Archive | 8 out of 10 RSS feed for this section

The Hardware Sociéte, Melbourne

13 Jun

Highlight Delectable CBD brunch spot

Lowlight – No bookings policy

Croque Madame

Croque Madame

Baked eggs with chorizo, tomatoes, spinach

Baked eggs with chorizo, tomatoes, spinach

FOOD?

To start off our day in the city we decided to grab some brekky before our full day of shopping. At first we attempted to visit Mr Tulk but unfortunately due to it being a Sunday it was closed. Hardware Societe was somewhat close so we decided to give that a go.

When we first approached I was weary about the patrons waiting outside but decided to put our name on the list anyway. The waitress informed us the wait would be around 10-15 minutes so we decided to wait it out since it was too cold to walk elsewhere. I ordered a coffee to keep me warm and by the time it arrived our table was ready.

I’m a fan of the Croque Monsier and Madame trend at cafes. My dining companion mentioned she had not tried one before so I encouraged her to give it a go. The toast was warm and crunchy filled with salmon and melted gruyere cheese topped with a glossy sunny-side up fried egg.

I tried the hearty baked eggs with lots of chorizo, tomatoes and spinach. It was the perfect hot meal for the first week of Winter. Just a few comments though, I know it adds to the taste but I would have preferred my bread without the drenching in olive oil. And there was probably a bit too much cooked egg yoke for my liking, it would have been nice if it were runnier to add to the dipping sauce.

SERVICE?

We were seated at the bar stools facing the small kitchen area and were surprised to see only two cooks churning out the meals. They were both very systematic in their processes and delivered the food efficiently.

AMBIENCE?

Cute bustling cafe that’s constantly full of people indulging in delicious food and deep conversation. Seats are situated quite close together so there is little space between tables allowing for sneaky eavesdropping. There’s also a large share table at the back of the room.

VALUE?

Very affordable and good value for money considering the city location.

BOOKINGS?

Bookings and credit cards are not accepted here. We waited around 10-15 minutes for our table on Sunday for brunch which I felt was quite reasonable.

8

out of 10!

The Hardware Societe
118-120 Hardware Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 9078 5992

The Hardware Sociéte on Urbanspoon

Innocent Bystander, Giant Steps, Healesville

15 May

Highlight – Delicious food

Lowlight – High noise levels due to the packed venue

Sashimi, grape, beetroot and avocado salad

Sashimi, grape, beetroot and avocado salad

Duck and mushroom pie with carrot mash

Duck and mushroom pie with carrot mash

Calabrese salami, san marzano tomato, oregano & buffalo mozzarella

Calabrese salami, san marzano tomato, oregano & buffalo mozzarella

FOOD?

We had a late morning appointment in the Yarra Valley so we decided to book lunch afterwards at Innocent Bystander since we would be close by. There was a large variety of dishes to decide on, including tapas, pizzas, “non-pizzas”, breads and cheeses, plus an extensive wine list.

When the dishes arrived they looked amazing, the colours were vibrant and further accentuated by the sunlight. To start we chose the fresh sashimi salad combined with beetroot, grapes and avocado. It was perfect to get our taste buds going.

For mains we chose the duck and mushroom pie and the calabrese pizza. When the pie was first sliced open it was moist and full of flavour. There was a decent amount of duck which was complimented with the carrot mash.

As my eyes are bigger than my tummy I decided to order the calabrese salami pizza all to myself. I did not come close to finishing it! Their pizza bases are 100% organic sourdough and are cooked in a wood fire oven to obtain a crisp base. Even though the ingredients were simple they were of a high quality to make the juicy topping. It was slightly on the oily side although that may have been due to the salami.

Next time I’ll have to try the truffle and parmesan frites as I’ve heard rave reviews. Plus I love anything to do with potatoes!

SERVICE?

I thought the service was fine, a bit slow but probably because the place is constantly so busy.

AMBIENCE?

It was a beautiful sunny day so we decided to sit outside on the benches for lunch. Inside the restaurant it is mega busy and buzzing with people. We were lucky with the weather and got to sit away from the noisy crowd.

VALUE?

A little on the pricey side but since I don’t visit Healesville very often it was worth it. I would recommend visiting if you haven’t already been.

BOOKINGS?

Bookings are accepted and recommended as the venue can get extremely busy. When we arrived for our booking there was a long line of customers waiting to be seated. I overheard some people being told they would have to wait for a while as the restaurant was at capacity. I’d definitely come back here next time I’m in the area.

8

out of 10!

Innocent Bystander / Giant Steps
336 Maroondah Highway, Healesville VIC 3777
03 5962 6111 

Giant Steps / Innocent Bystander Winery on Urbanspoon

Chin Chin, Melbourne

27 Dec

Highlight – Overall flavoursome Asian inspired food

Lowlight – Maitre de was not very welcoming

FOOD?

The menu is quite extensive with a variety of small and large dishes designed to share. We started the night with braised suckling pig ‘roll ups’ which are pretty much DIY pancakes with fresh vegies and herbs complimented by a tangy sauce. These are a great sharing dish for two. Next up was the dish that reminded me of the ying and yang concept, crispy barramundi and green apple salad contrasted with caramelised pork, chilli and lemongrass. Both complimentary opposites that went perfectly together.

