Two Bros On Blyth at Altona has morphed from agreeable neighbourhood cafe into something much grander.
A second storey has been added, a much larger downstairs kitchen installed.
Two Bros On Blyth
- Address: 51a Blyth Street, Altona
- Phone: 9398 8882
There are two menus in place – breakfast/lunch and dinner – and a good deal of thought and creativity has been put into both.
Lunch runs to such attractive options as smoky spice rub chicken wings with bourbon BBQ sauce ($15 for half a kilo, $24 for a kilo), pulled pork and beef melts ($15), and Reuben and Cubano sandwiches ($16).
But we’re here for dinner … the upstairs dining room is not ostentatious, its hanging greenery and roomy feel makes a pleasant, tranquil space to dine.
The only downside we find is that our table is too small for the multiple dishes we order, and which arrive simultaneously.
We order one entree, two sides, one of the big sharing-for-two mains, and a dessert.
With a couple of non-booze drinks and a coffee included, the bill comes to a few bucks over $100, which I consider good value.
The service is fine.
Lamb ribs ($16) are excellent, and much more meaty than other versions I’ve eaten recently.
The impact of the salsa verde is negligible, but the mild, tasty chilli concoction also included fully compensates, and the cumin seasoning on the meat itself is ace.
Hand-cut chips ($7) are good, though there is only the scantest trace of the listed “togarashi salt” seasoning. But I love the subtle pungency of the wasabi aioli. Broccolini with toasted almonds and preserved lemon butter ($7) takes care of the veg.
The dinner menu features three big, meaty share dishes – for two, the pork shoulder and brisket; for three or four, the whole braised lamb shoulder. Our pork shoulder with chipotle adobo and coriander sports a heavy layer of fat – which I like a lot.
The tender meat and its marinade/sauce have a beguiling fruitiness and make a nice change from some of the drab pulled pork offerings that have come my way in recent years.
One of our trio grumbles a bit about the $48 price tag, but I figure that this dish is listed as a share deal for two, and that $24 per person in that context is fine.
Chocolate brownie ice-cream sandwich with hot fudge sauce ($12), looks a bit messy on the plate – and gets much messier very quickly.
There’s no denying the intense pleasure to be had from the brownie’s crunch, the black-flecked vanilla ice-cream and the sticky sauce.