I eat I drink I work @ The City Wine Shop

9/06/2008 08:59:00 PM

City Wine Shop
159 Spring Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654-5377

I met up with the guys from I eat I drink I work this afternoon for some drinks and nibbles at The City Wine Shop on Spring Street. I'd never been there before, but it is right next to the super-cool Supper Club, and owned by the same enterprising people.

The City Wine Shop is part wine shop (you don't say!), part wine bar. When you enter, the left wall of the narrow space is full of wine bottles, whilst the bar sits on the right hand side. In the back room there is a long communal table, which is where we sat. From memory, the dishes for sharing are priced around $8~$15, and there's a range of larger dishes for around $18~$30. I'm not very knowledgeable about wines generally, but it seems that the cool kids these days are drinking viognier.

There were about 8 of us, and Cam ordered a few different small dishes for us to share. First picture up top is of some fried whitebait, served with lemon and (I think) mayonnaise. I can't quite remember all the details of the dishes; would Jackie, Agnes, Duncan or Claire be able to fill in the gaps?

Almonds and olives

Pork Rillette with cornichons and bread - some toasted, some fresh. (As Duncan noted, it wasn't echtes deutsches Brot, but it went well with the rillette). I enjoyed all the dishes, but I think the rillette was the highlight.

Paté and caramelised onions

Selection of cured meats

Mmm... Cappuccino

I don't tend to do the wine bar thing very much (I know, deeply unfashionable of me), but after today, I'm wondering why not. Small plates of well thought-out food at decent prices, relaxed atmosphere, extensive wine lists... all boxes ticked! I love being able to try a range of different things without weighing yourself down under a huge quantity of food. The last times I remember going to wine bars were to Enoteca del Corso in Rome in '06, and later that year to Walter's Wine Bar. Incidentally, that was the last time I had whitebait. Needless to say I've missed the trendy new wave of Melbourne eating houses/wine bars, classified by The Age's Good Food Guide under the new 'Bacchus' category, but now I've got a long list of places to visit. Maedaya, St Jude's, Cumulus Inc., Movida Next Door, etc...

'Bacchus', by the way, is not just a wanky label, but also the ancient Roman God of wine and intoxication. Like Hedonism-Bot on Futurama. Hedonism-Bot rocks!

Thanks to Duncan and Cam for organising today's event!

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  1. Ooh sounds like a very sophisticated meal, I love the look of that whitebait :)

  2. I love whitebait! You know, I'm tempted to "invest" in a deep fryer and make whitebait a la Nigella Bites...

    xox Sarah

  3. Hi Sarah - don't have much to add to your food comments (it was all pretty tasty), but from memory the sauce with the whitebait was more like a tartare sauce than a mayo...? I think I liked the pâté even more than the pork rillette - I want to go back and have it again sometime soon.
    Good to see you again!
    xo claire

    ps And while Bacchus is indeed the name of the Roman god of wine, I think we're in agreement that use of the word in this year's AGFG is nonetheless totally wanky, yes? ;-)



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.