Tyranny of Distance
147 Union St
Windsor, VIC 3181
(03) 9525 1005
What is it about Melbourne’s food culture that makes it so unique? Some might say that it is our easy-going attitude combined with our high standards of quality that make Melbourne’s cafes and restaurants among the best. At least, that would be an argument I would be willing to make.
Tyranny of Distance, a semi open-plan restaurant/cafe just of Chapel St, exemplifies our unique food personality. Tyranny’s eclectic mix of recycled parts and artisan labour achieves something distinctively Melbourne. Metal beams, mis-matched furniture, concrete floors, and old gas cylinders combine to create a space that is homey and on trend even 4 years after it opened.
Opened in 2009 by Carlo Colosimo (Lounge, Big Mouth Cafe, Two Fingers Cafe) and George Loukas (Tusk, Blue Elephant, Virgin Mary), the place has been around a while, so you know they must be doing something right.
The menu is a reflection of the intertior: a mis-mash of old favourites such as saganaki ($12.00), Turkish meatballs in a rich tomato sauce ($12.00), and pork and prawn gyoza ($12.00) are sure to keep everyone happy. It’s not ground breaking stuff, but it does the job.
But there’s bound to be a few misses. The pork belly with apple puree ($13.00) arrived cold when we visited but was otherwise OK, and the mixed roast veggies ($9.00) were shriveled and in need of some love.
The special the night we visited included scallops on chorizo with caramelised onions, which were OK but a little meagre given there were only two of them.
If you don’t like to share your food, there’s a list of a-la-carte options available including favourites such as Spanish paella ($23.00), scotch fillet with aioli, rocket & pan-fried potatoes ($24.00), and the house burger made with bacon, king island smoked cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise served with crispy potatoes and smoked paprika aioli ($15.50).
The cocktail menu is reliable, with a few ‘jug’ options available for sharing – the Classic Pimms made with fresh fruit, ginger ale and lemonade is solid and likely to keep you and your drinking buddies happy ($35.00). The Luby Ruby Iced Tea, made with vodka, gin, white rum, cointreau, ruby sipper tea and aranciata rossa, is also a winner ($35.00).
Top shelf spirits and a respectable wine and beer list make Tyranny an excellent place for dinner if you’re planning a night out near by. The semi-open courtyard also mean it’s a good stop on those warm summer days we’ve got coming up.
There’s something very Melbourne about Tyranny of Distance. The recycled fit out, casual atmosphere and popular menu options make it a reliable spot for the trendy Melbournian.