Taking over the structure and outdoor space that was formerly bistro James Barnes 4143, the new licensed lunch and dinner venue now joins the busy café, gardens, farmyard, weekend markets and outdoor barbeque offerings of The Grounds.
|The menu at The Potting Shed, Bourke Road, Alexandria|
Gardening tools make for cute props and accents throughout the venue: from the mini trowel holding the clipboard menu, to those on the beer taps, and repurposed mini hoes as table numbers.
The fitout provides the same sense of wonder that the kids get out of The Grounds, just with a liquor license and fewer munchkins and animals running about.
|Outdoor garden seating|
|(Large) Steamed black mussels with tomato sofrito and chorizo, roast garlic bread|
The garlic bread for mopping up sauce took me right back to the days of Pizza Hut's foil-wrapped, delivered numbers: soft white bread soaked in butter.
|Roasted baby beets, watercress, radicchio, hazelnuts, pickled golden shallots, goats cheese cigars and apple balsamic|
The piece de resistance of the salad were the goat's cheese cigars of crisp pastry cylinders filled with airy, creamy goat's cheese in a heavenly match with the baby beets.
|David Blackmore full-blooded wagyu cheeseburger with chips|
The roughly minced wagyu beef patty was served closer to rare than medium-rare and had an unexpected amount of chewy, inedible bits while the white, poppy seed-topped bun was thoroughly uninteresting, detracting from the whole experience - dill pickles, mustard seed onions, tomato chilli jam, lettuce and all. At least the chips were great.
|Slow cooked grain-fed Angus short rib with sweet & sour glaze, spiced eggplant and garlic chips|
The Potting Shed, like its older sibling next door, knows exactly what it is, what it's offering and who it's making that offering to. A well-considered addition to the barely-existent nighttime offerings in Alexandria, it will likely grow and improve like The Grounds has over time, and I'm happy to potter about in the meantime.