Spudbar Richmond

226 Swan St, Richmond
Phone: 9421 6033

When I used to study at Swinburne University in Hawthorn, I’d sometimes stop in at Spudbar for lunch. When I lived in Westgarth, I’d go to the baked potato place for dinner. I used to like shopping on Bridge Road more for the fact there was a baked potato place than for the outlet shops. Basically what I’m trying to say, is I like a good baked potato meal.

Spudbar is one of what I would refer to as a ‘Boost’-style eatery chains. They take a simple concept, execute it efficiently, if not spectacularly, and make it clean, accessible and ‘funky’. Sometimes it works, sometimes it can’t shake the mechanised cookie-cutter feel of a food court outlet. Spudbar is somewhere in between. The decor is interesting – the fitout is nice, if a little contrived in its quirkiness.

On this occasion, I had the chicken and chorizo spud.

It was a good topping, though it was definitely more chicken than chorizo. The corn and beetroot added a nice sweetness to the whole affair, though my main gripe with this was that the dish was all topping and not enough spud! Which is odd, considering that potatoes are probably the cheapest ingredient. Also, the use of the big Japanese ramen bowls (which are deeper than they are wide) made the mixing of ingredients a bit tricky.

Mr D had the classic spud (cheese, corn, cabbage, sour cream with a side of avocado.

It sounded a little bland, if you ask me. He seemed happy enough with it, but I think we both decided the place on Bridge Road (which isn’t that far away) is better.

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Izakaya Den

114 Russell St, Melbourne
Phone: 9654 2977

Sometimes life deals you some heavy blows. Your world comes crashing down around you, and everything seems a little surreal. It’s at those times that you remember the great people you have around you, who are there for you not because they have to be, but because they want to be.

I’ve been going through one of those times in recent weeks, and because my sister and brother-in-law are such absolute champions, they’ve been keeping me busy, and my mind off things I shouldn’t be dwelling on for now. One such outing was to Izakaya Den.

Since it opened in late 2009, Izakaya Den’s been on my list of places to visit. It took me long enough, but now that I’ve been, I can gladly say I was not disappointed, and were it not for my impending mortgage-ownership, I’d be a frequent visitor. There’s very little not to like about this place, unless of course, you have an aversion to sleek, modern interpretations of Japanese cuisine, or a sizeable mortgage to finance. This is your warning, people: be careful of your credit card here.

That being said, let’s talk about the food. Because the food is so worth walking about! We started off with some Japanese pickles. Daikon, cucumber, garlic shoots, and one other thing I can’t quite remember. They were all interesting, but not really a highlight. A nice way to start, though.

Then came the duck breast, peppered with pomegranate arils, resting on a little bed of cracked wheat. This dish was exceptional.
Swiftly thereafter, arrived the lamb short ribs. A deliciously sweet, sticky sauce, we ordered two serves of this in the end, because my sister missed out on the first one (they come in threes).
One of the things I love about izakaya dining is that you order a few dishes, drink some beer, sake or shochu, and then gauge where you’re at. At this point, we were all still wanting more food. Next came the quail.
Quail is always a winner for me, though I’m kind of used to the Chinese roasted/fried style. These were perfectly grilled, with sansho (Sichuan) pepper and the same pickled garlic shoots from before.
Beetroot with mushrooms. Not a typical Japanese dish, in my experience, but one that worked beautifully. The sweetness of the beetroot mingled in with the intense umami of the mushrooms; the whole thing just sings!
I had read about the tuna tataki over at Melbourne gastronome, so at Claire’s behest, I insisted that we order it. The dish has changed since she tried it. It was no longer a garlicky soy, but rather chilli (on the left) and wasabi (on the right) mayonnaise dressings. While this dish was nice, I think there were definitely better items on the menu.

One of them being the dengaku. This isn’t your ordinary nasu dengaku, because mixed in with the eggplant were chunks of sweet potato, and some amazingly textured substance which had us guessing and debating for quite a while. The texture was close to that of braised tendon, though it lacked the quality of being an animal product. In the end, I concluded that it was most probably a very stiff agar-based jelly. Anyone else tried this dish and care to enlighten me?

