French

A La Folie

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 Raspberry vanilla macaron

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 Praline petits choux, Rose delight macaron, White peach and blood peach petits choux, Salted caramel macaron

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Chai latte & Soy latte

Overall:

A delightful French patisserie that specialises in macarons and petits choux. The macarons were good however the petits choux were simply marvellous. Light and delicate choux pastry filled with delicious crème patissière and topped with a colourful fondant. My favourite was the praline petits choux. Unfortunately the drinks we had were very watery so I suggest that you stick to the pastries. Definitely try one of their petits choux the next time you are on Chapel St.

A La Folie 2

A La Folie

589 Chapel St, South Yarra, VIC

(03) 9827 3337

http://www.alafolie.com.au/

A La Folie Patisserie on Urbanspoon
*Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of A La Folie. 

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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Miss Fitzy’s

I was invited to a menu tasting at Miss Fitzy’s a little while ago and had the pleasant opportunity to sample a range of their mouthwatering dishes.

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Monica’s Melting Majik

(Van Gogh coconut vodka, strega liqueur, housemade chai syrup, coconut water, candied cherry)

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Smoked quail, parsley and mustard fruits on rye

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Spicy fried school prawns served with garlic aioli

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Organic tomato, buffalo mozzarella, herbs

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Roasted squid, chorizo, parsley, pickled onion

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Smoked chicken wings, pork belly, mustard fruits

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 Grilled Robbins Island wagyu bavette steak, poached quail eggs, truffle

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Scallops, bacon, truffle, watercress, black caviar

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 Grilled goats’ cheese, beetroot, quinoa, hazelnut

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Whole 1kg crispy fried snapper, asparagus, sauce grenobloise

(deboned and reconstructed!)

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 Asparagus, snow peas, parmesan & egg

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 Smoked saskia beer corn fed chicken, roasted celeriac, brussel sprouts

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 Cape Grim black Angus 2+ Tri Tip, charred onions, roasted carrots, duck fat potato

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(from left to right) 

Bitter chocolate, olive oil & peanut brittle, brown butter sherbet

Cinnamon doughnut custard, chocolate, coffee, shortbread

Rhubarb & pear jelly, liquid puff pastry, prune and Armagnac ice cream

Overall:

Located at the beach end of Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, Miss Fitzy’s is a great place to head to if you are after a tasty sharing menu or a decent late night feed. The menu has French and Spanish influences and has been created by head chef Lachy Cashman (Circa, Sloaney Pony, Salsa Bar and Grill Port Douglas) who has a background in butchery and meat curing. So it came as no surprise to discover that Miss Fitzy’s has their own custom-built smoker and curing room. Every dish I sampled was terrific but I particularly enjoyed the prawns, smoked chicken wings, scallops and the duck fat chips (oh so amazing!). The decor here is simple and chic, with impressive 1920s inspired murals along the back walls. Note that this place is closed on Mondays.

Miss Fitzy’s

23 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, VIC

(03) 9537 1653

http://missfitzys.com.au/

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*Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Miss Fitzy’s. 

The Hardware Société

118-120 Hardware St, Melbourne 9078 5992

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Fried brioche, French earl grey tea and rosewater panna cotta, raspberries, meringue

Rather pricey for the size of the dish. Ordinary brioche, sweet chewy meringue, tart raspberries (that balanced out the sweetness of everything else), delightfully smooth and subtly flavoured  panna cotta.

= Not bad

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Confit duck, spiced orange cous cous, chestnuts, pomegranate, crispy root vegetables

Flavourless reheated duck, sour pomegranate, average cous cous

= Not bad

 

Overall:

A bustling place that always has crowds of people waiting outside for a table (regardless of the weather). What impressed me the most was the staff organisation and teamwork. Everything ran very smoothly and service was quite fast considering how busy it was at the time. The décor was charming (butterfly wallpaper, quirky hanging lights) but the food was a let down. I’ve previously tried the baked eggs as well as the scrambled eggs, and found those dishes to be good but nothing I would ever crave. The Hardware Société isn’t on my favourite brunch places list, but kudos to them for remaining so popular for so long.

 

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The Panama Dining Room and Bar

Level 3/231 Smith St,  Fitzroy 9417 7663

 

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Salmon rillettes served with herb salad and toast

= Not bad

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Spiced wagyu beef and prosciutto meatballs

Full of flavour, great balance of meat and breadcrumb, lovely rich sauce

= Good

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Fried cauliflower with ras el hanout (spice mix from North Africa), golden raisins, fromage frais and argan oil

Deep frying pretty much anything will make it taste better

= Good

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Slow cooked Western Plains pork scotch fillet with Jerusalem artichokes, grilled pine mushrooms, parsley puree and buttermilk

Tantalisingly tender pork with a wonderful combination of ingredients

= Good

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Steamed broccoli with Mt Zero black lentils and pecorino (left), Green salad with buttermilk, tarragon and shallot dressing (right)

= Not bad

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Yellowtail kingfish fillet with confit fennel, grilled saffron calamari, fennel puree and saltfish croquette

The Yellowtail kingfish fillet was extremely salty, while the calamari and croquette were unmemorable

= Not bad

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Chestnut gnocchi, pumpkin and parmesan puree, morel mushrooms, spinach and salted ricotta

Delicately light gnocchi that had a mild chestnut flavour, complementing the other ingredients of this dish fantastically. If only the portion size was bigger!

= Good

 

Overall:

If you manage to survive the arduous journey up two very steep flights of stairs, you will encounter an unobtrusive grey fire exit door with a small blue ‘Panama Dining Room and Bar’ sign above it. Enter these doors and you will find a funky bar, a pool table, lots of casual seating and a formal dining area. We went on a busy Saturday night and the bustling atmosphere made it very difficult to talk (I found myself yelling throughout the whole night and left with a sore throat). Service was friendly however the food took a little while to come out. I think I would prefer coming here for drinks as opposed to dining here in the future.

 

The Panama Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

Miam Miam Restaurant

Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Rd, Chadstone 9569 4499
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Iced matcha latte with matcha softee
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Peanut butter and banana milkshake
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Lobster bisque pasta
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Mac and cheese
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Famous French toast
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Vanilla souffle
Thoughts:
Iced matcha latte with matcha softee – milky green tea latte that contained lots of ice, topped with a swirl of green tea soft serve = Not bad
Peanut butter and banana milkshake – thick, sweet, had small chunks of peanut added to it which gave the milkshake an interesting crunch = Not bad
Lobster bisque pasta – the soup base tasted purely of prawns (I did not detect any lobster), the pasta was well cooked and the dish was topped with parmesan cheese and a grilled tiger prawn = Not bad
Mac and cheese – strong cheese aroma, had a nice crunchy top from the Japanese breadcrumbs = Good
Famous French toast – thick slices of delicious classic French toast served with a dollop of cream and a small jar of maple syrup on the side (which is fabulous because it lets you control how sweet you want your dish to be) = Excellent
Vanilla souffle – reminiscent of Asian sponge cake, this souffle was light yet a little bit wet and distinctively eggy. I also managed to taste a bit of salt with every second or third bite = Not bad
Overall:
This French-Japanese restaurant is one of those places that has such an intriguing menu that it makes choosing what you want quite a difficult task. The atmosphere is very casual and the decor somehow reminded me of a country farm house (red bricks, wood chip walls, white window shutters, simple wooden tables and chairs). The service was friendly however the arrival of our food was very staggered. Hopefully that won’t be the case the next time I dine here (as there are still other dishes that I want to try).

Miam Miam Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Marquee Restaurant

445 Toorak Rd, Toorak 9827 7938

 

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Selection of breads accompanied with three house made dips

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Mini wagyu burgers

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Crunchy saffron arancini served with aioli

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Braised lamb ribs served with sweet sticky sauce

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Flash fried baby calamari

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Grilled halloumi and chicken marinated in herbs

Thoughts:

Breads and dips – the ‘selection’ of breads comprised of sliced white bread and sliced wholemeal bread. These were cut up into primary school reminiscent triangles that were completely toasted so that they resembled slices of hard crusty croutons. I have never seen a restaurant serve sliced sandwich bread with dips before and found this to be quite bizarre and disappointing. The three dips that accompanied the bread were beetroot and sour cream, hommus and sun dried tomato.  The amount of dip provided was certainly not generous and did not taste house made at all = Bad

Mini wagyu burgers – uninspiring wagyu patty served in a tough dry brioche bun messily thrown together with lettuce, tomato, relish, gruyere cheese and quails egg = Not bad

Crunchy saffron arancini – rather than being crunchy, these were stuck in your teeth chewy. I’m not sure how much (or if any) saffron went into these arancini balls but the only thing that I could taste was cheese = Bad

Braised lamb ribs – dry crispy ribs that came with a sparing but sweet sauce = Not bad

Flash fried baby calamari – the calamari was dusted with undistinguishable wasabi and was served with a side salad of pickled carrot and cucumber = Not bad

Grilled halloumi and chicken = reminded me of Nando’s lemon and herb chicken, but with haloumi melted onto the chicken = Not bad

 

Overall:

What happened Marquee? When I first visited years ago, this elegant restaurant served mouthwateringly delicious food. The menu used to be vast and interesting, and their mini wagyu burgers were unbelievably amazing, (one of the best that I have ever had) but not anymore. The quality of food here has definitely gone downhill and the menu is now limited to tapas. The restaurant itself is divided into two sections: a casual front section that is covered by gorgeous cream drapes that resemble a marquee (hence the name), and a stylish back dining section filled with dark leather seating and black timber furnishings. Although the dining area was fancy and relaxing, the atmosphere was unfortunately ruined by the out of place dance music that they had playing all night. Although the service is fast and friendly, I am sad to say that I don’t think I will ever venture here again.

 

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