The Brix Café & Bistrot

The brix has closed down in Aug 2012

Rear of 412 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
03 9417 6114

Sometimes, the more you like a place, the less you want to talk about it.

Maybe I’ll let you gather all the essential bits and pieces about The Brix from other blog posts and sites…

…this way, you can just enjoy the painfully beautiful pictures of the food here.

Loved the fit-out and ambience of the place. Small, cosy, elegant and modern…

…with little touches here and there, and smiling, friendly, quirky staff.

We came here for the $80 five course set menu, but first…

…we shared a platter of Tasmanian Duck Bay oysters w red wine and shallot vinaigrette.

Not too bad, but one word of advice, don’t eat the sand that the oysters were sitting on. *blush*

All good restaurants will ask if any of us have allergies before starting a set menu.

Hence this thoughtful bread platter. Sourdough and rye for Fakegf and I.

Gluten free bread, specially for Ashley.

I only grew keen to visit The Brix after I-Hua and Agnes instagrammed a string of exquisite food photos of its dishes.

Yes, I’m a food blogger, but I also like to think of myself as a food photographer. I feel a wonderful sense of satisfaction when I’ve managed to capture the feel of a venue…

…and the hidden beauty and language behind each plate of food.

Smoked tuna, avruga, seaweed


Just perfectly beautiful.

Smoked tuna jelly, tendrils of enoki, Avruga caviar, crisp snapper skin, puffed rice, and coastal succulents…

…everything just worked, awash in a marriage of flavours.

We tasted the sea. In fact,
it almost felt like we were walking
along a rocky Australian coast.

Wow… so just who are these chefs? How do they make food look and taste so winsome?

Love the use of tweezers… since when did food become so intricate?

We kept observing the flow inside the open kitchen. They seemed to work together with a seamless effortlessness.

Each time a course arrives, it is presented with a brief, almost cryptic, description.

For instance, plates would float onto our tables, and with a breathy sigh, the floor staff would coo dreamily:

“Beef… and oyster…”

*floor staff walks away…*

Umm, yep… there’s much much more going on there than just beef and oysters, lol.

Some may think it pretentious, but I see it as a teasing way to be surprised with what’s on your plate. Isn’t art all about enquiry, subjectiveness, extrapolation and discovery?

With food looking so exquisitely pretty, I’ll just let my tongue be curious. Although, I almost did not want to eat this dish because it actually looked too pretty to eat!!

On first bite, I was transported into the Australian outback, with the lonesome baked oyster as the only figment of the sea left behind…

I could almost taste sun-seared native herbs, with paradoxical bursts of black sesame. The beef came both raw and slow-cooked, both wonderful. And till now, nobody still knew what that those white, seaweedy, thready ribbons were.

And what I thought was a cooked scallop turned out to be a blob of beautiful, buttery marrow… Amazing.

The set meal was paced out very nicely, over three hours.

In between dishes, we got into a fun chat about how to pronounce “Laguiole” knives.

Singaporean me would say “la-gwee-ole”, but I remember Mr Frenchman calling it “lye-yool”.

Next, we walked into a Summer glade, and found…

venison, roast onion and clove…

…rife with flowers.

Hints of clove were hidden inside the white powder.

Once again, such exquisitely unusual flavours.

I mean, look at those little white flowers. Who’d think that they can be edible?

The sous vide venison tasted smoky, with tenderly soft blushing flesh.

Dusk settles in, as we chatted and waited for the last two courses to arrive…

“Lamb, lettuce… and mace”

I assume the mace was hidden within the brown soil, but it actually tasted more earthy-sweet and aniseedy to us. It takes bold confidence for a chef to use such robust tasting spices inside a main dish.

If you imbibed some spiced soil with the unctuously fatty slow-cooked lamb, it sort of worked. Still, we weren’t all that keen on that combination.

The dish also had battered sweetbreads (thymus gland) that reminded me of bouncy fried chicken. Never had this before.

A common thread in the food here involves some molecular gastronomy, with powders, soils, ribbons and jellies. But there’re also elements of a forager’s and artist’s touch here, with wild herbs and edible flowers skilfully scattered across magnificently tweezered dishes.

