Sunday, 30 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Attica

Location: 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
Phone: 03 9530 0111
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Vegetarian
Overall Impression: 9/10 

On Tuesday nights, Attica serves new ideas and test dishes that challenge and please. The menu is different every week and seasonal. Priced at $95 a head for 5 courses, it is no surprise that there is a consistently long waiting list.
It was a privilege to trial some of the latest cooking ideas from the Attica kitchen. I dined here with a few colleagues so the photos are secret shots I have taken with my phone (I keep my food blogging antics a secret from my work life - I fear this may be career limiting as it may conjure images of me obsessing about food every hour of the day and not being able to concentrate properly at work although this may very well be the case?). Needless to say (although I will say it) the photos are of a less than desirable quality. 
The food on the other hand was quite simply, fantastic. Well-balanced flavours, creative and beautifully presented. I look forward to returning with J to test drive the weekend dining menu! 

Attica on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Cafe Review: Manchester Press

Location: 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9600 4054
Cuisine: Coffee, Breakfast/Brunch, Bagels
Overall Impression: 7.5/10

In true Melbourne style, Manchester Press is located in a small alley and hidden in such a way that you could never accidentally stumble upon it. If you’re dining here, it’s because you’re in the know.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Cafe Review: The Hardware Sociéte

Location: 118-120 Hardware Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9078 5992
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch, Spanish, French
Overall Impression: 5/10
Given the unashamedly French theme (deux is written unnecessarily on the menu instead of two...), it seems only fitting to give our opinion in French - nous n'aimons pas Hardware Sociéte.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Misschu

Location: various (please see below)
Phone: 03 9077 1097
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Food Truck
Overall Impression: 6/10
Misschu tuckshops are a modern day Vietnamese hawker/ takeaway/caterer. The menu features traditional and fresh Vietnamese cuisine. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Cafe Review: Bendigo Street Milk Bar

Location: 37 Bendigo Street, Burnley
Phone: 03 9428 4196
Cuisine: Coffee, Breakfast/Brunch, Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 8.5/10
Tucked away amongst the leafy, tree lined streets of Richmond, the deceptively named Bendigo Street Milk Bar is anything but a conventional neighbourhood milk bar.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Frozen yogurt battle: Yo Chi vs Cacao Green

Location: 292 Carlisle Street, Balaclava
Phone: 03 9527 7001
Cuisine: Frozen yogurt
Overall Impression: 6/10 

Yo-Chi is yet another yogurt outlet that now graces the Melbourne foodie scene. Frozen yogurt has become increasingly popular and it is no surprise why - 98% fat-free with active cultures and probiotics, what’s not to love? 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Dikstein's Corner Bar

Location: Corner Of Bank Pl And Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9642 0943
Cuisine: Coffee, Tapas, Wine Bar, Pizza
Overall Impression: 7/10

Fi, Ri, J and I decided to have drinks after work before the Christmas break. For reasons I cannot share with you, we needed a venue that would ensure minimum awkwardness. 

After much thought, J and I decided on Dikstein Corner Bar. 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Henry and the Fox

Location: 525 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9614 3277
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Breakfast
Overall Impression: 7/10
Henry and the Fox is a modern European bistro with a relaxed ambience. Perfect for a lazy brunch, this eatery boasts a breakfast menu that is simple, to the point and well executed. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Penang Road

Location: 177 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9690 0536 
Cuisine: Malaysian 
Overall Impression: 5/10
Newly opened Penang Road is quickly gaining loyal patronage.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Christmas Recipes

Highpoint has just released a selection of Christmas recipes with ingredients that can be freshly sourced from their new Fresh Food Market...

