Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food Diaries: The Penny Black

Sundays... they're synonymous with suffering and hangovers, but are also the last day of the glorious weekend where you have to fit in as much enjoyment and relaxation before it's all over and dreaded Monday is here again! 

I have a love-hate relationship with Sundays.  Saturdays are usually hectic busy trying to fit in everything that needs to be done... but on Sunday the weekend rush is over and you can usually kick-back and relax.  However it also means that Monday is lurking just around the corner, and it will be over all too soon! If nothing else though, it is a good day to enjoy a nice greasy hangover breakfast, or if you've been well-behaved the night before then a gorgeous leisurely brunch.

We decided The Penny Black was our Sunday option for brunch.  We initially were craving the traditional egg and bacon fare, but The Penny Black menu drew us in and we decided to get a few items from to share.  The day was overcast but the weather was quite mild so we decided to sit out in the beer garden.  Disappointingly there was a large marquee set up, so it was just like being inside.  Necessary I suppose, because of all the rain Melbourne has been seeing lately - but it would have been nice to be able to sit in the open air.

It was fairly isolated when we first arrived around midday, but it filled up rapidly and many of the tables were booked for parties.  As two of the main tables had been booked already, there were patrons trying to re-arrange the existing tables to accommodate their needs and the staff were very helpful.  

We placed our order at the bar, then pottered outside to sit back and wait for our food to arrive.  I decided to try the new Bulmers blackcurrant cider, which was nice, but I far prefer the Rekorderlig Apple & Blackcurrant if we're comparing!

 Salami Pizza [$7.90]                                                             Penny's Spicy Fried Chicken
                                                                                         w/ house made BBQ sauce [$7.90]

The fried chicken came out piping hot temperature-wise, but there was no trace of "spicy" as the name lead to believe.  You can tell it had been served fresh out of the fryer, and was nice and moist on the inside but every single bite oozed with oil.

The rest of the food must have been sitting around for a little while and as a result was soggy.  The thin-base pizza had a nice spicy kick to it and went down well with a beer, but would have been improved vastly if it were slightly crispier. 

 Sweet Corn Fritters                                         Sweet Potato Chips
           w/ spicy green salsa [$5.90]                        w/cinnamon yoghurt dipping sauce [$5.90]

The sweet potato chips were fluffy paired well with the cinnamon yoghurt but did not retain any crunch.

The corn fritters were not what I expected at all.  What I had envisaged when I read the menu were the floury cakes filled with bursty little kernels, but what greeted me instead were balls of batter surrounding the pieces of corn.  This was a very blokey kind of dish, and with a little less oil content could have been the perfect (albeit unhealthy!) beer snack.  As it was, I was glad I had my cider to wash down the oil.

One thing all these dishes had in common was the oil factor.  Everything was tasty, but by the end of the meal I had a layer of grease coating my fingers and lips, and a pile of napkins in front of me that were translucent from the grease!

Whilst The Penny Black is great place to come for a few drinks, whether it be pre-drinks before a night out or a good day time session, I am not sold on the food yet.  I am keen to come back and try their shredded chipotle beef tacos [$8.90] or to give their 100% Wagyu beef burger [$17.90] a go before I make up my mind.

I will definitely keep The Penny Black in mind as a destination for Sunday afternoon drinks this summer though!

The Penny Black on Urbanspoon


  1. drooooool! I love corn fritters!

  2. Loves this game. Hes been playing the free version and has begged for the upgrade. It is a great game that even i enjoy