MELBOURNE | Mr Griffiths popped up Kensington a few weeks ago without much fanfare. In fact the only reason we knew about it was because a week before their soft opening someone had thrown a brick at their window and the photo appeared on our feed. Wondering what this mysterious new place was, we did a bit more research and couldn’t find out much more other than the fact that there would be craft beer, burgers, and real poutine. That’s right real poutine, cheese curds, thin gravy (the way it’s supposed to be) and all. We knew we had to visit.
The man behind Mr Griffiths is Davydd Griffiths, a craft beer lover best known for transforming the beer list at the Flemington & Kensington Bowls Club into a very respectable craft beer one. On the taps at Mr Griffiths are three rotating craft beers, and in the fridges are a variety of interesting local and international bottles from breweries like Brew Dog, Tuatara and Moon Dog.
Food wise it’s the aforementioned burgers and poutine, with part-owner and chef Rob Auger taking care of the kitchen. The space is simple and casual, with an already bustling yet relaxed local’s vibe. Downstairs has a bit of a feel of a pub meets cafe while upstairs contains a second bar and is more of a dining room.
The burgers are tasty, not best in Melbourne level but perfectly acceptable and satisfying. Our favourite is the ‘G Club” with buttermilk fried chicken, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and ranch sauce. There’s also an ever changing “No You Didn’t” burger – ask the staff to tell you what the creation is on any given day. The poutine is tasty – the cheese curds are locally sourced and plentiful, however we recommend going for one of the jazzed up versions rather than the plain which tastes, well a bit plain. The Tabarnak features jalapeños, sriracha, buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, while the Louisville is topped with buttermilk fried chicken and Frank’s red hot sauce. Keep in mind that the gravy is thin – in Australia we’re used to ‘poutine’ being served with thick gravy but the poutine here is more in line with the real stuff you get in Canada.
We visited Mr Griffiths during their soft opening, after they’d only been open for three days, so things are likely to be tweaked as the weeks roll by. There were a lot more hits than misses when we visited, with any issues we experienced being typical of a place that’s just opened. We’re confident, given the attitude of the staff and the plan that Griffiths and Auger have for the venue, that Mr Griffiths will only improve over time.
524 Macaulay Road
Telephone: 0439 304 802
Mon – Sat: 12:00pm to 1:00am
Sun: 12:00pm to 11:00pm