23 April 2013

Lunch at Loading Zone. A restaurant review

| johnboy
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loading zone

Loading Zone has been causing a lot of buzz since it opened last month in the middle of the Melbourne Building. (Odgers Lane to be specific)

Barcham and I tried to have lunch there a couple of weeks ago but they were all full up.

We made a point of getting in at noon today and it was already busy but we got the last spare table.

They also have shared bars and trestle tables which filled up soon after we got there.

For $15 they do a two pasta lunch which sounded like a good plan to us.

We also tried out the Menabrea from Italy which was quite brilliant if you’re into heavily malted continental beers (which I am).

Pasta bowls were placed on our table and in due course a waiter came by with a big stainless steel bowl which he scooped the first of our serves out from.

First up was the brocolli penne which looked pretty good!

brocoli pasta

And tasted just as good.

We scarfed it down pretty quickly, sat back to swig our beers, watched the varied crowd almost all trying out the new cafe, and waited.

At an appropriate time our lamb ragu came by in another big stainless steel bowl and we were again served a portion.

lamb ragu

Needless to say it too was delicious. The lamb had been cooked very slowly and was superbly tender. The ragu had a lot of flavours going on with taragon and chili working well in the tomato.

Without naming names there are a few places around town serving very similar food for much, much greater prices.

Lunch is from 12-2.30 but their facebook page suggests they’re open from 6.30am to 4pm.

They also do takeaway and had a range of sandwiches for sale; so a $10 review is coming up soon.

I really like the idea of a place doing one sort of meal and doing it well, if you want something different go next door. (That said there are variations in the menu, we just went with the two pasta option)

The prices are very reasonable and the food is a real treat.

Get into it but get there early.

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Madam Cholet2:04 pm 02 Jul 13

Haven’t seen the $10 sandwich review yet….so had to go with the take away pasta option. Vegetarian lasagne. Very delicious, very filling. Would love to try a sit down lunch here but can never get away as early as might be required here.

I love the idea of this place, its very Melbourne. I walked passed on Monday but was in a rush so didn’t stop in.

Just like everywhere else in Canberra. Anything that is new and trendy is packed out for the first few months that it is open, then something new opens and the crowds move on.

Espied this from the corner of my eye as I dragged my knuckles by. As intrigued as I was, my main memory of the of the Sydney/Melbourne laneways is of the odours of food-scraps and assorted bodily fluids (all heavily fermented).

(Hope they’ve dealt with this, because there used to be some nice plane trees back there)

It was a cool day today, but the smells were all of good cooking.

Kerryhemsley5:35 pm 23 Apr 13

Sounds good. Does scarfing something down equate scoffing with a bit of European style?

I had a very enjoyable breakfast with my daughter there last week. The baked eggs are incredible. An advantage of the laneway location was it was isolated from the traffic noise. Highly recommended.

They’re doing really well – good luck to them!

Seriously, go for breakfast. The breakfast is the best!

Madam Cholet3:12 pm 23 Apr 13

Doesn’t sound like the wheelie bins impact on the enjoyment at all. I always thought that this style of place would work in Canberra, with a limited menu somewhat akin to a french Bouchon (I think it’s called), where you basically get what’s made on the day and not a raft of items permanently on the menu. Damn them for stealing my idea, but good on them for doing what I never would have!

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