Friday, 29 April 2011

The Best Macarons in Melbourne: Emerald Deli

Macaron vs Macaroon?
It's easy to make that mistake.
A "macaron" is characterised by a dome-shaped biscuit made of egg whites and almond meal, hard to the touch with a chewy interior.

A "macaroon", on the other hand, is a small meringue cake, typically made of coconut and often dipped in chocolate.

Macarons have hit Melbourne like a storm. But the question is, where can you find the best Macarons in Melbourne?
Emerald deli, in South Melbourne market will not dissapoint. They seriously the best macarons. Lemon, strawberry, pistachio and double chocolate

They taste even better than they look! Beautifully luscious, both the top and bottom pieces that sandwich the centre, have a beautiful crust that cracks with every bite, revealing a gooey sweet "cookie dough" like interior. Unlike your usual macaron, these are sizeable enough that you can truly enjoy the gooey-ness of the sweet interior.
Perfectly sweet and smack filled with flavour, they certainly have 'bite'.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Restaurant Review: Jai Ho

Location: 205, Swan Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 90787798
Cuisine: Indian
Overall Impression: 5/10

Highly recommend their Fish Curry (Fish fillets cooked in rich coconut and onion gravywith mustard seeds and fresh curry leaves)/ This sets you back a fair $ 17.00.
Simply delicious!

Friendly and prompt service. Very nice ambience. Good food. The portion sizes are very small even for mains so be prepared to order a few dishes. I'd advise you go with a few people so you can order a lot more - to share. And corkage is a mere $2 a head!
Jai Ho Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Restaurant Review: Co Do

Location: 196 Victoria Street, Richmond
Cuisine: Vietnamese

I have been to Co Do a few times and don't remember ever being disappointed. It does a great Pho when I am feeling less adventurous and when I feel like trying something different, its menu serves up an array of delights that include a variety of noodle dishes [dropped rice noodles, rice vermicelli, egg nooodle etc etc etc), rice dishes and stir-fried dishes.

There is such a delightful buzz about this place.

I  decided to order one of my very favourite dishes! Steamed mini pancakes with minced prawn and green bean paste. The steamed mini pancakes were soft and delicate. A very flavoursome dish that will set you back a mere $8.00.
Overall Impression: 7/10
Casual dining. Very good Vietnamese food. Entrees $5.50-$9; mains $9-$20.
Co Do on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Restaurant Review: The Metropolitan Hotel

Location: 263 William Street (cnr Lt Lonsdale), Melbourne
Phone: 03 9670 1385
Cuisine: Pub Fare
Overall Impression: 5/10

 Char-grilled 300gm Porterhouse, Mash Potato, Broccoli and Pepper Sauce
 Our “Famous” Parma: Lightly Crumbed Chicken Breast, topped with Virginian Ham, Tomato Napoli and Melted Cheese served with Chips and Salad
 Char-grilled 300gm Porterhouse, Mash Potato, Wilted spinach and shiraz jus
Decent pub food. Simple and good wood-fired pizzas. Nice and casual ambience. Friendly and prompt waitstaff. Great for a quick lunch or a casual dinner.
Metropolitan on Urbanspoon

Event Review: The Interminable suicide of Gregory Church [16 April 2011]

The Interminable Suicide Of Gregory Church

Written and Performed by Daniel Kitson

It was absolutely entertaining. Daniel Kitson has this incredible power of captivating his audience members. Definitely worth seeing!

Restaurant Review: Metropolis Eating House

Location: 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick
Phone: (03) 9388 8730
Cuisine: French
Overall Impressions: 1/10

Would I return? No. Did I have an unforgettable dining experience? Absolutely.
Let me explain.

From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a large velvet staircase in a rundown "lobby" area. There was no one in sight. We were not even sure whether the restaurant was open. We walked up the stairs, towards the light and beheld an amazing sight. The dining area feels like it belongs in a mansion, not a restaurant in Brunswick. A haunted, mysterious mansion.

The maitre'd, with her very strong French accent, welcomed us warmly and we were promptly seated. I could not wait for the food we were about to indulge in.
Bread with parsnip dip

I found the parsnip dip interesting.
Chilled skate with artichoke paste, slow cooked red pepper, squid salad, parsley jus

J is not a fan of cold entrees but I am. Unfortunately, this was not to my taste at all. I would liken the taste to a can of tuna mixed with a generous serve of mayonnaise. The slow cooked red pepper tasted like ordinary antipasto from a jar. It was definitely not something we expected at all.
Air-dried wagyu, duck liver parfait, fig and beetroot chutney

This was one of the better dishes from the night. It is noteworthy that nothing on this plate involved any real cooking or preparation on the part of the kitchen staff (apart from plating up, which they did a very good job on). The wagyu needed no further preparation apart from slicing, the duck liver parfait and chutney both tasted like they came out of a jar.
Confit pork belly, green curry, bok choy
grilled scallop

It looked delicious on the plate and we were both hopeful that the night was looking up (food-wise that is, apart from that, we were having a fabulous time!). The pork lacked any flavour. It was extremely stale. The fat was rubbery. It was obvious that the meat had been prepared well in advance and had been quickly defrosted and pan-fried before serving. I have never tasted pork belly like this before.
The scallop was tasteless and insipid.

