La Luna suckling pig lunch (aka Best Lunch Ever)

The Suckling Pig Banquet at La Luna is one of the best lunches I’ve ever had.  It was a Melbourne Food and Wine Festival event which consisted of multiple porky dishes and free flowing wine the whole afternoon.  We are definitely returning for this event next year, and I’m sure for multiple occasions throughout the year.

We started with bacon and onion bread with bacon butter.  The words bacon automatically mean awesome.IMG_6943

We were then served various types of house cured meats – salami, prosciutto, pancetta, lombardo, braun.  Every single one of them was amazing.  I was too busy eating to take too many pics – below is the prosciutto.IMG_6944

We then had the pork and fennel sausages with roasted garlic and potato aioli.IMG_6946

Ham, onion and sage croquettes with bacon mayonaise.  Again, bacon = awesomeness.IMG_6948

There was a dish of crispy pigs ears with sweet balsalmic chilli (back left of the pic below) followed by cottechino and spinach pie, chickpea labne.  Loved that we got such a diverse bunch of dishes.  You can also see the salami at the back right of the pic below.IMG_6949

Then Adrian came out with the suckling pigs for a quick round of introductions. IMG_6953

The little piggies were then whisked away and brought back to us ready to be eaten!   Zomg, it was so amazing,  the pork was succulent and tender, with an amazing sauce and pickled wombok at the bottom.   We were presented with every part of the piggy, including the head (and yes, I did try to eat it).  There were also roasted potatoes and greens (with bacon) on the side.  IMG_6959

Dessert was modest and classic affair, and absolutely perfect.  The tiramisu was light and powerful, a great way to end a great lunch.IMG_6962

I can’t go on about this lunch enough.  Loved loved loved loved it, and will definitely book in for next year!

For more info and reviews:
La Luna Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Lazy Saturday lunch at Supernormal

There’s something so delightful about having a leisurely long lunch whilst sitting at the restaurant counter watching the hustle and bustle of the kitchen.  And that’s exactly what the husband and I did a few Saturdays ago before heading to the NGV for the Andy Warhol – Ai Wei Wei exhibition.

I must confess that the more I visit Supernormal, the more I like it.  There’s something to be said about being able to consistently execute on perfectly cooked food.   Highlights of the lunch (besides having all the time in the world to enjoy an amazing lunch):  the baby corn rocked my socks – super tasty,  pan fried spicy beef bun: moist spicy beef in a flaky bun, baked meringue:  an amazing dessert, subtle but hits all the right notes and textures.

Kingfish, dashi, celery & fresh horseradishIMG_6831

Baby corn with miso butter IMG_6833

Tonkatsu (crumbed pork) sandwichIMG_6834

Pan friend spicy beef bunIMG_6835

Prawn & chicken dumpling, chilli and vinegar sauceIMG_6837

Baked meringue, jasmine, lychee and raspberryIMG_6838

For more info and reviews:
Supernormal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lûme

For my birthday, my wonderful husband surprised me with dinner at Lûme!   It’s been on my to eat list for a few months since opening with the big bang of “we’re going to be in the top 50 restaurants in the world” (paraphrased but you get the gist).  We went the day before the announcement about the change in ownership, with 2 of the 3 originals leaving to go overseas.  Not sure what this means for Lume, but none the less, here’s my review of the place.

Some things to note:

  • Amazing interior.  From the outside, you wouldn’t know that there was this beautiful restaurant with a open courtyard out the back hidden in the back.
  • Have faith:  you get very little info about what you’re eating and sometimes it gets a bit scary but in the end it all works out.
  • Matching wine = 1 bottle.  That’s a lot of wine.  We were there on a school night so I could not partake.  We did try the non-alcoholic match which was different (in a good way) and complimented the food nicely.

So without further ado, here’s what we ate…

Breakfast eel on burnt barley crumpetIMG_6692

Red summer fruit, dashi and citrusIMG_6693

Raw asparagus and calamari entrails warmed with saltbush butter – surprisingly the best dish of the night.IMG_6695

Emu tart with warm jersey milk and white geraniumIMG_6699

Pearl on the ocean floorIMG_6701

Flinders island lamb perfumed with cherry wood, rhubarb, hibiscus and roseIMG_6704

Red beet baked in La Sirene Praline, raw cocao vinegarIMG_6706

Sea corn and pork fatIMG_6708

Barbecue ice with raw yabby tail, shitake and lemon aspenIMG_6710

Dry aged duck dressed with sour mulberries and elderflower vinegar – stunningIMG_6717

Cauliflower cheese with a pastry smoked over pear woodIMG_6718

Lambs blood ganache rolled in maple oats, native apple jam and riberry pepperIMG_6721

Blackberries, blueberries and sour goat’s milkIMG_6722

Jarusalem artichoke, La Sirene Praline, caramelised apple and chamomileIMG_6724

Cacao pod from Maralumi with notes of tobacco, green banana and currants – the picture doesn’t do this justice.  It’s a very generous serve of chocolate delights.IMG_6729

 

For more info and reviews:
Lume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Daylesford Adventures

For my mom’s birthday pressie, my sister and I decided to take her away to Daylesford for the weekend.   Daylesford is a lovely little town with great places to eat!  Two places stand out for me, which are:  Kazuki’s and Cliffy’s Emporium.   Another place of note in the region is Du Fermier in Trentham which rocked my socks.

