Groin grabbingly good! – Ben
To continue the celebration of my Bro’s birthday weekend, we headed to Gills Diner last Saturday night with a few of his friends. The quote above is from our pal, Ben, who requested that I post it on my blog sometime. He is a very articulate man indeed.
Gills Diner is a warehousish space which has been described as part school room. I got the school vibe while there, probably due to the wooden chairs, wooden tables, and school style heaters. Unlike school however, Gills is hippity, hip, hip.
The menu is on a large blackboard on the back wall. It’s cooler and funkier than having a paper menu, but a bit problematic if you have bad eyes (like me). We were seated just far away for it to become difficult to read after a glass (or two or three) of wine.
We were advised not to order a main and a starter each, so we got four starters to share between the nine of us.
The first one was the farmhouse terrine with chutney ($15). It was delicious, but I’m glad that we were sharing. It was a rather large slice!
We also had a plate of antipasto ($22). On the plate was little fried fish (anchovies? whitebait?), pickled vegetables, bread with pate, slices of a rolled up chicken thing with stuff in the middle, and fried cheese. Crumbed, deep fried cheese! Crispy but gooey, it was the best thing on the plate just due to the fact that it was fried cheese.
And we got two plates of one of the specials – chorizo and calamari. It was pretty simple, but good.
Bro had the roasted quail with saffron gnocchi ($25). All those peas looked a bit scary but it was a good dish.
Alastair had the rabbit saddle, prosciutto rolled and stuffed with walnuts and dates on chickpea stew ($33).
And I had the risotto with porcini and forest mushrooms and tallegio ($23). Oh, yum. I tried four other mains (we rotated our plates so we could have a taste of what everyone was eating!) and I thought that I had ordered the best dish. I was happy when it made its way back to me! The mushrooms gave the risotto an earthy flavour, and the rice had the right amount of “bite”. The buttery tallegio was delicious, particularly where it had melted into the risotto.
And finally, Lisa and I had to have dessert. We had been eyeing up the churros with chocolate ($10) the whole night. Unfortunately, for me, it turned out to be a disappointment. There was no mention of it on the menu, but the chocolate was flavoured with orange. Ew!! Personally, I think that chocolate and orange should stay as far away from each other as possible. Down to chocolate and orange! I couldn’t even eat the churros on their own, because they didn’t taste right without chocolate on them. Boo. Fortunately, Alastair doesn’t have choc/orange issues, so he happily finished off the churros, despite being “too full for dessert”.
Even though I had my issue with the churros and chocolate, we had a really good night. I enjoyed the food and atmosphere and would happily go back. Maybe no churros next time though!
Gills Alley (rear of 360 Little Collins St)
Phone: (03) 9670 7214