Enter a virtual temple of Luke Mangan, starting at the door with a wooden spool of name-brand products.
There’s also the Engine Room’s wall of black and white photos picturing Luke with assorted famous folk, from Bill Clinton to actress Jacki Weaver; and in the rear, his name in lights and a test kitchen.
He built it, and they have come, in their BMWs and Audis, all keen to slum it warehouse-style under cage fight lights, eating from enamel-coated tin plates.
Stools at the long bar encourage you to make friends with like-minded strangers; with engaged waiters ever-ready to take share plate orders as your urges arise.
Sure the Lobster & Vietnamese Salad Bao Bun ($15.50) is a slider by another Mother, but it’s a goody; ditto the Tempura Prawn Steamed Bun ($9.50) with chipotle and pineapple salsa.
Raw Beef Fillet ($14) takes tartare to Mexico (and it’s more fun for it), whilst Morocco produces my dish of the night - Cauliflower with Harissa Yoghurt ($14) speckled with pine nuts and currants.
Peter Bourne has produced a well-priced wine list, bested by the 2011 Kooyong Beurrot Pinot Gris ($12/glass) and the 2010 Hewitson Miss Harry GSM ($10/glass).
And you should drink wine, according to the toilet signs it’s a middle class aphrodisiac.
8-10 Danks Street, Waterloo
Ph: (02) 9002 5346