Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Horseshoe

28 Heath Street

We were visiting friends in Hampstead and they suggested dinner at the Horseshoe. The menu focuses on simple British food.

The pub is the "Home of Camden Town Brewery" and I enjoyed the Pale Ale.

We were in the back section, which featured stylish and cosy booth style tables.

 To start I had the St Austell bay mussels, which came with white wine, parsley and shallots. They were fresh and tasty.

For main I had the breaded haddock which was served on mushy peas with chips and tartare sauce. The dish delivered a great version of this classic.

The hake, courgette, leek, bacon and new potato looked great and went down well.

Chris enjoyed his pork belly with devilled hispi cabbage and apple sauce.

The service was a tiny bit slow, but the food was worth the wait and decent value.

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Friday, July 18, 2014


367 Little Bourke Street
VIC 3000

We arrived at duNORD on a Friday evening just after eight, it was a good thing we'd booked a table as it was comfortably busy. The look inside fits the Scandinavian theme with plenty of light coloured wood!

Our waiter was friendly and helpful, guiding us through the fairly short menu and providing advice. Unfortunately my camera work didn't turn out too great...

We started by sharing the frites, with mayo of course, as we were both pretty peckish. The bowl was huge, bu we managed to put a good dent in them, and even needed extra mayonnaise!

The (Spanish) mackerel was very much on the rare side, and beautifully tender.  It came with smoked butter and various forms of winter cabbage including a couple of purees.

I had the the pine and mushroom broth, black kale, black pearled barley and pine mushroom. The dish first arrived looking more like a risotto with the barley, kale and mushroom in a low tower, the stock arrived second and was poured over to mix the ingredients further. The flavours were fantastic, and it also fealt both hearty and healthy!

We also shared a side of the winter greens. This was another huge bowl, filled with beans, peas and broccoli, dressed with a bergamot, horseradish vinaigrette, another winner.

The meal was substantial and satisfying as well as featuring some great tasteing dishes and fine work from the chef. The service was great all night and the bill came in at $89 including a beer and a cider. I reckon next time we want to scratch our Scandi itch in Melbourne, we could well be heading in the duNORD direction!

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Spice Kitchen, QV

Food Court
Qv Centre
VIC 3000

Ian and I wanted to grab a quick lunch and as it was convenient, the food court at QV seemed like a good option. I hadn't tried Spice Kitchen before but it looked like it was worth a shot.

The various curry dishes were all laid out on display.

I had the vegetable Thali, with an eggplant curry and a chana masala, along with rice and some raita and a bonus naan, all for $9. The curry's were a little on the runny side, but were reasonably flavoured. The naan bread wasn't too inspiring, but I ended up pretty full.

Spice kitchen offers a filling basic Indian lunch for a bargain price.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Stags Head

39 Cecil Street
VIC 3016

Tucked away on the dimly lit back streets of Williamstown, the Stags Head Hotel only stands out due to its size. We entered through the door into the front bar, which had a wonderful old school local feel about it. We headed past a small lounge to the restaurant at the back where our friends were already at the table they'd reserved for us all.

The room was bright and light with simple white walls and a few adornments and classic wooden tables.

We were offered drinks and the menu pretty quickly and took a while to work out what we'd order. We got the waitresses attention and ordered, and despite it being pretty busy, we didn't seem to have to wait long for our food.

Rick took advantage of steak night, and chose a red wine sauce, which went down well.

The salmon looked good, and got good reports, although there weren't many potatoes and the salad was a bit too heavy on the rocket, and missing other flavours.

Nadia enjoyed her lasagna.

I had the fish and chips, the beer batter was crisp and the content fresh and moist. The chips were good and the salad straightforward and wholesome.

The Stags Head had the feel of a traditional Aussie suburban pub, offering basic but good food in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The bill came in around $30 a head including a drink or two each. I think we'll be back again, next time we fancy some pub food fairly near by.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Sailors' Rest

3 Moorabool Street
VIC 3220

We went searching for brunch on the beautiful winters morning of the Queen's Birthday public holiday, along the Geelong foreshore. We decided on the Sailor' Rest mainly based on location and the look of the place. Given the sunny and almost warm weather, there was no surprise it was busy.

We ended up in the partially open glazed section which was good with us, the fit out was much more modern than the older brick structure! The views out across to the ocean were great.

