Tue – Sat: 8am – 9pm
Sun: 8am – 5pm
87-89 Moor St,
Fitzroy VIC 3065
“In the middle of 2015, I was lucky enough to experience the winter offerings to the spin-off of Grub Food Van – Grub Hole. Grub Hole is the answer to when winter appears, offering a warm and cosy environment within the makeshift glass house garden. Surrounded by an open kitchen, mismatch furnishings, warm lighting and odd trinkets; it does distract the mind from the bristling cold. Overall the night was on point in terms of food, ambiance and a pleasant dining experience.
The experience got me thinking of what it would be like during the day. As I frequently pass Grub Food Van and self-note that I must visit ‘one-day’, it was time to deviate from chasing the latest café openings and experience a local favourite.
Grub Food Van started with humble beginnings, when owners Tim Mann and Mark Murphy purchased the block and made a home on the first floor of the Moor Street location. Originally having the idea of growing and selling produce for restaurants and cafes, local council decisions had set them on a path of opening their own café. Starting with a 1965 Airstream from the United States, Grub Food Van has cultivated its own style and atmosphere without falling into the boring and overdone clean and polished look. The space is filled with natural beauty with an array of surrounding flora and fauna growing freely within the large floor space of the make-shift glass house.
The space also provokes a sense of fun and rawness with its minimalist furniture and camouflage post-war netting to block out the sun. Inside is a ping pong table for those Saturday afternoon competitive games with a few beers. But the most striking element is the utilisation of the beaming sunlight that keeps the warehouse incredible warm, cosy and relaxing. Being a Saturday afternoon, people weren’t leaving in any rush; happily getting comfortable within their spot and enjoying a few drinks, food and laughs.
Starting with a strong long black and a Chai Latte for JoJo, food shortly came after. I elected the Potato hash with pickled cucumber, bacon and poached eggs [~$17], while JoJo went for the safe and satisfying Avocado mash served on crème fraiche, pomegranates [~$13] add bacon [$4].
I really appreciated the ‘homely factor’ that went into the dish. There was no unnecessary wait time with complicated plating and nor was the dish trying to be something else; like the decor in Grub Food Van, the honest flavours shone through. The hash had a lovely fluffy texture that allowed for the pickled cucumber to shine with a pleasant hints of a vinegar. Accompanied with bacon and poached eggs to make the dish more ‘brunchy’, this dish is great when simplicity is all you want from your brunch.
JoJo wasn’t in the mood to be all fancy and wooed with the menu options, and she appreciated the wholesome flavours of the thick avocado spread and touches of pomegranate and coriander garnishes. The bacon was a perfect complement to the avocado and was medium cooked – although JoJo preferred perhaps 30 seconds more on the grill.
Grub Food Van proves that there is more than one way operators can successfully enter into the brunch market without copying the competitor down the road. While some might argue that operators should be following the latest trends to ensure it retains regulars, I think that sometimes the latest and newest concept doesn’t necessarily mean its the right direction.”
Final thought: “simplistic and classic brunch options done exceptional well”