Monday, December 7, 2009

Bottega for lunch

So over the summer holidays a lot of thing happened so i got a little side track. Though have no fear I have a lot of reviews lined up as I've eaten at lots of different places in the last few months.

First one I will start off with is Bottega.
This is a small restarant located on Bourke St in Melbourne. I actually didn't know that much about this place prior to my visit. I merely saw it on my ET book and decided it was worth a try. Have to say I had little expectations so I did leave as a happy person!
Had the lunch special
First up on the menu:

Pancetta wrapped scallops, truffled mash, sauce vierge
The scallop was cooked just right. This is important for me as the taste of overcooked scallop is like chewing on rubber! The mash was a nice change as the texture of it was quite different to the scallop giving a very different appeal to usual scallop dishes. Lastly the sauce vierge gave it just that little kick. Wasn't a bad dish overall. Would go back and have this again!

Next, there was the char-grilled scotch fillet with fresh horseradish, percorino and parsley salad. Have to say I've only eaten horseradish a handful of times and it's not exactly my fav sauce. I can't say this is something I would order again. The steak was a bit overcooked for my liking. The parsley was lacking. Wasn't quite a salad but also wasn't enough for me to overlook the blandness in the steak. However the cheese was a very different approach. I have to say it wasn't a bad effort. If there was a few more tweaks to this dish, it could become a fav for me. But for now... not quite there yet in my books.


Lastly there was suckling lamb, sage, sweetbread, eggplant parmigiana. Good mixture of flavours but just a little heavy handed with the salt. The lamb was tender. Not a bad effort but needs sides to balance the flavors a bit.

Overall: Not your typical menu so it's a nice change. The atmosphere was quite cozy. 3/5

Pricing: Not badly price especially with the ET card. Won't exactly call it a cheap eat though. $$$

Monday, October 26, 2009

Horrible at updating!

OK I admit! My bad for taking so long to update!

But I have been to quite a few places since i last blogged!

Upcoming is Kenzan, Itaty 1, Butcher's Grill, Melba at Langham and a few more places!

Stay tuned!!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Shoya

No uni for 4 weeks! Woot woot! What do I have line up? Well besides working 11 days straight, I also have a dentist appointment =( and lunch date at Shoya!
Let's start with the good of an awesome time at Shoya! I didn't have very high expectation as I didn't want to be disappointed.

The layout of the restaurant was quite interesting, it consisted of a few different levels. The enterance level had quite cafe styled tables, next level was traditional low Japanese tables, lastly a teppanyaki floor. We were seated on the final floor in a nice cos corner, perfect for some good chit chat.

The was a range of lunch menus for us to choose, and me being naturally curious I choose one of the menus with the most food (hahahaha I walked out with such a full stomach)

To start we were given a pickled cucumber eel salad. This was a nice way to meal with a bit of sour to get the taste buds tingling.

Following the salad was a nice egg custard. With flavours of prawn, chicken and shitake mushrrom through out the custard it offered a variety of flavours om such a small little dish.




Sashimi was nicely arranged in a interesting presentation. A fanned out assortment of colourful fishes on top of an orange! The fish was thinly cut and fresh.

Next, Tempura. This was an assortment of prawns, eggplant, fish, zucchini and sweet potato. Only criticism of this dish was it was not serve hot enough and the tempura batter would have been a little better it it carried a slight more crunch to it. Not to the point it was like chips but just a bit more crisp. However don't get me wrong, this dish was still fairly well delivered.

Afterwards, was Terriyaki Chicken with Fried rice. Chicken was succulent and tender served together with a cheesy tofu/potato slice. The terriyaki sauce was a little too thick for my liking, however the flavours hit the right notes.


Then, we were given sushi to taste. This was slightly disappointing, the salmon as not as fresh as before however the kingfish was a delight.


Finally was the green tea ice cream. Shame this was pre-scooped and frozen as pre-scooped. The ice cream was just a little too frozen but beside that it was not too disappointing. However I have to admit at this point, I was too full to appreciate the ice cream fully.

Overall: this place was really pleasing. I would go back as it was nice authentic atomosphere. The food was fairly nice too. 3.5/5

Pricing: The lunch menu was really good value, however after looking at the normal a la catre menu, it can be pricy. So I highly reccomend going there for lunch before dinner if you are unsure about Jap food! $$$
Ahh such a long post, think I'll leave Bistro Thierry for next time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Italian...

After a nightmare in organizing a dinner for 18 and a bit of disaster when booking I was sooo happy when we got the Italian booked! I've been wanting to try this restaurant for awhile and what better way to try it than with friends! Due to the number of people we had, we had to have a set menu and we finally decided on the 2 course.

There was a selection of entrees which included the following!


