Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Footscray Milking Station

35 Bunbury Street
Vic 3011
03 90299240

Well it took us over a year, but we finally managed to eat at Footscray Milking Station! The website is extremely basic, there is a bit more activity on their facebook page. We had tried to visit relatively soon after they opened, but weren't able to get a table for 4 on a busy weekend morning.We probably should have tried to come back sooner, but the trek across from mifo, with plenty of other close options in Seddon and chance of not finding a table put us off, very lazy I know.

On the crisp winter Sunday morning we visited we initially sat outside, and even ordered there, before a spot was found on the large share table for us... Despite the fact we were cooling down post Run Melbourne exertions it would probably have been a challenge to enjoy the outdoor table for our full stay. The location in the sector of Footscray between the station and the river with its wide tree lined streets is different from most of the rest of the 'scray and is a pretty relaxing place to watch the world go by, well away from the hubbub of Nicholson or Barkly streets.

The fit-out inside mixes older and new elements.

The milk related items included a few strategically placed churns...

...and vintage milk bottles for our water, this one from the Casino Co-op Dairy

There are more tables out the back...

The menu offers a range of dishes from breakfast through to lunch, with daily specials and paninis up on the chalk boards on the walls.

The coffee is all from Padre, and my long black slipped down so quickly, the snap was a bit of an after thought.

I had the eggs florentine, the eggs were perfectly poached, and still runny, the tomato hollandaise kept things interesting without dominating the other flavours, and there was plenty of spinach and mushrooms with a few piquillo peppers on the toast below.

The order of scrambled eggs on sourdough, with spinach and mushrooms was initially delivered with poached eggs, but this rectified without any fuss in a few minutes. The re-presented eggs were guaranteed fresh and had just right consistency and balance of moistness and firmness.

The service was friendly and slick through out the meal. The bill came to about $40 and I'd rate it as one of the best breakfasts in the area, hence the occasional struggle to get a table! It even staved off my post half hunger for a few hours! I think we'll be more prepared to take the plunge and head over now we've confirmed all the positive stories we'd heard.

Footscray Milking Station on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Monday, July 22, 2013

N.Lee Bakery Cafe

4/61 Little Collins Street
VIC 3000

The 'N.Lee Bakery Cafe' I visited with Linda on Little Collins street is an outpost of the Collingwood institution.

I'd noticed big queues when out running at lunchtimes in the past, but never broken stride to examine further. The queue was bigger when we left than when we arrived, just before 12:30. I'm not sure if the queue is a consequence of the recent popularity of Bánh mì, or just of that of this cafe...

Inside the queue spread out at the counter, although everything remained calm and under control. The menu's on the wall offered a range of options including focaccia's, spring rolls and even pies as well its traditional offerings. The decor was modern and had something of a euro cafe feel about it.

The extensive range of fillings all looked good and pretty fresh. After making our selections and waiting for our rolls to me made, we managed to find a recently vacated table.

The first time across the French Indochine style sandwiches was in Cambodia and Vietnam during my backpacking days 10 years ago. At the time we were delighted to be able to get something resembling a European style sandwich and were thankful for this colonial hangover, along with the coffee, after some bread free weeks in Thailand. Little was I to know I was ahead of the game in discovering this soon to be food trend!

I went with the chicken breast option with all the trimmings.The first thing I noticed on biting in was how fresh everything tasted and felt in my mouth. The crust was crisp, the salad was moist and crunchy and the chicken tender. Linda had the pork meatloaf, which got similar comments, she rated well against the best Springvale has to offer.

Fortunately I paid my $6.60 in cash, as I'm not sure I'm not sure they meant their lack of EFTPOS was going to be very convinience...

N.Lee must be doing something right to always have a queue outside, and the food is certainly fresh, flavoursome and good value, its worth a visit if you have a Bánh mì craving in the city.

N.Lee Bakery on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Sunday, July 21, 2013


113 Lonsdale Street
Vic 300

We visited Seamstress early on a chilly winter Wednesday evening, taking advantage of a booking via Dimmi which offered 50%off food!

The building itself has an interesting 115 history, having housed a textile factory, warehouse and Buddhist monastery, before opening in it's current guise in 2007. It is close to the edge of Melbourne’s Chinatown on Lonsdale Street, wit the Chinese museum just down a nearby alley.

Up on the first floor, where dining takes place the décor mixed stripped walls, smartly set wooden tables and a cloth covered ceiling and hanging 'vases' of flowers.

We perused the 'winter collection' menu offering dishes with a variety of asian influences, all available in three sizes. Once we'd made our picks, our friendly and knowledgeable waitress guided helped us get the suitable combination, of mostly small selections.

The first to arrive was the crisp soft shell crab, on an apple & wombok s'law with sriracha mayonnaise.The coating providing crunch and flavour that nearly trumped the crab inside, the salad was fresh and crisp too, with the plenty of spice in the mayo.

