The latest incarnation of the Gasometer has been open a year and a half, offering a steady stream of gigs and gastropub meals... except that the kitchen's just been rebranded Gas-Light Izakaya! We stopped in early for dinner before swinging around to the band room for Dan Kelly's album launch.
The menu doesn't pay much mind to special dietary requirements - there are more than enough dishes to sate vegetarians, but vegans and coeliacs are likely to have a tougher time of it.
The fried cauliflower florets ($9) were huge and hard to maneuvre with chopsticks, but had the right balance of crunchiness and tenderness. The accompanying sweet and sour sauce only left us hankering after the spicier version we've made at home.
The jalapeno and cheese korokke ($5, foreground) was also expertly fried, though we were ambivalent about the warm mushy filling (Smith & Daughters has really spoiled us for any other croquette!). We were more taken with the tofu bao ($6 each) and especially their red dragon sauce.
Finally we split the tofu katsu-sando ($16), a neat little sandwich of crumbed tofu, chilli relish and mustard leaves on a soft brioche bun. The accompanying French fries were only so-so, but it's a nice and reasonably priced self-contained meal.
With its nori-laced Caesar salad, fried chicken bao and icecream doughnut sandwich, I reckon that Gas-Light Izakaya is appealing more to local trends than Japanese traditions. The dishes we tried generally delivered on their descriptions, but they're just barely designed with veg*ns in mind. It'll continue to be a convenient food stop for a Gasometer gig, but I don't envisage making extra excuses to visit.
We've got lots of posts on previous incarnations of this dining room, the most recent from over a year ago. This izakaya incarnation has been blogged only on I'm So Hungree, who was positive.
Gas-light Izakaya in the Gasometer Hotel
484 Smith St, Collingwood
Accessibility: The Gasometer has a small step on entry. The tables are crowded in some areas but the booths and tables closest to the entry are relatively spacious. Ordering and payment occurs at a high counter. Male and female toilets on the same level are accessible only when the band room is vacant and are not particularly spacious; alternate toilets are located upstairs, one cubicle each for two genders.