Tag Archives: Melbourne Dining

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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Dinner by Heston

Dinner by Heston exceeded all my expectations and has ended up being one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Melbourne. Everything was perfect.    The atmosphere of the restaurant is unpretentious and casual, the service was attentive and prompt and the food was amazing.   I would highly recommend going to Dinner by Heston, so much so that I’m re-visiting in March!

Great thing about the menu is that it’s a la carte, so you can pick the courses you want.  I was here with a party of 5, so we had a chance to see most of the dishes that were on the menu.   Impressively, all the entrees and mains were winners.

Food highlights: Meat Fruit (classic) , Rice & Flesh (super tasty), Mash Potato (as good as Joel Rubechon), Powdered Duck Breast (amazing – I can’t begin to imagine how they cooked it so well) and Tipsy Cake (watching that pineapple slow roast speaks volumes for how amazing this tastes).

Maybe give a miss: Fries (nothing out of the ordinary), Spring Tart (was nice, but compared to other desserts a bit dull).

Enjoy the pictures!

Meat Fruit – Mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled breadIMG_6665

Rice & Flesh -Saffron, curried kangaroo tail, red wine & amaranthIMG_6668

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

Crabapple Friday Night Flights to Tuscany

Another Crabapple Kitchen “Friday Night Flights” dinner, this time to Tuscany.  As usual, food is fantastic and great value for money.  Love the added touches of background Italian music and special beers and cocktails to accompany the meal.

Started with a moorish and salty “fennel salumi, bread and local extra virgin olive oil“.

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Liver crostini with Vin Santo, marjoram and aged balsamic vinegar” was delicious and tangy.  The liver was cooked well and the dish had a nice tangy balance.

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The next dish was something I’d never had before.  The “Necci” – chestnut flour crepe filled with truffled ricotta and parmesan – was a lovely delicate dish.

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Nothing beats a hearty stew!  The “Ribollita” – Classic Tuscan peasant-style soup of cavolo nero, Borlotti beans and root vegetables was a lovely light stew with yummy crusty herd bread.

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Perfectly cooked pasta dish is expected in any Italian meal.  The “pappardelle with a pork and porchini ragu, parmesan and bruschetta for mopping” delivered on all aspects.  IMG_1051

Finished with “Bistecca alla Fiorentina” – T-bone steak “Rosemary brush” with braised cavolo nero rainbow chard and roasted potatoes” which was excellent.IMG_1053

As always, love Crabapple!

For more info and reviews:
Crabapple Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Cumulus Up… up and away!

Stopped by Cumulus Up earlier this year for a few drinks with girlfriends and ended up having one of the best meals ever!  Cumulus Up is the baby sibling to Cumulus Inc. and it does a great job of living up to the high standards set by Cumulus Inc.

Started with a dish from the specials menu, beef carpaccio which was topped with crispy fried shallots, creamy sauce and pickled onions.

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I’ve since been back to Cumulus Up twice and have ordered the duck waffle, foie gras & prune each time!   It sounds a bit weird, but it’s absolutely delicious.

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The ricotta dumplings, oregano butter was a great dish.  Fluffy dumplings with a rich citrus infused butter sauce.  Very good!

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The kale fritters were the most surprising thing to me.  They were fried with a batter of some sort, so they were super crispy and salty.  Was so addictive!

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Lastly the spiced lamb ribs, smoked tomato dish totally rocked my world.  The lamb ribs were super tender (with a nice layer of fat) and fell off the bone.   I’m drooling just thinking about it.IMG_1209

The lamb ribs are in contention to be one of my all time favourite dishes.    Love the food, love the venue – cool, casual, good drinks, great service. Can’t wait to go back!

For more info:
Cumulus Up on Urbanspoon