The Commoner is one of my local favourites – great food, reasonable prices, friendly service and lots of different spaces depending on your dining needs, from intimate couples tables to the outdoor courtyard to upstairs private dining room.
My most recent visit to The Commoner was for Sunday lunch. I reckon Sundays are the best days to dine out here – for lunch they have a changing wood roast with sides for $30, the aroma of which entices you as soon as you push open the door. The normal a la carte menu of Modern British fare is also available. For dinner, they have a ‘let us feed you’ no-menu menu for $55/$65 which takes the angst out of ordering by bringing you a series of dishes according to what’s in season and your food preferences. (Actually, the let us feed you option is available any service but Sunday evenings are exclusively no menu.)
The wood roast the day I visited was organic chicken. As we were sitting at one of the large wooden tables in the shaded courtyard I could see the roast being pulled out of the coals of the wood oven. You can’t get fresher than that! The bird was very juicy and the white and red quinoa stuffing soaked up most of the delicious jus lifted from the roasting pan juices. The richness was tempered by a sharp crunchy witlof salad. A healthy, hearty, Sunday roast.
RM ordered the pork, sage and cider sausages with champ and sticky onions ($26). A classic British dish done very well, with fat little sausages resting on a buttery bed of mash.
For dessert I tried the brown ale pudding with salted caramel, just because it sounded the strangest ($12). What came out could have fooled me – it looked like chocolate cake with a pool of sticky butterscotch sauce. But the extremely fluffy cake definitely contained the maltiness of an ale and the almost savoury flavours were offset by a very sweet caramel sauce. A most unusual dish and worth trying just because you’re unlikely to find it anywhere else.
The Commoner, 122 Johnston St, Fitzroy +61 3 9415 6876