Friday, 29 April 2011

China Bar Signature, Burwood East

Nightly ravenous folk descend to the glitzy Asian buffet feed like they’ve been trekking for weeks without a decent hot meal. Spoilt for choice, it might be best to start with the cold stuff first in sushi, sashimi and seafood (oysters, crab claws, mussels) before working your way to the prepared dishes heated under lids, yum cha dim sum and cooked to order noodles.

After loosening your belt, there’s a fancy selection of typically sweet creamed Asian styled desserts to pick from. Although some are definitely better than others. Choose wisely.

Bring a potato sack to make the car ride home bearable.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 380 Burwood Highway, Burwood East, VIC
What? Dinner $55, weekends $59, cheaper at lunchtime

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Café Sweethearts, South Melbourne

If there was a science to poaching eggs, Café Sweethearts could probably write a book on it. It’s all about the eggs at this wise old favourite, so much so that they might as well garnish each plate with a poached egg. I wouldn’t complain.

Eggs Italiano: crack those poached eggs to release the gooey yolk all over the toasted English muffins, grilled bacon, a tomato and basil sauce.

Salmon Stack: I’m not sold on savoury pancakes. This one had salmon and spinach through it.

Poached eggs and hollandaise: a never fail standard combo done well.

Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon: strong.

Where’s the egg hiding? Oh in the muffin. Somewhere.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 263 Coventry St, South Melbourne, VIC
What? $12-$17

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bashuge Traditional Szechuan Restaurant, Carnegie

These merchants of heat fill the void where the Zinger can’t. There are no medals for being brave, so don’t be afraid to request to turn the heat down. But they will be laughing behind your back in the kitchen.

Hotpot: I couldn’t tell whether it was the hot water or the chilli that was making my tongue blister. Probably both.

Yes there is some fried boney chicken under that dried chilli and peppercorns.

Double cooked pork provides some flavour respite.

Kung pao chicken: no thanks.

Forget the hot tea, soy bean drink is a very good idea.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 74 Koornang Rd, Carnegie, VIC
What? Dishes around $15

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Espresso 3121, Richmond

Harnessing the warehouse vibe, it’s really tempting to just plonk yourself on one of those stools and sip your quality latte and read the paper. Set the alarm to make sure you go back to work after the coffee break. Or just tell your boss and make them a fan.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 98 Balmain Street, Richmond, VIC
What? Coffee $3-4

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Cherry Tree Hotel, Richmond

The Cherry Tree is a local pub that’s a bit like your lounge room. Except for the fact that there’s all these strangers raiding your booze locker. It’s an uncomplicated place, the long, soft leather couches that are made for a good lie down and you know it’s low key here. With no brainer food that your house husband can churn out, the decisions are easy.

Fettuccine, cherry tomatoes, cheese.

Pizzas are of the thin crust type.

Bangers and mash, onion gravy.

Schnitzel and chips could have done with a sauce.

A quality local to have.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 53 Balmain St, Richmond, VIC
What? Plates $15-23

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Detour, Richmond

Sloppy burgers done at a reasonable price. Even cheaper on Mondays. Eat in an leave with the scent of BBQ eau de toilette.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 181A Swan Street, Richmond, VIC
What? Burgers $7-$10

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Mrs Noodle, Glen Waverley

It’s the pulling with the hands that make a difference to the noodles. Even better when it’s done fresh.

Ja Jiang Mein: pork mince in a thickish garlicky gravy that’s very nice, lathering springy just cooked noodles.

Combination fried noodles: the soy is evident.

Fried dumplings: bases pan fried with care.

Not to be overlooked if Ra Ramen is too full.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 84 Kingsway, Glen Waverley, VIC
What? Most around $10

Monday, 18 April 2011

Hoi An Quan, Hampton

Could there be good Vietnamese outside the hubs of Footscray, Springvale or Richmond?

Crispy Spring rolls are fine, with a decent nuoc cham dipping sauce.

Better versions of the wonton and char siu noodle soup found at Hong Kong style cafés.

Grilled pork on vermicelli: nice carmelisation on the meat

Grilled pork chop on broken rice: as above

Combination pho: you’ll need the hoisin and chilli for flavour.

Some choices are fine, but next time I’ll be driving the extra kilometres for a better range.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 912 Nepean Highway, Hampton, VIC
What? Most dishes around $10

Friday, 15 April 2011

Mezzo, Melbourne

Oyster has gone under the surgeon’s knife for a bit of a mini makeover and the result is Mezzo. The face lift has done the place a world of good. The food still has the same ticker but the presentation applied is rustic or clean and sharp when it needs to be.

Scallops and risotto


Arancini balls


Pork Ensemble

That’s a man’s steak

Duck and Pumpkin Puree

Mmmmmm chocolate

I like the new look.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 35 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC
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