Proper & Son
Time Out says
This little piggy went to market, and found proper good food at this bright carvery café
So, you could stomp around South Melbourne Market, haggling for your five-dailies, or you could sit down at Shop 13-14 in the food hall and sink your teeth into a juicy Proper & Son roast roll instead.
Opt for the signature brisket roll. A brioche bun stuffed generously with meltingly soft Wagyu brisket. Mustard mayo, radish, red cabbage, red sorrel, white onion and a side of pickles counteract the meat's richness. This is not a pretty thing to eat: bits and bobs will fall from the bun and brisket juice will spill onto the steel plate – embrace that.
Salty fare calls for a long glass of refreshment. Try one of the house-made sodas: petal-pink rosehip and mint, whose tart sweetness is as delicate as fruit tea, or the zingy orange-and-rosemary number. Orange pulp, soda water and a giant rosemary sprig add up to something surprising – a hyper-orange flavour that’s as tropical as pineapple.
There’s a daily changing array of salads, too. Irish chef and owner Eugene Lavery – previously at beachside bistro Cafeteria in Black Rock, Lynch's Restaurant (now Entrecôte) in South Yarra and the glitzy Ivy in London – takes his cues from what's available from the market stalls each morning.
Quail, lentil and grape salad is served on a white and blue enamel plate. Little hits of acidity come via shards of sweet, fruity fennel as sharp as pickled apple, and tiny cubes of diced carrot, dressed in red-wine vinegar. This is a brilliant autumn dish, from its earthy brown, purple and green colour scheme to its perfect balance of gamey, sweet and sour flavours. Our one complaint: the roast quail is a tad dry.
In contrast to the neighbouring gaudy market stalls, the café space and its open kitchen are styled with bleached wood and dazzling white walls. It’s a fuss-free backdrop for Eugene’s colourful, flavoursome food – on offer at equally tasty market prices. Proper brilliant.
Shop 13 & 14
322-326 Coventry St
|Opening hours:||Wed, Sat & Sun 8am-4pm; Fri 8am-5pm|