Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Silly Season - of beer gardens, mirages and worker's clubs

Ok ... as christmas inexorably burns the proverbial hole in pocket quicker than a wikileak, I think its time to have a round up of what festiveness has happened so far.

I think the first event to kick off the season was the old work christmas party, and you know ... it wasn't all that bad. Most of my kaki's (refer to earlier post for an explanation of this term) have gone, but I still managed to get mildly intoxicated and enjoy trading licks with all and sundry. It was a lovely evening to boot. And despite the slightly average fare, the Belgium Beer Garden has its charms. But I did find it strange that they we could only do shots at the bar itself. Must be some kind of drug and alcohol regulation, or did they just think we were a bunch of drunktards in need of a handbrake.

The Drinks Tab

Anyways, me and M recently did a spot of Christmas shopping and managed to tick a few off Santa's list, before resting tired legs and attending empty stomachs over at El Mirage.

We all know that the East Brunnie end of Lygon Street has gone beyond the tinted glass and fake chrome banquette set to include the disenfranchised fitzroy set displaced by skyrocketing rents and the increasing presence of chain-store establishments. I think that gelati place started it all!! Well El Mirage has been around for awhile, but this was our first time venturing past the disproportionate front decking perfect for a bevvy, smoke and something breakfasty. Our rockabilliy hosts met us with a casual nod and set us up with table and menus in a whir of coloured tattooes.  I think M was a little intimidated but succumbed to the guy's slightly brummie (could be wrong) accent which he found a-dorable!

I wanted a snack and ordered the crumbed sardine fillets. M went for the slightly heavier Tex Melt, which was a bean/cheese/toast combo (true to rockabiliy form, there's a couple of tex mex-y style dishes on the menu). But let me tell you these were the best crumbed sadine fillets I have ever tasted ... whatever they mixed for the crumb was just the right side of crunch and flavour ... and could the aoli be more perfect? I think not!!

M's Tex Melt was equally delicious. A little on the subtle side for M but he would love to drench the world in chilli sauce ... so you know ...

So if ever you're stuck without a table at Sugardough, head a little further down and check these guys out. Its worth the trek. Oh and if they have both doors open, you won't be able to see the sign, so just look out for Five bouroughs and its about 2 doors up.

And then we caught up with the lovely P over at the Worker's Club for a couple of beverages or so and some light (yeah right!) noshing.

For the price you pay these are decent serves. P was hanging for the kitchen to open at 5, and I believe ours was the first orders up. P had a plain old burger which was actually pretty good. It wasn't your plain old aussie rissole nor was it one of those overrated (yes it is a bit of a bubgear) wagyu concoctions ... it had a nice hint of spices ... perfect for the festive season. But alas no pic ... in terms of plating its pretty much like every other garden variety pub burger ... although a little stingy on the chips!!!

M and I shared some yummy Calamari (nicely seasoned with cracked pepper) ...

... veal and pork meatballs in a well balanced tomato sauce

... and thick polenta chips served with a spicy capsicum dip

Pretty impressive!!

And I love the fact that there's always something new to discover on the wine list.

We had the Fifth Leg "Whippersnapper" which is a Tempranillo/Shiraz/Grenache blend. A little on the "heavy leave a coating in your mouth" side, but a reasonable quaffer ... can't vouch for what its like with food because when the meals came we switched to a Seville Estate Pinot Gris which was suitably refreshing but tasted rounder with food.

All in all a great start to Christmas 2010.


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