All posts by Jaimecml

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Lucy Liu

New hip and happening Lucy Liu is the latest Flinders Lane (or close enough) restaurant to grace us.  It was great food, and strong competition for Coda and Supernormal (asian inspired etc etc).

For some reason, the entrance was at the back and someone went a little crazy town with the red lighting in there.    Totally unrecognisable to me  from the old PM24.  As per most of my food outings now, I’m a bit too lazy to decide on the menu so we decided to let Lucy choose 7 plates for us.

Some of us don’t eat oyters, so we got the “organic tofu with cucumber, mint and pickled ginger“.  I would suggest not ordering this dish if you had choice.  It’s nice but really quite dull.

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Kingfish sashimi with green chilli, hot mint and toasted coconut” was excellent.  Perhaps one of the best kingfish sashimi dishes I’ve had in a while…

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The “steamed sticky beef bun with cucumber, hot chilli and black vinegar” was a rich and tasty mouthful.

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My favourite dish of the night was the simple sounding “crystal skin prawn and bamboo dumplings with cucumber and yuzu dressing“.  It was amazing!  Perfect little prawn dumplings.  Better than anything you’d get at yum cha :b

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Tempura soft shelled crab with hot green nam jim” was great.

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The “crisp masterstock free range chicken, bamboo salad, nam prik and hot & sour dressing” was tasty, but the party agreed that the chicken was too tough.   Especially the white meat.   I wouldn’t order it again.

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Okay, I take back my earlier call about the prawn dumplings being the best dish of the night.  The best was the “Lucy Liu wagyu been with yakiniku dipping sauce & hot mustard horseradish“.  It was perfect!  The beef was melt in mouth perfection and the sauces were excellent.

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The “roast barramundi fillet with black bean and chilli sambal and nouc cham dipping sauce” was another winning dish.  Perfectly cooked fish and great sauces.

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This was how our meal ended.  I’m not sure if they were ushering us out for the next sitting but we didn’t get dessert!  Regardless, dinner was very good and I’d gladly go back to try some other dishes (as well as ordering those prawn dumplings and beef!).

For more info and reviews:
Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

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All hail Sezar!

How is it possible that I’d never heard of Sezar up till last week?   The food here was brilliant!  Hidden in an alley near chinatown, Sezar serves Armenian food.   I’ve never eaten Armenian food prior to this, but I’m now a fan!

We went for the $65 tasting plate, which includes a dessert platter.   Started with “OYSTERS with compressed apple & anise“.

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We then had the super crispy “CRISPY POTATO & SOUJAK KOFTE with red pepper aioli“.   Definitely a winner.

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The “SPINACH & FETA BOREG with Aleppo mayo” was amazing!  Crispy light pastry wrapped around a very yummy filling.

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We then had the “GRAIN SALAD with toasted nuts, labne and shoots” which was a nice light touch after the crispy fried treats…

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And another healthy (and delicious) option of “CURED OCEAN TROUT with apple & fennel salad, crème fraiche & roe“.

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The “LULE KEBAB with spiced lamb kebab, sour cherry sauce and baby cos” was as good as it looks…

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Now, I believe the next dish we had was the “BBQ WAGYU TENDERLOIN with garlic yoghurt & lavash“… and it was the best dish of the night for me!  The meat was tasty and soft and I loved it!

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If you can believe it, we now move on to the mains…  yep, there was a lot of food.   The “SPICED BBQ CHICKEN with bulgur, corn and herbed yoghurt” was great.

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Lucky last was “GLAZED PORK with purslane, pomegranate & radish salad” and it was wonderfully glazed, sweet and sticky.

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The dessert platter was amazing and I was a very happy camper.  It consisted of: NEW STYLE BAKLAVA with crispy filo, walnut toffee ice cream & salted caramel,  VANILLA PARFAIT with strawberries, pistachio & rose water syrup, SEMOLINA CAKE with slow cooked quince, almonds & crème fraiche ice cream and SOFTENED CHOCOLATE GANACHE with cardamom cake, hazelnuts & orange blossom cream.  All were wonderful!

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This place is great.   Good value for money, great service and most importantly, fantastic food.  Can’t wait to go back!

