Thursday, February 26, 2015


205 Russell Street
VIC 3000

I'd failed on my only previous attempt to visit SugarBun, heading there on a Monday when they are closed. It sits next to the Exford Hotel, near the corner of Little Bourke and Russell streets.

Inside you enter via a corridor, which ends in a doorway into the main dining room, with stairs to another area, both had modern clean fit outs.  When we arrived downstairs was full and we were given menus to read while we waited for for a table. In the end we were directed upstairs, along with a couple of other groups.

We were able to order soon after we were at our table, and didn't have to wait too long until being served our meals. Merry went for the seafood hotpot featuring wok-fired prawns, squid, fish and vegetables simmered in seafood broth which was bubbling as it arrived. It was served with mixed grain rice and seemed to go down well. 

I had the Laksa which is inspired by the Sarawak version and was loaded with prawns, shredded chicken, strips of egg, beansprouts and vermicelli noodles in the house-concocted spicy broth.The flavour was good, especially after topping up with the extra paste and lemon, but I missed the tofu and veggies found in the versions from Laksa King and Chef Lagenda in Flemmington.

The meals were satisfying and good value at between $11 and $14 each, there were also lunch specials on offer with sweet Malaysian hot drinks included. The service was a bit haphazard, but still amiable. It certainly not a bad option if you want to get a taste of Borneo on Russell Street.

SugarBun on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

San Telmo

14 Meyers Place
VIC 3000

On turning into Myers Place it's hard to miss San Telmo, with the name emblazoned on the chimney running up the front of the building it is housed in. We had family in town who were in the mood for some South American meat, and this was our target for the evening...

Immediately inside on the left is  the open kitchen with the imported 2.5 meter parrilla charcoal grill, 'hand made by Pirincho', and a bunch of busy chefs.

When we visited fairly early on a mid week evening there was already quite a buzz about the place, with plenty of tables filled. We were shown to our table which featured a leather sofa against a wall appointed with cow hides,along with more conventional wooden chairs. The fit out merged modern Melbourne and Argentinian themes effortlessly to create a chic feel. 

With a little help from the friendly waitresses we figured out a bunch of dishes to share, kicking off with some empanadaa, traditional Argentine fried pastries. The red wine braised beef, almond and raisin went down well down while the silverbeet, leek and bechamel version I tried was a great combination in a great shell.

The fried broccoli with pecorino was one of the highlights of the meal tasting as good as it looks below, which a great crunch to boot.

We were brought some Provoleta, or fried provolone cheese by mistake, but were given it to try on the house, and it was good to even a non-cheese fan.

The humita, polenta, corn and basil chips which came with chipotle mayonnaise were another hit.

The "Mejilla de Cerdo" or braised berkshire pork jowl with crackling was succulent and very sweet.

The Cuadril de cordero, a pasture fed lamb rump spiced with coriander and chipotle was another perfectly prepared winner, succulent and subtly flavoured.

The Tira de asado, O’Connor premium pasture fed beef short ribs were a little on the fatty side for my taste, ending up with an almost lamby flavour, rather than beef.

The 'Papas' - baby potatoes came with plenty of herb butter and less of the slow cooked onion and slid down easily.

The coal roasted pumpkin with feta and a caper and raisin vinaigrette or the more succinct 'Zapallo' was another hit around our table.... were the Zanahorias, burnt carrots with hazelnuts, thyme and garlic goats curd.

The bill for four came in at around $250 including a drink or two each. We all left well satisfied with our meals, both in terms of flavour and sustenance. The service was friendly and attentive all evening. Meat heavy menu's aren't our normal staple, but we may head back, if we do fancy more of that while we are in town.

San Telmo on Urbanspoon

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Kaiser's Sausages

Food truck visited at:
Moreland Street
VIC 3011

We tried the Kaiser Sausages (facebook twitter) at St Jeromes Laneway festival in Footscray.

They were attracting a reasonable queue, and importantly were nearby when hunger struck...

...and had a variety of sausages on offer.

I ended up going the veggie route, which was fine with out being inspiring, the better half had a spicy 'duke' which packed quite a punch.

The chips were good, and had nearly disappeared before I snapped them, there had plenty more a few minutes earlier.

Apparently the truck is often at the MCG for footy and cricket. Our food came quickly and was reasonably priced at around $10 per dog, and it certainly provided sustenance during a busy day.

Kaiser's Sausages on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Scorched Grill, Apollo Bay

135 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay
Victoria 3233

Scorched Grill is a new addition to the main strip of the Great Ocean Road through Apollo Bay, with a few seats outside...

... and plenty more inside.

The fit out is vibrant, modern and stylish, with a polished concrete floor and some great furniture.

The menu was burger focused, with a few hot dogs available too.

They are also licensed with a range of mostly craft beers.

The better half selected the 4 Pine Kolsch, but ended up favouring the Melbourne, so I got to enjoy the more hoppy flavours.

The Plain Jane is a pretty basic burger with the the patty accompanied by lettuce, tomato, ketchup and aioli. The brioche bun was on the sweet side and little dry too, there wasn't much sauce, so it didn't really live up to its good looks.

I went for the "meat free", which featured a panko crumbed field mushroom, along with cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles and onion jam. The flavours worked well together and the overall number of moist ingredients helped it deliver satisfying mouthfuls.

The large serve of shoestring style chips was big enough to share, and the fries ticked the crunchy, salty and soft in the middle boxes.

The service was fine and it didn't take too long from ordering at the counter to receiving our meals. With the two beers, the meal ended up coming in at over $50, which seems a lot for a burger based meal to me! I'm not sure that we'll be rushing back, but if we do, we'd focus on the more well endowed burgers.

Scorched Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 9, 2015

Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe

119 Great Ocean Road
Apollo Bay
Victoria 3233

Despite having stayed in Apollo Bay a few times, we had never got around to doing the fish and chips on the beach thing. Recently we decided to put that right, and decided to pick the popular looking Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe.

It was pretty busy inside on the Thursday evening in late January, but we only had to wait for a for a minute or two after studying the menu before we could order, then it was under 10 minutes until our food was ready. There venue was tidy and clean with quite a few tables to eat in, but we had already planned to head across the road though.

The fish and chips looked pretty good on first inspection, there are also some scallops hiding in there somewhere, they turned out to be pretty small apparently. I had the blue grenadier which was moist with a bit of crunch to the batter, however it was a bit oily, as was the case with the butterfish. The chips were great, crunchy exterior and perfectly soft inside.

The views from our perch on top of the dunes were stunning.

The bill came in at $22.10, which seemed pretty good value for Apollo Bay, and I'd be happy to head back, although there are several other 'chippies' to try in town!

Apollo Bay Seafood Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Thai House, Apollo Bay

18 Pascoe Street
Apollo Bay
VIC 3233

On previous visits to Apollo Bay, we either hadn't been in the mood for Thai dining or had found the restaurant closed. This time it ended up being the first eatery we visited. We sat outside under a Singha parasol.

After selecting a couple of Thai beers and perusing the menu, we ended up going with two old favourites... I wouldn't normally bother with a shot of the rice, but the presentation was pretty special, and it was a generous 'small' sized serve.

The roti light and not too greasy.

The prawn pad Thai contained all the key main ingredients, but the flavours in the were a little off, perhaps sweet chilli sauce had been added? Unfortunately this pushed the overall impression of the dish into average territory.

The green curry chicken however was fantastic, with great authentic flavours complimenting the fresh veggies and chunks of chook.

The bill came to just over $70,generous the service was efficient, given it was a busy summer Saturday. We'd probably head back if we fancied some Thai while down on the Great Ocean Road, but might try and stray further on the menu...

Thaihouse on Urbanspoon