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86. A lunch review

By johnboy - 25 April 2013 19

BBQ chicken

Having heard significant buzz about 86, Braddon’s hippest new joint, Goosepig and I ventured down for lunch today.

We had a truly magnificent meal but it is not without flaws and reservations.

For a start there are no menus. There is a chalkboard inside, but if seated outside you’re at the whims of the waiter’s memory. With some of the dishes coming in north of $50 it can be a bit of a surprise.

They have one of the best beer selections in town (in quality if not variety) and we were told long necks come in paper bags (oh so ironic). But it comes at a price. Moo Brew is $13 for a small bottle.

So for most this will be a treat destination and not an everyday drop in.

Barcham and I have been evolving a theory that the cooler the venue the more uncomfortable the seats.

On this measure 86 is heading towards sub zero.

Having taken our uncomfortable seats the waitress tried to explain to us the concept of shared food they have going.

I wish I could find the quote but I remember AA Gill’s thoughts on restaurant “concepts” being something like this:

How about I tell you a concept for a restaurant?

I sit down. You bring me a menu. I choose some food. You bring me the food. I eat the food. I pay for the food. You get me my coat.

It’s a simple concept which has stood the test of time.

86 subscribes to more novel concepts.

For the prices being charged the staff really should be making the customers feel like they (the customers) are the hippest people on earth.

Instead the staff set about making sure everyone knows they (the staff) are the hippest people on earth.

We ordered the ghetto beef and a side of vegetables, and two moo brews. The waitress was very worried this wouldn’t be enough food for us so we added the BBQ chicken and cole slaw.

Sitting near the cash register we could see our bill was already up to $106 which was a bit steeper than we’d planned for lunch.

At this point we were feeling a little uncomfortable, and a bit overwhelmed.

To be fair, 86 having just opened, we got the impression the staff were somewhat in the same boat.

After a bit of a wait our vegetables arrived, and were deliciously caramelised. And then came the seemingly simple sounding BBQ Chicken and Coleslaw.

The waiter who delivered it was very clear we needed to squeeze the lemon wedge all over the chicken. I did as instructed and was wonderfully rewarded.

I’ve eaten a lot of chicken in my time and this might well be the very best I’ve ever had. The chook had been thoroughly marinated and brilliantly BBQ’d.

The accompanying coleslaw, on the other hand, was without a doubt the very best I’ve ever had. There’s some very high end smoked meat in there, bacon doesn’t begin to describe it.

The portion, it must also be said, was huge. Basically half a chicken.

Our waitress thankfully noticed we were struggling and asked if we’d like to cancel the ghetto beef? Which I did with a heavy heart, it being the part of the meal I’d been most looking forward to.

Throughout we were constantly being asked if were were enjoying the meal, to the point of it being a bit much.

In the end a filling and astonishingly delicious lunch with two of the world’s finest beers came out to $78.

Right now the staff have got a few rough edges within the margin you’d expect from a newly opened place.

So despite the somewhat confusing “concept” dining, the staff who aren’t quite on their game, and the steep prices, there does come the simple issue that the food is magnificent.

I will be going back because I wan’t to see what the rest of that blackboard has to offer.

86 is at 86 Elouera Street Braddon, in the Mode 3 building just off Lonsdale Street.

6161 8686 for bookings (recommended, they’re busy).

What’s Your opinion?


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19 Responses to
86. A lunch review
astrojax 10:38 am 26 Jun 13

poetix said :

I’m thinking of going here for a birthday coming up soon. If I was brave enough, I would take a cake from The Cheesecake Shop and try and get the staff to serve it…

Some moments are Totally Gillard.

ooh yes! can i come? bring some kids and ensure they are pre-stocked with chain bought burgers and when there order fairy bread. please, can i come? oh, but what to wear… 🙂

poetix 9:59 am 26 Jun 13

I’m thinking of going here for a birthday coming up soon. If I was brave enough, I would take a cake from The Cheesecake Shop and try and get the staff to serve it…

Some moments are Totally Gillard.

Holden Caulfield 9:26 am 26 Jun 13

nsn said :

Also, to me their logo reads as 68, not 86. Just saying.

You’re right. It does look like 68 and it would be quite clever if that’s what it was meant to be, haha.

The lack of appropriate signage at the venue is another nail in the hipster coffin. The fitout looks nice, but if anyone dare not be hip enough to know of the restaurant beforehand they may find it a bit difficult to locate. But I guess that’s probably the point, right.

The address isn’t actually 86 Eloura Street, either.

But, as I said, the food was fantastic and ultimately, that’s what counts.

astrojax 4:07 pm 25 Jun 13

DrKoresh said :

Sounds unbearably pompous to me, although that ‘slaw does sound delicious. Maybe I’ll go one day behind some dark glasses and hoody and just hope nobody sees me there.

with skinny black jeans – you’ll fit right in!

nsn 4:02 pm 25 Jun 13

A couple of weeks ago I was interested to check it out, but their website doesn’t include even a sample menu. So I didn’t bother, and went to Ox instead.
Also, to me their logo reads as 68, not 86. Just saying.

Ben_Dover 3:39 pm 25 Jun 13

Moo Brew is $13 for a small bottle.

ghetto beef and a side of vegetables

P T Barnum was right.

Holden Caulfield 3:17 pm 25 Jun 13

Went there for lunch recently. The food was really, really good. So I would go back.

Just a shame that the wanker scale of the staff is way off the charts.

DrKoresh 11:34 pm 25 Apr 13

Sounds unbearably pompous to me, although that ‘slaw does sound delicious. Maybe I’ll go one day behind some dark glasses and hoody and just hope nobody sees me there.

HiddenDragon 10:19 pm 25 Apr 13

“Barcham and I have been evolving a theory that the cooler the venue the more uncomfortable the seats” – me too – in extreme cases, I have toyed with the idea of taking a cushion – possibly a whoopee cushion, just to add a suitable element of Dadaist humour when the pretentiousness of the venue gets too much.

Slightly disappointed to learn that it’s called 86 because that’s the street number – I was thinking there might be a Barbara Feldon theme going on there. Anway, the chicken looks good.

Darkfalz 9:25 pm 25 Apr 13

Hippest new joint? Or newest hipster joint? Will affect whether I try them out or not.

poetix 8:12 pm 25 Apr 13

I would be angry if I took the staff’s advice, and as a result could not have what I truly wanted and had initially ordered, due to huge serving sizes. Indeed, I’d be asking for a partial refund. Or sulking.

I would certainly not leave a tip in those circumstances, and I’m not like that usually.

You are far too pleasant or tolerant or something.

IrishPete 8:03 pm 25 Apr 13

ghetto beef – there has to be a joke in there, but I can’t think of one…

IP

Aeek 7:40 pm 25 Apr 13

I’m impressed with “struggling and asked if we’d like to cancel the ghetto beef?” Shows they are paying attention to their customers.

chow 7:13 pm 25 Apr 13

I read an article by Gay Bilson (Former wife of Tony Bilson) who wrote about how she would serve food if she were ever to run a restaurant again. In essence it would be served in bowls for tables to share. This was for two reasons. Firstly it is a convivial act to share food, it sets the dinning experience in a particular way. Secondly because of the lack of really great front of house staff in Australia.

c_c™ 6:45 pm 25 Apr 13

I trust that was $78 all up, not per person.

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