Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Elms Family Hotel

269 Spring St
Melbourne, 3002

The Elms Family Hotel hasn't changed since I first visited in 2001, and I imagine for a while longer. It sells itself as a family hotel in the city, and it delivers on that.

On a recent lunch time visit I took advantage of the $11 for a pot and parma offer that run from Monday to Wednesday. I'm a definite convert to the parma since arriving in Melbourne and this one didn't disappoint, being big but not ridiculously huge, with well cooked chicken (not too dry), crispy breadcrumbs, the right amount of marinara sauce and cheese. The chips were good, and the salad although basic was crisp.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Sapa Hills

112 Hopkins Street,

We visited Sapa Hills on a Friday evening and it was busy, we got one of the last tables. The restaurant stands out on Barkly/Hopkins street, being modern and more thoughtfully fitted out than most of the competition, including large pictures from the Sapa hills area of northern Vietnam.

The menu was fairly standard, and I wasn't feeling very adventurous, so went for the rice paper rolls. The rolls were a bit smaller than normal, and perhaps because of this had a thicker skin. The stuff vine leaf type dish were good, and I enjoyed a couple, but they were pretty heavy, and I'm not sure I could manage the whole plate.

The pho was good, huge bowls, plenty of bean sprouts and fresh herbs, and a great stock with ample decent pieces of chicken - what more can you ask for.

It certainly seemed a place you could linger a little time over your meal and quite a few people were taking advantage of the BYO, beers and wine were also on the menu.

I'm sure we'll be back and I'll have to try some different dishes...

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sekai Japanese Ramen

Footscray Market, Hopkins Street, Footscray, 3011

I was happy to see another new place open along Barkley/Hopkins street in Footscray Market, especially as it was offering something different to the local food scene. Sekai is a Japanese noodle restaurant nestling amongst the mainly Vietnamese and Chinese eateries.

It's bright and modern (well at least compared to some of the competition) inside, and compact with enough people when we visited early on a cold Thursday evening to feel busy but not crowded. The menu mentioned we should order at the counter, but ours was taken at the table and tea was brought out to us in a proper pot!

We chose some Gyoza, which were super hot and tasty once were able to eat them!

My main dish, was the tempura udon noodles. The two tempura prawns were big and tasty with good if  not great batter, the tempura pumpkin was nice too. The soup was tasty with plenty of decent fat noodles

The wonton ramen soup looked good, and got excellent feedback.

Another welcome addition to the area...

...and nice prices too.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Wing Loong

11-13 Heffernan Lane
Melbourne, 3000

We ended up at Wing Loong after not making it into the Supper Inn due to a huge queue all the way down to the stairs to the street and BYO error (no beer - even Mountain Goat) elsewhere...

The d├ęcor is basic, but importantly there were a few spare tables and the service turned out to be friendly and efficient.

We started out with spring rolls (average) and the prawn dumplings, which were nice and had both the flavour and texture of prawn!

The pork and eggplant hot pot was flavoursome, if just slightly gloopy.

The fish with ginger and spring onion was not too special...

A good choice if you want a quick and cheap meal in China Town, and/or if you can't get into the Supper Inn!

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