For more info and reviews:
Sezar on Urbanspoon

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Supernormal… Good ol’ Golden Fields relocated!

I’m guessing that when the smarty pants who named the joint Supernormal was thinking about the name, they went “oh, let’s make it a play on extraordinary and call it supernormal”.  I spent a lot of time in the last 2 days since dining there thinking about this.   If it’s supposed to be a play on “extraordinary”, then unfortunately they’ve missed the mark.   Don’t get me wrong, the food, service, location, atmosphere, look and feel were all fantastic but this is just Golden Fields in the city.  So nothing new or different.   But I digress… let’s move on to the food.

Started with duckfish carpacio.   Very good, it had yuzu and seaweed and was a nice citrusy start to the dinner.

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Cold rolled pork belly… tasty and crunchy.

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Braised eggplant and tofu is my kinda dish.  Rich and spicy with light tofu.  If only I had a bowl of rice to go with it!

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We then had the lobster rolls, which was very good, but for some reason, the brioche bun was a bit chewy?   I’ve had this roll at Golden Fields more times than I can remember, so I did notice this tiny anomaly.

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The prawn and chicken dumplings were outstanding.

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We then had another special which was the twice cooked pigeon.  Super yummy.

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The confit duck leg with buns is my all time favourite dish at Golden Fields and thank goodness it was as good as I remembered.

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Steamed snapper reminded me of all the times I used to have Sunday dinners at Shark Fin Inn.   Super fresh fish, cooked in a lovely light soy sauce topped with coriander.  Yum!

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Grilled flank steak was fantastico.  Topped with crispy shallots.  And the side of brussel sprouts was delicious.

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Finished the meal with a trio of desserts: miso and pink lady soft serve, peanut butter parfait and soft poached meringue.  The soft serve was really strange to me, I think it’s a good match just very unfamiliar.  The parfait is super rich.  The meringue was my favourite dessert – light and cuts through all the rich food.

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I know I sounded a bit harsh in my intro, but please don’t get me wrong – the food here is sensational.  It’s just nothing terribly new or different.   I would gladly gladly eat here again and again!

More info and reviews:
Supernormal on Urbanspoon
 

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Food highlights in May…

Thought I would try something different for this weeks post.  Instead of the restaurant review, thought I’d do a summary of eating in May.  May was an interesting month.  First time in a long time that I didn’t go out for an overly excessive meal.  But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t eat well!  Here are the highlights of the month…

Tried a local spot in Brighton,  Track Three Expresso who have only recently started serving tapas in the evenings.  I must say, it’s really random and obscure but I had a great time!  Wine is excellent and small bites to accompany are delicious.   I will be back!

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My life seems incomplete without a visit to Lune Croissanterie at least once a month.  Yes, I am one of those tragic people who queue up at 7am for pastries!

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I finally popped my Huxtaburger cherry.  I was a bit anticlimactic (haha!) and it would take a lot for me to prefer anything over Tuckshop Take Away (see below).

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Another local tapas joint we checked out was Lona in Armadale.   The food was good, there was a lovely local cozy feel to it and the people working there were great.    Lots of local regulars hang out there (the guy behind the bar knew everyone!).  Best dish of the night for me were the meatballs.

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Hit up my favourite burger joint Tuck Shop Takeaway… love love love it!

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Came across Alison’s in Prahran, a bakery that happens to make amazing crispy roast pork rolls.  It’s fregging amazing!

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Went to San Telmo for dinner with my girlfriends and had the hanger steak.  It’s so so good!   Everything we had that night was outstanding.

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Was lucky enough to score an invite to the opening night of Hophaus Bier Bar in Southbank.   The place looks amazing, the drinks selection was overwhelming and the food was great!  Will be visiting again.IMG_2309

And lucky last place for the month which totally blew my mind was Meatmother.    Was at a party that they did the catering for and it was the best BBQ and sides I’ve had ever.  And this is from catering!  I imagine the visit to the restaurant will totally rock my world.

