Mr and Mrs Howell A Gem on Sydney Road Brunswick
Turning two has inspired Brunswick eatery Mr & Mrs Howell to present a whole new autumn menu to its loyal customers. Impressing diners with its unique take on ‘Mod Oz’ cuisine since April 2013 the restaurant is committed to offering top-‐quality, ‘no fuss’ food using the freshest of seasonal produce. The World Loves Melbourne (David and Mario) was invited along to sample the seasonal menu and the experience that is Mr and Mrs Howell. We left wishing this was our "local" as the ambience is intimate, the restaurant is a foodie haven with engaging knowledgeable staff, and the food is honest and seasonal and of a high quality.
The name Mr and Mrs Howell is from the TV show Gilligan's Island, but that's where the theme ends. We think the Professor and Marianne would love it here, but Gilligan might be out of his depth.
Owned and operated by Mark Brozic, former head chef and co-‐owner of Kamel restaurant in Albert Park, Mr & Mrs Howell’s menu comprises an eclectic array of dishes – ‘From the Garden’, ‘From the Ocean’, and ‘From the Farm’ – with Brozic’s menu traversing Middle Eastern, Asian, European and African flavours.
The autumn menu sees hearty fare such as potato gnocchi with mushroom ragu, octopus with kipfler potatoes and smoked paprika aioli, and the return of the romantic roast Flinders Island lamb and root vegetables with mint sauce for two – while cooler weather sweet treats include a brown ale pudding with salted caramel sauce and cream…
“After investing our heart and soul back into the Brunswick dining scene, we’re so proud to be celebrating our second birthday,” says Brozic. “We’re looking forward to serving the birthday love all autumn long to our diners!”
The World Loves Melbourne was impressed by the Kingfish carpaccio in a killer dressing of soy and horseradish, so refreshing and full of flavour. A simple but rewarding dish.
Tasmanian scallops, ginger, soy sauce and sweetcorn puree also reached the heights as a clever modern dish highlighting the quality of Tasmanian scallops. The sweetcorn puree paired perfectly in terms of texture and taste.
Duck, pine nut and currant spring rolls was an exceptional modern interpretation of spring rolls and of a duck dish. Again there was a play on tastes and textures with the crunch of pine nuts, the swet hit of currants, and the rich duck meat to produce the perfect alchemy. Presentation of dishes here is exceptional, thus enhancing Mr and Mrs Howell as an ideal place for couples, friends catch up and groups.
Potato gnocchi, mushroom ragu is one of those tasty and satisfying rustic dishes. The World Loves Melbourne loves a gnocchi dish and this dish was full of taste but not too heavy. In terms of seasonality it is a superb celebration of mushrooms.
Charcuterie selection was a sample of their larger dish. The chef Mark has a European background where this was the food of his youth. He makes his own selection and the result is stunning.
Roast Flinders Island Lamb and root vegetables withmint sauce for 2 was our favourite dish of the night. The quality of the lamb shone and the dish was perfectly cooked. Ad ecent portion of roast vegetables was welcomed. We would come here just for this Roast Flinders Lamb on a cold autumn or winter's night.
Beetroot, pickled red onion, pistachio and mint salad was a perefect accompaniment to the lamb. A lively salad with punch and crunch.
Vanilla panna cotta with spiced quince was a satisfying dessert with spiced quince a wonderful surprise, matching with the creamy panna cotta.
Brown ale pudding was a cracker and standount dish with rich ale flavours and a compelling modern salted caramel sauce with cream. Every dish we tried was rewarding but we dream of returning to the Roast Flinders Lamb and the Brown ale pudding - a killer combination.
While dinner and Friday lunch are the main drawcards at Mr & Mrs Howell, the bar is perfect for escaping the autumn nip in the air. The wine list showcases tipples from local producers as well as some quirky international labels; the selection of beers includes a ‘showcase’ beer on tap, changing monthly.
Service was exceptional with Kate attentive and knowledgeable, and awesome to chat with. Mark the chef is affable and was great to chat with, as we conversed just before service.
We remarked that the whole experience here is convivial and enjoyable. Highly recommended.
Mr and Mrs Howell is located at 173 Sydney Road, Brunswick and is open for dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, 5pm to 10pm. The restaurant is also open for lunch from noon to 3pm every Friday.