Friday, 31 August 2012

Event: Melbourne's most loved food trucks are coming to McIntyre Lane!

Cafe Review: Brunswick Street Alimentari

Location: 251 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9416 2001
Cuisine: Italian, Coffee, Middle Eastern
Overall Impression: 7/10

Situated on bustling Brunswick Street, Alimentari is quite the Fitzroy culinary institution. Starting its life as a local deli thirteen years ago, it has grown amidst a band of loyal followers that swear by their rustic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern offerings.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Age Good Food Guide 2013

Congratulations to all the winners!

Restaurant Review: The Press Club

Location: 72 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9677 9677
Cuisine: Modern Greek, Modern Australian
Overall Impression: 8/10

Being big fans of George Calombaris, J and I were excited to revisit his flagship restaurant, The Press Club.
Umame bread

The Press Club serves Modern Greek cuisine. We opted for the Symposium degustation menu with matching wines. Given it was truffle season, we had the option of receiving an extra truffle course for $35 per person - a proposition we could not refuse. 
Epanomi “Glykadia”- sweetbread

The degustation menu took us on a Hellenic gastronomic journey where the techniques executed were modern and contemporary but the food retained authentic Greek cuisine characteristics that had a lot of heart and soul.  
Mouzaki “Aiginares Artichoke”

The courses started with subtle delicate flavours. As the dinner progressed, the flavours increased in intensity, working its way up to the main – the Thraki “Moschari – Beef” which was the highlight of our evening. 

Karpathose “Xifias - Swordfish”
Crete “Psari – Hapuka” 
Tasmania truffle, Bannockburn chicken girolles

There was one downside to our dining experience at The Press Club and it was the additional truffle course. While the dish had commendably generous shavings of truffle, the truffle unfortunately lacked flavour and aroma. As a result, the truffles played a small supporting role instead of being the hero of the dish. It was however, difficult to be too critical given the fact that the other elements of the dish had been executed perfectly.
Epirus “Elafi – Venison”
Thraki “Moschari – Beef”

This was the dish of the night. The morsels of beef were the tenderest pieces of meat I have ever had. It melted in my mouth and was incredibly soft but not to the point where it had lost its texture and integrity as beef. It was brilliant. The flavours were beautifully intense and delicious.
Corfu “Refreshing”
Athens “Sokolata – Chocolate”

The Press Club is great for a relaxing dinner or a celebration. The ambience is lively and classy - the dining room is endowed with black marble, chandeliers and wooden panels. The service is attentive and friendly without being intrusive. Each dish was executed perfectly - each course had flavours that were well balanced coupled with a beautiful mix of textures. It is no wonder The Press Club remains one of the most highly regarded dining establishments in Melbourne.

The Press Club on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Restaurant Review: Cruzao Arepa Bar

Location: 365 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9417 7871
Cuisine: Venezuelan, Latin American, Tapas
Overall Impression: 7/10

Venezuelan food is far from mainstream but that is precisely why J and I were excited to have our first try of it at Cruzao Arepa Bar.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Cafe Review: Little King Cafe

Location: Shop 4/209 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9654 0030
Cuisine: Coffee, Sandwiches, Cakes
Overall Impression: 7/10

I was catching up over coffee with my favourite ex-colleagues. As usual, JA was left with the gripping task of deciding where we should go. I knew we were in good hands since JA is quite the coffee enthusiast. On this occasion, JA suggested Little King Café.
Little King Café is a delightfully snug little café hidden beneath the archways of St Paul's Cathedral. The tiny space is humble and calming. The windows are adorned with lace curtains that add a touch of nostalgia. Perfect, given we would all be doing a lot of reminiscing.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Restaurant Review: Melba Brasserie

Location: 1 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 18 0064 1107
Cuisine: Buffet, International, Asian
Overall Impression: 6/10

Melba Brasserie serves what is arguably the most highly regarded buffet in Melbourne. Incorporating food from a diverse range of cultures and various interactive features within the dining experience, it is easy to understand why Melba Brasserie has become as popular as it is.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cafe Review: Macchiato On Collins

Location: 446 Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9602 4658
Cuisine: Japanese
Overall Impression: 5/10

Despite what the name “Macchiato On Collins” would suggest,this Collins Street cafe is much more a Japanese eatery than it is a coffee place.It serves decent coffees but it is really the Japanese food that brings peoplein during the CBD lunch hour rush.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Revisited: Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe

Location: 620 Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9620 9548
Cuisine: Japanese
Overall Impression: 7/10

One year on from my first review of Purple Peanuts it looks like the place is still going strong. M, G and I were there to celebrate G’s new job (which she is starting next year). 
Chicken Teriyaki

The chicken teriyaki was beautifully tender and lacquered with a sweet soy teriyaki sauce which was well-balanced.
Chicken curry rice

The curry was creamy and hearty – perfect for the cold weather!
Miso soup

The food is still incredibly fresh and vibrant and the prices are still low. There is still the crazy weekday lunch hour rush but the staff are efficient enough so everyone gets fed pretty quickly.

Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Event review: Spitiko launch

Location: 270 Park Street, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9690 2600
Cuisine: Greek
Gastrology was invited to a “house Spitiko warming party” to celebrate the launch of their new menu and "take-away Spitaki”. Owners Phil Vakos (of Masterchef 2010 fame) and his business partner John have created a warm, welcoming space with a bar that would not look out of place in a Melbourne nightclub.
It was difficult not to be distracted, however, by the deliciously juicy looking lamb that was cooking on the spit (something you will find at Spitiko on any Thursday night).
As the guests mingled over glasses of wine, cocktails and Greek beers, mezedes and pita breads were presented. The pita bread was deliciously light and fluffy and went beautifully with our favourite dip of the night, the Melitzanosalata (an eggplant based dip).
We caught glimpses of generous Greek hospitality as members of the Spitiko family arrived to join in the celebrations - many of whom are featured in pictures scattered around the restaurant.
As expected, the new menu has been designed by the in-house “masterchef” Phil Vakos. This new menu strongly emphasises simplicity and fresh produce.
In true masterchef style, celebrity chef George Calombaris also graced us with his presence.

The crispy skin lamb that had been cooked on the spit was succulent and full of flavour.
Interestingly, the mini Greek style souvlakia contained salted chips and mustard. Somewhat surprisingly, they worked well with the other more conventional ingredients.
OPA! covering the event
Smashing of plates per traditional Greek customs
We were privileged to indulge in some Greek inspired desserts. A particularly memorable dessert (and the dish of the night) was the halva ice cream - it was absolutely delicious.
The Gastrology team eagerly looks forward to visiting Spitiko for a conventional dinner to test drive the new menu.

Spitiko on Urbanspoon