Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Cow and the Moon Artisan Gelato, Enmore

Cow and Moon Artisan Gelato is a family run business which has the goods when it comes to gelato. The best in the world actually. A few weeks after Cow and Moon Artisan Gelato won the best gelato in the world at the Gelato World Tour Title in Rimini, Italy; I was eager to try the gelato but was terribly turned off by the massive crowds. 

The award winning, best gelato in the world is a recreation of the classic affogato. This award winning gelato combined caramelised almonds (From Italy apparently) with roasted coffee shots on a Madagascan Vanilla base gelato. Now that the hype is now over, I jumped at the chance and tried the Almond Affogato. 

I can definitely see the magic that is the Cow and Moon. The award winning Affogato is creamy, with delicious and strong flavours of caramel and more subtle flavours of coffee. I also tried the berry flavoured ice cream which was creamy and delicious. A great time to enjoy life and ice cream.

Prices: from $4.5 to $ 7.4

\Cow & The Moon Artisan Gelato on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Bistro Vue, Melbourne CBD

Bistro Vue, baby brother of mega house Vue De Monde is beautifully decorated with red velvet seats and random art works. I was eager to try an array of their menu so I opted for the 6 course degustation for $110. I'd recommend this if you are looking to try their range of delicious food.

With a minor food allergy, they replaced the first course for escargot. The garlic snails had a parsley crust and were quite nice. I've never been a massive fan of the Escargot but I seem to be ok with two to start off with.

This was followed by the cured ocean trout with brioche toast in a light tangy sauce. It tasted very fresh. The risotto below was beautiful. It was perfectly cooked with strong flavours of mushroom. This was one of the higlights for me. It was very homely.

Following the risotto was a neutral tasting gelato to cleanse the palette.

You sometimes feel quite hungry with these tiny portions of food. By the 4th course, I was still rather hungry.  The very rare wagyu beef was served with large pieces of onion and cabbage. The meat was served very rare which is not to my preference but you could tell it was a very high grade piece of meat. I was starting to become full but there were two more courses of dessert left.

For dessert, I had the cheesecake with green tea ice cream on a bed of crumble. I love cheesecake so I demolished this very quickly. The final course was a choice from their dessert cart. Cakes, macaroons, eclairs and anything else you can imagine was available to choose from.

Overall, it was a nice experience with a tasty courses. I'm not sure if this would be a regular venue of dining for me but definitely a first visit. Melbourne is full of fabulous restaurants that would give Bistro Vue a run for it's money in taste, value and experience.

Prices: $110 for the 6 course menu

Location: 430 Little Collins st, Melbourne CBD

Bistro Vue on Urbanspoon

Monday, 23 February 2015

The Hardware Societe, Melbourne CBD

The Hardware Societe is often spoken about, even among Sydney foodies. It's because Hardware Societe has beautiful looking food that is equally tasty. If you enjoy sugary, delightful dessert like breakfasts then this is your heavenly breakfast venue baby!

The iced chocolate (above) looks very playful with lashes of cream on top, playful colourful straw and chocolate to the side. The actual milk is not very chocolatey so you will have to scrape the chocolate off the sides.

The baked eggs Deux (below) with bread (with a splash of olive oil) was beautiful at $18. The baked eggs also had chorizo sausage, potato piquillo peppers, queso mahon, toasted almonds, alioli. It was just a very homely breakfast.

The Fried Brioche ($18) is a thick chunk of sweet bread topped with salted creme caramel, banana and crushed nougatine. For sweet-toothed lovers, you will enjoy the gooey caramel that is very rich and sweet. The hard caramel pieces with icing sugar on top is sugary and crunchy which brings another sweet dimension and adds to the layers of textures. 

You may need a breather half way to recover from the sugar highs!! Delicious but only a sometimes breakfast...

Prices: $20ish for Breakfast 

Location: 120 Hardware St, Melbourne CBD (in an alleyway)

The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Chez Dre, South Melbourne

Chez Dre in South Melbourne was a delightful, trendy cafe much like Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney. Perfect for breakfasts and brunches, the menu for Chez Dre has a bit of variety and many pastries that will make your mouth water. The cafe has a bustling atmosphere and was a good walk of about 20 minutes from DFO shopping centre in South Wharf.  The 89% like rate is well deserved.

The iced chocolate (above) and chai latte (below) were exactly what you wanted first thing in the morning. The smell of coffee also lingers in the air among all the chatter in the background.

The Grilled Asparagus (above) was $17.50 and was zesty in flavour with preserved lemon, almonds, parsley, poached eggs with verjuice hollandaise and toasted sour dough. The hollandaise sauce was very rich and I scrapped a lot of this to the side so I could enjoy the natural flavours of grilled Asparagus and poached eggs.  It doesn't look like too much food but I was very full after this. Simple ingredients but put well together.

