Menulog Competition – ENTER NOW!

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Thanks to the generosity of Menulog, I have two $10 voucher to giveaway to two lucky Grazing Panda readers to put towards their very own Menulog dining experience.

You can use the following link  http://www.menulog.com.au/browse/melbourne-vic to visit Melbourne restaurants to order Online.

You can refer to my blogpost with regards to Menulog here – https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/menulog-making-ordering-simpler/

Please share the love! If you know someone who would love to win this prize, let them know about this giveaway by spreading the word using the social media buttons at the end of this post.
Entry is easy. Just follow the prompts using the Rafflecopter App below. (App may take a few seconds to load.)
Please note: There are entry requirements  which are mandatory so be sure to follow the easy steps to ensure all of your entries count.
All winning entries drawn are screened to ensure they conform to these requirements and those that do not will be disqualified.
Terms and Conditions are as follows:
-Entry is open to residents of Australia only.
-The winner will be notified via email and given 48 hours to respond.
-If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn.
-Total prize pool is valued at 2 x $10 and is to be used with a local Menulog restaurant of the winner’s choosing (where valid) and cannot be redeemed for cash.
-The winner’s details may be forwarded to Menulog for prize distribution.
-A voucher code will be emailed to the winner as supplied by Menulog and will be valid for 2 months from the date of issue.
-The voucher code will be valid for delivery only and payments via credit card.
-The voucher is valid for one use only.
-Grazing Panda is not liable or responsible in any way or form for prizes that are subsequently not delivered by a third party or arrive damaged or late.
-Judge’s decision is final.

Good luck!

To enter Please click the link below and follow the prompts:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Menulog – Making Ordering Simpler!

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I was invited by Menulog to try their online takeaway feature in order to show the ease and convenience of using this service. For those of you who haven’t heard of Menulog they are NO 1 for online Takeaway in Australia and through their website you have the ability to Order food online at over 3500 restaurants around Australia. There are also special offers and discounts that are offered to you when you make an order – for example the restaurant that you are ordering from could have a special deal. For first time users of Menulog as well – there is 10% off on your first order. There is no sign up fee at all and the site is free to use.

The Menulog site is extremely easy to use and navigate as well. To begin with you can either enter in the suburb or postcode where you live in (or where you want the order to be delivered) – it will then bring up a list of restaurants in and around that area for you to choose from. On the left hand side there is a criteria bar, where you can refine your search – for example to search by cuisine, specials or even particular dishes.

When you are looking at the list of restaurants – there are different columns which offer information such as other users reviews of the place, the minimum order spend, the rating of the restaurant as well as any promotions that restaurant is offering. Once you find the restaurant you want – you simply click on the name and it will bring you to the menu of the restaurant. From here it is simply a matter of selecting the dishes you want. Depending on the dish there will be options that come up when you pick a particular dish – for example if you order a half /half pizza – there is a chance to select which two toppings you want for that pizza, or if you are ordering spring rolls – you get to select which filling you want such as vegetarian, seafood or meat. When you select you r first dish, Menulog will prompt you with the date and time that you want your order delivered. You can change this time and date later once you have completed your order as well.

When you have finished selecting all the dishes you want – you click on the PLACE ORDER button. This will take you to a page where you enter in your delivery address details (and here you can change the time and date of your order as well). It is also worth noting – if you find that you are short by a small amount (such as 10 cents to $1) from meeting the minimum order, when you select the PLACE ORDER button, an option will come up saying that you have not met the minimum order amount and you can go back and either add another dish or simply add the amount missing to the order – this is what I did as I needed 20cents more to make the minimum order cost. You can also add any comments you want to about your order or any delivery instructions required as well in the next page. They also give you an order number in order to track your order.

Menulog offers a FREE SMS confirmation service of your order as well, so you will need to enter in a mobile number for this. They send you an SMS telling you that your order has been confirmed and the time of delivery, and also gives you the restaurants number if any changes need to be made. It really is an efficient service that works quite seamlessly.

In addition to the SMS I received a phone call from Menulog around 3 hrs before my delivery time to confirm that I still wanted my order and the time which I wanted it as well. Now that’s service.

