Archive for ‘Novelty’

February 27, 2012

March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation @ Mad Cow

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American Diner @ Mad Cow

Mad Cow was the perfect place to host March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation; throw a mix of New York, plenty of white comfy booths and splatters of red and white stripes. March in Merivale kicks off filled with a month of exciting one-off dinners across Merivale’s family of restaurants. Also a perfect match for us to get excited about our upcoming trip of eating in the States (yay!).

American Diner @ Mad Cow Corn and Cheese Quesadillas

Most of the menus during March into Merivale are unannounced so it’s always a pleasant surprise on the day. To start us off, our amuse bouche were corn and cheese quesadilla triangles; pipping hot and filled with stretchy cheese and a revving mix of salsa and spices. Sadly it was only a triangle each…

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Mad Cow Chopped Salad w/ Spencer Gulf Prawns

The amuse bouche really got us going, so we dug into this salad as though it was our final meal. Filled with red onions, yellow and red tomatoes, leaves and plenty of prawns sprawled on top.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Grilled Atlantic Salmon w/ crushed peas & mint

Our eyes sparkled when the salmon was dished; partly purely from hunger (there was a little too much wait in between courses) but also from the generous portions of fish. The salmon skin was as crispy as a potato chip with the flesh still medium rare. Not everyone was a fan of the mashed peas and mint, but I loved the combo of mushiness against crispy salmon.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Shoestring fries

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Braised Beef Short Ribs

Seated near the kitchen, we smelt the naughtiness of the shoestring fries from a mile away. A must add to our main course of braised short ribs swimming in a jus with peas, baby carrots and thyme.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner @ Mad CowKey Lime Pie

After countless seasons and late nights of Dexter, our key lime pie itch was scratched and it was delicious! Even with the sweet tooth of mine, I loved the sourness of the lime contrasted by fluffy light meringue and a crunchy gingernut base. Traditionally this pie was cooked purely from the acidity of the lime with the eggs, but thankfully now it’s baked just a little.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner’s Degustation is apart of March into Merivale 2012.

Mad Cow
Ivy, Level 1, 330 George St

April 1, 2011

Naked for Satan, Melbourne

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Naked for Satan

Naked for Satan is a fun and quirky concept, where the ceilings are high, all is copper and naked buxom women wallpaper the walls. It’s a buffet styled bar where you pick and choose the pintxos, eat and then count your toothpicks to pay. Pintxos, or pinchos is Spanish for the small bite sized snacks eaten in bars. Pintxos are little delights served on bread with a toothpick pierced through (the literal translation for pincho actually means spike!).

Naked for Satan
Naked for Satan

Naked for Satan

The pintxos include a range from an awesomely grilled capsicum, mushroom and lettuce delight, a seafood and carrot puree sprinkled with flying roe, a pea puree slather with scallop and corn fritter ball on a bed of blue cheese. For more, there’s blue cheese with honey eggplant, red apple and chorizo and, more blue cheese and quince jam pintxos.

So if you’re not a fan of cheese or all things puree’d then sadly no pintxos will be quite satisfying. Most of the menu include char grilled vegetables or a cold meat skewered into a generously cheese’d up slice of amazingly soft baguette. The staff do occasionally walk around with out of the oven platters of pintxos with piping hot fritters.

Naked for Satan

Some of the pintxos were quite experimental and despite being a heavy meat eater, the best pintos of the night were the veggie ones; simple with great flavours – so stick with the garlic mushrooms, char grilled capsicum and smoked salmon with picked onions.

Naked for Satan

Agreed with my fellow foodie; the concept and bar is brilliant, but the food needs a little work. It’s still worth a stopover for a drink or two, a toothpick or two to kick start the night’s festivities. And for a limited time, they’re offering 50c pintxos!

Naked for Satan
285 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

March 7, 2011

Greenhouse by Joost, Sydney

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I love a Sunday that starts off with sunshine, an exciting brunch and a wander around art galleries, the markets or just lounging around. This Sunday instead of typical bacon and eggs, it was at the new pop-up in town, Greenhouse by Joost. Facing Sydney’s greatest icons is the Greenhouse made from recycled/able materials transported most quickly and efficiently and leaving the smallest ecological footprint as possible.

Walk into a room filled with words wall to wall, coriander bouquets in jar vases, seats made from aluminium pipes and saddle leather offcuts and plenty of natural light (yay!!).

The menu is short and simple. Its philosophy is to be as “waste free” as possible, by making breads, pizza bases and pastas as they go, freshly squeezed juices and a menu based on seasonal ingredients, and most importantly what is available locally.

Seared mullet, mixed tomato salad

My fellow foodies weren’t hyperventilating when they saw the seared mullet on the menu, but their minds did change when they tasted it. The fish was perfectly seared with a crisp skin and soft, lean fish. The dish was fresh and simple with the fish lightly seasoned and tomatoes just lightly tossed with olive oil.

Wagyu beef gerello, green papaya, peanut, tamarind

The beef is a little tough to cut, but considering we’re using a blunt wooden knife…. The meat was still wholesome and juicy, with the perfect bite of papaya salad.

Artichoke, mozzarella cheese & chorizo pizza

The pizza is one of the simpler dishes on the menu, with the pizza base made from flour milled inhouse and cooked just right in the woodfire oven; leaving the pizza crispy yet nice and doughy on the inside.

Raspberry & chocolate macarons, caramel fudge

Peaches & cream

Brunches that end on a sweet note are always better. The macarons are surprisingly one of the best I’ve had with a gooey centre, and the slice of caramel fudge reminded me of the soft Werther’s Originals I used to eat as a little girl.

The peaches and cream is an interesting dessert but it works, the peaches are poached in the sweet wine, Moscato, and sits on a bed of vanilla bean mascarpone with crunchy toffee and crushed pistachio. Delicious!

Even though it’s brunchtime, there’s always a time for cocktails! For gin lovers, it’s a delight to see half of the menu is based on gin. Cocktail #1 is for the traditionalist; mixed with gin, elderflower, citrus juices, cucumber and parsley and for those who love a twist, #2 is the pick, with gin mixed with homemade marmalade, basil and lime.

Make sure the eco friendly adventure ends up at the rooftop bar, to soak in the view and smell the amazing herbs growing. Look for the orange storage containers and walls of strawberry pot plants from afar!

Greenhouse by Joost
Campbells Cove
The Rocks, Sydney

January 5, 2011

Costco, Melbourne

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In our February Melbourne trip, the boys were so intrigued by the American giant, Costco, that they decided to sign up for membership and shopped up big (literally)! Membership is $60 per year and is pretty worthwhile if one person signs up and the rest piggybacks off them, only catch is that they will need to pay at the counter. It’s hard to imagine how Melbournians can’t live cheap with bulk buy groceries and discount factory outlets everywhere. So every time we go back to Melbourne, we pay our big friend a visit.

Everything comes big big or in bulk. Chips came in big bags with equally 1kg jars of salsa… jellybeans come in kg tubs and can you really say no to 1.5kgs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? For only $15? And oh, we made the most of it because we had car transportation of the goods back up to Sydney, win!

Costco cafeteria lives up to its name for being big. A hot dog with free soft drink refills for $2.50 and a giant pizza slice for $2.99. Oh major carbicide.

And Costco is opening up soon in Sydney… and 5 minutes away from me!

Costco Wholesale
381 Footscray Road
Docklands, Melbourne

November 5, 2010

Shady Pines Saloon

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Moving along is the ol’ favourite that has been snapping up the awards, Shady Pines. The only sign this little bar holds is a gathering of people smoking in an alleyway and white sheets covering the windows. Once the door is opened, it’s like stepping onto a Texas movie set with animal heads peering from the walls, mismatching furniture, beer, bowls of raw peanuts and loud bursts of laughter – and really all this place needs is a mechanical bull. Standing behind the long wooden bar table are some serious bartenders with the moustaches to match the decor. Extensive beer list and its quirkiness is worth checking out.

Shady Pines Saloon
256 Crown St
Darlinghurst, Sydney

Shady Pines Saloon on Urbanspoon