Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bo de Trai

94 Hopkins St  Footscray, 3011

After reading the some other reviews, we decided to give Bo de Trai a go. The first impressions weren't promising, very brightly lit and a loud radio blaring news in Vietnamese, not great for atmosphere.

We started with spring rolls, which were crispy and tasty.

The Bo Bun seemed to come with spaghetti, but it might just have been the noodles were very similar. The broth had a bit of heat, but wasn't particularly flavoursome, it probably looks better than it tasted unfortunately.

I went for the stir fried vegetables with mock seafood. I had some mock meat when I was in Vietnam and at the time I was amazed at how close it got to real meat, however the mock seafood was a long way from real seafood in texture or flavour.The veggies were average.

Maybe we chose poorly, but it wasn't a great experience overall, and with so much good competition around, I doubt we will try again. The bill was $31.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sushi Masa

10 Bourke St
Melbourne, 3000

Sushi Masa is tucked away at the top of Bourke street near Spring and Parliament, I'd wandered past many times, before checking it out on Urbanspoon, where it seemed to get good reviews.

Inside it combines a long bar with stools with quite a few tables, ranging from the small to slightly bigger ones! We were sat near the door and front windows which had an interesting 'stained glass' design when viewed from the inside.

The lunch menu is varied, several people came in for take away sushi while we were there too.

Brendan's accompaniments of a small salad which had a tangy dressing and some miso soup arrived before a while before the rest of the food.

His main dish was "Oyako Don (親子丼), chicken pieces, onion and egg cooked in sauce served on rice" and it seemed to go down well.

His full thoughts were:
"The dish arrived promptly from friendly and efficient staff. Side dishes included a small bowl of soup and a salad with a tangy but not overpowering dressing. The main dish consisted of chicken and egg served with rice and was delicious. Especially impressed that the chicken pieces were gristle-free. Waitresses were kind enough to quickly identify the uncoordinated and offer forks to replace the chopsticks without being asked."

I went for the Tanuki Udon たぬきうどん, deep fried flour flakes, a fish cake slice, and spinach with udon noodles in soup. The broth was light and tasty, the noodles thick and well cooked and toppings did the job.

The service was efficient and friendly, the bill came to $24.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Huy Huy

108 Hopkins St, Footscray Victoria 3011

Back to Footscray and time to try Huy Huy, which we hadn't visited before. It seems half way between the old school style of Vietnamese restaurant and the modern new look, there are mirrors, but also modern furniture and some nice prints.

I got the prawn and pork rice paper rolls, although I'm sure I asked for just prawn. They were good anyhow, nice prawn and plenty of fresh herb flavours.

The spring rolls were ordered by the hungover one, and swiftly disappeared,  probably a good sign.

The rice noodle soup with seafood was a slight variation from my normal pho ga, it wasn't bad, but the seafood was a bit sparse. The broth was OK and the noodles reasonable.

The Pho Ga was a bit of a disappointment  apparently, bland broth, overcooked gluggy noodles and odd bits and pieces of chicken.

The service was prompt and friendly. Few other diners had gone for soup options, and there were plenty of dishes on the menu... Our bill was a bargain $31.

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Marmalades, Yea

20 High St, Yea, Vic,3717

Last stop on the road trip was Yea, for lunch, it was packed and after looking in various bakeries we found Marmalades Cafe and Produce store. 

It seemed a relative oasis of calm amongst the holiday chaos elsewhere! The building had been tastefully restored and there was a small courtyard at the back, which was fully occupied when we arrived.

We both went for the soup, leek and potato on our visit, served with home made bread. Both components of the meal seemed to be almost salt free, fortunately we could easily rectify this, and otherwise we were happy.

The service was swift, efficient and friendly. The soups were $12. The coffee was also good.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hotel Nicholas, Beechworth

1A Camp Street, Beechworth
Vic 3747

Part four of the road trip series, back into Victoria.

The Hotel Nicholas was apparently established in 1857, it has certainly maintained an atmospheric feel. We were in Beechworth on a public holiday, and there weren't many options available, a lot of places were booked out.

We didn't get a table immediately, but we got a seat in the lounge area while we waited for about 10 minutes.

When we were seated I went for the Barramundi with honey and almond glaze. I wasn't entirely sure I was going to enjoy the glaze, but it actually worked well, and didn't over power the fish, which was beautifully cooked.

The steak with peppercorn sauce was ordered medium, but came out still a bit bloody, it actually was a bit better after resting on the plate for a couple of minute, I guess the kitchen was a bit hectic. It was a good bit of meat however.

The service was good, and we'd be happy to try the Nicholas if we were passing through again.

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