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Archive for August, 2012

Chez Dré

287 Coventry St (rear) South Melbourne
http://chezdre.com.au/menu/

Fantastic menu – lots of interesting flavor combos and some really creative staff in the kitchen – which is open plan and you can watch the magic happen!

If you’re a coffee fanatic you’ll love it here too, the coffee menu is almost as detailed as the food menu – plus there’s a bakery section for breads and desserts to peruse too.

Rach’s Lunch – Salad Nicoise

Lemon basil tuna, green beans, roast potatoes, croutons, white anchovy with sauce gribiche, and olive tapanade – $19.50

Beautifully presented and a real harmony of flavor that was perfectly balanced.

 

My Lunch – Minute Steak on House Made Foccacia

Golbourn Valley grass-fed eye fillet, beetroot relish, sauteed onions, goats cheese, rocket and a fried egg – served with herbed roast potatoes $19.50

Stunning! Velvety soft steak, a perfectly cooked egg, fresh focaccia, the lovely marriage of earthy beetroot, salty goats cheese, and sweet sauteed onions with the peppery rocket.  Magic!

 

Dessert to share….

A little lemon curd tart – $8.50

The perfect end to a beautiful lunch, tangy lemon, smooth meringue, and a crisp buscuit base.

 

I really like this place for it’s full flavoured menu

Herbed crepes with ricotta and sun dried tomatoes

A ploughman’s lunch tray

Cheese and corn souffle

Brioche french toast with caramelised apples and spiced marscarpone cheese

The menu is always changing – so we keep going back….
Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

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105 Swan Street, Richmond

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When we arrived at 6:30pm on Sunday evening, the restaurant was empty, but it was still warm and inviting with a roaring fire and friendly staff.

By 7pm the place was packed!

Shane looked after us all evening and was so friendly, helping us pick out the best elements of the menu for an amazing dining experience.

The food is unpretentious, made with care, and packed with flavor.

There was not a bland dish on the menu, and every dish had a surprising element.

We shared 5 starters between 5 people and sampled each others mains too.

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I MUST APOLOGISE FOR THE LACK OF PHOTO EVIDENCE – I took photos with my camera phone but none of them showcases the glory of the food due to the lack of flash

So you’ll just have to go yourself to find out!

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STARTERS

Cauliflower fritters, cinnamon yoghurt 12

Hot and crispy coated cauliflower with a tangy yogurt sauce with the intriguing aftertaste of cinnamon

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Jamon croquettes, lemon mayo x3 12

Dude food! I wish I could eat these for ever! Creamy croquettes of mash spiked with tasty flecks of Jamon, filled with tallegio, then crumbed and deep fried until crispy

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Potato and porcini soup, thyme cream, truffle 14

Not the easiest dish to share, but it was so velvety and decadent and a symphony of flavor for mushroom lovers.

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Fried squid, frisee lettuce, lemon, chilli 16

A delicious light and crispy squid, the lightness of the frisee, and the lemon and chilli dipping vinaigrette brought the whole dish together – moreish!

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My Main:

300gm Cape Grim hanger steak, mushroom ketchup, smoked ox tongue 34

The steak was cooked medium rare erring on the side of rare, and was absolute perfection. The mushroom ketchup was the umami factor that bumped the whole dish up another notch. The smoked ox tongue was intriguing, not usually my cup of tea but palatable because it was sliced paper thin and served on a small mound of creamy mashed potato. There was also a pureed sauce that tasted of celeriac and artichoke.

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Poached pear & rhubarb, meringues, blackberry mousse 14

Deconstructed apple and rhubarb crumble – presented like an architectural work of art. The balance of textures was magical. We all had one spoonful each as the final sweet morsel of the evening.

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As for the others, they were all very happy with their meals – and we are all looking forward to our next meal at BESS

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Aunty Janet had Brulee duck liver parfait, date & parsley salad 14

Mum had Roasted duck breast, confit leg, celeriac, quince tea foam 34

Dad had Roast Pork Shoulder, crackle, gnocchi gratin, heirloom carrots 28

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And Ange had the burger which brought me to Bess in the first place


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+39 Pizzeria

362 Little Burke Street, Melbourne



It was warm and inviting on a freezing cold and rainy Saturday afternoon.  A wood-fire pizza restaurant in the heart of the city – between Elizabeth St and Hardware Lane on Little Burke.

We had the TATUFATA pizza and asked for fresh prosciutto to be added.

Cream of mushrooms, Fior di latte, mushrooms, rocket, truffle oil, Parmesan (and fresh prosciutto) $24

It was delicious!  Rich and salty and tasty and perfect to share so we could also share the tiramisu for dessert!

