On Tuesday I had dinner with a small group of colleagues to celebrate the end of the year. After the drama of finding an evening that worked for seven people in December – almost an impossibility but I managed to find one date – the next question was where to go. It couldn’t be too expensive (no Vue de Monde), but not too cheap (no $5 dumplings). No one was fussed on the kind of cuisine, but there was a specific request for no restaurants in the Casino.
I spent AGES racking my brain trying to think of somewhere suitable. Why is that there are so many restaurants in Melbourne, and yet it’s so hard to find somewhere to eat?! So when one of my colleagues suggested The Smith, I just went ahead and booked a table. It was a bit of a risk considering none of us had eaten there before, but it saved me hours of thinking time!
We must have over a hundred bottles of beer sitting at home. No, we’re not total boozers in this house – it’s due to Alastair and Bro’s homebrew hobby that’s been going strong for over a year. I indulge them in their hobby, even though the big fermenting thingy (technical term) took up residence in the laundry over winter and there are boxes and boxes of beer bottles all over the garage.
As to be expected, they’ve both become much more interested in beer due to their hobby. So when Alastair and I spent a weekend on the Mornington Peninsula, I made sure to include a couple of brewery visits. And on the way home, we stopped for lunch at True South Brewery in Black Rock.
Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Taxi and Little Big Marketing.
The other weekend I was invited to Taxi to experience their bento lunch. I’m sure Taxi needs no introduction! It’s a very slick restaurant, and I loved the splashes of aqua/turquoise (one of my favourite colours) amongst all the steel and shiny surfaces. Though of course, the best part must be the floor to ceiling windows that make the most of the views out to the Yarra and the city.
Sometimes the best planned ideas go awry. I often talk about my insane love for egg tarts (I’ve even baked my own before!) and I had plans for an egg tart tasting. A group of egg tart lovers would buy an assortment of egg tarts, get together, and then we’d EAT THEM ALL. After some chatting back and forth, it was decided that we have lunch beforehand at Tao Tao House, thanks to an excellent suggestion made by Allan.
However, unexpectedly several people had to drop out, causing us to cancel the egg tart tasting. Boo hoo! At least we kept the plans to go to Tao Tao House for yum cha.
Tao Tao House opened early this year on Glenferrie Road and is run by a father and son team, Jason and Eric Au. Jason Au was once the head dim sum chef at Flower Drum for nearly 20 years, and more recently worked at Donnie’s Golden Dragon Palace for 5 years. Impressive resume!
How did people decide on places to eat and activities to do before the internet? When I started planning our Mornington Peninsula weekend a couple of days before heading down there, I looked at blogs, websites, checked out menus, and I even made restaurant bookings online.
One place I booked was La Petanque, located in Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula. It’s a casual, southern French style restaurant seating 60 that’s located in a rustic wooden building with rose and herb gardens leading to the entrance. Inside, it’s all wooden floors, wooden ceiling beams, tables with white tablecloths and large windows.
I love spicy food. And I like being prepared. So I prepared myself for Dainty Sichuan. I tied my hair up, wore short sleeves, and had extra packs of pocket tissues in my purse. Ready for some hot food, I met I-Hua, Allan, Celeste, Bryan, Injera, Anna and partners for a chilli date. (more…)
Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Nuevo 37 / Hilton Melbourne.
Last week, on a day when an eerie fog crept over Melbourne in the late afternoon, I was down at South Wharf looking for Nuevo 37. You may be wondering where on earth South Wharf is – and honestly, if I hadn’t whipped out maps on my phone, I’d probably have been lost in the fog. (more…)
When we want crab, we’re serious. Recently, I was in a group of 10 that went to Omah’s Restaurant in Port Melbourne on a very cold evening with one aim: eat crab until we could eat no more.
Omah’s has been in Port Melbourne for several years, selling Malaysian cuisine (they recently opened a branch in Hawthorn). The restaurant’s decor is inspired by 1950’s Malaysian tea houses, with dark furniture on the floor and wooden birdcages hanging from the ceiling. During the day it would be bright and airy as there are floor to ceiling windows looking out to Rouse Street, however in the evening the lighting was turned way down low – always a food blogger’s nightmare. (more…)
When Kat suggested going for lunch somewhere nice last Sunday, she neglected to mention that it was for her birthday! Naughty bugger. Happy 21st birthday again, dear!
So for Kat’s secret birthday lunch, we went to Cutler & Co. On Sundays there is a set menu for $70, which highlights Victoria produce. You may remember that I ate at Cutler & Co about a year ago – at the time, I thought it was fine but it didn’t blow me away. (more…)
Disclosure: My meal was courtesy of Food Pampering and Universal Restaurant.
Recently I was invited to a lunch at Universal Restaurant by Ashley of Food Pampering, along with a small group of other food bloggers. Located on Lygon Street, Universal Restaurant was established in 1969 – I’m sure that Lygon Street has changed a lot in that time! Alfie, the executive chef and manager, introduced himself and told us a bit about his restaurant, which was started up by his father. Alfie took over several years ago, and it’s still a family business – I’m pretty sure he told us that his brother also works there. (more…)