The Moorabool Street venue effortlessly combines a café, restaurant and sports bar into one floor
After a glam new makeover, Moorabool Street has just scored a brand-new foodie destination with a globe-trotting menu, unbeatable locals brews and cocktails and a good looking interior.
Oz Flame café and sports bar is the latest venue to join Geelong’s booming foodie scene.
The key takeaways
- Oz Flame cafe and sports bar is the newest foodie venue to open in Geelong
- You’ll find a harmonious, globetrotting menu, huge drinks list and an entirely renovated space
- Oz Flame is located at 52 Moorabool Street
Opening early April, Oz Flame is the passion project of Armstrong Creek brothers Varinder and Raman Singh, who completely (and brilliantly) transformed the former Thai Influence Noodle Bar & Restaurant into a vibrant and avant-garde restaurant and bar space.
After three months of construction, much of which was done by the brothers themselves, the derelict venue was brought was to life. Fresh floors, bright pendant lighting, bright wallpaper, brand new kitchen equipment, timber furniture, and even a unique water bubble bar counter made of love, light and moving water.
The large front windows give the restaurant a sense of airiness and natural light, while the venue itself is subtly divided into two separate dining areas: a restaurant and café space and a sports bar.
“The idea was to open up a venue where you can watch sports, but also offer a space that’s got a family environment as well,” Varinder says. “That’s why we’ve divided the main space into two: on one side you can enjoy a bar-style experience, and on the other, you can sit with the family.”
The venue also boasts a function room for 25 people, just adding one more notch to the Oz Flame belt.
Taking the driver’s seat and incubating his culinary dreams, Varinder brings a wealth of experience, drawing on his extensive career to deliver classic dishes with a flavoursome and original twist.
Creating a harmonious, globetrotting menu, you’ll find delicious eats including natural oysters, Szechuan chilli calamari, chilli con carne nachos, chicken wings and boneless bites with buffalo sauce, BBQ sauce and chilli & lime, and the hero of the menu, the salt and pepper crocodile. A first for Geelong, this marinated crocodile fillet is cooked to perfection, lightly dusted with salt and pepper flour and served with house-made chipotle sauce, giving locals a chance to experience something so uniquely Australian.
If you’re after something hearty, there’s also supreme nachos, a chicken and bacon crunch burger, Oz Flame beef burger (complete with onion rings and BBQ sauce), as well as a steak sandwich, classic and loaded parmis, and even premium scotch fillet and rump steaks cooked your way on lava rock grill.
There’s also a kids menu with buttermilk tenders, creamy penne pasta, grilled reef fish and a mini beef burger.
“In designing the menu, I’ve combined pretty much my entire 14 years as a chef,” Varinder explains. “From oysters, burgers, black pepper beef and salmon, to salt and pepper crocodile and chilli calamari, we try to fuse new and interesting flavours with some spice.”
Currently, these are options are on their reduced opening menu, with a vast menu set to be launched in the next few weeks, featuring these dishes and so much more. Think charred prawns, jalapeno poppers, Mexican corn ribs, quesadilla, corn fritters and halloumi crumb, burrito bowl, Thai beef, grilled salmon, and an authentic black pepper beef or Dukkah spiced pumpkin bowl. If you’re after something to warm your belly, they’ll also have mouth-watering green curry, Laksa on flame with either prawn or chicken, or Mediterranean pasta and creamy pesto penne. There’s also a T-bone steak listed here alongside the aforementioned cuts.
For those ready to indulge in an absolute feast with some of your favourite pals, share plates are also an option. Perfect for sharing between up to four people, dive into a whole flamed fish, an oven-baked pizza board, slow-cooked pork ribs and a big old bowl of nachos. If you’re wanting to wing it, there’s also a wing and dip option that gets you eight of each type of wing!
For the penny-pinchers out there, they’re currently running Tuesday Steak Night specials, with a 300gm rump with chips and salad for $20, and a 300gr scotch fillet with chips and salad for $25, plus 30% off on all wings. Consider your Saturday night dining sorted too with their half-price wings and $5 tap beers from 5pm-7pm.
If all that wasn’t enough, you even get a complimentary bowl of Oz Flame Peanut Twist on arrival – a delicious concoction of peanuts, corn chips, coriander, lemon, lime, tomato and onion. I’d happily sit there and just eat a bowl of this stuff for dinner, seriously morish.
While the mains are certainly the hero here, Oz Flame also dish up several hearty breakfast options if you find yourself in town with a rumbling stomach in the early hours. Kicking off from 7am, treat yourself to some smashed avo, breakfast roll, a big brekky, omelette and eggs benedict in a variety of flavours, and our favourite, the triple-stacked buttermilk pancakes, complete with choccy sauce, berry compote and ice cream. There are even muffins, energy bowls and toasties if you’re after something more on the go.
Oh and for the sweet tooths, there’s also an all-day dessert menu with panna cotta, mango tapioca and ice cream!
With cool vibes and an impressive menu, we must add that the team here go over and above to source high-quality, organic and free-range produce from local suppliers so you can be assured the dishes are top-notch.
Now that your mouth is watering, let’s move onto Oz Flame’s drinks list – curated by Varinder with the help of friends at The Telegraph – which confidently covers all the bases. Here you’ll find the wine boasting both local, national and international drops with glasses costing as little as $8 and as much as $11. Among that, we spy a French pinot noir for $9, a local shiraz for $10 and an Italian prosecco for $10. Alongside the wine, there’s a vast selection of beer and cider, with Great Northern, Carlton Draught and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale all on tap.
Cocktail-wise, the venue boasts 16 cocktails for just $18 each. You’ll find signature recipes like the champagne cocktail, the espresso martini and pornstar martini, made with vodka, Cointreau, passoa liqueur and prosecco; alongside classics like the cosmo, margarita, negroni, sangria and the amaretto sour.
If you’re looking for a delicious alternative to alcohol, there are also some pretty colourful mocktails including a ‘Shirley Temple’, alongside freshly squeezed juice, iced drinks, milkshakes (including mango), smoothies, and soft drinks. Offering something for the coffee enthusiasts, you’ll even find single-origin coffee from Veneziano Coffee Roasters.
Combining a love of food with a love of sports, Oz Flame is not only providing Geelong with a unique dining destination but also providing an answer to those struggling with the ever-present conundrum of where to cheer on your favourite team with the aforementioned Sports Bar section of the venue.
With plans to add more screens and adorn the walls with some of Geelong’s sporting greats, the venue’s dedicated front area boasts bar stools and benches that calls for the unparalleled atmosphere for the big games.
With a full menu set to launch soon and finishing touches being added by the day, Oz Flame somehow manages to effortlessly combine a café, restaurant and sports bar into one floor of Moorabool Street’s former Thai venue.
But far from being confusing or overwhelming, the result is a dynamic and adaptable space that changes its atmosphere depending on the time of day or night.
Oz Flame is located at 52 Moorabool Street, Geelong and is open Monday to Saturday from 7am to 11pm, and Sunday from 10am-11pm.