Wine Bar

Coombe – the Melba Estate

675 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream 9739 0173

 

A little while ago I had the opportunity to attend a private garden tour and morning tea at Coombe – The Melba Estate. This stunning property was once home to Dame Nellie Melba, Australia’s first world-famous opera singer.

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The 2.8 hectare garden was designed by William Guilefoyle, who also designed Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Hedge

Six hundred metres of beautifully manicured cypress hedges can be found here. By getting into a crouching position and slowly shuffling forward, I was able to squeeze into this particular hedge opening and experience being inside of an enormous hedge. It was pretty cool.

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Not only does this spectacular garden contain plants (including rare ones), it also contains…

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an old English oak tree (estimated to be over 180 years old)…

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Victoria’s oldest swimming pool (built in 1913)…

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vegetable gardens…

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chickens…

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a croquet lawn…

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and much more. So after our garden tour, it was time for morning tea!

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Top Tier: Fresh baked scones, Peach Melba Jam, Clotted cream

Middle Tier: Lemon meringue tartlet, Strawberry tartlet, Dark and white chocolate truffle, Friands

Bottom Tier: Pork and apple sausage rolls, Leek and Persian feta quiche, Coombe Farm pate on Melba toast, Asparagus dill cream cheese pinwheel, Smoked salmon ribbon sandwiches

Overall:

The restaurant is located within the restored motor house and historic clock tower, having a design that cleverly incorporated old and new. I found the huge glass windows that overlook the gardens to be particularly impressive. The morning tea served was good but nothing outstanding. Perhaps the brunch or lunch here is more delectable as seasonal and estate grown produce are used. Nevertheless I loved the history of this estate and the calming picturesque gardens. It’s amazing how after more than a century, this estate is now open to the public. Note that this place is available for weddings and private functions.

Coombe - the Melba Estate on Urbanspoon

*Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of Two Hands Agency. All food ratings & review are purely based on my own experiences and how I felt about the service, food and quality at the time of visit.

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/

Mister Jennings on Urbanspoon

Breslin Bar & Grill

3 Southbank Boulevard, Southbank 9686 2110

 

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Pork Ribs (half rack)

Fantastic melt in your mouth ribs covered in a sweet sticky sauce

=★★★

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Wagyu Beef Burger with Twice cooked thick cut chips

(wagyu beef, Swiss cheese, caramelised onion, truffle mayonnaise, tomato, baby cos lettuce)

= ★★

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 Chorizo Croquettes

= ★★

Overall:

A friend of mine mentioned how great the ribs are at Breslin Bar & Grill and thankfully I was not disappointed. The ribs here are slow cooked for 16 hours and are then char grilled over a wood fire. A must try for those who are a fan of ribs. Ambience was great and the service was prompt.

 

Breslin Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

360 Bar & Dining

100 Market St, Sydney NSW 8223 3883

 

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House-made focaccia with honey, garlic and rosemary

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Pacific oyster, cucumber and gin martini, avruga

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Baked eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, basil, 25 year old balsamic vinegar

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Prosciutto, rockmelon, rocket, gorgonzola dressing, roasted hazelnuts

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Wagyu beef cheek raviolo, shiitake, oyster and swiss brown mushrooms, master stock

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150 day grain fed Angus beef tenderloin (Darling Downs, Queensland)

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Seared king salmon fillet, roasted cauliflower, citrus and cauliflower puree

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Vanilla and rhubarb panna cotta, genoise sponge, poached rhubarb

 

Overall:

I had been wanting to dine at a rotating restaurant ever since I first saw the Sit-N-Rotate restaurant in an episode of The Simpsons back when I was kid. It looked like it would be so much fun and you would never get bored because the view outside your window would be constantly changing. So with a location 305 metres above sea level, it comes as no surprise that the views from 360 Bar and Dining are absolutely fabulous! The floor-to-ceiling windows and unique rotating floor provides amazing, uninterrupted 360 degree views of Sydney and beyond.

It was quite a bizarre experience stepping out of the elevator and into the restaurant and feeling the floor move beneath my feet. I initially felt a little wobbly (like I was on a boat) but thankfully adjusted after some time. In all honesty I was there for the experience and the view, and not really the food. Thus I was delighted when it turned out that the food here was actually quite good! I later discovered that the Head Chef was in fact Ashley Hughes who has previously worked with Marco Pierre White at L’Escargot as well as alongside Jamie Oliver at The River Café in London.

Each dish was beautifully constructed and contained fresh ingredients that marvellously complemented each other. The dish I enjoyed the most was the wagyu beef cheek raviolo (the mushroom stock was bursting with flavour and the delicious beef simply melted away in my mouth). Service was friendly and the decor was refined. Note that the restrooms don’t stay in the same spot as the restaurant rotates.

