Stop 17 Cafe and Bar

Stop 17 Cafe and Bar 189 Smith Street Fitzroy The Escort and the Thief was invited courtesy of Stop 17 Cafe and Bar Lovely little cafe addition on busy Smith Street in Fitzroy. It’s unique selling point? A genuine writers’ room! When owner Tyler first pitched it to me, I pictured a bunch of people […]

Stop 17 Cafe and Bar

189 Smith Street

The Escort and the Thief was invited courtesy of Stop 17 Cafe and Bar

Lovely little cafe addition on busy Smith Street in Fitzroy. It’s unique selling point? A genuine writers’ room! When owner Tyler first pitched it to me, I pictured a bunch of people trying to write a an episode of The Simpsons. Or perhaps Jim Rash talking about the creative process with popular TV shows.

Turns out it’s intentionally left tabula rasa so it’s up to you the patron, to make use of the space. Novels, manuscripts, (blog posts)… All are welcome. Let’s take a look:

Upstairs is an awesome lounge and study area, where students and creative types can take advantage of the space and FREE Wifi. Owners Ryan and Tyler really wanted a welcoming space where everyone can chill or focus as much as they want and not be hurried out of the venue.

They ticked all the boxes there.

My first thought was: are there any famous screenwriters here in Melbourne? And if so, where are they now? Well you’ve got… Leigh Whannell and James Wan, I guess. And like all successful film industry Aussies, they eventually made their way to the US.

Meanwhile, we have personally approved caricatures of Quentin Tarantino, JK Rowling and master writer Stephen King to get your creative juices going:

Okay, enough with the theme and decor. So how’s the food? In short – really good, would definitely recommend! Please note that the portions are sample sizes only. The menu prices are set for full portions. Check it out:

California Uptown

One of the best cocktails I’ve ever had! Probably because it was made to my specific tastes by the in house mixologist. I wanted something refreshing, minty, fruity and slightly sweet. The California Uptown was perfect. Couldn’t even taste the vodka. Just deliciousness. 9.5/10

Double Shot

White rum based cocktail with passionfruit, orange juice and simple syrup. The alcohol was separated in it’s own soju glass and it was lots of fun drinking both at once. Delicious. 9/10

Crumbed Lamb Ribs (3 pcs) $9
served with Dukkah and Tzatizki

Generous amount of Dukkah provided. Ribs were crumbed perfectly and had a great crispness to them. The meat itself was so juicy and moist. Fell off the bone. 8/10

Fried Chicken Wings (6pcs) $14
Marinated in Middle Eastern Spices and served with Spicy Yoghurt

Hands down the best chicken wings I’ve had. Ever. Epically crunchy outside and so moist underneath all the crispy goodness. A must try at Stop 17. 9.5/10

Sweet Potato Croquettes (not on menu yet)

Crispy croquettes filled with sweet potato. Bite sized and great to nibble on. 7.5/10

Crispy Buffalo Pigs Tail $15
served with a Ranch Dipping Sauce

Reminds me of jerky. Good, flavoursome jerky. Tastes great even without the sauce. 7.5/10

Duck Liver Pate Slider $12
with Maple Bacon, Homemade Slaw and Japanese Mayo

Best bacon I’ve had, and I don’t even really like bacon. Infused with so much maple flavour and sweetness. Although it has a bit of a chewy texture, it was easy to eat. Delicious! 8/10

Kiwi Mojito

Beautiful cocktail with a super generous amount of kiwi on the bottom. Mojito was refreshing and yummy. 8/10

Volcano Margarita

Tequila based cocktail with jalapeño kicks. Very strong, very spicy, and not at all for the faint of heart. 7/10

Tortilla Nachos $16
topped with Melted Cheese, Avocado, Fresh Coriander Leaves, Spicy Black Beans and Fresh Salsa

Contains all the essential bits for perfect nachos, delicious when combined. Corn chips were crispy and great for dipping into the generous sauce and condiments. Loved the pickled onions. 8/10

De-Calf (veggie) $10
Grilled Eggplant, Wild Mushroom, Red Pepper Salsa, Onion Jam and Salad Green

We didn’t to try this one, but looked generous with the veggie filling. Next time.

Spanish Meatballs $19
Homemade Traditional Bolognaise, Wagyu Beef, Italian Herbs topped with Parmesan and served with Organic Sourdough

Moist and juicy meatballs with a delicious bolognaise sauce. Better than those at places that even specialise in meatballs. 8/10

Mama Moo $16
Small beef patty on a buttered and toasted mini brioche bun with whole grain mustard, tomato chutney, red onion, salad greens and smokey cheese

Not one that we got to try, but looks like a simple, no fuss kinda burger. On the list for next visit!

Pan Seared Calamari $19.50
seasoned with Black Volcanic Salt and Ground Pepper, Mixed Salad, Tartare Sauce and a Lemon Wedge

Calamari was tender and easy to eat with lots of flavour. Volcanic salt was an interesting addition – just be careful to mix it around well and not just eat a giant bite of it. Delicious and unique tomatoes. 7/10

Little Nipper $10
Crunchy Soft Shell Crab lightly battered with our mix of Spice and served with Lettuce, Coleslaw and Sriracha Mayo Sauce in a Mini Brioche Bun

Super crispy softshell crab in a soft brioche bun. The Sriracha mayo was the perfect mix of spicy and creamy. Made everything taste better. Fries were delicious too. 8/10

Skim Latte

Creamy and strong. No sugar needed. Would recommend. 8.8/10

Thanks to owners Ryan and Tyler for their incredibly warm hospitality and inviting me out to their venue. I can still faintly remember the Korean restaurant Goshen occupying the space, but other than some crockery and utensils you’ll never know it from the transformation it has taken. 
Front of house hospitality is well looked after by General Manager Matt, and mixologist Dahlia. Yes, mixologist. You heard right. No, I’m not sorry for not calling her a bartender. Those cocktails were bomber. 
Chef Piri really knows her stuff and her deceptively simple menu goes to show that. Sous vide kept the chicken wings super moist inside, and using activated carbon salt as garnish? Delicious. 
Their main challenge now? To stand out from the crowd and get noticed. It’s competitive, here in Fitzroy. Stop 17 has it’s unique selling point, fantastic service and delicious food. But is it a case of if we build, they will come? Let’s just say I have some very high expectations for the team. 
Check it out, Stop 17 Cafe and Bar comes highly recommended. 

Menu for your perusal: 

Stop 17 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato