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“Really rewarding experience that deserves support”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Charcoal Lane

Charcoal Lane
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Ranked #16 of 290 Restaurants in Fitzroy
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $19 - $38
Cuisines: Australian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Business meetings, Special occasions, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighborhood: Fitzroy
melbourne
Level Contributor
95 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Really rewarding experience that deserves support”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013 via mobile

We have Ben meaning to visit Charcoal Lane for months and finally got around to it last night . Very glad we did as we will certainly go back. Friendly but respectful service with a notably warm welcome got us off to a grand start. Our group had some cocktails which were memorable and we had a bottle of res from the strong wine list. Starters of salmon sashimi and wallaby tartare were delicious. We had barramundi and pork belly for mains, with roast kipflers and a great cucumber and chilli salad. The pork was beautifully caramelised but with a salty, spicey and crispy skin. We had just on dessert, the bush fruit salad sorbets. This was seriously delicious. Overall it was great and as the restaurant exists to support and train disadvantages young people, especially from the indigenous community, it's well worth supporting.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank squonkMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    67
    53
    9
    3
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne
Level Contributor
165 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Ignore the service, as that is not the point!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

I went to Charcoal Lane with a couple of friends on a mid-week night.
The restaurant is located at a nice old building, with high ceilings and understated decor. Tables are set far apart.
Parking is not easy, as there are many parking restrictions in this area of Melbourne.
I had no knowledge of this restaurant before my first visit and once there, I really enjoyed it.
This is not your average restaurant. Service is sporadic and inconsistent, except by management, but this is not why we went there. There’s a social cause behind it. The restaurant is training underprivileged Aboriginal youth, which makes it all worthwhile.
This doesn’t mean that it serves Aboriginal food. The food here is Modern Australian, which tends to mix flavours and use local produce.
Our waitress had her first night on the restaurant floor, after her training in the kitchen. She was unsure and very shy. Another young woman, who seemed to have more experience, was quite professional. So, the idea here is to support their performance, as only experience will bring professionalism!
The food was very good. We chose the kangaroo and lamb back strap. We also shared a salad, a bottle of local Pinot Noir and desserts.
The restaurant isn’t very noisy and has a nice outside area at the back.
Overall a very satisfying experience and I will recommend it to my friends.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank MelbourneLola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
singapore
Level Contributor
198 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Not modern aboriginal food?”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2013

Uninspiring entree, overcooked fish, small serves, unappealing desserts, mixed messages, sadly not many of the koori spices, saltbush etc that I am accustomed to, dishes got 'lost in translation' Service well meaning but spotty. Cheese platter had huge frozen grapes and an unappetizing chutney. At $100 per head it was a big disappointment. Nevertheless their philosophy of training young koori's should be supported, but not at $100 per head.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
2 Thank jenjenrossco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
101 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Great Modern Australian Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 19, 2012

This restaurant has an Aboriginal focus, both with indigenous flavourings and garnishes and with its aim in training Aboriginal youth in hospitality. See their website for detail on the philosophy. The presentation of the food was beautiful and the offerings, though limited, were varied and interesting, including wallaby and kangaroo. I had the spanner crab "sandwich" for entree - cute little amuse bouche sized heaps of crab on crisp wafer discs, and for main, the kangaroo loin which was cooked to perfection - pink and juicy. My companions were very pleased with their schnapper and their beef filet on nettle risotto. The wine menu is also brief but includes mainly Victorian wines and beers and we had no trouble finding something to enjoy. Service was efficient and friendly. There is a nicely decorated private dining room upstairs which can seat 15 -20 at a long table. Would highly recommend.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Helpful?
Thank Liz S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Delicious food, great atmosphere and a social cause!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2012 via mobile

The meal was delicious, so many flavours and great asthetic. Given half the wait staff are going through a training program to gain employment, the service was great. Have reccomended this place visiting friends who too have been suprised why they hadn't heard about it before!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mejays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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