Cranberry  and  Balsamic  Glazed  Ham  
Serves  12  
275  g  jar  cranberry  sauce
1/2  cup    (125  ml)  balsamic  vinegar
1/2  cup  (100  g)  firmly  packed  light  brown  sugar
1  tablespoon  Dijon  mustard
4  kg  half  leg  cooked  ham,  on  the  bone  
Whole  cloves,  to  decorate  

Preheat  the  oven  to  180°C.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Event Review: UCAN Cafe Launch

Location: Altona North Community Library, Corner of Millers & McArthurs Road, Altona North, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9391 7929
UCAN café is a part of an enterprise under the Yooralla umbrella. In a nutshell UCAN provides employment opportunities for people with a disability. Interestingly, they employed Melbourne’s first blind barista, Aaron D’Altera (he wasn’t born with a disability but contracted a brain infection a few years ago which destroyed 90% of his vision). 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Grill'd

Cuisine: Healthy burgers, salads,
Overall Impression: 7/10

The Grill’d chain seems to be taking over Melbourne and it is easy to see why.
Catering for people who love burgers but feel bad when they have them (I can certainly identify with this!), Grill’d is a burger chain that serves delicious and most importantly, healthy burgers.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Restaurant reviews: Persimmon and Kri Kri Greek Restaurant (Christmas functions)


Phone: 03 8620 2434
Location: NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 7/10

It’s the first week of December but Christmas celebrations have started as early as mid-November for me. The first one was a cocktail party at Persimmon at NGV. 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Restaurant Review: Don Don [South Melbourne]

Location: 5 Bank Street, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9696 6682
Cuisine: Japanese, Asian
Overall Impression: 7/10 
After being around forever, Don Don is still very cheap and still very tasty!

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Bar Review: The Lui Bar

Location: Level 55, Rialto Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone: 03 9691 3888
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Bar
Overall Impression: 6/10
It was James’ final day at our work place (OWP). He was moving on to greater opportunities and just a tad too happy about leaving for our liking. Slightly annoyed but also sad that he was leaving, Frank and I decided to reminisce his time at OWP by having a drink at Lui Bar.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Restaurant Review: The Deanery

Location: 13 Bligh Place, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9629 5599
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 7/10
With an extensive wine list that you can be assured has been cellared appropriately, The Deanery has quite the reputation as a wine bar. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Making Christmas a Highpoint

Our Christmas celebrations started early this year.
With two of our closest friends planning an overseas trip over the Christmas period, we decided to have an extra early Christmas dinner with them last weekend.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Event Review: Taste of Melbourne

Taste of Melbourne is a food festival that celebrates Melbourne's culinary scene. This year, Taste of Melbourne was held in Albert Park for the first time at the beautiful lakeside location, Pelican Lawn. A number of Melbourne restaurants participated, offering tapas sized dishes for visitors to buy and try.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Restaurant Review: Locale (De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant)

Location: De Bortoli Yarra Valley, Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek
Phone: 03 5965 2271
Cuisine: Italian, Coffee
Overall Impression: 9/10

The weather is warming up and plants are blossoming, revealing their gorgeous springtime colour. While the Yarra Valley is beautiful all year round, spring is a brilliant time to visit. Many inspiring private gardens open to the public and the National Rhododendron Gardens’ Spring Floral Display is in full bloom. In addition to the stunning scenery, J and I love the Yarra Valley for its beautiful food and, of course, spectacular wine.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Restaurant Review: Di Palma's

Location: 688 High Street, Kew East
Phone: 03 9859 8999
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza
Overall Impression: 6.5/10
Di Palma’s serves hearty and affordable Italian fare at two locations (Hawthorn and East Kew). One of the few family-friendly restaurants with white table cloths, it has become a regular place for my family when we dine out for a lazy Sunday lunch with all the kids. They have a children’s menu that comes with free ice cream that the children are always excited about and for the adults, the menu ranges from wood-fired pizzas to pastas and also includes a good variety of mains.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Cafe Review: Clement Coffee Roasters

Location: Stall 89, Market St, South Melbourne
Phone: 0410 377 813
Cuisine: Coffee
Overall Impression: 7/10
Hipsters should hurry over to Clement before it becomes officially cool.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Review: Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio

Location: 647 Chapel Street, South Yarra,
Phone: 03 9827 7060
Cuisine: Desserts/Ice Cream
Overall Impression: 6/10
We arrived at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio (B&P) filled with excitement and anticipation. J and I had been looking forward to relaxing with cups of tea and some sweet treats. When we arrived, it became apparent that B&P was not at all what we had expected. B&P is not a "cafe" in any sense of the word but instead, as its name suggests, a sweet studio offering a spectacular array of sugary delights (including tubs of ice cream) to take away. Annoyed at myself for assuming it was a cafe, we decided to buy a couple of treats to take home and enjoy with a pot of earl grey I had blended myself courtesy of Mr. Twinnings.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Restaurant Reviews: Pho Hung Vuong 2 | Thanh Phong

Pho Hung Vuong 2
Location: 150 Victoria Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9428 8680
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Overall Impression: 7/10
Beef Pho

Pho Huong Vuong 2 is a little eatery along the Vietnamese food oasis, Victoria Street in Richmond. As a regular visitor, I have found their Beef Pho to be particularly impressive. The broth boasts rich and intense flavours and it is consistently served with generous slivers of tender beef.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Restaurant Review: Dead Man Espresso

Location: 35 Market Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9686 2255
Cuisine: Breakfast/Brunch, Coffee, Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 7/10

South Melbourne is quite the coffee paradise. You have St. Ali, Chez Dre and of course Dead Man Espresso.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Highpoint has launched its fresh food market with a feast of free entertainment!

On Thursday 18 October, Highpoint Shopping Centre centre unveiled the much-anticipated first stage of its $300 million development: the launch of it’s new Fresh Food Market and Eco Mall.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Restaurant Review: Pei Modern (Bar)

Location: 45 Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9654 8545
Cuisine:Coffee, Breakfast/Brunch, Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 7/10

Only 19 more sleeps until I finally dine at Mark Best’s Marque in Sydney. My excitement levels have raised quite a few notches now that I have had a quick taste of what the culinary genius Mark Best has to offer in the form of Pei Modern. 

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Restaurant Review: Mamak

Location: 366 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9670 3137
Cuisine: Malaysian
Overall Impression: 7/10

From the same people behind Mamak in Sydney (Chatswood and Chinatown), Mamak Melbourne is finally here.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Restaurant Review: Mamasita

Location: Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 3821
Cuisine: Mexican
Overall Impression: 7/10
Mamasita needs no introduction. Its increasing popularity is clear for all to see. With their no booking policy (all groups of less than 8 people are on a walk in basis), avid fans are willing to wait for up to 2 hours to indulge in their delicious Mexican fare. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Restaurant Review: Tai Pan

Location: 239 Blackburn Road, Doncaster
Phone: 03 9841 9977
Cuisine:  Chinese, Yum Cha
Overall Impression: 7/10

Tai Pan Restaurant is my favourite place for Yum Cha. They dish up a brilliant array of Hong Kong Stlye Yum Cha items including all-time favourites like Har Gow and Sieu Mai. Satisfying locals in the Eastern suburbs for almost 20 years, I'm glad to say that the quality of their offerings is as high as ever.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Cafe Review: Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates and Cafe

Location: 11 Strathalbyn Street, Kew East and 123 Maling Road, Cantebury
Phone: 03 9857 0971 and 03 9836 3100
Cuisine: Desserts, Coffee
Overall Impression: 6.5/10

Xocolatl (pronounced SHO-ko-la-TL) Artisan Chocolates and Cafe is a cosy eatery dedicated to the cacao bean. 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Restaurant Review: Maha Restaurant

Location: 21 Bond Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9629 5900
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Mediterranean
Overall Impression: 8/10

L loves Middle Eastern food, so during our recent lunch catch up, I suggested Maha. 
Maha serves Mediterranean inspired Middle Eastern cuisine that boasts bold flavour combinations that retain authentic characteristics.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Restaurant Review: Cutler & Co

Location: 57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9419 4888
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Wine Bar, International
Overall Impression: 8.5/10

Awarded the best restaurant in Victoria by Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide 2013, Andrew McConnell's flagship restaurant, Cutler & Co, showcases perfectly executed Modern Australian fare.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Restaurant Review: St Katherine's

Location: 26 Cotham Road, Kew
Phone: 03 9207 7477
Cuisine: Modern Greek, Turkish, Mediterranean
Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Headed by acclaimed chefs George Calombaris (GC) and Shane Delia, St Katherine’s is a celebration of their individual family histories and culture on a plate. 

