Asparagus

Devon Cafe

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Eggs Blini

(buckwheat blini, citrus cured salmon, asparagus, chives, salmon caviar, maltaise sauce)

★★★☆☆

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Breakfast with the Sakumas’s

(miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63° egg, radish petit salad, kewpie mayonnaise)

★★★★☆

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Lost In Devonshire

(Devon’s style French toast, peanut butter, raspberry jelly, vanilla cream, chantilly, peanut butter cookies, freeze dried strawberry and maple ice cream)

★★★☆☆

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Ruby Heart Berry

(juniper berry, rosehip, hibiscus flowers)

★★★★☆

Overall:

Good service, nicely presented food, normal looking cafe in the front area, odd army-like decor and graffitied walls in the back area.

Devon Cafe

76 Devonshire St, Surry Hills, NSW

(02) 9211 8777

http://www.devoncafe.com.au

Devon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Brae

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Asparagus, sea butter, olive plant

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Raw pea & lemon aspen tart, Brook trout & nut butter crisp

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Prawn, nasturtium, finger lime

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Iced Oyster, Beef tendon & mountain pepper

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Chilled broth of broad bean, green almond, strawberry, fig leaf & yoghurt whey

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Sourdough (made from hand milled wheat and baked on site) & freshly churned butter (made from locally sourced jersey cows)

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Calamari, black lip abalone, broccoli & blue mackerel

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Artichokes & salt grass lamb washed with mussel juice & citrus

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Potato & jerusalem artichoke crisps served with a single poached yolk

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Bass groper, cured back fat, walnut & butter braised turnip

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Aged Pekin duck wood roasted on the bone, quandong, dried liver

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Milk, honey & mandarin

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Parsnip & apple

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Rhubarb, pistachio, blood & preserved blackberry

Overall:

I visited Brae late last year so this post is a bit overdue.

Impressively ranked at number 87 in the world’s 100 best restaurants list of 2015, Brae is undeniably a place where you will find quality food and innovation. Located 130km southwest of Melbourne in the small town of Birregurra, our visit to Brae was indeed a fun little road trip. As soon as we arrived we noticed some construction happening right next to the parking lot. We later found out that this was to become six on-site accommodation suites which will open from February 2016.

As we stepped into the simple weatherboard farmhouse, we were warmly greeted and guided to our seats. Service throughout our meal was exceptional (as to be expected), with the staff being friendly, courteous and efficient. The origins of each dish was diligently explained and all my random questions about the food and the restaurant were happily answered. The atmosphere in the dining area was bright and comfortable, and we were also able to get a glimpse into the kitchen from our table which was nice.

A great deal of care and attention to detail was seen with the presentation of each dish, and although I throughly enjoyed sampling everything on their degustation menu, I did have my favourites and my not-so-favourites. My not-so-favourite was easily the asparagus. Sure it was fresh and crisp, but a single stalk of asparagus does not get me salivating. Luckily the asparagus was served first because it all went uphill from there. The absolute stand out dishes for me were the prawns and the iced oyster. The prawn heads and the prawn parcels bursted with amazing flavours, while the iced oyster turned out to be sweet and creamy, similar to a deliciously smooth ice cream with a gentle hint of oyster.

Our visit to Brae was a lovely experience and it is a great place to head to for memorable world class food.

Brae

Brae

4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, VIC

(03) 5236 2226

http://braerestaurant.com/

Brae Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Proud Mary

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Potato hash, double smoked bacon, poached egg, asparagus, bagna cauda (Italian sauce of anchovies and cream)

The shredded hash brown was wonderfully crispy and tasted fantastic with the bold bagna cauda and the warm golden yolk from the poached egg.

★★★★☆

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Cotechino pork sausage, roasted mushrooms, poached egg, charred onion, zeally bay sourdough

This dish has definitely made me a fan of cotechino!

