The Taste of Melbourne has recently just passed and this year, it was set in the new location of Albert Park. It was nice to be walking around outside soaking up the atmosphere with a huge array of restaurants offering some of their best dishes all in one location but once the sun set, things got a bit miserable and cold so we decided to head home. But not before using up the rest of our crowns at Matt Wilkinson's sustainable pop-up station of Pope Joan and Bishop of Ostia. A quick 'history' lesson for you guys: Pope Joan is a medieval legend about a woman in the guise of a man whose cover was blown when she gave birth to a son - and some versions of this legend say the son later grew up to be the Bishop of Ostia. With Pope Joan opening in July 2010 and taking the reins during the day, the Bishop of Ostia is the outdoor bar next door which opened earlier this year.
At the Taste of Melbourne, we ordered two dishes that sounded very intriguing - the crispy pig's ear sandwich and the salmon wings. Yeah, they were awesome. In fact, so awesome that we decided to make a pit stop at Bishop of Ostia just before attending a wedding the next day.
We arrived at Bishop of Ostia with 30 minutes to spare before we had to depart for the wedding. Little did we realise that we had plenty of time to spare before the majority of people arrived. So in hindsight, I wish we had stayed longer to sample more of the menu as I was starving after the wedding (vegetarian banquet).
The menu is short and sweet, offering just over a dozen dishes which all sounded really good. Without hesitation, I chose the "Tom Allen" sandwich which was just as delicious as the previous day. The inner layers of the pig's ear were soft and gelatinous while the exterior was crisp - so effing good with a kick of chilli sauce and creamy gribiche (similar to mayo). These sandwiches are small in size (~10cm) and the price may not indicate good value but I would come back for these again and again.
The "Summer Slider" was packed with fresh, plump prawns and smothered in a seriously tangy mix of paprika mayo and pickles. It was incredibly tangy but still very tasty - although the "Tom Allen" was our favourite.
It's only now that I realise that the NZ crispy salmon wings were on the menu. I die a little bit inside. Alas, it means I'll have to come back again.....
I ordered a pint of beer with our meal but it must have slipped our waiter's memory so we just paid for the bill as we were in a rush thinking we were late. I can't wait to come back again on a sunny day and soak up some rays in the courtyard and chow down with a pint in hand. It sounds like the perfect afternoon already, true?
Will I return? Yes, definitely can't wait to come back!
Bishop of Ostia
79 Nicholson Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
(03) 9388 8858
Wed to Sun 4pm - late