Archive for the ‘Restaurant’ Category

food glorious food

image by reinar on flickr

food.jpg neomien has been kicking round the city, dealing with life offline. Not much of an excuse, but you know how it goes.

One of the most wonderful things about melbourne is the food glorious food.

Literally.

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is coming to a close, replete with well satisfied swollen bellies and tastebuds tantalised.

An aunt of mine was in town recently and I took her on a mini tour of my favorite spots, eating and drinking that is. Yes, I’m a bit of a f**die – I suspect most of us are…..it’s a melbourne thing.

We’re spoilt for choice, so spoilt.

And the beauty of it is that it doesn’t matter what your budget is, you’re bound to find something delish to suit……and no, fastfood does NOT count…….unless you count a quick fresh soft shelled crab hand roll from Kenzan @ GPO or a reviving lamb souv dripping with garlic sauce in the early hours from Stalactites.

In my next couple of posts I’m going to reveal a few of my favs for all occasions……I’d love for you to share your favs with me too……cause there’s nothing I love more than finding a new haunt.

ps. The above pic is taken from the kitchen table of ole skool establishment Pelligrini’s Espresso Bar, home of killer coffee – the good stuff and pasta just like nonna makes.

Yoshi

Yesterday, I had a pleasant visit to Yoshi. Its located at 315, Toorak Road, South Yarra. Thats fairly near the Como, so if you’re driving, plenty of parking awaits (at $7, after 7pm).

I’d rate the restaurant as fairly good, with fairly predictable Japanese menus, and the prices are reasonable (not as low as you might find at the quick eateries on Swanston St., but low enough).

Their wafu steak is amazing, and their soft-shelled crabs are actually prepared in a rather unique sauce. Lots of sashimi available, and if you’re the kind of person who likes their sashimi toppings cooked (i.e. the salmon is cooked, etc.) like someone on our table was, then they’re extremely accommodating with you and will cook your sashimi.

If you felt like some Japanese, and were in the area, I’d suggest paying Yoshi a visit. Its a BYO location, where corkage is $4 or $4.50 per head, but they also have a selection of wines available. The only thing lacking for me, was chawanmushi, aka the Japanese steamed egg custard.

Does variety kill or help Lygon Street?

I am here to spark a debate:

Lygon Street has long been known as the famous Italian precinct of Melbourne.

The Melbourne City Council actually have a specific local planning provisions addressing the Lygon Street Shopping precinct (as in keeping development and use inline with its Italian character).

However, if you are familiar enough with the area, you can notice that more and more of the new shops/places/restaurants are not of Italian characters at all. For example, FCUK (Foreign Chain Store), Lygon Court (Arcade style instead of having shop frontage immediately to the street, essentially an American influenced/suburbanised.), and exotic restaurants instead of Italian e.g. Thai restaurants starting to proliferate near the city-end of Lygon Street.

While someone can argue that these different uses and developments bring more different kind of people to the area, one could also argue that these new uses and developments fundamentally conflict with the Italian character of the precinct.

So which house do you belong to – ‘kills the Italian character’ or ‘variety helps to bring more people in the area’?

Speak UP!

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A weekend breakfast or brunch

Weekend mornings are great. You can get up anytime you want and actually enjoy a nice breakfast (or brunch). With so much choice of breakfast places in Melbourne, how can you determine a good one to go to?
Well, Jamie Wodetzki from The Breakfast Blog is “in search of the best eggs in town”. For the past 2 years, Jamie has dined at, reviewed, and rated over 100 breakfast venues around Melbourne. There are a few factors in a rating including service, the eggs, price, extras, the coffee and the buzz. So whats her pick of the best breakfasts in Melbourne?

Mart 130-Middle Park-Best of the Best
Madam SouSou-Fitzroy-Best Scrambled Eggs

The Breakfast Blog

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1 part Cyprus and 1 part Souvlaki = Marcos Baghdatis!

As an unashamedly avid tennis fan, i love to watch powerful ground strokes, gentle slices, deftly hit winners, loud grunting and those attractive players. Really, is there anything sexier than watching sweaty men and women grinding it out over several hours? I’d say, it’s better than the real grinding! (But don’t quote me on that one)
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Help StreetSmart help out

ss_logo_140x140.gifIn Dickens days, Christmas was about helping out the poor and needy, showing a little kindness and making peace.

