Chez Dré

Rear of 285-287 Coventry Street, South Melbourne 9690 2688

http://www.chezdre.com.au/

 

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Duck Sandwich – confit pulled duck, onion jam, red cabbage, grated apple, truffle mayonnaise and panini

A delicious combination of ingredients (including a considerable amount of duck) sandwiched between crispy panini bread. Seriously one of the best sandwiches that I’ve had in a long time.

= ★★★★

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Salmon Rillettes – beetroot relish, caperberries, poached eggs, beetroot crisps and toasted sourdough

Perfectly poached eggs, tasty salmon, piquant beetroot, briny caperberries.

= ★★★

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Prana Chai – masala blend with honey, black ceylon tea, spices and ginger

= ★★

Overall:

It’s been a few years since I last visited Chez Dré and my only regret from this visit was being too full to fit in any of their amazing desserts. I have to get an eclair the next time I come here! And a cheesecake…and a tart…possibly a macaron. Either way I must come back soon.

Chez Dré on Urbanspoon

Kenji Japanese Dining

Burwood Arcade Shop 10, 1405 Toorak Rd, Camberwell 9889 1084

 

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Sushi Bento Box

California deluxe rolls, nigiri sushi, gyoza, chicken karaage, croquette, crumbed fried prawn, calamari ring, edamame, salad

= ★★

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Prawn, scallop and seared salmon nigiri

= ★★

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House Special roll

Tuna, yellow-tail, prawn and cucumber, wrapped in salmon

= ★★

 

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Green Tea Thickshake

Tasted like vanilla ice cream with occasional lumps of matcha powder.

= ★★

Overall:

Warm and inviting atmosphere, lovely service, extensive menu, typical Japanese fare. Note that this place is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Kenji Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

Rudimentary

16-20 Leeds St, Footscray 0497 058 173

 

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The Burger – soft shell crab, chili mayo, green apple, celery and mint

Flavoursome crab covered in crispy batter.

= ★★

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Organic Zeally Bay bun with smoked brisket, kimchi and asiago

Unexpected burger filling that would have been more enjoyable had the brisket been less salty.

= ★★

Overall:

Footscray is not the first suburb that springs to mind when it comes to coffee and brunch. The owners of Rudimentary have done an excellent job at creating this earthy hipster cafe that makes you forget that you are in Footscray (that is until you look up at the high steel fencing surrounding the place). The cafe itself is cheery and vibrant with large open windows and clean neutral tones. From inside you would never guess that the building is in fact a couple of shipping containers welded together. Service was very efficient and I loved the fact that we were able to leave a name and contact number and be called when our table was ready. The menu here is quite small and has clear Asian influences (crispy pig’s ear anyone?). Everyone on our table decided to get a burger and the first thing we noticed was how incredibly thick the burger buns were. Not only were they thick but they were also quite dense making it impossible to squish down and fit into your mouth. I don’t know about you, but a cut up burger to me doesn’t taste as good as a burger I am able to hold in my hands and bite into.

In any case Rudimentary is a great addition to Footscray and I really hope that they continue to do well.

Rudimentary on Urbanspoon

Rudimentary

Squires Loft Albert Park

St Kilda Road Towers, 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne 9863 7700

http://www.squiresloft.com.au/

 

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300g Scotch with creamy garlic sauce and chips

= ★★

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200g eye fillet with Danish blue cheese sauce and a baked potato

= ★★

Overall:

It’s been years since I last ate at a Squires Loft and couldn’t recall what the steaks were like. And that’s the thing, the steaks here were satisfactory, making them unmemorable to me. Squires Loft wouldn’t be the first place I would think of when I get a steak craving, but I also wouldn’t have any opposition coming here (if I happened to be in the area that is).

Squires Loft Albert Park on Urbanspoon

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Basement, 27 Russell St, Melbourne 9659 3708

http://www.ikkoryu.com.au/

 

Ramen

There’s a new ramen place in town Melbourne! Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is a well known ramen chain based in the Philippines and this particular restaurant is in fact the first that has been opened in Australia. I recently had the opportunity to attend their soft opening event and was quite impressed with the decor (particularly with the wall paintings and Japanese calligraphy).

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I’m not the biggest fan of sake…

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But once it’s mixed with juice, it becomes refreshing and tasty!

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Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried Rice)

Simple and light.

= ★★★

Gyoza

These were really good: crispy on one side, soft on the other, and had a delicious filling.

= ★★★

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Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu

Ramen with mildly spicy Tobanjan paste, pork, green onion, egg, black fungus, bean sprouts and dried seaweed.

= ★★

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Ikkoryu Original Tonkotsu

Hearty Tonkotsu ramen with pork, green onion, egg, black fungus, bean sprouts and dried seaweed.

= ★★★

Overall:

I have always liked places where you can customise your own ramen. Now although the ramen here was good, it certainly wasn’t the best that I’ve had in Melbourne. The broth could have been creamier and portions could have been somewhat larger (considering the prices of these bowls). Nevertheless I think Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has the potential to become a great izakaya with its delightful space and snacks on offer.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen on Urbanspoon

*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen. 

CJ Lunch Bar

Shop 2/391 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne 9602 1155

 

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Japchae (stir fried sweet potato noodles, vegetables and beef in soy sauce)

= ★★★

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Bibimbab (steamed rice topped with sautéed vegetables, beef and special chilli sauce)

= ★★

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Fried chicken served with cabbage salad

= ★★

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Cheese chicken bulgogi (chicken bulgogi topped with cheese and spicy sauce)

= ★★★

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Kimchijeon (pan fried kimchi with vegetables and special flour batter)

= ★★

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Dongaseu Don (deep fried marinated pork loin with rice)

= ★★

Overall:

Slightly cramped seating, efficient service, good portions, fantastic value. (eg. the Dongaseu Don was only $6!)

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The Beer and Burger Bar

112 Swan St, Richmond 9429 5934

http://www.tbbb.com.au/

 

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Beef Burger (beef patty, smoked bacon, beetroot relish, cheese, tomato, lettuce, American mustard, tomato sauce, aioli)

Wonderful smoky bacon, marginally dry brioche bun, bland patty, excessive relish that overpowered the entire burger.

= ★★

Onion Rings with relish and aioli

= ★★★

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El Mucho Burger (free range spicy chicken, chipotle aioli, jalapeños, lettuce, corn salsa, smashed avo and corn chips)

= ★★

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C.C.G (chips, cheese, gravy)

= ★★

Spicy Chicken Wings

= ★★

DSC07627 Salted caramel milkshake

Inconsistent. One was lumpy and clearly tasted like salted caramel, while another was smooth and tasted like mild caramel.

= ★★

DSC07621 Hills Apple cider

 $2.50 pots all day Tuesday? Yes please!

Overall:

Ordinary burgers, average service, casual atmosphere. Come for the $2.50 pots on Tuesdays.

The Beer and Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

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