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

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

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

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

Melbourne to New York food extravaganza!