Tag Archives: Melbourne Restaurant

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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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

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

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

Attica – Mixed Emotions…

This is the post that’s long overdue,  and truth be told, I’ve been avoiding it a bit.  First of all, it’s a loooong post as I sat through a long degustation.  There were some highlights, and there were some lowlights.   And it’s Attica!  There’s a 6 month wait to get a table!  And it’s in the top 50 best restaurants in the world.   I’m very torn about this.  Having said that, my partner points out that it was a “complete” experience – food, atmosphere, service (I’m guessing he was more enamoured by this dinner than I).

A few interesting snacks to start…  There were breads, an olive oil mousse, buckwheat pancakes, and crumbed mussels (complete with crazy painted mussel shell).

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Snow Crab, Mandarin and Sorrel.  Light, delicate and fresh.

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Marron and Ground Greens.  Really, you can’t really do anything wrong with a marron dish.  Love.

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A simple dish of Potato cooked in the earth it was grown.  First time I had this dish a few years ago, it was a revelation.  Whilst this time, it was not a revelation, it was still pretty darn good as I love a good potato.

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Cucumber, Holy Flax, Sauce of Burnet.  Never ceases to amaze me how something that sounds so bland (cucumber) and good for you (holy flax!) can actually taste good!

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Meat from the pearl oyster pinctada maxima with Radish.  Hmm… this was a real miss for me.  Weird consistency, weird temperature (it was warm and not) and a poor used pearl oyster!  It tasted good, but that was about it.

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Wallaby with Herbs Tended by the Hands of our Cooks.  It was delicious.  Perfect proportions and the herbs tasted excellent.

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At this point, we were invited to check out the herb garden at the back and were give a little chocolate ice cream treat.  It was nice to be outside and having the opportunity to chat to the chefs.

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Blueberries, Vinegar and Fresh Cheese.  Perfect dessert.  Totally my kind of dessert and I loved it!

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Raw Strawberry Jam.  This was good too.  Interesting in that it was like semi frozen jam on top of strawberries and other things.

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Lastly, we were presented with a little ditty about a Pukeko bird and some chocolates.  Very cute way to end the evening.

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So, one miss, and a few hits.  I’m not sure if I would recommend Attica to people as it’s a bit avant garde and a fair amount of dollars for dinner.   I suppose I will be back in a few years to see what new food experiences are there and if the old trusty potato dish is still there!

For more info and reviews:
Attica on Urbanspoon

Little Hunter – RIP

So this was a dinner that we had last year late Sept, right before Little Hunter closed it’s doors forever in October.  I must say, this was my second time there and I enjoyed it more than the first.  This time round I got to eat really rich food and lots of it!

Started with the customary cheesy bread with chicken skin butter.   First time I had this, it was a revelation.  This time round, it was a bit too rich.  Not sure if the dish changed, or I changed. IMG_1075 Made the mistake of ordering a fish dish in a meat restaurant.   The dill cured ocean trout, horseradish, creme fraiche, capers was really the token non-meat-lover appeasing dish.  It was a good entree, but nothing outstanding. IMG_1076 The roast duck in puy lentils entree was amazing.  The duck was smoky, and had a good crispy skin.   The lentils were exploding with flavour. IMG_1077 I ordered the “Poon Boon Lamb, gnoccho alla Roma,  braised chard, crushed olives” dish as I was quite intrigued by the description that I would be getting different pieces of lamb in different types of prep.  Geez was I shocked when the dish arrived and it was huge!  There was a sausage, a roast, a braise,  a loin with little pieces of gnocchi!  Amazing in taste, but an overwhelmingly large dish. IMG_1078 We had battered broccoli, salted ricotta for a side.  Yeah, went a bit overboard with the ordering there… IMG_1079 My boyfriend ordered the Wagyu flank, lyonnaise onions, confit kiplers, which by comparison to my Poon Boon lamb looked like a dainty supermodel.IMG_1080

I’m disappointed that Little Hunter has disappeared.  There were glimpses of brilliance in the menu.  Oh well…

For more info:
Little Hunter 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