Posts Categorized: Gertrude St

George Orwell’s Moon Under Water versus the real thing


Moon Under Water, George Orwell, Evening Standard, February 1946 George Orwell: My favourite public-house, the Moon Under Water, is only two minutes from a bus stop, but it is on a side-street, and drunks and rowdies never seem to find their way there, even on Saturday nights. Moon Under Water, Andrew McConnell, Gertrude St, July 2012 Tomatom: First, the public house is called the Builders Arms and it is also close to the tram stop on Gertrude St. The entrance to the casualy dumbed down fine dining restaurant The Moon Under Water is just around the corner, barely off Gertrude St, on Gore Street. With a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre up the street opposite Andrew McConnell’s other restaurant Cutler & Co, you are guaranteed a bit of edge on the street, if not a few metres around the corner. Its clientele, though fairly large, consists mostly of “regulars” who occupy the same chair every evening and go there for conversation as much as for the beer. Its regular clientele has swapped from the impoverished and the grungy to cashed-up and smart. The Builders’ Arms restaurant is booked out weeks ahead. At $75 a head for four courses, a regular chair (for the Wednesday to Sunday that it is open) is a dream for most. And with the frequency that the menu changes, gourgeous though the food is, one visit a week is adequate. If you are asked why you favour a particular public-house, it would seem natural to put the beer first, but the thing that most appeals to me about the Moon Under Water is what people call its “atmosphere.” You wouldn’t describe the beer coming first at The Moon Under Water. It’s the delightfully light yet flavoursome food of Andrew McConnell, followed by wine. The atmospehere is white. The interior is starkly white, another design from Projects of The Imagination. The clientelle is white apart from, one black, two Indians and four Asians the night we visited. Can I mention the food again? To begin with, its whole architecture and fittings are uncompromisingly Victorian. It has no glass-topped tables or other modern miseries, and, on the other hand, no sham roof-beams, ingle-nooks or plastic panels masquerading as oak. The grained woodwork, the ornamental mirrors behind the bar, the cast-iron fireplaces, the florid ceiling stained dark yellow by tobacco-smoke, the stuffed bull’s head over the mantelpiece —everything has… Read more »

The Everleigh: ice cool on Gertrude St

For a very hot country, it is remarkable how little care we give our ice. Sure, you can buy large bags of ice pretty much anywhere, but it’s the kind of ice to stick in a bath or an Esky and chill beer and sauvignon blanc; not the kind of stuff to put in a cocktail. A while back the shiny Japanese ice machines at Match Bar were a revelation. And now The Everleigh, which sits atop the old Dante’s on Gertrude St in a space that was the GF’s first art dealer, takes it a step further. What it offers in hand chipped ice, one of the better imports from the US. Hand chipped ice at The Everleigh. Melburnians don’t really care much for imports from Sydney, London New York or anywhere else. We are utterly parochial in that respect yet like to think we are worldwise and trend leading. In this cultural dichotamy I think The Everleigh, a spin-off from Milk and Honey in New York, will do well. It’s sort of hidden behind an unmarked door and on the right street. The drinks have a degree of sophistication and attention to detail and are served in mismatching vintage cut glass, as is the vogue in all the best cocktail bars in town. In my case, a very dirty martini (made with an interesting gin) is always welcome. Between The Everleigh, and the newly opened similarly sophisticated Attic at Black Pearl on Brunswick St, I’m in for a few late nights. A very dirty martin with locally produced Westwinds gin. The Everleigh Lvl 1, 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy Open 5pm to 1am