The Moor’s Head – Pide and Pizza with Variety!


The Golden Terrace Pide – Minced Beef, Fresh Tomato, Chilli, Almond, Lemon

The Moor’s head is the latest venture of Joseph Abboud and John Farha and is the sister restaurant to the well known and delicious Rumi (check out my review here – https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/rumi/). The Moor’s head specialises in Lebanese – Turkish pizza’s and has the tag line “inauthentic pizza” – combines their love of Italian pizza’s with their Lebanese heritage.

 The restaurant was previously an old warehouse and has high ceilings with black interior and wooden tables together with Arabic styled posters around the place. This all adds to the casual and comfortable atmosphere that makes you want to return.

The menu consists of starters, pizzas (manoushe and pides), salads and sweets. Manoushe are your standard type of pizzas – round and flat, and Pides are canoe shaped with raised crusts. When you look at the menu, you are greeted with wonderful and quirky names staying true to their Lebanese heritage such as The Golden Terrace, Omar Sharif, The Bosphorus and Sultan Mehmet.

I ordered the Golden Terrace which comes with minced beef, topped with fresh slices of tomato, the perfect amount of spiciness in the form of fresh chilli, coriander  lemon and almonds. The dough is perfection – soft and crunchy all at the same time. The mince beef was perfectly seasoned with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and the lemon and almonds added an extra tang and texture. It is a pity I didn’t get to stay for dessert – I definitely want to come back and try the dessert menu and dessert pizzas.

There are also many vegetarian options available using various combinations of interesting ingredients.

The Moor’s Head uses simple and well put together flavours, with greatly made dough for a very reasonable price. Together with the friendly service, this is a place I will be coming back to.

Rating : 4 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Consists of Pizza’s and Pides – can be found at http://www.themoorshead.com/?page_id=87
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Vibrant, Lively and Casual
Standout Dish: The Golden Terrace, Omar Sharif
Service: Friendly and Informative
Online Booking: No, but they do accept bookings via phone
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.themoorshead.com/
Rear 774 High St, Thornbury (Enter via Collins St)
Tel No: 9484 0173

Opening Hours:
Dinner only
Monday to Sunday: 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Takeaway also available.

The Moor's Head on Urbanspoon

Stokehouse – Beachside Beauty with Divine Food!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– John Dory Fillet, Hickory Smoked Clams, Banana Chillies, Baby Onions, Carrot Purée
– King Prawn and Bug Tortellini, Smoked Tomato, Peas, Baby Gem Lettuce, Saffron and Shellfish Veloute
– Seared Magret Duck Breast and Leg Pastillas, Poached Rhubarb and Fennel Salad, Garlic Purée, Smoked Kaiser
– Crispy Chicken with Pancetta, Mushrooms and Greens
– Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse and Nougat Crunch, Salted Caramel, Honeycomb, Malt Ice Cream
– The Bombe – Frozen White Chocolate Parfait with Strawberry Sorbet and Toasted Meringue

The Stokehouse has the perfect location setting with views overlooking St Kilda beach. There are two parts to this restaurant – the Upstairs which is the elegant more stylish part and the Downstairs Bar & Grill which is a more casual setting and serves pizzas, pastas etc – perfect place for a casual catch up with friends all year round. The Bar & Grill is currently closed for renovations and will open up in November 2012. A new Stokehouse Cafe is coming soon as well – keep checking back to their site or follow them at Twitter to find out more information (@Stokehouse). Stokehouse menus are created by executive chef Anthony Musara and head chef Oliver Gould, and represent the best of Modern Australian fine dining.

My friends and I headed to Stokehouse Upstairs for Dinner and it was the first time there for all of us. We were shown to our tables by our friendly waiter. The place is decked out in white but in a classy and elegant manner. There is a balcony which overlooks the beach, where you can have some casual drinks before retreating to your table. The view is not only relaxing but calming. We ordered the King Prawn and Bug Tortellini, Smoked Tomato, Peas, Baby Gem Lettuce, Saffron and Shellfish Veloute as an Entree to share. The home-made pasta parcels were fresh and cooked perfectly. Even though in the picture there appears to be a lot of “foam” aka Veloute, there wasn’t. The mixture of King Prawn and Bug was flavoursome and together with the other elements of the dish worked perfectly. My main was the John Dory Fillet, Hickory Smoked Clams, Banana Chillies, Baby Onions, Carrot Purée. The combination of the Fish and the Smoked Clams were fantastic and dipped in the carrot purée created a smoky sweet mixture. The presentation of all the dishes had a touch of elegance and even though there were so many elements present on the plate. The dishes weren’t too cluttered, and the use of white plates enhanced the fresh colour of all the ingredients.

