RUE & CO, 80 COLLINS STREET, MELBOURNE
Rue & Co is a pop-up dining destination made up of a collaboration of three restaurants: St Ali, Jimmy Grants and Kong. They sit side by side in amazingly fitted out shipping containers. This set up would be better suited to our lovely Perth climate, but there was no shortage of people on the cold Monday morning that we were there. In fact, as lunchtime struck, people appeared in droves, the slight drizzle not stopping anyone.
I headed straight for Jimmy Grants – George Calombaris’ Fitzroy-based souvlaki joint. The Rue & Co pop up version has a reduced menu featuring their more popular items. we had Mr Papadopoulos – a souva with lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsley. I think “holy shit” was the first thing to come out of my mouth. Fluffy soft pita, juicy flavoursome meat, carb-loaded with chips actually in the souva – the mustard aioli giving it a sharp fresh kick – so good!
The pop-up version of Kong, described as a “Japanese-Korean pit BBQ house,” started serving before the highly anticipated restaurant had even opened its doors in Richmond.
A pair of steamed buns was selected with the added bonus of the option to order one of each variety instead of having two of the same. The first being pulled pork, kewpie, walnut ssamjang and wombok kimchi.
Surprisingly the vegetarian steamed bun won hands down! You can’t go wrong with pulled pork – but peanut butter crusted salt and pepper tofu, spring onion, coriander and burnt chilli mayonnaise took things to a whole new level. The flavours worked so well together, a great combination of heat, freshness and crunch – a highlight for me.
There is a fantastic, very large mural by street artist Rone the entire length of the next door building. A huge female face looking down on the Collins Street scene below.
I could not leave without trying a dish from St Ali. Burgers, bagels and coffee on offer – we squeezed in a Fabiana Wiener – hot dog in a smoked bun with dill pickle relish. Not the most attractive looking of dishes but like everything we had at Rue & Co – it tasted great.
The Rue & Co pop-up will remain at the Collins Street venue for at least six months, construction of a tower is then to commence on the site. So if you live in Melbourne or heading there soon – this place is definitely worth a visit, great food as well as being visually appealing – it is supposed to look magical at night with all the fairy lights sparkling in the trees.
Lunch Monday 30 June 2014