We had some grilled octopus next – by this stage we were a few drinks in, and still in need of food – which was amazingly tender, and laced with a delicate smokiness. This was better than even Greek grilled octopus, in my opinion. And nobody grills octopus like the Greeks. Except for the Japanese, apparently.
Tofu balls. These were a bit meh, for me, though my sister loved them. I found the texture a bit off-putting, as it was that cooked-then-broken-then-cooked-again tofu. The bonito shavings on the top did a merry dance for us as they arrived at the table, however.
Miso soup with pippies. This was a nice way to round out the savoury dishes, though there were an annoyingly large number of barely and semi-opened pippies.
After all of this, we decided that yes, we did still want desserts. Though the idea was floated that we head elsewhere for roast duck noodles, for about the same price, and fill our bellies. But the sweet siren song of dessert won out.

B-i-L and his friend shared the chocolate and yuzu fondue. It came with little mochi-like gelatinous balls to dip in the yuzu-flavoured chocolate. I tried one, and it wasn’t that inspired, to be honest.

Sis and I decided to split two desserts – the white sesame mousse with tapioca,and a ginger creme brulee.
Both were amazing! The white sesame mousse was much more delicately flavoured than most black sesame desserts you find at Asian restaurants, and there was a red bean surprise in the centre.
The ginger creme brulee was a cut above any creme brulee I’ve ever tasted. But I’m biased, because I’m a huge fan of ginger. So beyond the delightful crack of the bruleed top, and the delicate smooth creaminess of the custard, what I loved about this dessert was the absolutely uncompromising sharpness of the ginger. I can only assume that fresh ginger juice had been added at the last minute to the custard before it was set, because the zing was unlike anything you can achieve once you heat and cook ginger through. Anyway, enough gushing, it was sublime.

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Limerick Castle Hotel

161 Errol St, North Melbourne
Phone: 9329 6454

There seems to be a trend of closing pubs around my work. The Redback closed last year, and more recently, Naughton’s closed. While this is plainly terrible to the college students who rely on the pub for readily accessible booze, it also shrinks the number of places to go for a quick and easy work lunch around Parkville.

The building manager Mr N likes to head down to the Limerick Castle for lunch, and sometimes an afternoon beer. I wish I were a building manager sometimes. So when we had to find a venue for a colleague’s farewell lunch recently, we took Mr N’s suggestion and went over to his local.

First thing I’d like to note about the Limerick Castle is that the prices are super cheap. I mean like pub prices you would have expected to see five or ten years ago. The service is also friendly, and there’s a bistro bit out the back, as well as a beer garden, should you feel the need to escape the screens silently displaying the racing results. Yes, this is a TAB pub.

And seeing as I’d never tried it before, I ordered the Lamb’s fry. A steal at $10. I know, it’s offal, and offal is cheap, but still, $10 seemed a bargain for this huge serve.

The liver (because that’s what lamb’s fry is, you see) was just a touch on the over-cooked side, but still it wasn’t dry or tough. That iron-y liver taste was well paired with bacon and grilled tomato, all of this being held together by an onion gravy and soft, creamy mashed potato. Soul-warming stuff.

A couple of my workmates had the chilli con carne. It comes with rice and is surrounded by corn chips. They both said it was good.

A few of the ladies had the emperor fish and chips (I think it’s a lot like snapper?) which apparently had a nice spice and herb crumb to it.

However about half of the table went for the ‘Chicken Sanga’. It looked like a heft sandwich, with the only complaint being there might have been a bit too much mayo, which made it a bit messy to eat.
So if you’re after a hearty pub lunch in North Melbourne, you’ll probably enjoy the Limerick Castle. It’s not fancy, but it’s got a lot of heart. And liver.

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Las Vegan (Nirvana) Cafe

22 Smith St, Collingwood
Phone: 9415 9001

I wonder sometimes about becoming a vegetarian. Even just for a short while. I went ‘vegequarian’ for a few months back in 2007, but I soon backslid and added chicken to my diet, and then I moved to Viet Nam, and well, that was the end of that. But funnily, Ms K, whom I met in Viet Nam actually, remains one of the few people who I see (and therefore eat with) on a regular basis who’s a vegetarian.

Last week, we were arranging to meet up for dinner with another friend, Ms N. Ms K suggested Trippy Taco, and I suggested no, on account of the tragic hipster quotient – that place is fixie bike central.

We settled upon Las Vegan, which she likes to call Nirvana, and which I had lived around the corner from for a year and had never visited. I’ll file that one under Baden Powell and Prince Patrick. Las Vegan has won awards, but call me a rampant omnivore, I still wasn’t that excited by the prospect of a vegan restaurant. I was soon to be pleasantly surprised.

The girls started in on their self-serve ‘bottomless chai’, and I had a large glass of apple juice. Because I hate chai. Hate it. We were all a little famished, so we ordered the ‘big bowl of chips’ to share.

