Interview :: The Dip Canteen and Tasty Eats

May 17th 2011


For the past year, Goodgod Small Club has been satisfying most of the senses. The kitschy Cuban aesthetic is easy-on-the-eyes. The 1950s rock-and-roll, hip hop karaoke and emerging artist launches make for fine listening and sing-a-long-ing. And the packed dance floor heaving in the small hours is good for the body and soul. And now they're going above and beyond the call of duty and introducing a finger-licking canteen collaboration. Hold on to your taste buds.

Friends and DJs Andrew Levins (Heaps Decent) and Bianca Khalil are taking over the front bar with the kind of bar food dreams are made of. The Southern-style treats are inspired by State-side travels, and soon you can fuel up your dance energy with goods like pulled pork sandwiches with smoked BBQ beans, apple and cabbage slaw or sweet avocado ice-cream with strawberry salsa & waffle chips.

We  asked Levins what will be on the menu.

FBi: What did your Mum pack in your school lunch box?

Levins: We both had fairly boring school lunches. When Bianca's Portuguese mum was in school she got teased for her exotic, interesting lunches so while Bianca was in school she protected her from possible ridicule by packing only vegemite and peanut butter sandwiches. I fared a little better – 2 sandwiches out of 5 my Mum packed for me each week would have leftovers from dinner the night before on them – often rissoles or sausages with sauce. Those were awesome.

And so where did the food fascination start?

I started taking an interest in how food was made after a family holiday to the States when I was 12, which included 5 nights with some family friends who lived in Memphis, Tennessee. One night Dad and I were taken out to a Memphis Pit BBQ place and I had pulled pork for the first time. Dad and I were obsessed immediately and tried recreating it at home on the Weber each year after that. It took me 10 years to get the recipe right, and I cooked it for friends at BBQs at my place over the last few years. Our BBQs got pretty crazy; for my birthday last year there were almost 150 people there fighting each other like zombies to get to the grub! I guess The Dip is an extension of those BBQs. [We're]  trying to cook food we love for cool people. Goodgod is the perfect spot for that to happen, I can't see it working as well anywhere else!

When did Sydney hipsters become such foodies? Clever and creative eats are part of the Sydney subculture in a way they never were before.

Creative people should be creative in most things they do. If you commit a lot of time to great music, why ruin your life by eating shit food? Maybe more and more people in Sydney are thinking like that.

Who had the idea for the canteen at Goodgod? How did it develop?

Jimmy and Hana at Goodgod had been wanting to serve food since they opened properly last year. Bianca and I were considering opening a daytime sandwich spot but realised we could do so much more inside Goodgod. We spent a few months figuring out how we could make it work with Jimmy and Hana, who were such a big part of the creative process. The Dip fits very naturally inside Goodgod, the two go hand in hand! We're gonna be collaborating a lot, combining music and food for a perfect night out.

The menu seems very deep American south flavoured? What inspired those tastes? Why do they mesh well with a night out at Goodgod?

It definitely started for me with my visit to Memphis, since then I returned to America for a couple of tours and would just obsess over finding BBQ joi


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