Tag Archives: North Fitzroy

ninja-quick stop at Matsu Hashi

One night, me and Tris were invited to our mate Colin’s place for a fillum night. These things are pretty serious affairs: because they’re marathons, he usually posts up a schedule of when each film will show and what time they’ll start so you don’t ring his very loud doorbell and interrupt proceedings, which is perfectly fair (I still feel terrible about the last time I went and greeted him a little too enthusiastically and thus being that noisy person in the ‘cinema’).

We decided we’d dine in the area and I was absolutely dying for some serious raw fish action. There’s not many options in the Clifton Hill/Fitzroy North area that immediately came to mind (though I do recommend Otsumami in Northcote, it can be busy so we weren’t going to chance being walk-ins).

Urbanspoon yielded us Matsu Hashi on Queens Parade.

Counting our pennies, we rushed in. No EFTPOS. Drat. I rush back out, grab some dough from the nearest hole in the wall and immediately decide upon two bowls each of edamame, the delicious, addictive bastards. I don’t think I’ve ever shelled edamame as fast as I did that night: my technique is downpat. They don’t oversalt them either, which I think is just swell.


As Tristan had been chatting on Twitter to our dear friend Ranjit about unagi, he ordered an unadon. The bento it appeared in was deceptive and it proved to house a more filling portion than originally assumed. Tris remarked that eel wasn’t something he ate enough of, a sentiment echoed by me also.


How remiss of me for neglecting to mention that we did also receive starter pickles.

starter pickles

Ah, the deluxe sashimi platter! According to the menu, this boasted a premium selection of Hokkaido scallop, surf clam, tuna, salmon belly, kingfish belly and oyster. The salmon and kingfish were superb, being ridiculously fresh but it was obvious that this was not the case with the scallop and oyster, both of which were lightly bathed in dressing.

deluxe sashimi platter

Our meals came out as quickly as we wanted, we scarfed them down even faster then head off to Colin’s to watch films about evil college kids picking on hillbillies and in keeping with our meal’s theme, one about sociopathic Japanese fish merchants. I’m still not game enough to look up online just how much of the latter was based on reality, shudder but do recommend the former for some good, gory laughs (plus it has Alan Tudyk in it. Yes, that pilot dude from Firefly, RIP).

Matsu Hashi on Urbanspoon

northside gastropubbing antics

Thanks to the font of beery information that is The Crafty Pint, the Australian Beer Writers’ Guild convened at the Terminus Hotel in Clifton Hill recently. Good god, the menu is superb, as is the massive dining room.

Most of the folks went burgers and the like but I wanted to be difficult and test out the specials. They had a few asparagus dishes to celebrate its return to season. However, the first dish I chose was the house-made black pudding with pigs’ trotter sauce and kipfler potatoes. This is a rich dish and was perfect for the chilly not-quite-spring evening. Apparently as a (British) kid I loved black pudding. Thought it was about time I tried to reconnect with the childhood love.

As my main, I decided upon the asparagus baked in prosciutto, with pinenuts and feta. You might think not substantial as a main, but after the black pudding, it was just what I was after. Might be something I can try reproducing at home too? Divine.

This meant room for dessert…again on the specials menu: baked Alaska. I begged to share one with Tris as it was $9 per person, but meant for two. A little bit pricey for its size and not quite as much finesse as the one at The Lincoln. No matter, it was baked Alaska, squee! It had banana ice cream inside, and none of that fake-tasting banana either. I actually chose dessert over beer too!

In what seemed like an excellent balance, Tris tested out some of the offerings on the standard menu. You have your parmas, burgers, salads and many types of steaks but he went with a carpaccio of beef, rocket, caramelised vinegar, truffled pecorino. Quite refined for a starter!

For mains, his selection was the English cheddar souffle with radish, frisee and pickled onions. If not for my wanting to sample the specials, I would most likely have chosen this as a main too.

While the service was always courteous and friendly, it was a tad haphazard. There were a few mix-ups with our drinks orders, being the craft beer-swilling wanksters we are. They never seemed to give any of us who ordered the True South dark ale that when asked! We did also have to wait quite a while and despite indicating that we’d prefer entrĂ©es and mains to come out separately, they still came out together. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other foodies despite this.

Craft beer aficionados should definitely put this pub on their radar to visit – there’s a damn fine selection of good beer on tap. I’m currently in the process of persuading my parents to have a long overdue family dinner here one evening!

Terminus Hotel on Urbanspoon

which man’s burger reigns supreme?

Why is it that the best burger joints in Melbourne are just men’s names? You’ve got Danny’s in North Fitzroy, and Andrew’s in Albert Park, and both have excellent reputations. I finally got to try out the burgers at both and decide which for myself was the winner.

I love cheeseburgers, and fast food burgers are cardboard, let’s be honest. Being out and about late at night in the city, Danny’s is an excellent choice – not too far out of the city, has a lovely diner feel and the burgers are made with fresh buns, shredded lettuce and patties.

My dining partner’s burger of choice is the burger with the lot – cheese, tomato, egg, bacon. Often, several patties.

burger, detail

I ordered a cheeseburger at Danny’s but couldn’t get a photo that really captured its glory properly. But here’s one of their chips. We ate more than we should have, but they were just so good. It made The Age’s top ten list a while ago when they did a feature on the best chips in Melbourne.

large chips

The diner is really nice at Danny’s, but even though I’ve been in there several times of late, I don’t find the staff to be particularly friendly. However, their drawcard is they are open till 2am. If I’ve driven into the city for a gig and am feeling peckish after, guess where I end up!

Andrew’s shut at 9pm and when I went there, it was packed. There isn’t really anywhere to linger and sit. Albert Park is nowhere near where I live (whereas at least North Fitzroy isn’t too far) so it’s a little bit of a problem not having anywhere to eat my burger. We ended up across the road on a park bench.


Here’s my cheeseburger. Easily one of the best I’ve ever had. None of this plastic-tasting cheese business. The meat patty and cheese together was so satisfying – more flavoursome than Danny’s.

burger with the lot

The burger with the lot is fantastic. Delicious meat patties and fresh, flavoursome ingredients. You don’t need to add extra condiments. The chips, however, were absolutely awful – they were very dry and tasted old. I rarely throw food away, but these were turfed on account of how bad they were.

By an inch, I would declare Andrew’s as serving the superior burger. Proximity and the late night opening means that I would most likely frequent Danny’s. However, you can’t be disappointed by either when in the mood for a good old-fashioned (non-gourmet) burger.

Danny's Burgers on Urbanspoon Andrew's Hamburgers on Urbanspoon