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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Montereys, Prahran

218 Chapel Street
Victoria 3011

We were in Prahran on a Saturday looking for a spot for dinner and wandered past Montereys and decided to give it a try. We got a seat in the front area featuring a bar as well as tables which had a modern look, is fairly dimly lit and was fairly busy when we visited. There is also another dining area out the back

The restaurant is modelled on those of the Californian town it takes it's name from, which we visited about a year back. We kicked off by sharing a serve of fish tacos, which meant one each. These came with a decent chunk of battered fish along with some salad and dressing, which hot the spot and turned out to be the highlight of our visit.

I went with the beer battered fish and chips for my main which was served with a lemon wedge and tartar sauce, but no greenery of any sort. It did the job, but little more.

The Monterey seafood chowder was quite different from similarly named soups we've had before. A fairly thin broth accompanied by whole mussels and scallops and chunks of seafood, rather than a thicker richer chowder with the seafood blended in. While the ingredients were good and fresh it just wasn't what we expected...

The service was friendly and we were fed quickly, suiting our hungry stomachs. The bill came to $91  including few drinks, probably normal for that end of town, but it seemed a little overpriced.

Monterey's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Shakahari Vegetarian Restaurant, Carlton

201-203 Faraday Street
Victoria 3053

We hadn't made a booking at Shakahari, but got a table towards the back of the restaurant easily enough when we visited on a Friday evening, although the front section was quite busy. From the outside the modern paint job and signage contrasts with the pair of old terraced bungalows that house the restaurant. The melange of styles continue inside with some foliage to soften the lines. the one downside of being near the back, were the drafts from the tricky to open door to the toilets which require a trip outside.

The menu isn't huge, but most dishes were tempting., We kicked off by sharing the vegan mushroom hemp dumplings. These are individually filled with a mixture of mushroom and hempseeds and then poached in a lemon grass and galangal flavoured soy milk stock laced with fresh Thai herbs. The flavours and textures were wonderful, but both components weren't very warm.

The millet souk savier, was a Moroccan Arab dish cooked with black olives and fried chilli onion in veggie stock. It was served with a mildly spiced chick pea stew and assorted baked vegetables including eggplant, purple and orange carrots, swede and quince in herbal oil, topped with wilted rocket. The hearty dish certainly went down well.

I went for the vegan nonya curry, which came served across a plate and tray. The porcelain featured the turmeric brown rice, leaves, mustard fresh pear chutney and pappadam. 

The Malaysian flavoured curry of mixed vegetables including cauliflower and courgette, cooked in spiced coconut stock with fresh lemongrass, galangal and ginger flower was in one half the of the metal tray. the other side held a green split pea dhal. I enjoyed all the components, but would have loved a little more kick in the curry and perhaps a mango chutney rather than pear, but perhaps the British Indian curries of my youth have tainted my thinking!

The staff seemed pretty busy all evening, but the service was friendly and timely. The bill came to $76.50 including a couple of drinks. I'd certainly be happy to check out some of the other veggie offerings on the menu next time we are in Carlton.

Shakahari Vegetarian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato