Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#YOLO @ Fitzrovia

I haven’t ventured out to the south with Poor Student Eats, so the end of ‘FREEDOM WEEK’ was the perfect opportunity and my friend Yalei and I visited St Kilda Cafe, Fitzrovia for a splash out, lets-celebrate-the-last-days-of-freedom brunch on Saturday. Fitzrovia is appealing a soon as you enter, with a delectable bench of baked treats lining the front counter. What could be more enticing then mountains of beautiful food on arrival?

The Saturday we visited was the perfect day to pop in,  as the cafe was drowning in sunlight from a warm afternoon. Fitzrovia is beautiful and spacious, with fantastic light fittings and interesting details; crates of fresh vegetables and bunches of flowers that give it modern-day general store vibe.

We found a table immediately and sat down for a few minutes before some staff realised we were there. I ended up ordering the haloumi and zucchini fritters, while Y ordered some kind of prawn pasta. We were both feeling flashy, so threw caution to the wind and ordered polenta chips to share. In hindsight, this wasn’t a great idea. Too much food. Not enough stomach. The worst of all first world problems, but Fitzrovia's menu is excellent and it's difficult to hold back.

The Zucchini and Haloumi Fritters; a meal that would serve me well for the rest of the day.

The haloumi fritters though, were a wonderful idea. Perfectly portioned and served with a poached egg and chutney on the side, they meal’s components were complementary to each other and when combined created a sweetly-savory dish. The chutney added a necessary moisture to the dry, but still crunchy fritters and went well with the slight zucchini flavour that gradually came through. My friend reported back that her pasta was really good, substantially sized and included plenty of fresh seafood.

With so many great places offering them, it’s hard to mess up polenta chips and Fitzrovia’s truffled polenta chips too were also v. good. Crunchy, beautifully coloured and sprinkled with salt and parsley, they were everything you could want in a polenta chip selection. But there was no sauce.? Come on, guys. We all love condiments and there aren’t many crunchy things that can remain enjoyable without some kind of moisture.

However, Fitzrovia checked all the boxes for my ideal brunch: A good, solid serving size, an interesting meal, a touch of sweetness and the requisite brunch 'egg'. Fitzrovia really demonstrates why I like to eat out - food like this isn't food I would regularly experience by cooking myself which was my favourite thing about this cafe. Do you remember a few posts ago when I was talking about how I loved that feeling of being excited after ordering a meal?  You get that feeling here and they certainly deliver on their menus promises.

If you're considering ordering juice; ask for ice on the side. Although freshly prepared, they are as think as smoothies.

Staff at the cafe were a little slow considering that we had just missed the rush and the cafe was quite empty, but were also quite friendly when we did see them. The wait for the food wasn't too long, but service could have been a little more attentive.

The meal was kind of horrific for my $20 budget. A good way to justify this is to say that it would be a long time until the next brunch, so I may as well buy two brunches in one sitting. As my total came to $30, this is almost what happened, except I’m never been very good at maths so my adding up can probably take part of the blame for the unexpected price hike. So, I’ve said it; Fitzrovia, as fantastic as it was, was not exactly a Poor Student Eats Eat, but if you’ve got the resources, it’s a great place to dine and has an excellent menu to boot.

Later, I read that it’s some kind of store policy that all ingredients used must come from within 100KM of the store. I felt slightly less guilty after hearing that. At least I’m doing my bit to support the Victorian economy. This was last-week-of-freedom-week after all. YOLO.


155 Fitzroy Street
St Kilda 

Tue to Sun 7am–11pm

Good for: A solid breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. The menu is great. 
Vegetarians: Will be happy with the selection on the menu - it's fantastic, and caters for most eating preferences.
Wait time: The cafe was quiet when we arrived, around 1.30 on a Saturday. We walked right in and found a table.
Food waiting time: Not too long, but there was a considerable amount of time between arriving and receiving menus, which wasn't a great start. 
Cost: I paid around $30 for my fritters, a juice and half of the polenta chips. It was an expensive meal, but a great one and although it's a lot more then I generally spend, the food was really great. It's just a shame the service wasn't so snappy. 

 Somehow, we fit in dessert a few doors down at YO-GET-IT. Yam Yam.

Fitzrovia on Urbanspoon

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