Friday, December 22, 2017

Hellenic Hotel

28 Ferguson Street
Victoria 3016

We'd been talking about visiting George Calombaris  Hellenic Hotel for a while and recently arranged a family lunch there. The restaurant is on the corner of James and Ferguson street in a rather grand old building Federation style that was formerly the Hobsons Bay Hotel. Infact from a distance the old pub signage is more prominent than the new.

While the outside has maintained its heritage looks, inside things are quite different. The main dining area is a bright double height space, there is also a smaller section at the front of the ground floor.

There are a few tables out on the first floor balcony.

The open kitchen is next to the main dining space where we were seated.

We kicked off by trying the three dips on offer with char-grilled pita bread.  The Taramosalata was suitably fishy and the Tzatziki tangy. The Fava Yellow split pea dip came with olive oil, capers and softened shallots provided more colour and texture.

The grilled haloumi was perfectly cooked and soon sliced into 5 and shared amongst the table!

The better half was keen to have the Kipriaki Salata Cypriot salad of grains, pulses, nuts, pomegranate and yoghurt which she'd had at a sister restaurant. It turned out to be a good choice!

We had the half 'Kotopoulo Psistaria' Chicken which had been cooked on a spit and was served with lemon, garlic and oregano. It ticked the boxes of flavour, tenderness and remained juicy.

The brother in law had strongly suggested the 'Arni Sto Fourno' slow roasted lamb shoulder with garlic and lemon in advance. It was super tender and richly flavoursome.

We also had the 'Tiganites Patates' or chips with feta, garlic oil and oregano, which did the job.

We finished off with coffees, my long black was disappointingly average.

The service was friendly and the dishes were nicely paced for a relaxed lunch. The bill came to $228 for the five of, which included $95 for drinks and coffee. The menu is great for sharing with a group and I'd certainly be happy to dine there again like that.

Hellenic Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Brim CC Japanese Organic Cafe

Shop 2, 601 Little Collins Street,
3000 Victoria

We ended up eating at Brim CC Japanese Organic Cafe by mistake. I was due to meet Brendan next door at Spicy Korean, but got confused seeing another friend waiting for his takeaway at Brim next door and ended up there instead. It was only once I was at the counter that Brendan pointed out we weren't in restaurant I'd suggested... by that time I'd already decided on what I wanted, so it was a bit late!

The signage for Brim CC is unusual in that the name less prominent than the description, although it is helpful to know that they prepare organic Japanese food! It was a warm spring day and the tables outside were in the direct sun so we stuck to the indoor tables.

There isn't a whole lot of space inside, with a large shared table, a few smaller ones. We got lucky and were able to grab one of these after ordering at the counter. The lunch menu is fairly short with a few more options available for dinner.

I went for the Tokyo style vegetable curry with rice for $9.50. Apparently their "organic VEGE stock adds natural SWEETNESS on this curry!" and they "proudly recommend this as one of the best choices of vegetarian food in Melbourne." The plate was loaded up with a good portion of curry and rice, the sauce was mildly flavoured, rich and comforting.

Brendan went for the beef curry and rice which cost a dollar more. He also enjoyed the sauce, but was less impressed by the meat content, but happy overall.

The service was basic but friendly and efficient. The quality of the flavours and healthy, hearty feel for the price was a winner in my eyes, and I'd happily head back for more.

BrimCC Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, November 24, 2017

Sally's Kitchen

295 Exhibition St
Victoria 3000

I went to Sally's Kitchen for lunch with a group of work colleagues. The entrance and outdoor area face on to Elizabeth St.

Inside the fit out is modern with those trendy big hanging light bulbs.

The menu is fairly short with a couple of specials also available.

I had the house made gnocchi with basil pesto, fresh basil and pine nuts. The flavours were nice but there dish wasn't that generously sized, but the gnocchi themselves were big...

The grilled chicken Caesar salad certainly looked good.