At this point in the night, we realised we were in a bizarre alternate reality, much like a scene from Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. That could be the only explanation. We waited for the moment Gordon Ramsay would storm into the restaurant, shouting abuse. Amusing as that would have been, that never came to pass.
Garfish stuffed with prawn, nori, coriander cumin

Every bite was filled with mini, utterly annoying fish bones. It was sad that after ploughing through and removing those deadly spikes, we were left with an extremely under-seasoned, zestless fish devoid of flavour. The concept of the dish was good. The execution, on the other hand, was horrendous.
Berry Gazpacho, yoghurt sorbet

The dinner ended on a somewhat pleasant note. This was an enjoyable dessert. Simple and to the point.
Chocolate tapioca, chocolate espuma
housemade honeycomb

This was an average dessert, at best. But given the other courses served throughout the night, we were thankful at how ‘non-disastrous’ this was. I guess everything in life is relative.

And it was over. What an interesting experience. I have never been so shocked by food in my life. And please do not be fooled by how well these dishes present. Taste is an entirely different matter. I would recommend this restaurant for a hilarious night out, but please stay clear of it if you wish to taste delectable food. As the menu prices are equivalent to 1 hat restaurants in Melbourne, it surprises me that this restaurant has remained open for a substantial period of time (the wait staff we asked told us it has been open for about seven months) given the quality of the offerings.

 J and I have read the reviews of this restaurant on Urbanspoon and are both puzzled by the extent of praise lavished upon this eatery by other reviewers. Nevertheless, we can only speak from our personal experience and there is only one word for the food: Monstrous.1 
Metropolis Eating House on Urbanspoon

1. For the purposes of this post the word 'Monstrous' is given its ordinary meaning and not the one given by Matt Preston (Masterchef).

Friday, 15 April 2011

Restaurant Review: Straits Cafe

Location: 694 Doncaster Rd, Doncaster
Phone: (03) 9848 1605
Cuisine: Malaysian Hawker food

Entree: Jyu hu eng chai
Cuttle fish and spinach "salad"
Assam Laksa $9.90
Thick rice noodles in a tamarind based fish soup with onions, pineapple, cucumber and mint leaves.

You can always tell how authentic the rest of the menu will be after tasting an Assam Laksa dish at any Malaysian hawker style restaurant. If this isn't on the menu, it is because it is difficult to replicate overseas Additionally, I have been told it is an acquired taste, so that may also play a big part. My advise is, if you like Thai style food - sweet, sour, spicy and savoury flavours, this is the noodle dish for you.
I was pleasantly surprised at how authentic this tasted. Every mouthful was delicious and packed a punch.
Curry Laksa $9.90
Rice vermicelli and egg noodles served in a fragrant curry and coconut soup with chicken, fish cake and beancurd.

Great place for a casual and quick bite.

Overall Impression: 7/10
Straits Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Restaurant Review: The Colonial Hotel

Location: Corner of King and Lonsdale st, Melbourne,
Phone: (03) 9670 8599
Cuisine: Pub food
$5 Pizzas at The Colonial Hotel...
Tomato, char grilled eggplant, roasted capsicum, mozzarella, basil

Haloumi, olives, oregano, tomato, lemon
Calabrese salami, tomato, mozzarella 

Great service and very cheap pizzas!
Colonial Hotel on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Scusami

Location: Southgate Shopping Complex, Mid Level /Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: (03) 9699 4111
Cuisine: Italian

Bread to start

Seared calamari, herb marinated, white anchovy warm panzella salad
The calamari was perfectly cooked. The salad was quite good. Simple and well seasoned.
 Beef carpaccio, served raw, truffled duck egg, wild mushrooms and herbs infused olive oil
This was a delicious dish. Each mouthful was delectable. There was a great balance of flavours.
 Pan roasted Tasmanian Salmon, with rocket and salsa verde dressing
Very plain. The Salmon was cooked well.
 Orrechiette pasta served with Smoked pancetta tomato and peas
The pasta was cooked al dente. The sauce lacked depth as the dominant tomato base over-powered the entire dish.
Red wine braised chicken with olives and roasted potato
The chicken was overdone and was disappointingly dry. As such, the lack of sauce on the plate made this one of the least enjoyable courses of the night.

House churned gelato

Overall Impression: 6/10
Very pleasant and waitstaff that provided efficient levels of service. The food was well presented and all things considered, was a positive dining experience.

Scusami on Urbanspoon