I’m a pain in the ass with birthdays.
I keep mine very quiet, but when it comes to someone else’s… I’m that annoying person who goes around telling EVERYONE that someone’s birthday is coming up (tick), or who’ll bake a cake and make everyone sing happy birthday (tick), or even decorate someone’s desk with a massive Happy Birthday banner and balloons (tick).
Bro’s birthday was earlier this month, and apparently his gf likes birthdays too, because she did so many amazing things to celebrate. He was whisked away on a surprise weekend to Sydney, there was a birthday dinner, a birthday party AND an epic hamburger cake. Talk about spoilt!
On his actual birthday, Bro’s gf booked dinner at Gorski and Jones, on Smith Street in Collingwood. They open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in a rather industrial, funky looking, bare bricked room that is unfortunately (for food photography anyway) rather dark in the evening.
Because we were a group of eight, we were advised that we had to have a set menu at $69 each. Bread was offered first with olives and fresh ricotta. The bread was FANTASTIC – large, thick slices that was both chewy and soft. Also props to the fresh ricotta – so creamy.
Next we received two plates of antipasto. On the plates there was: tortilla, pickles – fennel, cucumber, liver parfait with onion jam, octopus, anchovies, salt cod croquettes and roasted peppers. Everything was good, but wow fennel pickles! They were great, and I’m not normally a fan of fennel.
Following was a couple of plates of cured meats, along with a dollop of spreadable salami in the middle.
This was quite a protein heavy meal, because next we had cured ocean trout with pickled cucumber, beetroot and horseradish.
I loved the crumbed zucchini flowers with smoked mozzarella and peperonata. The crumb made the zucchini flowers really crunchy, and the tangy peperonata was excellent.
Continuing on with the protein theme, there were two big plates of slow cooked lamb.
Which was served with a massive amount of tzatziki.
Plus a couple of sides – salad with chicory, fennel, orange and currants, plus a farro salad with feta and toasted almonds.
Dessert looked unassuming, but it packed a punch: Turkish coffee and cardamom chocolate creme with pistachios. So smooth and quite rich, it had a good balance of sweetness and coffee bitterness.
We were rather full after all that food, but managed to have a slice of birthday cake in honour of Bro’s birthday.
Birthday cake was excellent – Sponge Bob! Patrick! – but unfortunately it did cause a little issue at the end of the night. When we received the bill there was an unexpected charge on it that we had to query. It turns out that there was a cake charge ($5 per person) that we hadn’t been told about.
Don’t get me wrong – the issue isn’t about the cake charge. It’s about not being told about it until we queried the bill. Bro’s gf had asked before the evening if it was okay to bring a cake, and was told it was fine – it would’ve been good to have been told at that point.
It was only a small thing, and while it didn’t ruin our evening (which had been good so far) it did end it on a slight sour note.
Apart from that, it was a lovely evening: the food was good, it was my Bro’s birthday, there was a SpongeBob cake, and the company was excellent. That’s a good way to spend a birthday in my opinion.
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Gorski and Jones
304 Smith Street
Phone: 03 9417 7779