While Club Street Social at Gemmill Lane has definitely been around for awhile, it has recently released a new menu focused on sharing plates in order to encourage communal dining.
One impressive thing about the food here is the ingredients are all made from scratch — from the pasta to even the biscotti accompanying the coffee. The chef’s desire to oversee even the minute aspects of the kitchen reveals an immense pride that he takes in the food he serves.
The restaurant boasts an industrial chic with a casual and comfortable vibe. I could definitely see myself coming here with some friends for an enjoyable evening out in town.
We ordered several sharing plates and here’s what we thought of them.
To start off our meal, we had the Marinated Artichokes with Parsley & Carrot ($13). Tangy and soft, the artichokes were easy to chew.
Overall, a decent appetiser but I would have preferred a lower acidity level with a wider flavour profile — perhaps some form of spiciness or savouriness would round out the dish more fully.
Next up was the Seared Scallops with Housemade Kimchi ($18), which left me on the fence. On one hand, the scallops arrived with a beautiful caramelised crust and blew me away with how sweet and tender they were.
However, I felt the kimchi accompaniment was a little too strong with its acidity and clashed with the scallops’ natural flavours. Great execution but not-so-great conceptualization — I’d suggest changing the base sauce to something a little lighter on the palate.
The Beef Short Rib Fritters with Housemade Horseradish Sauce ($15) was a hit with everyone at the table. The crispy batter was fried to a light golden-brown and the ribs had a great beefy flavour.
They were a little plain on its own but were made so much better with the horseradish sauce, which carried a little tang, heat and richness with it.
Following the success of the previous dish, the Scotch Egg with Pork Sausage and Red Onion Chutney ($11) was well-received too. Everything about this dish worked; from the crunchiness of the batter to the savouriness of the sausage filling as well as the smoky earthiness of the sweet chutney.
It all came together, making for a very delightful mouthful of textures and flavours. Definitely one of the highlights of our meal here.
The Minted Lamb Meatballs with Linguini ($16) was another dish that was slightly underwhelming. The meatballs themselves had a great combination of flavours; with the savouriness of the lamb, sweet and hearty tomato sauce with a discernible hint of mint to brighten up the dish.
However, the pasta was slightly under-seasoned and almost al dente but not quite there yet. Also, while the meatballs tasted great, their texture was a little too smooth for me — perhaps a result of an over-rigorous mincing process.
We also tried two of the lunch specials (which includes a complimentary coffee or tea), the first of which was the Barramundi Fillet ($22). I especially loved how the meat was moist and flaky while the skin was delightfully crispy. Definitely a must-try.
The Squash Tortellini ($25, lunch set) was great as well. Despite its appearance, it was actually quite a rich dish, especially with the goat cheese.
The sauce was especially fantastic — aromatic and savoury with a hint of sage. They should definitely consider pairing this sauce with other mains.
To end off our meal, we had the Churros with Vanilla Mascarpone and Balsamic Strawberries ($10). Crispy and fluffy, the churros were well-complemented by the creamy mascarpone, which had visible little grains of vanilla seeds (which is always a welcome sight).
The sweet and tart strawberries in balsamic sauce helped to cut through the richness of the mascarpone and slight oiliness of the churros. Overall, a very well-conceived and executed dessert.
Overall, I would recommend Club Street Social for a fun evening out with your friends or colleagues. Its casual and comfortable vibe will definitely make you feel at home.
While you’re there, don’t forget to check out their list of creative cocktails as well!
Expected damage: approx. $25 per person