The other day a friend mentioned to me that the somewhat horrific Father Flanagan’s Irish Pub (on the corner of Smith and Alexandra Pde) had been transformed and was now serving cracking pub food with an American bent. I decided to check it out immediately.
Mr M and I went fairly early on a Friday night for dinner. The space still is light and bright, with plenty of woodwork and there are still some touches of Irish pub to it. Broadsheet described the space as ‘barnlike’ but I would say it reminds me more of an old-school train station. The upright booth seats with luggage racks overhead certainly gave that impression.
But Gasometer is still a work in progress. It is the new venture of seasoned publicans from the East Brunswick Club, Shit Town and Horse Bazaar and has been open just 4 weeks. There is some further work to be done, including finishing the covered courtyard (apparently the courtyard should be open in the next couple of weeks).
On to the food, the menu is divided into ‘plates to share’ and ‘big plates’. Items to share include mozzarella and ricotta fritters ($10), buffalo chicken wings (or smoked tofu strips) ($12) or cheese stuffed meatballs ($13). The American bent is more evident in the ‘big plates’ section which includes Southern fried chicken ($19), NYC cheese burger ($16.50), BBQ pulled pork ($19) and you can get a side of mac and cheese ($8). Some of the other items have a European bent, think pipis with chorizo ($15), brandy and chicken liver pate ($11) and burrata, basil and heirloom tomato platter ($17). Vegans, vegetarians and the gluten-free are well catered for, with veggie items including a vegan chorizo burger ($15) and arepas with shredded chilli seiten ($18).
Starving after some after work drinks, Mr M & I headed straight to the ‘big plates’ section. Mr M ordered the Southern fried chicken, that had been marinated in buttermilk and was served with greens, mash and champagne gravy:
You can see from the picture that the chicken was incredibly crispy and inside it was moist and tender. Yum.
I ordered the Arrachera ($21) a Mexican style sliced hanger steak, served with guacamole, fried arepas, salsa and a lime and habanero vinaigrette ($21):
I wasn’t entirely sure how to eat this, but decided to stack as many things as possible on the arepa and hope for the best:
This was bloody good. I really liked the zingy, chilli spiced salsa of tomato, spanish onion, heart of palm and corn. Tasty guacamole and crisp, hot arepas. My only qualm was the steak was quite cold.. slightly odd.
We shared a side of fries with black ash salt and aioli ($7.5):
I urge you to try these fries. Like the chicken, they were incredibly crispy. I loved the aioli too, I just wished there was a little more of it!
All in all, a great meal. Gasometer is still a very new venue but all signs suggest it will be overrun before we know it. I’ll be heading back sooner rather than later to check out the courtyard and get my hands on some more of those fries… mmmm.
484 Smith St,
Collingwood VIC (Corner Smith and Alexandra Pde)
Ph: (03) 9417 5539
Mon-Wed 4pm-midnight, Thurs 4pm-1am, Fri-Sat 11am-2am, Sun 11am-11pm