Friday, 19 April 2013

Little Creatures Dining Hall - Of Mice and Men

After visiting Little Creatures Dining Hall on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy for a drink or two in recent times, it wasn't until last weekend when I was able to convince my learned friend to join me not only for the requisite vat of beer to be shared between us, but also wine, pleasant conversation and offerings to share from their menu.

There are a few stools at the bar and a handful of high tables that are technically considered part of the bar, so you can not order food from the proper menu and have it delivered there. Instead, you are asked to walk around and present yourself to be allocated a table in the dining hall. Fair enough. The high tables in the bar are quite small so it was more apt to wander to the back of the hall after being lubricated by pints of Little Creatures after a few hours.

I really liked our server. She brought a certain amount of honesty and it was evident that she was "on our side" with respect to what to get from the menu and actually suggested that we not order some of the items. With this sort of information, we were intrigued so in the end defied her advice which proved to be a bad decision but it was still very refreshing to be provided with such a level of consulting that usually is not on offer.

We requested the cured salmon, beetroot, creme fraiche with toast ($18) to come out first so that it could be enjoyed with the pilsner instead of the red wine that was ordered. This dish was a light and refreshing way to start and with my stomach filled with beer, tasted wonderful. The beetroot was crunchy and the creme fraiche was a nice touch. Sadly this is where the positive experience ended.

Despite placing all of the food orders at the same time, it took 45 minutes for the next dish to come out. However not only a single dish came out but all of the remaining food at the same time which I suppose satisfied the order but caused some chaos on the table. The cheese kransky with sauerkraut and chutney ($13.50) was just horrible. This was one of the dishes that the server recommended not to order. The kransky itself was dry and the cheese was awful. The sauerkraut did a good job of removing the foul taste from my mouth and certainly the wine helped. Chilli, tomato mussels with fennel ($19.50) were then sampled. The chilli completely overwhelmed the mussels and I could not taste them. I could not tell if they were fresh as my senses could not detect the mussels at all. The charred lamb ribs ($16) although technically would make good fare at a beer hall, did not make the grade at all here. Although you would expect one side of the rib at most to be fatty, the meat was completely surrounded by fat.

A serve of enterprise bleu (45g for $11) was ordered to finish off the wine. The cheese was really bitter. Surprisingly bitter.

Despite the majority of the food, we had a good time at the Little Creatures Dining Hall, mainly because of the atmosphere, the server and the quirky ambiance. This place would be good for groups but if you order a single kransky from the "share" menu I can imagine a larger group being disappointed when the single sausage comes out for the relatively high price. There are a few tables outside on Brunswick Street so you can enjoy the elements, the sound of the trams and have a cigarette if that motivates you however when I return next it will be just for the beer.

Little Creatures DIning Hall, Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Little Creatures Dining Hall
222 Brunswick St., Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9417 5500
My Rating: 11/20
Service: 3.5/5
Ambiance: 3.5/5
Quality: 2/5
Value For Money: 2/5

Twitter: @epicurean3006
e-mail: epicureanofsouthbank (at) gmail (dot) com

At the time of this post, 87% of the reviewers on Urbanspoon like the Little Creatures Dining Hall.

Little Creatures Dining Hall on Urbanspoon