Event: Unplugged at Touché Hombre

Touché Hombre will be supporting local artists every night this week when it hosts its second series of Unplugged.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Restaurant Review: Prime House

Location: Shop 5a, 500 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9602 2955
Cuisine: Steakhouse, Breakfast/Brunch, Burgers
Overall Impression: 6.5/10

Once upon a time, EARL Canteen was *the* purveyor of gourmet sandwiches on the 500 Bourke Street turf. Their complete reign has now come to an end with (relatively) new kid on the block, Prime House.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Restaurant Review: City Quarter

Location: Level 1, Cunningham Pier, 10 Western Beach Foreshore Road, Geelong
Phone: 03 5222 6233
Cuisine: Tapas, Coffee, Pizza
Overall Impression: 7/10

A mere couple of hundred metres from Corio Bay, this waterfront bar boasts stunning views of the sea and the Geelong city skyline. 

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Event: Kitchen Garden Workshops for foodies with green thumbs!

Melbourne Central Launches Urban Gardening Workshops

This month treat  your green thumb and sign  up for Melbourne Central’s Community  Kitchen  Garden  Workshops  held  during  Kitchen  Garden  Week  (24-28  September) and experience the art of inner city living gardening.

Cafe Review: BrimCC Organic Soup and Japanese cafe

Location:601 Little Collins Sreet,  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9614 5316
Cuisine: Japanese, Organic, Soups
Overall Impression: 7/10
Oddly named “BrimCC”, we were told by the smiling staff that “Brim” comes from their soup cups always being filled to the brim which leads to customer happiness and “CC” varies in meaning depending on the seasons. In winter, “CC” stands for Chunky and Cosy and in summer, “CC” stands for Cool and Colourful.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cafe Review: Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie

Location: Various (see below)
Phone: 03 8598 9555
Cuisine: French
Overall Impression: 6.5/10

Cacao Fine Chocolates & Patisserie is a reputable patisserie that serves chocolates, cakes, pastries and award-winning macarons. The coffee served is also of a high standard which is brilliant given how coffee and sweet delights go hand in hand. Cacao has 4 retail stores scattered around Melbourne.

The Cellar Bar (Grossi Florentino)

Location: 80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9662 1811
Cuisine: Italian
Overall Impression: 6.5/10
Want some Grossi style Italian lovin' without the hefty price tag? The Cellar Bar is a brilliant spot for post-dinner coffees and cakes. They have a good selection of desserts, serve consistently good coffee and it is always nice to indulge in one of their decadent hot chocolates.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Restaurant Review: Red Spice Road

Location: 27 McKillop Street, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9603 1601
Cuisine: Asian, Thai, Vietnamese
Overall Impression: 7/10

Check out our review of the Red Spice Road bar (where we enjoyed a few yummy cocktails) here and our first visit to Red Spice Road here.

Betel Leaf with Chicken, Crab, Coconut, Chilli and Kaffir Lime

Red Spice Road continues to draw in the crowds with its South East Asian influenced offerings. While the food on offer is perhaps not entirely “authentic”, the menu boasts South East Asian cuisine that thankfully retains authentic characteristics like robust flavours and the generous use of spices. A year and a half from our first visit, we are pleased to see that Red Spice Road has continued to deliver on all fronts.
We particularly enjoy their banquets which are great value and a brilliant introduction to Modern South East Asian cuisine for first timers.