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).
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.
My friend Maztech and I have birthdays a few days apart. For our birthday in 2011, we booked in an early birthday lunch at Loam. We loved it so much that for our 2012 birthdays in December we visited again, dragging along Alastair and Dazzle.
When my FIL visited over Christmas, one of the few things he requested to do was a degustation.
I mean – we could’ve taken him to see the Melbourne sights: the beautiful Yarra River as it glints brownly in the sun, the finger biting excitement of a hook turn in the city, the half finished Docklands wheel overlooking Costco and the cargo ports ** – but having a nice meal sounded much more fun to me.
(**I say all this in jest! I do love Melbourne, really.)
So we booked in dinner at the Estelle. You may remember that Alastair and I had lunch there in mid-2012.
Moon Under Water is the latest offering by Andrew McConnell, who seems to be gradually taking over Melbourne with his restaurant empire: Cumulus Inc, Cutler & Co, Golden Fields, and The Builders Arms.
Part of The Builders Arms, Moon Under Water is the more formal dining room, and I’m not sure if this is part of the formality but the room is white. It’s white white white. The floor is white, the walls are white, the ceiling is white, the linen is white. You wouldn’t think that white could make such a loud statement but it does. (I’m not sure what that statement is, except for: white!)
Foodwise, it’s a set menu – $75 for four courses (and a couple of additional nibbles) that changes weekly.
I am a big fan of Cumulus Inc and Cutler & Co, so was pretty keen to check it out, dragging along Alastair, Maztech, Dazzle, Bro and Bro’s gf (aka the usual suspects group 1).
Disclosure: Alastair and I attended in exchange for the photos from MPH’s last wine dinner.
Also, this is a scheduled post. Replies to comments/emails will be even slower than usual.
In mid-August, Middle Park Hotel held another wine dinner, pairing up with Curly Flat. Curly Flat winery is located in the Macedon Ranges, producing mostly Pinot Noir, some Chardonnay and a little Pinot Gris.
Just like the previous wine dinner, Alastair and I took seats at the bar. I’d had a very busy day at work and my mind was completely and utterly fried – so wine was VERY welcome. To start we were poured a glass of 2011 Curly Flat White Pinot. This was an interesting wine: I found it dry but with a bit of sweetness and fruitness.
Wine dinners are great fun. Drinking wine is always fun but I don’t just like them because I get to drink lots of wine (though that is a compelling reason). It’s mostly because I get to try wine that I might not normally drink and get out of my comfort zone.
Livingroom has been open for a few years now and they were awarded their first Chef’s hat last year in the latest Age Good Food Guide. It’s located in a building that used to be three different shops, and inside the split level room the decor is pretty understated except for a few chandeliers – the walls contain a few artworks, the wooden tables are undressed, and large windows look out to the street. It’s owned by a father and daughter team, Alan Markham and Carolyn Liem, and their head chef is Darren Daley.
I was looking forward to my visit for an evening of food matched with Wirra Wirra wines.
Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of Middle Park Hotel.
It’s cold. I know, I know, compared to other places in the world it’s not *that* cold, and yes, this is the part where you get to tell me I’m soft. But it’s cold to me, and this weather makes me want to hibernate with a heater and copious amounts of red wine.
Fortunately, I received plenty of the latter into my system last week during an epic dinner at Middle Park Hotel. MPH is located in a beautiful Victorian building on the corner of Canterbury Road and Armstrong Street that was originally built in 1889. Inside the building is a front bar, a dining room, and upstairs accommodation rooms.
Upon arrival we headed through to the dining room – a large wood panelled room decorated with various sporting memorabilia. Alastair was very impressed to see a cricket bat signed by Don Bradman hanging up. Apparently I should’ve been impressed as well… I tried to fake some enthusiasm but I don’t think he was fooled.