Monday 30 November 2009

Java Cafe

Can’t decide what to have for lunch? Java makes it easy with their “tapas”, that translates to four choices from a selection of food protected by glass sneeze guards on one plate. Changing regularly, there might be a beef curry or a chicken and mushroom risotto in the impressively sized stainless steel pot, mini chicken parmas, cous cous studded with raisins, potato salad, chunky meat pies, croquettes and fried crumbed vegies. The decision doesn’t get easier ☹.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC
What? Plates $12.50

Friday 27 November 2009

Gertrude Street Hotel

Grandpas and men over 45 could be up in arms with the “10 years in 10 days” modern makeover to this formerly old man’s pub. Only that the 10 was probably closer to 70. Still, if those grumpy oldies walked in, I’m sure the structure of the place would be recognisable, including the menu of pub classics such as chicken parma, steaks and so forth. Chilled, relaxed, sports viewing one end, lounges the other, good for young and old.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 148 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, VIC
What? Around $15

Thursday 26 November 2009

Don Too

Everyone’s gone through that feeling wanting to get away for a few micro moments from the avalanche of email requests. Don Too offers a mini retreat for a quick Japanese lunch dictated only by the speed of your swallowing. Order, shuffle to the left, and you should be picking up your order before you finish singing the Old MacDonald rhyme.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 340 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC
What? Average Main - $7

Left to Right : Curry Don

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Squires Loft

A steakhouse that’s like a pack of M&Ms. One brand, multiple venues, look distinctly different but made up of the same stuff. Docklands is a modern, New York style loft of deep tones and designer fittings, the Goldie Place venue inspires a wild western bar. Apart from the aged, juicy, marinaded rumps, eye-fillet, t-bone and rib-eye on the bone beef cuts char-grilled to order with your choice of thick cut chips or baked spud, there are also pork ribs, salmon, salads and wagyu burgers. Crispy fried onion rings are a devilish addition for the spare tire, as are the creamy thick sauces to accompany the mains. Steaks are enjoyable, but not so the sticky date or the choc fudge cake. Save it for a pack of red and yellows.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 12 Goldie Pl, Melbourne, VIC; Shop 1 Ericsson Building, Down Enterprize Way, 818 Bourke Street, Docklands, VIC
What? Around $30

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Thai Saffron

When a suburb community seems to be just about the only eatery on a strip of shops in the bayside, it has to be doing something right. Or they are slipping crack into the dishes. Absent are the glazed eyes and diners aren’t bouncing off walls, which probably means this restaurant is serving a menu of stock Thai food with a few specials. And yes, it is nice, after comparing customary tangy sweet tamarind juiced pad thai, lime citrussy larb gai and red curry beef to others. King prawns are cooked in a sweeter Thai red curry, but a coconut-creamless Jungle curry with chicken holds nothing back as each mouthful of the sauce coats the mouth and tongue with mini daggers, making good on their description of “hot”. Just as Thai Saffron makes good on Brighton’s sentiment.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 135 Church St, Brighton, VIC
What? Around $20

Monday 23 November 2009


Didn't I feel like a John Doe. Baristar Espresso is like that really popular club where they know you on a name and order basis. So as I stood there like another number waiting for my stuff, I could feel that "L" growing on my forehead the more Mikes, Steves and Janes strolled in for their usuals. A stark contrast to the coldness of service I received, which could have frozen my chicken, cheese and avocado melt, and the decent cup of coffee into a frappaccino. So initially you might get a cold shoulder, but the product is good. Go more often and soon enough you won't be Mr or Ms X.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? Shop 1, 422 Little Collins St, Melbourne, VIC
What? Under $10

Friday 20 November 2009

Nelayan Indonesian Restaurant

If you judge the success of a place based on the fact that you want to scream “COCHROACH” just to secure a seat during peak lunch times, then Nelayan will work those vocal chords. Probably fall on deaf ears, as the packed tables munch down on the array of Indonesian staples such as ayam goreng, curries and the spicy, tenderly stewed beef rendang. So good you’ll need to come up with much nastier things to say for a table and chair.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 265-267 Swanston St, Melbourne, VIC
What? Around $10

Thursday 19 November 2009


Richmond-ians are spoilt, blessed by Maeda’s Shop izakaya that’s simultaneously filling stomachs with exciting, flavour food bombs and knocking out brain cells with quality sake and biiru. Skewered chicken and pork meat lathered in a sweet, black tare sauce in the Sumiyaki set introduces the quality BBQ grilling experience, but a must is breakfast in your mouth Bacon and Egg McMuffin bacon and quail egg kushi.

From a kitchen proper, okonomiyaki proved so popular it was un-orderable by 8pm. Never fear because the liberal use of cheese in a fried gyoza dumpling and squid ring gratin evaporates disappointment. Retail sales at Lenards are threatened, customers will want to save their chicken credits after devouring the crispy skinned deep fried chicken wings that leave the lips tingling from the generously seasoning of garlic/ginger powder (Nagoya Tebasaki) and Chicken Namban (deep fried knobs of thigh drizzled with a sweet vinegar sauce, topped with a creamy, eggy tartare sauce).

Save room for dessert, green tea and chocolate a happy marriage in the pudding, but it’s the novel use of sweet soy milk to produce a pannacotta that’ll give you a smile to make Beat Takeshi jealous. Certainly wasn’t the first for the night though.

Curse those awesome people from Japan. They’ve given us the simplicity and freshness of sushi and sashimi, now they are encroaching on a favourite Aussie past time, by making the trusty Weber look like a Fisher-Price play set.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? 100 Bridge Rd, Richmond, VIC
What? Savouries $4-15, Desserts under $7

Left to Right : Maedaya's Dippin Mate, Sake Selection, Yakitori set, Squid Ring Gratin, Bacon and Egg Kushi, Tofu, Mushrooms, Noodle Salad, Chicken Namban, Agedashi Cheese Gyoza, Misa Kushi Katsu, Nagoya Tebasaki, Spicy Miso Yakiniku, Green Tea Chocolate Pudding, Soy Milk Pannacotta

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Dancing Goat

I didn’t know these capras could shuffle, ballroom, hula or krump. Goats this talented shouldn’t shy away. Taking residency on Little Lonsdale just past a couple of King Street’s finest establishments is the only place people up this end of Melbourne should go for coffee. The espresso shot is developed by the da Vinci of baristas, with the same level of pride and care as the grandmaster, then transformed into its multiple forms showing the highest respect in prepping the stuff that comes from a cow’s teat. A result that is an exceptional caffeine experience. It’ll make you wanna dance.

4.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 4/280 King St, Melbourne, VIC
What? Under $5

Tuesday 17 November 2009


Lovely jubbly it is, them legs and post. That is the breaky special of bacon and eggs, buttered toast and roasted tomato for just under $6. Bargain. Not so the “Summer” breaky, poached eggs and raw spinach fine, but the 3 prawns are half the size of a regular thumb small, and there’s more egg than sweet scallop flesh, all lathered in a thick, creamy hollandaise that makes the plate rather heavy rather than seasonal light. Genorisity would make Bellissimo a little bit more dovely.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 11 Mooloolaba Esplanade, Mooloolaba QLD
What? Around $15

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