Backstreet is a new corner bistro by Tim Tehan, who brought us Gertrude Street eatery Birdman Eating. But far from having the new-kid-on-the-block wobbles, this sophisticated new player possesses an assured ambience with a slick interior designed by young architect Georgia Nowak.
Currently serving breakfast and lunch while awaiting their liquor license, Backstreet offers an all-day diner and food store for take-home goods.
With a drying room downstairs, the menu features an assortment of house-cured meats like bresaola (air-dried beef) and kassler (cured pork). There are nods to the Middle East (pomegranate tabouleh), Spain (morcilla terrine) and Italy (heirloom tomatoes with fiore di burrata). Other favourites include the Golden Muffin, presumably named in honour of the similar snack made famous by the ‘Golden Arches’. Backstreet’s version – with a generous slab of sausage, sweet house-made tomato sauce, a fried egg and melted scamorza (a smoky mozzarella) – is heaven between two buns, so to speak.
With plans to extend the opening hours very soon, Tehan is itching to expand on the currently daytime menu to include evening dishes such as house-cured cold cuts with pickled tomato, soft polenta with lardo, and a selection of dry-aged cuts of beef – think Rib eye, T-bone and porterhouse. Beef is sourced from the Coldstream Cattle Company (Yarra Valley) and porky pieces come from McIvor Farms, where Belinda and Jason Hagan breed free-range Berkshire pigs.
There are also plans to hold butchery and Thermomix classes in their deli-like space, which sells house-pickled cherries, mustard fruits, house-made preserves and chutneys, duck prosciutto and a range of cold cuts. There will also be take-home meals, like lasagne in a ceramic dish (return the dish or lose your deposit!).
Tehan has got his mind on pleasing the locals with the downstairs dining room/deli, calling it a “miniature version of Thomas Dux…with really beautiful produce.” And with this cafe-cum-deli sitting on the ground floor of a brand new set of apartments, there’s no doubt this Backstreet is going to be busy.
152 Kerr St, Fitzroy
Mon- Fri 7am–5pm
Sat & Sun 8am–5pm
(opening hours will extend to 10.30pm when liquor licence is granted)