Let’s start with Cliffy’s.  It’s just a nice little cafe with great brunch.  I wish I took pics, but alas I can only recall that the cheddar potato hash was excellent, the scones were a delightful afternoon snack and the cakes were great!    Most importantly, coffee was solid.  We brunched there twice and got takeaway coffees and cake once.

Kazuki’s was fabulous.  A very solid restaurant with great food and superb service.  Started with a beautiful “house smoked salmon, spanner crab, cucumber, edamame“.  Light and delicate, really beautiful to eat and to look at.IMG_6636.JPG

The second dish I had was the “pork belly, bun, kimchi, apple“.  Mix of different textures, and delicious.

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For main I had the “Sher Wagyu porterhouse, MS 9+, chimmichurri, chargrilled vegetables” which was spectacular.  Loved this dish.

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Dessert was “Tonka bean crème brûlée, lychee sorbet, meringue, raspberry“.   Again, beautiful to look at and beautiful to eat.

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Would you believe, after that 4 course dinner, I went to Du Fermier the next day?  By the end of this holiday, I was well and truly well and over fed.

The concept at Du Fermier is that there is no menu, they serve you whatever it is that’s in season and available.    We started with the best savoury tart I’ve ever had, which were filled with leeks from the chefs garden.   Was amazing.

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The main was a shared plate consisting of wagyu steak with garlic croutons roast vegetables with a veal jus.  It was so so so good.  I honestly can’t describe how good it was.  All I know is that it was perfect and I want to eat it all over again.

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Dessert was lemon curd and meringues.   It was pretty darn good.

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My mom, sister and I had an amazing time in Daylesford enjoying the sights, hot springs and massages.  The food was also amazing and on a whole new level of regional dining.  I seriously can’t wait to get back to Du Fermier.

For more info and reviews:

Kazuki’s (one hat)
Kazuki's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Du Fermier (one hat)
du Fermier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy New Year!

Hello!

I look back and am shocked that it’s been over a year since I lasted posted a review!  Since the last post I’ve been to Europe (Paris, Strasbourg, Vienna, Budapest, Munich – see attached pic of the biggest pretzel ever!, Reims),  Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka) and Tasmania!   I’ve also eaten more burgers and fried chicken in the last 12 months than I’ve consumed my whole lifetime, maintained my obsession with Lune croissants and Burch & Purchese.

I made a resolution this year to start blogging again, as I have eaten some phenomenal food in the last 12 months and without a blog, have very little recollection of the occasion and amazing food.   I’ve also made a resolution to try one exciting new place a month.

What’s on the agenda this year:

  • January:  Kazuki and Du Fermier (Daylesford),  Dinner by Heston, Lûmé
  • February:  Estelle by Scott Pickett
  • March:  Brae, La Luna
  • April: … tbd

Any suggestions are welcome, and look forward to some exciting dining this year!

Jaime xo

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Swept away to Luxembourg

When I heard that Andrew McConnell was going to swap out Golden Fields with a European bistro named after Jardin du Luxembourg my heart leapt for joy!  Luxembourg!    There are not enough bistros in Melbourne in my opinion.  Especially those inspired by phenomenal gardens in Paris!  Joy!

Went for the chef’s selection, which was excellent.  But I really wanted to try the “potato skins, whipped cod roe & avruga” and that was not included…. I’ll just have to go back!

Started with a “tuna, oyster cream, apple & bonito dressing” from the raw section.   Nice light start to dinner…

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We were then treated to the “soft shell crab sandwich, tartare & iceberg” which would give the Golden Fields lobster roll a good run for it’s money…

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I love love love a good selection of chacuterie and this ticked all the boxs.  Rillettes, terrine, cured meats… yum!

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The “radicchio, smoked duck breast, grapes & walnut” was epic.  It was such a powerful taste for such a small dish.  Smoky dish with bitter raw radicchio and braised sweet radicchio.  It was wonderful.

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Slow braised beef short rib, grilled tongue, red wine sauce & parsley” was excellent.   Meat was tender and cooked to perfection.

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We then got to try the “tripe & cuttlefish braise, brioche crumbs“… which is an amazing genius dish.    I don’t even like tripe but I adored this!

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Desserts followed, first up was the “Mille-feuille, spiced quince & brown sugar creamwhich was fantastic.  The pastry was crispy, the cream was not too sweet and the quince added a nice tartness to the dish.   Despite sounding like a heavy dessert, it was light and delicious.

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The “buttermilk panna cotta, blood orange, meringue & fennel granita” was a nice cleanser and a great way to end the meal. IMG_2550

So it’s pretty obvious that I loved this restaurant.  I loved the food… but service was a bit patchy and the layout of the restaurant is a bit awkward.   But  I’m willing to forgive all that for the great food!

For more info and reviews:
Luxembourg on Urbanspoon

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

Melbourne to New York food extravaganza!