Remember the old Amiga game where you had to fit bits of pipe together, for reasons not entirely clear? So did we, when we experienced the striking interior of the catchily-titled PATS – The Philly Way. Bringing a taste of South Philidelphia to the Australian state of Victoria, PATS (that’s Premium Australian Trimmed Steak, HENCE THE CAPITALS) serves up its take on the famous steak sandwich born in the original stateside Pat’s in the 1930s.
Happily, there’s not much evidence of your typical US fast food joint in the Richmond eatery, however. Studio Equator, the restaurant designers, have swerved the primary colours and Hollywood schtick of Pulp Fiction’s Jack Rabbit Slim’s and have instead gone for a mixture of the industrial and the musical, calling on the history of the famous east coast American city to bring real flavour to the place. Jazz motifs evoke the spirit of the 60s and 70s, and the warm oranges and browns of the era ensure the pseudo-plumbing overhead doesn’t sterilise the dining experience. (We’re happy to report the said ceiling installations are light housings, not soil pipes).
There’s a homely feel to the place from the wall art to the menu fonts. Nude wood in the tables and seating brings the old and new elements together nicely, and there’s a pleasantly snug kerbside dining area for those who like to take in the streetlife as they’re chowing down. Studio Equator have done such a good job on the brand image, it’s a shame they couldn’t do something about the unwieldy name while they were at it.
And now if you’ll excuse me, all this modernist nostalgia is making me hungry… one with everything!