Thick chips with skins on, these had a wonderful flavour, though they could’ve been a little more crisp, I feel. The came with sweet chilli sauce, a vegan mayonnaise (a reason in itself why I will never become a vegan) and an interesting, if somewhat bland, satay sauce.

Ms K ordered the chilli ‘non’ carne, which she thoroughly enjoyed. I snuck a quick bite of the beans, which were quite flavoursome.

Ms N opted for the nasi goreng-style rice balls, which came with a satay sauce and a heavily bean-shooted salad. She also let me sneak a bite. The rice balls were good – nice crispy outside, with well seasoned rice. I thought to myself I would’ve needed three of these for dinner, but Ms N was satisfied with two.
I thought I’d try the lentil burger, because, well, a Vegan place must knock up a pretty decent lentil burger, right?
It came out and was one of those burgers that is taller than it is wide. The salad was a little tokenistic, because this was one hearty burger. So very tasty, it totally hit the spot. So much so that I didn’t even miss the idea of cheese (I’m a big fan of cheese on my burgers).

I probably should try to reduce the amount of meat in my diet, if I’m being honest. I eat a lot of meat. Not as much as my brother-in-law, who was aghast at the idea I would make a sweet potato curry: “Yeah, but what meat are you putting in it?” but I probably don’t need to be eating it two meals a day. Penny’s managed to curb her meat consumption so by instituting meatless Mondays. Maybe I’ll try that in my new life as a homo-wner. Yes dear readers, expect posts about my new kitchen in the coming months.

In the mean time, Las Vegan is an easy and cheap way to have more vegetarian meals, if you’re in and around Collingwood.

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Hotel Lincoln

91 Cardigan St, Carlton
Phone: 9347 4666

You can thank/blame the duck enabler for this one. I had heard through the twitters that Hotel Lincoln had a duck pie on the menu, so on a Friday night, after a couple of hours of indoor climbing at Hard Rock, I wandered up Cardigan St with my sister and brother-in-law – I’m never going to get tired of the idea I have a brother – and Mr E and Ms J for some dinner. To my chagrin, and the disappointment of Ms J, we found out that the duck pie was only available on Tuesday nights, so no duck pie for us.

I hadn’t been to the Lincoln in years, and I don’t think I’d ever eaten there before. I was expecting something of a gastropub, but I didn’t quite expect that there was what felt a quite prim and proper restaurant out the back! Needless to say, we were all a tad under dressed, and I’m fairly sure the staff were unimpressed when we traipsed in. Still, to their credit, they were supremely professional, and I think they warmed to our table, despite Ms J’s rather gauche insisting question as to whether we’d get bread for the table. She was pretty famished, you see. In hindsight, we perhaps should have eaten in the bar!

As the mains were likely to take a while – you’ll see why below – so Mr E ordered the smoked trout pate with avocado and toast as a starter for the table. The trout was a little too solid to be called a pate in my opinion, but it tasted good, and was well paired with the avocado and shaved fennel.

The mains arrived not long after, with my sis, Ms J and Mr E all ordering the duck cassoulet. For such a hearty dish, the servings were plentiful. I suppose they would have to be, since the cassoulet contained confit duck, pork belly and sausage. I tried a little of the duck and the sausage, but people get a little possessive when it comes to pork belly, it seems… The duck was beautifully cooked, and worked beautifully with the beans. The sausage was a touch on the salty side, I thought.
I ordered the veal osso bucco, with soft polenta and gremolata. On a cold Winter’s night, this dish really hit the spot.
The veal was tender and falling off the bone, and the hearty richness was rounded out by the polenta. This sounds all a bit too heavy, but thankfully the sharpness of the gremolata cut through it. I loved this dish, and my only disappointment was that I wasn’t able to get the bone marrow out with the fat clumsy knife with which I was provided.

My brother-in-law (see, still cool!) had the roasted kingfish fillet, with kipfler potatoes, spinach and anchovy butter.

This was a supremely well-conceived dish. Although I found the kingfish just a touch too ‘fishy’ for my liking, this was beautifully complemented by the buttery-ness of the potatoes, and the saltiness of the spinach which carried he anchovy butter. The squeeze of lemon set it all off perfectly.

The food at the Lincoln was, in a word, great. The service was, in a word, excellent. I was a little disappointed at the small range of option on the menu, but I guess what they do produce, the produce extremely well. I’d definitely recommend you visit, but just be aware that prices are more fine dining than pub, and the atmosphere is that way too.

Hotel Lincoln on Urbanspoon

Grossi Florentino (Cellar Bar)

80 Bourke St, Melbourne
Phone: 9662 1811

Sometimes writing a food blog is a great thing. You get to try lots of new places, occasionally you get invited to events and get stuff for free, and you get to meet lots of other like-minded people. But sometimes it’s also a curse. You can fall into the trap of constantly seeking out the next experience, trying the brand new place, and you sometimes instinctively opt for the unknown purely because you haven’t blogged about it yet.

But then some days, you think, “Forget it. I’m just going to eat at this place because I like the food there. I know it, and it’s comforting.” I met up with Alex of the MSG for dinner the other night, and funnily, as two food bloggers, we were a little unsure where to go. The last time this happened, we ended up at Ca de Vin, which was underwhelming. So this time, I suggested we go to the Cellar Bar at Grossi Florentino, as I’ve been there in the past, and had always enjoyed myself there.

The Cellar Bar is the cosy little annex which hangs off the main Grill and Upstairs parts of the Grossi Florentino restaurant. It’s by far the most casual of the three – I don’t believe they take bookings, and tables are small and close together – and they serve up what I think is pretty traditional trattoria fare. The atmosphere is warm and convivial, and the seasoned waiters treat you with a relaxed familiarity which I find charming. Even though the unspoken assumption that we both wanted Parmesan on our dishes was a little bit unexpected.

This visit, I finally tried a dish on the menu that I’d been eyeballing for years – the Trippa alla Fiorentina, or Florentine Tripe.

The tripe almost acts as a pasta in this dish. A delicious, soft-yet-springy, decidedly meaty pasta. It should come to no surprise to the reader that I am a fan of most things offal, and I’m not sure I would recommend this dish to those who don’t like the idea of eating parts of the animal other than the flesh. The tripe was beautifully cooked, and worked well with a bright and fresh tomato sauce. Carrots and some raisins brought some sweetness to the dish, which offset the acid of the tomato brilliantly.

Alex had the parpadelle, with duck livers and mushroom.

The pasta was cooked to perfection – just al dente – and there was a good amount of mushroom there, but Alex felt that it was a little lacking in the duck liver department. And the sauce seemed a little on the runny side. I felt a little bad, because I had mistakenly recommended the dish. I think last time I was there, it was parpadelle with a duck ragu.

Oh, and I promised Alex I’d mention the lack of cracked pepper at Cellar Bar, which I too thought was a little odd.

All in all, Cellar Bar is a nice informal place, probably a good second or third date venue, but have a fall-back, because it gets very busy on weekends! I haven’t been to the Grill or the famous Upstairs Fine Dining, but I hope to soon. Well, the Grill part, at least. Not sure my budget will be ready for the Upstairs any time soon.

Grossi Florentino on Urbanspoon

Thanh Tam

172 Victoria St, Richmond
Phone: 9429 8130

There’s apparently some sort of superstition amongst the Vietnamese that to have a restaurant with the same name for too long is bad luck. Or so the story goes. That hasn’t stopped local favourites like Pho Dzung, Pho Chu The or Thy Thy from trading under the same name for decades. There’s another theory that by changing the trading name, a restaurant does something of a ‘clean slate’ thing with the tax office, etc. I’m thinking the change from Thanh Ha to Thanh Tam is probably something closer to the latter. Of course, this does nothing to alleviate the confusion caused by the fact that Thanh Ha 2 is still very much in business down the street! And nothing else about Thanh Tam has changed from when it was Thanh Ha, either.

Thanh Ha was always one of my favourite restaurants along Victoria St, and I think Thanh Tam will remain one too. This is in part because they make a mean banh xeo, my favourite Vietnamese dish. For the variety available on the menu alone, this place is a WIN. And by variety, I don’t mean four different options of meat multiplied by twenty different sauces. They’re one of only a few restaurants along the strip that serve banh hoi – a superfine rice vermicelli that comes in little ‘cakes’ – and banh cuon – steamed rice noodle.

Most recently, I stopped in for a classic. Com tam bi suon cha trung. Broken rice with the lot (shredded pork skin, grilled pork chop, steamed pork and egg pate, and a fried egg).

It was a solid effort, but I’ll be honest and say I’ve had better. The pork chop was a little on the dry and tough side, which funnily reminds me of Viet Nam, and the egg was similarly far too overcooked. One of my favourite things about com tam is the runny yolk mixing with the fish sauce and coating the broken rice. Simple pleasure. The shredded pork skin was well flavoured, and the pork and egg pate was OK, if not great. Little lardons as a garnish were a nice touch.