Caprese salad,tomato, basil and mozzarella. I had to say this simple dish did impress me. The flavors went really well together. The balsamic vinegar just gave it that extra bit of tang and the mozzarella was fine with a nice creamy finish. I am normally one that likes thing this simple but this gets my thumbs up

Beef fil let with greens, olives and parmesan. This little number was also fantastic, the beef was so thinly slice it almost melts in your mouth. The parmesan gave it a good kick as it was a nice flavoursome parmesan. Not a fan of the olives but from those who did like olives said it provided a nice balance to the dish. There was also a bit of coriander in it finely chopped which was a nice surprise. Nothing over powering but just enough to give a slight scent at the end of each mouthful.

Now for mains!


I had the beef fillet with potato gallette in black pepper sauce. This was so tender and juicy to eat, the meat was cooked to perfection. The black pepper sauce had strong aromas, but a little too rich for my liking. It was not bad but if it was just that tad less rich it would have been perfect. The potato as also a nice fine effort however it was not properly mashed through as I did have bits which were slightly chunky.
Mushroom risotto. It was not presented in the best form. The rice was nice and soft though, but overall this dish lack a little in flavour. At times it was bland and just a bit to plain for the expectation of this restaurant.
Pan-fried tuna on a bed of baby spinish. The fish was cooked just right, however the fish lacked in flavour slightly, if there had been slightly more seasoning it may have helped in the taste. The baby spinish was well done. Overall still quite pleasent.

There are actually a few more entrees and a main to come, waiting for my guest blogger to get back to me. Will post once I receive the entries.


Overall: 3/5 I was quite impressed by the mozzarella and the beef salad. The beef fillet with black pepper sauce also got me wanting to go back and have it again. Though I gave consideration that this was a set menu and we did not get to try everything that was to offer. Based on this score though, one would need to appreciate fine dining to appreciate these choices

Pricing: $$$$ it goes without saying that it was not exactly a cheap eat. For the 2 course you are looking at $66 which includes tea and coffee at the end.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Quaff



So I a mid-semester break...... what did I get upto in that time you ask! I went hunting for food!
Quaff is a fine dining experience located in Toorak village. Only thing is I went for lunch and had the set lunch! With a slick waitress and fine white table cloth it is perfect when you want to feel a little pampered.

For this one I need to thanks Oanh for telling me about it! It's all about the open pie this time!

With a nice selection of entrees to choose from I couldn't pass up a salt and pepper calamari.
It was a nice soft just enough to still maintain a bouncy texture. It was not too oily or dry with the perfect succulent moisture going it through and nicely matched with a bed of rocket leaves. That was merely the deception I got. The verdict? It was nice but I would have prefer the calamari to have a slightly more richer flavour. Not badly done but just didn't match up the image it painted in my mind when I was ordering it.

As my main it was the open I was eager to try open pie with creamy mash! The filling we had was the beef and vegetable. I had to say the pies here are different because it is not the usual pie pastry but it is a light fluffy pastry that does not feel heavy at all. The filling did not disappoint either. The beef strips were just cooked to perfection with a combination of capsicum, tomato and onion they went with the flavour perfectly! (I normally don't eat capsicum and I ate each bit of capsicum in this pie). The picture speaks my desire to go back!

Desert supposingly is the best but I have to say the berry sorbet was a huge disappointment. The sorbet was served with fresh berry puree. Rather than the sweet tasting berry I was hoping for the berry was sour and at times the sorbet left a bitter aftertaste. The lemon sorbet could really have done with some sugar. I know it's all good to be natural but sometime we have sugar salt and other flavours to give natural a little helping hand. This lemon sorbet was in need of that! I am either not a sorbet person or it was just crappy sorbet. One or the other, I like to think the sorbet wasn't great.


Overall: 13/20 It would have got higher rating had not been for the sorbet but I will go back for the pie! According to a reliable source they also have a open pie with a creamy fish filling which apparently is delightful!

Pricing was $30 for the lunch special which I found very reasonable. It also came with a glass of house wine. I managed to take a photo of the menu so be the judge for yourself $$(and a half)
Restaurant Quaff on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brunch at Miss Marple's

One of the things I enjoy most is life is sleeping in but when you sleep in you normally miss out on breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Life's solution? Brunch! I know Miss Marple's is famous for being a fabulous afternoon tea spot, but I like to go there for brunch. Why you may ask? Besides being lazy, I always end up eating a lot and feeling like I need a wheelbarrow to carry me out each time I eat there. The servings are not huge, but there are just so many things on the menu that I like. Mt Dandenong being a destination I don't go to very frequently I normally try to eat everything I feel like on the menu and hence each time I over stuff myself with food! So here are a few of my favourites that I had on my most recent trip there!