These days we’re rushing around like mad, partaking in shop-around-the-clock and maxing out our cards.

StreetSmart started in the UK by a group of restauranteurs who wanted to help out the homeles, pretty basic concept – 6 weeks before Christmas, participating restaurants ask their diners to support the campaign by making a voluntary donation $2+ at the end of their meal.

StreetSmart Australia has been operating in Melbourne since 2003 – 100% of donations go to the homeless – keeping it local.

Did you know that in Australia 35% of the homeless live outside the metro region?

I’m sure between now and Christmas you’ll be heading out to enjoy a meal with friends and family.

Take a little time out and spread the true spirit of the season and help Melbourne’s restaurants help StreetSmart help out.

StreetSmart Australia

Dinni’s Catering, and a meal under $10

Seeing that this is the month of Ramadan, I decided to find some halal food, so our Muslim brethren might find this review useful. So I paid Dinni’s Catering a visit, and they’ve got some great Indonesian cuisine!

For $7.50, you get a large meal ($6.50 gets you a smaller meal, with 1 meat), with choices of 2 meat dishes, 1 vegetable dish and steamed rice. Everything is served on the bain marie, and I tried the beef rendang, fish balado, tofu and took in an extra order of two eggs ($1.50).

Food’s a little spicy, so consider getting some bottled water. But the food’s good, so much so I returned the next day. Dinni’s is at 1909, Dandenong Rd (just off the Princess Highway). Maybe next time I’ll have pictures for you…

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ears1eye> eat> Lentil as Anything

lentil.jpgI thought a nice way to start ears1eye would be with what else but food.

Melbourne IS the foodie capital of Australia…..and certainly one of the best on a world wide scale.

Lentil as Anything is probably one of the worst kept secrets of the veggie munching world.

Their first establishment is in St Kilda, now they have also expanded to the Abbotsford Convent and Brunswick.

So, what’s so great about it? Well firstly, the menu is positively delicious.

Super fresh and so incredibly tasty – you MUST try the eggplant marsala……heaven!

Secondly, Lentil is a non profit association…..what’s that? A restaurant? Yup!
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Los Amates: Mexican Restaurant

los%20amates.jpgMelbourne has a vast and eclectic variety of restaurants. The seafood, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Greek restaurants here are highly rated and are on par with most other countries. One category of restaurant that doesn’t seem to be plentiful is Mexican restaurants. Yes, we all know about the Taco Bills chain that are located across Australia but I mean traditional Mexican cuisine that even Mexicans can appreciate.

Los Amates is located on Johnston St., Fitzroy nearby to the happening Brunswick St. The big difference between Taco Bills and this restaurant is that everything isn’t just covered with cheese.

Food: Great. There are a variety of things to choose from such as enchiladas and tortillas. Complementary nachos are given at the start of every meal.

Drinks: The hot chocolate here is quite good but if you want it, order it early. I believe they melt chocolate into the drink which is why is takes a bit of time. As for alcohol, you have the usual Margaritas and Mexican beers. Skip the Coronas and try one of the other Mexican beers.

Restaurant: Not too flash but looks like a traditional Mexican restaurant. As you eat, you can look out the window at all the people working out in the gym across the street. Chef Arturo walks around and makes sure that everyone’s meal is satisfactory.

Great place for a date, not too expensive, and located near bars.
Great place to have conversation with friends, once again near bars.

Los Amates

Picture by the doubtful guest

Elephant and Wheelbarrow, St Kilda

Saturday nights at the Elephant and Wheelbarrow, in St. Kilda is always a great time, as there’s a live band playing great covers! Mad props to Play-Doh.

Its filled with locals and foreigners alike, mostly of the backpacker nature, as one can gather from the band’s comments and the general consensus with people waving flags (like the Union Jack!). Drinks are generally well-priced, there’s quite a bit of foreign beers on tap, and if you’re there early enough, they even serve food.

Apparently, on Mondays, the Neighbours crowd tend to be around. Not that I’m into television, but it might be a popular place to meet some local stars. If anyone fancy’s visiting on a Monday and wants someone to take photos of them, drop me a line, I’d probably tag along.

Only complaint? It closes at a little after 3am. So you’re either going to have to move elsewhere on Fitzroy St. (and pay cover) or have a meal.

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