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Well, that was my first ever post summarising a whole month of eating.   Hope you enjoyed it! xo

For more info on Track Three Expresso:
Track Three Espresso on Urbanspoon

For more info on Lune:
Lune Croissanterie on Urbanspoon

For more info on Huxtaburger:
Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

For more info on Lona:
Lona Pintxos Bar on Urbanspoon

For more info on Tuck Shop:
Tuck Shop Take Away on Urbanspoon

For more info on San Telmo:
San Telmo on Urbanspoon

For more info on Hophaus:
Hophaus on Urbanspoon

For more info on Meatmother:
Meatmother on Urbanspoon

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My love affair with Burch and Purchese

I’ve been having a love affair with Burch and Purchese ever since they opened back in 2012 and my brother in law brought home their Xmas edition Christmas cake.  After that, I was hooked.  I’d sneak out to B&P at least once a fortnight to indulge in their sweets.  Here are some of my favourites through the years…

I love the little desserts, where you can get the perfect portion…  All the fantastic flavours and textures…
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Love love love the in store displays…  from the whimsical Easter Eggs to the Alice in Wonderland display, all made from chocolate!

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Oh and the cakes!  My oh my…. I’m so enamoured by the cakes that the first thing I did when organising my wedding was to go to B&P and order a cake!   I love the layers and perfect combinations of sweet, savoury, salty, soft, mousey, crunchy, cakey.

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Without a doubt, this is my love letter to Burch and Purchese.  You complete me.

For more info:
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio on Urbanspoon

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Food adventures in Singapore

Ate lots of great food in Singapore, some of the highlights are below!

No matter what city I’m in, somehow I always end up at Din Tai Fung!  I’m a sucker for the Xiao Long Bao.  The thing about DTF is that no matter where you go, the XLB are made perfectly with thin pastry and a rich tasty soup inside.

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We queued in the heat for the famously famous Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice.   Google anything related to food and Singapore and this place will pop up.   I have no advice to give for when to go to avoid queues as I was there on a weekday at 2pm and still had to wait over 40 minutes!   BUT it was worth it!  The chicken was silky, the soup was good but it’s the rice  (that’s been cooked in chicken stock) that’s the real winner.

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Since we were at the hawker centre we also had some crispy skinned pork.  Delicious!

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We stayed at the W Singapore Sentosa Cove hotel and dined at their steak restaurant called Skirt.  Gotta say,  I was very impressed by the food.  We had grilled prawns and steak (you can’t go to a streak joint and not have a steak!).

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One thing I love about staying in hotels in Asian countries and having breakfast there is that there’s always noodle soup in the breakfast buffet!  Love it!

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And lastly, we had to go have the original Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel.   One of these babies will set you back $27 (gasp!).   You’re also paying for the atmosphere and being part of a bygone era (where everyone went broke from drinking Singapore Slings?).

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Hope you enjoyed the little highlights from my trip to Singapore!

For more info and reviews on Din Tai Fung (Sydney)
Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews on Tian Tian here’s a link to  tripadvisor.

For more info and reviews on Skirt here’s a link to tripadvisor.

 

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L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Singapore

We were in Singapore for our post wedding holiday (read: mini honeymoon) and could not resist going to L’Atelier which is located at Resort World Sentosa.   We were at the L’Atelier in St Germain Paris two years ago and it is one of our favourite restaurants.   Whilst the restaurant was great, food was perfect and service was good, it didn’t have the same feel as the Paris restaurant (and let’s face it, it never would have… it’s Paris!).

So first up we had bread and an amuse bouche of potato and leek soup… SONY DSC SONY DSC

Entree of prawn in wonton skins…. it was perfect!

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Scallops and jamon which was a totally perfect combination!

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Wagyu beef with grilled mushrooms was great!

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Mains were next, I had the perfectly cooked John Dory with a lemon butter sauce…SONY DSC

Hubby had fillet steak…. super tasty.
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And of course, we both got sides of mash potato, which is their signature thing.  It was rich, silky and buttery!

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For desserts, we share a serve of gelato and a chocolate delice dessert (which was chocolate mouse, chocolate base, with chocolate crackle).  All very good.
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Food was sensational, service great, restaurant is beautiful.  Yes, yes, for the prices we paid one should expect nothing short of perfect.    We would definitely revisit (and visit any of the other 10 in the world!).

