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Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in review

We haven't done this before but we thought we'd put together a list of things we've liked and disliked over the year.

In no particular order these are our top 10 dishes/dining experiences of the year

1. BBQ Wagyu ribs with potato salad and coleslaw matched with Hard Rock (bourbon, blood orange juice, vermouth and cherry brandy) from Cafe Vue Cocktail Night

cafe vue© by haalo

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Breakfast @ NorthSouth Eatery

We're back for breakfast and hurray the eggs are on!

NorthSouth Eatery© by Haalo

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dinner @ Josie Bones

While our attempt on Tuesday failed as Josie Bones is closed on that day, we did persist and finally made it on Sunday.

Our fellow eators, Al and Elle have already dined here and were very enthusiastic about their experience, so we've joined them tonight for a second go at the menu.

You'll probably know that the food here is served to share and the focus is on nose to tail eating and on beers - the beer list is most impressive (160+ ) and the non-beer options while small, are well considered.

Josie Bones© by Haalo
Trotter Fritters with Romesco Sauce

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Cocktail Night @ Cafe Vue at 401

Usually the Café Vue cocktail nights are held in the city but for this special Christmas edition it's being held at Cafe Vue at 401.

We begin with

Cafe Vue at 401© by Haalo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dinner @ Jorg

We had intended to dine at Josie Bones tonight but typically, it was closed. No matter we thought, there are plenty of places to eat around here. We tried venturing up the road to Huxtable but it was booked out so we decided to look further afield and headed off to Scopri. Unfortunately, it was also booked out. Our next stop was Jorg and luckily for us, they had a free table.

We started with a few dishes to share:

Jorg© by Haalo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breakfast @ Demetri's Feast

It's been a while since our last visit to Demetri's Feast and there has been some changes, most notably, the arrival of a new chef. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the new year - until then, we can still enjoy the old classics we've come to love.

Demetri's Feast© by Haalo

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breakfast @ NorthSouth Eatery

Our first surprise came as we arrived at NorthSouth to find that it wasn't going to be open until 9am - fair enough, there were things to do to pass the time. The second less pleasant surprise came when we were told that those famous 60° eggs wouldn't be available until later - probably after 10am.

To be honest the menu isn't very large and to have your main attraction unavailable isn't a good thing. Eventually we did manage to selection something.

NorthSouth Eatery© by Haalo

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lunch @ Maze

There's been quite a few changes in the personnel at Maze and Maze Grill - the question in these cases is how is the food fairing? Only way to tell, is to go out and try it.

We're opted for the degustation which begins as always with this:

Maze© by Haalo

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Breakfast @ Pillar of Salt

There's a new cafe on Church Street located right next door to the Royal Saxon and as it's we pass it on our way to the market, we thought we might pop in for a spot of breakfast.

Pillar of Salt© by Haalo

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Dinner @ Fenix Restaurant

Even though we weren't overly impressed with our lunch our intention was always to return and see how it was progressing. We've kept an eye on the buzz and reading reviews on Urbanspoon did leave us a bit concerned.

As we drove past we noticed that the restaurant looked empty - not a good sign we thought. On entry we discovered that wasn't the case at all - just that all the customers had been herded into the dining area at the back. We're not ones for crowds, so we elected to be seated downstairs by the windows.

Another surprise was in store with the menu -  a special limited December menu was available with a choice of 5 entree/5 main/5 dessert.

For starters:

Fenix Restaurant© by Haalo

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at 401

We're back with Elle and Al for another dinner but this time we aren't the chicken! We've ordered a mix of dishes - from Menu du Jour and A la Carte.

For starters:
Cafe Vue at 401© by Haalo
Seared Scallops with Truffle Pommes Mouselline and Cauliflower puree

Friday, December 03, 2010

Lunch @ Barkers Wine Bar

There has been quite substantial changes to Barkers since our last visit. Michael Lambie has gone, Head Chef Tony Twitchett is on his way back to Taxi and the place istelf, sold to a new group. What do all these changes mean for Barkers?

On first glance, nothing seems to have changed, the menu is exactly the same so it's going to be very easy to compare the past with the present.

To start:

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dinner @ Ellery & Co

We're really doing something different now - time for another dinner at Ellery & Co. Unlike our last visit, the place is full - this even includes the new dining room. They must be doing something right.

