One of the greatest things about going to a baseball game in America is that you don’t have to leave your seat if you get hungry. Thanks to vendors tirelessly traversing the stadium grandstands, hot dogs, peanuts and Cracker Jacks are all brought to you: all you need to do is decide what you want, and then sling them some money.
Jock Zonfrillo (chef and owner at Adelaide’s acclaimed Restaurant Orana and Street-ADL) is emulating this practice from the kitchen of Michael Madrusan’s CBD dive-bar, Heartbreaker. At Love Street Diner, staff moves around the bar carrying trays laden with whatever is on the menu. Like at the baseball, all you need to do is decide what you want.
“You’re sitting inside Heartbreaker, you’re having a few drinks and then one of the waiters walks past with a tray. The first thing that happens is you smell the food. Then you see it, and then you can grab it. You pay for it right then and there, and then that’s it. None of this ordering, waiting, whatever. Immediate gratification,” says Zonfrillo.
The menu will change (Zonfrillo is still getting to know the Melbourne market), but there will always be six items, and it will always be designed for people who are “a little bit merry”.
At the moment, there’s crunchy pork scratchings tossed in a jalapeño sauce; the KFP (Kentucky Fried Pork) burger; and the boneless barbeque-pork-rib roll, or “hoagie”. (“When you’re having a few beers, there’s nothing more satisfying than pig and chilli and salt,” says Zonfrillo). There’s also a Reuben, Philly cheesesteak fries and chipotle onion rings.
“Generally when people go out for a drink, they end up leaving to get a kebab or a bowl of ramen or whatever,” says Zonfrillo. “At Love Street Diner, you can go out for a drink and just grab something to eat as it passes you by, without the fuss and rigmarole of ordering and waiting. When food like this just appears in front of your face – it’s fantastic.”