Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Broadsheet (“Pop-Up” bar and restaurant)

166 Gertrude St
Fitzroy  VIC  3065
HURRY: Open until 2 August

Urgh.  ‘Pop-Up’… I never thought I’d write that without including a back-hander about Gen Y, and cruffins.  But this one is actually pretty good.

You may be aware of a mooted building development on Gertrude St; there’s going to be multi-storey apartments built at the former site of an old hardware/paint store called Manfax.

While the developers wait (there have been several appeals about the size of the intended development), they’ve leased out the old paint shop.  And the result isn’t too bad.

Enter yours truly for lunch today, while the Mrs popped the dog back in the office before joining me.

(click the link below to read more...)

‘Well, I finally made it,' I say.  'Nice to see what the inside of Manfax looks like now…’
‘I’m sorry?  Manfax?  What’s that?’

The waiting staff are young, good looking, wear black, and have no idea about l’histoire, m’dear.  And on Bastille Day, too.  Quel dommage!

‘Oh, you know the hardware and paint shop that used to be here…’
‘You live and learn…’ (thinks “I could have Googled it…”)
‘Yeah, well they’ve moved around the corner to Smith St.’
‘Sit anywhere.  On the benches is probably the cosiest…’

I sit and admire the views.  Big windows, scraped of their old shitty paint shop ads. The fit out is nice, even if fully demountable, including light fittings and ceiling panels.  Black ceilings, industrial strength black window frames with a polished concrete floor, timber seats and tables, open plan.  Sticks and bushes crouch in pots about the place.

I’m handed an embossed menu (“it’s the little things”), and my attractive and charming waitress starts the show:

‘So, have you eaten here before, or are you familiar with the Broadsheet concept?’
‘Yeah, I’ve heard of a broadsheet newspaper…’
‘Well that’s us.  The food review magazine…’
(Food critic, i.e. moi-self, hides his mild confusion)  ‘I may have seen it…?’ (thinks, “at Friends of the Earth?”)
‘Anyway, it’s our pick of our favourite dishes from around different cafés around Melbourne.  A bit of a best of, a pick and mix, and so it’s quite eclectic.’

I wonder if the cafés and eateries “quoted” in the menu were paid?  Or do you think those businesses are "contributors"?  Probably the latter.  This project seems to be at the pointy end of entrepreneurship.

The bar is simple but good.  They have Stella Artois on tap poured in ‘the perfect nine step process and served in a goblet’.  And they’ve got wine on tap, which as we all know is so ‘hip right now’ (see Swings in Margaret River, and I’m sure I saw an article in one of the major papers recently about “cutting back packaging”).

Jane had the hamburger, which was slices of rare beef on a pitch black hamburger bun.  Me?  I had the pumpkin soup with ricotta gnocchi (not enough salt), a glass of the white, a coffee and a lemon custard filled donut...  I know; I’ll get fat, but I did go for a swim today.

Jane rated her dish highly, then opined on the fit out’s styling:

‘Plants are so trendy now, aren’t they?’
‘You know, I think they’ve always been fashionable.  Since time began really.  Perhaps with the exception of the Buck Rogers TV show in the eighties.’

Or did even they have pot plants?  Let's see? Nope...

So, if you don’t mind going somewhere trendy, with sticks in buckets, try it out.  It’s not five star, but it’s good enough, and the prices aren’t as exorbitant as some.

And have a Stella for me.

Like to find out more?  Visit: