Le Petit Gateau – Simply Sublime


Brownie and Passion fruit Chocolate Gateau and Cosmopolitan – Carrot Cake base, White Chocolate Cheese Cake and Raspberry Jam

Flourless Orange Cake and Hazelnut Millefeuille


Mister Green Tea and Crisp Lemon Tart

Black Beauty

Le Petit Gateau is located on Little Collins St, underneath the RACV Club building and is a cafe style place that serves delicious cakes and tarts. Each cake is handmade daily in the kitchens located on site, and when you enter the cafe you can see the pastry chefs busily creating the mouth-watering creations.

The cakes and tarts are created by award winning French pastry chef Pierrick Boyer and his team. Each of the cakes and tarts are original recipes and feature fresh, distinctive flavours to suit any occasion. The cakes are artfully decorated and minimalistic which create a modern contemporary look. For occasions cakes come in 2 different sizes – small (which generally suits up to 4- 6 people) and large (which generally suits 8 -12 people). Additionally, there is an Individual Showcase Cake Selection – where most of the cakes on their menu can be sampled, along with creations of the day. The Mister Green Tea cake is a masterful creation, which comes complete with a spot of raspberry jam and gold leaf. Inside you are greeted with delectable green tea mousse. For Green tea lovers this is a must try!

All the cakes have a distinct flavour and are appealing for any occasion – but if I had to pick a favourite off the cake menu it would have to be the Brownie and Passion fruit Chocolate Gateau. This cake consists of a Brownie base, crunchy praline, passionfruit custard with chocolate mousse. The Chocolate is quite rich (chocolate lovers will adore this!) but the Passionfruit Custard really breaks up the chocolate-ness and is delicious!

My only qualm is that it is not open on the weekends. So if you did need a cake ordered for the weekend, you will need to pick it up on Friday afternoon.

Rating : 5 Pandas
Price: $
Menu – For full cake menu refer to http://www.lepetitgateau.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/Le+Petit+Gateau/menu
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Comfortable – you can either eat your cakes in house with a cup of coffee or you can take them away. Cakes come in cute little boxes with a window so you can catch a glimpe of the cakes.
Standout Dish: Brownie and Passion fruit Chocolate Gateau
Service: Friendly and happy to answer any questions you have.
Orders: Ordering a cake is simple. You can either order over the phone if you know what you want, but you have to have a credit card to make a payment. They are also happy to add a plaque if you need, to suit any occasion (it is an extra $2.50)
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.lepetitgateau.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/Le+Petit+Gateau/home
458 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9944 8893

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7:30am to 5:00pm

Le Petit Gateau on Urbanspoon

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Circa, The Prince – Perfect Sunday Lunch


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Circa, the Prince located in St Kilda is owned by John and Lisa van Haandel with Head Chef at Jake Nicolson the helm together with chef Paul Wilson. The dining space was cretaed not just to satisfy and delight the palate, but the eyes too with various artworks and design by Meme’s. There are multiple dining areas – all of which consist of modern table and chairs.
The dining space we were seated at was like an indoor / outdoor space. This space is both roomy and filled with light thanks to the glass ceiling. The room is filled with wooden tables and chairs in a mix of greys, yellows and ivories tones. The result is stylish, modern yet casual – definitely what was needed for a Sunday lunch. There is also a mix of industrial and greenery which gives the sense of homeliness. The greenery consists of big potted plants as well as a wall of various flowers and herbs.

We were given a set Sunday lunch menu – where we got a soup to start off with, followed by starters to share, then a choice out of four for main as well as for dessert. Can I just start off by saying that all the dishes that we were given tasted fantastic and it was resounding sentiment that was shared from the entire group ( there were six of us), hence the 5 Panda rating.

The  soup was a Fish soup, Saffron Aioli, Gruyere. The initial sound of Fish soup didn’t sound  very appetising, however once you tasted the dish it was creamy and wholesome. Initially the dish came out with the Gruyere and Saffron Aioli in the middle, and then the waiter poured the soup on top of these in front of you. There’s something about soup being poured in front of you that enhances the food eating experience. The starters were exceptional, especially the Salmon Rillettes. Grilled Baguette. The Salmon was fresh,  rich and creamy and had just the right amount of flavour.

The mains were all plated beautifully and were vibrant in colour and flavour. The fish, beef and lamb shoulder were all cooked to the right amount of tenderness. The John Dory, Creamed Leeks, Crosnes, Truffle Vinaigrette was my dish of choice. This was my first time eating Crosnes – which is a tuber vegetable  and can also be known as a Chinese Artichoke. The Crosne was crunchy and tasted a bit like potato and worked well with the creamy leek and fish. The Truffle Vinaigrette  was a wonderful addition of texture and flavour.

Desserts at Circa, The Prince were just as beautifully plated, however the combination of Rice Pudding, Rhubarb, Custard Apple Ice Cream was a little peculiar. The Custard Apple Ice cream, as well as the other ice cream’s that came out on other desserts like the Coconut Ice Cream and Strawberry Sorbet were creamy and light and tasted great! The deconstructed Vanilla Bean Cheescake, Strawberry Sorbet and Jelly was great. The base of the cheesecake was soft and crumby andd the jelly and sorbet were a great addition to the dish.

I said at the start of my post and I will say it again – all the dishes at Circa, The Prince, not only looked amazing on the plate but tasted fantastic! I enjoyed every minute here and would definitely recommend Circa, The Prince for any occasion.

Rating : 5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – There is a Breakfast Menu, A la Carte menu, Lunch Menu, Bar Menu and a Chefs Menu as well – all can be found at http://www.circa.com.au/food
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Stylish, Modern and Light filled.
Standout Dish: Roasted Marron, Tarragon Butter
Service: Fantastic and Friendly
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://www.vuedemonde.com.au/reservation
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.circa.com.au/home
2 Acland St, St Kilda
Tel No: 9536 1122

Opening Hours:
Breakfast
Monday to SundayL 7am – 11am
Lunch
Friday: from 12pm
Sunday: from 12:30pm
Dinner
Monday to Sunday: from 6pm

Other Comments:
Circa will be extending its opening hours for the month of December, as of the 5th of December we will be open for lunch everyday excluding Saturday. Our Opening hours will be:

Monday-Friday lunch: 12-3pm
Sunday lunch: 12:30-3pm
Monday-Sunday Dinner: 6pm
Open on New Years Eve

Circa, the Prince on Urbanspoon

Estelle Kitchen & Bar – Retro Cool!

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The Estelle is located in Northcote and is a funky space which combines retro and classiness. This restaurant mixes vintage looks from the 50s with uber coolness. The walls are tiled with pink, black, grey and white tiles that reminds you of dance studio, mixed together with retro looking metal chairs (which are quite comfortable) and wooden floors. Seating consists of seats at the bar, at tables or the little courtyard out the back. The Estelle is owned by Scott Pickett and Ryan Flaherty – who are also the chefs, and can be seen in the kitchen or even delivering dishes to your table for a chat. I think more restaurants should be like this – allowing you to chat to the people that are creating the food you eat.

The Estelle starts off with appetisers which you can enjoy whilst deciding on the Degustation Menu. The Estelle only offers Degustation Menus which come in either 3, 5, 7 or 9 courses (Refer to the section below for prices). The appetisers is lovingly called “Fossils” and is compromised of mashed sardines and are tapioca fried to a white crispness to resemble a prawn cracker. The taste is interesting but a but was too fishy for me, however, the crunch is quite great. This comes with a whipped sour cream which together, helps to offset the fishiness. The presentation in a martini glass is fantastic (refer to picture above). With this “Fossils” dish, comes Chickpea Chips which are shaped into perfect rectangles and dusted with Black Olive Salt. Dipping these in the whipped sour cream also tastes great!

We chose to have the 3 course Degustation menu. My first dish was the Beetroot and Ashed Goats Cheese. This was a colourful dish, where the colours of the beetroot were enhanced by the black plate. The standout of the dish was the Ashed Goats Cheese – which was covered in “edible ash” which is made from crushed and dried black sesame lavosh. This gave an earthy taste to the cheese but combined with the beetroot and radish it tasted amazing, mixing the sweetness of the veggies and the tanginess of the cheese. The Smoked Eel, Carrot & Camomile was definitely a standout dish. There were so many different elements on this plate where you could tell were done with precision and care individually. There was a Carrot Reduction, a Pale gel which was made from Milk infused with Camomile and dusted with Black Salt, as well toasted Brioche Crumbs and to finish the dish off – Celery which has been compressed with apple juice. The combination with the Smoked Eel, which was cooked to perfection left a crunchy yet soft sweet peppery taste in your mouth.  The “main” I had was the King Fish, Peas and Shisho. The King Fish was warm and cooked perfectly so that it simply melted in your mouth. This was served with a Quail Egg and Asparagus in a Shisho Dressing. The dish was not just pretty looking, offset with a lavender flower, but had a taste to match just how good it looked.

The final course was dessert – Rhubarb, Rose & Musk – this was a special for the day. I must say I love dessert, but this didn’t leave any lasting impressions on me. The Rose flavoured custard like jelly was nicely flavoured, but the musk meringue I think didn’t do any favours to to dish. This might be because I am not a huge fan of Musk, but overall I think the mix was a bit strange.

Overall, I enjoyed seeing how what the menu had in words translated onto the plate. The dishes were not just plated up with care, but mixed a variety of interesting ingredients which worked most of the time. The atmosphere is laid back and casual, and the wait staff as well as the chefs are friendly and really do make you feel at home. I left wanting to come back and try out the larger Degustation menus.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – Degustation Menus: Three / Five / Seven/ Nine Courses: $50 / $70 / $90 / $110
Fullness: 80%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Cool , Funky, Retro and Relaxed. A good place to hang out with friends and chatter.
Standout Dish: Smoked Eel, Carrot & Camomile
Service: Fantastic and Friendly, and most time you will get the chefs themselves bringing the dishes out to the table and to have a chat.
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://www.estellebarkitchen.com.au/index.php#/index.php/contact
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.estellebarkitchen.com.au/index.php#/index.php/
243 High Street, Northcote
Tel No: 9489 4609

Opening Hours:
Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm to Late
Friday to Sunday: 12pm to Late

Estelle Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

De Clieu – Coffee at it’s best!

Fermented Lentil and Rice Pancake with Spicy Coconut, Potato and Pea filling with Green Mango Yoghurt

Poached Prawn, Saffron Mayonnaise, Mustard Cress, Chervil, Chive and Lemon Salad Baguette

Menu:

De Clieu is part of the Seven Seeds gang and is another classy café brought to you by Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor. The main emphasis of this team is the coffee and De Clieu is no exception – the coffee here is excellent – they source the finest beans and use the best equipment to process these beans. The café itself is very roomy and modern – it has polished wooden tables as well as wide wooden seats on the window edge.

De Clieu’s menu is small but has impressive and unique dishes – from the Let’s Get Going (which is a bowl of coco pops with red cordial) to Baguettes and Roti’s combined with a variety of ingredients. The Lentil and Rice Pancake that we ordered had an interesting combination and the Green Mango Yoghurt added an extra tangy-ness to enhance the potato and pea filling. The Poached Prawn Baguette tasty but I could have done with some extra Saffron Mayonnaise. The potato chips were a nice touch and added a crunch to the baguette.

Overall, De Clieu is a funky and cool place to hang out with a relaxed feel to it. Definitely head down and check it out. There is also coffee by Seven Seeds and other coffee making equipment for sale as well.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu –Refer to menu picture above
Fullness: 80%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and relaxed.
Standout Dish: Coffee
Service: Friendly and outstanding
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://sevenseeds.com.au/seeds/
187 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Tel No: 9416 4661

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 7am-5pm
Sunday: 8am-5pm

De Clieu on Urbanspoon

Cafe Rosamond – Dessert Evenings – A Must Try for all Dessert Lovers!

    
      

Dessert Evenings every Thursday at Cafe Rosamond are brought to you courtesy of  pastry chef Pierre Roelofs – who is extremely talented! Pierre has previously worked at Michelin Star restaurants and interned at The Fat Duck, just to name a few. The way the evening works is that you either decide if you want do one, two or three courses of dessert, for $20, $30 or $40 respectively. You can also choose the addition of a glass “tube” containing a variety of sweet samples for $9 a tube.

There is no menu, so you never really do know what you are eating. The waitresses do tell you what has been used when they come over to deliver the dishes to you, but there are so many ingredients that you really don’t remember them all – you just enjoy the flavour punch that you get when you put it into your mouth. Each dish compromises of about 15 elements, so every mouthful is like a surprise fireworks display. The reactions around the room are interesting to observe and hear – you hear a lot of “oh my gawd’s” and “wow” to pure giggling. It’s great. Food is meant to be fun and hearing and observing these kinds of reactions are what makes meals enjoyable.

The glass tube I had consisted of licorice, puffed rice and jelly. The mix tasted quite potent but sweet at the same (I am not a huge fan of licorice). The first course of dessert I had consisted of Quinoa, Rose, Rhubarb, Vanilla, Grape, Mascapone. I really enjoyed the flavours and the mix of this dessert and it was the first time I had Quinoa in a dessert. The second course consisted of Persian Fairy Floss, Custard, Ice, Granita. I didn’t enjoy this much at all. It had a really strange mix and I didn’t think the flavours or the after taste that you got was nice at all – in fact it left a bit of tangy sting in your mouth. The last dessert was Meringue, Jelly, Custard, Berries. This was another dish that I enjoyed. I am always a huge fan of meringue in desserts and the combination with jelly is great. It was another fruity dish which was a winner.

The menu changes weekly, so even if you were to go back you will always get a different dish. It all adds to the experience of these Dessert Evenings. There are no bookings, you simply have to arrive early and line up. Sometimes if you even get there 20 minutes before the line is about 10 people deep. They do put your name down and offer to call you back.

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – One, Two or Three Course dessert for $20, 30 or $40 resepectively. You can also have a glass tube for $9
Fullness: 70%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Cosy, Vintage, Old Fashioned
Standout Dish: Most of the Desserts – My fave out of the ones I tried was Dessert #1
Service: Friendly and Informative
Online Booking: No – Recommend going earlier than opening time as you will have to line up to get in.
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.pierreroelofs.com/dessert-evenings/
Cafe Rosamond
Rear 191A Smith Street (Cnr Charles Street), Fitzroy
Tel No:  9419 2270

Opening Hours:
Thursday evening: 7pm – 11pm

Please note: Cafe Rosamond operates as a cafe during other times for breakfast/lunch
Monday to Friday: 7.30am – 3.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 3pm

Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon

Duchess of Spotswood – One of a Kind



Prince of Wales: House Smoked Salmon Fillet with Potato Pancake, Poached Egg and Sourdough Toast
Royal Fanfare: Salt cured Trumpeter with Spicy Lamb Sausage, Home made Chutney and Crumbed Poached Egg

Duchess of Spotswood is a gourmet cafe which sources high quality produce and delivers it on the plate in an aesthetically pleasing manner. The flavours are simple yet have a gourmet, modern feel to them. At this cafe – you dont get your usual breakfast dishes of eggs and tomato with a side of avocado for example, you get a variety. Duchess of Spotswood chef Andrew Gale states “People are expecting more and more when they go out for breakfast,” and this why the Duchess of Spotswood menu is the way it is – it is not your normal breakfast menu (http://www.duchessofspotswood.com.au/themenu.php).

Duchess of Spotswood also offers Lunch and Dinner (on Thursday to Saturday evenings) – which consists of a 3 course menu for $55. I definitely want to go back and try out the dinner degustation menu. When you visit their website you can see pictures of the dishes – which is enough to make you want to make the trip over the West Gate bridge to Spotswood no matter where in Melbourne you live.

Rating :
3.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Breakfast (till 11:45am), Lunch and Dinner (3 courses for $55) – http://www.duchessofspotswood.com.au/themenu.php
Fullness: 80%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Rustic and Charming.
Standout Dish: House Smoked Salmon
Service: Good Service, but not great.
Online Booking: No – They take reservations for dinner Thursday to Saturday. Weekend breakfast and lunch on a strictly walk-in basis.
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.duchessofspotswood.com.au/index.php
87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood
Tel No: 9391 6016

Opening Hours:
Breakfast and Lunch – Open 7 days a week
Dinner  – Thursday to Saturday

Duchess of Spotswood on Urbanspoon

Brooks – Culinary Beauty!


   


Menu:
      

Brooks Restaurant is a recently opened restaurant which has taken over the site where Jamie Oliver’s restaurant Fifteen was, and Tobie Puttock’s The Kitchen Cat. It is the joint venture between  The venture of Gerald Diffey and Mario di Lenno. After dining here last night, I really do hope that Brooks is around for a long long time. The dining area hasn’t changed much at all since it was The Kitchen Cat, the layout is still the same. You are greeted at the entrance to the stairs with a BB handle on the door. As you walk down the stairs to the left of the stairs is a private dining room for group functions, and to the right is where the bar is located – here you can dine at the bar if you wish or if you keep walking through, it leads you to the formal dining area. From this dining area, you can look into the kitchen as the chefs fine tune your meals before they arrive at your table..

The service was impeccable and could not be faulted. The waiter we had was pleasant and friendly and made great suggestions on what we should and shouldn’t eat. The menu at Brooks is somewhat limited – it is split into three parts In the Beginning (Entree items), Seasonally Visiting (which are items for the season) and Here to Stay (which are items that will be around a while). My friend and I each chose dishes from the Seasonally Visiting menu, and were told by our friendly waiter to try the Meli of Vegetables (pictured above) – which had over 30 different types of vegetables. When he said that, we were intrigued and impressed and wanted to see what the fuss was about.

Our dishes came out and as you can see from the pictures, although the serving sizes are quite small – the dishes were beautifully plated. You could tell that there was a thought process that went into putting the food on the plate and the flavours had been carefully researched and designed. I had the fish of day – which was Rockling – the fish was flavoured and grilled just perfectly. My one gripe would be that the peas that came with it – some of them were hard. My friend had the Rump F1 Beef and she was a bit skeptical of the Hay flavouring and the Burnt Veg. But once she tried the whole dish together she said she almost got a cheeseburger like taste. She also said that the beef was cooked perfectly and tasted amazing.
The Nic’s Sovenir of Bras: Meli of Vegetables – was a very colourful and interesting looking dish. There was indeed a vast array of vegetables and alongside that several different dollops of sauces which we were told by the waiter were made in house. Some of the sauces was a sweet strawberry tasting one, a creamy mayonnaise, a tangy sauce etc. I loved that you had a variety of sauces to taste of which you didn’t really know what flavour to expect. It added a bit of fun to the dish.

Next was the dessert ( I had of course already looked at the dessert menu and knew what I wanted). There are only two desserts to choose from. The Forest Floor, Hazelnut Parfait caught my eye so I ordered that, and my friend was going to order the Lemon Curd but the waiter told us to share the Forest Floor and then he would give us a selection of the Petit Fours. I thought this was really nice of him – to suggest something other than making us pay for a dessert that we might not like.
The Forest Floor dessert was beautifully created and I have had something very similar at Embrasse (located in Carlton). This I later realised was because the head chef is Nic Poelaert of Embrasse. I have dedicated a whole photo set to this dessert above. I love the mushroom which compromises of the Hazelnut Parfait and Meringue Base. The Forest Floor is a combination of Chocolate Ganache, Mint and Sorrell Granita. This is a definite MUST TRY dessert.

The Petit Fours were a Rhubarb Jelly with Sour Dust, Salted Caramel and a Donut with Passionfruit Cream. They all were DIVINE! The Donut with Passionfruit was really tangy when you first bit into it, but the after taste it leaves in your mouth was a creamy glow. The Salted Caramel had just the right quantities of sweet and salt. The Rhubarb Jelly was sour and sweet all at the same time and just as great.

We also enjoyed teas with our dessert, and the pots were Cast Iron and oh so heavy, but really cute. I kind of wanted to take one home with me, hence a whole photo dedicated to it =p. The pot held quite a bit of tea and it almost felt like a never ending pot of tea!

Overall I loved every moment of eating at this restaurant and will definitely be back to try out other things on the menu. The service was fantastic and I really do hope this restaurant sticks around for a long time! I cant wait to see what else Nic Poelaert will have on the Seasonally Changing part of the menu.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – A la Carte or Degustation (Chef’s Selection of 5 courses for $80) – Refer to pictures above.
Fullness: 80%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Stylish and Comfortable. Great for a catchup dinner with a group of friends or just a one on one.
Standout Dish: Forest Floor, Hazelnut Parfait
Service: Fantastic, Attentive and Friendly. Also gave us some great choices and thoughts.
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.brooksofmelbourne.com/
Basement, 115 – 117 Collins Street, Melbourne
Tel No: 9001 8755

Opening Hours:
Monday to Wednesday: 11:30pm to Midnight
Thursday to Friday: 11:30pm to 1am
Saturday: 4pm to 1am

Brooks on Urbanspoon

The Meat and Wine Co – Steak Goodness!

              

There aren’t many places that I can eat at steak at due to the Halal factor. So when I heard that at The Meat Wine and Co they used Halal meat I was excited to try it out. I went there in July for my Birthday with my family (who by the way love their meat dishes). I have previously been to The Meat and Wine Co and had seafood dish, which I thought was pretty good. The serving sizes are quite generous as well.

We ordered two different types of Steak, the Lamb Ribs and my sister (who isn’t a massive meat fan) ordered the Grilled Chicken. Additionally we ordered a Prawn and Beef skewer. When I think of a skewer – I think pieces of meat/seafood on a wooden stick of a normal size. The skewer from The Meat and Wine Co is MASSIVE. It comes out on a huge aluminium skewer that hangs above a big bowl of their Super Crunchy Chips.

The steaks were juicy and the in-house basting that they use was delicious. Their different types of mash – spinach mash and mushroom mash – isn’t the best mash out there, but the added veggie does taste pretty good and put together with the steak makes for a winning combination. With steak the key is cooking it to how the customer ordered and in our case – they were cooked to perfection. The Super Crunchy Chips were indeed super crunchy, which is just the way that I like them. The Mushroom Pie was a special menu they had on the day and I loved the pastry that encased the mushrooms. As for the mushroom filling – I thought there could have been a bit more flavour.

When it came around to dessert time – we couldn’t look past The Grand Finale which consisted of : A Chocolate and Pistachio Fondant with vanilla bean ice cream, Caramel and Chocolate Tart, Vanilla Creme Brulee and White Chocolate Pannacotta with Berry Coulis. For the price of $29 and getting 4 desserts, as a pose to paying $10-$15 per dessert – The Grand Finale was well worth it! The dessert came out on a impressively long platter with the 4 desserts across it (as you can see in the picture above) and after a very filling meal of meat, meat and more meat – the size of these individual desserts were perfect. You don’t expect a restaurant that specialises in Steak to have desserts that are fantastic – but this is where The Meat and Wine Co impresses even more. I think you can judge a good dessert restaurant by its Brulee and this Brulee was really really good, as was the Pannacotta!

Overall, I would definitely be coming back here for more Steak and Meat, as well as for the yummy desserts! It is a little on the pricey side, however once you get your meals I am sure you will be impressed. The service we had was great as well and the staff were attentive and answered all my parents questions in a friendly and kind manner.

Rating : 3.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – A la carte Menu – can be found at http://themeatandwineco.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/a-la-carte-May-2012.pdf
Dietary Requirement / Allergy Menu – can be found at http://themeatandwineco.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Dietary-Requirement-Menu-May-2012.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual and Stylish – the upstairs area has a nice view overlooking the Yarra River and overlooks part of the city.
Standout Dish: Any of the Steaks and The Grand Finale
Service: Fantastic – Attentive and Friendly and willing to help out if you did want to modify the menu. If they couldn’t change things around they suggested other things.
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://themeatandwineco.com/locations/australia/victoria/southbank
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://themeatandwineco.com/locations/australia/victoria/southbank
3 Freshwater Place
Queensbridge Square,
Queensbridge Street, Southbank
Tel No: 9696 5333

Opening Hours:
Sunday to Thursday: 12 pm – 10pm
(Lunch and Dinner)

Friday and Saturday: 12pm – Late
(Lunch and Dinner)

Meat & Wine Co. on Urbanspoon

The Atlantic – THE Freshest Seafood!

The Fresh Oysters on Display

Oyster Island Inlet – Tasmania

Roasted Cauliflower – Onion and Almonds

Thrice Cooked Russet Potatoes – Rosemary, Garlic, Sea Salt

Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction

Pan Roasted Hapuka – Braised Green Lentils, Sauteed Mushrooms, Jus Gras

The Atlantic is newly opened restaurant at the Crown Entertainment Complex which can seat up to 300 guests over many different dining areas. The Atlantic is the brainchild of Donovan Cooke and shares an “Ocean to Plate” philosophy.

The venue is set in stylish tones of blue and grey and draws on inspiration from the famous New York meat packing district as well as the  hustle and bustle of the fish markets, together with New York’s Grand Central Station. This is evident in the naming of the Private Dining options as well – The Engine Room, The Cabins and The State Room (descriptions about and the capacity of each room can be viewed at http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic/dining/private-dining. There is a mixture of glass and wooden panels which really adds to the nautical feel and does make you feel like you are under the sea.

One of my two favourite things about the design and layout of this restaurant is the selection of Fresh Seafood that is on display from the outside for people walking past the restaurant. This selection changes daily as does the menu. The extensive selection of Australian wine is also on display. My second favourite part is the impressively sized open plan kitchen where you can see the chefs preparing your meals. It is easily one of the biggest kitchen’s I have seen in a restaurant!

Just when you think this place cannot get any better – venture on downstairs to The Den. The Den is an intimate lounge area where you can get together with a group of friends for amazing drinks. They do some of the best mocktails I have had (refer to the picture of the drinks above). The Den is styled with white leather couches along the length of the room together with different styles of chairs and a classy fireplace. It stays true to its name and is an underground escape away from the busy city night life.

Now onto the food – to put it simply – it is the FRESHEST and FLAVOURSOME seafood I have had and in my opinion lives up to its “Ocean to Plate” philosophy. I was impressed from the moment I walked in till the time I  left. My drink was a mix of passionfruit and pineapple with a hint of tang which was both refreshing and revitalizing. The oysters were fresh and the vinegar and shallot dressing was the right amount of tang. The sides of Cauliflower, Onion and Almonds changed my opinion of the vegetable Cauliflower as I have never really been a fan – but the flavours in this dish made me want to give this vegetable a chance. The fish was definitely the best dish of the day. I had the Wood Fire King Fish and the smokiness was just the right amount and the fish was still juicy with no dryness in site. The Blood Orange Reduction isn’t one I’ve seen coupled with Fish but it definitely suited the smoky woody flavour – in one word AMAZING!

The prices might be a little bit dear – you are looking upwards of $35 for a main serving for fish – but you really need to visit The Atlantic and try it out. Be it a special occasion or a group dinner with some great friends this restaurant will definitely impress. I can’t wait to go back and try the Oyster Bar out. The only reason this restaurant hasn’t gotten 5 pandas is because I ran out of time to try out the selection of desserts. Once I do however, I will re-assess the rating.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$$$
Menu – A la Carte Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/de52daec/21102012_DINNER_MENU.pdf
The Dessert Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/22c7f28f/13102012_DESSERT_MENU.pdf
The Oyster Bar Menu – can be found at http://theatlantic.com.au/static/files/assets/9e8e83d3/18102012_-_Food.pdf
Please note the menu changes daily.
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Stylish and Classy. It feels like you are in New York and under the sea all at the same time.
Standout Dish: Wood Fire Grilled King Fish – Wilted Witlof, Ruby Grapefruit, Mint, Coriander, Blood Orange Reduction
Service: Friendly, Helpful and definitely on the ball!
Online Booking: Yes via website – http://www.bookarestaurant.com/details/The-Atlantic-Restaurant/3287?ref=BAR03287R
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://theatlantic.com.au/the-atlantic
The Riverside at Crown
8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
Tel No: 9698 8888

Opening Hours:
The Atlantic Restaurant
Lunch and dinner : 7 days

The Oyster Bar
Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – Late
Friday-Saturday: 12pm – l.00am

The Den
Monday to Sunday: 5.30pm-3.00am

The Atlantic on Urbanspoon

Albert Street Food & Wine – Consistently Fantastic!

