I count myself lucky to be one of the first to stumble across the original Crumb Street Kitchen, a tiny BBQ joint situated in urban wilderness. Zac Shearer and his partner Sian King were in there serving up a small menu of smoked meats and sides in pizza boxes surrounded by eclectic decor. The food was good, so good I grabbed some takeaways to bring back to the chefs at work to taste. This resulted in one of them jumping on his motorbike to buy out the remaining stock for us all. Good times. The original store is long gone but a resurrection of sorts brought us Crumb Street Diner with an extended all day menu located around the back of an empty building. Something else was always planned for that vacant space though and now Brother Mine is born.
Zac enthusiastically explains that foremost he wants Brother Mine to be for the locals. Somewhere the neighbourhood can call their own and drop in for a drink with friends or a meal with the family. A casual bistro with reasons for return visits, affordable and unpretentious.
The space still has much work to be done before its opening but it already feels warm and inviting. A third of the room is designated as the bar with a stunning free floating bench dominating. The rest is devoted to dining with chairs and couches scattered throughout. Polished concrete meets wooden wine racks and bookcases. Outside through large windows you can watch the world pass by. A speakeasy feel is planned with old black and white movies projected onto the walls, jazz music and classic cocktails.
Head Chef Casey Burns (previously of Ethos) is presenting a concise menu with four entrees, four mains and four desserts planned. It’s a mix of European and modern Australian but without the foams and such that are running rampant these days. Simple but good food. Think Porchetta with Pedro Ximénez Jus. Scallops with Pickled Cauliflower and Pink Grapefruit. Duck Rillette. Lamb Pie. Burnt White Chocolate Mousse. They seek to create everything in house with even the bread baked and butter churned on premises. Whole animals will be butchered with the cuts spread over the two businesses. A separate breakfast menu will be served.
Glenn Dransfield is the food and beverage manager having come from Naked for Satan in Brunswick. He talks about his wish for a return to a strong customer focus, to make everyone feel welcome as it is their local.
The wine list is concise at first but will expand to include a lot of the exciting natural wines currently on offer. It’s a theme that is mirrored in the restaurant, starting small with a new team with many plans to grow.
As for Crumb Street? It’s returning to its roots. Going are breakfast, fried chicken and elaborate shakes. We’ll instead see expertly smoked meats served with a selection of sides that you order from the counter and receive in a pizza box. If it ain’t broke and all.
Brother Mine opens Wednesday 2nd August at 31 New Town Road.
Wednesday to Friday 7am – late (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Saturday 8am – late (breakfast lunch and dinner). Sunday 8am – 4pm (breakfast only). Crumb Street Diner will be open Wednesday – Sunday 12pm – 8pm