Monday, 14 July 2008

Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe

Flying first class from Canberra to Melbourne. Truffles stuffed with foie gra on Tip-Top multi grain for breakfast. Porsche laptops. The common? It’s all a bit excessive. Just like getting sloshed on beer that’s won more awards than a Lord of the Rings trilogy. Skull raspberry, blackberry and chocolate brews, or more normal stuff such as pale ales, pilseners and lagers.

Getting drunk comes at a cost. So instead of choosing the dishes or tasting menus that force you to drink beers which enhance the morsel’s flavours of the chook, cow, fish, get food from the bar menu that helps reserve cash for more prized alcohol later.

Get toasty with the Redoak’s version of Guinness Pie. Oatmeal Stout is used in the braised beef ragout, stewed down with eggplant and Swiss cheese to a rich, creamy consistency. Baked puff pastry protects the contents, garnished with parsley and halved cherry tomatoes. If you haven’t passed out from the bier, there’s also the very Deutschland sausages of Kransky, Stuttgart & Nurnberger, pan fried atop a disc of mash and a tangy sauerkraut Rauch jus.

They say eating is cheating, and what’s more you’re only wasting precious stomach space to food. But hell, if you’re going to eat, might as well eat as cheaply as you can in a place that demands coin for the elixir that aids the escape from reality.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 201 Clarence Street, Sydney, NSW
What? Entrees - $18, Mains $26, Desserts $10, Tasting Plates $20, Bar Menu $12

Left to Right : Oatmeal Stout Pie, Trio of Sausages

Pondok Selera

Dixon Food Court, the Johnny Rotten of Chinatown food courts. It’s dark, dingy, rebellious and steadfastly refusing to conform to those around who have upgraded with the times. Though just like in Asian countries, sanitised places do not always produce the best food.

Pondok Selera quietly trades in a shoebox serving over the heated counter Indonesian/Malaysian dishes with rice for $7.50 or freshly cooked on request. Its take on the Nasi Lemak, whilst has the mandatory coconut rice, deep fried shallots, fried crunchy anchovies, sliced cucumber, hard boiled egg and a pungent sambal as condiments, the meat components leave plenty of room for improvement. The curried drumstick chicken provided appeared to be suffering from muscle atrophy, and a bit more understanding that hungry souls need more than just 1.5 bite sized piece of coconut cream heavy rendang beef.

1.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Dixon Food Court, Hay St, Haymarket
What? Under $10

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