Dinner at Hell – Hell of the North, Fitzroy
Having recently come back from overseas, I was eager for a catch up dinner with my friend Miss E, a fellow foodie and blogger who I knew always chose the best places to eat.
‘Hell of the North’ shares its name with the yearly Paris-Roubaix cycling race; apparently brothers Adam and Christian Ferrante came up with the name in the course of their long struggle in acquiring this heritage-listed building, the formerly well-loved Lambsgo Bar, and turning it into their vision.
When Miss E booked a table for two, she was greeted on telephone with ‘Welcome to Hell.’ However, arriving at the location, it seemed anything but hellish. Bluestone walls referenced the cobbled roads of the infamous French bike race. A bright and sunny yellow door opened to a warm, intimate atmosphere inside.
Miss E and I were seated near the back, on stools and a small, high table. We welcomed the quieter environment so we could catch up. Our waitress was obviously confident and efficient, wasting no time to recommend a wine choice for Miss E.
The menu was reasonably priced given the location and vibe of this restaurant, with mains ranging between $25-$35. The wines were quite expensive by the glass. The food options seemed limited. I was concerned, as Miss E is a vegetarian and the gnocchi was the only vegetarian option. No matter, it was what Miss E wanted anyway.
I ordered the Poached Milawa Chicken a la Creme:
Miss E ordered the Gnocchi:
We also had a side of Pommes Frites to share:
The chicken was poached to perfection – plump, buttery and smooth. It came with a side of wild black and white rice, which was a great afterthought as the crème was very thick and heavy. The chicken itself was relatively bland but in a good way, as the crème was really all the flavour you needed.
The Pommes Frites had been cooked in butter and sprinkled in salt. I could only manage a few as the creaminess of my chicken dish and the buttery fries made quite a heavy meal.
For dessert, I ordered the classic Crème brulee whilst Miss E ordered the salted caramel mousse:
The Crème Brulee was a generous serving. It was, unfortunately, cold. The custard was creamy and consistent with a thin layer of flamed brulee on top. All in all, a satisfying treat for this sweet-tooth, but not particularly surprising or a highlight to the meal.
This restaurant is a great option for smaller groups or a romantic date, with a large wine selection and dishes ideal for sharing.
You can view Miss E’s vegetarian food diary here
Hell of the North – 135 Greeves Street, Fitzroy 3065