A little bit pricey, but you’re paying for good quality ingredients and they deserve the title of best pizza in Melbourne 2010.

+39 Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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The Aquarium Bakery Cafe

382 High Street, Northcote

 

 

Aquarium breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausage, sautéed spinach, mushrooms & grilled tomatoes  $17

 

Mr Shaun with his vegetarian goodies …

Vegetarian breakfast with eggs, mushrooms, fried potatoes, sautéed spinach, grilled tomatoes & grilled haloumi $17

Funky venue, helpful staff – tasty menu that’s pretty friendly to all different eating approaches – hot/cold, sweet/savoury, big/small, traditional/contemporary, catering for allergies.

Aquarium Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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21 Bond Street Melbourne

 

Souffra Rustic Sharing Menu – 4 courses – $89

Matching Wines $55

Mocktail $15

Unlimited refills of sparkling water $5

Meeting the Prime Minister of Australia – Priceless

 

Another amazing meal at Maha

Excellent service, the waiters know the menu inside and out

The sommelier selected wines from Australia, Spain, France and Greece to match each course for those taking part in the wine degustation menu.

A casual interaction with the Prime Minister of Australia was an added bonus, after I made small talk with a very tall man who turned out to be her body guard.

Kirsten and Jess listening to the Sommelier.  A lovely gentleman who was knowledgeable, personable, and handsome to boot!

 

But back to the food…

Course 1 – Mezze

Australian native olives with a spicy breading.

Shaved carrot, broccoli and cauliflower in yoghurt

Spiced almond kernels in aoli

Roasted pine nut tahini – which was just pure heaven

A shot of beef cheek dashi with micro herbs and shimeji mushrooms

Course 2 – Warm Entree

Spatchcock  – Due to my chicken  allergy, I didn’t get to sample this one, but I did get the following replacement dish…

A filo cigar filled with sauteed silverbeet on a bed of grilled corn, and puffed roasted corn dressed with a saffron and sumac oil

Salmon croquettes with a lemon oil dressing and macadamia nuts.  Nice flavors, but the least exciting of all the dishes.  And as it was pretty tasty it says a lot about the quality of the meal in it’s entirety.

Course  3 – Mains

The house signature dish – 12 hours slow roasted lamb shoulder with green olive and pistachio tabbouleh

Pilaf  of frikke and lentils with tomato stock and other delicious things

Blue Eye on a bed of cracked wheat and crunchy quinoa

Course 4 – Dessert

4 textures of coconut – Coconut custard, coconut water jelly, coconut foam, toasted coconut, with dehydrated raspberry powder.

Sticky date pudding, with a hand blown chocolate ball filled with salt caramel ice cream and a creme englaise.

The house dessert – Turkish delight filled donuts with honey and pistachios

Warm spiced Turkish apple and cinnamon tea

The birthday girls with their Gluten Free birthday treats –

hand tempered chocolate AND sparklers!

Another magical evening at Maha.  Never disappoints.

Maha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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The Woodfrog Bakery

108 Barkly Street, St Kilda

Nestled next to Mirka Lane, is a wonderful bakery that specialises in Sourdough – but that’s not all.  The fruit loaf is infused with orange blossom, the biscuits have a wonderful crunch and just melt in your mouth.

The bread is delicious – I should know, I couldn’t stop myself from buying 5 loaves on my first visit.  You can’t help but be enthused by Jarrod’s passion for bread, with Danny at the front.

Spelt bread, Sourdough cooked in such a hot oven that you get textures you’ve never experienced before – chewy bread with a surprisingly thin but crunchy crust.  Pumpkin bread that is so golden and inviting.  The ciabatta rolls beg for roast beef, rocket and horseradish cream.

I can’t wait to have my poached eggs on the olive bread tomorrow morning for breakfast with some wilted spinach – thick springy bread with generous chunks of good quality kalamata olives (not the nasty cheap ones that taste like alfoil that you so often get).

The fruit loaf is full of delicious currants, other dried fruit and figs with a hint of orange blossom – truly magnificent.  Decadent with a hunk of brie… or just with some good quality butter.

The Woodfrog Bakery on Urbanspoon

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SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED
USA, 2012

Finally – an original concept.  Journo’s looking for a story see an ad for a companion to go time travelling.  The story becomes less about their subject’s kookiness and more about revaluating their own life choices.  And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out – everything is turned upside down.  It was nice to see a film that was quirky, eccentric and not derivative.

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