What would Ada May think of Mayfield nowadays?
If you believe the banal blurbs of real estate agents, the suburb - which took its name from the aforementioned daughter of its original landowner - is a place where Victorian era charm and colonial character meets slowly gentrifying inner-city, bo-ho chic.
Thanks in part to an influx of fluky baby-boomer investor types from Sydney, Mayfield is now one of the city's pricier suburbs.
Be that as it may, Mayfield still holds dear to its prevailing industrial history and old-school, working class roots of the mid to late 20th century.
Hiding in the backstreets, you'll find the suburb's old soul, where diners flock to the down home confines of the Mayfield Bowling Club.
Eat at Roy's Kitchen. It's one of the best places for families and friends to come together to watch Friday night footy, chance their arm in the meat raffle, become a pinball wizard, listen to the band play covers, sink a few schooners, and forget about the mad world outside.
Fluorescent lamps light up the honour rolls that skirt the dining room in a white, welcoming glow, while fairy lights, strung from the rafters like van Gogh's Starry Night, provide a twinkling evening ambience. They shine above parents and grandparents alike, who play catch ups with themselves and with their kids, who run around on the polished wooden dance floor, burning off the last remnants of energy from school.
Next door, the bar is heaving with old boys, patrons and punters taking advantage of the $4.40 Happy Hour beers. Beyond this is the bathrooms, and beyond these is the new Friday night hang out, where fine local folk sink schooners on stools that surround oil drums that have been repurposed as spacious tables on which to rest your beer. Perhaps this is the inner-city bo-ho chic that the real estate agents talk about?
I doubt it. These folk seem much nicer than that phrase would imply.
Roy's your boy for damn good, real honest, tasty as, delicious food. Actually, the name's Jason Kuyltjes, aka the chef-man behind the myth that is Roy and his soon to be famous bistro kitchen at the Mayfield Bowlo. He's the reason for outstanding ribs ($23-$33), phat burgers and crunchy chips ($15), share plates of pumpkin arancini ($12), 1kg baskets of chicken wings ($14), sweet-potato wedges ($10), brisket nachos ($15), free-range scotch fillet steaks ($28), crispy chicken schnitzels ($17), bloody lovely lamb cutlets ($25), Buddha bowl salads ($16, V), and super cheap, super yum $8 kids' meals.
Share a rack of sticky, saucy, literally falling of the bone, oh-my-goodness these are remarkable tasting ribs - half rack or full, as required. And get a burger each. I can highly recommend either The Roy-Al with juicy beef patty, Swiss cheese, pickles and Spanish onion, plus house-made relish and Dijonnaise, or, The Colonel's Side-Chick feat. saucy, sweet-chili mayo slathered fried Cajun chicken fillets, lettuce and tomato. The battered barramundi burger (The Medusa), is perfect for pescetarians, while The Friendly Roy is amicable towards vegetarians, thanks to its grilled zucchini, crumbed haloumi, corn chips, relish and zesty lemon mayo filling. There are at least eight reasons for burger fiends to keep coming back to Roy's Kitchen for a feed.
Keep an eye out for the weekly specials, such as $12 burgs on Wednesdays, $10 fish'n'chips on Thursdays, plus $30 for a full rack of ribs and wings, with chips on Fridays. Add a few $4.40 schooners and you know you couldn't buy the materials for that. Roy's Kitchen at Mayfield Bowling Club is good food for good people, like Ada May and her mates from back in the day, long before the boom.
- What: Roy's Kitchen at Mayfield Bowling Club
- Where: Dangar Park, 2a Ingall St, Mayfield. Tel: 4968 1761.
- Contact: mayfieldbc.net/roy-s-kitchen
- Owner: Chef Jason Kuyltjes, aka Roy
- Drinks: Beer, wine, soft drinks etc.
- Hours:Dinner Wed-Sat 5pm-8pm, Lunch Fri-Sat 12pm-2pm, Sun 11:30-2:30pm
- Vegetarian: You bet
- Bottom Line: $40 for two (ribs/burger/chips/slaw), plus drinks.
- Wheelchair Access: Yes
- Do Try: Pork ribs w/ chips, slaw, charred corn, sour cream.