For more info and reviews check out TripAdvisor.

 

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Bowled away by Champions Bistro (aka Clayton Bowls Club)

I rushed to book a table at Champions Bistro after the article appeared in the Age in Nov last year and had to settle for a weeknight dinner as all weekends were booked out till March.  At that time, the chef and his lady love were supposed to leave Australia after that and head off to South America so there was no time to waste in getting a table.  Since then, they’ve extended their gig at the bowls club, so don’t rush people, plenty of seats for all!

I was very impressed by the food, and loved the juxtaposition of the location.  Fine dining at a humble bowls club in good old Clayton.   I am a bit over the minimal descriptions of food, but in this case all is forgiven as the food delivers.

It was love at first sight for me when the “crispy chicken, sour cream, onion, chive” starter came out.  Anyone who serves me crispy chicken skin I will love till my dying day.

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Deep fying “beef tendon, native pepper leaf, lime” means you get something totally unexpected from just reading it off the menu.  Again, a very good dish and intriguing start to the evening.

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Another pretty and unexpected dish:  “raddish, smoked butter, pork“.

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Now, I would have never put this combo together, but the “lamb sweet bread, leek, tatsoi, mussel, grape” seemed to work.  Lamb and mussels….  right.  Bear in mind, for me to say this dish was okay is big praise considering a) I only eat sweetbreads when it’s cooked really nicely and b) I don’t eat mussels.

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Mmm this was delicious.   Soft, delicate and tasty:   “Southern squid, buttermilk, kohlrabi, cabbage

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Upgraded the menu and go the “Aaco Darling Downs Wagyu Tenderloin BMS 7/8, pear, Tasmanian wasabi, daikon” dish.  It’s a small dish but because it’s so rich and packed full of flavour, it was the perfect amount.

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This was described to us as a fancy vegemite cheese sandwich, and it was!  “Pynegana cheddar, vege paste, crackers” was delightful!IMG_1839

The “smoked chocolate, tarragon, malt and black truffle” dessert was good, but compared to all the other dishes we had that night, it was like a big clumsy giant as it was too big!  And eating so much truffle on a dessert dish really freaked me out.

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Finished off with a beautiful light dessert of “summer corn“.  It was sweet and creamy and cold.  Delightful.

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Loved dinner here.  They don’t do matching wine’s but there’s a good little wine list.   They’ve upped the price since the article in the Age (and why wouldn’t you?) so don’t expect a $50 dinner (it’s $80).  Totally worth it and I’m totally going back!

For more info and reviews:
Champions Bistro on Urbanspoon

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Gorgeous dishes at Saint Crispin

Saint Crispin was one of those places on Smith St that I’ve been dying to try for ages and I finally got taken there for my birthday this year.   I’m going to have to apologise in advance, as I have very little recollection of what the dishes actually were (drinks much?).   But what I do remember is that they were stunning!  And I loved every single thing I ate and drank and I can’t wait to go back.

We had the chefs 7 course tasting menu.   There were a few dishes, but that’s because we substituted a rabbit or quail dish (my partner doesn’t eat either!).   I’m not going to attempt to describe them, just know that everything was perfectly cooked and enjoy the gorgeous pictures!

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For more info and reviews:

Saint Crispin on Urbanspoon

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Tuck Shop Take Away

I’m in love!  A down to earth, cool and friendly establishment serving excellent hamburgers!   Tuck Shop Take Away, you rock my world!  The burgers are amazing, the fries are perfection and the desserts are to die for!

The story goes that it’s a husband and wife combo who worked in some of the most epic restaurants in the world who have settled in Caulfield to serve up delicious take away.

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The burger has a moist meat pattie on a Noisette sesame seed bun with gooey cheese and fresh salad.  The fries are not the processed frozen variety, and super yummy!

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I find the desserts intriguing.  Seems to me like they are using upmarket techniques on everyday ingredients, like apples and Redskins!  My boyfriend loves the redskin and chocolate brownie.

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Yeah, I love this place.  You’ll find me there most Saturdays, scoffing a burger and fries, with my milkshake and takeaway dessert!

For more info and reviews:
Tuck Shop Take Away on Urbanspoon