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Friday, December 21, 2007

Dinner @ Vue de Monde

For our last dinner of the year we've snagged a booking at Vue de Monde - what an excellent way to close the year off.

Amuse Bouche:
Prosciutto consommé and melon ball served with a fish cracker and marinated pilchard

The consommé was surprisingly served warm and it really had quite a definite taste of prosciutto. The Melon ball is one of those spherised liquids, a ultra thin membrane encloses the liquid melon. A most interesting variation on melon and prosciutto.

Crabe Farçi:
Soft shell blue swimmer crab stuffed with sautéed blue swimmer crab, accompanied by a Mojo Sauce, Sterling Caviar and horseradish
To Drink: 2004 Vacheron Sancerre Les Romains, Loire Valley France

There's only something like an 8 day window to get these tiny soft shell blue swimmer crabs. It's as excellent as our last visit.

Gnocchi aux Truffes:
Liquid cep gnocchi with shimeji mushrooms, broad beans and tarragon emulsion, shaved Tibetan truffle
To drink: 2002 Tarrawarra Estate Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Victoria

Probably the highlight of the night, an explosion of mushroom goodness. The tibetan truffle was quite interesting, not as flavoursome or aromatic as those from France or Italy, texturally they seemed much softer too.

Bouillabaisse en cinq minutes et tartare d'ecrevisse:

5 minute bouillabaisse with tartare of crayfish, buffalo milk skin, finished with aromatic herbs and a touch of theatre
To Drink: 2005 Pieropan Sove Classico DOC Calvarino Veneto, Italy

Foie Gras Poelé:
Foir gras, pan seared, served with roast peach and Sauternes emulsion
To Drink: 2002 Marcel Deiss Burg Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris, Alsace France

A simple presentation of foie gras - excellently cooked.


Truite Fumée:
Ocean Trout with horseradish and baby beets, served with celeriac and smoked at the table
To Drink: 2005 Bianchet Verduzzo, Yarra Valley Victoria

In the kitchen a smoulding chunk of vegetable charcoal is placed on the fish before being covered by a glass dome. The smoke fills the dome and it's then brought to the table - in this time the fish has absorbed a delicate smoky flavour. The vegetable charcoal is edible.

Boudin D'Écrevisse Grillé:
Grilled Boudin of crayfish, glazed with beurre Café du Paris, sauce Américaine and blood orange
To drink: 2005 Wittman Silvaner Trocken 'S', Rheinhessen Germany

coloured Reidel

Consommé Froid à la Tomate:
Delicate tomato consummé with gazpacho jelly and dry ice

Tataki de Boeuf Wagyu:
Tataki of Wagyu beef with soya yuzu noodle and sweet corn purée
To Drink: 2003 Rivera Castel Del Monte DOC Riserva Il Falcone, Puglia Italy

The noodle basically dissolves in the heat of your mouth providing the "sauce" for the beef.

Roti De Porc:
Roast White Rocks Pork Belly with Pork Rillette pancake and panada stuffed baby apple
To Drink: 1989 Chateau Meyney Cru Bourgeois Exceptional St Estephe, Bordeaux France

It's pork and apples but with a twist.

Goats curd served with sugared rose petal, rose jelly topped with goats curd ice cream

I'm not a great fan of rose flavours but this really won me over - the sugared rose petal is just so crisp it's crunchy.

Melon lollypop

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Gateau de Riz à la Framboise:
Raspberry served with raspberry flavoured rice pudding encased in sugar

The rice pudding is held in that sugar tube.

Cigare au Chocolat:
Valrhona Chocolate roll filled with smoked chocolate and rolled in puff pastry cigar

all quiet - end of service


the rooms are all ready for tomorrow


The details:
Vue de Monde
Normanby Chambers
430 Little Collins Street
Phone: 03 9691 3888

Lunch: Tuesday - Friday Bookings:12.00pm-2.00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday Bookings:6.30pm-9.30pm


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dinner @ Fenix

We're back for our last visit of the year.

For starters


I have the grilled scallops with aioli and garlic breadcrumbs


Paalo has the Pork Laska

For mains


I have the beef with rocket butter, pont neuf and rocket and fennel salad


Paalo has the slow cooked lamb

We once again opt for a cheese platter


For dessert:

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I have the Poached Peaches and Paalo has the Chocolate Soufflé - two extremes of the dessert world.

