Review: Naked for Satan

Naked for Satan is named after Leon Satanovich, a Russian cleaner and caretaker of the Moran and Cato building in Fitzroy. To Aussies, his name was too much of a mouthful, so they affectionately shortened it to “Satan”. His grandfather was a Vodka maker, and during the Great Depression, he built a great distillery in the caretaker’s quarters of his warehouse. During hot summer months and soaring temperatures generated by the burners, so Satanovich often worked close to naked. He became a very popular man in the area and it came about that if you wanted to enjoy Satan vodka, one would have to say the code, “let’s get Naked for Satan”.

After knocking off uni early, I decided to head to Brunswick Street to grab some lunch at one of my favourite joints - it's one of the only places I don't feel too weird eating alone. It gave me a good place to finish off some uni work whilst eating. There was actually another uni student at a nearby table, eating and working as well, so you know that you're free from judgement in Satan's home.

My first plate of pintxos, absolutely delicious flavour combinations and wonderfully fresh ingredients. 
Naked for Satan is predominately known for it’s large variety of vodkas, wines, beers, and ciders. The cocktails all have cheeky names and they specialise in many infused vodkas, like “Naked Bitch Chilli and Cherry”, “Opium and Rose” and “Alpine Chocolate and Sugarcane”, which the waitresses are happy to recommend and help out. With the drinks, you order and pay at the bar.

Food wise, Naked for Satan specialises in typical bar snacks found in the Basque region of Spain, called “pintxos” or “pinchos”. They consist of any ingredients secured to a piece of bread with a toothpick, giving it its “spiked” look, which is what the name translates to. The pintxos are cheap, normally $2, but during lunch hour they are only $1 providing a relatively cheap and filling meal. There are up to twelve different varieties of pintxos available at the bar and the kitchen quickly replaces them as they get snapped up quickly. There are a lot of different varieties, including meat, seafood, vegetarian and at least one sweet option to conclude your meal with. Remember to leave room for the steaming hot snacks that comes out fresh from the kitchen. The staff serves these goodies to your table, and will leave you eager for more. I had 9 pintxos, but could’ve eaten more.

The pintxos from the selection that I ate were:
  • manchego cheese with apple, almonds, and honey 
  • balsamic caramalised pear, pistachio and cream cheese
  • cashew, capsicum with eggplant
  • smoked chilli mussels and chickpea
  • carrot with garlic field mushrooms
  • cauliflower, manouri cheese and garlic prawn
  • smoked salmon and pickled onion
  • squid ink risoni with grilled calamari
My favourites were definitely the manchego cheese, the carrot and mushrooms, and the garlic prawns.

My second choice (I only went with three second time around although I could've eaten 100 more). Excuse me for the messy plate, I scoffed them down, which caused a bit of a mess.
It’s a self-service affair, which relies on the “honour system” to eat now and pay later. The pintxos are located at the bar on large plates. All you have to do is grab a plate, grab a couple of pintxos and keep your toothpicks to bring up and pay at the end.

Due to this reputation of house-infused vodkas, Naked for Satan’s interior takes inspiration from steampunk, due to haphazard copper distillation equipment, pipes and lights, which fills the bar and creates a stunning feature. There are three elevated levels, and as you climb up the stairs and go deeper into the restaurant, a darker, grittier feel washes over you. In the back rooms, old school pin up posters and nude images cover walls, menus, and plates. The environment is laid back, so that you can relax either with friends or alone, eat, drink, converse or finish up on work, read the news, or catch up on some much deserved “me-time”.

Some of the cool, retro posters that hang all over the walls in the back rooms.
If you want to be swept away by a reincarnation of the staple bars of Spain in the heart of Melbourne, it's time to shed your frock and visit Naked for Satan’s.

Naked for Satan
285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
9416 2238

Sun - Thurs: 12pm to 12am
Fri - Sat: 12pm to 1am


Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

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