The maple seared scallops were nicely coloured on the outside, but almost disconcertingly rare... The smoked rainbow trout wasn't as prominent in the salad as the crispy shallot and apple or the Nam Jim dressing.

The house made red curry was beautifully flavoured and came with a square of marinated kataifi wrapped tofu, winter mushrooms, baby corn, Thai eggplant and bok choi. Although this was another small sized dish, along with rice it was nearly the size of a 'standard' main.

We were advised to choose the medium sized version of the 'double duck' dish, which would have otherwise wouldn't have been big enough to share. The rice crepe money bag enclosing minced fowl managed to be both light yet filling and rich especially with the thick sweet sauce. The roast duck breast, went well with the black garlic and fried water chestnuts.

Our side of crispy brussels sprouts arrived towards the end of our meal, the Turkish chili dominating the classic sprout and lemon-miso flavours, good all the same!

The atmosphere, service and food were all great and the bill with a few drinks came to $80 all up, including the food discount, making it fantastic value, and I'd certainly head back again if another deal came up!

Seamstress on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Slowpoke, Fitzroy

157 Brunswick Street
VIC 3065

On a bright but chilly winter Friday, Brendan and I headed up to Fitzroy for lunch at the inconspicuous Slowpoke, which would have been easy to wander past on Brunswick street, if we hadn't been looking out for it.

Inside the decor was  simple and elegant, with mostly white walls and wooden tables and white chairs.

We got a table by the wood block feature wall, some the blocks were mini shelves and were home to medicine bottle vases.

Our water was provided  in a tall jar.

I went for one of the several specials on offer, the heirloom carrot and lentil soup. It was one of the most thoughtfully presented soups I've seen, with roasted carrot and lentils topping the thick soup. The flavours combined well and it was a satisfying lunch on a cooler day.

Brendan had the roast chicken sandwich, which was garnished with rocket. It wasn't that generously sized but I actually finished my soup first... Unfortunately one mouthful was spoiled by a bone in the meat!

At around $12each the meals were just enough to satisfy us at lunchtime. The service was friendly and efficient and the laid back feel made it a good break from the office.

Slowpoke on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spice Lounge, Petersfield

First Floor
1 & 2 the Square
GU32 3HJ

A 500 year old, grade 2 listed building in a market town square is not the most obvious place to find an Indian restaurant, but perhaps its just a sign of how popular the cuisine is in England these days. We visited the Spice Lounge later on in the evening after visiting a couple of Petersfield's pubs.

Inside traditional English timber beams meet 'traditional' high end Indian restaurant style... The menu covered all the dishes I'd expected with some less common ones.

After the obligatory poppadoms our mains arrived. The chicken madras was a popular choice, and the tarka dahl went down well.

I had the veggie karahi which was nicely spiced.

The naan bread was fully puffed up...

There is something about a 'traditional British Indian restaurant' if that's not an oxymoron, that I miss when in Australia. The food may be less authentic, but the experience isn't ever quite repeated in Australia, whether its the flavours, the vibe or service... So for me it was an enjoyable end to an evening.

Spice Lounge on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Prix Fixe, Soho

39 Dean Street

I caught up with old friends at Prix Fixe, as the name suggests aFrench restaurant,  located in the heart of Soho. It was a Saturday night and pretty busy. The set menus of the name weren't available at the time we visited, but the  a la carte options featured "...an exciting and contemporary French cuisine encompassing flavours from around the world."

Jegs went for 4 Atlantic rock oysters with the shallot vinaigrette.

I had the 'Escargot style grilled mussels' served in the traditional style for snails, with garlic, pernod and parsley butter and a herb parmesan crust. The flavours did drown out the mussel a little, but it was an interesting alternative to steaming them.

The seared tuna steak came with a stew of sautéed chorizo sausages, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and fine beans and was one of the several fish dishes ordered.

I went for the baked whole lemon sole meunire with saffron potatoes, caper and parsley butter, the combination working really well.

The filleted roasted Seabass with baked medallion potatoes, baby shrimps, broad beans and fennel gremolata looked good and seemed to go down well.

The buzzing but efficient restaurant, good company and satisfying food made for a good evening.

Prix Fixe Brasserie on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Old White Bear, Hampstead

Well Road

I was staying with friends who live not far away and they had booked a table at The Old White Bear on bright summer evening.

It comfortably fits at the grander end of the traditional London pub category, and has relatively recently been refurbished. Inside it has a fairly luxurious feel and it's not your typical boozer, the menu reflected this. 

 I started with the cod croquettes which came with an aioli. The crunch was there and the flavours were good.

The steak looked to have been cooked beautifully.

 The duck was also beautifully presented.

I had the grilled sardines with couscous and harissa which was packed with great flavours and put together flawlessly. 

The Old White Bear is well worth a visit for some great food, fantastic service and even some good beers.

The Old white Bear on Urbanspoon

View Foodscrazy restaurant map in a larger map