On a separate occasion, I had the bun dac biet Thanh Ha (Thanh Ha special rice vermicelli).

Topped with grilled pork, prawn and pork spring rolls, and a couple of sauteed prawns, you douse this whole dish with the fish sauce provided, toss through the lettuce and cucumber strips, and away you go. The standard versions of this are bun thit nuong and bun cha gio, with either grilled pork or spring rolls. So this version is good if you can’t decide what you want!

Mr D had the Vietnamese coleslaw with chicken.

He agreed to me removing a couple of the prawn crackers from this side of the dish so I could show you all the mound of coleslaw hidden underneath. And before you scoff at prawn crackers, this is how it’s served in Viet Nam. You take a bit of the coleslaw, place it on the cracker, and it’s like chip’n’dip, only SO. MUCH. BETTER. This is also a great dish to share as an entree amongst a few people. My only criticism of it was that the fish sauce vinaigrette was a bit on the sweet side, and could have used a bit more lemon.

When people ask me to recommend places along Victoria St, I inevitably ask them what they’re after: pho, rice, banh xeo? Thanh Tam is a good option that I give them if they say they don’t know. Reliably good, and ridiculously cheap.

Thanh Tam on Urbanspoon

Izakaya Chuji

165 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Phone: 9663 8118You know a place is an ‘institution’ when they’re selling branded merchandise (read t-shirts) at the cash register. Izakaya Chuji is one of those places. One of the first izakayas in Melbourne, if not the first, Chuji – as my friends and I refer to it – has been around since 1989! I first started going there during my uni days. Back in the heady days at the turn of the millennium, when all things Japanese were cool, Chuji was our favourite Japanese restaurant. The food was good, the prices low, and we were far too busy playing out the dramas of our young adult lives to care if the service was not so great.

Not a lot has changed in the interceding decade. Chuji still serves up goof Japanese food, specialising in sushi, bento and the smaller snack-plates (I loathe the term ‘Japanese tapas’) which are the essence of izakaya-style restaurants. They also have yakiniku grills upstairs. Suitably, Chuji also has a good selection of Japanese beers. I still have yet to visit the sister sake bar which popped up next door a couple of years back, but one of these days…

Last time I went to Chuji, it was a catch up with Mr I. We’ve known each other since the uni days, so Chuji’s one of our fall-back places when we catch up.

I ordered the agedashi tofu to start.

Agedashi tofu is a favourite dish of mine, and Chuji puts out a good version, though I think the decision to thicken the dashi sauce – which has happened somewhere in the last couple of years – is a bad one. I don’t like the fact that so much sauce clings to the fried tofu. Also, the choice of carrot as a garnish instead of bonito flakes is a little disappointing. The tofu, however, is fried well, and manages to reach the table still crispy.

I also ordered the mixed kim chee, because I thought I might need some vegetables. See mum, I DO eat vegetables!

These weren’t great – the various vegetables had a very similar flavour, except the chinese cabbage kim chee, which had some more chilli to it. Anyway, it was altogether too sweet. I guess that’ll learn me to order kim chee at a Japanese restaurant, and not a Korean restaurant.

Mr I had the cheese gyoza from the specials board. They’ve been on the specials board for months, by the way. We saw them there last time, but no-one was quite brave enough to order them.

They were actually pretty good, however. The switch from soy sauce to mayo was a good move, and the fact they’re deep-fried is also wise. Pan-fried ones would have had an oily, soggy texture, I think.

Mr I also had the yakisoba. I personally don’t like yakisoba – I think it’s probably my least favourite of the various Asian stir-fried noodles. But it’s not the first  time he’s had it at Chuji, so I assume he likes it.

I was in the mood for some more fried goodness, so I had the curry katsudon. The pork was a little on the dry side, but the curry was delightfully rich, even if Japanese curries are the biggest wimps of all curries.
Izakaya Chuji is a reliable stalwart, serving decent Japanese food at very reasonable prices. It’s not pretentious, but it’s similarly not impressive. A good relaxed place to eat and hang out with friends.

Izakaya Chuji on Urbanspoon

Etro cafe

49 King St, Perth CBD
Phone: (08) 9481 1148

We’re back in Perth again. OK, so this was from the same trip as the one when I went to tiger,tiger. Only 24 hours later, and significantly more hungover.

Mr N and I met up with my friend Ms C, who’s a local Perth girl. We stopped in at Etro on King St, mostly because it was close to our hotel. King St in Perth is a funny place, with high end boutiques and smart cafes. Yet it all feels so pristinely clean, not unlike a movie set at Movieworld. In fact, a lot of the Perth CBD feels like that.

What shocks me, but really shouldn’t, given the warnings I’d received, and the fact the town has bloated on mining riches, is that food is generally more expensive in Perth than in Melbourne. Noticeably so. Which would be fine, if service was better. Which at Etro, it’s not. I made the comment at one stage that it’s almost justifiable that service is crappy in Perth on a Sunday, because the waitresses are the only people who have to work Sundays.

In any case, I ordered the big breakfast.

The eggs were good, but pretty much everything else on this plate was mediocre. The bacon was particularly unappetising – which is strange, given my hangover – being not quite crispy, but sort of dry.

Mr N had the omelette Marchande, which came without any bread, but was hefty enough not to warrant any. He said it was quite good, and struggled a little to finish it all.


Having already been to work that morning, Ms C was in more of a lunch mood, and ordered the calamari salad. Which seemed rather stingy with the calamari, if you ask me.


I wouldn’t really go back to Etro, apart from the fact that so many places in Perth are closed on Sundays. Still, there would have to be better options.

Etro Cafe Bistro on Urbanspoon

STREAT

St Paul’s Court, Federation Square (Flinders St edge)
Phone: 0425 058 724

Sponsored by Nuffnang

I’m not in the city during daylight hours much in Winter, so it was a surprise to me to hear that STREAT had been operating in Federation Square since March this year. STREAT is a social enterprise which both serves a diverse range of grab-and-go street food and trains homeless young people, providing with a pathway to a career in hospitality. The organisation is very much in the same mould as more high-profile ventures such KOTO in Hanoi, and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurants. STREAT takes over 40 young people each year, and puts them through a six month training program, while also supporting them in other aspects of their lives. The trainees are then transitioned into jobs in hospitality.

In more concrete sense, STREAT is a food cart that sets up its wares each morning (Tues-Sat) on the Flinders St edge of Fed Square. In the tradition of all great street food, the STREAT cart quite a compact set up, with food prep being carried out in a commercial kitchen off-site, the little cart, adorned with dried chillies and herbs, manages to pack in just enough kitchen to produce some great food. The menu changes daily, inspired by street food carts from around the world. One day it might be som tum (a Thai green papaya salad), the next you might find them serving chicken satay on rice, or Seekh lamb kebabs.


The day I visited I decided to try the Jamaican jerk chicken and pineapple salsa wrap ($9).


It was tasty, with a nice balance of sweetness and acid. The chicken was tender, and the pineapple lent a nice texture to the wrap. I did feel that it would have benefited with a little lettuce, or maybe even some rice, to trap the sauce, as the wrap started to drip not long after my first bite. Still, great food isn’t always neat, right?

Ms A just missed the last chickpea and lentil wrap – all sold out! – so instead, she had the sweet potato, leek and lentil soup. $7 for a large serve, it came with a warm multi-grain roll.

She was kind enough to let me try a little, and on a chilly day as it was, I certainly appreciated how hearty it was. There was a nice use of spices, and just a little kick of chilli, too!
There’s not much seating at STREAT, but it’s right near the sloping steps leading into Fed Square, so weather permitting, it’s not a bad idea to park yourself there with you meal. There’s often some entertaining busker putting on a show for your entertainment. Last time, I saw a guy balancing on a pole, cracking a flaming whip!

So go check it out, especially you office workers nearby! They have a loyalty card where if you have nine meals there, the tenth goes to a homeless person! You get to feed your belly as well as someone else’s who needs it.

Foursquare users, if you check in at STREAT anytime this August, you can get a meal with a bottle of water for only $10. And for more details about things going on in and around Fed Square, iPhone users can download the Fed Square app.

Competition: The kind folk at STREAT have provided a meal for two for me to giveaway to my readers. So leave a comment below, telling me what your favourite street food is – and where you found it – by 5pm on the 10th of August, and you’ll go into the draw to win! Winners will be announced on this blog.

Streat on Urbanspoon

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Nuffnang and Federation Square, and Ms A and I chowed down as the guest of STREAT. I like to think my account was unbiased, but you may not agree. For a completely unbiased take on the STREAT experience, you can also see Penny’s review at jeroxie.com. She takes better pictures than me, too!