Italian would have to be in my top 3 cuisines… not so good for clean and lean though so this lunch was going to be a slight challenge…. NO PASTA FRANK!!
Convenience was the reason we chose Tutto Bene at Southbank for this catch up with an old client, now friend. But, this location was going to tick off a box that probably should have been ticked off years ago. “You haven’t had a risotto at Tutto Bene?!? And you call yourself a Melbournian?!”
It was freezing, therefore it could have been any day for the last 6 months right…? Anyway, enough weather whingeing.. See, I told you I was a Melbournian… We were sat outside in a kind of sheltered area to watch the action (mostly just peeps running from one shelter from the rain to the next, as they navigated their way down the banks of the Yarra). It was warmer than it sounds on the balcony but I have no doubt on a sunny day that balcony would be a coveted spot. I perused the menu ignoring the sections I most wanted…. pasta and risotto and looking to the protein section. I’ll be having the duck special thanks..
And it was sensational. “It doesn’t look like duck” I hear you say. And you are right, it was taken off the bone and pressed into this delicious little square. YUM!
Of course there was a risotto in the group and it also looked pretty speccy…
7 weeks ’til the wedding and then I have added it to my list once everything is signed, sealed, delivered… if you know what I mean…
A lovely lunch was had by all, with definite intentions to return and maybe watch a little more exciting action down on the banks of the Yarra.
Delicious dinner with the lovely ladies at Misuzu’s! A restaurant with 3 doorways… One end is meant to be lighter and less expensive. Izakaya style – a drinking place first with food to accompany. The other end is a more formal japanese restaurant. And in the middle it’s take-away for the lucky Albert Park locals.
An old favourite! A very special old favourite for some… we witnessed a proposal on this particular evening… really only given away by the excited squeal of the lucky lady!
We shared a bunch of starters, a little sashimi and a sneaky, and super tasty bottle of Riesling…
Misuzu’s is always delicious and always pretty ext… Save it up for the special people!
It was probably a mistake to try the new Armadale venue, Gardiner & Field, on it’s first open weekend… especially after a good write-up in Broadsheet earlier this week…
I kinda thought that the old milk bar was going to transform into a cool cafe to give the girls at the Cubby House Canteen some healthy competition… but really, it’s not actually targeting the same crowd… or at least it shouldn’t be but obviously some of the Malvern Mums forgot that the little ones like a babycino and a swing-set as there were certainly a few kiddies filling the valuable real estate in the small cafe…
We knew we would have to wait and we were told 20 minutes… No problem. Five great friends and only one hangover (oh no… not the bride)… Half an hour later a very apologetic waitress explained that a group had finished but they just wouldn’t leave… Understandable. I hate being rushed out of places so we waited patiently for another 15 minutes and eventually sat down and ordered asap…
I ordered the quinoa fritters on flatbread. Pretty much clean and lean too, except the flatbread… which was EXCELLENT!!! The whole dish was delish, except the eggs just felt a little out-of-place among all the other ingredients… and I am the one who loves weird stuff… The ladies told me the that broad bean eggs needed more fetta in the mash. Don’t hold back boys! Whack in some flavour or otherwise it’s just too healthy…. The coffee was great, served in really cute aqua cups.
For me this is a place I would return on a weekday… then again, these days I feel like I am writing that at the end of every breakfast story… Basically I just need to stop having hangovers and get up earlier! Dammit!
With the Friday lunch gang who survived the habenero chilli incident at Mamasita we were looking forward to more hot dishes ahead of us. The restaurant was absolutely packed. Even at 3pm. According to the waitress Chin Chin is actually packed from the minute it opens until the minute it closes every day. I believe her. Unlike our Mamasita experience we were not even slightly rushed through our meal. We sat at our table until 7pm stuffing ourselves with the ‘feed me’menu (highly recommended but make sure you are hungry!)
The papaya salad was really hot! We thought we could handle it and to our credit no one ordered milk but it was def the hottest dish of the day. The girls needed a ciggie break after this one just to calm the palate…?
The tofu was my favourite dish. Fried tofu is one of my favourite things ever and in combination with chilli and the dressing it was an absolute winner.
This was the first time I have tried Massaman curry. Another one of those times I wonder why the hell it took me so long. I have had it at least three times since!
An obligatory dessert of course. YUM! We actually had two desserts the sundae above and the grilled banana roti bread with condensed milk and cinnamon sugar which was sensational but looked pretty average in my photo so just trust me, It’s a must-order. Now you understand why you need to be hungry to order ‘feed me’, in fact, I think there was meant to be another course but we just couldn’t fit it in and still have room for dessert.
Chin Chin was every bit as good as the hype! I hate waiting for restaurants but I probably would wait in the cool downstairs bar for this one…. Or go again for Friday dunch of course.
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.
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.
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…
“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”.
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…
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…
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.
… 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)
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!
What a frikkin good idea to frequent Fonda on this particular Friday…. Okay… it was a Tuesday but that ruins my alliteration attempt (haha! again)… Anyway, main point is that I had been keen to try Fonda for ages so when an ex-work colleague suggested it as a Richmond venue for a quick bite to eat I thought it was a FAB idea! I was concerned we would be waiting for a bit, maybe for a table or for food but it was super quiet at 1:30pm. Phew, because I was very hungry.
One great thing about this restaurant is that the menu is short so you could try everything in a couple of visits. Woot! To start and to share, we ordered pork scratchings with guacamole, corn chips with guacamole & salsa, and the corn… OH. MY. GOD…. The corn… It was the epiphany I expected when I ate the corn at Mamasita (that didn’t happen at Mamasita). I can’t really explain the difference except that the Fonda corn was creamier somehow…
“Do you think the pork scratchings are healthy?”
“Uuummmm… Yep, probably as healthy as prawn crackers…”
For mains we were both super keen on the beef taco and the fish taco so we got one each.. and then we were really, really full!
Great value. The perfect lunch spot… The sun even poked her head out enough for me to strip to a singlet top and enjoy a wonderful Melbourne afternoon…
Lunch at Chez Dre was a gossipy affair over some delicious light meals. I was feeling really bad about the last time my friend and I hung out because as usual, my wedding talk took over, and I didn’t manage to ask enough questions about my friend to find out she had a new boyfriend… self-centred bitch that I am! Wedding talk is super boring compared to new boyfriend talk… as we both found out!
I ordered the bruschetta which comes with an egg. The combination sounded little strange but totally worked for me. The pancetta was fab. The Moroccan baked eggs looked amazing and were ordered with sourdough instead of ciabatta to avoid too much crunch. We basically both ate brekkie at lunch but nothing wrong with that and to top it all off… they had one of their incredible cakes on tasting as we paid the bill… Yyyyeeeeesssssssss!!