In an area that is saturated with bohemian drinking and dining options it’s hard to stand out from the crowd. But that’s what Little Creatures Dining Hall in Brunswick St, Fitzroy does. Not by being more bohemian, not with too cool for school arrogance but with great service and spectacular food. And the beer is pretty tasty too.
The Melbourne offshoot of this Fremantle institution had a lot to live up too. The Freemantle original is a restaurant built into a brewery, where behind the barman you can spy a vat of your favourite ale. My male friends tell me that bottles of beer on a conveyer belt run past the urinal at eye level after being filled, behind glass of course. As the Fitzroy venue is only a dining hall it does lack some of the quirkiness however it does have some funky design features like the light shades made of empty stubbies and it has the same board game rental system as its western cousin.
The vibe inside can best be described as organized chaos. You get the feeling that your order will be forgotten as soon as it’s left your lips but before you know it your next pint is in front of you. Somehow the wait staff know just when you are going to be ready to order off the tasting menu again.
The tasting menu is a great way to pace yourself through an afternoon of beer drinking. Making each selection after seeing it being taken to another table we ordered over the course of the afternoon marinated olives, feta and pumpkin dip with house made flat bread and lamb pasties. We ran out of flat bread before finishing the dip and were promptly offered more, which arrived warm from the oven.
It is also worth tasting your way through the beers. Beers under the Little Creatures label include the Bright Ale, Pilsner and Rogers, a mid strength but full flavoured beer. However I always find myself gravitating back to the original Pale Ale. If you enjoy a full flavoured, hop driven beer this one is the go. There are also a range of Pipsqueak ciders if beer isn’t your thing.
A day at the Little Creatures brewery in Freo has long been a favourite way to waste a day. It’s nice to know now that I don’t have to travel across the continent to experience it again.