Recently some friends and I were chatting about names – in particular, unisex names. “Yeah, like Courtney,” said Stank. Cue giggles from D and me, and arguments from Stank that Courtney is, in fact, a manly man’s name.
Well, my point is that names can throw you off sometimes. Like Iceworks, at Milton. ‘Cool restaurant and bar’ does not exactly come to mind when you heard the word ‘Iceworks’, does it? And yes, I know it’s where the old iceworks used to be, hence the title.
GG and I ate in the restaurant, although there is a cheaper bar menu too. I really liked the menu at Iceworks, and had a hard time deciding what to get. A lot of the starters sounded delicious (like the Pumpkin Salad with feta, avocado, spinach, cashews, green olive relish and pomegranate dressing, $18), but GG told me they were small serves. And, of course, there would be the problem of too much food if I ordered a starter and a main. Just call me Goldilocks. I need a meal size to be juuuuust right.
In the end I went for the Roast pumpkin with confit onion, garlic, rosemary and pecorino cheese pizza ($17), and GG got the Lasagne of Braised Beef Cheeks with rocket and cherry tomato salad ($22). The little minx also got a Mojito ($15), which she proclaimed satisfactory.
I was a little more subdued and got a glass of the Innocent Bystanders Pinot Gris, from the Yarra Valley ($9). It was hard to pick something from the wine list, mainly because the whites were a little on the small side. There were about double the amount of reds on there. The good news is that the beer menu is quite impressive – I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Beer Lao on there. Iceworks is the only place outside of Asia I have ever seen Beer Lao. Amazing.
We got turkish bread ($10) to start. It was a generous serve of bread, and the large wedges were warmed and very tasty. It was, however, served with one dip. The tomato-based dip tasted a lot like spaghetti sauce sans meat. Weird. I would have loved a hommus or something like that.
My pizza was huge. The crust on it was perfect – thin, crispy, and chewy. It actually reminded me a bit of pita bread. It was great in that it didn’t weigh you down, even though it was so big (ok maybe I’m trying to justify eating so much of it). The toppings were simple but worked together well. I also loved the fact that it wasn’t drowning in cheese – really, just a small amount to hold everything together is all you need, unless you’re hungover. I felt the only thing missing was more herbs, or another sweet flavour to complement the pumpkin – fetta, or spanish onion perhaps.
The lasagna had been baked in its own little dish. It was very tasty; the beef cheeks definitely added a new twist and bulked up the dish in my opinion. Just quietly – does ‘beef cheeks’ crack anybody else up? It sounds like the name of a Cow Porn mag.
The service was up and down on our visit. The timing was perfect, and dishes were brought out with an excellent space in between, but it took a loooong time for the bill to be collected. I also didn’t get asked if I wanted another drink, even though GG got a second one…small things I know but they make a difference.
Iceworks is probably one of those places you pass by a lot and make a mental note to go, but never actually do. It’s worth a visit: the pizzas are excellent value, the ambience is chic and comfortable, plus the location is handily at the crossroads of Milton, Paddington, and Petrie Terrace. I’ve gotten over the name thing and will probably return in the future.
And if your name is Courtney, and if you’re a dude, I apologise.
Restaurant and Bar
Corner of Given Tce and Dowse Street
07 3367 9800