Story and photos by Vivienne Pearson
Slow-cooked food is worth the time it takes to prepare. Slo-Mo Joes is worth the time it takes to find it. It’s one of those places that can be tricky to find the first time but, once you know, you’ll never forget. Just look for the riot of yellow.
Slo-Mo Joes is in Bay Lane. From the Fletcher Street end, it’s not so hard – stand next to Safya, or with your back to The Bolt Hole and you’ll see the yellow a few doors down the lane. From Jonson Street, you’ll need to work a little harder – walk down the lane past Byron Fresh and the Fishmongers and keep going after Red Hot and Green – the yellowness will surprise you on your right.
The next surprise will be how spacious the seemingly tiny space is. Once you’re in, the surprises from there are all food-related and are all good.
This is slow-cooked, one-pot-style food. ‘Healthy, fresh and nutritious,’ is the sum-up by owner, Meredith Pollock. There’s no one single cuisine, with the menu drawing inspiration from the US brisket-and-beans-style slow cooking as well as slow-cook methods from the Pacific (tropically flavoured chicken curry), Morocco (chick pea stew with spices, nuts and herbs), Asia (Vietnamese-style pork roll), and England (lamb with mushy peas).
Open since Bluesfest, Slo-Mos have a brand-new liquor licence, meaning you can enjoy wine, beer (including Byron’s Stone & Wood, and Fortitude from Mount Tambourine), or selected cocktails (Sangria and Slo-Mo’s versions of Singapore Slings) with your meal.
With doors that open right up and in-lane seating, Slo-Mos is a good option now in winter as well as once it warms up. ‘It’s not just winter food,’ says Meredith. ‘Already there are items that are great for warmer days, such as the Tuscan Bread Salad, and we’ll add more in summer, such as a slow-cooked duck salad.’
The space is very yellow and very fun. The menu items have catchy names (Mean Beans and Wam Bam Lamb, anyone?!) and the walls are covered with fun food sayings. I was straight on to ‘Find inner peas’ but confess it took me a few minutes before ‘I love you from my head tomatoes’ fell into place.
It also took me a few goes to get the full meaning of the name. Slo-mo is an abbreviation for slow motion, so sits perfectly with the slow cooking. Joes reminds me of US-style slow-cooked food. Mo fits with the moustache logo. Meredith filled me in on the other meaning – linking up the mo and joe gives you Mojo, meaning magic.
Putting all that together, I guess you could say that Slo-Mo Joes has brought to Byron some moustached, slow-motion, magic slow-cooked food.
Slo-Mo Joes, Bay Lane, near Fletcher Street corner. Closed Tuesday. Mon, Tues, Wed: 11am–late, Fri, Sat, Sun: 8am–late. Instagram: @slomojoes