I placed an order with Kreate Noodle Bar in Lower Templestowe ( http://www.menulog.com.au/takeaway/templestowe-lower). I orderd a Seafood Spring rolls, Seafood Curry Laksa and Seafood PadThai. The delivery time was 7pm to my house – and they arrived around 6:50pm. Efficient! All the items of food ordered were there. The curry laksa even had the soup separate to the rest of the components which was good idea. The serving sizes were actually quite large, and could definitely feed more than one person! The food was very tasty and spicy and I would definitely order from them again.

The Menulog service is efficient, easy, timely and very convenient – especially for those rainy days when you don’t want to leave the house, or just don’t feel like cooking. I mean what beats ordering food from a selection of great restaurants and having it delivered right to your doorstep. If you haven’t tried out the service I would highly recommend them. You can also subscribe with Menulog to receive a newsletter which has Menulog specials and important updates – or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Definitely 5 Pandas for service!

Check Menulog at http://www.menulog.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Menulog.com.au
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Menulog

Who I ordered from:
Kreate Noodle Bar

9/325 Manningham Rd, Lower Templestowe
Tel No: 9852 4495

Kreate Noodlebar on Urbanspoon

Epocha – Tasty & Wholesome Food!

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Epocha which means ‘a new or distinctive era’ in a variety of European languages is a newly opened restaurant in Rathdowne Street, Carlton. It is located in the stunning heritage listed Victorian terrace which overlooks Carlton Gardens. And as owner Angie Giannakodakis, researched and discovered that it was commissioned by gentlewoman Hannah Mabel in 1884 – and the upstairs bar pays homage to her and is aptly called Hannah’s Bar.

Epocha is European inspired restaurant and bar brought to you by Angie Giannakodakis (former front-of-house manager The Press Club) together with business partner Guy Holder. The head chef is Mick Bolam who is the former head chef of Restaurant Sanctuary at Peppers in the Hunter Valley. The main focus of Epocha is around its main philosophy – sharing tasty and wholesome food. It is home style food that pays tribute to its European traditions with touches of Greek, English and French influences (such as the charcuterie and cheeses).

As you walk up the stairs to the terrace house entrance you know that you are about to expect something that you will be awe of – and you wont be disappointed. A elegant and rustic dining room welcomes you complete with wooden floors (that are creaky for authenticity), low hanging lights, dark wooden furniture with a colourful tiled table top, a huge old school style clock on the wall and homely olive green chairs. It really has a homely feel to it and you know you are in good hands as the service is impeccable, warm and welcoming – you just fit right in.

In addition to the main downstairs dining area, there is an upstairs area / function room with a balcony – this is Hannah’s Bar. You can come here for casual drinks as well as play games of backgammon.

We were seating in the downstairs dining area and the first thing that caught my idea was a wooden trolley which had a variety of cheeses as well as desserts on offer. What also caught my eye on the trolley was the wooden frame which housed honeycomb and honey. Such a great idea which once again makes it feel more homely. The menu is split into different sections such as snacks, small shares, large shares, accompaniments, dessert & cheese. There is also a sharing menu which is $68 per person where the Chef will pick what dishes your table gets. We decided to pick some dishes from each of the snacks, small shares, large shares and accompaniments. The waitress was helpful in letting us know if she thought we had ordered too many dishes, and assisted us in choosing our dishes as well.

Whilst we waited for our food we were given warm bread which comes in a knotted cloth bag which is something different. The bread (rye and caraway seed) was freshly made, soft and delicious. I got an oyster to start off with – fresh and tasty. We also got Mushroom Aranchini and Jamon, Fior Di Latte Croquettes to start off with. The Mushroom Aranchini was crumbed and crunchy on the outside and the filling on the inside was perfectly seasoned, and the mushrooms were moist and tasty. My friends did enjoy the Jamon Croquettes as well, and they were on the large side so that was an added bonus. We also got the Spiced Chickpea and Bread Crisps. The spiced chickpea was quite tasty and had a great balance of tanginess and spice. I loved the addition of the bread crisps – I enjoyed the crunchiness against the chickpea dip.

