Young Bloods Diner Fitzroy is a new venture by brothers Adam and Christian Ferrante, owners of the Roe Street Artists Market next door. The venue appears small from the street but don’t be fooled. Apart from the obvious inside space there’s seating out the back and a generously sized roof top bar.
I am a big fan of March Studio’s award winning interior design of Carlton bakery “Baker D. Chirico”, so my curiosity was instantly piqued when I heard they had designed the interiors of Young Bloods Diner. The design is modern and industrial and manages to feels fresh and modern but never clinical or cold.
Moving on to the food, I must admit that I had some concerns when I heard that the aim of Young Bloods Diner was to serve all day breakfast and lunch “taking a different approach without being pretentious”. Often places that state that they aren’t pretentious end up being so – especially in this part of town. Thankfully my fears were unfounded and I found the food that head chef Sascha Radall (formerly of The Builders’ Arms Hotel, The Albert Park Hotel and PM24 amongst others) dishes up to be simple and fresh, with interesting touches here and there to make each dish just that bit different.
There’s a definite English flavour to the menu with black pudding, HP sauce, curried rice and porridge amongst other things all making appearances.
Coffee is roasted in house, and the choice of either the house blend ($3 whichever way you want) or single origin ($4 whichever way you want) is offered. The coffee was made just right and the blend tasted really nice.
Chicken Pot Pie ($16.00)
My dad ordered the chicken pot pie and was surprised to find an English style pie with a crust lid but no “bottom”. My dad is very traditional and no-nonsense when it comes to the food that he likes to eat, and once he got over the novelty of having a pie without a bottom crust, he got down to the business of eating it and was very impressed. I had a bite and enjoyed it.
“Breakfast Salad” Black Pudding, Tomato, Potato Croutons, Soft Egg and Lettuce ($17.00)
My brother ordered the breakfast salad and really enjoyed it. I tried some and agreed that it was great. The black pudding especially stood out.
Devilled Eggs With Bread & Butter Pickles ($9.00)
I never used to be a fan of devilled eggs but this past year I’ve really taken a liking to them. My favourite are the ones from Rockwell & Sons in Collingwood. The Young Bloods Diner version was nice and very tast, but the filling could be a bit fluffier as it was quite heavy. The pickles were very tasty.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Confit Ocean Trout and Hazelnut ($15.00)
The Roasted Cauliflower Salad was my dish and I really enjoyed it. The textures of all the ingredients worked well together and the flavour of the confit ocean trout went really well with the hazelnuts and roasted flavour of the cauliflower.
I visited a few weeks after the above visit and tried some more things with some friends but didn’t take my camera with me. I ordered the Linguine with clams and bacon which was very tasty and quite light. All of my friends ordered different things and they were all impressed with their food.
Upstairs is the open rooftop bar which seats 50 and offers a similarly industrial design to the inside for those who want to watch the world go by over the Artists Market downstairs. A decent, focused selection of wines and local craft beers available both inside and upstairs.
Overall, I really liked Young Bloods Diner and have already been back a second time. The vie is unpretentious, and you’re just as likely to see the artistic crowd hooked into the WiFi while sipping on a coffee as you are a family gathering for lunch. The service is also completely unpretentious, with the staff being very cheerful, with a genuine desire to make sure you’re having a good time.
What also really stood out for me was the fact that the staff seemed to want to know what people genuinely though about their meal and experience. It’s nice to see a new venue being proactive in trying to gauge from its customers what it is and isn’t doing right in order to help tweak things it its early days.
Young Bloods Diner is still a place that’s finding its feet, however if the foundations that it has set are anything to go by, I can see it becoming a stable in the Fitzroy cafe scene.
Young Bloods Diner
60 Rose Street
Telephone: (03) 9419 3864
Wed – Sun: 7:00am to 5:00pm