We've been past The Last Jar a ton of times on the tram not far from our place but never been in, so, naturally, when I read in Time Out about their annual Oyster and Guinness Festival this past weekend, I pushed Charlie and friends to partake. How could you pass up $2 oysters and $6 pints? (Easily, anywhere besides freakin' Melbourne, where those are actually decent prices. In NYC, it's not a deal until those little shuckers are $1.)
This shindig celebrating the annual Galway Oyster Festival involved live music and a shucking contest. Luckily, Charlie and I did not miss said contest while we were learning firsthand what traffic can be like on Sydney Road on a Saturday. We arrived just in time to settle down and watch the bearded bald guy take the prize. Bare-handedly, I might add. They laugh in the face of danger.We celebrated with three of each oyster on offer: battered, natural, and kilpatrick. I really don't know much about oysters besides that I like them and that you should only eat them during months that end in... not sure which months, so I'll look it up... OK it's months with the letter "r" in the name. Which means that I shouldn't have eaten oysters in May. BUT, we're in the Southern Hemisphere, folks, and these were local oysters. Thus, I'm throwing the rule out. It's really more about the season, right? Eat them in the fall and winter. Months without the letter "r". Whatever.
These fried beebies were quite nice. The batter gave an initial crunch and a nice soft inside. There was maybe a little too much batter to totally enjoy the oyster, but they were salty and delicious nonetheless . Little flavor bombs. Pop 'em in. I think that was bbq-y ketchup on top.
The naturals were a large variety, I think from Tasmania. Nice and briny. Fresh, just served with lemon. I'm an oyster nube so I kind of prefer some tabasco or vinegar or something, but they were fun to throw back.The Kilpatricks were the best. Topped with bits of bacon and grilled, swimming in a briny, worcestershire-y tomato-y juice. Sip that up and slurp them down. If oysters are supposed to be sexy, these are them.
On a normal day, The Last Jar is supposed to serve up some pretty good Irish pub fare. I'd love to return and find out for myself. For now, you can't really top oysters and beer on a mild, sunny day on a rooftop beer garden after you've just landed a job. Australia is treating me quite well.
The Last Jar: 616 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, VIC (03) 9348 2957