We took the prime bar stools and were welcomed with warm smiles by Jason and (I think it was) his partner Amy. Until the gas supply is connected and the meter is installed the menu is all about fresh oysters, cured fish, ceviche, charcuterie and roti wraps. The liquor licence is also pending but even when it is granted, non alcoholics are treated to teas and mocktails.
There's a temporary menu and the place has a temporary name of "Waiting for Gas" and come next week B'Stilla Cantina will arrive.
Really interesting how these two different types of oyster tasted so different. The Pacifics were creamy and plump and sweet and the Sydney Rock were salty, briny and less meaty but both were good and spankingly fresh. We both loved the cucumber sorbet and the chipotle lime. My slight preference was the heat and the tang of the chipotle lime and Steve slightly preferred the sweetness and icy coolness of the cucumber sorbet.
We then moved onto the ceviche which was snapper, lychee, corn and coriander. There was coconut milk and tomatoes too. This was so delicious. Fresh and zingy on the palette and then textures of crunch, fish, fruit and corn. Lychee can be overpowering but this was so well balanced that it really just added a hint of fragrance and sweetness.
We'd chosen to go with the small charcuterie and it arrived with chorizo, Serrano ham, bresaola, house made pickles, beetroot and horseradish and some toast. I loved the thick sliced bresaola and that with the dukkah impregnated bread that had a smear of butter on it, slapped with some of the beetroot and horseradish was a spiced sensation with hints of toastiness and rye. So delicious! And then the housemade pickles cut through all the saltiness of the cured meats.
Did I Say we wanted a light lunch? Well if that were the case, we should have stopped here but instead we continued our Morrocan influenced journey and had two of the roti wraps. There was "Mechoui" lamb, slow cooked for 12 hours Jason explained (I think it was 12 but anyway for a long time) in butter, lots of butter and rolled up in a roti with sumac, mint, onion and preserved lemon creme fraiche. The other was duck sausage "merguez" with an almond and apricot coleslaw, harissa mayo and lime.
They came sliced in three generous rolls, warm and golden. I started with the lamb and loved the richness of the flavours (that butter!) and the freshness of the accompanying herbs and creme fraiche. Steve loved the duck sausage except for the fact that said sausage kept slipping out but the sweetness of the apricot and the duck meatiness were a winning combination. I was impressed that the duck sausage was juicy and wasn't over spiced. I've had duck sausage before and it was a bit dry and dense and overpowered with pepper and herbs. Jason explained he has a butcher that makes the sausages to his recipe.
Both rotis were winners and what topped them off was the roti itself which was flaky and delicious.
Having had such lipsmacking delights, I felt it would be a real shame to lose these offerings when B'Stilla Cantina comes but Jason assured us the oysters would stay as would ceviche and the best is yet to come!
We had a great lunch and really hope this place does well but not so well that we can't get in! It will be so tempting after work to jump off the tram and into the welcoming arms Morocco. Open lunchtime through to late at night, this is a great addition to the neighbourhood. Fitzroy welcomes you Jason, Amy and B'Stilla Cantina!