★★★★☆

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Mork Hot Chocolate served with unrefined coconut blossom sugar

Not the best latte art in the world however the drink itself was rich and comforting.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Proud Mary is a place that I can always count on for a great experience. The food is delicious and filling, the service quick and friendly, and the atmosphere very laid back. Waiting times can be quite long during the weekend so these days I prefer to avoid the crowds and visit on a weekday.

Proud Mary

172 Oxford St, Collingwood, VIC

(03) 9417 5930

http://www.proudmarycoffee.com.au/

Proud Mary Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Miss Marple’s Tearoom

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Devonshire Scones (plain and fruit) served with home-made raspberry jam and freshly whipped cream

The scones were moist and fluffy, and had a texture that was comparable to a light cake. The jam was sweet and fruity, while the cream was deliciously light (our waitress informed us that the jam and cream were refillable).

★★★☆☆

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Miss Marple’s Famous Fingers – chicken, cheese and asparagus

These open toasted sandwiches were quite cheese heavy and needed a bit more chicken in them.

★★☆☆☆

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Miss Marple’s “Sundae Best” (layers of ice cream and berry sauce topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, almond biscotti, roasted flaked almonds and strawberries)

This thing was HUGE and we only managed to get through half before throwing in the towel.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

After reading so many negative reviews, I was initially wary about coming here. But my experience turned out to be a really enjoyable one. We arrived on a foggy Saturday morning at around 11am and were seated immediately. The atmosphere was very intimate and homely (teapots and kettles everywhere, floral tablecloths and curtains, traditional English lamps, fireplace), the service was prompt and polite, and the food was delightful.

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Miss Marple’s Tearoom

382 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd, Sassafras, VIC

(03) 9755 1610

http://www.missmarplestearoom.com/

Miss Marple's Tearoom Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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. 

Woodland House

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Purple congo potato crisps

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House-cured Atlantic salmon, avocado, radish

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Goats cheese bavarois, watercress, spring greens

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Rockling, black barley, fenugreek

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Poached and roasted spatchcock, nicola potato, asparagus

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Tête de Moine cheese

So this particular cheese was prepared at the table using a girolle (cheese curler) which produced thin shavings that resembled rosettes. By creating a larger surface area, more oxygen was able to come into contact with the cheese and enhance its odour and flavour. Out of all the cheeses we sampled, this one was undoubtedly my favourite.

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 Farmhouse cheeses

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 Vanilla parfait, Yarra Valley berries, wild fennel

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Cocoa covered mixed nuts, yuzu jelly

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Herb and vegetable garden

Overall:

Established in an old Victorian mansion that was previously Jacques Reymond, Woodland House is a place of class and elegance. The decor is refined and the staff are extremely polite and attentive. The food is of a high standard as the kitchen is run by two of Jacques Reymond’s former chefs Thomas Woods and Hayden McFarland. We sampled the House Lunch menu and found every single dish to be fresh and enjoyable. The rockling and the spatchcock in particular were cooked to perfection, and the flavours of the vanilla parfait dessert were amazing. Note that this place is closed on Mondays.

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Woodland House

78 Williams Rd, Prahran, VIC

(03) 9525 2178

http://www.woodlandhouse.com.au/

Woodland House on Urbanspoon

Donnini’s

320 Lygon St, Carlton 9347 3128

 

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Capricciosa pizza

(Fior di latte, tomato, leg ham, mushroom, marinated Ligurian olives)

I liked the thin and crispy base however I didn’t like how the olives came with pits.

= ★★

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Ravioli Con Salmone E Burrata

(salmon, burrata and smoked ricotta ravioli, butter, dill, asparagus)

A light ravioli served in a delicious sauce.

= ★★★

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Tris Di Pasta Donnini

(Tagliatelle Al Ragu Nostro, Tortelli Di Ricotta, Gnocchi Al Pomodoro)

Hand made pasta cooked in fresh sauces.

= ★★★

Overall:

Although somewhat pricier than your typical Lygon St restaurant, what you get here at Donnini’s is quality Italian fare, good service and a great atmosphere.

 

Donnini's on Urbanspoon