Grub Food Van, why are you so amazing? You have it all. A hidden Fitzroy location. A greenhouse, a library, and a wood-burning stove. And of course, fantastic food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Even better: a new superstar chef revitalising the menu.
I’m always surprised that people — even Fitzroy denizens — don’t make Grub part of their weekly routine. In four years since it’s opened, it has become one of my favourite spots to take a laptop and use their free wifi or to meet friends for a coffee. It’s freakin’ awesome to look at, too. Walk past the outdoor seating and 1965 Airstream trailer and you enter a greenhouse. Yes, an actual glass-framed greenhouse. Full of tables amidst abundant foliage. A separate area hosts a mini library, whilst upstairs there’s a spacious private room for functions (reminiscent of the Elk Room at The Everleigh).
Last year Grub launched dinner service. This year they have something even more exciting to announced. Superstar Kiwi chef Scott Blomfield has upped sticks from Supernormal and Mighty Boy. He’s now in charge of their new-look menu, augmented with work from chef/urban gardener Ben McMenamin. Not only does Grub have a new focus on local produce, but they’ll even be able to grow food on-site.
TPO co-founder Rukmal and I were invited to their Winter Solstice Dinner to celebrate Scott’s appointment as head chef. Upstairs in the function room we nibbled on kangaroo tartare and black pearl barley risotto with crab. The Tasmanian oysters were mouth-wateringly good (I’m drooling just writing about them), and are must-do when you go.
Downstairs, long tables were piled high with selections from the new menu. Jeruslaem artichoke veloute (with sweet potato, leeks, and laver seaweed) was a hit; and for those of us who were carnivorously-minded, the spiced lamb shoulder with pomegranate, walnuts, and pickled onions filled the perfect spot for wintertime deliciousness. But far and away, the standout was the wild mushroom dish. Truffle and parmesan cream, potato fondant — even pine needle powder. All combined into a completely moreish concoction that had us almost licking the platter.
Thankfully we still had our dessert stomachs (you know, the extra stomach that lets you have dessert even after you’re stuffed). We were able to try the Roquefort & truffle profiteroles, complete with local honey bubbles; and the burnt mandarin and dark chocolate dish with bush anise & thyme shortbread. You could easily go to Grub for their desserts alone.
As you can see from the ingredients, this ain’t no regular dining experience. Scott and Ben have sourced unusual and local ingredients, combining them in ways that are unexpected. The price point is unbelievably inexpensive. You can head into Grub for dinner and, for a mere $55 per person, try a ‘grazing menu’ comprised of the dishes I just raved about. You’d be crazy not to.
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa loves Grub so much she’s hosting her birthday party there.
Grub Food Van
87-89 Moor St.
Fitzroy VIC 3065