Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Arcadia, Fitzroy by Snooze

I’ve spent a fair bit of time in Fitzroy lately … it’s such a hub of exciting and interesting eateries, shops and bars. The sort of place that can take half a lifetime to explore properly and the sort of place to stay when you find the place that fits you perfectly. So I’ve had my eye on Arcadia on Gertrude Street for quite a while and finally got the chance to enjoy it for a quiet “day before Melbourne Cup” lunch. Ssssh … don’t tell anybody at work!

Ms Counting her Calories (who'd missed her soy latte for the morning) went for a soy chai latte. She enjoyed this and noted the chai latte didn’t come as overspiced as chai often is. What I enjoyed was watching Ms C mix her drink and the gorgeous stone teapot. It had all the drama and theatre of tea making.

Big Fil chose from the breakfast menu, and (as he manages most of the time) chose the best meal of the three of us: gorgeous lemon ricotta hotcakes with a pear and rhubarb sauce. This is absolutely my way to go: the hotcakes were delicate and fluffy, and I liked the acid from the rhubarb to counter balance the sweetnees. I’d revisit any day to get a plate of this to myself!

I had some trouble deciding what to get. I’m usually the “breakfast any time of the day” person but the lunch menu beckoned and I opted for lamb and chicken kofta curry. Living with a Trinidadian for 30 years has well and truly whetted my appetite for well spiced (but not chilli hot) Indian food and I was looking forward to a curry. It was a mistake to refer to the lamb and chicken balls as curry because not only was there no chilli at all but they were bland as well, and the only thing that took them from blah was the fresh coriander garnish … a favourite of mine.

Ms C went for the burrito. This was impressively large and came with a side serve of sour cream and salad greens. Ms C wasn’t impressed the burrito came filled with a tomato’ey beef mince rather than fried beans and considered this not authentic, but I liked the contents. I also especially liked the wrap which was delicate and crunchy and not soggy at all, as they often can be.

Since we’re all Portuguese egg tarts fans and there was a huge plate of them under glass on the counter … well, we had to get once. Not brilliant. The tops were nicely browned but they may have been sitting around too long because they're definitely better straight out of the oven. The pastry was denser rather than being a touch flaky and didn’t tear as you bite into them in the same way the fresh pastry does. One of them even felt as though it wasn't cooked quite all the way through.

First off with a note to any restaurant … Big Fil's meal had arrived and been finished before Ms C and I saw ours and it’s annoying when a diner ends up sitting around waiting for others to finish. Unfortunately for me I found the food on the bland side and found most of our choices needed that special something to help them register on the palate, with the exception of the pancakes with its sweet/sour sauce. On the upside. The services sides are generous, and Arcadia absolutely hums with excitement. By the time we arrived about 12.30ish it was packed and I mean absolutely jammed inside and in the courtyard, and we were lucky to grab a table outside. If you want to visit make sure to arrive early because there’s a comfortable looking bench across the front window that I’d love to try.

193 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
Tel: (03) 9416 1055

Food - 7
Service - 6.5
Ambience - 7
Price - 7.5

Arcadia on Urbanspoon


Bureaucrat said...

the ricotta cakes look delish!

Bryan said...

Very nice looking hot cakes. And the egg tarts look great too. I might add this joint to my wishlist. ;)

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