Sunday, September 28, 2014

Casa di Tutti, Seddon

160 Victoria Street
VIC 3011

When Casa di Tutti replaced Tin Pan Alley it didn't seem like a massive change, with one Italian restaurant being replaced by another and the fit out remaining similar. I guess that’s why we didn't rush to eat there, along with the good pizza's up the road at the Plough. When we decided we were up for take away it was a good opportunity to give it a try. I picked up 15 minutes after my call and the boxes were warm, apparently the content had only just come out of the oven.

The pesto and eggplant combination on the Melanzana was a great combination and surpassed our expectation!

One the team mentioned that they had run out of the white truffle oil, so we had extra portobello and porcini mushrooms on our Funghi along with the napoli sauce, mozzarells and basil. The mushrooms flavour was strong, which we enjoyed.

At $16 a pizza they weren't cheap, but were worth it for great toppings on fantastic thin wood fired oven bases. It was fairly quiet for a Saturday night when I swung by to pick up, but the team were friendly. I think we will be eating more from Casa di Tutti, whether in house or back at home.

Casa di Tutti on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Indian Palette, Seddon

1/140 Victoria Street
Victoria 3011

We've walked past The Indian Palette many times since it opened, and often thought about going in but were dissuaded by the empty tables.

We'd read good things about the food and on a recent Friday needing a curry fix and not fancying the walk over to West Footscray we decided to take the plunge. As we'd expected it was pretty quiet, with only one other couple eating in. Several take out customers came in over the time we were there.

The menu featured plenty of dishes I didn't recognise, as well as a few more familiar offerings. The Gutti Vankayakura had two small eggplant in a sauce seasoned with ground nut, tamarind pulp and finished with South Indian spices. Although whole the aubergines were tender and the sauce complimented them well.

The Dal Makhani a favourite of ours containing black lentils cooked with tomato, fenugreek and butter was a little light on the pulses for us, but the flavours were great.

The rice was fluffy and light, the naan not quite as puffy and light as I prefer.

The service was occasionally interrupted by calls from take out customers, as there was only one waitress covering both tasks. The food was cooked to order in a reasonable time and the bill came to $67 with a few beers. The lack of atmosphere means will probably make the walk west to the more popular options in that direction, unless we notice an uptick in patronage, it is a handy local option for take out though.

The Indian Palette on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fathers Office

249 Little Lonsdale Street
VIC 3000

I visited Fathers Office for the first time with fifteen or so work mates. I'd been to the previous incarnation, Match Bar a few times and the better half had worked for the guys setting it up for a while. The doorway on Little Lonsdale street opposite the State Library is fairly inconspicuous and leads to a staircase to the bar and restaurant on the first floor.

The look inside is stylish and modern, with half the space a bar area and the rest a sit down dining area.

We mostly ate from the corporate lunch menu, offering a range of dishes and a drink for $15. I had the fish 'n' chips, featuring 'seasonal white fish' lightly coated in a rosemary and ginger beer batter, shallow fried and served with shoestring fries. The batter was crisp but a bit on the oily side, the fish was well cooked and fries did the job.

We were mostly satisfied, if not stunned by our meals and $15 with a drink isn't too bad for food in comfortable surroundings in the city at lunch time. We were a little worried that the service might be slow with a reasonable sized group, but the food appeared pretty quickly. It's certainly a reasonable option to try for modern Australian/pub food in the CBD.

Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 20, 2014

8bit Burger

8 Droop Street

We'd headed to 8 bit a couple of times before thinking about having a weekend lunch, but it had always looked a bit too busy, and made our way to one of the miriad of other options nearby. It was third time lucky though on a Sunday around 1, after we'd had a late night out and we were searching for something to turn around our day.

The 8 bit retro computer game theme runs throughout the restaurant, from the names of the various burgers and hotdogs on the menu to the table 'number' signs.

Although it wasn't bursting at the seams, there was a big pack of young diners in attendance, with plenty of activity behind the counter putting the food together. We ordered at the counter and managed to snag ourselves some stools by the bench along the window and waited for a few minutes until our meals arrived, given the number of patrons, I was surprised by the speed of service.

The eponymous 8 bit beef burger but without the usual cheese also contained tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickles, mustard and '8 bit' sauce in a brioche bun. It looked great and the better half though it was delicious!

I went with the 1 UP mushroom burger, which featured a crumbed portobello mushroom, some plasticy cheese which I swiftly removed, tomato, red onion, green tomato relish, lettuce and the house sauce again in a brioche bun. Although I prefer naked (un-crumbed) mushroom burgers and aren't a massive processed cheese fan these days, it was still a good veggie option and although hasn't de-throned Jerry's lentil based pattie yet.

The large serve of beer battered fries was a good size and had a nice crispy coating with soft potato inside. We soon worked our way through them.

The meal with a couple of soft drinks came in around $30. I'm glad we were able to get in because the burgers were just what we wanted, and it is awesome to have good burgers available in the 'scray. We'll certainly be back, hopefully we'll be able to get in again next time!

8bit. on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fiesta Mexican, South Yarra

175 Toorak Road
South Yarra
VIC 3141

We were due to meet up with mates in South Yarrra and decided to grab some Mexican first, opting to give Fiesta Mexican a go. It's close to the station on Toorak Road and was busy on the Saturday evening when we arrived.

Their website claims that it is the most authentic Mexican in Melbourne, the fit out certainly had some central american touches, including the carved cow skull lamp shades....

...and Aztec influenced murals on the wall.

The pollo de quesadilla, an oven baked, pressed 6” flour tortilla filled with diced skinless chicken breast, cayenne, cumin with Egmont and ranchero salsa was served with mango salsa and leaves.

I had the vegetarino combo, featuring a roast vegetable enchilada, black turtle bean taco, mushroom flauta, brown rice and mango salsa. All the components were fine, but the platter felt fairly lackluster when compared to La Tortilleria in Kensington.

I don't think we'll be rushing back to  Fiesta, while the service was fine, the food seemed overpriced and relatively bland when compared to our local favourite.

Fiesta Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beaujolais, Singapore

No 1 Ann Siang Hill

On a the corner of the busy Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, Beaujolais mixes French touches with Singaporean shop house looks.

From our outdoor corner spot we had good street views in every direction.

To start we shared the tomato bruschetta, featuring sweet cherry vine tomatoes  on toasted garlic bread and Stu's favourite, the cold cuts, including air-dried beef, Swiss smoked coppa, Prosciuto di Parma and French saucission.

The  sirloin steak was served with salad and fries and a choice of sauces.

The grilled tiger prawns lived up to their names and were served with pasta aglio olio.

I had the salmon which also came with fries and salad. The skin was a little over crisp and salty, but everything else was good.

The service was smooth and the food was fair value, as has to be expected the drinks weren't cheap, so the overall meal was fairly pricy, but it certainly isn't a bad choice for a French style meal in Singapore.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant

Lot 1, G9, Api-Api Centre
Lorong Api-Api
Jalan Centre Point
Kota Kinabalu
We read about "Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant" in a guidebook before we decided to head across town and give it a try. It was a bit of a challenge to find, but that was probably down to our lack of local knowledge, once we got close enough it was quite easy to spot!

Inside the d├ęcor was fairly basic, but the welcome was warm. Any meal could be had on a banana leaf which also included several sides, including cucumber, green beans, greens and a tofu and bean shoot dish.

We opted for a fish curry not being quite brave enough for the fish head option, it was well cooked and the sauce was flavoursome.

We also had a couple of chapatis which were served with curry sauce and dahl.

The atmosphere was welcoming to westerners without being to tourist orientated. I've always enjoyed banana leaf curry's in Malaysia, and this was no exception.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kota Kinabalu Night Market, Sabah

Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
Kota Kinabalu, 

We made two visits to the night market while we were in Kota Kinabalu.

It is right on the sea front, with sunset views across the fishing boats.

It is a hard location to beat, just a few meters from the vessels that brought in your dinner!

The first time we visited this was our menu.

The fish had been what tempted us, both cooked...

... and fresh out of the ocean.

This was our silver snapper, which was well cooked with enough flavours to compliment the fresh flavours.

We also had a few local greens.

On our second visit we ate at Nadirasa Resipi, although most of different eateries were fairly similar.

There was plenty on offer on the menu....

...and more on the bbq.

We had some good grilled sweet corn.

The greens were served with onion, chilli and fried shallots.

Our fish took a bit longer than expected, I think that was just because it was cooked to order. It was covered in a layer of a sambal like paste and served on a banana leaf, and was worth the wait.

The night market is a great spot to head down to in KK, the location, sights and sounds make the experience special and the food is great and well priced.

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