The Age has helpfully identified “10 of the best” — I like the modesty of these words in a best of list — inventive cheap eats. Southern Richmond’s Pearl gets an honourable mention for $16 eggs on toast (keep it real, Cheap Eats), but I have to admit it’s one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, and you can go there for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a drink. Then the Builder’s Arms on Gertrude Street Fitzroy comes in at number 3 for a $14 “3 mint pea soup with smoked paprika butter with steamed prawns” which sounds rather good. And Replete just down from MLC in Hawthorn, but metres away from being Kew, gets another gong at #6 for $12.50 ricotta hotcakes with lemon curd and strawberries. Thanks to Flickr’s Spin Spin for the photo of an uncommonly unpopulated image of the Builder’s Arms.
It was time for a mop chop at Dr Follicle’s again this week (actually it was well and truly time last week, but it just didn’t happen) and on the way I popped my head into Roundhouse Roti (don’t you think it’s amazing that no Melbourne Malaysian restaurant has called itself Koala Lumpur yet?), finally open, Rose Chong’s gift to her son of part of her emporium turned into an innovative eatery, a place that specialises in roti channai, a Malaysian specialty of really good roti and chicken curry, where you break the roti into pieces and into the curry and eat the combination. A girl was swinging around from the stove when I explained that “I’ve just popped in to check you out”. I realised at the same moment, as she swung into view, that she was a gorgeous vamp with beautifully defined eyebrows, and a nanosecond later that she was almost certainly Rose’s daughter in law (or daughter outlaw, depending on the marital status of the union which produced the child harnessed to her bosom). I quickly added in the direction of he whom I deduced to be Rose’s son “Well, not you personally”. I immediately liked the place. I want to go there now and eat roti channai, but it’s closed. Can’t tell you any more than that, but when you go, please leave a comment for all our benefit. Lee, son of Rose, is going to add roti pisang to the small little menu just as soon as banana comes down in price. That will be the day, ooff yeah. Maybe, in time, we will see durian cendol added as the ultimate in authenticity, and God! give me some nasi lemak.
The Sketchbook has told me something I really wanted to know: what this beautiful and seemingly taken-for-granted building with its French-inspired roof was: the Yorkshire Brewery, cleverly captured in this image by Ronny Restrepo. According to Walking Melbourne, it was designed by James Wood son of Yorkeshireman Thomas Wood who founded it, and built in 1880, and was for 10 years Australia’s tallest building. Today, it’s in a state of disrepair (for a photo of it in 1974, see here). Brian McKinlay wrote: Continue reading “This is the old Yorkshire Brewery in Collingwood”