After a delicious but modestly portioned breakfast at Minimo, Michael and I spent a couple of hours running errands along Sydney Rd. Before hopping on the tram back home, it was too tempting to stop at Robbies Stein for a small, late lunch. This turned out to be a cracking idea - unbeknownst to us, Robbies (I wish they'd use an apostrophe) offers a range of 'grazing plates'. Even better, there are plenty of vegetarian ones. How to choose between polenta, gyoza, dukkah-spiced eggplant chips, haloumi, crumbed olives, dips?
Well, part of the choice was made for us because twistedbrick particularly recommended the hand cut chips ($6.50). (Because otherwise, me ordering chips? Never happens. *cough*) They were fine specimens indeed. You could serve these without a dipping sauce and they'd still impress. As it was, I was happy to give them their dose of aioli.
But would you, could you, believe that those fabulous chips were upstaged by the mushrooms?! No ordinary white buttons, an assortment of mushrooms were crumbed, deep-fried and served with aioli ($8.50). They were exquisite. Juicy but never soggy, and so flavoursome. I couldn't bear to sully them with the (really rather good) aioli.
The lemon, lime and bitters also deserves a shout-out; made with mouth-puckering fresh lemon juice, it's the perfect antidote to all that fried food. Robbies Stein also offers a few meal-sized dishes and I hear they do a mean lemon tart, but I can personally and very enthusiastically recommend them for your mid-afternoon grazing needs.
Address: 99 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Ph: 9388 9817
Price: veg grazing plates $6-10.50