Gwen O’Toole is an accomplished writer focusing on travel, food, wine and events management. Follow her on Instagram @Gwennieo
Published June 21st 2015
Your new favourite watering hole
Sometimes you stumble across a great new place and you're almost reluctant to let other people know about it because, well, you know how Melbourne can be, one minute you find a fabulous place and the very next day there's a queue a kilometre long outside the door.
Head up the stairs to discover PolePole on level 1. Image:The Ideas Library
This is one of those places. So here's my advice, get in quick and enjoy it well. We made it a point to sneak in a little bit early to catch it before the after-work crowd.
PolePole (which is pronounced Po-Lay Po-Lay and in Swahili means go slow or slow down/ relax) is the perfect name for this place. This African-inspired eatery located on Little Collins St. is the perfect place to chill out after a workday or simply hang out and enjoy a great meal with friends.
PolePole on level one is a great place to relax and unwind. Image credit: The Ideas Library
You'll find so many delicious menu options to choose from you'll barely know where to start. Dishes range from bar style snacks of traditional house cured biltong to spiced popcorn as well as these delcious (and we do mean delicious) 'cigars' with a range of different fillings.
Our cigars of cauliflower, lentil and gouda cheese with burnt honey and sesame ash. Image: The Ideas Library
We chose the cauliflower, lentil and gouda cheese with burnt honey and sesame ash and were very happy campers with our choice. There's also cigars of lamb and Ras El Hanout, wild boar and walnut and others. You may want to work your way through the list.
PolePole offers a selection of ribs as well as shared plates so that groups get the benefit of trying a little bit of everything.
Next on our list was the fried haloumi with honey and sesame which looked a little something like this.
For larger dishes we tried a new item to the menu, the sliced Black Angus steak with espresso and marrow jus and tobacco onions which arrived in a pot that was the perfect size to share between the two of us.
And lastly we tried the goat curry with yoghurt and flatbread. Here's where we actually just stopped conversation to completely appreciate how amazing this dish is. Rumour has it that it's likely going to be the signature dish of the house and for that we vote YES.
You can't not order this: the goat curry with yoghurt and flatbread. Image credit: The Ideas Library
The curry was not overly spicy and came with just the right amount of flat bread and pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top. Why more people don't sprinkle these little gems of happiness over curry more often is a mystery. A-mazing. Like little pops of freshness that blissfully balance out the curry.
Post dinner take a walk up the stairs (you'll notice a projection on the wall indicating the way) to the recently opened Glamp Bar.
Follow the glow up the stairs to Glamp Bar. Image: The Ideas Library
Once you get to the top, you're in for a treat. Right down to the giant rhino statue, the lion face on the floor and all the quirky little touches of decor, you're going to want to make this place your next regular watering hole.
All things delightfully Africa at Glamp Bar. Image:The Ideas Library