The menu is quite small - there's a selection of shareable dishes as well as a few entree/main options. We begin with some dishes to share:
Ellery & Co© by Haalo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lunch @ Fred Young of Kew

Fred Young of Kew is the type of place that seems to have been around for ages - we've driven past countless times but just not bothered to stop and go try it out. Next year, this area will suddenly become a culinary hotspot with the arrival of St Katherines and I dare say, the pressure will be on existing businesses to survive which is why we've decided to check out the scene.

Fred Young is a fairly large space that hasn't dated very well - it looks all a bit too 1990's shopping center. The menu, well, you can call it old school.

We're here for a quick lunch and opt for the standards:
fred young of kew© by Haalo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at Heide

We've managed to sneak in another visit before the menu changes. Tonight, there's also a couple of specials - one of which are snails.

Cafe Vue at Heide© by Haalo

Lunch @ Koots Salle a Manger

Our morning meeting went longer than expected so we're rewarding ourselves with lunch at Koots.  For Lunch, two options are availble - a limited fixed price menu and a la carte. We've gone for a mix of the two.

For starters:

Koots Salle a Manger© by Haalo
Salt cod brandade with grilled calamari, Mt Zero olives and rocket salad

Breakfast @ Ellery and Co

It doesn't happen often but we actually do manage to order something other than the waffles!

ellery and co© by Haalo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Lunch @ Il Bacaro

If you've only casually read this blog you'd know that we have a fondness for truffle - white truffles are a particular weakness. The mere mention of their arrival will see us scurrying to taste them. This week a few kilos of alba white truffles landed at Il Bacaro - and not far behind them you'd find us.

There are special truffle dishes covering entrees, pasta and mains which the poor waiter had to describe twice since the first time we lost concentration as soon as the aroma of truffle hit us. It's also possible to add truffle to some of the existing dishes on the menu.

As you'll soon see we ended up with a mix of specials and regular items.

For starters:
il bacaro© by Haalo

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Breakfast @ NorthSouth Eatery

Our subsquent visits have been for quick coffees but we're back at North South with time on our hands for a leisurely breakfast.

North South Eatery© by Haalo

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at Heidi

We seem to be stalking the Café Vues of late - this time we're off to Heidi.

For starters:

Cafe Vue at Heidi© by Haalo

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dinner @ Koots Salle a Manger

The last time we were both at Koots was around Bastille Day so we are well overdue for another visit. There's a new degustation menu on offer so ordering is a snap.

koots salle a manger© by Haalo

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at 401

We've been thinking about that roast chicken all week and how we really didn't do it justice on our last visit. Tonight we return for round two having roped in fellow eators, Al and Elle to help us.

For starters:

Cafe Vue at 401© by Haalo

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Lunch @ NorthSouth Eatery

After a morning spend drooling over the cars at the Motorclassica we are in need of more than just visual nourishment. We're not really ones to specifically go to places as soon as they open but as we were passing by NorthSouth Eatery we decided to drop in for lunch.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Lunch @ Mr Foxx

You might know Mr Foxx under its previous name - Corner Place, a brand new cafe on Malvern road that opened around the beginning of this year. There's been a change of ownership and name and we thought we'd pop in for a late lunch.

mr foxx© by Haalo

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at 401

After what seems a year of saying we should go to 401 for dinner, we finally find ourselves here. As it happens the menu structure has changed - the menu du jour is now a one option deal - it changes daily but there's only one entree, main and dessert. There has though, been an expansion of the a la carte menu to compensate.

One thing that has remained is the rotisserie chicken and it's now available in the restaurant rather than just take-away. Available as a quarter, half and whole, we decide that there's no time like the present, and order a whole chicken.

cafe vue at 401©

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dinner @ Ellery & Co

After having enjoyed many a waffle we thought it time to try out the dinner options at Ellery & Co.

Ellery & Co© by Haalo

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Breakfast @ Ellery & Co

We're continuing our crawl along Church Street with a visit to Ellery and Co. There's been a recent change behind the scenes with Brent Baigent former chef/part-owner of Centonove taking charge.

Unlike our recent experience at nearby Coffee Hit, the coffee here has been excellent - served at the correct temperature. In fact our first visit here was just for coffee and it so impressed us we decided to try our luck with breakfast.

