Sunday, October 19, 2014

Eat. @ Noir

175 Swan Street, Richmond 3121 ph (03) 9428 3585

Hubby and I celebrated our anniversary this year with a degustation at Noir in Richmond.  I hadn't heard much about this restaurant but it came highly recommended and I'm glad we booked here as we had an extremely enjoyable meal.

We went for the Tasting Menu ($80) which had essentially 7 courses with sides, some to share and some served individually.  We started off with an amuse bouche of a trio of tartlets for each of us.

The Eye fillet of beef tartare, wardorf salad and gaufrette potatoes was a fun and interesting twist on the traditional.  

The cold smoked Pacific oysters with chives came in little ceramic shells and the oysters were fresh with a subtle smokiness.

The smoked Skipton eel, potato salad, mustard and jellied eel consomme was a very beautifully plated up dish, with pretty colours and interesting flavours.  It's one of those dishes I love, with an interesting mix of colours, flavours and textures.

The Stinging neetle spartzle pasta with lemon, chilli, peas, pinenuts and broad beans was a pleasant dish, reminiscent of a homely stir-fry with very fresh and tasty ingredients.

The Hendricks gin and tonic sorbet, cucumber and dried botanicals (and good splash of Hendricks!) was the perfect mid-meal palate cleanser.  

The Crisp pork belly with poached pears and pickled vegetables was delicious, my only lament being that I could probably eat a whole lot more of the oh-so-tender pork with the crispy crackling!

The main to share was a Roast Partridge with Parsnips, served with seasonal green vegetables and a mornay sauce.  I'm not a fan of mornay sauce in general, but the rest of this dish was lovely, the partridge perfectly cooked and the poached pears offsetting the meat nicely.

We ended with a sweet dessert of rich chocolate marquise with orange and hibiscus.  Hmmmm such indulgence!

Overall we had a great meal at Noir.  We both agreed that it was an Estelle - like experience in a Saint Crispin like setting but with a quieter ambience.    It was a lovely meal worthy of date nights, even without the hype, and in fact probably all the better for it!

Noir on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Eat. @ Seoul Soul

323 Victoria Street, Abbottsford 3067 ph (03) 0478 768 760 

Richmond has always been dominated by Vietnamese/Chinese Eateries, and it's nice to see  a few cafes and other cuisines popping up along Victoria Street.  Seoul Soul as its name suggests is a cute little Korean Restaurant that has marked itself as a great place to stop for a bite or grab a box of take-away.

Our party of 2 adults and 3 kidlets were promptly seated on one of two 2 high share tables.  We were perched on tall stools, which the kids enjoy, but slightly younger ones might find a bit challenging.  We started with their complimentary balchan (side dishes) which were pickled radish and kim chi served in cute little jars.  I really liked their kim chi and we had a second jar!

Their seafood pancake ($8) is a good entree, crispy on the outside and delicious with the dipping sauce which absolutely makes this dish!

The kids always like noodles so we ordered a Beef Bulgolgi Noodle Soup ($14).  A decent sized serving with a hearty soup.

Seoul Soul is famous for their Dosirak, which are wooden meal buckets, like a Korean version of a Japanese Bento.  We tried the Beef Bulgolgi Dosirak ($14) which had a good amount of rice with a couple of samosas and potato hash and a fresh salad and pickles for a side.  The beef was nicely done, and this is my pick for an easy meal both for kids and adults alike.

Hubby and I also had a Spicy Pork Bulgolgi Dosirak ($14).  I am addicted to the spicy marinated sauce and it goes so well with plain steamed rice!

Their chargrilled and BBQ dishes come served on a sizzling (no cooking on the table) and we had a lovely serve of Chargrilled Pork Belly ($14).  The little morsels of pork belly were perfectly cooked and it's hard to stop eating!

Little sugar rock candies ended the meal.   The service was efficient and friendly.  The gang was all full and happy and we're glad to find another nice place to eat with the kids.  Seoul Soul has opened a bigger soul sister (see what I did there) in Northcote on more family friendly premises and I'm looking forward to trying them out at a latter date.

Seoul Soul on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 10, 2014

Eat. @ Tyranny of Distance & Agathe Patisserie

Tyranny of Distance - 147 Union Street, Windsor 3181
Agathe Patisserie - Fri & Sat - Rear of 97 Chapel St, Windsor 3181 (enter via Artist Lane) ph 0403 222 573, Sat - Prahran Market

I have been wanting to eat at Tyranny of Distance because I love, love, love it's name.  Unfortunately as the name suggests it is quite out of my way, but I recently made a trip down to Prahran and finally got to try it out on a brunch date with Bubs. 

I started with my usual cup of mocha, so good after the drive!

Bubs and I shared the "Salmon Eggs, nothing like Caviar" ($17.5), which was their house smoked salmon, beetroot relish, avocado, spinach, poached eggs and potato rosti.  I loved all the components of this dish, together and separately.  And it made for such a gorgeous looking dish!

