Monday, January 18, 2016

Cafe Maritana, Ocean Grove

1 Flinders Parade
Barwon Heads
VIC 3227

We chose Cafe Maritana initially based on its enviable location close to the water near the bridge across to Ocean Grove. There was no menu up outside but we decided to take a risk and head on in. The fit out inside simple and classic with wooden tables and flowers on the tables. It turned out that the menu was almost tapas style with plates to share.

We kicked off with the bread with dukha, balsamic and olive oil. The bread itself seemed pretty basic but the oil, vinegar and dukkah were all good.

The prawns were big, fresh and flavoursome, if only there had been more!

The Persian Beans combined the legumes with olives, feta and more dukkah. Whilst each of the components were good, the combination didn't quite work for us.

The tempura soft shell crab was another winner.

 Our final selection was the mini-bucket of chilli salt whitebait which packed quite a flavour punch which we enjoyed.

Overall it was a little hit and miss and it would have been great to have a bit more variety with the salad garnish, as rocket appeared in 3 of the dishes. The service was friendly and well paced. The bill came to $98 with a 3 drinks.

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

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Overloaded, Footscray

253 Barkly Street
VIC 3011

When I was emailed a $10 voucher from one for one of the online food ordering sites, I decided to put it to use checking out the newly opened Overloaded Cafe and self proclaimed 'Burger Specialists'.

The store front on Barkly Street is easy to locate once you get close and also seems to house an accountancy office. Inside the bare brick walls feature a counter along one side and a couple of tables along the other, one of which was occupied on my weekend lunchtime visit.

Despite my order having been made an hour before and me being a few minutes after the appointed pick up time, I had a few minutes to wait before my bag was ready.

I'd gone for the mushroom burger and the initial impression was reasonable.

Opening the burger I found 2 halved mushrooms, rather than the single larger portabello. Beneath there was a salad featuring plenty of lettuce and red onion along with a couple of slices of tomato. The roll itself was dry, and the sum of the parts didn't add up to a great burger.

The chips were fine, but got cold very quickly on the way home.

The meal would have been $12 without the voucher. Overall I don't think 8 bit has much to be worried about...

Overloaded Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Railway Hotel, Yarraville

35 Anderson Street
VIC 3013

We hadn't got around to checking out the re-christened and renovated Railway Hotel in Yarraville, so arranged to meet Rick and Nadia there on a sunny Thursday evening.

We got a table in the dining area towards the back, with plush banquette seating and white table cloths. It all felt quite different to previous visits to the buildings former existence as the Blarney Stone 'Irish' Pub.

The menu mixes a few classic pub dishes with other offerings inspired from more far flung cuisines.

Rick went for the fish and chips which was served with a salad. I'm not a fan of serving the fish on top of the chips, but it looked good otherwise and and he was happy with his choice.

The better half went for the singapore noodles. They had a really intense flavour, we reckoned from too much shrimp paste or possibly fish sauce. It overpowered the other ingredients and we ended up swapping dishes as it was just a bit too much for her.

Nadia enjoyed her duck.

I went for the vegetable korma with rice, naan and raita which was served elegantly. The meal was fine if a little on the bland side.

The service through the evening was fine and tolerant of our slow ordering. The bill came $170 for 4 including drinks, which seemed a lot for slightly hit and miss meals we received, I've noticed elsewhere that the parma here is highly rated so maybe it would have been better to stick to the more traditional options...

Railway Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Slice Girls West

4 Yewers Street
Vic 3011

If you aren't looking out for Slice Girls West, it is easy to miss, with just the oversize street number and a few fairy lights marking it out from the other industrial looking units lining the narrow street running off Moreland Road near the Footscray Arts Centre.

Right inside is the counter with coffee and cakes on offer in addition to the Pizza menu.

The fit out of the relatively small space is cute and almost kitsch with a few high tables and openings through to the kitchen at the back.

Upstairs work is going on to fit out a bar, which will be larder than the restaurant downstairs, it should be opening in February. The licence has been approved and downstairs a few beers and a cidre are now available.

We'd already made plans to take our meal down to the river, to make the most of sunny summer evening.

The better half, a fan of the city branch already knew she wanted the mushroom pizza which was also topped with mozzarella, caramelised onion, black truffle oil, and parsley. It didn't quite live up to the original she loves, with a little to much cheese and not enough 'shrooms.

I went for the Vegan option featuring a Napoli sauce, olives, mushrooms, roasted red capsicum, basil, and garlic oil. I was impressed with the pizza, great quality ingredients on a fantastic thin and just crispy enough base combined to produce a healthy and tasty winner.

The two pizzas came to a fair $24 all up, and although they aren't huge certainly satisfied us. The service was friendly and our boxed up meals seemed to be ready in a speedy 5 to 10 minutes, although things were pretty quiet. It is certainly work seeking out Spice Girls West down and it will be interesting to see how the venue develops in what is an area with plenty of change occurring.

Slice Girls Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, December 4, 2015

Oppa Kitchen

271 Swanston Street
VIC 3000

Trem and I met up at Oppa Kitchen which was conveniently located on Swanston Street. The glass front opens into a modern white walled space with a polished concrete floors.

We were directed past the tables and service area and up to the 1st floor, which was initially quiet, but soon filled up. After checking out the menu we were told to fill out the little form to complete our order, which was soon collected.

We didn't have to wait too long for our food, but Trem's meal did come out a little after mine. He had the Grilled pork belly bulgogi "Dosirak" meal bucket, a single portion take away or home packed meal common in Korea. The meat was served on rice along with fresh salad in mandarin dressing, deep fried potato hash and pickled radish and went down well.

I went for the crispy tofu and mushroom bibimbap which was part of a summer special offer and only $9. Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish served as a bowl of warm rice topped with sauteed and seasoned vegetables with chilli paste and in this case egg. The mushrooms were packed with flavour and star of the plate for me.

The service was fine and the mains priced from around $11 outside the special. Oppa kitchen is great spot to grab some Korean food on Swanston street.

Oppa Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fukuyru Ramen

1/22-26 Corrs Lane
VIC 3000

Merry suggested Fukuyru Ramen  as a lunch venue, and although I had passed by its location right at the top of Corrs lane, I hadn't eaten there and was happy to give it a try.

Once inside the doorway you head straight up a flight of stairs to a surprisingly light and airy space, just one floor up, I guess the white walls and big lights help!

After a few moments staring at the large menu on the wall behind the counter we both ordered. 

I went for the Winter shio ramen featuring chicken and fish broth, Japanese fishcakes and braised raddish, along with the seaweed and egg. It was a satisfying combination of flavours with lots going on!

Merry's bowl chicken broth and ramen arrived first up...

...followed a little later by the panko-crumbed chicken breast, which looked great.

Both bowls came in around the $12 mark. The service was a little slow given it was fairly quiet, and the chicken took even longer... If you aren't in a masive hurry, it is worth heading up Corrs Lane to seek out Fukuyru Ramen.

Fukuryu Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Arbory

Flinders Walk

We visited the Arbory on a sunny spring evening and after some searching found ourselves a pair of stools overlooking the river and in the shade of the trees that I assume influenced the name. It is a great location and the establishment makes great use of the strip of outdoor space between Flinders Street Station and the river.

There had been a horse race on, which meant there where plenty of frocks, hats and suits on display, among the more casually dressed punters. Despite the volume of people the wait to order wasn't too long and our pre-visit perusal of the menu meant we knew what we wanted to order. My schooner of Coopers green ended up never settling so I returned the murky glass and it was happily exchanged with a Mountain Goat.

It didn't take long for the food to appear. The crumbed mushroom and haloumi burger also featured tomato relish and salad and was a winner, with the crunch of the crumb and lettuce complementing the juicy 'shroom and cheese.

I had the Fish and Chip roll. I checked before ordering that the chips came separately, as although the pom in me loves a chip butty, I wasn't convinced that a regular bun could resonably hold that much. In fact only the generous battered piece of fish along with remoulade and lettuce sat pinned between the soft pillows of bread. The combination proved satisfyingly easy to eat and my only reservation was the speed which it slipped down at!

Both our meals came with decent portions of crinkle cut chips which hit the spot and ensured we left with our hunger satisfied.

The service was efficient in the face of the busy establishment and courteous even when dealing with the beer issue. The two burgers came to a fairly reasonable $31 whereas the schooners came at what seemed to me a steep $9 each. I guess the location, novelty and cool factor will continue to pull in the crowds at Arbory, and it does provide a great additional option on the Melbourne riverfront.

Arbory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sushi Teri, Goleta

5746 Calle Real
CA 93117

After watching the sunset at Goleta beach and jetty, we ended up at Sushi Teri for dinner. The restaurant featured an open kitchen and plenty of wood in the fit out. We found ourselves a booth and checked out the extensive menu before picking out some dishes to share.

The casings of the Gyoza were crisp with a hot and tasty filling.

The next plate to arrive featured one of the more interestingly named sushi offerings in the "Girls Night Out" rolls of albacore, cucumber and avocado topped with spicy tuna.

The descriptively named Shrimp sushi featured the crustacean, avocado and cucumber.

The Hobe rolls  contained yellow-tail, imitation crab, jalapeƱo and cucumber topped with salmon, shrimp and avocado.

The Surf’s Up rolls were very different to any other sushi I'd seen before, with a mix of tempura shrimp, crab, avocado, cucumber, egg and scallop topped with the chef’s sauce.

The California rolls were much more familiar, with their imitation crab, avocado and cucumber.

The service was friendly though out and the waitress helped us order. The bill with a shared large beer came to $75 including the tip. SushiTeri certainly took me out of my Sushi comfort zone... in a good way!

Sushi Teri Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato