Where We Ate …

Eat, drink and be merry ...

Not many at Control Data Australia needed a second invitation!

In this section, we cover some of the eateries we used ... from memory, there weren't a lot of take-away outlets around the area at the time - one a block to the south on the corner of Union Street and another in the block of flats in Queen's Road behind Control Data, but I don't remember many others close by.

But  there were plenty of relatively inexpensive "sit own" spots, many within walking distance.

To keep the archives to a reasonable size, the lunch spots are divided into four categories (which probably indicates that we really weren't that damned fussy).

Obviously there were other groups, other eateries and other years, but these are the ones that come to my mind as being used on multiple occasions in the early 1970s, plus one or two of later years where I know Control Data congregated.

Way back then, hotels were hotels providing relatively cheap meals at lunchtime rather than today's enterprises where the pub revenues are more derived from the restaurant, coffee machines an possibly gaming.

I need to do a little more research (whee! an excuse for a pub crawl) to check out the current functionality of some the sites, especially in the Prahran and Armadale areas.

Two - the Fawkner Club and the Flower have been converted into apartments over the last six or seven years, and Station iss currently undergoing the same transformation, but the others are still  operating in some form or other - maybe a couple more as gaming venues than what we may remember as one of out our favourite lunch spots.

Probably the Court Jester and the old stomping ground, the College Lawn are the two that have changed the most externally (although the pink elephants of the roof of the Windsor Castle provide an interesting addition).

Most of the others probably remain pretty true to how they looked back around 1930 when a number of hotels were re-built or extensively renovated to conform with new requirements for improved dining and accommodation facilities imposed by the Licensing Reductions Board.


Did we ever do Chinese?  Nowadays there is any number of Asian restaurants around the immediate area, but certainly early 1970s, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Japanese or Korean cuisines were virtually unheard of.

I have a vague recollection that may have been a Chinese restaurant on the eastern side of St. Kilda Road (or is it still Punt Road) between the Junction and Wellington Street, but never having been there.  At the July, 2014 lunch, someone suggested it may have been called The Blue Orchid, but a check of street and telephone directories from 1974 which is around the time of my recollection through to at least 1988 when Control Data retired hurt reveals it was the Taiping (the Blue Orchid may have been a block further south).

Ron Bird later suggested that CDA never went there because an investigation by The Sun in the late 1960s had found dead cats in the kitchen.  Further research is required to determine whether the dead cats ATE the speciality of the house or (more likely) WERE the speciality of the house!

Ron came up with two Chinese restaurants that were occasionally used - the Fairy Stork in Ackland Street (early 1970s) and the Ging Wah at 198 Toorak Road - the latter is still there and the name does evoke some forgettory, but mostly post-pub sessions rather than formal CDA affairs.

He's also chucked in The Illiad on the corner of The Esplanade and Fitzroy Street as a post-Chevron haunt and I also have La Porchetta in Rathdown Street on the back burner - although it is best known as the location of third-Friday from late 1999 to early 2013, it originally functioned at the same address as the Porcetta Restaurant from around 1972, long before Rocky and the franchise which I'm guessing commenced around 1990, a year or so before our monthly lunches commenced.



Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey