Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shebeen, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Snooze had had her eye on Shebeen for quite some time, a small unobtrusive place located down Manchester Lane.  It had always appeared more bar than eatery to me, and a little pricey, so I had kind of been putting it off (don’t tell Snooze). 

But a visit to the  City Library meant we were nearby and feeling a little guilty for putting it off so long it was time to visit this seriously cool establishment.

Located down Manchester Lane, Shebeen has that Melbourne Laneway vibe down to a tee.  Nothing much to look at from the outside, I loved it inside. Decoration is minimal, the floor is concrete, but it’s just a wonderfully unfussy and relaxed place.

The menu is fairly minimal, after all it’s mainly bar food, small dishes to nibble away on while enjoying a relaxing drink.  Speaking of which, drinks that is, these include a variety of non-alcoholic drinks including my choice of the chainapple, pineapple juice with chai herbs and topped with a sprig of mint.  Mellow in flavour and not overpoweringly acidic as pineapple juice can be, just delicious.

Sliders are becoming more and more ubiquitous around town and the ones at Shebeen were something both Snooze and myself wanted to order.  Four of these were on offer of which we settled on three: the bbq beef, pulled pork and the crispy skinned pork.  There is also a smoked tofu option we should probably have ordered as well.  Best of these miniature hamburgers was the nicely crispy pork belly, with the beef also good.  The pulled pork on the other hand tasted slightly sour – presumably from the pickled red onions.  While I didn’t mind this Snooze wasn’t a fan, proclaiming it not to her taste.

We also thought about trying the bahn mi, but given you don’t often see chicken mole on the menu decided to order the winter bowl instead.  Unfortunately the mole proved a bit of a disappointment.  Instead of the rich, dark, complex flavours I was hoping for we both found this a little under flavoured, verging towards bland.  Oh well, when picking blind you can’t win ‘em all.

Friendly, attentive if a little disorganised service, an excellent spot to chill and eat. The food was a little inconsistent, with some very good.  I may have found a new favourite place to hangout, at least at lunch time which is noticeably quieter than some of the after work crowds we’ve seen.

Food – 7.5
Ambience – 8.5
Service – 7
Price – 7

36 Manchester Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9650 6931

Shebeen on Urbanspoon

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