On Friday, a work-day, Michael and I were obliged to leave Doof to his own devices. To make up for it in the evening we devised a dinner-and-cocktails plan on Brunswick St in Fitzroy. We unintentionally picked the same two venues that Krusty and Jason introduced us to on our visit to Melbourne last year. Admittedly it's not such a huge coincidence, given (a) Polly and the Vegie Bar are both a lot of fun, and (b) both Doof and Krusty are vegetarian, too.
So, a few more samples from the menus:
Since we didn't have a booking, we figured that entering Polly early in the evening would give us a better chance at a table and we did indeed score some pretty armchairs towards the back. My first cocktail was an S&M: "mandarins crushed with lime, mint and apricot syrup, shaken with Havana Anejo Blanco and mandarin liqueur, topped with soda." I also ordered a bowl of shoe-string fries with sweet chilli aioli to share. This combination was a flavour explosion: an intensely alcoholic apricot and mint fizz with sweet-hot and salty all in one mouthful. I calmed down, eating and drinking in turns, after that. Loved the fresh apricot pieces in amongst the ice, and struggled to fish them out genteel-ly with my flimsy plastic straw. Spilt ice instead.
When it was eventually time for round two, I was ready for dessert: a plate of fairy bread and Grand Marnier truffles to share and a Rocky Road cocktail just for me. I'm a little perplexed by the portioning here: surely the truffles are the more expensive part of this dish and we received 5 for $4. I'm not complaining at all, just wondering why the powers at Polly then gave us half a slice of bread's worth of the sprinkled stuff? It seems ludicrous that the other half a slice of white bread would languish in the kitchen until someone else wants to revisit their childhood. Both components were excellent, really, and the truffles were probably prepared on site: there were tell-tale bits of solid chocolate that I doubt would appear in "professional" ganache.
My Rocky Road cocktail consisted of "Marshmallow Vodka, shaken up with Chambord, Cherry Brandy, Chocolate Liqueur, Frangelico and a lil’ dash of soy milk, finished with crushed hazelnuts and vodka soaked marshmallows". It was dessertingly good, but not really my thing: I love the texture contrast that nuts give to food but I don't want them floating in my drink. I don't love marshmallows either. Maybe now you're asking "So why did you order a 'rocky road' if you don't want nuts or marshmallow in your cocktail?" I was asking it by then. I guess I just wanted a sweet reason to order the fairy bread.
By this time I'd well and truly had my fill of alcohol and we wandered down to the Vegie Bar to eat something more substantial. It was pumping, and we were tucked at the end of a communal bench, right next to the kitchen. No biggy. Doof ordered a tofu burger, Michael and I had pizzas. All supersize considering the price (less than $10 each, including non-alcoholic drinks). The waitress must have misheard my order over the din because the wrong pizza turned up for me, but I didn't mention it 'cause what I got looked pretty good. A bit overboard on the cheese, but who whinges about cheap and cheesy pizza when they're inebriated?
As we exited the Vegie Bar, it was only 9pm and our mouthes could consume no more. Instead we fed our eyes and ears at the Nova Cinema before calling it a night.
(You can also read about our previous visits to Polly and the Vegie Bar.)