There seems to be some sort of facelift happening to the Gertrude Street end of Smith Street with new additions cropping up all over the place. The most recent is a casual dining space called Huxtable. This is a day into night diner serving breakfast (weekends only), lunch, dinner or just a drink.

Previously it had been a fast-food outlet below the Copacobana, and the space seems familiar but the décor and product have changed dramatically, and for the best.

The food is casual and bar-like, with most dishes designed to be shared in categories of Sea, Land and Earth. The menu is made up of inventive dishes with interesting flavours, like steak tartare with a boiled egg in the middle, spicy pork ribs and fried banana with coconut ice-cream for desert. And if you sit up at the bar you can watch it all being prepared efficiently in front of you from the open kitchen, tempting you with additional orders.

The interior fit out at Huxtable feels elegant with the simplicity of brick surfaces and wood panelling and not many more than a handful of tables with swiveling leather chairs in the centre of the small shallow dining room, with full view into the restaurant from the street.

There is also a large, and well-arranged, perhaps New Zealand swayed wine list. This might have something to do with the team behind this new Fitzroy eatery, which turns it is actually named after Dr Heathcliff’s family in The Cosby Show.

131 Smith Street, Fitzroy

Tue-Sun noon-late
Sat-Sun 9am-late