Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A little slice of Fitzroy in Ascot Vale {Public Life review}

Just after moving to the inner North/West of Melbourne (from the hipster capital of Fitzroy no less), I came upon this sign
 That bit scratched out at the top (no doubt by a kindred spirit) says "Temperence Town".

Here's a close up of the worst part
The covenant was only lifted in 2002- getting a brand new liquor licence is not an easy thing and ten years is not a long time to overcome such a restriction.

Pretty concerning huh?

At the time (2012) there were great breakfast/brunch cafes (and some pretty super bakeries), but for drinking I ventured further afield.

However, things are looking up. Union Food and Wine has sorted some fine dining in Ascot Vale and late last year Public Life opened to look after the fine drinking needs of the locals.

After 9 years of owning "Little Byrd" cafe, husband and wife team, Jordan Willis and Effie Rados, sold up and moved next door. Swapping bacon for beers, poached eggs for pinot and coffee for....well espresso martinis.

Designed by Effie, the space has a stripped back, industrial vibe with some amazing feature lights.

With thirteen wines by the glass (a good selection of varietals and good examples of the usual suspects- Tassie Chardonnay, Mornington Pinot), a huge range of local beers including a few on tap plus some interesting imports, and a few special cocktails each day, your drinking needs are well catered for.

As are your munching needs.

Pork scratchings with lime and chilli salt
Sadly these were a little disappointing. We thought they hadn't been seasoned but when we got to the bottom there was a goldmine of seasoning, it just fell through. Still, they were nice and crunchy.

Saganaki with fig, aniseed and almond paste
Ah-ma-zing! I could just pick it up and munch it like a big slice of pizza. Crispy salty cheese with delicious nutty, fruity paste. Even the Bookworm, who says he doesn't like figs, fought me for the last chunk.

Athens Fries- crispy oregano and crumbled feta
I have said before that all chips should be served with feta so it's nice to see that the world is listening. Really good hot, crunchy chips too.

Special of the day- herb crusted prawns with saffron aioli
Such a healthy dinner...

I should add that there were some lighter options- the souvlaki look fabulous- but the walk there and back totally cancels out the fried food right?

And to finish, an espresso martini. This is made with stunningly complex Slow Dance Cold Brew coffee and was fabulous.

If you love a bit of regular food and drink porn on your Facebook feed I strongly suggest you Like the Facebook Page which is regularly updated with drool-worthy daily specials.

Please note: This post is unsponsored. I chose the place and paid my bill and will definitely be going back.

Public Life on Urbanspoon

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