I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when we stepped off the 96 tram and discovered Chinta Ria was closed for lunch. On a Saturday? I don’t mind the Sydney outpost and really wanted to try the original, located on busy Acland Street in St Kilda. Now we were stuck. There was no plan B.
Mr K and I split up and each take one side of the road, sussing out the restaurants and cafe’s and report back with a handful of options. All of us were ravenous so the sooner we make a decision the sooner we eat. The menu at Veludo sounded pretty decent, as did the $16 lunch menu and I loved the wall of wine bottles. Collectively, a decision was made.
The outside benches are all taken by über cool locals sipping carb-friendly beer and sparkling white in a shroud of nicotine while inside there are many tables to choose from. The decor is very easy on the eye with its industrial feel and elements of stone, wood, welded metal partitions and cityscape murals.
The breakfast menu has a sense of humour by calling one of its meals the “Big Fat Pommy Bastard” where you can clog your arteries, soak up last nights alcohol and perpetuate your gluttony with eggs, bacon, hash brown, tomato, pork & chilli sausage, mushrooms, baked beans, toast and a bloody mary. I’m getting heart-burn just thinking about it.
We opt for something a little lighter from the $16 lunch specials. Somehow three of us order the Ploughman’s style open steak sandwich (16) that comes on grilled sourdough, rocket, cheddar, pickled onion, chutney and chips. Once it was set before me I felt a little cheated by the size of the strip of meat but once I took a knife to it I could see it was cooked to perfection and required little chewing. With all the crispy chips and additions, it was actually enough.
The one dish ordered that created an air of envy was the linguine (16). The pasta is cooked with a perfect bite and was an ideal vehicle for the simple flavours of tomato, basil, olive oil, lemon and ground almonds. Absolutely beautiful. One good thing came out of this, the last few mouthfuls ended up being mine. I didn’t used to be called garbage guts for nothing!