We ordered drinks immediately and our meals soon after, the juice arrived promptly my short black took another 15 minutes, but wasn't bad when it did arrive.

Our Vegetarian Breakfasts took another 10 minutes to show up. The better half went for scrambled egg with the spinach, mushrooms, tomato and hash brown.

I went for the poached eggs, which nice and soft. The sour dough toast was a bit on the tough side, the other components were fine but not stand outs.

The long wait for food and bill of $52.50 made it feel overpriced for an average meal, I think we'll try somewhere else next time we are searching for breakfast, although it will be tough to beat the view. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Black Sheep, Geelong

National Wool Museum
Corner of Moorabool and Brougham Streets
VIC 3220

We'd thought about trying Black Sheep before, so decided to have lunch there on a recent visit to Geelong. It's situated in the National Wool Museum, not the place I'd normally think about to eat at! The building on the corner of Moorabool and Brougham Streets is grand and historic.

The restaurant isn't far inside and is east to find, it wasn't too busy when we visited, and we were offered a couple of tables. The old stone work and timber beams maintain the atmosphere of an older structure. There was just the odd reminder that you were in a museum, but it certainly wasn't too institutional.

The kitchen is open with a few specials and pizzas available on a chalkboard, the rest of the menu continued the Italian theme.

I went for the pumpkin, goats cheese and rocket pizza, which came on a nice crispy base. The toppings were good, especially the goats cheese, but the tomato sauce was just a bit too sweet.

The crab linguine with chilli, lemon, garlic and parsley was a winner, with a decent serve even on the entree sized dish.

The service varied in attentiveness and at times we had trouble attracting the attention of the staff, who didn't seem too busy. The bill came to $44 with a glass of wine. We'd certainly think about visiting again next time we are in town.

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Monday, June 9, 2014


253 Flinders Lane
Vic 3000

Without a keen eye, one could stroll past Journal Canteen without noting its presence, tucked away up a flight of stairs in the Centre for Adult Education in the Melbourne City Library on Flinders Lane, near the junction with Degraves street.

Inside the feel of the school room it inhabits is maintained, with big communal tables, and old wooden furniture. We were seated at the bar style spots along the wall.

The short special menu was up on the chalk boards.

Joss went for the Salad Ni├žoise, in this case featuring seared tuna, potato, cooked tomato, green beans, boiled egg, anchovies and olives.

I had the spaghetti vognole featuring some great little clams in a simple delicate sauce.

The bill came to $41 including a soft drink and a coffee. The service was friendly and at a good pace for a weekday lunch in the city, and another visit will be on the cards.

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rice Workshop

238 Little Bourke Street
Vic 3000

On the corner of Little Bourke and Tattersalls Lane, Rice Workshop has a modern geometrically decorated window in an older brick building.

Inside on the ground floor there are a few seats at the front, with the counter and kitchen at the back.

The ordering area is at the very back, with a menu behind including a few items not on the website, there were also a selection of items available in a cabinet.

After ordering we waited just a few minutes before receiving our dishes and moving to the till to pay, and also select condiments and toppings to add to our dishes. We then headed upstairs where there were plenty of seats available in white painted and sparsely decorated room.

Brendan had the regular sized Ontama Teriyaki, teriyaki chicken topped with a (very) soft boild egg which he enjoyed.

I had the large tofu curry, which features two big slabs of tofu, some sweet potato in plenty of curry sauce on top of the rice. The sauce was tasty if not super spicy.

The meals are fantastic value priced around $7 to $9! Once we worked out the ordering process that went smoothly and I'm keen to read back and try a couple of other things from the menu...

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Lorne Hotel

176 Mountjoy Parade

Situated in the heart of town the Lorne Hotel overlooks the beach, from its perch you reach by heading up the ramp like entrance from the street. We arrived ordered inside before heading outside and finding a table, in the unseasonably warm autumn evening.
The bruschetta was basic and sated our immediate hunger following the drive from Melbourne after work.

It was good to have a grilled option for the King George Whiting with chips and salad, battered was also available. The fish was fresh and the chips good too.

I had the the seafood and chorizo spaghetti, featuring good prawns, mussels and scallops, in a tomato and chorizo sauce. The pieces of sausage weren't so impressive.

The meals came to around $70, which seemed a little expensive for the dishes we had. It was quiet when we were there and the service was pretty swift and friendly. I wouldn't go out of my way to rush back, but would be happy yo pop in if in town again.

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