Beef salad with cucumber and beanshoots, and a lemongrass and basil chicken stir fry. But wait, there’s more!
That’s right, punters! Red duck curry, with mini eggplants, pineapple and lychees. I’m going to add okra next time. Forgot to photograph the chicken satays and son-in-law eggs for entree. Oops!
89 Flemington Rd, North Melbourne
Avist is one of the few quality places near my work. They make these awesome homemade pies (well, parcels, really) – the pastry is nicely short, and wonderfully flaky, and the filling is moist, tasty and you can see exactly what’s in it. Big shreds of chicken. Yummo! The salads rotate, but there’s usually an experimental one. This one was pumpkin, potato and carrot, with some rocket etc. Pretty standard, except they (for some reason) had kiwifruit in it. A little oddly sweet, but still very enjoyable.
133 Chapel St, Windsor
Phone: 9529 1198
OK, so I was really quite drunk at the time, so I ordered a starter for two as a main for one… but just about everything on this plate was awesome! Highlights: smoked sweet potato dip, saganaki, grilled eggplants, chorizo.
258 Victoria St, Richmond
Phone: 9428 8288
Yup, yet another pho review. The soup was very tasty, but this was more a result of too much MSG than anything else. Good noodle to meat ratio, but there was a lack of peppery beef sausage, and the greens/shoots were a little on the stingy side. Not bad, but only go there if Pho Chu The is closed or full.
94-96 Bourke St, CBD
Phone: 9639 8444
Despite the cringe factor of eating at a pub chain, this wasn’t bad. I forgot to ask for it rare, though they didn’t ask, so I guess there may not be an option. The stuffing was good, though there was altogether too much of it. Good with the chips I poached off my friends’ plates.
um, yum! with blueberries!
My friend invited me to a dinner party on the weekend, and I offered to bring dessert. The last dinner party we had co-hosted with another friend had consisted of no less than six courses, so the bar was high.
I was told the theme was loosely Mediterranean, so I was struggling a little. In the end, I went slightly Spanish, with some Moorish influences. Then I sort of just abandoned the theme…
Top left is crema catalana. A variation on creme brûlée, only accented with citrus and cinnamon instead of vanilla. Next to that, is a baked peach in filo, topped with pistachio and cardamom spiced ricotta. In the foreground is some orange, date and fig gastrique, and finally two macarons: one with a dark chocolate and tangello ganache, the other with white chocolate and passionfruit. All in all, a smashing success! Paired with a Yering Station late harvest Pinot Gris.
102 Hopkins St, Footscray
Phone: 9689 4392
I will admit to being drawn in by the photos of food in the window (which often is not a good move) but I was reassured by the breadth and presentation of the menu – a display folder with thick plastic sleeves, and photos of the specialty dishes.
The com tam (broken rice) was satisfactory, but not amazing. The pork chop was a little underseasoned, and the nuoc cham (prepared fish sauce) lacked punch. Points for a perfectly fried egg, and ample amounts of bi (shredded pork and pork skin).
From the look of the menu, perhaps I should have been a little more adventurous, but com tam is often a good benchmark for Vietnamese restaurants in Australia, I find.
Brunswick St & Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Phone: 9415 7588
It might just be because of the reputation, or that I’m not a huge crepe fan, or perhaps they were just having an off night. But I was distinctly underwhelmed. First of all, they were out of sausage. And cider. And ice cream!? Sacre bleu! Anyway, the provencale (cheese, egg and ratatouille) was quite good, but just made me think I want curry sauce and Malaysian roti. the chestnut and rhum flambé crepe was exciting, until I got to the rum-soaked bit. then, not so much. Better than the Pancake Parlour, if you’re a crepe fan.