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Details for Pictures in Slideshow:
Selection of Cured meats
Oysters
Albert St Steak Tartare
Baccala, “Green Goddess”, Grilled Bread
Salmon Tartare with Avocado
Gnocchi with Carrots, Braised Beef
Steak with Beetroot and Cream
Pearl Barley Risotto, Grilled Leek, Smoked Pancetta, Parmesan
Spaghettini, Prawns, Charred Corn, Black Garlic, Green Chilli
Meyer Lemon Tart
Phillipa’s Strawberries with Meringue and Balsamic Ice Cream
White Chocolate and Almond Tart with Strawberry Sorbet
Pizza – Mushroom, Rosemary, Gorgonzola
Olives & Bocconcini, Pesto Genovese, Ciabatta
Chicken and Leek Pie with a Side Salad
Salmon with Potatoes
Spring chicken cassoulet
Chicken with Potatoes, Apple
Sides: Broccolini and Quinoa with Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Yoghurt
Phillipa’s Chocolate Bullet

Albert St Food and Wine is a former bank building that has been renovated into a stylish, classy yet relaxed restaurant. It also houses a bottle shop and produce store – where you can buy freshly baked varieties of bread. It is described by its creators – Executive Chef – Phillipa Sibley(she also has a Phillipa’s in the City which sells varities of breads and pastries), and owners Stuart Brookshaw and Ruth Giffney as an “all-day eatery,wine bar and store.”

The restaurant is set up with the bar located in the centre of the restaurant with seating on either side. Seating compromises of table seating as well as high table seating for a more casual laid back feel. Although I must say the high table seating can get a bit uncomfortable over a long period of time.

The food at Albert St Food and Wine is consistently great. The dishes are flavour-packed and amazing. I was impressed on my first visit there and the second time around the menu had changed but yet the food and flavours were different but of the same high quality and taste. On my first visit I had the Spaghettini (with a delicious mix of Prawns, Charred Corn, Black Garlic, Green Chilli) as my main – what made this dish unique was the charred corn – I have never had this in a regular spaghettini dish and I think it really made this dish. A definite standout dish and a must try!

The Salmon Tartare with Avocado as an entrée was delicious and is quite heavy to eat on your own so I suggest you share this entrée as you should leave room for mains and dessert. The sides of Broccolini and Quinoa were another highlight. The flavours were simple yet tasty and that’s something great about Albert Street Food & Wine. It was after eating the Broccolini here that we started to cook Broccolini as a side at home to eat with most meals.

Phillipa Sibley is known for her desserts so the expectation of these being spectacular is rife. Phillipa’s Chocolate Bullet is nothing short of amazing, and her sorbets are like silk. The combination of the dark chocolate and the sweet strawberry sorbet works great together. The Strawberries with Meringue and Balsamic Ice Cream is a bit underwhelming and is nothing too fantastic to rave about, but the Meyer Lemon Tart definitely has the right amount of tanginess and oozes yum!

I can go on and on about the food and the place as well the service being exceptional, but really you should get yourself down there and try out the food and experience for yourself. It is my first 5 Panda Rating for a restaurant!

Rating :
 5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – A la carte Menu – can be found at http://www.albertst.com.au/menus/AlbertStFood&WineMenu.pdf
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Classy and stylish yet comfortable
Standout Dish: Spaghettini, Prawns, Charred Corn, Black Garlic, Green Chilli, Salmon Tartare and Avocado, DESSERTS
Service: Fantastic and Friendly
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.albertst.com.au/
Corner of Albert St & 382 Sydney Rd
Brunswick
Tel No: 8354 6600

Opening Hours:

Store open
Tuesday to Friday: 10am to 11pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am to 11pm

Restaurant & Bar Open
Tuesday to Friday – Lunch & Dinner: 12pm to late

Saturday & Sunday
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner: 8am to late

Albert Street Food and Wine on Urbanspoon