The staff all wear suspenders, they look like skinny humpty dumpties. Very cute, and juuust a teensy bit kitsch. ^.^

And the meal ends splendidly, with blackberries, beetroots and basil. An arrestingly musky, masculine dessert. 

A scroll of ginger, sticks of warm spices, hand-picked blackberries, dark crumbs of cake, beetroot ‘roe’, and an amazing yoghurt foam. Boldly executed flavours, that somehow just simply worked.

For just five courses that all looked smallish, the amount of food still turned out just right. We were surprisingly satiated with the set menu. But for those of us who were still a tiny bit nibbly, cute madeleines accompanied the bill.

You can tell I enjoyed this meal. I liked the brave conflict of flavours, it made me keep thinking and pondering as I ate. And don’t get me started on the wild and exquisitely random presentation of every dish. I think it takes much artistry to tweezer-craft such wonderful looking plates of food. 

But the bottom line is, the food here actually tastes as beautiful as it looks, and that’s why this place will stand as a winner in my heart.

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14 Responses

  1. leaf
    leaf at · Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful food indeed. I walk around Fitzroy a lot and I’ve noticed this place. Though when I pointed it out to the boyfriend he said, “looks expensive, doesn’t it?” and we walked on by. :p
    My recent post pimm’s raspberry cucumber cocktail slushy

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      For a degustation menu place, I actually think it’s quite well priced! But it depends on whether your boy likes big portions, big eaters will probably leave still feeling peckish. ;)

  2. msihua
    msihua at · Reply

    And I have named the lamb one of my best dishes of the year and Brix as the Best newcomer of the year.. cheeky no?

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      Amazing that you declare the lamb dish the year’s best when you hate peas!! :D

  3. Hannah
    Hannah at · Reply

    Food blogger, food photographer, food writer, food poet…. all rolled into one :)
    My recent post 2011 Christmas Part Three: When the Party’s Over, The Party’s Just Beginning

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      This comment made me smile big-time, thank you very much. *HUGS* ^.^

  4. libishski
    libishski at · Reply

    The chef on the left is a hottie!

    Haha the sand looks good enough to eat – don’t worry, I would have done the same thing! :D

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      I have no clue who he is… I’m so terrible with knowing who’s who in the food industry, but … still LOVED the food!! :D

      And yes, fakegf was facing the other way, but she used the big restaurant window’s reflection after it got dark to perve at the chef(s), aahahahah!!

  5. imsohungree
    imsohungree at · Reply

    We were in a prime position. We were perving on him allllll night. Teehee! :)
    My recent post Wok + Wine

  6. imsohungree
    imsohungree at · Reply

    Argh! Your photos are so arrestingly beautiful! I love how articulately yet simply and concisely you’ve described everything, sigh, I have so much catching up to do…!
    My recent post Wok + Wine

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      Thank you, Ash. Can’t wait to see your pictures! I think we push (and teach) each other to take nicer and nicer pics. Good synergy! ;)

  7. flower127
    flower127 at · Reply

    This looks like a pretty interesting meal :) and like what others have said quite well priced too ~ I would’ve did the same thing and eat the sand the oysters was sitting on too hahaha i’m such a klutz i’m always eating things that I shouldn’t.

    You’re photos are always so pretty! Sigh I’ve really gotta take lessons! I love blogging, writing and taking photos but i’m just not any good at it hehe

    Hope you have a lovely 2012 and looking forward reading your blog!!!
    My recent post Hello 2012 – Visit to the ‘Long Island’

    1. Fatboo
      Fatboo at · Reply

      Thank you, Daisy!

      I think with pictures, the more you do it, the better you get! And write personally & conversationally, the words flow out so much easier!

      And I’ve added you to my blog roll, thanks for reading fatbooo!

      1. flower127
        flower127 at · Reply

        Thanks so much Byran :) I think I’m improving with my photos ~ but it’ll take me a long time to take pictures like you do hehe
        My recent post Taiwan’s Surprise – Lindarico Cafe

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