smith & daughters
I cannot say enough good things about Smith & Daughters. The food is wonderful, the vibe is good, the drinks are fabulous and the service is great.
They had only been open for a week and the place was PACKED. Before I get too wildly enthusiastic, not everything was 100% perfect, but it was just wonderful as a total experience. Sometimes places just know how to get things right.
Let’s start with the fact that you can eat everything on the menu, yay! This already had me almost in tears and I wasn’t even drinking. I am not going to put quote marks around the ‘tuna’, ‘chorizo’ or any other mock meats. Everything is vegan.
I cannot speak too highly of the super friendly and cheerful service, nothing was any problem. They were incredibly busy and still things worked well. We were welcomed at the door. We got our drinks orders in quickly, so there was no sitting around waiting for service. We were a large party of twelve and we asked if they could just feed us rather than us order. The only instructions we gave were that we had to be served the croquettes and the paella and that they should bring enough of each so there was no squabbling over a single taco. No problem.
There is a great drinks menu of beers, wine, cocktails and mocktails. I didn’t feel like drinking as I had to get up early the next day, so I ordered a delicious grilled apple mocktail that tasted like an apple pie!
With drinks in hand, we waited to be surprised and delighted. Here is what we ate…
We started with some large green warm olives that were marinated in a lemony oil. I was so excited I forgot to take a photo. They were delicious.
Next we had the tuna and pea croquettes with caper aioli. These were SO good. Crispy, soft and full of flavour. I could have just eaten several serves of these and been happy. There were three on the platter but we got overexcited and leapt on them before I had a chance to snap a quick photo.
We also ate some panfried peppers as well as some guacamole and tortilla chips that I neglected to photograph.
Paella with calamari, prawns and sausage
This had me laughing because the mock calamari was so realistic it was even scored in a grid pattern. To be honest this was my least favourite dish, not because it was bad, but because I have to confess that I don’t really like saffron, so I am not a good judge. It just tastes weirdly medicinal to me. Sacrilege, but there it is. But most of the rest of the table enjoyed it.
Aztec chocolate tart with avocado icecream
Number one dish of the evening, though the croquettes are a worthy competitor, followed by the mushrooms. Be warned, this is a dish which causes unseemly, involuntary moans of pleasure and which causes you to want to hug random strangers. Rich, jammy, dark and offset perfectly by the not too sweet icecream. Great. Just great.
So get yourself down there as soon as you can get a booking. You won’t be disappointed. I have to go back to taste some other things on the menu and to re-experience those croquettes and the chocolate tart.
They are also open for brunch on the weekends, which I intend to get to soon.
Smith & Daughters 175 Brunswick St Fitzroy, 3065 (03) 9939 3293 http://www.smithanddaughters.com/