Make Concrete Playground yours with My Playground. Save and share your favourite picks and make plans to go out with friends. Registration is fast and free.
Footscray's newest (and only) barbecue joint.
If you thought that Melbourne was anywhere close to smokehouse saturation point, you were wrong. The barbecue trend continues in all its meaty glory, with the latest addition drawing carnivorous punters even further west, to Footscray.
Up in Smoke is the new venture from 8bit's Shayne McCallum. Having conquered the tastebuds of this burgeoning foodie suburb with drool-worthy burgers, he's now decked out a prominent industrial space on Hopkins Street, stuck in a huge Yoder Frontiersman smoker and is serving up the smoky spoils nightly, from 5pm until they run out.
The asphalt beer garden fronting the 60-seat eatery is as big as the space within — an ideal spot for a drive-by ribs fix and craft beers with the crew. Inside, it's all black walls and booth seating, with that majestic smoker sitting behind glass and bathed in almost angelic light. It's responsible for the parade of meat sailing from the kitchen, nestled in tacos, wedged into hefty sandwiches and teamed simply with pickles, a milk bun and a duo of sauces on enamel trays.
You can avoid too much decision-making and opt for The Big Tray, loaded with brisket, sausage, a mound of pulled pork and two sides ($42), or you can build your own meaty adventure. Pork ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender ($28) and brisket is handled just as well ($16). Match them with some of the punchy chilli mayo slaw ($5), or decadent, crunchy-topped mac 'n' cheese ($6) and you'll be in smokehouse heaven.
If you've got any spare room in that belly, be sure to sample the smoked hot wings ($10), or one of the tacos ($5 each). The seafood number is a fiesta in its own right, filled with polenta-crumbed prawns, avocado, corn, black beans and a zesty lime crema.
Alongside the meat, the other big drawcard here is a stellar booze offering. A sharp little wine list straddles the line between approachable and interesting, while craft beer fans will go nuts over both the tap selection and the bottles in the fridge. Right now, you can team your brisket with a Fixation IPA ($6.50 pot) or go a little left of centre with Bad Shepherd's raspberry wheat beer ($7/$14/$26).
Come for the meat and stay for the stuff you wash it down with. Whether you live in the west, the north or the east, this is one Footscray gem worth checking out.
Images: Renee Stamatis
4 Yewers Street
T (03) 9689 6260
68-82 Hopkins Street
T (03) 8580 6484
16-20 Leeds Street
T 0497 058 173
28 Napier Street
T (03) 9687 2111
106 Nicholson Street
59 Napier Street
T (03) 9810 0085
71 High Street
401 Collins Street
T (03) 9982 1811
Shop 17, The Concourse, Flinders Street Station
T (03) 9046 8260
50 Whiteman Street
T (03) 9292 5777
3 Wilson Street
T 0428 066 778
168 Greville Street
T (03) 9533 9593
Monday, August 13 - Sunday, November 18
@ Melbourne Showgrounds
Tuesday, July 17 - Thursday, August 23
Monday, July 23 - Saturday, August 25
@ Dulux Gallery
Friday, June 29 - Saturday, August 18
@ RMIT Gallery
Thursday, August 16 - Friday, August 17
@ John Curtin Hotel
Monday, June 11 - Friday, August 31
@ The Westin Melbourne