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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Lunch @ Bistro Vue

It's the end of the financial year and we're off to the city to take advantage of those final sales and since we're in town we've popped in to Bistro Vue for a leisurely lunch.

Bistro Vue

It's just typical that when I went to turn on my camera, the battery was dead so Paalo is taking the photos with his cameraphone.


We start with glasses of Jacquesson Champagne and Badoit Sparkling Mineral Water.


We both decide to have the special entree - duck and pork rillettes with truffle butter and what comes out is about three times the size we had expected. It was rich and delicious but neither of us could finish our pot - we have to leave room for the main.

Côte De Boeuf

For the main we decide to have one of the "Plats pour Deux" - this was the Côte De Boeuf, Char-grilled 250 day grain feed Wagyu Rib Eye and it comes with a cone of their duck fat fries.

Côte De Boeuf

I had the extra bonus of having the bone on my plate. We also order a side of green beans that have been sautéed with garlic.

A lot of people make a bit deal about the cost of dining at Vue de Monde but Bistro Vue is a different beast. The same quality and philosophy is there but at prices that would shame most suburban restaurants. The Côte de Beouf is only $33 a person.

We somehow find room for dessert - caused in part by taking half an hour to savour the last glass from our bottle of Beaujolais and choosing the soufflé which takes 20 minutes to prepare.

Trio of Brûlée

Paalo has the Trio of Brûlée - from left to right they are, mandarin, chestnut and vanilla bean

Soufflé à la Pistache

while I have the unbelievably indulgent Soufflé à la Pistache with Pistachio Ice cream and Chocolate Sauce. As it's placed before you the server makes a hole in the top of the soufflé and starts pouring in the chocolate sauce - this then causes the soufflé to lift out of the pan.

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

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Lunch @ Canvas

It's incredibly cold so we're on the look out for someplace warm. Our first choice turns out a bust so we head over to take another look at Canvas.

We decide to try their 2 course lunch special, very reasonable at $29 with a glass of wine.


Paalo's Choice: Stuffed Calamari served with a saffron broth


My Choice: Pea Risotto with Seared Prawns


Paalo's Choice: Seared Salmon on crushed Kipflers


My Choice: Roasted Chicken Breast with Creamy Potatoes

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

Open - Bar:
7 days until late (1am license)


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Dinner @ Fenix

Paalo does like finding excuses reasons to eat out and tonight was the longest night of the year so obviously we headed to Fenix to celebrate.


Smoked Tuna Broth with Scallops and Radish

We do enjoy this broth and it's a great way to begin the meal. This time fine slivers of scallop and radish have been arranged at the bottom of the bowl.


Forest: Mixed mushrooms, Parsnip, Chlorophyll

Considering I made Chlorophyll a few weeks ago this dish certainly got our attention. Fine tails of roasted parsnip served with a variety of mushrooms and a thick mushroom sauce that's silky smooth and utterly addictive.


Wild Barramundi with Rhubarb, Date and Black Sesame

Another great example of wild barramundi - a really interesting combination of flavours and textures.


Quail with shallots, onion broth

I do love quail and this easily satisfies my love. Served pink, the quail breast is still juicy and wonderfully tender.


Lamb with Jerusalem artichokes


Our favourite dessert - burnt orange cream, macadamia biscuit and candied cumquat. One word is needed - sublime.


Bruleed ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream and coffee nest

The pumpkin ice cream by itself was really interesting, texturally and tastewise, however when eaten with the coffee, the coffee just overwhelmed it.


Violet Candy, Salt and Vinegar Chocolate Sticks, Berry Pops and Coffee Macaroons

The details:

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

Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch
Tuesday - Saturday for Dinner


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Dinner @ Fenix

There's a very good reason why we're back here so quickly - as Paalo was having a read back through the posts he came to an interesting discovery - today marks the first blog-iversary of our first post on Fenix. Well, that's more than a good enough reason to go out!

For a change, we begin the night with a glass of Bollinger which is followed by the liquid nitrogen cleanser.

Smoked Tuna Broth with a mix of cultivated and field mushrooms.
To drink: Jones Road Chardonnay

We've talked about this dish before but it's now being served in a deep glass bowl. There's a bit of tilting and twisting required to get to the contents due to a combination of the bowl height and spoon structure - it was easier to eat when served in the shallow bowl. This is one soup in which you will enjoy to the very last drop.

Vegetable salad in a Roasted Onion broth
To drink: Henschke Pinot Gris

It's a poor photograph of an excellent dish - the broth was a delight, it's flavour hard to describe but you just wanted to take another sip to try to work out all it's different notes. In the vegetable mix we had the tiniest baby leek, baby turnip, beetroot segment, baby onion and carrot and slivers of meaty mushroom. A variety of leaves sat atop including pineapple sage and chickpea leaves.
The wine certainly proved there's more to Henschke then Hill of Grace - this was a perfect match to this dish.

john dory
John Dory with Artichoke and White Beans
To drink: German Riesling

It sounds like we're a broken record but Dan Hunter certainly has a way with fish and seafood of all types, they aren't just cooked well, they are cooked with true skill. It's a more minimalist approach, there's no need for a heavy sauce as the fish speaks loudly by itself.

Sirloin with King Pine, Swiss Brown, Oyster Mushrooms in a Broken Egg and Roasted Garlic Sauce
To drink: La Zona Barbera 2001

King Pines are such a great mushroom - you can see a photo of them here.
The beef was wonderfully tender and cooked just perfectly as you can see - the sauce was deliciously sticky - a thoroughly pleasurable dish.

Mascarpone Ice Cream with mulled wine sauce, mulled wine jelly cubes and sago

It's most disappointing that this photo is so bad as this dish is just so good. It's still in it's experimental stage and I'm not sure how they intend to improve it. Hopefully we'll get to try this again!

toast and marmalade
Confit cumquats, burnt orange cream and pressed macadamia
To drink: Sauterne
A week is a long time in the restaurant biz as this dish has also had a change in it's presentation and name - it's still unbelievably delicious.


This is the cheese platter - it's not part of the degustation menu but we had seen them appearing and disappearing through the room during the night and could resist no longer.

petit fours
Petit Fours: Raspberry Macaroons, Salt and Vinegar Chocolate, Coffee tarts and Thyme Jellies.

The details:

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

Tuesday - Sunday for Lunch
Tuesday - Saturday for Dinner