Archive for the ‘Melbourne Eating’ Category

Igni, Geelong

October 9, 2016

Ryan Place, Geelong

Business down in Geelong. Made sure it was on a day that Igni was open. Well worth the effort.

It’s sleek & relaxed, incongruously on a lane way of this regional city. The food is mostly prepared on an open grill. There is no menu and no diner gets the same menu. Food envy is hard to avoid. 

It’s all pretty excellent. Really interesting native ingredients. 

Nice array of starters, especially chicken skin with cod roe. Notable dishes included squid noodles, wagyu/artichoke, beetroot/whey, pepper ice cream with strawberries. 

Worth a trip to Geelong.


Minimishima, Melbourne

October 9, 2016

4 Lord Street, Richmond

Pretty good sushi place. Ingredients were excellent quality, but preparations varied too much, especially in terms of temperature. The formal staff, lack of any choice apart from the otoro/caviar upsell made this a very hard place to love. You’re on a conveyor belt and are in & out in about an hour. Better as a lunchtime venue.

Tipo 00, Melbourne

June 26, 2016

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Another rough day in Melbourne. Needed a dinner to soothe the soul. Italian of course. Glass of wine in hand by 5pm. Chefs menu. Simple, excellent ingredients – arancini, tomatoes/burrata & bizarrely two squid courses (why?) duck/gnocchi & deconstructed tiramisu. Worth it.

Estelle by Scott Pickett, Melbourne

January 15, 2016

245 High Street, Northcote, VIC

Not in Melbourne. After a 30 minute taxi ride I discovered it was in Northcote. Last minute booking etc. Big open plan kitchen, lots of fawning customers. Running the gauntlet between style & substance. Green tomatoes are clearly ingredient du-jour. tuna, salmon, lamb, duck. Chocolate, Doughnut. Text book degustation. Worth the Uber.  


Sichuan House, Melbourne

April 26, 2015
22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne

Three words – cumin pork ribs. Helps a cheap bottle of white go down in 20 mins. 10/10. Would do it again.


Moon Under Water, Melbourne

April 25, 2015
211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy

A cosy restaurant with a nice happy vibe. Excellent service. Very on trend food, well ‘cooked’ – radishes, burrata, charcoal cooked beef, granita.

Not a birthday, just two bottles of wine shenanigans.







Saint Crispin, Melbourne

April 25, 2015
300 Smith Street, Collingwood

Weekend away in Melbourne. I come here all the time for work, so why not spend more time…. A great evening – Interstellar at Imax. Dinner at Saint Crispin. Casual dining with serious food.

The Coq au Vin was one of the best dishes I ate all year – pressed thigh, leg pastille, poached breast with a dynamite chicken liver sauce.





Lee Ho Fook, Melbourne

April 25, 2015
92 Smith Street, Collingwood

Monday night tasting menu of Jian cuisine with matching Whiskies. What’s not to like? Answer: Nothing

Steamed custard with prawns, scallops, bugs. Black vinegar barramundi. Duck with red salad. Red braised pork belly. Gogi berry granite. Jasmine custard with burnt caramel.

Slightly hammered. Passed out on the plane on the way home.







Flower Drum, Melbourne

September 14, 2014
17 Market Lane, Melbourne

It’s been a while since my last post (again). Pics stay on phone etc.

So back in January. A morning meeting in Melbourne that ended early. An hour or so to kill before the return flight. A sneaky visit to this institution with my SAD.

A lovely room – big, airy, tables widely spaced. Ideal for heavy discussions.

Food was a real surprise – no frills, clean and simple. “Let the ingredients do all the talking” is not something I’d associate with Cantonese food. I was expecting big flavours, that didn’t really materialise. Maybe a symptom of my westernised experiences, but I wasn’t blown away. Would be worth a second visit.





Vue De Monde, Melbourne

February 27, 2012

Level 55 Rialto Building, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne

Continuing the brief work/gourmet trip in Melbourne – a ‘working lunch’ at Vue Du Monde. This is certainly a restaurant with a sense of occasion. The views cover the whole of Melbourne. The pictures don’t do it justice, but it’s seriously bright, raising the question whether it’s appropriate to wear sunglasses inside a restaurant. I resist, principally because I don’t own a pair of sunglasses to look stylish in.

Lightness outside, darkness inside – black floor and dark leather tables:

The centrepiece is no doubt to help (re)establish our connection with the ground – lots of chiseled stone and gnarled wood that all play a part in the meal. Someone’s clearly given this a lot of thought.

“Don’t shoot me, I’m only the sommelier”

Unfortunately we don’t have the rest of the afternoon to linger over lunch, I have a 3.30pm flight, so we opt for the a la carte and get a serious move on.

A curious selection of amuses: Oyster, Celeriac, Sunflower seed, Smoked eel, white chocolate, caviar

Interesting little bites. The crisps aren’t going to rock anyone’s world, but the eel, white chocolate and caviar is a spectacular bite, covering most of the range of tastes.

Salt cured venison – blood red. Very good.

Continuing the theatre – Bread & butter:

housemade butter with a nice selection of bread served in a leather bag with hot rocks. Cute.

The meal starts proper with “Melbourne club”

A deconstructed melbourne club sandwich (was not sure if I should have heard of one before). The point of deconstruction, to hero every element and help discover new combination and taste sensation. It was wasted on this dish. Some ho-hum ham, anchovy, cheese crisp, mayonnaise etc. Almost nothing to get excited about. Moving swiftly on….

Lamb sweetbreads, prawn, raisin

A cute dish, compressed prawn served with excellent sweetbread – creamy inside, decent exterior crust. Flowers provided some lightness of touch. A hipster surf & turf. Decent.

My dining colleague went native: Kangaroo, beetroot, chocolate

A palate cleaner before the main: Cucumber sorbet, crushed herbs

One of the most memorable parts of the meal (not a slight on the rest of it). Fresh herbs are doused with dry ice which the diner then crushes. It’s served with a refreshing cucumber sorbet. It’s lovely.

The main is excellent: Wagyu beef, onion, mustard

Hi-grade Tenderloin and Brisket. It’s beautiful – great range of flavours and texture. The saucing is the mildest of horseradish creams with contrast provided by deep fried & blanched onion rings. Not heavy at all. A dish to eat all day.

And so onto dessert. Had just over an hour to make my flight, so this may not have got the attention it deserved:

Beer & Nuts – Passionfruit, licorice, coconut

We split a cheese & pud:

Cheese Trolley! A rarity in Australia – a proper cheese selection (with enthusiastic waiter)

I opt for Pavlova

Yet another deconstructed dish- but this works. fresh & dehydrated strawberries, blueberries with cute chewy meringue and mint. Excellent textures that really add to the taste.

The cheese-plate in all it’s glory with more condiments that you can shake a stick at.

Petit fours- We wolf these down

Memories from an Aussie childhood (I’m led to believe). Honourable mention to the Golden Gaytimes & Penny Jellies.

Not a perfect lunch, but worthy of attention and a second visit. Every plate needs to impress at this level and there was inconsistencies in some of the dishes. But there’s more than enough to generate interest and talk-ability. The view and decor can often distract from the main event and the food with it’s inventiveness ensures the correct attention, but exposes some of the dishes that seem bereft of inspiration (I’m looking at you Melbourne Club). The service was excellent- enthusiastic and relaxed staff who were happy to accommodate. See you soon Vue De Monde.