Heading to the beachside suburbs of Melbourne is now a day-trip for NKOTB and I. But not only is it geographically distant, malady it’s almost a foreign land compared to my local hood (which centers around the Un-Safeway of Smith Street). This is a land where fake boobs bob perkily above skinny soy decaf lattes, sildenafil where women aim to emulate the look of cinnamon sticks and no one has anything but swishy layered hair. I didn’t even notice the men, mind I was so astounded by these exotic birds of Brighton.
The Pantrysits in the heart of Church Street and it’s the perfect place for the Brighton set – sleek, shiny and white. The menu contains standards-with-a-twist with a wee Brighton-price premium and our meals were healthy, delicious and nicely presented.
I had seared yellow fin tuna with diced tomato and an outstanding salad of finely shredded cabbage, dill and parmesan shavings ($24) – the salad definitely outshined the rather tasteless cubes of fish.
J had an omelette of mushrooms, spinach and ricotta with a tomato and basil salsa ($17.50) and L ordered the open chicken sandwich with avocado, mayonnaise, honey seeded mustard – and a quarter head of lettuce ($17). Both dishes looked quite nice and drew neither criticisms or accolades.
L has been eating at Pantry since she was a teenager and I can see why it’s sustained business for the last 16 years. It’s a winning formula – good solid food + relaxed surroundings + friendly service. For parents there are highchairs, a kids menu and crayons and paper for keeping little people entertained. There is no change table but the disabled toilet means you can sneak inside to do the necessary cleaning up.
I wouldn’t cross town for The Pantry, but it’s a nice place to hang out on the weekend if you’re in the area.