After Spinners leaves, Kirsty and I moved tables to somewhere more comfortable than the high stools we were perched on and ended up underneath a speaker with a really wonky table but it was less of squeeze than the high stools.
Belleville is up one of the Chinatown laneways and has the ubiquitous dodge cobblestones and stinky rubbish bins. It's inconspicuous and up some urban scary, industrial concrete stairs painted rust red and then there's a door slightly ajar. All very Melbourne grunge. Inside it's a large space, dark and understated with different sized tables including some high communal ones as well as intimate corners for dates.
Orders are taken at the bar and it's a good blend of drinking and eating space.
- Coriander, Ginger and Chilli (Medium)
- House Chicken Gravy (Mild)
When both chicken arrive, they look very similar and a dip of the fork in the sauces don't seem that promising. However once the sauce is poured out over the chicken the flavours come out. Maybe it's because the sauces are quite thin so they don't cling onto the prongs of the fork hence the initial dip doesn't taste of much.
Anyway the gravy is tasty and there's just not quite enough to cover chips and chicken so order extra if you like sauce. And the coriander, ginger and chilli has a nice zinginess to it but is light on the chilli. The chicken meat is nicely cooked so it's not dry and the two halves are pretty generous in size.
We also have the kimchi and apple coleslaw which is well balanced between creaminess and tartness so it's refreshing and palette cleansing. It's a big dish though.
Beer battered fries with house chicken salt are tasty and they do half serves so other sides can be ordered. The fries are my favourite side especially dipped in that salty gravy. They're crunchy and well seasoned. Yum.
The table is quite small for all our food and it seats 3 so we end up stacking things on the third chair. I'm not a fan of places that do share food and then the tables are too small to share food on! Not very sensible but it happens so often, have to live with it!
The bill comes to $50 each and that includes a couple of g&ts and a couple of wines so pretty well priced. The chicken is good and the place is very "Melbourne" so it's not a bad choice to hang out.