I never thought I’d fall in love with carrots, but I did. I’ve worked them into conversation ever since my meal last week at the opening of The Lumberyard. It’s the new restaurant from the guys behind Ironbark BBQ — and it’s inside a hidden room inside the Fitzroy bar The Workers Club. You simply must check it out (immediately after reading this review, of course.)
This is British comfort food combined with American comfort food. Sounds a little…stodgy, right? Not at all. You have a wide array of the best of both culinary traditions. Black pudding, lamb ribs with mint — even something called ‘dripping’, which turned out to be a salty, Marmite-style spread to put on bread (if Marmite were made of meat, that is). But vegetarians are equally as catered for: you could have an entire meal on the sides alone. The mac’n’cheese — which also featured in Ironbark BBQ’s pop-up restaurant, Trashed, earlier this year — is even better with the addition of shaved mushrooms.
And the carrots. Remember the carrots? Slow-roasted, it tasted like they were hydroponically grown over smoke. Each time I went back for more I was surprised by the taste. It was to die for. Well done to Dave and Paul from Ironbark! It was great how Dave stopped by throughout our meal on opening night and had a chat about what went into the menu.
Halfway through dinner, I texted Ruki: “You HAVE to come on a date here!” It’s the perfect spot — all candlelight, casting flatting shadows on the walls. The menu is different enough to be surprising without having to ask the waitress what every second dish is. Above all, it’s in a hidden room inside of a Fitzroy pub. This is my kinda place. I hope it’s yours, too.