HOT: Eat Drink Man Woman, 413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

On the site of the much maligned Retro cafe on Brunswick Street is a new project from Daniel Schelbert, the short-lived head chef from Hare & Grace.

The dingy saggy couches and stained ripped vinyl chairs have been replaced with sleek marine palate of black, cream, gold and blue. The expansive space is dominated by a huge kitchen bench/dining bar which presides over neat army of cane chairs and a lineup of cane bar stools.

The menu is similarly neat – a concise list of interesting breakfast dishes, main meals from midday, sides and desserts. The dishes show a Spanish influence (black pudding, manchego) with an occasional surprising dash of Asian (son-in-law eggs, Balinese pork belly) which may be a nod to the famous Chinese film of the same name.

My BBQ Balinese-style pork belly ($23) came in a pork-loin disguise, complete with criss-cross grill marks. The tell-tale ribbon of fat and moist pull-apart texture of the meat were more typical of a perfectly cooked pork belly and the Indonesian flavours came from the seasoned crust of lemongrass, shallot, chilli and lime pressed onto both lengths of the cut. It was accompanied by a very sharp salad of Vietnamese mint, coriander and spring onion – really delicious and I’d only wish that more of it appeared on the plate. Next time I’ll order it with Vietnamese coleslaw and peanuts ($5).

D was most impressed with her cured salmon, pea and ricotta pancakes and smashed avocado ($17). A really generous portion of fatty fish with a dab of fresh horseradish atop fresh avocado and fluffy pancakes with the sweet pops of pea.

W was similarly enamoured of his baked eggs with chorizo, black sausage and manchego ($17). He pondered what black sausage might be and I, very naughtily, refrained from telling him that it was blood sausage as I wanted him to try it without having any squeamish preconceptions. The two eggs yolk were the required just-cooked consistency, perfect for dipping with bread, and the robust flavours really sang. Oh, and the black pudding was devoured very happily.

The cafe has only been open since last Friday and the friendly waitress said that they were still ironing out some ‘kinks’. Well, no kinks were evident from our experience – full marks for interesting, confident cooking, a reasonably priced menu in a casual yet professional atmosphere. Welcome to the neighbourhood!

    Eat Drink Man Woman, 413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy +61 3 9419 0088
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6 thoughts on “HOT: Eat Drink Man Woman, 413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

  1. “Daniel Schelbert, the short-lived head chef from Hare & Grace.”

    Did he die young, or just leave the job? I had to look twice when I read that sentence.

  2. Art – I think you know what she meant!

    Joyce – so pleased something decent has been done with this building – such a beautiful space and great location. It looks fantastic from the photographs.

  3. hi guys,
    we would like to hold a 40th Wedding anniversary in the Fitzroy area on the night of August 6th 2011. Do you have function room facilities for roughly 40-50 people?
    Please feel free to contact us 0419563570 or on email address
    Denis & Renee Garry

  4. I just wanted to say Thank you for you fantastic Venue we had Breakfast there this morning and I would recommend your venue for it service and it Food it was clean and Fresh I would give you four stars **** we will be back congratulations to your Chefs and day staff

  5. I didn’t like the service we got. I ordered eggs and smoked salmon and found what appears to be a very ong eyelash in my eggs halfway through my meal.

    I told the waitress who apologised and took my plate back into the kitchen. She also mentioned that she’ll waive it off my bill. However, she came back a few minutes later saying that the owner insisted I pay full price for the dish because it’s only an eyelash! It’s still hair isn’t it? They offered to make another order for me but I wasn’t interested then as the others had finished their meal. I told the waitress that I’m happy to pay for half my meal since they took my plate off me while I was half done.

    Anyway, I was charged full price for my meal and when I questioned why, the man at the counter asked me ‘who’s eyelash is it? You didn’t spot it until you were halfway through your meal’

    Long story short, he ended up taking it off the bill but was very rude about it. Won’t be going back there again for sure.

  6. I think I know the man you’re talking about, Mae, and he leaves a bad taste in my mouth too. We’re regulars by virtue of location. Everything about EDMW is great except for this individual, whose barely-concealed contempt for paying customers is only slightly more offensive than his alternate attempts to obsequiously ingratiate himself with us. Ironically, I think he’s manages the wait staff. Apart from that, the food’s fantastic, coffee’s pretty good and their cocktails are gorgeous.

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