Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Amici Trattoria

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Amici Trattoria is a candlelit cozy restaurant serving Italian fare.  We went there for dinner on a Saturday night and it made for a great evening out - the staff were friendly, meal came quickly and food did not disappoint.

As an appetizer we ordered an antipasto plate to share and a few loaves of garlic bread.  The antipasto plate had an assortment of nibblies:  salami, olives, preserved veggies and pickles, a few solid wedges of parmesan and meatball.  The garlic bread, or rather rustic bread with garlic butter was a nice accompaniment to the antipasto.

For mains, as a creature of habit, I ordered their osso bucco.  It's a huge serve and I loved the slow cooked texture.  It came with saffron rice to mop up the sauce.

Osso Bucco

Kiddo being a creature of habit also, had her regular scallop risotto in a kid size serve.  (Please excuse the lighting in the photos as when the night wore on, we were solely reliant on candle light.  Very romantic but not so conducive to good photography)

Scallop risotto
The others ordered the following which were all generously plated.

Sirloin steak

A chicken special
For desserts we ordered few sweets to share.  The tiramisu was divine and the chocolate panna cotta and gelato were general crowd pleasers.


Chocolate panna cotta


The mains averaged in the $20-something mark and the desserts were under $10 each.

Amici Trattoria has a very pleasant, cozy, romantically lit ambience.  We will definitely be going again.

Amici Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Malaysian Kitchen

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I was introduced to Malaysian Kitchen by a friend who recommended it on the basis it cooked up consistent Hawker stall food at very reasonable prices.  On this occasion, I tried their special lunch menu which had several of their popular noodle and rice dishes to select from in addition to free drink for $12.50.

I was very happy with my choice of Chef Pan Mee.  I have never had this noodle dish before and was surprised by the thick cut noodles that came with it.  They were a slippery but nice texture and the broth was flavoursome without being too salty.  It had little bits of fried anchovies and pork throughout.

Chef Pan Mee
 My dad ordered the Nasi Lemak with Beef.  It was good value considering you get a free drink with the meal and other places charge similarly if not more for a Nasi Lemak sans drink.

Nasi Lemak with Beef
 My mum selected the Combination Ipoh Hor Fun which had plenty of 'wok hai'.

Combination Ipoh Hor Fun


Hot Lemon Tea
Malaysian Kitchen is great value, particularly with their lunch special.  Service was prompt and the food was decent.

Malaysian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Matteo's (Revisit)

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

To celebrate a milestone birthday recently, I made a booking at Matteo's for their Lazy Sunday Lunch.  Having been previously wowed at Matteo's , I knew it was a pretty safe bet to host my birthday lunch there.  It did not disappoint.  The service was attentive, the menu creative and even the kid's menu showed care and attention - in fact we begged scraps off Kiddo's meal, it looked so enticing.

The Lazy Lunch Menu is $79 per head, $109 per head with a glass of wine matched with each course.  As we were not big drinkers, we opted for the $79 option and ordered wines and drinks separately.  It was indeed a lazy lunch as we were very well fed and rolled on home for a nanna nap.

The entree consisted of four tastes to share:

Peking duck rillettes wrapped in a spring onion crepe

Panko crumbed goat's cheese

Scorched Mooloolaba cobia sashimi, shisho-ponzo dressing

Spicy veal, wombok and salted beef bresaola rolls
These little morsels looked so beautiful, particularly the Peking duck rillettes with the sliver of lotus roots on top.  The cobia sashimi was a stand out.  So light and delicate but smokey at the same time.

Course two, we had a choice of the following:

Spanner crab wonton ravioli, Asian coleslaw with bean shoots and choko, tom kha galangal sauce

Saikyo-yaki miso baked black cod fillet, broad beans, heirloom carrots, taramasalata
I had the baked cod which was juicily cooked and flavoursome.

Course three were meat mains and we had a choice of the two below.  I ordered the pork hock below.  It was melt in the mouth glory.  The surrounds were pretty yum too, eg the cabbage and cauliflower.

Roasted Golden Plains pork hock roulade, cider braised cabbage, macerated prunes, cauliflower, garlic cream, ginger wine glaze

Pan seared spatchcock chicken, grilled baby corn, pumpkin, sugar snap peas, Balinese yellow curry sauce
Desserts was a feast in itself as well.  We each had a tasting plate with three wee desserts.  For those of us on a low sugar lifestyle (me), Matteo's kindly accommodated by swapping the sweet desserts for a sumptuous cheese platter.  My cheese platter was quite the envy of the sugar fiends.  The Gods must have been smiling down on us as we were also very lucky to have an extra sticky date pudding thrown in!

Chocolate pudding, run and raising ice cream, passionfruit trifle with red velvet cake and pineapple

Cheese platter with all the trimmings - the walnut bread was delightfully warm!

