The best of British – The Two Badgers on Barkly

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Reviewed by Henry Shires

In all my days, including those as the Promotional Manager for the Notting Hill Restaurant Association working alongside the likes of a very young Jamie Oliver, I have not had the pleasure and privilege to dine in a more undiscovered British gourmet gem.

At 192 Barkly Street, where the “Old Green Irish” Guinness’n’leprechauns pub used to be you now have two beautiful and very bright hibernating culinary British Badgers by the names of Michael and Vicky who are resurrecting (with the inevitable “twist” of modernity of course) some amazing British food traditions including Blackened Pigs Head and Posset (separately – not together – that would be just weird!).

Well to be absolutely truthful the Pigs Head isn’t actually blackened…yet. But by the time you get there it probably will be. And even at the moment, it is served, as tender as butter.

Photo by Louise Avery (4)It’s a veritable feast for vegetarians: The vego Sautéed Mushrooms, Butternut Squash and Meredith Chevre Goat’s Cheese Fritter (see photograph) is too kill for (if you were not a vegetarian of course)!

It’s fabulous for fish eaters: Ocean fresh Grilled Scallops with Almond Butter, Hot Smoked Salmon Mousse with Roaster Beetroot, Hazelnuts and Beetroot Glaze. Unless you have no tastebuds who could you note fall in love with the dish. It’s British, so meat is king (or should that be Queen?): 250g Black-as-a-Scottish-Highlands-night Angus Sirloin Steak, Braised Shallots (He knows his onions does Michael David Clay – the one man manager/chef). And, to top it all, the aforementioned Crispy Pig’s Head (basically sublime state of the art “pulled pork”) with Homemade Piccalilli.

Yes you even get your just desserts. In-season Fruit Crumble with Hazelnuts and “Propa” Custard only just beaten to the pudding post by Lemon Posset. Oh Posset, how shalt I describe the? I know. One part lemon cream, one part grapefruit granita (crushed ice) and one part grapefruit jelly. And, hello, as if that weren’t enough two homemade shortcake biscuits on the side!!!

And finally why whine when you can drink the same as good and as value for money as that offered by this wonderful British couple, Michael and Victoria – a veritable Becks and Posh of English Nosh. For instance the French Paul Mas Chardonnay at only $25 a bottle would be amazing value in a bottle shop, let alone in a restaurant.

Like Dr Who’s Tardis it don’t look like much on the outside but boy when you get to the menu. Be the first hipster on your block to “discover” the genuinely very BEST OF BRITISH!!!

Unless there is some serious ailment preventing you from getting out of bed, you should go to The Two Badgers, today.

They even play back to back Northern Soul records!

Honest Guv’ner.

192 Barkly Street

Saint Kilda

(03) 9534 2909


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