Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published September 18th 2019
Chic sophisticated environment with modern twist on fab food
Japanese Pancake at Theodore's - all photos by Tricia Ziemer
I dropped by to pick up my friend Lauren Bell and we were off to the big smoke. We were so looking forward to a girl's brunch, but we really had no idea what to expect. As we wove through the streets of Brunswick, I thought, there are stunning restaurants in this area, so this should be fab. Then as we wove our way into the backstreets of Brunswick and then down this tiny alley toward a tiny red board saying Theodore's, I started to have tiny doubts.
O ye, of little faith'! As we walked around the corner and into the interior of Theodore's, I was beyond impressed. It is an old factory warehouse and has soaring ceilings and light-filled spaces, with industrial beam highlights.
It has been renovated with intimate booths, lined with stunning wood panel strips and exposed brick. Then there are quiet group areas separated by bare two by four wood stud walls (no gyp rock panels) so it is light and bright with a sun-filled front courtyard. Bliss.
The front of house held a coffee bar wafting with the smell of fresh beans and a variety of unique tea blends, all loose leaf. No tea bags here. The had a variety of milk on offer for both tea and coffee lovers.
We were lucky we were behind the morning rush in terms of table selection; we had our pick. We were unlucky in that Theodore's is so popular and had been so busy some of the selections were sold out. Secret tip; go early on Saturday.
Lauren and I picked a cosy booth and ended up with the most delightful wait staff, Jenna Walker. She was friendly, informative, attentive and answered all our silly questions about different menu selections. Nothing was too much. It was spot-on service.
The restaurant was also very flexible and attentive in that they cater to intolerances, allergies, and personal choices such as vegetarians. What we enjoyed about the menu is that it is what Lauren calls, "Tapas style".
That is a 'pick a few options and share them around' experience. And they had some lovely options with special sauces. One we choose was grilled asparagus and they swapped their spicy chilli sauce (as I am not a hot chilli fan) for a stunning aioli. This is the best aioli I have encountered. If they bottled this on the side, Theodore's would make an aioli splash in the market and even more profits. The asparagus was perfectly grilled, seasoned and succulent.
Lauren had a Japanese Pancake that was delicately light and full of finely sliced cabbage, pickled ginger with kewpie, bonito, and furikake seasonings. It was called Okonomiyaki. Don't try to pronounce it, just enjoy its brilliance.
The fries were perfect and it was wonderful that they left the skin on and all that lovely nutrition. They were not overly oily and wonderfully hot. I give this place the 'best fries and aioli in Melbourne' award.
I had the broccoli sub and the flavours were fab. It could have been a tiny bit better if the bigger rosettes were cut into smaller pieces.
The boutique wines were quite rare and special and really complemented the food perfectly. These are handpicked by the owners. We tried two drops. The first was an Xaviar Goodridge Shirley Rose and although it did not have much of a nose, it was a light lovely refreshing wine.
The second was a Jumpin Juice Yellow, which is a bit of a misconception. The colour was a lovely dusty pink, with a full cranberry nose, and it has legs with a lovely film on the inside of the glass. My friend Lauren thought this was so nice, she bought one to take home.
I can highly recommend this for a quick catch up, morning brunch or a family get together. It is a must-try on your Bucket list.