REVIEW | MJR TOM
By Jo Rittey
Mjr Tom has launched a new dinner menu, including tapas-style sharing plates and a new cocktail list to complement the dishes. The new Latin-inspired dinner menu showcases seasonal and local products, sourced for the most part from the Queen Victoria Market. Co-owner Nick Tiktikakis and Head Chef Sam Kearney share a passion for dishes made with fresh ingredients and have a European approach to ensuring they secure the best produce. They go to the market every day and, although they have their favourite suppliers, they won’t settle for anything less than the best, which sometimes means shaking their heads and crossing the aisle.
The result is such stars as the kingfish ceviche with avocado, chilli curls, and olive salt, and the lightly fried calamari with squid ink aioli and chorizo crumb. Both dishes are smaller, lighter dishes to ease you into the menu and are perfect for sharing. Then there’s the chicharon, a pork terrine croquette with chimichurri. Described by Nick as, “decadent and out there,” it is certainly the richest croquette around. Ham hock is slow-cooked, then pulled and coated with crumbs and then fried. “You’ll see when you eat it, “ says Nick, “it’s really something.” He’s not wrong. Smoky, dense flavours with the crispness of the crumbs offset by the freshness of the chimichurri. Delicious.
Mjr Tom also runs a couple of special nights to get you through the week. Wednesday night is Taco Night where you get two of Mjr Tom’s famous fish tacos and a frozen margarita for $22, and on F.A.T.W (Forget About The Week) Fridays between 5pm and 7pm expect half-price cocktails, spirits, wine glasses and beers.
The wine list is regularly changed to match the food and also to give the regulars a bit of variety. There’s a lovely mix of local, French and Spanish wines on the list. Nick is more than happy to talk wine and enjoys the personal contact he makes with local vineyards to ensure they’ve got just the right drop.
Following the success of their Boxing Day and New Year’s Day BBQs, Mjr Tom will be hosting regular street BBQs with one scheduled for tomorrow’s Australia Day. “Our street BBQ will serve up home-style dishes and have that all invited feel, like you’re rocking up to someone’s house for lunch,” says Tiktikakis.
Keeping it local down on Smith Street, Mjr Tom is the kind of place you can go for your morning coffee and just stay on all day.
108 Smith Street, Collingwood
Open everyday 8am till late
Jo is a French teaching writer, has a PhD in Medieval French Literature and is caught up in the myth she can cram as much as possible into every day. You can read more of her adventures, both existential and otherwise on her blog.