Thursday, February 23, 2017

Issan Thai Street Food

10 Droop Street
Victoria 3011

Occupying apart of the Westville Shopping Centre facing onto Droop Street, Issan Thai Street Food opened in January. It is named for the northeastern region of Thailand, bordering Laos and Cambodia, the original home of Noi one of the owners. It is a large, agricultural area of rice fields and small villages, influenced language, food and culture of Lao.

The look is modern with lots of bare wood and a some modern Thai themed graphics, eschewing the standard some the standard Thai eatery cliches. Our first attempt it give it a try on a weekday evening didn't workout as the only tables left were in the back section which opens onto the mall and has more of a food court vibe. We returned on a Sunday lunch time and were able to find a table in the front section.

After taking our seats we perused the lunchtime menus, which feature a smaller portions and lower prices than the full evening version.

Many of the Issan specialities were new to me and we ended up sticking to some favourites.

The prawn Pad Thai looked the part and went down well.

I had a green curry, and was able to get the veggie version despite it not being on the menu. The vegetables and tofu were well prepared and the curry sauce carried plenty of kick.

The notice for a liquor licence is up on the window...

Our bill came to $23.80, very comparable to other options in the 'scray. The service was friendly and pretty prompt. It is great to have a Thai eatery back in central Footscray and I'm sure we'll be back to try some other options on the menu.

Issan Thai Street Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes, Queenscliff

40 Hesse Street
Victoria 3225

The Rolling Pin Pies and Cakes cafe in Queenscliff is proud of it's award winning achievements!

I decided to give it one of its products a go...

The Wholemeal Vegetarian Pastie, has apparently twice been judged "Australia’s Best Vegetarian Pastie". The wholemeal pastry shell encased the tasty combination of veggies which hit the firmness and moisture sweet spots.

They clearly know how to make pies and live up to their prizes!

Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Yard 58 - Courtyard Cafe, Queenscliff

58 Hesse Street
VIC 3225

We were looking a for a late lunch in Queenscliff and the Courtyard seemed to fit the bill.

So we headed down the corridor and found our selves in the main white walled room with access to the eponymous outdoor area.

The long black was good.

The chicken broth with dumplings, beanshoots, spring onions, chillies and coriander lacked much flavour although the dumplings were good.

I went for the veg and barley soup with sourdough toast which was hearty.

The bill came to around $35 with the hot drinks, the service was good and it is a nice spot for a light bite.

Courtyard Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mr Lawrence at the London, Port Melbourne

92 Beach St
Port Melbourne

We'd booked for lunch on a Sunday at Mr Lawrence at the London on the corner Princes and Beach st in Port Melbourne. It was reasonably busy inside but we had a window seat with views out across the bay.

Inside the fit out has Middle Eastern touches while still feeling a bit like former pub it is. Apparently it is under threat of re-development, which given how few notable older buildings there are on this part of the seafront seems like a shame. The menu is also influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavours.

A few of the Turkish pizzas were ordered including one topped with chopped prawn, harissa, preserved lemon, zucchini and halloumi.

I chose the roast mushroom, caramelised onion, three cheeses and fennel for the first Turkish pizza I can remember having. The combination of ingredients  and the crisp thin base worked for me!

 The grilled pork loin with nut and grain salad and mint yoghurt went down well.

The special salad of beetroot and orange with feta was popular too.

The bill for 5 including a few drinks came to $166. The service was professional and pretty swift for a busy spot. It is worth a try before any wrecking balls move in!

Mr Lawrence at The London Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 2, 2017

Vinh Ha Long Returns

76 Nicholson Street

When we moved to Footscray the original Ha Long restaurant occupied the building on the corner or Nicholson and Droop streets, which morphed into Sen a few years later. Now the former name has returned.

The fit out has been upgraded again and has resulted in a clean modern feel, with the re-assuring presence of boxes of tissues and condiments on the tables!

We kicked off with the prawn spring rolls, which came the usual dipping sauce, thai basil and lettuce. The rolls had plenty of crunch and enough flavour.

The chicken pho came along in good time but due to the public holiday there were no herbs or bean sprouts on this occasion. There was however plenty of chicken and a tasty broth!

We had to ask a second time for my chicken Char Kway Teow which meant it arrived 5 to 10 minutes after the soup. The was some of the smoky flavour expected of the dish, but not quite as strong as I'd hoped for, the ingredients were all fresh, with plenty of chicken.

On paying the bill I was initially charged for another dish, but this was soon sorted out and the final bill was $31. the food was fine but not out of the ordinary for the area, and the forgetting of one dish marred the service. I think we may give it another try, but there is a lot of competition around in the 'scray!

Vinh Ha Long Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Lane Cafe, Ballarat

27 Lydiard Street North
Victoria 3350

After a busy viewing of the Archibald exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat we crossed the road to the grand old Victorian George Hotel.

We headed to the adjoining Lane Cafe which is more art deco on the outside, but is linked to the main building.

Inside was more of a bustling modern vibe. The menu stresses a heavy reliance on quality local ingredients.

We both ended up selecting pizza's, the prawn, chorizo, chilli, tomato, basil, rocket, aioli and lemon number delivered a winning combination of flavours!

I went for the margarita with chevre and garlic added to the regular mozzarella, Napoli lane sauce and basil. Both the toppings and base hit the spot.

It took a little while for our meals to arrive but it was a busy public holiday weekend. The pizza's ranged from $14 to $24 each. I'd certainly be happy to go back for more!

The Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mount Macedon Hotel

694 Mount Macedon Road
Mount Macedon
Victoria 3441

We stopped in at the Mount Macedon Hotel for lunch on a sunny spring day and found ourselves a table in the front courtyard area. We found ourselves a menu and then headed inside through the Art Deco doors to order at the bar.

I went for the basic vegetarian pizza, which lived up to its billing. I hadn't noticed the presence of pineapple on the menu, but apart from that it did the job.

The chicken burger was more of a hit ...

...and it came with some chunky fries.

The service was timely especially given the decent number of diners, and the meal came in just over $40 including a couple of drinks. Overall we enjoyed the stop in a great place to enjoy the sun amongst the trees.

Mount Macedon Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Piano, Richmond

18 Bridge Road
Victoria 3121

The Piano was lively and busy when we visited on a warm spring evening. The open doors and windows on to the street built a connection to the street. We'd booked one of the few remaining tables and were soon perusing the menu which was packed with Thai favourites.

The modern fit out eschewed south east Asian influences, with plenty of wood and concrete and a bar at the back.

We skipped starters due to a shortage of time and I went for the veggie version of the slow cooked Massaman curry, which featured puffed tofu in place of lamb, along with potato, comfit onion and roasted peanut. It was a rich and creamy rendition of one of my favourites and it even won over the normally sceptical better half...

The Pad Thai with roasted peanuts in a tamarind sauce featured some tasty prawns which don't seem too obvious in the picture. The flavours hit the mark with lots of smoky wok in there!

The side of roti started disappearing before I could even get a snap.

The bill came in at $65 including rice and a shared jug of Singha, which seemed like good value, as we were both fully sated. The staff were friendly and we didn't have to wait too long for our dishes to arrive especially given how busy the Piano was. I'd certainly be happy to head back.

The Piano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato