eating out

Amaru

Heirloom tomatoes cooked with Marron head sauce

You know how they say you should always say yes to an opportunity?

Well, on a smaller scale, you should also always say yes to “do you want to come to xx restaurant?” because even if you don’t know what on earth your friend is talking about, you’ll probably still have a good time.

Yes, that’s how we ended up at Amaru with Haz, Gaz and Thanh, several days after the restaurant opened. It took me a while after agreeing to lunch to join the dots – Amaru is the first restaurant of Clinton McIver, who had a stint serving degustations at the Clayton Bowls Club (and who also worked at Vue de Monde).

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Lume

Beef cheek

It’s been a while since I’ve had a meal like the one at Lume.

They opened in South Melbourne a few months ago, bucking the trend for casual, shared dish restaurants, instead serving a long (LONG) degustation filled with adventurous and unique dishes.

Alastair and I went to lunch at Lume with Haz and Gaz at the beginning of November. At the time of our visit, it was $140 for a 15 course meal (I believe it’s now $165). Upon arrival we were seated in the (covered) courtyard out the back, which was filled with natural light and had a wall of greenery.

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Cecconi’s

Table

Disclosure: I attended and dined courtesy of Cecconi and AMPR.

I suppose we’re officially in winter now, aren’t we? Well, let’s pretend that we’re still in autumn (I’d like to pretend that we’re not in winter anyway) as the other month I was invited to Cecconi’s for an autumn menu tasting.

Cecconi’s has been in the city for quite a long time now: apparently almost a decade, so it’s terrible that this was my first visit to the Flinders Lane location. I actually remember the Cecconi’s that was at Crown, quite a long time ago now – Alastair and I ate there with Annette and Terry not long after we moved to Melbourne.

They must be doing something right to have been around the Melbourne dining scene for so long and I was excited to finally pay them a visit.

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Prahran Market: Taste Prahran Market

Gelato top

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of Prahran Market.

Several weeks ago I wandered Prahran Market with a voucher booklet and a food paddle collecting food when I was invited to attend the Taste of Prahran Market event, part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

This event sells out extremely quickly each year, and now that I’ve done it, I can see why.

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Black Caviar: Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup 2014 preview

Beer

I attended the Crown Golden Ale Caulfield Cup preview dinner courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club and Haystac.

Well. Hello! My month’s absence was mostly an unintended hiatus. I can’t even really say that I was busy? We returned home from our holiday, I hung out at home for a bit, went back to work, and blogging just went on the backburner (much like editing holiday photos oyyyyy).

However, one thing I did do in the past month was this dinner at Caulfield Racecourse.

Now I do have a confession to make. 10+ years in Melbourne, and despite living not particularly far from the Flemington Racecourse, I have never yet been to the races. But that is changing this year. Thanks to Haystac I’m heading to the Caulfield Cup next weekend, and I also attended this preview dinner for the Black Caviar restaurant at Caulfield Racecourse.

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St Kilda Dispensary

St Kilda Dispensary

St Kilda Dispensary is a sweet cafe on Brighton Road – near the corner of St Kilda Road and Carlisle Street. The name is a reference to the original usage of the building, which was – surprise surprise – a dispensary. The cafe runs over two rooms, and while small it’s really cute inside, with a colour scheme of white and green, and decorated with lots of vintage pharmaceutical and medical items.

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Cobb Lane

Coffee

Pastry chef, Matt Forbes, has been supplying baked goods to various cafes (eg Twenty & Six, Clement, Dukes Coffee Roasters) around Melbourne for a while and recently opened his own venture in Yarraville: Cobb Lane.

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Taxi: Ducks in a Row luncheon

Taxi

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of Taxi and Little Big Marketing.

As part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Roast series, Taxi are holding a “Ducks in a Row” luncheon each Sunday in June. In case you haven’t figured out from the name, the theme is ducky duck duck, with a 5 course set menu for $85 per person.

Taxi uses free range ducks from a new producer, Great Ocean Ducks, in the Mornington Peninsula. We were told that the ducks are fed strawberries in the summer, and apples in the winter (mostly because that’s what is readily available rather than for flavour purposes). But – cute, right?

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