One Dualit toaster. Loved by owner. Despised by girlfriend.


The answer to whether one should love or hate the Dualit toaster is a debate about toast. Are you the kind of person that wants light brown and, in my view, limp toast? Or do you want dark browned, crisp toast – the kind of toast your maiden aunt told you put curls on your head?

Are you a food pornographer from the 1990s? Or a locavore and a minimalist?

I guess I’m all of the above. To me there’s nothing like the crunch of well done toast to keep the teeth and gums healthy and to keep the smoke alarm alert.

Pretty soon after the Dualit arriving at my place, courtesy of some online shopping arbitrage to avoid the local retailer rort, the batteries were ripped out the smoke alarm.

Toast was dark brown to black. The ceiling was stained. But who cared? I had a design classic in my kitchen.

It was a bit like having a Phillippe Stark Juicy Salif orange juice squeezer, you know – the one that drizzles juice everywhere around and including the vessel in which you have positioning underneath it.

The Dualit isn’t quite as useless at the Phillippe, though a moment of lost concentration and the contents are up in smoke.

Everything about the Dualit symbolised a new life in Collingwood. It wasn’t quite style over substance, but certainly looked in place in my monochrome apartment, a whole floor of a small ‘d’ grade office on disfunctional and temperamental Smith Street.

And now, having moved back south to the bright side, I’m parting with a design classic on ebay.

I’m being forced to swap to something with a microchip, which still can burn toast, rather than something operating with a simple electromechanical timer and lever mechanism.

The Dualit is a beautiful object, a design classic dating back to the 1950s.

It is easy to repair and will last beyond most lifetimes.

So go on, throw caution and perfect light brown toast to the wind and bid for this used and loved machine. And bring a bit of food porn into your life.

PS: If you check out my other ebay listings I have replica Arne Jacobson table and Eames dining chairs for sale too plus a Whirlpool fridge and more.

The essence of Saint Crispin on Smith St

Scott Pickett at the pass at St Crispins Smith St

A fish dish was the essence of a rockpool. The pullet egg with truffles and mushrooms like a forest floor.
It was the evening before opening at Saint Crispin. And the restaurant was already hitting its stride. Chefs Scott Pickett of The Estelle and Joe Grbac, formerly of The Press Club, were working with the kind of seasoned intensity you only find in the world’s best kitchens.

king salmon St Crispin smith

Rewind 5 years. Smith Street was all but a culinary wasteland being colonised by The Panama Dining Room and Cavellero, both fresh and casual takes on drink and food. They were the precursors to Gorski & Jones, Hell of the North, Huxtable, Easy Tiger and the soon to come Lee Ho Fook.

Flinders Island lamb, nettles, radish tops and slippery jacks

Back in 2008 Scott Pickett , fresh from The Square in London, was at The Point in Albert Park before leaving to open The Estelle in High St Northcote. What was Albert Park’s loss was a huge gain for Northcote.

It’s with no joy I’ve followed the slide of the two businesses that broke ground in Smith St. The once shoulder-to-shoulder packed Panama has had its wings clipped by liquor licensing reducing its hours and patron numbers. Cavellero, despite a reasonably priced list of decent booze, slipped in the face of new competition, a food offering that required work and service that mostly was hipster.

What St Crispin offers is a similar idea to The Estelle, high end food that isn’t easily defined by continent or style in a casual and reasonably priced space where two courses cost $50 and three $60 – for now at least.

So back to the food, a pared back menu of 4 of each course and 3 sides.

Pullet egg, mushrooms, parmesan, goats curd and black rice shaved with truffle was what evoked earthiness and forest floor (with $25 worth of truffle). King salmon, shaved calamari, oysters, squid ink and saffron was the essence of rockpool.

Our mains were Flinders Island lamb, nettles, radish tops and slippery jacks; and Veal cheek, hand rolled macaroni, miso eggplant and almonds. Desserts: Chocolate, earl grey, milk and ginger; and, poached rhubarb, burnt custard and blood orange.

The old Cavellero kitchen has been upgraded. The booths have been replaced by simple yet stylish banquets as remarkable comparison to the similar Gorski & Jones space next door but one.

Like with The Estelle in Northcote, Saint Crispin is a huige gain Smith Street Collingwood. I at least like having Scott Pickett on my doorstep and will be back very soon.

 Chocolate, earl grey, milk and ginger Saint Crispin on Urbanspoon