I scoped out Vinyl as a suitable place for pre-going out food last Friday night. It's conveniently located in West End, which is sort of close to everything. The menu sounded enticing with it's $5 gourmet tacos and other varieties of spruced up bar food. It's good for a night that's big on drinks because you don't want to waste stomach space on large, heavy meals.
We got to Vinyl around 9ish. I had made a booking but I think that may not be necessary because when I told that to the guy behind the counter, he looked confused. We did get the private table up on the mezzanine level to the right of the bar though. That was pretty cool.
As I mentioned before, the menu at Vinyl is full of small treats that can be built up into a bigger meal, depending on what you're after. Our group picked a few things here and there and started to get comfy for the evening.
A number of popular items were repeated so I'll just run through them once. One of these were the chips. Or wedges. Or, as they're called on the menu, the thrice cooked chat potatoes.
Thrice cooked chat potatoes - with aioli
Blossom and Marc both wanted to get chips and asked for the chip butty on the menu but the lady at the bar said that the chip butty was a chip sandwich and the chat potatoes were the thing they had that most ressembled chips. This must be something they often have to clarify.
I don't know what thrice-cooked refers to. Perhaps par-cooked in water then fried... twice? Baked and fried? Whatever it is, it works pretty well. The chat potatos were crunchy as anything with a nice, soft inside. They came with an aioli but I thought they were perfectly salted on their own.
Twice cooked chicken wings - with hoi sin sauce
Gaz ordered the chicken wings. They were deep-fried with a fine batter and served with a hoi-sin sauce smear. KFC with a West End twist. These wings were described as twice-cooked, which is one down from the chat pototoes. How sad for them.
Crispy pork belly taco - with charred corn salsa and hot sauce
Marc picked one of the tacos off the menu - the crispy pork belly with hot sauce. Everyone who ordered a taco agreed that they were much smaller than they expected. If you want to get full off these, definitely order more than one or some sides!
Size issues aside, the pork taco was really tasty. I tasted a bit and thought the pork itself was sticky and gelatinous with a crisp skin. The sauce and salsa went brought it all together nicely.
Wagyu cheeseburger - with house made tomato sauce, cornichons, aged cheddar and truffle dijonaise
We also tried the wagyu cheeseburger. The burger patty was extremely juicy and capped with an oozy layer of molten cheese. This burger may look smallish but it was quite filling.
Roast pumpkin pumpkin - with agave syrup and chili pepita seeds
T-Rex was the only one of us who also tried a different-flavored taco. She chose the pumpkin filling, which also appealed to me when I read it. I love anything with pumpkin.
I really enjoyed the food options at Vinyl. It's a great place to stop off for some casual drinks and bar snacks or a light meal. Although the tacos are small, the ones we tasted were yummy and the ingredients a step up from the conventional mince meat variety. I'm keen to try the other flavors - and there are plenty to chose from!