When Naked for Satan first opened in September 2010, it was all about the drinking. The bar infuses its own vodka in a polished metal engine-like contraption and as the wall of wine attests, it’s a gathering place for people to drink and be merry.

A year later, the focus seems to have turned to the food accompanying the drinking – namely pintxos, little bite-sized morsels hailing from the Basque region of Spain. The shift has occurred because every weekday lunch and Monday to Wednesday evenings all the pintxos are 80c, which means that you can have a filling meal of hot and cold bites for under $10. Even at the normal price of $2 about ten pintxos is a decent meal for $20.

The bar operates mainly on an honour system, which comprises two elements. Firstly, as is traditional with pintxos, the price of the food is charged by the number of toothpicks on your plate which should correspond with number of pintxos you’ve taken. Secondly, a sign on each table informs you that the only way the business can provide food at under cost price is by relying on people to buy a drink – so chip in.

While the restaurant is surprisingly large, running over two bordello-bedecked levels, on a weekday it was pretty much full to the brim. At lunch time most people are unlikely to go nuts ordering alcohol, which means that lots of uni students seems to have latched onto the great deal on offer at Naked for Satan. It also seemed to be popular with young mums – and why not, it’s cheap, friendly, noisy enough to mask any crying and food that can be eaten with one hand while nursing a baby!

The selection of pintxos was surprisingly vast. The cold items are placed on the bar counter and are self-serve. I counted at least a dozen different offerings, ranging from grilled octopus to rice balls to chorizo. Hot items, the most memorable of which were some delectable fried croquettes with green olives, were brought out by the staff who circled the tables regularly. The food came so quickly that I could barely keep up.

Most of the food was tasty and went well with drinks and chat – not particularly refined but filling, cheap and good enough for a return visit. Forego the slabs of baguette base and you can fit in more :–)

For other good value lunch options in Fitzroy, try Le Cellier, Johnston Street Foodstore and Hooked.

Naked for Satan, 285 Brunswick St, Fitzroy +61 3 9416 2238
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