Some of the smaller share dishes that we selected were – Spring Asparagus with Slow Cooked Hens Egg, Tarragon and the Baby Carrots, Honey, Goat’s Curd, Sesame, Beetroot and Skate, Caper, Lemon, Parsley, Fava and lastly the Confit Duck Leg, Peas, Lettuce. The asparagus dish was a very different and interesting dish  – the asparagus was simply sautéed and absorbed the flavours of the tarragon, the hens egg was perfectly cooked and once you cracked it open the yolk oozed out and served as an additional sauce for the asparagus. The flavour combination was a mash of flavours that worked.

The Beetroot and Honey dish was my favourite dish and to this day I talk about it. I LOVED IT. The honey together with the goats curd was a great mix and was delicious – add in the sweetness and softness of the beetroot and carrots and you truly have a memorable dish. Highly recommended.

Skate is a type of large marine fish and this dish came with capers, lemon and fava – which is a type of bean. The sauce was tangy and creamy all at the same time. The skate was cooked fantastically and was still moist and mild in flavour. You really did need the addition of the capers and the sauce to really make the dish and make them it did. Another really tasty dish.

Once we had finished our snacks and smaller share dishes, it time for the larger shares. First up we got the Bird – which consisted of the breast, wing, thigh and leg. Crispy and crackly on the outside, moist and simply seasoned on the inside. This dish was served with a swig of rosemary. The whole fish that we got was Flounder – this came with Fruit Rub, Dill, Lemon and Salsa Verde. The dish comes out to the table as a whole fish and then we get to watch our waitress de-bone the entire fish for us. It’s a great process to watch as they seem to glide through the process – I could never do it with such ease. The fish is buttery and cooked amazingly, the salsa verde and fruit rub give it a mix of tangy and sweetness – you could add lemon if you needed an additional tang. We did order another larger dish but it was never brought out – and we were actually alright with that anyway as we were all so full and still had dessert to go.

Dessert time meant that the trolley was wheeled over to us for us to decide – they all cost $12. We settled on getting one of each dessert – Crème brulee, Chocolate Gateau, Tiramasu and Lemon & Ricotta Cannoli. The Crème brulee was smooth, sweet and small with a delicious crackling on top. The Lemon & Ricotta Cannoli was crunchy and the pastry was delicious – the lemon filling was buttery, sharp and strong all at the same time. The tiramisu ( I couldn’t have this as it had lots of alcohol in it) was quite alcohol filled as my friends told me but delicious nonetheless. The Chocolate Gateau was a clear winner – from the brownie bass to the centre chocolate mousse filling and topped off with a ganache chocolate topping. It looked as rich as it sounds but was such a great way to finish a fantastic meal.

Epocha is a fantastic place that everyone should definitely check it out – be it for a casual drink upstairs or if its a meal at the dining room downstairs. The atmosphere is homely, welcoming and quaint and the service is one of the best that I have experienced in Melbourne. There is antique silverware, vintage cutlery and crockery, colorful table tops, wooden creaky floors all which add to its uniqueness. There is also an international wine selection and the staff are happy to assist in getting you the right selection. If there is one place that should be on your list of places to try out it should be EPOCHA.

Rating : 4.5 Pandas
Price: $$$
Menu – Dinner Menu – can be found at http://epocha.com.au/pdf/Epocha-Menu.pdf
On Sundays there is a four course menu available for a Family Sunday priced at $45 pp
Fullness: 100%
Atmosphere / Ambience:
Standout Dish: Baby Carrots, Honey, Goats Curd, Seasame, Beetroot (this is my new fave salad – IT’S THAT GOOD!!)
Service: Fantastic and Attentive and Friendly. We asked our waitress quite a bit of questions and she answered all of them and if she didn’t know the answer, she found out. They are also very inviting and hospitable. All round great service!
Online Booking: They are currently updating their website so it is best to call or email at eat@epocha.com.au
Restaurant Details and Location:
http://epocha.com.au/
49 Rathdowne St, Carlton
Tel No: 9036 4949

Opening Hours:
Closed Mondays
Lunch
Tuesday to Saturday: From 12pm
Dinner
Tuesday to Saturday: 5:30pm to Late
Sunday Roast Lunch: 12pm to 4pm

Hannah’s Bar
Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm to Late

Epocha on Urbanspoon