Next was my favourite course – DESSERT! I had read about The Bombe – as it the most talked about dessert at the Stokehouse and has been a feature on their menu for a very long time, and it sure did not disappoint. It comes standing proudly in the centre of the plate – a cross-section of frozen white chocolate parfait, strawberry sorbet on a sponge base encircled by a thick layer of blow-torched meringue, which taste like clouds in your mouth. It is simply delicious and you find yourself savouring every mouthful. The strawberries that come to the side don’t even need to be there, the Bombe on its on is all you need. The other dessert we had was the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse and Nougat Crunch, Salted Caramel, Honeycomb, Malt Ice Cream. This was pretty spectacular as well – the mousse was light and fluffy and together with the salted caramel and honeycomb somewhat offset the powerful chocolate taste. I have never had malt ice cream before, so this was a nice addition.

The Stokehouse to put it simply has great food, wine, service, ambience and views which makes for a memorable dining experience no matter what time of day you go. You can catch the sunset or even just enjoy the night time view of the sea.

Note: The restaurant upstairs can acommodate up to 135 guests seated for an a la carte meal or up to 300 standing for cocktails. Exclusive use of the restaurant space is suitable for wedding ceremonies or any other special occasion.

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$$$
Menu – A la Carte – can be found online
Upstairs at http://www.stokehousemelbourne.com.au/upstairs/,
Bar&Grill – http://www.stokehousemelbourne.com.au/bar-grill/.
All new Stokehouse Cafe coming soon – http://www.stokehousecafe.com.au/
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Stylish yet casual and has lovely views. Great for a dinner with friends, a private function like a wedding (where you can hire out the entire Stokehouse Upstairs) or for date night.
Standout Dish:
Service: Fantastic, Friendly and Attentive. Stokehouse is known for their great service and they didn’t disappoint when we went there.
Online Booking: Yes via website –
Upstairs – http://www.stokehousemelbourne.com.au/upstairs/,
Bar&Grill – http://www.stokehousemelbourne.com.au/bar-grill/.
All new Stokehouse Cafe coming soon – http://www.stokehousecafe.com.au/
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.stokehousemelbourne.com.au/
30 Jacka Bvd, St Kilda
Tel No: 9525 5555

Opening Hours:
Lunch:
Monday to Saturday: 12pm – 2:30pm
Sunday: 12pm – 3pm

Dinner:
Monday to Sunday: 6pm-10.30pm

Stokehouse (Upstairs) on Urbanspoon

Lux Foundry – Relaxed and Friendly



Fresh Mango and Passionfruit Juice and a Chai Latte

Crispy Poached Eggs on Sourdough with Chilli Caramel Jam and Coriander

Sunshine Fruit Salad with Almonds and Yoghurt

Coconut Crusted French Toast with Expresso Mascapone, Berry Compote, Torrone and Organic Canadian Maple

I had my first visit to Lux Foundry on the weekend and I loved it. Lux Foundry is located in the side-streets of Brunswick and is located in an old heritage listed buillding,  an old stove foundry.  The decor stays true to its factory beginning and retains some of its industrial elements and has an exposed brick wall and the oringial factory floors, mixed with modern elements. There is both seating inside for the cooler days, as well as boasting a huge outdoor area amongst a small herb garden, with umbrellas for that warm summery day.

Their fresh juices were refreshing and tasty. They had other combinations available as well. The Chai Latte was one of the best  I have had and came out with a design. Usually Chai Latte’s never get a design, so this was a nice addition (shows the extra detail they go to).

Looking at their menu I wanted to try out many of the dishes. Their menu is divided into different categories – Something Small, The Usual Suspects and Something Different, as well as a Lunch selection. The Usual Suspects are the normal big breakkies, and the bacon and egg types, the Something Different is what makes this place unique. They have a vast variety and as you read each combination, you find yourself saying yes to each and every dish. I settled on the Crispy Poached Eggs AND the Coconut Crusted French Toast (see I really did want to try everything on their menu =p).
The poached eggs had the right amount of ooziness and the crust on the outside was flavoursome and teamed with the caramel chilli jam tasted great. However, I would have liked an addition of maybe avocado,  lime or basil dressing for completeness. The French Toast was one of the best I have had. The Expresso Mascapone was delicious and really offset the sweetness of the berry compote and the maple syrup. The French Toast was cooked perfectly and had just the right amount of crunch. My friend who I was brunching with had to order a serve for herself as well after trying some of mine. THAT GOOD!

The service is fantastic and super friendly. They were very patient when they had to keep coming back to take our order because we weren’t ready. I will definitely be back and would recommend this place as my new favourite brunch place.

Note: You can also have private functions for up to 90 people. For more info go to: http://www.luxfoundry.com.au/catering-and-functions-brunswick.php

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$
Menu – Breakfast and Lunch Menu – http://www.luxfoundry.com.au/lux-foundry-menu-and-wine-list.php
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience: Casual, Relaxed and Fun
Standout Dish: Coconut Crusted French Toast with Expresso Mascapone, Berry Compote, Torrone and Organic Canadian Maple
Service: Friendly,Cheerful and Attentive
Online Booking: No
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://www.luxfoundry.com.au/
21 Hope Street, Brunswick
Tel No: 9387 8075

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 7.30am -4.00pm
Saturday to Sunday: 8.00am – 5.00pm

Lux Foundry on Urbanspoon

Circa, The Prince – Perfect Sunday Lunch


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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