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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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

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

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

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.

 

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!

SONY DSCThis was the ultimate dish… bone marrow on toast!   It was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

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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.

 

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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