dinner

Attica: Tuesday Night Chef’s Table

Attica

So Attica must be one of Melbourne’s most famous and awarded restaurants. And I finally made it there thanks to Kat, who booked us into dinner for their Tuesday night Chef’s Table.

Run by Chef Ben Shewry, Attica has consistently been recognised as one of Melbourne’s – and Australia’s – top restaurants. Located on a quiet street in Ripponlea (at least, on a Tuesday night), the restaurant inside is quite understated: white linen tablecloths, black walls, and bright spotlights over each table.

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Estelle Bar & Kitchen 2

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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.

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Moon Under Water

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).

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Hutong Dumpling Bar

People rave about the dumplings at Hutong since they opened a couple of years ago – particularly their xiao long bao. The place is so popular that you need to book if you want to eat there, and they have two sittings a night. For a dumpling restaurant. Insanity! Even crazier – it was my first ever visit there recently.

Celeste was in town for a conference, and a catch up dinner was organised with Haz, Taz, Shellie and Kat. After a billion emails back and forth trying to decide on a dinner location, Taz thankfully took control and booked us into the 6pm sitting at Hutong.

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Mr Huang Jin

Remember when Melbourne was xiao long bao mad a couple of years ago?

That’s one food trend I’m happy to consume. And when Sarah posted about Mr Huang Jin’s XLBs recently, I was keen to check them out after an average XLB experience the previous week.

Mr Huang Jin are located in the Rialto tower on Collins Street, and haven’t been open for terribly long. And I feel the need to get this out of the way first: they’re not your typical dumpling restaurant where you can eat until you burst for $10. A serve of dumplings at Mr Huang Jin is $18-$20. Is it worth the extra money when you can go to a cheap cheerful place for much, much less? Well: read on.

I rocked up with Alastair and Bro on a warm Wednesday evening. We were the only table, so service was attentive, and very sweet.

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Gami Chicken and Beer

A life without fried chicken is a life not worth living.

It’s true.

It’s a shame that fried chicken has been marred by the trashiness of KFC because when it’s done well, it’s a thing of delicious, delicious beauty.

At Gami, which I *finally* visited the other week, they serve Korean fried chicken and beer. While there are other dishes on the menu, with a name like Gami Chicken and Beer, what else would you be there for?

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WTC Wharf Progressive Dinner + a competition

Sponsored by Nuffnang.

Why take a regular taxi to dinner when you can go via water taxi?

You can do that down at WTC Wharf, one of the latest precincts to pop up in Melbourne recently. WTC Wharf is accessible by Siddeley Street, and is located on the riverside of Melbourne’s World Trade Centre.

A bit of work has gone into making the precinct easily accessible: as well as the WTC Water Taxi service there’s also a new footbridge that links it from Spencer Street, around Crowne Plaza.

Several restaurants have opened in the precinct, and I went to check out three of the dining venues as part of a progressive dinner with a small group of other bloggers.

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Fonda Mexican

Note: scheduled post. Still on holiday. Back soon though. Boo!

I’ve heard that Fonda, a Mexican style cantina in Richmond, is always busy, with lines down the street. I don’t spend much time in Richmond, so I can’t confirm whether or not this is true, but with the popularity of Mexican food in Melbourne, I can believe it.

Before we went on holiday, Alastair and I had an early dinner with Hazzie and Gazman. We rocked up at 6pm and were seated straight away – hooray to not lining up. We quickly looked through the menu and ordered at the counter.

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Middle Park Hotel: Curly Flat wine dinner

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.

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Shed 5

Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of Shed 5.

So. Fifty Shades of Grey. Unless you’ve just returned from a voyage from Mars (Curiosity!), you know what I’m talking about.

To be honest – I haven’t read it. I don’t have anything against it, I just haven’t read it. So I don’t know whether it’s good / bad / or worth two and a half spankings. However, I think I get the gist of what it’s about. And I love some of the parodies that have popped up (oh… pun so not intended…). One of my favourite parodies happens to be 50 Sheds of Grey, erotic tweets about sheds and other manly things.

Because there’s something about sheds that’s quite, erm, exciting, don’t you think? For example, I went to an exciting shed the other week – Shed 5 – and while it wasn’t exciting in *that* sense, there was definitely a happy ending.

Shed 5 is the latest restaurant addition to the South Wharf precinct, and while it IS in a renovated ex-cargo shed, there was no BDSM or power tools – just rather good food. The food is Greek / Mediterranean influenced, and there’s a wood fired oven behind the bar that gets used for a whole section of the menu.

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