A little snack at Little Press…

A well needed break on an evening dedicated to wedding stuff… in between a meeting with the chef and a meeting with the photographer there was an hour or so to spare. As we were on the edge of the city, walking right past the Press Club, we thought a snack and a glass of wine… or three, was in order. Little Press & Cellar is adjacent to The Press Club and is a cosy, intimate space to share some small, tapas-style food. They also have a very cool little function space, seats about 14, with a range of set menus to suit different price ranges… I now just need to work out the right function to have down there… That being said, I just went to the website and it looks like they are re-doing the fit-out as we speak so this could well have changed by the next time we visit.

Here are a few of our shared bites. Very bad photography from me on this evening but the lighting is not really suited to iPhone photos.

Kataifi prawn, attiki honey, smoked almond, coriander – THESE ARE INCREDIBLE

Slow cooked octopus, oyster mayonnaise, pickled daikon

Cabbage and fennel slaw, pomegranate

Slow cooked lamb ribs, orange pomegranate glaze

Dish of the night was the prawns, almost knocking Ichi ni’s ebi mayo off the top spot for best prawns in Melbourne. So close! The lamb ribs were sensational too and complimented nicely by the salads. The bill was slightly exy at the end of the meal but not too surprising to dissuade me from returning again for a little nibble.
Little Press and Cellar on Urbanspoon

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The Super Six at Ocha…

I had heard a lot about this local gem of a restaurant Ocha, in it’s old form in Kew. Now in a shiny new premises on Barker’s Rd Hawthorn, I organised a gang together to do the monthy Mon night degustation. This normally occurs on the last Monday of each month and consists of a 10 course menu at $120 per head. Unfortunately for us, we scheduled in a month where a famous noodle chef decided to visit from Japan and the degustation night got moved to a date we were unable to attend. So rather than reschedule a whole month away, we decided to make the most of the very reasonable $7 per head BYO policy on the Friday night instead.

The menu was very long, so many choices, don’t want to stuff up! So, as per my preferred way of ordering, we let the staff take control. We thought this would deliver the best degustation experience without actually having to spend $120 per head… pretty smart right? Here is a selection of what we ate… Yep, we were very hungry…

Japanese meatball

wasabi infused salmon tartare on homemade potato crisp with flying fish roe

Crunchy prawn dumpling served with green tea salt

Grilled scallop in its shell with Ocha’s hollandaise sauce

Crunchy calamari “legs“ tossed with fresh chilli and garlic

Pork belly special

Sushi & sashimi platter with soft shell crab rolls

Miso marinated black cod, grilled and served on salad

“Would you like dessert?”

Silly question really… The dessert menu is definitely worth a look, once again there are lots of choices! We went with this super crispy banana fritter and a perfect “ooey, gooey, chocolate pudding”.

deep fried crunchy rice flake covered banana with chocolate sauce & green tea icecream

One side of the table also had free entertainment as we watched the SUPER AWKWARD action of a new couple (arguably a first date) unfold. A seriously over the top date, with both participants dressed to the nines, with perfect ringlets and dripping in jewellery. He even reached across and kissed her hand over their meals. Cute right? Or gross! Ha!

One thing we hadn’t accounted for on this Friday night was just how thirsty we would actually be. We brought along 3 bottles of wine but the boys decided it was premium japanese beer night and proceeded to drink 10 steins between them… I am not bringing this up to shame them, us girls ordered at least another bottle (and I think a couple of glasses) of delicious german reisling, but rather to explain the size of the bill; it equated to $125 per person which shocked us until we delved a little deeper into our hydration habits. We were certainly satisfied though by the amount and the quality of food.

I was unsatisfied the next morning however, when I woke up with a humungous hangover, only to be informed by smartypants Ben, that German reisling has a higher sulphur level than most white wines, and should really be drunk in moderation (like all wines obviously)… I informed Ben right back, that this information would have been super handy to have accompanied his wine reccomendations (all German reislings) at the time, the night before…
Ocha on Urbanspoon

A sisterly coffee in Hawthorn…

A catch up to discuss living arrangements now we are both back in the one city… and we own the one house together… in that one city… inneresting…

Sis is currently renting in Hawthorn, around the corner from Porgie and Mr Jones, a place I have heard a lot about, a place where a queue is standard. Today it was a case of good timing as we rocked up at noon and there were a few tables available… Not for long though, the lunch rush started about 20 mins later…

This was a coffee date but I was super hungry and couldn’t resist an order of folded “scrambles” with fresh herbs and chunks of goats cheese…

Scrambles with fresh herbs & goats cheese

It was really delicious (a nice ordering change for me) and seemed good value for around twelve bucks but I found the menu pricing super confusing with my old favourite eggs and avo on toast at approx $17 yet most of the dishes were around $12 or $13 dollar mark… The avo was costed with a few other things, as an extra at $5 which seems a little extreme for extras too… maybe I have just lost track of how much avos cost these days… It’s just I am not normally a price driven consumer and on this occasion it seemed to stand out. Overall I would definitely re-visit… at noon of course.
Porgie and Mr Jones on Urbanspoon

Brekkie in North Melbourne or was it Carlton…

… It’s tough to get brekkie in North Melbourne… without waiting in a queue… as we learnt on a recent Sunday brekkie.

Mum had requested we go to Duchess of Spotswood after reading my food story from our visit west, but I convinced her that North Melbourne was better brekkie territory so I could knock off another venue on my Northside Brunch Pledge. My intention was to visit the much-lauded Auction Rooms and that was the first address I gave to mum… The parentals were waiting out the front when we arrived… along with about 30 other people… The wait was about 30 mins according to the “brekkie door bitch”… I’m not really keen on queuing for brekkie and I would think that peeps over 50 are generally less inclined so quick-thinking Ben suggested Di Bella around the corner where he’d had a great coffee the week before (little did he know that was also on my list so there were no arguments from me). We jumped into one car and drove around the corner… We didn’t even need to slow down to see the situation was the same if not worse out the front of Di Bella… I clicked onto my Urbanspoon app to suss out the next closest venue (on my list) and we found Seven Seeds around the corner and, by now in the next suburb of Carlton. There was no obvious queue thank god, as Dad’s patience was well and truly waning… Unfortunately, once we got inside, we saw the little group of people milling at the front and were told 20 minutes… This time we did wait and were finally seated out the back on a table under a heater. I quite liked the little outside bit until a bunch of smokers also joined us dammit…

Brekkie was okay. The pics make it look fantastic (I think my best brekkie photos so far). The bacon and egg bagel was definitely the winner but mum’s rosti was a little disappointing with an overpowering oily taste. I choose my standard eggs and avo which was good (I think I am getting bored with my standard…. it might be time to mix it up a bit)

egg & bacon bagel with roasted cherry tomatoes & tomato relish

Heirloom tomatoes w yarra valley feta, avocado & sauce vierge on toasted seeded sourdough

Carrot & Potato Rosti with avo & tomato

I think Seven Seeds deserves another visit when it is our intended destination… and when I can get a little more exciting with my order!

 Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

A Mexican Long Weekend…

A lot of delicious cooking happened this weekend… of the Mexican variety…

Slow cooked pork tacos that took eight hours… yum, the house smelt amazing… served with thinly sliced, mango & cucumber and garnished with chilli & coriander

Slow cooked pork tacos with sliced mango, cucumber, coriander & chilli

And snack-time nachos that took approximately five minutes… Double YUMMO!

Nacho snacks - salsa & mexican cheese blend

Now I need a week of lettuce and exercise dammit!

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