16-18 Leeds Street, Footscray
Tel 0497 058173
Mon-Fri 7-4; Sat-Sun 8-4
Rudimentary is the latest representation of Footscray’s stealthy gentrification-round-the-edges. Four forty-foot containers on a previously derelict block of land at the back of the shopping strip, with seating indoors and outdoors, and plenty of space for bikes, kids and growing their own veg. What’s not to like?
I head in on a warm autumn day for a spot of breakfast/lunch. There’s an all-day breakfast list as well as some more substantial bites from 11am. It’s noon and I am too hungry to decide. It’s an interesting menu of modern Australian basics, with a clear Asian twist as an homage to the local area. My kind waiter waits patiently as I talk myself out of my “normally, usually” breakfast of poached eggs on toast, roast tomato and avocado (all of which are available) and into a sandwich. The soft shell crab bun looks most tempting but I am told the celery is built into the slaw, so I opt for the smoked brisket, kimchi and asiago cheese creation, all served on a warm Zeally Bay bun. “You’re making the right decision”, I am told. My “very weak English breakfast tea, half strength please” comes out perfectly brewed with the tea leaves removed and an assurance that they will make it again for me if it’s not right. I don’t have to wait long for my bun, served with a dollop of fresh greens.
The brisket is a delicious oblong slab of meat, the cheese already melted as far as I can tell. The vegetables are a little too chunky to be helpful in a burger-type arrangement, and huge squares of bok choi stem prove impossible to bite through, as does the meat at times given its bulk. The bun is, helpfully, substantial enough to hold the whole thing together but it’s a messy job. By the time I’m finished my hands and face could really do with a wet wipe. It’s delicious. I’ll come back another day to try them on my “normally, usually” breakfast. Not sure if it will become a regular haunt, as it looks a tad too child-friendly a space for this child-free diner. But lovely to have on the doorstep for sure.