Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tin Pan Alley

160 Victoria Street
Seddon, Vic, 3011

Tin Pan Alley has replaced Delizia Cucina on Victoria Street in Seddon.

We never tried Delizia Cucina, so can't compare, but in general pizza's have replaced the previous finer style dining. The kitchen is open plan sitting behind a bar. We visited on a Tuesday evening and it was pretty quiet, with perhaps 3 other tables occupied at some stage.

Our attentive waiter came to explain the menu, which as well as woodfired pizza's had grazing options, which could be selected as entrées. He also mentioned the special grazing options which were slightly larger. In the end we chose 3 grazing options to start with, which ended up being a lot for 3 people! The special of Calamari fritti with rocket salad, aioli and lemon was very large, almost main size, and I had a fair bit of it, the calamari had a good texture and the coating was nice, as was the aioli. The Spice Cauliflower Fritti with Smoked Paprika Mayonnaise was good too, I had a little of the Cotechino Pork Sausage with Braised Chickpeas which was fine.

The Swiss brown, field & button mushrooms pizza, with confit garlic, tallegio & mascarpone was packed with mushroom flavours without the usual tomato element and worked well.

I had the roasted & smoked eggplant pizza, with napoli sauce, Hungarian hot peppers and goats cheese, and both styles of eggplant topping were great - I would have loved a little more of them!

The red wine braised meatballs with smoked tomatoes and mozzarella pizza went down well. As I mentioned before the service was very attentive, my water glass must have been filled up at least 5 times during the meal. The bill was around $120 for 3 of us with drinks, and it is another good option in Seddon.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011


143 Russell St,
Melbourne, Vic, 3000

I haven't been able to find out much about Ogiya since dropping in for lunch when we wandered past.

Inside the counter contained sushi and some pre cooked gyoza etc.

There were a few small tables and we grabbed one near the back.

We shared some steamed gyoza, which were freshly cooked and tasty.

Phil went for the chicken curry on rice which was good apart from the slightly dry/overcooked chicken.

I chose the seafood udon which had prawns, cockles/pipies and plenty of thick noodles in a tasty broth.

$22 all up and friendly service - I may well be back!

Menu scans below:

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Water Table Restaurant

16 Pertobe Road
Vic 3280

The Water Table Restaurant is in the Sebel Deep Blue Hotel in Warrnambool. We took advantage of the 2-course dinner special for $39 per person including a glass of wine while staying at the hotel. Some times in winter the prospect of not having to head outside and still get a meal at a good price wins! The restaurant is tucked away from the lobby and bar area and is decorated in a contemporary style, but you do know you are in a hotel still.

The menu offered contained a subset of three entrées and three mains from the larger a la carte menu.

The first entrée we tried were the mushroom pakoras with dahl and raita served in a popadom. The mushrooms were good but the dahl was the highlight of the dish, the brown lentils being well spiced. 

The mushroom, potato and bacon soup was good too, with plenty of mushroom flavour.

The chickpea curry wasn't tied down to a particular cuisine, but worked well with a light coconut milk sauce.

The peri peri chicken was pretty spicy and well cooked and served with a bean and tomato sauce.

The food was well presented and the service excellent. It certainly seemed like good value, even if the atmosphere was lacking a little.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Star of the West Hotel

76 Sackville St,
Port Fairy,
VIC, 3284

The Star of the West Hotel in Port Fairy is on the cross of Sackville and Bank streets in the heart of Port Fairy. It contains a front bar with TAB and two dining areas behind with a large beer garden out the back. The lunch menu covered plenty of standard pub fair, with a focus on seafood. We ordered at the bar and had a reasonable wait given how busy it was.

I chose the seafood marinara had plenty of tasty prawns, mussels and scallops in an average tomato sauce with slightly over cooked fettuccine.

The generous serve of roast beef also enabled the diner to make a trip to the vegetable loaded bain-marie.  Everything was well cooked and tasty.

The service was friendly and the prices very reasonable, $38 with a couple of soft drinks...

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Simon's Waterfront

Level 1 80 Pertobe Rd
VIC 3280

Simon's Waterfront restaurant in Warrnambool is on top of the surf lifesaving club, with views across across Lady Bay. We had dinner here after dark, but the views by moonlight were still stunning.

The décor was modern and stylish. The night we visited, there was a large group dining, but the service was still attentive.

We shared an entrée of pumpkin arancini, which were crunchy on the outside and light . moist and pumpkinny inside!

I went for the seafood chowder served in a sour dough mini loaf. The soup was flavoursome and packed with prawns and scallops.

The beef bourguinon was also served with mash in a loaf as well, the first time I'd seem that! The bourguinon was very good, but the double card option was a bit too much, a more traditional approach may have worked better.