Ellery & Co© by Haalo

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cocktail Night @ Cafe Vue

While this isn't the first time we've been to the Cocktail Nights at Café Vue, this is the first time I've actually managed to get decent semi-decent passable photos!

Cafe Vue© by Haalo

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breakfast @ Coffee Hit

There's a couple of newish cafes on Church Street, one of which has been the recipent of quite a lot of excellent press - that cafe is Coffee Hit.

In a corner location, its size is quite deceptive - what appears to be two small shopfronts opens up into a labyrinth of rooms. Even at this early hour we find ourselves seated right at the back of the building in what is a converted garage. It certainly gets points for quirkiness.

Service is a bit haphazard, our first coffee order seems to get lost and eventually after asking about it, they arrive 15 minutes into our stay. For a place called Coffee Hit, you expect the coffee to be spot on, unfortunately ours were too hot.

For breakfast we order:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dinner @ Matteos

We're back for another degustation at Matteo's - most of the menu is fairly similar to our last dinner though there has been some tweaking.

matteo's restaurant© by Haalo

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Dinner @ Home Dining Room

I can't believe that it's been well over a year since we've had dinner at Home Dining Room so we're more than overdue for a re-visit.

We begin with Knead bakery bread served with olive oil and dukkah and a generous bowl of warm olives flavoured with orange and fennel.

Home Dining Room© by Haalo

Monday, September 06, 2010

Lunch @ Home Dining Room

*Update: October 7th - there was a fire at Home Dining Room so it is currently closed. You can keep up to date on their status at their facebook page

It's been a hectic day and we're in need of some sustenance, as we're in the area we popped in for a late lunch

home dining room© by Haalo

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Dinner @ St Judes Cellars

There's a funny story behind our gathering at St Jude's but I don't think it would really translate to the written word. It may just be one of those things you had to be there to really appreciate it. Needless to say it has been a source of much amusement since the event.

Our fellow eators, Elle and Al have been most eager for us to join them at St Jude's - they have been suitably impressed on their previous visits and the benefit of having 4 means that dishes they have only lusted over can be ordered quite happily.

St Jude's Cellars© by Haalo

Friday, September 03, 2010

Dinner @ Cafe Vue at Heide

The Menu du Jour is now changing monthly so we're back at Café Vue at Heide for a taste of this months offerings.

Cafe Vue at Heide© by Haalo

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Age Good Food Guide Awards 2011

The hats and assorted trinkets have been given out and the Good Food Guide continues with its tradition of bewildering results.

"Vittoria Coffee" Restaurant of the Year
Royal Mail Hotel

"Emirates" Chef of the Year
Ben Shewry (Attica)

"Plumm Wine Glasses" Best New Restaurant
Izakaya Den

Country Wine List of the Year

Best New Country Restaurant of the Year

"Navman" Country Restaurant of the Year
Tea Rooms of Yarck

"Epicure" Professional Excellence Award
Paul Wilson

"Dan Murphy's" BYO Restaurant of the Year

"Champagne Louis Roederer" Sommelier of the Year
David Lawler (Rockpool)

Best Short Wine List
City Wine Shop

"Brown Brothers" Wine List of the Year

"The Age" Young Chef of the Year
Michael Fox (Cecconi's Cantina)

"Millei Superior" Dish of the Year
Loam - Suckling Pig

Diner's Choice Award
Vue de Monde

Service Excellence Award
Simon Denton (Verge)

Donlevy Fitzpatrick Award

Onto the precious headwear:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lunch @ Magic City

After a hiatus of a couple of years, this is our second visit to Magic City in a matter of weeks - the first is unblogged as we didn't take any photos but the food certainly made us want to return.

magic city© by Haalo

Kappaya Abbotsford Convent

Wedged between Lentil as Anything and Convent Bakery, Kappaya is a place that you can easily miss. I've known for a while it was there but up until today I hadn't purposefully gone looking for it.

Kappaya© by Haalo

Friday, August 27, 2010

Taste of Melbourne 2010

The 3rd Taste of Melbourne is currently on and once again it's proved difficult to decide whether or not to go.