After the delicious brunch I visited Agathe Patisserie, where the lovely Agathe sells her wonderful baked goods in the little back Alley (best to enter from Artist Lane, just around the corner from Tyranny of Distance).  As you may know I have a soft spot for pastries and baked goodies in general really, but I'm also bit of a fussy pastry-snob in that they must be really good.  Who wants to waste good calories on bad pastries!   Agathe's goodies ticked all the right boxes and I was super impressed with the lovely spread of croissants, cruffins and caneles I brought home that day.

The Juliette ($5) is a lovely almond croissant with raspberry and rose, beautiful with a cup of tea.

The croissant ($5) is made up of of layers and layers of light and flakey buttery goodness, easily one of the best croissants I've had in Melbourne.

And the caneles ($3) were perfect little cakes with a caramelised sweet crust and a soft, almost custardy centre.  Currently you can buy her delectable goodies from this location and also at the Prahran Market on Saturdays.  Agathe's most recent stall at the Cake, Bake and Sweets Show will no doubt make her goodies much more in demand!

I am most certainly inspired to make little trips to Prahran a lot more often.

Tyranny of Distance on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 6, 2014

Eat. @ Addict Food and Coffee

240 - 242 Johnston St, Fitzroy 3065 ph (03) 9415 6420

Next up on Friday Brunch Roulette Bubs and I visited Addict in Fitzroy.  We liked this place a lot and came back for a repeat visit the week after!

As per usual I started with my usual mocha ($4) which is made with Mork chocolate and addorned with lovely coffee art.

Bubs enjoyed a Kids Bacon and Eggs on Toast ($7.5) and an added potato hash ($5).   A decent serve of brekkie for my little boy.  Yes he's a little hipster and likes his eggs poached!

I tried the Coconut and Chia Seed superfood stack with mango, puree, peach, strawberry and puffed buck wheat ($14).  Wow this dish was a real winner both in taste and sight. (Instagram obviously agrees - it's my most "liked" picture this year.)  It was delicious, and whether it's superfood or not, I felt really healthy!

We came back the next week and tried the Beet and vodka cured ocean trout, with hash nuggets, poached eggs, dill and roe citrus dressing and petite salad. ($18).  The trout was delicious and the hash nuggets were very more-ish.  I really like the pickles in the salad that made it extra refreshing.   

I ordered an extra potato hash to share with Bubs since he's been demolishing our shared brunches lately!

Here's the money shot of the perfectly poached eggs.

We had a 20 minute wait for the coffee on our first visit, and there was a slight hiccup with the delayed arrival of my dish a further 20 minutes after Bubs' bacon and eggs, but our second visit ran very smoothly and the staff remained friendly and attentive throughout both visits.  

I definitely enjoyed our visits and will be bringing Hubby back for a brunch date in the near future.

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Eat. @ Meatmaiden

195 Little Collins Street, Melbourne CBD ph (03) 9078 9947

The spanking new Meatmaiden opened up in the space that used to be Little Hunter in the CBD last month.  Meatmaiden is the younger sister of Justin Wise's Meatmother, and I was lucky enough to be invited to the pre-opening launch to sample some of what's on their menu.  I've got to say, the dishes are good! (Unfortunately my photos aren't so good due to the lighting, but you'll just have to go and try the dish for yourselves!)

We started the evening with some yummy crispy kipfler chips. Perfectly fried and spiced, these were very more-ish and a good way to start a party with some drinks!  

Next came the first of the meaty goodness for the evening in the shape of some beef jerky.  Chewy and meaty as jerky should be.

The pickled heirloom vegies, chilli and goat's curd was delightful and a good balance to the other heavier dishes.

Southern Fried Chicken ribs were a treat and ridiculously addictive.  The tequila mayo gave it a extra kick beyond your regular fried chicken.

For non-meat eaters the oysters with smoked fennel dressing is fresh and indulgent.

My favourite small/share dish was probably the lobster mac, creamy luscious macaroni cheese with a good chunk of tasty lobster.  Awesome meal even if you don't eat meat.

But meat is the star at this place.  The 20 hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket, with native Tassie Pepper berry rub certainly earns its place on the menu.  Delicious, smokey and tender, this is a meat lover's dream.

The O'Connor pasture-fed flat iron steak and the lamb ribs were both tasty and perfectly cooked.

Of course you have to have something sweet after all that meaty deliciousness!  The Sundae Diner with Peanut brittle was refreshing with big scoops of ice-cream topped with chocolate and a decent chunk of brittle.

The Choc-bar with raspberry sorbet was a lovely contrast of sweet rich chocolate fondant and a tangy dash of raspberry sorbet.  This was a great way to finish off the meal.

What's more delightful than ooey gooey flowing chocolate flowing from the cake centre?

Meatmaiden also do a very affordable 1 course lunch for $20 or 2 courses for $25, which is awesome for all the CBD workers after a quick lunch.  Bookings are taken for tables of 6 or more only, so it's a great place to meet up with friends for a meat-a-thon.

Meatmaiden on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer : I attended the Meatmaiden Launch Event courtesy of Meatmaiden and Tink PR