 

360 Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy 9419 4888

 

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Seaweed and tapioca cracker with eggplant puree and black sesame

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Rye toast with crème fraîche, smoked trout and Avruga cavier

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Kingfish sashimi, green strawberries, sorrel and apple

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Peas, baby zucchini, toasted seeds, onion and bergamot

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WA marron, buttermilk potato, fermented carrot and Espelette

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Smoked duck breast, boudin noir, beetroot and sour cherry

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Wood grilled beef rib, kohlrabi and sesame

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Cream, watermelon and lychee granita

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Earl grey ice cream, chocolate, cherries and brandy jelly

Overall:

I was very excited to finally try out this place as I am a fan of chef Andrew McConnell having previously dined at his other restaurants Cumulus Inc. and Golden Fields, and absolutely loving the food. Located in an old metal works factory, this restaurant occupies a large interesting space filled with stripped back brick walls, high ceilings, exotic ferns and warm wooden tones. We decided to get the degustation menu (which changes quite often) and were quite impressed with the food served. The only problem with having really delicious degustation food is that before you know it, your plate is empty and you are left wanting more! This is definitely a place that I would visit again.

Cutler & Co on Urbanspoon

Chez Olivier

121 Greville St, Prahran 9525 2273

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Salade de chèvre chaud

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Assiette de charcuterie

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Seafood bisque

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Boeuf bourguignon en croute

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Gratin de la mer

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Frozzie duck

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Duck a l’orange

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Steak frites

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Goat cheese and pesto ravioli

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Ile flottante

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Vanilla creme brûlée

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Tarte tatin

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Chocolate fondant

Thoughts:

Salade de chèvre chaud – Warm goats cheese salad. The cheese (served gratiné-style) was deliciously creamy = Good

Assiette de charcuterie – antipasto plate that included paté, rillettes, terrines, cornichons, salami and prosciutto = Good

Seafood bisque – thick traditional seafood soup from Normandie. To me this dish was so unbelievably salty that it reminded me of seawater (although other people found it to be okay in terms of the salt content) = Bad

Boeuf bourguignon en croute – slow cooked fine beef in red wine with bacon and steamed vegetables in crispy puff pastry. Had quite a strong wine taste = Not bad

Gratin de la mer – Seafood gratin that consisted of prawns, scallops, mussels and fish. Lovely hearty dish = Good

Frozzie duck – half a double roasted duck that came with mash, bok choy and pickled ginger = Not bad

Duck a l’orange – half a roasted duck with orange sauce and pumpkin puree. The duck meat was tasty however the orange sauce was overwhelming and made the dish too sweet = Not bad

Steak frites – 200g of grain fed aged scotch fillet that came with fries and mustard butter = Good

Goat cheese and pesto ravioli – came with little cubes of sweet potato, spinach, caramelised onion and pine nut beurre noisette (brown butter). The ravioli was perfectly cooked although it was a little bland  = Not bad

Ile flottante – soft poached melt in your mouth meringue on praline creme anglaise (light pouring custard), topped with roasted almonds =   Excellent

Vanilla creme brûlée – rich vanilla custard topped with a delightful sugar crust that cracked perfectly = Excellent

Tarte tatin – caramelised upside down apple tart = Not bad

Chocolate fondant – was unfortunately overcooked and did not have that gooey molten middle, so was rather a chocolate cake = Not bad (as a chocolate cake)

 

Overall:

An authentic french restaurant with authentic french food and authentic french waiters! The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, and the staff are very friendly. I probably enjoyed dessert more so than the mains but overall the food here is quite good. You can also claim a free eiffel tower key ring by either: 1. Checking in to Chez Olivier on Facebook 2. Liking them on Facebook 3. Voting Like for them on urban spoon 4. Following them on Twitter.

Chez Olivier - Le Bistro on Urbanspoon

The Waiting Room

Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Melbourne

 

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Afternoon Tea

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Sandwiches

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Sweets

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Sweets

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Scones

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Sorbet

Overall:

One of the best high tea places that I have ever been to! The service was prompt and professional, the atmosphere elegant and relaxed, the decor lavish and the quality of the high tea food was sensational.

The sandwiches included:

  • tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella on ciabatta
  • egg and cress salad on olive bread
  • smoked chicken with mango on whole wheat bread
  • whisky marinated salmon croissant
  • cucumber and cream cheese on white bread

Although the whole wheat bread was a bit dry and hard around the edges, and the cucumber and cream cheese sandwich didn’t have quite enough cream cheese spread, the sandwiches overall were very tasty = Good

The sweets included:

  • lemon curd tart with raspberry meringue
  • apple and blackberry crumble with Tahitian vanilla cream
  • strawberry and vanilla tarts with Pimm’s cream
  • earl grey tea flavoured chocolate mousse and tonka ganache
  • chocolate eclairs
  • moist orange chocolate cake
  • gin and tonic jelly with sweet cucumber
  • white lady
  • pistachio sponge with orange marmalade

All of these desserts were rich and marvellous, except for the white lady (which tasted like cream and nothing else) and the gin and tonic jelly shot (I am not a big fan of gin) = Good

Scones:

Traditional raisin and buttermilk scones that come with winterberry jam and clotted cream. The great thing about this place is that you get to decide exactly when you want to have your scones during your afternoon tea session. Baked fresh on request (they take approximately 12 minutes to cook), the results are hot buttery delicious scones that are light and fluffy = Excellent

Sorbet:

Raspberry sorbet with Grand Marnier on a praline base. A terrific palate cleanser to end on. A clean sweet sorbet with a hint of crunchy praline = Good

 

I am definitely coming back here again for afternoon tea!

 

The Waiting Room on Urbanspoon