We went to the first Taste event and left feeling that it was better than we had thought it would be but still not enough to convert us to the event. Last year, we skipped it - too much emphasis on Masterchef and way too much PR involvement - it seemed every blogger and their dog got a ticket which coincided with what seemed to be a plethora of gushing blog posts about the event. This year, we frankly lost count at the number of different PR offers for us to attend - all of which we declined or ignored. We firmly believe that unless you are willing to delve into your own pocket, then you should not be writing or tweeting about it.

Our main reason for attending this year was due to Embrasse and the fact that they would be offering a horse meat dish. Unfortunately, food terrorists decided to issue death threats towards the chef and his family and so this dish was withdrawn from both Taste of Melbourne and the restaurant.

With horse off the menu, we once again shifted towards not going but then the pop-ups entered the equation and in particular the presence of Comida Bebe caught our attention, we made our final decision to attend.

taste of melbourne© by Haalo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dinner @ Vue de Monde

Five years ago we started this site with dinner on the chef's table at Vue de Monde so we're very much completing the circle by returned to that same spot for this anniversary.

It's been a time of reflection and while there has been lots of changes in the food blogging scene, I can't say that all of it has been positive but tonight I'd rather focus on what matters, enjoying a great meal.

Vue de Monde© by Haalo

Monday, August 23, 2010

Der Raum @ Church Street Enoteca

It's the start of our very special week - tomorrow is our anniversary dinner at Vue de Monde and tonight is a collaborative dinner by Der Raum and Church Street Enoteca.

These two venues are virtually stone throwing distance apart and surprisingly for all our visits to CSE we haven't ever ventured down the road to Der Raum - there's always been that intention to go but the opportunity just never presented itself...that is until now.

As we waited for people to arrive, we were offered the first of the evenings drinks called Herbie Hancock. Basically it was a champagne cocktail - a mix of Grappa, Sage Sugar, Peychaud Bitters, Champagne and something called Herbal "Fog". The fog was a dry ice concoction infused with herbs and was used to great visual effect to top our flutes.

With this we enjoyed the canapé - a scallop on the half shell, served on a fennel puree and topped with a tomato and white anchovy compote.

First Course:

Church Street Enoteca© by Haalo

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lunch @ Fenix Restaurant

If you've followed this site you'll know that we had a soft spot for Fenix and were quite sad to see it close back in 2009. It reopened this year, remodelled and renewed and pitched firmly at the Ma$terchef crowd.
Fenix Restaurant© by Haalo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dinner @ Maze Grill

We're returning to Maze Grill and this time we've been joined by fellow eators, Al and Elle.

maze grill© by Haalo

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Lunch @ Cafe Vue at 401

We've been saying for a while that we should go to Cafe Vue at 401 for their Menu du Jour especially as we've enjoyed the offerings at Heide and as finding ourselves in the area, we decided to pop in for a leisurely lunch.


Bistro Vue at 401© by Haalo

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lunch @ Il Bacaro

Il Bacaro is one of the those places where as soon as we take our first bite, we wonder why it's taken so long to return and that's especially the case when your first bite is this:

Il Bacaro© by Haalo

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dinner @ Momo Restaurant

It's Paalo's birthday so we're off to celebrate with a very overdue visit to Momo!
momo© by Haalo

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dinner @ Matteos

The eat crew have gathered for what could be described as Paalo's pre-birthday dinner at one of our collectives favourite spots, Matteo's.

As usual it seems the menus are not really needed and it's a fait accompli that we've ordered the degustation.

matteo's© by Haalo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Breakfast @ Home Dining Room

It has been a while since we last looked at Home Dining Room so it's time to see what's happening at breakfast.

Home Dining Room© by Haalo

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lunch @ 268 on Toorak

We're back for another leisurely Saturday lunch and this time I've actually remembered to take some photos of the renovated interior:

268 on Toorak© by Haalo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Breakfast @ Barkers Wine Bar and Bistro

Sad to say but this is the last breakfast service at Barkers - the good news is that it will resume closer to summer.

I've opted for a winter favourite:

Barkers© by Haalo

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lunch @ Koots Salle a Manger

Although Bastille Day is tomorrow, you can still celebrate at Koots with a special week long Bastille menu.

Koots© by Haalo

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Truffle Degustation Lunch @ Chateau Yering

We've marshalled the truffle crew together and this time we've headed out to Chateau Yering for their annual Truffle degustation lunch. This year there's a change - the truffles have all been sourced from Victoria - from Tibooburra in the Yarra Valley and the Otways.