I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised and disappointed for the owners that Nichols doesn’t receive better patronage on a Friday evening. It offers a quiet environment, great tasting and well-priced food, and a thoughtfully assembled wine list. A combination of all these elements in a single venue is certainly prized by any restaurant, and it beggar belief that it little jewel has yet to receive more attention. Check out and like their facebook page at which you can be updated on their specials or new additions to their wine list.
It perhaps suffers slightly from its location, which is away from the bustle of Lygon St, distanced from Fitzroy North, Brunswick St, and even the Nicholson strip just before Brunswick Rd. It’s in an area which is heavily residential although its frontage inconspicuously neighbours the San Remo ballroom, and one so easily drives past without so much as a side glance. The interior is simple, with couches by the front window which would be ideal for relaxing over summer.
Nichols offers a concise menu with a good assortment of small dishes excellent for sharing amongst friends, which you can follow up with the tasty housemade pasta. I recommend the chicken, leek and potato croquettes paired with the Artumes IGT from Toscana which is a blend of Trebbiano, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
The roasted beetroot pappardelle with confit rabbit, shallot and candied bacon ragout was excellent with a Sangiovese. The ham hock ravioli was no mean main too.
Solid cinnamon donuts to polish off the night. And we the beat the rain home too!
Overall, Nichols is a peaceful alternative to the hipster bustle of Carlton and Fitzroy. It’s an under-appreciated gem of a place which offers a return to the rustic without compromising on quality. Excellent service and great value for money. I will surely return sooner, rather than later. It is available for private functions and catering for events too.