The Chorizo and Smashed Peas is $19.50 and had mint, lemon and parsley, chevre poached eggs and toasted sour dough.  This meal is a much healthier version of meaty meals like bacon and eggs. The chorizo is spicy and well cooked.

So if you have some coin for a decent breakfast, Chez Dre is a great venue for Sunday brunch. You should get there at a reasonable hour if you want to avoid the wait.

Prices: $25-$30 per person

Location: Rear of 285 Coventry St. South Melbourne

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Nihonbashi Zen, Melbourne CBD

On a hunch, I went to Nihonhashi Zen without checking Urbanspoon. I wish I did check because it's like rate of 44% was very accurate. The decore resembled a cheap Japanese Restaurant but the prices on the menu would rival of michelin hat restaurants. I ordered some Sashimi which had 12 pieces of Salmon, King Fish and Tuna for $40. 

The Sashimi was fresh but I was turned off by the cheap decore and when I saw food on the other tables, I was not willing to order any more for the michelin prices. I'd avoid this place if I was you :P

Prices: If you had a proper meal it would probably be $120-$150  per person

Location: 87 Little Bourke St, Melbourne CBD

Nihonbashi Zen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Rockpool Bar and Grill (Bar Menu), Sydney

Neil Perry has a prestigious reputation for Rock Pool and it's delicious food.  More recently; everyone is talking about Neil's burger project store which is a replica of the infamous burger served at the Rock Pool Bar (Served at the bar not the restaurant).  I had to give the original burger a proper taste to understand its comparison and inspiration for Burger Project! Naturally, I indulged in a few cocktails and some hand cut thick chips (Hand Cut Chips $12 add Wagyu Gravy $3) to start off with. I loved the gravy that came with the chips which had real tasty chunks of wagyu in the gravy.

When the burger ($24) arrived, boy did it make an impression. I could see the beautiful ingredients including the bacon (it looks like a tongue). The full description is David Blackmore’s Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger with Bacon, Gruyere Cheese and Zuni Pickle. The meat is perfectly cooked with enough red in the middle and all the trimmings are delicately put together. The meat is very much, melt in your mouth.

This burger is three times more expensive than the classic burger at Burger Project but it's 3x as delicious. It's totally worth it. I can see why Neil Perry wanted to replicate this experience but at a more affordable price but I say.. save your pennies and go to Rock Pool Bar.

I also tried the Steak Sandwich (below) with Smoky Garlic Aioli and Beetroot ($29). This was a nice sandwich but didn't quite leave me with the incredible impression that the burger left. I thought it was a bit over priced for what it was. Don't get me wrong, there was nothing missing or particularly bad about this sandwich. Give it a go if you have enough stomach room for both the burger and steak sandwich.

I'd definitely suggest the hand cut chips over the shoe string chips. If you are a fan of onion rings then you're in luck. The Onion Rings with House-Made Ketchup ($9) did not disappoint. The crunchy batter and delicate pieces of onion meshed well together. Delicious!

Prices: $30-$35 per head plus drinks

Location: 66 Hunter St, Sydney. Be sure to go to the Bar for these dishes and not the restaurant.

Rockpool Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Ocean Foods, Drummoyne

The 64% like rate for Ocean Foods is a bit harsh. I would rate it in the 70s. For a slightly posh local fish and chip shop; Ocean Foods claims to have the best fish and chips in the universe. They did win an award a number of years ago but still draw a large number of locals in Drummoyne. The queues can at times be quite chaotic on the weekends at lunch time.  They also have a gelato bar to cleanse the palate. 

For a bargain deal of Fish and Chips ($9.99) available on Monday to Friday or $12.90 on the weekend. You will get a very generous serve of chips. They are beautiful chips, crunchy, salty with soft potato on the inside. The battered fish has a nice crispy crunch with flakey fish pieces. However all combined together, you will need something to break through fried goodness. I suggest a salad or other grilled seafood delights to balance your meal. 

I also shared the BBQ Platter ($27.50, below) which had delicious grilled pieces of calamari; fresh grilled prawns, mussels and scallops. Again, you will be given a generous serving of chips which you may expect given you have paid $30 for this one. The seafood is fresh and delicious. I love it. It's just a bit pricey for the local fish and chip shop which is why I mentioned.. it was a bit posh. 

Get there early on the weekend to avoid the queues! Great food, take away for a romantic picnic!!

Prices: $25 per person

Location: 154 Lyons Rd, Drummoyne. You may need to do a few laps of the bay run after a meal here. 

Ocean Foods on Urbanspoon