Pork 'roll ups' - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw & sour herbs

Pork 'roll ups' - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw & sour herbs

Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelised pork, chilli & lemongrass

Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelised pork, chilli & lemongrass

Our final savoury dish was the dry red curry of soft shell crab, asparagus, thai basil and kaffir lime leaf. There was also a mystery ingredient which was a cross between a fig and a potato that I was not a huge fan of. Other than that the soft shell crabs were crunchy on the outside and not too oily.

To finish we ordered the tempting palm sugar ice cream sundae sprinkled with chunky pieces of honeycomb and doused with lime syrup. Awesome choice if you have a super sweet tooth!

Dry red curry of soft shell crab with asparagus, thai basil & kaffir lime leaf

Dry red curry of soft shell crab with asparagus, Thai basil & kaffir lime leaf

Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb & lime syrup

Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb & lime syrup

SERVICE?

Even though the staff at the door were not very friendly our waiter was very helpful. He knew the menu extremely well and assisted us with our choices by pointing out the restaurant favourites.

AMBIENCE?

The restaurant makes use of its space well with tables situated quite close to each other and plenty of seating around the bar and kitchen areas.

VALUE?

The menu is reasonably priced with most items valued less than $30. With the use of fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs, dishes are worth the price tag.

BOOKINGS?

Yet another no bookings policy restaurant to add to the list. We went here on a Wednesday night and didn’t have much of a wait however we were only after a table of two. Having said this it was still quite busy but nothing compared to Mamasita.

8

out of 10!

Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
03 8663 2000

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Estivo, Kew

13 Sep

Highlight – Amazing food with exceptional service

Lowlight – Downgrade from one chef hat to none in The Age Good Food Guide 2012 awards

Twice cooked pork belly, salad of pickled cucumber, cabbage and braised pork hock tamarind dressing

Twice cooked pork belly, salad of pickled cucumber, cabbage & braised pork hock tamarind dressing

Aged Angus tenderloin of beef, medley of baby vegetables a la Grecque, soubise sauce & rich veal glaze

Aged Angus tenderloin of beef, medley of baby vegetables a la Grecque, soubise sauce & rich veal glaze

Roasted magret of duck medium-rare, onion & duck leg tart, spiced carrot puree & bitter sweet duck jus

Roasted magret of duck medium-rare, onion & duck leg tart, spiced carrot puree & bitter sweet duck jus

FOOD?

We ordered a couple of entrees to start followed by mains. The appearance of the dishes were pleasing to the eye and the taste certainly matched the presentation. Sauces of the entrees were divine, especially the twice cooked pork belly topped with pickled cucumber and surrounded by braised pork hock and tamarind dressing.

I highly recommend ordering the roasted margret duck which was cooked perfectly medium-rare. I really wanted to order this but let my other half choose as I usually get first dibs on menu choices. What a mistake on my part! I was able to taste parts of this dish and it was amazing. Loved the onion and duck leg tart complimented by the consistency of the duck jus and the spiced carrot puree.

Unfortunately there was no time for dessert as we had another appointment to attend, would love to try some next time though.

AMBIENCE?

Our table was seated upstairs next to the function room and overlooking the main street. Ambience is warm and the noise levels were not too loud even though we were situated across from the function. Paintings were chosen well and fitted into the decor.

SERVICE?

Staff were friendly and welcoming. Our waitress was very jovial and one of the most memorable waitresses I’ve met. We were constantly checked up on to make sure our dinner was going smoothly.

Our friends were running late to dinner and a waiter informed us we only had a two hour time slot. Fortunately he kindly rearranged the bookings to allow us a lengthier stay at Estivo without having to rush our meal.

VALUE?

With the Entertainment Book Gold Card they offer a 2-for-1 main course of up to $35. We had two cards between the four of us so we saved quite a bit. Otherwise mains average around $35 each.

BOOKINGS?

Yes call ahead to book. There is also a function space upstairs available for private events.

8

out of 10!

Estivo
330 High Street, Kew VIC 3101
03 9853 1727

Estivo on Urbanspoon

Entertainment Book

2-for-1 main course up to $35 value

Replete Providore, Hawthorn

18 Aug

Highlight – Great flavour combinations and decent portions

Lowlight – Small venue so can be a bit squishy

Replete corn fritters with crispy Istra bacon, tomato & avocado salsa, chutney and sour cream

Replete corn fritters with crispy Istra bacon, tomato & avocado salsa, chutney and sour cream

FOOD?

The Replete corn fritters are one of my favourite brunch dishes in Hawthorn. A mixture of sweet chilli sauce and savoury bacon is a lovely balance combined with the other condiments. Portions sizes are quite large so you will be well fed. I am keen to try the Ricotta hotcakes with lemon curd topped with fresh strawberries, they sound amazing. Cakes in the cabinet look tasty too, I’ll definitely try them next time.

I can’t believe that I had not heard of Replete Providore until a few months ago when my friend suggested we go there for a late brunch. What a great addition to my selection of Glenferrie breakfast venues.

SERVICE?

Friendly and attentive staff.

AMBIENCE?

Busy with patrons but adds to the vibe of the cafe. Tables are situated quite close together to maximise seating and can be a bit of an inconvenience – I had to move seats as a group of customers could not get through to their table.

VALUE?

Prices are affordable and similar to other cafes around the area.

BOOKINGS?

Bookings are available so call ahead as the venue is quite small. Otherwise you can try drop by but you might have to wait for a while.

8

out of 10!

Replete Providore
302 Barkers Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
03 9818 4448
 

 Replete Providore on Urbanspoon

%d bloggers like this: