European

The Diplomat

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Rolled oats, almond and mixed seed granola with chai panna cotta, berries, lychee, coconut yogurt and a mocha infused quinoa

Seriously good. Although a bit more yogurt would have made this even better.

★★★★☆

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Potato rosti with smoked salmon, yuzu mayonnaise, grilled asparagus spears, avocado and wasabi cream and a Japanese boiled egg

The yuzu mayonnaise and the avocado and wasabi cream really brought this dish to the next level.

★★★★☆

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Green tea and mango smoothie

★★☆☆☆

Pear, honeydew and rhubarb mixed juice

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Comfortable bright open space, easy-going staff, colourful and well presented food. The menu here is unique in that every item (aside from the toast) has its own interesting and delicious twist. I must return soon to try their other dishes.

The Diplomat

4 Railway Parade, Highett, VIC

(03) 9939 6289

The Diplomat Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Public Inn

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Roast duck breast, heirloom carrot, aged balsamic and bergamot, beetroot, kohlrabi

I initially mistook the carrots for chillies. Those tricky carrots.

★★★★☆

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Ocean farmed cobia, green beans, miso and black garlic, sweet potato, ice plant, fermented chili and bisque

★★★☆☆

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Rare Wagyu sirloin, smoked olive and Parmesan, lemon, thyme, potato beignet, beef gratin pastry, fennel

★★★★☆

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Lemon and vanilla wild rice, black pepper ice cream, caramel popcorn, apricot syrup

The ice cream on its own was very peppery and needed to be eaten with the sweetened rice to balance the flavours out.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Located in what was once Castlemaine’s original fire station, Public Inn is a charming bistro and bar that offers marvellous food and exceptional service. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the Castlemaine area.

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Public Inn

26a Templeton St, Castlemaine, VIC

(03) 5472 3568

http://www.publicinn.com.au/

Public Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ciao Cielo

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Bacalhau ravioli with broad beans, capers and dill

A pretty yet unmemorable dish.

★★★☆☆

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Fried calamari, dried oregano, rocket, garlic aioli

Light crispy batter, fantastic use of oregano.

★★★★☆

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Truffled potato dauphine, truffle pecorino

Golden balls of fluffy potato that practically melt in your mouth! I couldn’t eat very many though as they were quite rich.

★★★★☆

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Pan fried potato gnocchi, roasted pumpkin, walnuts, dolce blue, spinach

★★★☆☆

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Rockling fillet, peas, goats curd, roasted fennel

★★★☆☆

Overall:

The food was good but I was expecting amazing after reading all the positive reviews about this place. The decor was sleek however all the tables were positioned quite close to one another due to the venue being so small. Service was fine except there was one particular waiter who kept on wanting to clear our plates even though we hadn’t finished.

Ciao Cielo

171 Bay St, Port Melbourne, VIC

(03) 9645 1568

http://www.ciaocielo.com.au/

Ciao Cielo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Polish Rye Crust Bakery

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Breakfast Bagel

(hard boiled eggs, cheese, mayonnaise, tomato, beetroot, spinach, capsicum)

The freshly baked bagel was simply outstanding.

★★★★☆

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Salt stick with cream cheese and cucumber

This may not look or sound very special but out of everything we sampled, this was actually my favourite. The lightly salted bread was perfect and worked fabulously with the cream cheese and cucumber.

★★★★★

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Vegetarian Pierogi

(Polish dumplings that contained potato, cheese, spinach)

These smelt delicious and were pleasantly crispy on the outside, however the filling was somewhat lacking. If only these dumplings were served with some kind of sauce.

★★★☆☆

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Cherry Cheesecake

The light cheesecake and the decadent chocolate cherry layer were nice separately but sensational together.

★★★★☆

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Orange Zest Babka

I’m not an expert in babka, so I wasn’t sure if the dry crumbly texture was intentional or not.

★★★☆☆

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European doughnut with plum jam

Wonderfully soft and fluffy with a slight yeasty taste.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

The bread here is AMAZING! And with more than 50 types of Polish and European breads available, there is something suitable for everyone! With so many menu items on offer and such friendly service, I can see myself returning over and over again.

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Polish Rye Crust Bakery

101-103 Foster St, Dandenong, VIC

(03) 9706 9194

http://www.polishryecrustbakery.com.au/

Polish Rye Crust Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cumulus Up

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Oysters

= ★★★

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Fried chickpeas with spiced salt

= ★★★★★

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Olives and pickles

= ★★★

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Smoked ocean trout, Jerusalem artichoke and lemon

= ★★★★

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Kitchen charcuterie selection (smoked brisket, prosciutto, salami)

= ★★★

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Cracked wheat & freekeh salad with barberries

= ★★★

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Lentil Salad

= ★★★

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Duck waffle, foie gras, prune

= ★★★★

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Roast potatoes and confit garlic

= ★★★

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Lettuce and candied walnut salad

= ★★

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Confit duck leg, parsnip and sauce Bourguingnon

= ★★★★

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Chocolate ice cream sandwich, salted caramel

= ★★★

Overall:

I got really excited as soon as I saw ‘Fried chickpeas’ on the menu as I’ve had them before at Cumulus Inc and found them to be totally amazing. Looking through the menu there were so many things that we wanted to try so we decided to go with the Chef’s Selection. Now this turned out to be the best decision ever as the food was sensational and there was just so much of it! The staff were helpful and professional, and the decor was rustic yet very sleek. If you like Cumulus Inc then you would no doubt like its smaller upstairs sibling. This is certainly a place I would happily return to.

Cumulus Up

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

8658 3110

http://cumulusinc.com.au/up

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Pierre’s

 

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Tasmanian oysters

 ★★☆☆☆

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Chicken and duck rillette, fresh baguette, cornichons, apricot puree, lemon

★★☆☆☆

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House cured ocean trout, radish, beetroot, goats cheese

★★☆☆☆

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Cape Grim scotch fillet, shoestring fries, green salad, red wine jus, cafe de Paris butter

★★☆☆☆

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Cape Grim eye fillet, celeriac puree, wild mushrooms, tawny port reduction

Basically a pile of mushrooms with a TEENY TINY piece of average tasting steak underneath.

★★☆☆☆

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Duck a l’orange – confit duck leg, roasted chat potatoes, braised green beans, orange glaze

Overpowering orange glaze.

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

Extremely disappointing considering the number of awards they have received. The food was mediocre and pricey, the service was average and the red lighting gave this place a darkroom sort of feeling.

Pierre’s

88 George St, Launceston, TAS

(03) 6331 6835

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Mister Jennings

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 Frozen kangaroo, wasabi, nashi

As soon as I began chewing this icy cold dish, I realised that frozen meat is not something I enjoy. The idea is for the meat to thaw in your mouth thereby changing its flavour and texture. It was an interesting experience but not for me.

★☆☆☆☆

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GMS sirloin

★★☆☆☆

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 Pork, lime pickle, silverbeet

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

Small portions, efficient service, orderly decor. Not a place I am likely to return to.

Mister Jennings

142 Bridge Rd, Richmond, VIC

(03) 9078 0113

http://misterjennings.com.au/

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