Monday, 30 August 2010

Baffi & Mo, Redfern

With a crowd milling around the shop front in the ever increasingly person friendly Redfern, you could have mistaken it for the launch of the iPhone 4. So be sure to bring your 3G or 3GS as an electronic companion while you wait for an opening at this quant café that can only accommodate a small Italian family. With seats at such a premium they’ve even had to scour nature strips for discards to furnish the alfresco dining on the footpath. So whilst you might be sitting on some hard rubbish, the stuff coming out of the open kitchen is anything but.

Get past the boring breakfast stuff at the top of the menu for sweet ricotta hotcakes with passionfruit, lemon curd and strawberries or porridge with strawberries, rhubarb and ginger compote. Then there’s the awesome sounding lunch of smoked salmon cakes, pea corn and haloumi fritters chicken pie or the trio mini burgers and gourmet sangers. But below is what we had:

Melted fetta gives nice creaminess to the scrambled eggs, pesto provides the weird green tinge that tastes better than it looks.

Potato hash stack is the naughty to the nice of the double smoked ham, avocado, tomato, asparagus, lemon dressed rocket and poached egg.

You want to dunk your head into the cast iron baking dish that carries a runny pool of sobrasada (Spanish cured snag with paprika and pepper), roasted capsicum, mozzarella, cherry tomatos and baked eggs if it wasn’t so hot.

Unusual name, but I definitely want some Mo. Look out Surry Hills.

4.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 94 Redfern St, Redfern, NSW
What? Around $15

Friday, 27 August 2010

Workshop Espresso, Sydney

It’s been a while since I’d been back to Sydney, the CBD that lacks a decent brew except for a few choice spots. But now Sydneysiders don’t have to travel all the way to Newtown or Rosebery for a quality cup of the black liquid. Oh it’s a trend… and finally the city with the big lights is getting the convenient access to the stuff Melbournians have on tap. From this hole in the wall at The Galeries, get a Toby Estate blend in a great looking takeaway cup that will give you an impressive caffeine buzz.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? The Galeries Victoria, 500 George Street, Sydney, NSW
What? $3.50 a cup

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Klink, Sydney

It’s been a while since I’d been back to Sydney, the CBD that lacks a decent brew except for a few choice spots. But now Sydneysiders don’t have to travel all the way to Newtown or Rosebery for a quality cup of the black liquid. Just follow the funky arty looking gents and ladies in the skinny jeans, thick rimmed glasses and Glebe Market shoes to Gaffa Gallery where there is a little boutique café with a barista who is known to rule the tamper and portafilter with an iron fist. But what a master of the dark art who creates a great shot of pick me up that’s strong and gutsy with a feint bitter aftertaste. Delicious. And nutritious.

4.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Gaffa Gallery, 281 Clarence St, Sydney, NSW

Monday, 23 August 2010

Aria, Sydney

Get past the Masterchef hype, views of the Opera House and Bridge and it’s food that plays to the tune of a food DJ mashing up classic combinations. It would be harsh to say that the creativity is lacking, but if the a la carte menu had limbs, they would be fully attached.

Amuse Bouche of Pumpkin soup with Parmesan Foam: tasty.

Peking Duck Consomme with Duck Dumplings, shaved abalone and mushrooms: great duck juice again, but I think that was so three years ago.

Pork belly with pork croquette, apple puree, white cabbage and apple salad: pig with an old friend. Perfectly cooked, perfect combination, perfectly safe.

Spatchcock poached with bok choy, cucumber, shitake mushrooms and coriander broth: Spatchcock poached with bok choy, cucumber, shitake mushrooms and coriander broth (it is what it is)

Roasted fillet and short rib of beef, celeriac puree, roasted shallots with bordelaise sauce: cow dish that’s like scouring the mouth with a whole cow and rinsing with a bottle of red.

Banana soufflé with banana rum and raisin brulee: soft, light, the favoured flavour of our ancestors (if you believe in Darwin’s theory) truly comes through.

Coconut Macaroon, Chocolate Truffle, Pistachio Nougat.

Yeah it was a bit like Parklife or Future Music with your Dad spinning BABBA or ACCA DACCA. Not like that’s a bad thing, just not what you expect for the price you pay.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 1 Macquarie St, Sydney, NSW
What? Entrees $36+, Mains $55+, Desserts $25+

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Golden Gate Hotel, South Melbourne

Smell the Old Spice and Brut that lingers in this revamped old man’s art deco pub. If that’s not the fishing line that reels you in, surely the “you can’t complain” food will. $5 pizzas, $5 for small and $10 large plates of “you can’t go wrong” combos that won’t make it a gastro pub but just far away from normal grub. So the finished products are a little rough around the edges, but for what you’re paying for, shut your hole and keep the tasty thoughts to yourself.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 238 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, VIC
What? Pizzas $5, Small Plates $5, Large Plates $10

Left to Right : Proscuitto, Gorgonzola, Caramelised Onion, Rocket Pizza; Chips; $20 platter, Confit Pork Belly and Apple Relish, Scallop, Chorizo, Mash; Soft Shell Crab & chilli jam; Duck & wild mushroom pasties with plum sauce; Labna, dukkah pita; Golden Gate club

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Fu Long, Box Hill

There’s no doubting the Honkie credentials with the service the concept of a dog doing its business. Dump and run. But that’s what happens when you’ve got 3 waiters for a room of like 150+. So go large on the a la carte or Costco bulk buy banquets with the Good Guys pay less pay cash philosophy to suit varied budgets that have steamed oysters with XO or ginger, crab and noodles and your choice from selected dishes including black pepper beef fillet and salt and pepper chicken ribs to get your fills. Gets on the table quickly but don’t expect much attention after.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 942-946 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill, VIC

Friday, 13 August 2010

Indian Harvest, Malvern East

They’ll need all the referrals they can get from that charitable Entertainment Book. The décor tries very hard to please, table clothes and cute ornamental flowers in a small vase but pastel pink is too Miami Vice. Don’t expect the food to come out super fast either at this understaffed place. Indian regulars are there, with a few Pakistani specialities. We stuck to the usuals butter chicken and tandoori and they were fine. Prices probably inflated to account for those with vouchers, so if you had to pay in full you probably leave not overly full or that satisfied.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 111 Waverley Rd, Malvern East, VIC
What? Dishes around $15

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Silky Apple, Armadale

It’s frustrating that a place would be closed, of all the days during the week, on one of the weekend lunchtimes. Maybe that day wait is what makes the har gous at Armadale’s Silky Apple that much sweeter on Sundays. You gotta love the name of this old school Hong Kong style joint with the sauna timber stylings and Chinese landscape murals. They do the staples well: sui mai are pork meaty, char siu bao buns are sweet and fluffy, fried stuff such as the won tons and prawn bean curd rolls are well drained. And with very well mannered staff, it’s even Caucasian friendly.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 969-975 High St, Armadale, VIC

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