The Moldy Fig is bringing Cajun Creole food and a little bit of New Orleans to Brunswick. Definitely giving you something different to try for dinner!
Po’Boys, Homemade Cornbread, Turkey Meatballs wrapped in pancetta with cranberry infused red cabbage, Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo, Prawn and Chicken Jambalaya, Greenfield Salad with strawberries and Bloody Mary dressing, Southern Fried Vegetable Bites of cauliflower, broccoli and mushroom with remoulade and tomato lime chilli dipping sauces, Dry rubbed slow cooked Lamb Ribs with bourbon glaze and our Louisiana red cabbage slaw
There’s been a lot of talk lately of words we live by. Mine are “begin with a dream, end with a story” and The Moldy Fig is the embodiment of this. Starting as a dream of owner Dorelle and her husband many years ago, this New Orleans restaurant begin with a gift of a cookbook. Sadly Dorelle’s husband passed away and the restaurant plans went on the back burner as she focused on raising her young family. Finally, with the girls now grown up, Dorelle (thankfully for all of us) decided to rekindle her dream – and with the help of one of her daughters, The Moldy Fig was born.
I could describe the restaurant to you, but Dorelle did such a wonderful job, I’ll give you a snap shot of what she said instead: “The styling of the restaurant is to create a little journey through New Orleans. The kitchen pass is a replica of a French Quarter house with their shutters and decorative mantels and the colours carefully chosen from the short list of ‘allowed’ paints from the City of New Orleans guidelines to maintain the heritage of the area. Move along the right to our graffiti spray painted mural of brightly lit Bourbon St, then along to our windows with wrought iron to represent the balconies that many residents enjoy drinking and watching the lively foot traffic from and our old fashioned style bar of stained wood and recycled granite top representative of the style of many of the bars in New Orleans with some dating as far back as the 18th and 19th centuries. Finally a walk down our hallway to the courtyard is a stroll through Jackson Park, a spot in New Orleans where buskers gather, you can have your fortune read and many artists hang their wares for sale.” If that doesn’t show you the dedication and passion behind this restaurant I don’t know what will. It’s a very stripped back, relaxing dining experience with live musical Friday-Saturday and swing dance classes every other Sunday to continue to embody the New Orleans theme.
We were treated to a wonderful feast of food, and there’s so much to talk about. The flavours were excellent and while they confessed that some of them were toned down a little from the original versions, I think this was 100% the right choice and helps open up this food to the mainstream Melbourne customer, and not just spice fiends like me! The po’ boys which are the Louisiana equivalent of a burger (and kind of reminded me of a banh mi) came in the perfect range of Southern US flavours: think crispy chicken and slow cooked, sticky meats. The chicken and andouille sausage gumbo was my favourite dish of the evening – tastes like how my mum’s chicken casserole should (my mother and I have a different attitude to spices), such a warming, filling meal.
The turkey meatballs were like christmas on a plate (actually, I enjoyed them more than christmas dinner), but the point is, great classic flavours. The veggie bites were a nice alternative to crispy chicken and made them far more viable as a starter or sharing dish as they weren’t as filling. The bloody mary dressing on the salad had a real kick and was such a sweet light side dish, balancing the rich dishes excellently, and the home made gluten free cornbread just melted in your mouth. Unfortunately I was too full for dessert but they looked fab!
I would highly recommend if you visit to opt for a po’ boy as they are awesome, then sharing a couple of other dishes from the menu to get the full experience. Food is affordable, practically everything is made on site and portions are such a good size, you won’t leave hungry. Cocktails are on the pricier end, but they too are a good size so are worth it, and the wine list has some great value options. The live music is a nice touch and gives a great atmosphere – however, the venue is small so it does make it a little loud so opt for a different night if you are going for a good chat. Service was friendly and I loved the care taken to explain the menu. They struggled a little at times, as we were a large group, but nothing that won’t iron itself out with a little more experience of groups that size. I was particularly impressed they remembered about my dietary requirements I informed them of nearly a month earlier, and adapted a dish for me, without my having to ask or remind them. (Suzie Scribbles, making catering for a large group of people more difficult since 1986).
Overall, you’ll have a pleasant evening, in a laid back restaurant and get to try great, authentic food from a cuisine you’ve probably never had before. It’s a real change of pace from much of Brunswick, while still retaining the feel of the area with live music, graffiti art on the walls and its casual vibe.
Address: 120 Lygon Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Tue 5PM to late
Wed 5PM to late
Thu 5PM to late
Fri 5PM to late
Sat 5PM to late
Sun 5PM to late
*** Every second Sunday they open at midday for beginner Swing dance lessons and social dancing
Parking: There’s limited parking on Lygon Street but you should be able to find a space somewhere, perhaps with a little walk.
Getting here on PT: Being on Lygon Street it’s well serviced by trams 1 and 6 from the city. Alight at the Weston Street Stop.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of The Moldy Fig. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change (including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting)