Thursday, February 28, 2013

La Citta

12 Degraves Street,
Vic 3000
We visited La Citta on a busy Saturday evening and ate at a table for 12. There were a few tables out on Degraves street but we were inside. There is a bar along the back with plenty of bottles of wine behind and boards on the wall listing cocktails and the menu.

The menu included a range of tapas/entree dishes, pasta dishes and some mains, most of the group went with pasta dishes.

The entree sized serve of the homemade potato and carrot gnocchi with rosemary and lamb ragu was pretty decently sized, the main merely featured more gnocchi. The gnocchi was apparently a little on the underdone side and the dish a little bland.

Apologies for the poor snap of the squid ink pappardelle with king prawns and cherry tomato, perhaps I didn't have the patience to avoid the blur! The dish was great with five or six decent sized prawns, which had been shelled, but left with their heads and tails on. The wide black strips of pasta were topped with a few halved cherry tomatoes and hid a few of the fantastic crustacean. 

The meal came in around $50 a head including one or two drinks each. The service was pretty efficient given it was busy and we were a big group. I'd go back but wasn't blown away by the experience.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

Radio - Fitzroy

79 Gertrude Street
Vic 3065

Radio is a cafe / bar on Gertrude street, with an old school ghetto blaster style radio visible through the tinted window. It's just to the west of the junction with Brunswick street and was fairly quiet on the Friday we visited at lunchtime. We grabbed a seat outside after ordering at the counter, inside it was a little stuffy on the warm early afternoon.

I went for the $12 baby spinach pizza, which looks larger in the picture below than the small pizza that arrived. It wasn't bad, but given the size and price I was left a little underwhelmed...

Brendan's off the bone ham and salad roll looked great and was of a decent size for $9, and he certainly seemed happy with it.

The service was friendly and reasonably swift, although it certainly wasn't busy. It was a nice spot to watch the world go by, but there are probably better options in the local area.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lane's Edge

39 Bourke Street
Vic 3000

As the name suggests, Lane's Edge is a cafe restaurant on the corner of Bourke St and the Meyers Place laneway. There were a couple of people sat at the tables on the street.

The tables inside were empty, and we headed through to the back area, which is covered but outdoor. We were sat near the small bamboo 'bar'.

The warm weather, bamboo and plants seemed to lend the space a south east asian feel...

I chose the soup of the day, Thai style chicken and vegetable served with warm Turkish bread. For some reason I'd imagined this being coconut milk based, but it was actually a fusion of a european style broth and veggies with Thai flavours and a mild spiciness, and despite my surprise and slight scepticism was enjoyable.

Linda went for the wedges which came with sour cream and sweet chilli. The bowl was as huge as it looks and certainly was pretty good value for only $8.

Lane's Edge seems to sit across the categories of cafe, bar and restaurant, but on a weekday lunchtime is a good option to grab a bite. The service was friendly the food satisfying and good value.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Claypots St Kilda

213 Barkly Street
St Kilda,
VIC 3182

We've been to Claypots in St Kilda a few times before, but not for a while. It's on Barkly Street near the junction with Acland Street and is a bit of a St Kilda institution. We got there around 6pm for a fairly early Saturday dinner but it was already pretty busy and was packed out within 10 minutes of our arrival. Unfortunately it seemed like they were also short staffed, which meant the service was even more frenetic and a little haphazzard, although the staff were clearly trying hard.

We were seated in the front area, there is a second indoor area further back featuring a giant octopus as well as a courtyard, which was unfortunately full by the time we arrived...

We had a giant prawn each for entree, these were cooking in a garlic and chilli oil and once they had cooled enough to let us break into them were fantastic! We devoured as much as we could of them, I even enjoyed the crunchy legs!

We were going to order a claypot each, but our waitress persuaded us that we wouldn't be able to eat them in the heat, so we shared the Malay claypot. This came with a Laksa style sauce with chunks of strongly flavoured fish and mussels and a few greens with a base of rice below. The flavours melded nicely and the dish worked well, although I probably could have demolished it myself!

I washed my meal down with a German Wheat beer.

The meal including a couple of drinks each came in just over $60. I think we'd choose to come back at a different time for another visit, Saturday evening are just a bit too frenetic for a relaxing meal, but the food is certainly worth it.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


366 Lonsdale Street
Vic 3011

Just up the hill from Elizabeth street on Lonsdale, Mamak is situated away from the cities other Malaysian eateries. It has gained a bit of a reputation and we'd been looking forward to trying it out.

The open kitchen is the first thing you notice, right at the front of the restaurant.

The roti dough was being flung around and stretched out super thin!

On a Sunday around 6:30 it was busy, but we didn't have to queue for a seat. The feel is modern with wooden tables, stools and bench seats.

We shared the roti canai, which we were going to have as an entree, but arrived with our mains. It was served with two curry dips, one dahl like and a spicy sambal sauce. The roti was crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, super light and not fatty or greasy.

A couple of the chicken dishes weren't available, so the better half ordered the nasi lemak with curry chicken. The coconut rice was mildly flavoured and accompanied by sambal, peanuts, crispy anchovies, cucumber and half a hard-boiled egg. The couple of pieces of chicken disappeared quickly.

I had the kari ikan, a fish curry cooked with fresh tomatoes, okra and eggplant. The fish was some of the boniest I've ever eaten, and strongly flavoured, the eggplant and curry sauce were the highlights of the dish!

The service was pretty efficient although it was frustrating when one the dishes we originally ordered turned out to no longer be available. The bill was just over $30. I'd be interested in trying a few of the other dishes on the menu, especially the veggie curry and maybe even a sweat roti...

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

White Guy Cooks Thai - Take Two

Food Truck
Fridays - Often found at:
Harris Reserve
Gammon Street
Vic 3011

The White Guy Cooks Thai truck was back in Seddon, so I made sure I go there earlier than the previous visit on this occasion, arriving at Harris Reserve around 6:30. The park was much busier than it normally is, and there were perhaps a dozen people around the truck. Most people were waiting for their food, rather than to order, and as I'd already checked out the menu for the day from the picture on twitter, I was able to order swiftly, the food then took 10 to 15 minutes to be ready, not too long to wait on a pleasant evening.As with a previous visit the menu wasn't totally Thai, and also featured dishes from other Asian countries.

We shared quite a few items from the menu. I only had a bite of the pork belly 'banh mi' slider, which was tasty but a little dry.

The Som Tum or Green papaya salad lived up to expectations.

The chicken and water chestnut gyoza with soy and lime dipping sauce were supper crispy as with the previous visit.

Massaman is one of favourite thai dishes and the beef curry rated pretty highly, with great authentic flavours fall apart stewed meat. It was served with rice and Asian coleslaw.

The Veg Green Curry of eggplant, sweet potato and green beans was also served with with rice and Asian coleslaw. Again the flavour was great although I found the veggies a little on the overcooked side for a thai style dish.

The five dishes came to $43 and we'd happily eat from the truck again, it certainly pays to get in fairly early to get a choice from the full range of dishes...

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Sunday, February 3, 2013


20 Ballarat Street

Tucked into the strip of shops on Ballarat Street, l'uccellino is fairly inconspicuous with only a small sign above the door. The large windows allow a good view into the smarty set up interior. The tables were set with white table cloths, and the old wooden chairs added to the formal feel, the kitchen is open, the only down side being the tall stacks of take away boxes that were visible. 

We shared a couple of pizza's, the Puttanesca was topped with tomato, fior di latte, black olives, cherry tomatoes and some great anchovies. The base was thin and crisp and all the ingredients good quality, the only quibble would be that it would have been nice to have just a few more anchovies and olives.

The funghi porcini pizza came topped with three tranlucent slices of prosciutto as well as the tomato, fior di latte, and porcini mushrooms. Again the base was great and ingredients flavorsome, although a couple more mushies would have been nice. 

The service was swift as we wanted and friendly and the bill came in at $37. We were both satisfied by the meal, and would go back, but probably wouldn't make the walk down to Yarraville just to visit, especially as we'd have to walk past Tin Pan Alley on the way!

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