Thursday 15 November 2007

Drinks and hotdogs at Riverland

Vaults 1-9, Federation Wharf (Under Princes Bridge), Melbourne (map)
9662 1771

Tuesday evening was warm and sunny and at about 4pm K had given me a call suggesting we grab a quick drink somewhere in the sunshine after work. Seeing as she was down at Southbank rather than up at Parliament we decided to take a punt on Riverland.


Riverland is located right down on the banks of the river behind Fed Square, opposite the rowing sheds. Last time I went there had been on a Friday night and it had been crawling with skanky brats and suits wearing fake tan, but happily on a Tuesday night the Wanker Quotient was pretty low. The bar is built into the the bluestone vaults that line that side of the Yarra. It was designed by six degrees, the trendy architectural firm that has designed a swag of other bars around town (eg Public House, Phoenix, Pelican, Albert Park Hotel, 3 Below) and has its offices in a vault just downriver.

Riverland, looking east

Outside the bar are some lovely big decking areas with tables, chairs and benches. K and I nabbed a table and we sat in the dappled sunlight, chatting over glasses of pinot. On one of the decks they've set up a nifty BBQ hut and we could smell sausages being cooked. Mentally casting aside home cooking plans for the evening, K & I followed our mouth-watering instincts and got some rather fancy hotdogs!

BBQ at Riverland

They're $7 each, and come with grilled onions and sauerkraut in a viennoise bun. They have four kinds of sausage (no vegetarian ones, sorry Cindy) which all come from Morrison Street Butchers in Wodonga - Lamb, Chilli Bratwurst, Merguez and Duck & Pistachio. They also had an interesting-sounding salad of the day - fennel, fresh peas, mint and goat fromage frais - but alas we just got the hotdogs.

Duck and pistachio hot dog

We got the Duck & Pistachio and the Chilli Bratwurst. At first K thought the duck and pistachio filling sounded like something Kel Knight might have dreamt up, but she then agreed that it was a tasty combination... :)

Riverland, looking west

*** UPDATED 16/11/07 ***

I almost dropped my toast when I opened up the Age EG this morning and saw Clem Bastow's review of Riverland, which used a similar photo to mine, mentions six degrees and also devotes a sizeable chunk of the review to the "food porn" $7 sausages. Thank goodness I wrote and published my post last night, otherwise someone may think I was just lazily copying all of Clem's ideas...

Oh, and while I'm on the topic of the EG, did anyone else laugh when they saw Jim "Air Force One *****, A Fish Called Wanda **, The Castle *" Schembri's review of Elizabeth: The Golden Age? The film has met with near-universal critical thumbs down (Margaret and David criticised the "overblown direction" and felt it was "more bodice-ripper than a penetrating historical drama", the A.V Club felt that it "plays like history written in bits left over from old perfume commercials", and the Movie Show sniggered that Clive Owen clearly had the "smouldometer" turned up to 11), and every other review I've read has agreed that Elizabeth was clearly the superior film.

But of course Jim, ever the fashionable contrarian, praises the more recent one as a "vastly superior sequel to the tepid 1998 telemovie Elizabeth" and calls the casting of Clive Owen "a marvellous piece of sexed-up historical revisionism". Don't think that I don't love me some Clive, but I really wish the Age would get rid of Jim (not that I'm holding my breath - I fear that Jim will cling to that job until he's carried out feet first). I can't stand him. And what I can't stand most about him is that he would LOVE to know that I can't stand him - I expend more energy hating him than loving all the GOOD writers out there! :)


jfox said...

sorry to leave a non-food related comment - but i wanted to add a BIG 'hear hear' to your views on schembri (though, as you so astutely observe- he'd prolly LOVE it - bah!)
i wish e.g would have a bit more phillipa hawker or jake wilson or...any of the others on their roster and a little less of the schem!

then again, you can't really go past margaret and david for an informed movie opinion - national living treasures that they are :D

ps: how funny were margaret and david wearing their green 3D glasses the other night (for the CG flick, beowulf) - priceless!

pps: will have to try one of those fancy sausages, yum!

claire said...

Am absolutely fine with you leaving a non-food related comment! Although I decided to make my blog a food blog, I do sometimes feel the need to write about my other passions in life :)

Yes, boo to schembri and a big HOORAY for Margaret and David! I once dated a guy doing a cinema PhD who interviewed David about the Cannes film festival - he said he was just brilliant. And Margaret is a patron of the Human Rights Film Festival that my friend is organizing this weekend!

I'm sorry I missed them wearing the 3D glasses last week! But if you miss the episode, you can always read their reviews (including their hilarious conversations about the films) online. I like counting how many times Margaret can say "like" and "you know" in a sentence, and I love their chemistry together. Hmmm, possible unresolved sexual tension???!?

Reminds me of a rather cheeky headline that those naughty Chaser guys once had running along the bottom of the screen on CNNN: "David gives Margaret two stars"...