rockwell and sons
Fried chicken sandwich. Soft, succulent, crunchy goodness.
Over five days we ate our way through Melbourne. Golden Fields, Maha, Cutler & Co (fantastic as usual), The Town Mouse and even the Yarra Valley’s Chateau Yering but this is the place I remember best. I guess maybe that’s how all holidays are, that the very last gasps of it stick in our memory best. Our last day was spent loitering in Collingwood, where public housing grinds against Danish furniture shops. In this gritty, interesting neighbourhood lies Rockwell and Sons.
There was not even a single diner as we walked in. Granted, it was Monday lunchtime. Only students perched on the bar, watching NFL, sipping glasses of wine and surfing on notebooks. (Oh to be a student again…) Blonde, unfinished wood and with unparalleled people watching, Rockwell and Sons swaggers with understated style, yet feels like a local.
That is not a hipster beard.
Lamb ribs – no longer on the menu, but definitely remembered. In the background, old fashioned lemonade.
In the open kitchen, a trucker capped chef pumps out a plate of lamb ribs piled on a tangy pool of hot sauce. The ribs have been seasoned, slow cooked and deep fried for a double whammy texture of crunchy bits and yielding, fall-away fatty lamb flesh. The hot sauce had quite the kick of acidity that livened up the lamb and made us reach for the next rib until we were scraping the dish. This is dude food done right. Balanced, more-ish and extremely bad for you, yet so, so good.
Double patty smash burger, kraft, special sauce on a seeded bun, $10. This tasted as good as it looked.
The next dishes were hotly anticipated. This is what we had come to Collingwood for: the double smash patty burger.
Yes Kraft cheese has never had it so good. Two patties and two slices of plastic cheese just oozing into each other, topped with crunchy sweet sour pickles that were dripping with an awesome special sauce that was spiked with dill and other unidentifiable secret things. Sandwiched between a bun that was soft and squishy, the burger squashed right down to a few delicious and memorable bites.
Fried chicken sandwich,buttermilk dressing, iceberg lettuce, kataia fire, $12.
The fried chicken burger was good. Not as mind blowing as the double smash, but still fabulous in its own right. Cradled in the same soft bun that’s got more substance than Huxtaburger’s sweeter version, a dollop of mayo and horde of iceberg kept the fried chicken honest. Battered, succulent and slightly spicy from the hot sauce, the fried chicken could not be faulted. Served with a glass of some of the best, syrupy house made lemonade, it was really, really hard not to order a side of fries to go all out gluttonous on.
(We went to Po’Boy Quarter – just across the road – for fries, but that’s a story for another day.)
With the rest of the suburb to check out, we rolled out of there, leaving behind this humble sanctuary of dude food with fingers and toes crossed that we’ll be back.
Rockwell and Sons
288 Smith St Collingwood VIC 3066
T: (03) 8415 0700
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