If you're in Melbourne, you know we're currently experiencing a ridiculously hot week. Fortunately, it was under much more comfortable conditions when I ticked Rockwell and Sons (288 Smith St, Collingwood) off my wishlist last month. It was one of those gorgeous days, if I do recall correctly.
And for a pretty evening like that, you've got to start with a pretty drink. I made the right choice with a strawberry and star anise soda - a lovely housemade affair with fresh, true flavours, sweet with strawberries and flickering with the faintest hint of star anise.
|Strawberry and Star Anise Housemade Soda ($5).|
French fries with malt vinegar aioli, an excellent combination. The pairing of the crunchy fries with the quite strongly acidic aioli reminded me of salt-and-vinegar chips!
|French Fries, Malt Vinegar Aioli ($6).|
I had heard so much about the burgers at Rockwell and Sons, especially the famous Double Patty Smash Burger. Perhaps too much, as all the rave reviews had me thinking that this could be a life-changing burger, which is probably quite unrealistic. So look, it may be over-hyped but it was still enjoyable, to be fair - juicy patties, soft and buttery brioche bun, a tasty sauce reminiscent of thousand island dressing... and, I really, really like how there were pickles in every bite, because pickles are awesome.
|Double Patty Smash Burger ($10).|
The fried chicken sandwich with buttermilk dressing, iceberg lettuce and hot sauce was delicious, too. We gobbled it up in no time.
You know what? These burgers are kind of like what would happen if McDonald's was given a quality, classy, gourmet makeover. I say that as a compliment.
|Fried Chicken Sandwich ($12).|
The surprise of the night was the pan-roasted broccoli with bonito aioli and pickled sultanas. What a great way to cook broccoli! It was caramelised, it was smoky, it was quite a revelation. The waiter, sensing my delight, said this dish, too, was a favourite of his - that he thought it was a stroke of genius and wanted to try it at home. Yeah, I'm definitely going to pan-roast my broccoli and pickle my sultanas in the future. Thanks for the idea, Rockwell and Sons!
|Pan-Roasted Broccoli, Bonito, Pickled Sultanas ($12).|