty of herbs and creamed spinach, yet were a little basic in flavour. The cheesy soldiers were generous chunks of spongey bread with charred cheese topping. It did appear that they were also drizzled with hollandaise; exciting at first but too rich by the end. We washed our breakfasts down with cappuccinos and lattes which were excellent when asked for “strong”, but quite watery when made as standard.

If you can get a seat inside, Grigons and Or does have a certain ambiance; the music is tastefully low-volume for the small space and there’s a cute drink fridge with rarities like Cherry Cola and Dr Pepper all frosty and ready for you. It also pays to be open seven days a week; you’ve got to admire that commitment.

 

Coddled Eggs with Cheesy Soldiers ($12.50)


Food: 3.5/5

Service: 2/5

Ambiance: 2.5/5

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