It's my lucky day - on the house warm sticky date puddings

A cuppa to wash it all down with
The kid's menu was no less spectacular.  Kiddo chose the following from the Gen Dine menu.  As mentioned earlier, all the adults begged for a little taste of each.


Steak with onion rings

Chocolate pudding and icecream
So there you go!  It was a feast in the literal sense of the word.  It was a very memorable birthday lunch for me and my guests.

The deets:

533 Brunswick St,
ph: 9481 1177

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Wharf Hotel

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Spring has sprung! It's the perfect time of the year to enjoy the best of waterfront and al fresco dining Melbourne has to offer.  I was very fortunate to be invited by Clemence Harvey to dine at one of the World Trade Centre (WTC) Wharf's waterside restaurants as part of their launch of their new Spring Express Lunch menus.  Out of the participating restaurants (Man Mo, Kobe Jones, Byblos and Wharf Hotel), I opted for the express lunch at the Wharf Hotel as I have never been there before.  The express lunch menu are designed for the quickie weekday lunch but in a much nicer setting that your average office break out area.  And in my case, a much better tasting lunch than what I usually pack in my lunch box!

Wharf side view
The staff were very friendly and the food came promptly as promised.  I was in and out in less than an hour.  The Wharf Hotel offer a choice of five items on the express lunch menu which come with a drink.

The waitress advised that their pizzas are a popular item, so whilst I generally don't order pizza when dining out (as I like to think I make a pretty mean wood fire oven pizza myself), I decided to give their's a go.  I ordered the salmon, tomato and chilli pizza.  It was a very generous size serve and I could not finish it.  It came with some serious cheese on top.

Salmon, tomato and chilli pizza

Seriously cheesy

The crust was very light and crispy and not at all greasy.  For a salmon pizza the taste wasn't overwhelmingly fishy, which was a good thing.  As I'm a bit of a fussy pizza critic, this pizza more than past muster.

I washed it down with a cup of tea which I ordered in lieu of the glass of wine or soft drink which came with the express lunch.

I was also provided with the dessert menu.  But as I could not even finish my pizza, there was no way I could fit in the dessert.

I'll leave you with a few pics of the surrounds.  As I said, a way better ambience than the average office break out area.  Indeed there were quite a few office folks grabbing a bite.

The WTC Wharfside restaurants are definitely a good lunch option for those working in the city - beats sitting down in a food court for sure.

The Wharf Hotel on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nieuw Amsterdam

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I had a very civilised mid-week lunch with my sister and kiddo at Nieuw Amsterdam.  To cut to the chase, the BBQ meat plate was nothing short of glorious.  It was $24 and came with a meat of choice (we chose the pork chop), coleslaw, pickle, bread and potato salad.  The pork chop was moist and ever so tender, it was reminiscent of a slow cooked piece of meat.  It was drizzled with a slightly sweet BBQ sauce.  The okra in the pickles were also an unexpected but nice touch.

The BBQ Meat plate
To supplement the meat plate we also ordered the eggplant sandwich ($17).  This sounded a bit bland on paper but in life, it was a sizeable sandwich and delicious too.  Stacked with mozzarella, fresh tomato and served with steakhouse chips and Srirachi mayo.  Kiddo was particularly taken to the rocket salad.  It was the first greens I have seen her voluntarily eat for weeks.

A huge eggplant sandwich - split 3 ways

A close up
All in all, Nieuw Amsterdam does not disappoint on the food front.  It also had lovely bar-like ambience.  I can understand why it is such a popular haunt.  

Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Friday, 26 September 2014

Cafe Paradiso

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I was at Cafe Paradiso with a couple of parents from Kiddo's school.  It's opposite the Rivoli Theatre at Camberwell Junction so in all respects a popular eating joint in prime locale.

I was a bit disappointed with the service.  Being a week night, it wasn't all that busy but we waited an eternity for the drinks to be poured.  One of the parents ended up walking to the counter and asking what the specials were before coming back to the table to recite it back to us as our waitress had gone AWOL.

My disappointment with the service was eclipsed by my disappointment with the food.  I ordered a wagyu burger.  Sounded good in theory.  However it was strangely gritty with each bite.  Try as I may, I could not identify the source of the grit.  I hoped to God it was sand on the lettuce but deep down, part of me was afraid that the grit is from the burger meat itself.  I was operating in denial and ate the burger on auto-pilot. The fries themselves were extremely salty and for once in my life, I did not finish my beloved pomme frites.

A suspiciously gritty wagyu burger
 A few quick pics of what the others had ordered:

Haloumi salad


Soup of the day

In short, Cafe Paradiso - I will not be going back.

Cafe Paradiso on Urbanspoon

Until next time...
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