Don’t get me wrong – I like Chapel Street, from the shaggy chic of the Windsor end to the brunch and bar destinations of Prahran and super-chic boutiques near Toorak Road. However, change is a good thing and a new crop of stylish openings just off the well-trodden strip (in particular Yarra Street – see my Outpost review) are keeping things fresh and exciting.
Bray Street (just behind Jam Factory) for example is now home to a handful of places doing international food in more intimate surrounds than neighbouring Chapel. Such as Mosq – serving up Moroccan and Moorish-inspired Spanish dishes, from tagines to paella, with the occasional belly dancing evening thrown into the mix – and Little Vietnam, fragrant and chilli-laced ‘traditional home-cooked food fused with modern Vietnamese tastes’.
And then there is Lost. Gourmet pizzas, late license, huge alfresco dining space… and tub-thumping tunes so loud you feel like you should be coming up instead of chilling out. Why the audio assault? I don’t know. I do suffer with the odd middle-aged moment, but a bass line that causes the banquette to vibrate? At 7pm on a Sunday? There’s a time and a place people.
The glass frontage, high industrial-look ceilings and pale pastel palette all combine to make the marble-topped bar area, open kitchen, leafy alfresco space and partitioned dining room look a lot bigger than they are. A lot of attention to detail has gone into the interior (Wayne Finschi Concept Design), with quirky light fittings and fixtures, a considered mishmash of different table and chair styles, and a terracotta pipe wine display and feature wall.
For starters: caesar soft shell crab salad. Crunchy, light batter with the sweet crab meat working well with the tangy caesar dressing. Hit.
Crisp-fried stuffed zucchini flowers. Lots of stuff different elements going on here, all fighting for attention but none of them really managing to assert themselves. Miss.
Then the gourmet pizza: divided into Get Lost (traditional toppings) and Really Lost (a bit more out there) on the menu, as well as foccacias. Rectangular with a thin and crispy base and generous, flavourful toppings.
Wasabi tiger prawn, sweet potato puree, mozzarella, ginger and wasabi mayo. Hit.
Moroccan lamb with a baba ganoush base and potato, pumpkin, roasted capsicum, goat’s curd and almonds on top. Fab flavours. Hit.
When we visited service was not great – plenty of staff but we had to help ourselves to menus, wait almost 20 mins to place our order and another 20 to get the bill. Hopefully this is due to teething problems, because when people were looking after us they were all very nice. Yes the menu gets a little ‘lost’ in places (entrees especially), but if you stick to drinks and gourmet pizzas, and want something away from the madness of Chapel Street but close enough to continue to party, then this place is a must.
30 Bray Street
Tel. (03) 9915 8100
Open weekdays 7:30am-1am / Saturday 8am-1am / Sunday 9am-1am