Disclosure: I attended and dined courtesy of Cecconi and AMPR.
I suppose we’re officially in winter now, aren’t we? Well, let’s pretend that we’re still in autumn (I’d like to pretend that we’re not in winter anyway) as the other month I was invited to Cecconi’s for an autumn menu tasting.
Cecconi’s has been in the city for quite a long time now: apparently almost a decade, so it’s terrible that this was my first visit to the Flinders Lane location. I actually remember the Cecconi’s that was at Crown, quite a long time ago now – Alastair and I ate there with Annette and Terry not long after we moved to Melbourne.
They must be doing something right to have been around the Melbourne dining scene for so long and I was excited to finally pay them a visit.
I met Alastair for a quick dinner in the city after work one evening. It was a cold night and what better on a cold night than ramen? Not much, I tell you. So we took the opportunity to try Hakata Gensuke.
Fortunately it was early (ie just about 6pm) as I have heard stories about the queues at Hakata Gensuke. Even so, we did wait outside – fortunately while it was cold it wasn’t raining – for about 5 minutes while we waited for seats to become available.
Disclosure: We attended the soft opening courtesy of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.
Ramen in Melbourne has been gradually getting better as more ramen focussed restaurants have been opening up.
The latest is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IKR) and a couple of weeks ago I attended the soft opening with Alastair. As you probably know, there are numerous styles of ramen with different regions having different variations. IKR’s style is tonkotsu which originates from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu. Tonkotsu is made from a pork bone base, cooked at high heat for a long period of time until the soup is opaque, milky and creamy.
Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies
The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.
Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.
The Westin is serving An Eclair Affair in the Lobby Lounge every afternoon until 30 June – and the point of difference? Instead of the usual little cakes and sandwiches, the afternoon tea comes with savoury and sweet eclairs. There are still scones (it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them, right?) with accompanying jam and cream, but the stars on the stand are the eclairs.
I keep wanting to call this cafe Bowery to Williamstown instead of Bowery to Willamsburg.
The real name is a homage to New York’s Bowery subway station, but I personally feel that the owners missed an opportunity to work in a reference to Melbourne. I’m sure that Willamsburg, New York is 100000% cooler than Williamstown, Melbourne, but so what?
Lots of things in life seem to be cyclical. Food wise, one of the trends lately is for more informal, cheaper dining, with most of the new restaurants opening lately being of a more casual nature. I’ve personally succumbed to this trend – you may have noticed a lack of fine dining on this blog this year.
In line with the more casual theme, The Aylesbury in Lonsdale Street recently closed and has been revamped as Bomba, a Spanish style bar and restaurant.
Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Mr Nice Guy and Zilla & Brook.
Mr Nice Guy could be run by two of the nicest people in hospitality. Owned by the same people behind Middle Fish – Pla Liamthong and David Holtum – Mr Nice Guy came from a desire to do a night time trade, something that Middle Fish was restricted from for a long time.
Where Middle Fish serves more traditional Thai food, Mr Nice Guy’s focus is a bit more fusion – incorporating Thai flavours with more modern cooking techniques.