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Showing posts from September, 2013

Jimmy Grants

George Calombaris is widely known in the foodie world, if not for his enthusiastic, friendly-but-firm guidance to Masterchef contestants, then for his ever-expanding portfolio of successful Melbourne eateries. Along with his partners, Calombaris is responsible for the somewhat cult-ish Hellenic Republic, new-ish Greek restaurant/bar Gazi, sophisticated The Press Club, consistent Good Food Guide Hat-winner PM24, pasta joint Mama Baba south of the river, classy Middle Eastern-focused Maha Bar & Grill, and more. A month or two ago, he added Jimmy Grants (113 St David Street, Fitzroy): a funky, clean souvlaki joint not at all like the fluoro-lit, greasy, early-morning kebab pitstops you're probably familiar with. Jimmy's (not to be confused with the nearby Jim's Greek Tavern) is presided over by Chef Travis McCauley of Hellenic Republic, and is already a runaway success.

Named after the Australian rhyming slang term for 'immigrants', Jimmy Grants gives a cool nod to…

The Town Mouse

Long overdue for a catch-up, my chef-ex-housemate and I met for dinner one cold evening in July. Naturally, being interested in food, he's a good one to take to new restaurants, and I'd heard The Town Mouse (312 Drummond Street, Carlton - in the old Embrasse site) described as a cool little local.

Cool, indeed, it is - a far more modern, schmick affair than the comfy, chilled-out "local" I'd envisaged. It didn't match my expectations, but that's not to say it wasn't pretty excellent.

I arrived early and waited for a bit under a heater out the front. The fairy lights overhead added a magical touch (but then, I'm a sucker for pretty lights) - as did the gold lettering of the restaurant's signage. Through the window, I could check out the goings-on inside: it seemed very clean, bright, and not overly busy, but it was early yet. By the time we left, it had filled up completely.

A central bar in a strange, rounded, sort of kidney shape seemed to be…