Sunday, April 7, 2013

Little Hunter

Little Hunter is the new kid on the block in the Melbourne food scene. Located in a basement on Little Collins Street, and as the name suggest this is not a place for vegetarians to salivate to. This place does have some famous names behind it, collaborating with Pete Evens and ex-Fat Duck sous chef Gavin Baker.... So naturally my expectations were high. I recently went to Heston's Dinner so I was expecting goodness from this place.


To start off we got pork crackling where it was seasoned with paprika and served with an apple dipping sauce. A light fluffy snack to start off the meal, I found the apple sauce interesting. A surprising combination in my opinion. Personally I would not have paired it that way but I guess it would please some people.

Then we got the beef on toast which is finely sliced beef with liver parfait on a thin slice of toast (think 2mm). This was the hero dish for me. It kind of reminded me of the meat fruit (from Dinner) so that worked out very nicely for me. Only thing was this was very small, I could've done with another plate.

The final entree was the Cured Kingfish with seasoned roe. This was nice but nothing 'wow' to me. Again I found the portion a tad small.

A thing worth mentioning was the complementary bread served with chicken butter. The bread was freshly baked, soft and sweet. Worked a treat with the chicken butter, I would've happily had this as an actual entree.


For the mains, I had to try the Blackmore flank which was served with avocado. Served with a sector of avocado with onion garnish, this was a rather simple dish and the meat was cooked to perfection. Charred on the outside and still juicy on the inside. Again as per above comment, more on the small side as a main it would not feed a hungry man's appetite.

My partner had the NY strip, this one was adequate in size but sadly it was charred so much on the outside it was bitter when it entered the mouth. The bearnaise and tomato was interesting on menu but in reality it was just a little lacking. It just didn't do anything for me.

Roast Chicken was a pleasant surprise. Juicy succulent, cannot find anything to fault this dish.

Also had the Yam and Cabbage sides. I would like to argue that it's not really yam but more sweet potato... some may care to disagree. Cabbage was more wom bok but it was still a good pallet breaker all the same and I really like the creaminess of the blue cheese.

For dessert I got the Frangipane  meringue with passionfruit curd, peach sorbet. Nothing exceptional here, peach sorbet was nice though.

Overall I would rate it 15.5/20. Some dishes were nice but sadly they failed to maintain consistency throughout. It's not a bad place to visit but it just somehow did not live up to my expectation. I would go back for the Roast Chicken and Beef on Toast though. If all the dishes were like the Beef on Toast this place would've easily been a 19/20 for me.

 Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Maha Burger & Beer Lunch special

Walking into the dim lighted restaurant, you are welcome with a sense middle eastern ambiance laced with class.


This is not my first time, but this was my first time that I had their $15 burger lunch special. For $15 you get a lamb burger and beer. Served on a crunchy toasted brioche bun with olive mayo, onion rings and generous amount of shaved kefalograviera cheese. The thick home made lamb patty is juicy and guarantee to make you walking out happy and satisfied.

If you are vegetarian they also cater with a vegetarian version. Combined with a beer this is the perfect Friday lunch.

If you want a bit extra you can also order coriander flaked chips with lemon.

Big thumbs up from me. I will follow with the 3 course lunch special next time. This joint is on the fast track of becoming one of my favourite hang out spots.

  Maha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Red Spice Road


Red Spice Road is one of those restaurants I tend to always go back to. It's close to my office and also happens to be on the ET card. What I'm going to review today is their lunch special, where they have a choice of 5 dishes and you get to pick 3 to share with the party you visit with.

To start off there is Betel Leaf with Chicken, Chilli, Coriander and Kaffir Lime. This is nice small start to the meal to get your pallet salivating. It is a nice combination of chicken wrapped in the betel leaf and zest of lime.

First up there is the signature pork belly with apple slaw, caramel and black vinegar. This is my absolutely favourite dish here. There has never been a time I have visited and not ordered this dish. The pork is so sticky it will stick to your teeth and the apple slaw provides that crunchy and juicy balance. Must not be missed!

Lao style curry beef with potato and snake beans. This was nice in flavour but the beef was a tad disappointing, felt like it was just cheap beef chuck meat in a curry sauce. It would have been a lot better of a dish if the quality of beef was a bit higher.  The flavours were all there but the meat let the dish down.

Chicken with Chinese broccoli, garlic and pepper. Chicken was beautifully cooked where it was succulent and the gailan and pepper gave it the vegetable crunch and bit of a kick. It leaves you wanting more. Only wish there was more gailan in it.

Barramundi flake salad with coriander, lemon grass, chilli and rice powder. This was generous with large chunks of fish, heaps of coriander and other herbs to give it a very fresh taste. There is not too much chilli in there which was good as it lets the fish flavours really come through. I was not sure about the rice powder as I could barely taste it.

Overall I would give it a 16.5/20. I would've rated it a 17 but over the many visits here, I find they are quite inconsistent with their portion sizes. You generally get more if you attend in a small group, once the number of people you dine with goes up, the portion size and service goes down. Food is good here, just if you go in a big group you won't leave as satisfied as if you went with a smaller group.

UPDATE: I would like to revise my rating to a 17/20. I mentioned the portion size in a feedback email and I was contacted regarding the issue and the restaurant has looked into it to have that investigated. I find this response very impressive and I highly regard this type of service. Good work to the team at Red Spice Road.

NB: Try out their cocktail and mocktail menu. It won't disappoint, my personal favourite is the Green Asian 
      
Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon