Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Roti Man

10-12 Armstrong Street
Middle Park
VIC 3206

We'd been told our booked table had been moved to make room for a large group before we arrived at The Roti Man. As it turned out the entire front room was filled by the event.

We were in a smaller back section which  featured similar decoration with brightly coloured material hanging billowing below the roof and matching colours on the walls.

 We were served drinks fairly quickly and then spent a few minutes figuring out our choices. There was then a pause before our orders were taken. After noting our choices the waitress apologised for the delay, but we ended up unsure as to f that was for the one that had occurred, or that which was to come...

Our entrées arrived after only 10 to 15 minutes. The Chicken Tikka salad, apparently "Lossely translated as 'chunks of chicken' ... is marinated in spicy yoghurt and cooked in the tandoor and presented as a delightful salad." Although the chicken was fine the salad was somewhat more basic than the description portrayed. 

The cauliflower Bhaji, coated in it's spiced chickpea flour and fried also came with a few leaves and what seemed to be a sprinkling of ground pepper. The dish was well executed with a crunchy exterior encasing the tasty veggies.

It took another 50 minutes for our mains to arrive, by which time we were ready to devour anything! The Prawn Goan curry went down well.

As did the Beef Vindaloo.

We shared the smoked spiced eggplant, which was enjoyable but not quite as smoky as we had hoped for and have had elsewhere.

The Lamb Vindaloo was spicy and sour as expected.

The saffron rice looked good and 

The naan bread was unusually square shaped.

The paratha was softer than it looks in the photo.

The meal came in around $45 a head with a couple of drinks each. The wait for our meals ended up being the most memorable part of the evening, and I wouldn't want to go back again if they were that busy.

The Roti Man Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Burma Lane

118 Little Collins Street
3000 VIC

Having both enjoyed visits to at least one of the Red Spice Road sisters restaurants, we were both looking forward to our meal at Burma Lane, prior to a comedy festival gig. The signage on Little Collins street is fairly inconspicuous until you are right outside.

Inside the fit out is fairly modern, including a street art mural portrait of Aung San Suu Kyi which was right above our table. I don't recall ever eating Burmese food before and haven't visited the country so didn't know quite what to expect, other than assuming the cuisine would be influenced by it's neighbours including India and Thailand. Our early booking meant we could go for the pre-theatre banquet which included an entrée and three mains to share for $29 each.

The entrée was corn fritters with a sticky chilli sauce and mint, which was similar to a dish I'd had previously at a sibling outlet.

The Barramundi salad with kale, ginger, peanut and sesame was an unusual combination of flavours which didn't quite hit the spot for us. It felt like it was missing some citrous to lift it.

The shan khaut swe-noodles contained simmered pork, peanuts, chillies and snow pea tendrills. The meat and sauce seemed familiar and initially I couldn't figure out why, then I realised it reminded me of tinned spag bol! 

The village boys spicy chicken curry with choko and lemongrass was a more straight forward dish that lived up to its billing. Unfortunately some of the chicken was on the dry side.

There were a few other diners around at this early time in the evening but it certainly wasn't busy. The staff were almost over attentive, with my water being refilled 4 or 5 times in our 50 minute stay. The bill came to $90 including a beer and couple of glasses of wine. In the end our fairly high expectations weren't quite met.

Burma Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Paperboy Kitchen

320 Little Lonsdale Street
VIC 3000

It had been a while since I'd had lunch with Brendan and we've both moved offices since we last caught up. We met at Paperboy Kitchen Little Lonsdale Street.

The interior has a minimal industrial feel with an open kitchen. It is fairly small with a few shared high tables with stools and a bench tops against the windows. We found somewhere to perch, made our selection from the short menu of dishes that either come with noodles or in a bread roll, and then ordered at the counter...

...instead of the table number we got a plastic lion, there were other miniature animals on offer too.

Brendan went for the BBQ Chicken Bowl, starring marinated free range chook on rice noodles with Asian 'slaw, carrot-daikon pickle, sriracha mayo and coriander which he really rated.

I went for the red curry cauliflower bowl. The house spicy curry sauce packed a punch and combined well with the slaw, pickle, Sriracha mayo and coriander, atop the well prepared noodles.

The dishes were $12 and $13 respectively and were well worth the price. The service suited the casual but busy vibe, with the staff keeping up pretty well with the rapid turnover of punters in the small space. We were both happy with our meals and would be happy to return.

Paperboy Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Up in Smoke

28 Hopkins Street
VIC 3011

There was plenty of interest around for the opening of Up in Smoke, and we'd seen and heard about queues and big crowds. We decided to wait a while before paying our first visit. Even then on an early Autumn Saturday evening we arrived at around 6:30 there only tables outside avaialble, fortunately the mild weather and last night of daylight savings made that a good option. By the time we left, the line reached out to the street.

The shop section is now open too, but we only window shopped on this visit.

There is an enclosed outside area just off the area out the front of the main entrance.

Our table was conveniently opposite the hatch that serves those seated on the terrace. The menu isn't huge but has plenty of smoked and BBQ'd meat offerings and some interesting alternatives.

We kicked off with the smokey babaganoush which packed a bit fire too and came with tortilla chips from La Tortilleria in Kensington. A brilliant combo to start things off.

Our side of bbq rub fries came out early on too, and these ticked the right boxes too.

I enjoyed my white polenta crumbed prawn taco, which also contained corn, black beans and avocado with a lime dressing. The prawn flavour and texture was still distinct amongst the myriad of others and I could have happily munched on a couple more...

The smoked pulled pork shoulder taco was topped with grilled pineapple, avocado, queso fresco and pico de gallo and go the thumbs up.... did the smoked brisket burnt ends, with the tomatillo salsa, smoked bell peppers,queso fresco and pickled green jalapenos.

The still smokin' sandwich exceeded my expectations and lived up to its name with really smokey chicken and a nice combo of pickles, onions and ranch dressing.

We found the service to be professional and friendly all evening, despite the crowds. maybe with the outdoor seating and making our orders at the counter actually works better, or perhaps early teething troubles are now in the past. our food came to $47, we washed it down with some of the craft ales which are around $10 a pint. I think we'll be back and hopefully before the city views are obscured by one of the areas many new towers being erected.

Up in Smoke Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, April 3, 2016

George Jones Eatery, Pascoe Vale

15 Pascoe Street
Pascoe Vale
VIC 3044

We were invited to visit the Gearge Jones Eatery in Pascoe Vale, and ended up picking a perfect Autumn morning to ride up there. It is situated in a new building on Pascoe Vale Street with plenty of tables spilling out the front onto the wide pavement terrace.

Inside the fit out is modern and stylish with a clean, spacious feeling, yet still plenty of atmosphere. The name refers to the areas first shop keeper.

We perused the breakfast menu which  featured some interesting dishes alongside some breaky favourites. We kicked off with coffee, which is roasted on site. The long black was rich and smooth with little bitterness.

The flat white also went down well. 

The other half chose the scrambled egg on multigrain toast with a side of smashed avo. All the components were well executed with fluffy but slightly moist eggs and creamy avocado. 

I went for the citrus cured salmon served with poached egg, croquette, celeriac and dill remoulade and a rye crumb. The fish was lovely, firm and full of flavour, without being quite so intense as the smoked variety. The yolk of the egg was gooey, just how I like it. The remoulade and croquettes added more textures and flavours to complete a different and winning breakfast dish.

Through our visit the service was friendly and efficient. There was only a short wait for our meals, despite the busy venue. We didn't have to pay for our food or coffees, I think the bill would have been around $50, which seemed fair given the quality. We'd certainly be happy to head back next time we are in the area.

George Jones Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato