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.


Gorski and Jones

I’m a pain in the ass with birthdays.

I keep mine very quiet, but when it comes to someone else’s… I’m that annoying person who goes around telling EVERYONE that someone’s birthday is coming up (tick), or who’ll bake a cake and make everyone sing happy birthday (tick), or even decorate someone’s desk with a massive Happy Birthday banner and balloons (tick).

Bro’s birthday was earlier this month, and apparently his gf likes birthdays too, because she did so many amazing things to celebrate. He was whisked away on a surprise weekend to Sydney, there was a birthday dinner, a birthday party AND an epic hamburger cake. Talk about spoilt!

On his actual birthday, Bro’s gf booked dinner at Gorski and Jones, on Smith Street in Collingwood. They open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, in a rather industrial, funky looking, bare bricked room that is unfortunately (for food photography anyway) rather dark in the evening.


Sarti: Chapman Hill olive oil

Disclosure: I attended the tasting and dinner at Sarti courtesy of Chapman Hill.

Once upon a time, when I was more naive than I am now, I agreed to accept a bag of fresh olives from a friend.

I had grand aspirations of marinating my own olives. They were going to be great. FOOL. Anyone who has ever dealt with fresh olives will know how much work in involved in preparing them – they need to be soaked in water, changed daily for weeks to leach out the bitterness.

Perhaps, instead of spending weeks babying these stupid olives, I should’ve tried crushing them to extract the oil. Or even better – I should’ve just tossed the olives out, bought myself a bottle of oil, and saved myself the angst.


The Commoner: Whiskey Business

What’s better than having a girls’ night out with my Dastardly friend? A girls’ night out with WHISKEY.

Truthfully, I’m not really a whiskey drinker, but as with any booze – I’m a willing learner. Hah.

Every couple of months this year, The Commoner release movie inspired menus. They had Poultrygeist in February, Claws in April, and June’s menu was Whiskey Business – 5 courses matched with whiskey.


Middle Park Hotel: Jasper Hill wine dinner

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.


Henry and the Fox

Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Henry and the Fox.

In the kid’s book “Henry and the Fox”, Henry is a cowardly cockerel who can’t even crow properly. For the restaurant in the CBD, one of six (!) restaurants that renowned restauranter Paul Mathis has opened in the past six months or so, Henry is the last name of his PA and Fox refers to Michael Fox, the head chef. Fortunately there’s no cowardly cockerels at this restaurant because there’s plenty to crow about.


Meat Market

Another week, another visit to South Wharf.

Now that I’ve been down to the revamped area several times, I really think that South Wharf has been done well, particularly compared to other dining precincts (I’m looking at you Docklands and Southbank). I like that there’s a range of different price points and all the restaurants have a different feel, which makes me want to visit them all. So last Friday night Alastair and I headed down to Meat Market for a date night. (I say that jokingly… it was just dinner.)

Meat Market is mid-range in price, and was inspired by the Australian BBQ. Not too surprisingly, with a name like Meat Market, the menu has a focus on meat, meat, and more meat, with a few seafood items thrown in. And in keeping with the whole BBQ thing, there’s a large open kitchen in the middle of the restaurant where you can watch the chefs grill and cook your preferred protein.


South Wharf: Boatbuilders Yard, Akachochin, Bohemian, The Sharing House

Disclosure: Alastair and I dined courtesy of the venues.

Last week Hazzie and I were invited to check out a few venues in the fairly new South Wharf Promenade, located on the southern banks of the Yarra River. Last time I was down in South Wharf, it was the middle of winter last year, and the cargo sheds that several of the restaurants are in were still being fitted out.

We had four venues to hit up in a mini progressive tour/dinner. Dragging along Alastair and Gazman, we met down at South Wharf on a very dark and dreary night – not the best evening to be traipsing around outside. Fortunately, the venues were all fairly close together, so we spent minimal time in the rain.

Our itinerary was as follows:

Boatbuilders Yard: bar snacks and drinks
Akachochin: Entrees and sake
Bohemian: Tapas and paella
The Sharing House: Desserts


San Telmo

Named after one of Buenos Aires oldest neighbourhoods, San Telmo is one of Melbourne’s recentish additions to the Latin American inspired dining scene. And judging by my meal there over the Easter weekend with Alastair, Hazzie and Gazman: it’s a good one.

Opened late last year, San Telmo is a casual style eatery serving Argentinean inspired food. Fortunately they’ve bucked the no-booking trend of many of Melbourne’s new casual restaurants and take bookings, though half of the restaurant is set aside for walk ins. Hoorah.

The menu at San Telmo is designed to be shared, with a focus on meat cooked on the char-grill. There’s not that much for non-meat eaters, and in any case it’s not really a vegetarian friendly environment. The restaurant contains a big 2.5 metre parrilla / char-grill near the entrance, which is fantastic for cooking meat, but the smell does tend to linger in the air and cling to hair and clothes.