I love Melbourne for all the little alleyways hiding amazing locations. All it takes to find them is a little exploring or knowing someone who knows where to go. A friend took me to Gil’s Diner, a little place located just off a side street off Collins Street. I’d walked past there during the day, discounting it as a little cafe without much going on at night. Boy was I wrong. Instead, it was quite the opposite with tables filling up quickly until the whole restaurant was full.
Their menu changes daily I assume because its written up on a chalk board. Unfortunately we were sitting on a side wall where it was very difficult to see the menu. Our waiter recited a very impressive specials list including almost all ingredients that went into each of the dishes. After doing some reading, it looks like these guys are champions of local produce and good on them for that. This not only means in season ingredients with low travel but the food is going to taste all the better for it.
picture of RobustProter
They have a decent selection of wine and beer including many beers from local breweries. This one was a Robust Porter, a dark, chocolatey beer. Delicious!
We started with a little bit of bruschetta – not that it was any particular type. This was no ordinary one including some mushrooms, parmesan and roasted zucchini served on a sour dough bread.
The main course, I went the cassoulet, a white bean stew including three types of meat – a home made Toulouse sausage, a pork belly dish, and some other meat that I don’t remember. The pork belly was a little bit tougher than it really should have been although the soft texture of the sausage really made up for that.
Almost full, I still decided to go for their dessert – figuring I won’t be back here for a while. I’m really glad that I did as well. I went for the steamed orange pudding with yogurt ice cream. The perfect tart coldness provided that stark contrast to the sweet, steaming cake moist with orange flavours. It was just the right size as well.
Service was great throughout the evening. Some of the tables were communal but they don’t try to pack you right next to each other. We had a huge lamp providing us with plenty of privacy for our conversations. Their semi-open kitchen was also great to look at. This place also seemed to have no problems seating solo diners as I noticed when we first go there and when we left.
Name: Gil’s Diner
Found at: Gills Al (Off Little Collins St) (rear of 360 Little Collins St), Melbourne 3000 VIC, Australia
Website: (none that I could find)