Chicken and Pineapple fingers with alfalfa: a really simple starter. The chicken is not the best but it does have a very 'homey' feel to it. Something your grandmother would make for you. The chicken is a little overcook but once you have it with the pineapple and the cheese it's not as noticeable. These little things are quite filling on their own. If you want to taste a bit of everything when you are there, I advise to share these!

Cottage Pie (Beef): Nothing like a nice hearty pie with creamy mash potato on top and served with tomato relish. The pie is a really home style dish served in a dish. The mince beef in nepolitana sauce had nice aromas to it with just the right taste and flavour to go with the potato on top. Again it is a very filling dish. Miss Marple's cottage pie goes with a chicken option as well but the chicken was not a tomato base. The chicken option is also nice but not a favorite of mine. The chicken pieces are slightly more to get through and sometimes just a little too much when you are having more than one thing. However I would definitely reccommend the cottage beef pie. Thumbs up from me!


Next is desert, cannot go paste the scones! How can you go to a tea house and not have scones, it's almost a sin! The scones here have an option of plain or fruit, I chose plain as I don't really like fruit scones. The scones are served warm with homemade jam and cream. The only thing missing when I was sinking my teeth into these scones with a nice cup of yorkshire tea, was a open fire place. Scones can't get much better then this! I can't say I am a scones expert but this is def' one with the top rating in my books! If I ever find better scones I will let you know.

But for now Miss Marple's is the way to go! It's deserts so who can really stop at one! While Jimmy went to the restroom I ordered the banana split as well. This old fashion desert is very well done here. Can't say the ice cream is the best but if you still have room after mains and scones, a nice banana split with gernerous helpings of cream and ice cream is the way to go. With old fashion chocolate sauce and almound flakes, if you weren't full before this, you will bound to be full after the banana split.

Overall rating: this place has a soft spot in my heart. Besides the waiting time and it always being pack with tourist, the fitting and old tea house art deco is worth checking out. Food is very English home style that is bound to make you want to walk out holding your tummy! 4/5


Pricing is very reasonable: starters and deserts are under $15 and main under $20. $$
Tip: If you are a jam person, make sure you purchase their homemade jam to take home. Supermarket jams will seem like mere jelly compared to this!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

WOO my first ever food review!
Let me explain how this works. I am good at nothing but eating and with the developement of the digital camera I have started to take photo of the food I eat if I like it. Then one day somebody asked me what I was going to do with this photo...... Good question I really didn't know what I was going to do. So to put it to good use I am going to share with you what I have been eating and what I think of it!

Let's get started!

Shiranui - Glen Waverley

Menu:
Sashimi Lunch Special & Nigiri Lunch Special

The appetizer for both the lunch specials were the same, it was a cold noodle with an miso egg brulee like thing (excuse for my lack of names, I didn't quite catch the japanese names they were telling me, will try harder next time). There was also another starter, the black jelly like thing. I had no idea what I ate, wasn't bad tasting wasn't great..... If somebody knows what it was, can they please let me know.

The cold noodle was something different, I can't say it was a favourite but it was nice to have something different as an appetizer other than the usual seaweed salad most japanese places give. It has a nice creamy taste which was a nice way to start the meal.

The Miso Egg thing was new to me. I am normally not an egg person but I really enjoyed this as a bit of a twist to the classic miso soup. The texture of the egg was very silky and on the bottom was a piece of grilled eel for the twist in the miso flavour.

Mains
The Nigiri was was nice salad dish with an assortment of fish. We were fortunate enough to be seated on the bar and watch then silce and dice the giant fish. The fish was set on top of lemon slices which put a nice infused zesty flavour to the fish and accompanied with the salad and dressing. Wasn't sure what the dressing was, but it did go nicely with the fish and leaves.

The sashimi platter was a nice assortment which can be seen from the photos. I had to say I was a little disappointed in the fish, as I had a slightly higher expectation after my obervations from the sushi bar. However it was not a complete disappointment. For those who like their fish a slightly thicker cut this is probably their cup of tea. My main critism was the cut and the fish was not as fresh as I liked it. Overall not a bad effort

I managed to take a shot of the flame grilling process!

Overall verdict
The thing I enjoyed the most of this visit was the lay out of the resturant. It is a good variation from the ones you normally see around Melbourne these days.

The food was nice but I have had better. I would go back, the flame grilled is their specialty but I didn't manage to try it. Opps. 3.5/5

Pricing the lunch specials average for about $18. It is definitely not a cheap eat but something I won't mind go back with friends. $$$

Signing out ... ness....

PS. Know my reviewing isn't perfect yet, but happy to hear your thoughts!