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Friday, December 16, 2005

Dinner @ Vue de Monde

"Don't cook dinner" was the first thing I heard as I picked up the phone.

A little confused by this request, Paalo then managed to fill in the details "We're going to Vue de Monde tonight, 7.30"

It has been a little while coming - we had intended to have lunch there yesterday but alas, it wasn't to be though Pearl was a fantastic choice.

Quail Scotch Egg

Egg and Bacon Duck Egg

abalone abalone

Braised Abalone with seasonal baby shoots, melon foam

Canadian Scallop over sweet potato puree with jus, topped with herbs and popcorn.

Risotto with Truffles

Foie gras and yoghurt mousse set with fig jelly, ox tongue rillete & fig foam, lemon breadcrumbs and cube of foie gras.

Salmon, Broad Beans and Lotus Root

Marron and Truffles

Veal, Black pudding, Roasted Hazelnuts

Wagyu beef with tobacco onions, lemon ketchup and chickpea fries


Melon Lollypops


Strawberry Soufflé

Petit Fours

The Details:
Vue de Monde
Normanby Chambers
430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Phone:(03) 9691 3888
Lunch: Tuesday - Friday
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Lunch @ Pearl

A last minute booking for five, which at this time of year isn't easy, saw the staff at Pearl pull off a miracle with the aid of some table re-arrangements

12:45 saw us seated and offered the usual still or sparkling option along with a substantial wine list. A 2001 Clover Hill sparkling was dutifully chosen.

When the remainder of our party arrived we were offered the menus, where after great diliberation we selected

Tartare of Beef - a fine mound of Hopkins River beef coated with beetroot shoots accompained by a vessel full of buttery toast soldiers; delicated spiced, the beef was paired with quail egg

Quail and Shitake Dumpling in Broth - the dumpling was perched on a disc of rice sausage and bathed in a spicy broth

Sauteed Pearl meat - sliced pearl meat lightly sauteed offered upon a half shell

Coddled Egg Toastie with scallops and salmon caviar - a classic dish from Pearl

Main courses are as follows:

Whole Baby Snapper with coconut caramel

Roast Red Duck Curry with fried egg and rice
- fragrant and sweet, not too hot, moist tender duck

Steamed Red Emperor, rice noodles, baby corn

Yellowfin tuna seared on one side only

Pork coated in herb crumbs, served with saffron butter and a dice of roasted red and yellow capsicums

Thai-flavoured green salad


Chocolate Souffle with caramel tart and coffee ice cream

Banana Tart Tartine with sesame wafer


The details:
Pearl Restaurant
631-633 Church Street, Richmond
Dinner: Sunday-Friday 6.30pm-11.00pm and Saturday 6.00pm-11.00pm
Lunch: Sunday-Friday 12.00pm-3.00pm
Phone: 03 9421 4599

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Florence - Day 3

First stop is inside the duomo of Florence, Santa Maria Della Fiore to take a better look at Vasari's fresco


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Florence - Day 2

It's back to the market and this time I'm armed with the camera. We start our morning at one of the coffee bars in the market - a perfectly made cafe latte that has Paalo grinning. It doesn't take much prodding to get me to order another.

The market is on two levels, the upstairs mostly containing fresh fruit and veg while the lower level houses the delis, butchers, poulterers, fishmongers, wine-stores and general merchants.

inside market

inside market


An impressive array of dried Porcini.

vinegar's, oils, nuts

Various vinegar's, oils and nuts


Many varieties of Olives


Where do you start at this deli?

One of the stalls we particularly loved is the dried fruit stall that had the largest variety I've ever seen

dried fruit

dried fruit

dried fruit

dried fruit

The dried strawberries have to be tasted to be believed!


fruit and chillies

more vegetables

Enough of the food porn - time to explore a bit more of Florence.

We decide to make our way to the Uffizi and see if we can get in. Our journey takes us past that icon, Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo of Florence.

santa maria del fiore

santa maria del fiore

santa maria del fiore santa maria del fiore


The Bapistry


Looking at the height of that tower you can understand why a fleet of these are stationed just beside it


It's not just coincidence, when you go into the tower itself, before you even buy a ticket, there's a whole slew of health warnings and notifications of who shouldn't attempt the climb.

palazzo della signoria

Palazzo della Signoria also known as Palazzo Vecchio was built between the 13th and 16th centuries.


I must say the Italian police are wonderfully dressed.

faux david

It's not the original, it's a copy but it's positioned in the original location in front of the Palazzo della Signoria.

Located nearby is the Loggia del Lanzi (Orcagna) originally built to hold public ceremonies is now home to 15 sculptures

perseus lion menelaus

Left: Perseus with the head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini
Centre: two lions sit beside the steps of the Loggia, one dates from Roman times and the other is by Flaminio Vacca
Right: Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus


Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus (1599)

sabine women

Rape of the Sabine Women by Jean Boulogne (also known as Giambologna)

sabine women detail


Rape of Polyxena by Pio Fedi (1866)

You hear a lot about the queues at the Uffizi but just like yesterday at L'Accademia, there aren't any queues.

Photography isn't allowed inside but we did stop at the rooftop cafe for a nibble and a couple of photos of the view

Uffizi Cafe

You get an idea of how large the dome is on the Duomo.

1DSC_0430.jpg 1DSC_0435.jpg

You also get a better view of the Palazzo della Signoria

san lorenzo

The rough exterior of the Church of San Lorenzo

street scene

My last shot of the night - a view from our window.