The service was fine and we took a while to order in the first place, but overall the meals seemed a little on the pricey side for a casual lunch. I wont be rushing back for a casual lunch.

Sally's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Magic Momo Kafe, West Footscray

588 Barkly Street
West Footscray

Being a fan of Nepalese food, I'd been wanting to give Magic Momo Kafe in WEFO a try for a while, and an offer on Groupon prompted me into action.

We ended up visiting on Friday evening after booking via the eponymous website. When we arrived there seemed to be some confusion about our reservation, but we were soon found a table. The venue is very small with maybe 6 tables and the decor is basic. We took advantage of the byo option, but the glasses offered were misty, so we stuck to sipping from our beer bottles.

We had a fixed menu kicking off with a plate of entrées including vegetable momo (Nepalese dumplings) with a tasty lentil heavy filling, crunch and flavoursome vegetable pakoda and basic chicken 'lollipops'. There were two pots of sauce a lightly spiced curry option and straight up tomato.

There was a choice of goat, chicken or vegetable curry with rice and Alu Achar (potato salad) for the main. The veggie curry was fine if a little bland and watery, the side salad was more interestingly flavoured.

Unfortunately the goat curry had more bone than meat.

The desert options were yogurt and Lalmon...

...or yogurt and  Rasbari, both cottage cheese based dumplings.

The groupon deal meant the meal was good value at only $29 for two. Unfortunately the quality of some of the food, service and atmosphere wont have us rushing back.

Magic Momo Kafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Old Hepburn Hotel

236 Main Road
Hepburn Springs
VIC 3461

We visited the Old Hepburn Hotel, "where everyone is a local" according to their website, on a Friday evening in winter. The weatherboard exterior opens into a traditional country pub featuring a fireplace which our table had been booked near.

The menu is full of pub classics and we kicked off with some garlic bread, which came with some greenery.

The 300 gram Porterhouse steak was served with wedges and broccolini. Unfortunately the request for medium rare got a more well cooked result than expected, but was recognised as a good piece of meat.

The prok with veggies was well liked.

The slow braised 450g bushman lamb shank was served on mash and with broccolini and gravy. It was a large as expected and went down well.

I had the roast vegetable and 3 cheese lasagne which was advertised as coming with a garden salad, but also featured a good serve of chips! The lasagne was warm and tasty without blowing me away.

The service was friendly and the atmosphere fun and typical of a good country pub, if that's what you are after then the Old Hepburn is a good choice!

Old Hepburn Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Kingston Hotel, Richmond

55 Highett Street
VIC 3121

After a disappointing result at the footy we headed to the Kingston Hotel in Richmond with the the better half's family. The smart old building sits on a quiet street not far from West Richmond station. The front bar area is fairly traditional too and you can also eat here.

We headed down to the restaurant, which has a more formal feel and views into the garden area. We ate fairly early and alone for the first part of our meal. The menu is the same as that in the bar area.

We took advantage of the 3 entrees for $30 offer, and Stuffed mushrooms were tender, moist and flavour filled.

The chicken wings were much brighter than the photo suggests!

pan fr ied pork & g inger, sp icy d ipp ing sauce

I had the fish and chips. The beer battered flat head tails had a great crisp batter encasing perfectly cooked fish. Both the chips and  mixed leaf salad also worked well.

The 350 grams of Black Angus scotch fillet came with kipfler potatoes, green beans and a red wine jus and seemed to go down well.

The bangers and mash featured local pork and fennel sausages, creamy mash, onion gravy and green peas kept Bruce happy.

Stu enjoyed his chicken parma, which also came with chips and a mixed leaf salad.

I don't re-call the fish of the day, but the better half wasn't a massive fan.

The mains were in the $25-$35 range, which seemed like fair value in quite a swish environment. The service was friendly and the dishes came out at a good pace for our group. It is somewhere we'd go back to if we were wanting to eat in Richmond again.

Kingston Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato