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).


Taxi: Ducks in a Row luncheon


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?


Montalto Piazza Cafe


It was one of the hottest days in 2013, I had a Friday off work, and my DD was back from a month long holiday.

It called for a Friday Road Trip.

We roped in Thanh and Shellie, piled into Shellie’s car and headed down the Peninsula. On the drive down there was Spice Girls car singalong (yep, we have no shame), alpaca spotting (llama llama llama!) and a stop at the Vintage Shed for food blogging photo props.


Big Boy BBQ

Big Boy

“Dude food” must be one of the most annoying food terms that has arisen lately to describe the food trend of hot dogs, burgers, fried chicken and other fast foods. Errrrrk.

However, if you don’t mind that term, it could be used to describe Big Boy BBQ in South Caulfield. Big Boy BBQ’s food is American style barbeque, where meat is slow cooked using wood smoke to add flavour. This slow cooked meat is used as fillings for several sandwiches – The Dorothy, The New Yorker, The Carolina, just to name a few. But if you’re not after a sandwich, Big Boy BBQ’s menu also has chicken wings, ribs, sides and a variety of combos or meat platters.


The Sharing House: set lunch (closed)

Sharing House

For my work Xmas lunch in December, just like the previous year, I became the Lunch Organising Committee.

This had both pros and cons.

The bad part of having ultimate responsibility is having to think of a place that’s suitable budget-wise and also in the right location (away from work but not *too* far). If you’ve ever been asked for a restaurant recommendation, you’ll know that this can be harder than it seems!

However, it did mean that I got to choose a place of my liking. Not that I’m hugely fussy, but the places other people might choose aren’t always going to be one that I pick. I highly doubt anyone else at work would’ve thought of The Sharing House, but it was my first choice. It’s in a nice location, has public transport access, the food is good, and from Monday to Friday they have a set lunch menu.


Estelle Bar & Kitchen

Many months ago, Alastair and I had lunch at the Estelle with Taz, Haz and Gazman, Kat and Josh plus Ashley. We’re talking middle of winter months ago.

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to write about it.

It wasn’t because we didn’t have a good time – we had fun.

It wasn’t that the food was bad – it was good.

It wasn’t that the service was lacking – the wait staff were friendly and perfectly lovely.

So why has it taken me so long? No idea bear!

But you know what they say about good things taking time. 🙂


Collins Kitchen, Grand Hyatt: afternoon tea

Note: this is a scheduled post while I’m on holiday. But I’m back really, really soon!

My gorgeous friend Hazzie is getting married this week. 🙂 I’m REALLY sad that I’ll be missing her big day, but I have no doubt that it’ll be all things wonderful.

Before I went away, Shellie roped “the gang” (me, Taz, April and Kat) into a surprise bridal afternoon tea for our dear friend. I lied to Hazzie to get her to the venue by telling her I needed a lunch companion as Alastair was busy. Sneaky alert!

The six of us message each other every day, so it was really difficult to keep quiet about it – I think we only managed to keep it a secret by barely talking to one another leading up to the day.

Shellie did the set up and did an amazing job – she made sugar cookies and even put together show bags for us – check out her post. She had even thought of a hashtag #hazhightea 🙂


Newmarket Hotel

Note: this is a scheduled post while I’m away. Replies to comments/emails will be even slower than usual. 🙂

Alastair and I are currently romping around South America – if everything has gone to plan, today we will be on the final leg of the trek to Machu Picchu. Before we left, we had a celebratory-hooray-almost-on-holiday lunch with Maztech and Dazzle at Newmarket Hotel. What better way to celebrate our impending visit to Latin America than a Latin American inspired feast?