For a special occasion Mr B sought out some tips from his workmates and booked us in at Josie Bones, in Smith Street Collingwood.
Josie is the brainchild of Chris and Julia who met on Masterchef, hooked up and opened a restaurant focused around Chris’s good meat and good beer philosophy – that’s probably not how he phrases it, but essentially the whole restaurant is an homage to meat and beer. Vegetarians aren’t going to have a wonderful time here at all.
That being said, I doubt Mr Behemoth knew anything about all that backstory when he booked it!
The place is moodily lit with the option to sit at tables or at the bar. Although Mr B booked, we ended up being seated at the bar, which as tall people we hate because our legs bang into the bar, we have nowhere to hang our coats/handbags etc, you name it. So, a little underwhelmed with our booking, however it was actually a bit of a star spotting experience because Julia ended up serving us, but we pretended like we didn’t know who she was. Act cool. Act cool.
The menu is a fairly succinct one pager designed around sharing small plates, and to start us off we ordered the fries with thyme and prosciutto salt and chipotle aioli ($9). Well, there’s not much you can go wrong with there, although I found it hard to detect any hint of the flavoured salt (other than the sodium component). Crispy fries and creamy aioli. Yum.
We got a vegetable dish (I know I just said there was nothing on the menu for vegetarians; I lied) of beetroot carpaccio with haloumi (not much), smoked almonds and beetroot stems. There wasn’t a lot to it on the plate, but it was a welcome counterpoint to some of the heavier dishes we had. Quite severely overpriced at $15, though, I thought.
Our meaty dishes came next and in an adventurous order for us, we’d chosen Mountain Goat-braised goat (beer and meat, tick tick) with goats cheese, pomegranate and mint. This was very good, slow cooked, tender and I am such a sucker for those red jewels of pomegranate seeds (or arils if we’re being precise).
We also ordered a rich slow cooked pork belly dish nestling on a bed of red cabbage and ‘sherry vinegar’ apples which was very unctuous due to all that fat from the pork belly. The only downside to the slow cooking process is that you don’t really get the crisp crackling you do from a roast,
In a major departure from tradition Mr Behemoth said ‘let’s order dessert’ and we ordered the pear tarte tatin, which was absolutely fantastic, sticky and crispy and came with a scoop of calvados ice cream. We loved dessert. It’s probably what tipped us over the edge from semi underwhelmed to “yes we’ve had a great night”. It was that good.
I can’t leave this review without giving you a cheeky snapshot of the eerily creepy naked pig that adorns an entire wall of Josie Bones.
Now, just a final heads up that our visit was some time ago because I’m a terrible blogger, so some menu items may have changed since time of visit. I like what they’re trying to do at Josie Bones, and I’d recommend checking it out for yourselves. I also note there are theme nights on on a regular occasion, and they might well be worth checking out too.