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Despite the spectacular location and friendly service the atmosphere was lacking. Overall the meal was good and it came in around $90 with a few drinks. Not a bad option.

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Friday, June 10, 2011

Chilli Café

168 Russell St
Melbourne, 3000

We went to Chilli Cafe for a largish team lunch, and sat upstairs. The decor is pretty basic, tiled floors etc. As we arrived some of the dishes we had pre-ordered were arriving, mains at the same time as entrees. The staff were trying, but chaos seemed to ensue for the next hour until all the food arrived, my main being the last to arrive.

The Spring Rolls were a little on the small side but reasonably tasty, and a bit cold by the time I tried them.

My fish cakes were pretty standard.

The Stir Fried Beef in Oyster sauce were completely polished off, so must have been alright!

The Tom Yum Seafood Noodles came in a big bowl, and the soup got good reports.

The Penang beef was apparently very good.

My seafood green curry ended up being red as well as taking a while to arrive. It contained a prawn, a mussel and some fish as well as vegies. The curry was pretty mild and quite thin, but reasonably flavoursome.

Not a bad option for Thai, and reasonably priced. The staff were friendly and enthusiastic, even if we seemed like a bit of a bigger group than they normally deal with! My lasting memory will be the of the older waitress shouting out dish names, trying to find out what we were waiting for and taking drinks orders...

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Thursday, June 9, 2011


297 Exhibition St,
Melbourne, 3000

MissChu Melbourne sits in the middle or a row of eateries at the top end of Exhibition Street, and below a Mongoliam BBQ. Outside there is a picture of a young girl enlarged from an old document.

We headed to the counter on arrival to make our orders, before finding a table with (compfy) stools in the covered and heated 'outdoor' front section. Inside decor was modern and the tables were packed, although there were free seats facing a narrow bar style table running down one side.

The menu was split between a clipboard and more offerings written up on the board, rice paper rolls seem to be a speciality. A colleague had reccomended the salads, but we visited on a chilly day which meant a more warming option was needed, in the end we both chose from the $13 rice special options.

Rick went for the Satay Chicken, with rice and greens, which he enjoyed.

I went for the Mushrooms and tofualso with rice and greens. The sauce with the dish was very flavoursome, I couldn't put my finger on the ingreadients though, poor food blogging form I know...

Despite being busy the service was reasonably efficient, although our dishes arrived a few minutes apart. The staff were  reasonably friendly, infact once the rush died down, no one seemed to mind us hanging around chatting after we'd eaten.

Certainly not a bad spot to grab lunch.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Piadina Slowfood

57 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, 3000

Round the back of 57 Lonsdale Street, where it joins Punch Lane, Piadina Slowfood feels  out of the way, despite being only metres from Lonsdale.

On a cold day we got the last available table inside at lunch time. There aren't a huge number of tables - we just got lucky, when I've wandered past on warmer days the tables outside have been full too.

The menu had both Piadina and Slowfood styles options.

I went for the Caribbean vegetarian casserole which was packed with beans as well as veggies. The flavours weren't quite as intense or spicy as I had anticipated, but my experience of caribbean food is pretty limited anyway... It was certainly hearty and warming, maybe just a little bit smaller than I could have managed, but probably for the best!

Brendan went for the Chicken Thai Green Curry, which he enjoyed, it was suitably spiced for him too.

The service was friendly and efficient, and the mains were mostly in the $12-$15 range. Deffinately a good option for a swift and healthy lunch in this corners of the city.

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Monday, June 6, 2011

Hargreaves Hill

25 Bell St
Yarra Glen
VIC 3775

The Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company occupies a former bank on the main street in Yarra Glen.

Inside the first room contains a bar well stocked with the brewary's products. We ate in a side room, perfect for the six of us and the fire was a bonus too on a cold day. Towards the back of the building was a larger dining area, taken over with a group booking on this occaision.

I went for the tuscan bean minestrone for entree, it was thick and hearty with great flavours.

The salt and pepper squid was beatifully cooked and nicely spiced.

The prawn with chorizo and artichoke looked great and got good reports.

The steak sandwich looked the part and went down well.

I went for the Pale Ale battered fish with chips and green leaf salad. The batter was crisp and light, the fish moist and tasty and the chips crunchy.

The lamb pie with mushy peas looked amaxing and was enjoyed.

The Eggplant parmigiana was a surprise choice from a regular meat eater, but went down well, the sauce was very rich and it was topped with feta.

The pork was apparently beautifully cooked, and remained tender and slightly pink, and came with some great cabbage and bacon.

I quaffed a Hargreaves IPA with the meal which was lovely and hoppy. The wines also went down well. Service was friendly and pretty efficient, given a large group was also dining at the same time as us. Overall the bill came out at around $55 a head. Well worth a visit for a meal, or even to try the beers!

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