Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bopha Devi

27 Ballarat Street
VIC 3013
We'd been to Bopha Devi a few years ago, in the pre-foodblogging era and had good memories. Some west-side friends had an interstate visitor in town, and we arranged to meet up to eat in the heart of Yarraville.

Since we'd last visited it seemed as if the place had had somewhat of a facelift, I certainly don't remember it being quite as modern and stylish.

The menu on the web seems slightly different to that we perused on arrival. We decided to share the dishes, and the entrées included Spring rolls, which came with plenty of fresh herbs, cucumber and lettuce and some extra rice noodles.

The K'dom, an interesting mix of chicken and crab meat rolled together in a crispy bread were a new a new dish to me and had an unusual texture but were enjoyable and comforting. They arrived on the same plate as the "Prawn Pucks" which had been coated in panko and then deep fried.

The chicken Saramann was cooked with coconut cream, onion, broccoli flowers, five spices, lemongrass, turmeric, lime-leaves and crushed peanuts a favourite of our friends and was a good tip!

The highlight of the visit was the Choo Chi featuring pan-fried barramundi fillet in coconut cream, lemongrass, turmeric, lime-leaves and crushed peanuts. It was spicy with plenty of tumeric flavours, and it all worked really well with the fish.

The beef  and eggplant dish was a little bit too heavy on the almost slimy eggplant for some of the diners, but I enjoyed it.

Each of the main dishes were huge, and 3 between the five of us was plenty! The service was friendly, if just a little on the slow side. The meal worked out as pretty good value, just remember not to order too many mains!

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Friday, June 8, 2012

Saint & Rogue

582 Little Collins Street
VIC 3000

03 9620 9720

We met up for a pre (docklands)  footy meal at Saint & Rogue on a Friday night, and it was pretty busy throughout, from the tables outside, through the bar inside and upstairs too, fortunately we had a table booked!

Housed in an older building, the establishment itself seems to have been around since about 2009. With its wood panelled walls and cathedral ceiling on the 1st floor the place feels a bit like an upmarket English pub. We got to our table and then perused the Dining Room menu.

We shared a couple of the 'small food' items to start, one being the Chilli salt and Szechuan peppered squid, with a lime and caper aioli. These were nicely flavoured, but a little tough the aioli was great.

The mezze Plate featured mixed dips, one hummusy another tzatziki like, some olives, some delicious smoked salmon, sausage, stuffed vine leaves, rocket and crostini, plenty to keep us all interested!

The mains on offer covered some pub standards and a few Italian and Asian inspired dishes. The char-grilled scotch fillet had the tasty blackened exterior and came with chunky chips, plenty of gravy or was it jus, garlic seeded mustard aioli and a mixed leaf salad.

The chicken Parma kept a connoisseur happy and of course came with chips and salad.

Initially it was hard to spot the meat in the arm duck salad with crispy shallots, soba noodles, water chestnuts and char sui sesame dressing, but it was there and the overall dish pleased it's recipient.

I had the prawn, lemon and saffron risotto which was topped with plenty of fresh parmesan and wild rocket, which were both needed to revive what was otherwise a fairly bland meal.

The service was friendly, withg a bit of banter from our waiters, when we could get their attention. It was busy anf to be fair the staff were doing a great job, and we still managed to get to the stadium just in time for a 7:50 kick off... The bill with drinks came to $170 for four, and I'd certainly pop back for a bite or a drink... the website also has some specials available at lunch and on some evenings.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Breizoz French Creperie

49 Brunswick Street,
VIC 3065

Despite it's address Breizoz  opens onto Gerturude Street, on the corner with Brunswick Street. The name is a fusion of the Celtic name for Brittany, Breiz and Oz. There haven't been many (any?) French restaurants on here before, which is perhaps an oddity after living in France for nearly as much time as I've spent in Australia. I probably first tried crepes and and their savory cousins galettes on family holidays as a kid in Brittany, and then occasionally sought them out when based in Paris, especially when keen for a fast French feed.

We were greeted by the French chef working by the front door, inside the restaurant has some gallic touches. It was fairly quiet on a Wednesday lunch time when we visited and after choosing a table we perused the savory section of the menu and specials board which offered some traditional cheese, ham and egg based combinations and some less familiar options including whole sausage.

I selected a new combination to me, the vegetarian ratatouille, which sensibly came on top rather than folded inside the buckwheat pancake. The galette certainly seemed pretty authentic to me, thin, a little crispy on the outside and with the distinctive almost nutty flavour, and the veggies hit the spot and worked better than I expected as an accompaniment to the the main event...

Brendan went for the traditional ham and cheese and seemed very satisfied with the selection, perhaps I should have waited to take a shot once he had broken in and exposed the content!

We were both still a little on the hungry side so returned to the menu to take a look at some sweet offerings, and Brendan's honey and lemon crepe was almost drowning in what turned out to be mostly lemon.

I went for the fairly un-photogenic home made plum jam filling which was enjoyable and not too sickly sweet.

The service was prompt and friendly, we each ended up paying around $17 for the two courses which in the end left us happy and satisfied. Brendan took a card as we paid, always a good sign he was happy with the establishment. I enjoyed the familiar almost comfort food meal and would happily go back. There was a group of French speakers happily tucking in as we left, always a good sign!

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