The details:

Fenix can be found at
680 Victoria Street Richmond
(03) 9427 8500

Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch: 12pm-3pm
Tuesday - Saturday for Dinner: 6pm-11pm


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Lunch @ Canvas

The last time we dined at Canvas it was August so it was about time for another visit.

On first glance at the menu the prices have definitely gone up with mains now in the $35-40 region. In the case of the wine list, nothing is under $30 and only 2 bottles are priced at $30.

For starters:


Paalo has a stew of Octopus, Sausage and Moghrabieh


I have the Stuffed Calamari with chickpeas and couscous

For mains:


Paalo has the vegetarian plate

and I have another starter


Stuffed quail with proscuitto - a really flavoursome dish it's the highlight of the meal.


We also order a side of garlic and rosemary roasted Kipflers

The details
Canvas Restaurant and Bar
Level 1, 302-320 Burwood Road
Phone: 03 9819 2200

Open - Restaurant:
Monday - Friday: 10am - late
Saturday: 9am for breakfast; lunch/dinner until late
Sunday: Closed

web: Canvas Restaurant

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Dinner @ Fenix

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Fenix is offering a cut-down menu of favourites and seasonal fare (2 courses @$62pp, 3 courses @$85pp) and it's good to see the place full on a Thursday night


For starters:


I have the goat curd stuffed zucchini flowers with watermelon and tomato.

I thought the batter was great but found the stuffing a little too overpowering for the delicate flowers, perhaps it needed something like a little ricotta in the filling to temper the flavour.


Paalo has the fresh asparagus spears with yoghurt mozzarella. For a warm night, it's a perfect starter.

For mains


I have the Confit Tuna with confit vegetables.


Paalo has the Sirlion, Pont neuf and Béarnaise sauce.


We share a cheese plater

and then for desserts

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Paalo has the Christmas Pudding (left) and I have the Trifle (right).

The details:

Fenix can be found at
680 Victoria Street Richmond
(03) 9427 8500

Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch: 12pm-3pm
Tuesday - Saturday for Dinner: 6pm-11pm


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Brunetti @ Camberwell

My opinion of Brunetti's new store in Camberwell is coloured by the bad service and odd coffee ordering system. After being in Italy for so long, it is more like a Disneyland version of an Italian Cafe. I'm sure the locals will love it and deem it "authentic".


The pastries were adequate, a touch too cold which made them feel a little stale.


Coffee, when it eventually came was okay but then, looking at the high-tech set-up there's no excuse for it to be anything but ideal.

As for the ordering system, when you order a coffee you're given a numbered ticket, you then wait for the number to be called out and then you go up and collect it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dinner @ ZenZero Blu

Tonight we're going out with Al and Elle for two very good reasons - one I haven't seen them for 2 and a half months and two, I need to pick up my Italian packages!

We're going to a place I've not been to but one in which Paalo experienced twice while I was away.


We begin with dips and bread


Next up is a plate made up of several dishes. From centre going clockwise: Crumbed scallops, arancini, grilled cheese with honey, chicken satay



eggplant rolls with tomato salsa


spicy squid


lamb meatballs

For dessert we succumbed to the temptation


churros with chocolate sauce and ice cream

The details:
ZenZero Blu
32 Best Street, Cnr St Georges Road, North Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9481 3393

Lunch @ Bistro Vue

Since we're in the City doing some Christmas shopping we've taken the opportunity to re-visit Bistro Vue.


We begin with glasses of Gardet Champagne.

For starters:


Paalo's Choice: Chicken and Foie gras Terrine


My Choice: Two hour poached egg with mushroom puree


The egg has such a fascinating consistency - the white is set but doesn't look like it is. The yolk is wonderfully runny. A great combination of flavours.

For our mains we have the Cote de Boeuf: Chargrilled Wagyu Sirloin for two


The meat is sliced quite differently - it has been sliced on the horizontal, with the halves appearing on our respective plates. A side of goose fat fries comes with the dish along with a good bowl of sauce, in our case we chose béarnaise.


We do order a simple leaf salad to accompany our meat fix.

For dessert we also go for another shared dish - Tarte tatin aux poires (Pear Tarte Tatin)


This dish has definitely grown larger since we first had it - it could easily be enough for four.


With our coffee we are offered delightful Cannelés Bordelais.

The details:

Bistro Vue
Normandy Chambers
430 Little Collins St (Entry via New Chancery Lane)
Phone: (03) 9691 3838

Open: Monday to Saturday 11am to Late

Bistro Vue