It’s a hot Thursday night when we swing by Fitzroy's new late night venue for dinner, so when the bartender suggests margaritas, we don't need to be asked twice. Slinking into one of Glamorama's dark back corner booths gives us an excellent view of the entire space; the bar, saturated in red light, complements red booths and is matched with large black industrial lights hanging from the high ceilings. Even though it's only 8pm, this venue is suggestive of late night debauchery, and we dig it.
We briefly consider the Botox pies — if not just for the novelty factor of squeezing sauce out of a syringe — but decide to go straight for the big guns. Going The Whole Hock ($22) consists of fried ham hock, crackling, and coleslaw on a bed of parsnip puree. The meat falls apart beautifully, and the crackling provides the delightful crunch you're presumably looking for. The parsnip puree is a great move away from traditional potato mash, keeping the dish light and accompanying the zesty coleslaw perfectly.
The steak ($22) is an experimental choice; the kitchen doesn't close until 11pm, and we want to know how Glamorama stacks up in the late night steak game. Turns out, pretty good. The steak is spot on medium rare, served with chips and a side of green beans, vegan aioli and crispy shallots. The menu here is designed for sharing, and both dishes come pre-segmented to easily pass around the table. This is handy to know if you're planning on coming with a — because, let's be honest, no one wants to be in charge of splitting a steak.
Feeling full but definitely not defeated, the dessert menu offers two intriguing, Australian-influenced options. While the Tim Tam trifle certainly is intriguing, it's the lamington fried ice cream ($14) with coconut-coated ice-cream, strawberry jam and chocolate toffee we go for. The strawberry jam is subtle throughout, but definitely gives the dessert that lamington-like quality we were hoping for. Like the other dishes, we certainly recommend splitting this one.
The venue is well decked out for party times with their Funktion-One surround sound system, and a closing time of 3am on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday and 5am on Friday and Saturdays. If you're looking for a quiet spot for dinner, this may not be the ideal venue, as electronic music consistently cascades in the background.
That's not to say Glamorama can’t be intimate; the booths are comfortable, the atmosphere is inviting, and the service is exceptional for a busy bar. We're keen to visit once their courtyard is completed — we'll be back to split a Paloma-Rama mezcal cocktail jug the next warm night we get.