There was a birthday in our house yesterday: Mr J’s, not mine. Even though it didn’t end in ‘0’, it was the birthday that the Beatles sang about, so that calls for a celebration, I reckon.
We went to Charcoal Lane, in Gertrude Street. I haven’t been to Gertrude Street in a while and my, my- hasn’t it changed! The restaurant is situated in the old Aboriginal Health Service building, which is very appropriate. The building is no longer decked out in its proud black, red and yellow but is instead a very stark white. The building itself has had an interesting history: first the ES&A bank, then the VD clinic, then the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service where it served as a central spot for the local Koorie community.
The restaurant is run under the auspices of Mission Australia as a training venture for Aboriginal and other disadvantaged young people- similar I suppose to those Jamie Oliver type enterprises. The food is bushtucker-inspired and very good. We had a tasting platter first which included a fantastic kangaroo chorizo, followed by emu fillets as a main course. I’ve never had emu before- a bit chewy in places, but an interesting flavour, served with little brussell sprouts with kaiserflesch , potato gratin and a red wine jus. Then a double chocolate and wattleseed cake which was just a sliver, but a very rich sliver. It ended up being $120.00 for the two of us.
The service was good- enthusiastic and very attentive. It was just right. The interior and fittings are beautiful- you wouldn’t recognize the place. It’s a win all round.