Barramundi

Red Spice Road

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Chiang Mai pork relish with cassava crackers

This relish had such fantastic punch! A harmonious blend of sour, sweet, salty and spicy flavours made this pork relish very Thai and very delicious.

★★★★☆

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Tamarind chilli chicken with red peppers and green onion

Sweet, sticky, spicy, standard.

★★☆☆☆

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Pork belly, chilli caramel, apple slaw, black vinegar

Just as amazing as everyone says it is! The pork was melt-in-your-mouth tender and had a marvellous crispy skin, while the vinegar balanced out the sweetness of the chilli caramel sauce.

★★★★★

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Barramundi, watermelon, cucumber, hot mint, chilli and coriander salad

I liked this salad except for all the soggy pieces of fried fish. If only the fish had been served on top of the salad rather than tossed into it.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

We ordered the $29.50 per person Express Lunch Banquet which included an appetiser, 3 mains and steamed rice. The servings were surprisingly generous making this banquet option fantastic value for money. Although I’m not the biggest fan of their circular communal tables, I do like the atmosphere and I would definitely come back for the pork belly!

Red Spice Road

27 McKillop St, Melbourne, VIC

(03) 9603 1601

http://redspiceroad.com/

Red Spice Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Morris Jones

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Oysters with Champagne Granita

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House-made Beer and Caraway Seed Bread with Honey Butter

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Salt and Vinegar Saltbush Chips

Morris Jones Salmon

Champagne Poached Salmon, Yuzu Seeds, Candied Chilli, Honey Pumpkin

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A close up of the salmon

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Southern Fried Quail, Turnips, Szechuan-pepper, Quince

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Wild Barramundi, Broccoli Couscous, Chicken Skin, Champagne Veloute

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Otway Crispy Pork, Wilted Kale, Cloudy Bar Clams, Masterstock

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Le Delice Triple Cream Cheese, Honey, Quince, Truffle Oil

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Nitro Violet Crumble

(honeycomb, violet ice cream, popping candy, chocolate)

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Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial Champagne

Overall:

I recently had the pleasure of attending the launch of Morris Jones’ Moet & Chandon Champagne Lunch. Head Chef Matthew Butcher has previously worked under a number of world renowned chefs (ie. Gordon Ramsay, Shannon Bennett of Vue De Monde and Ryan Clift of Tippling Club in Singapore), so I was really looking forward to the his lunch menu creations. And I was not disappointed! Each dish was original, beautifully presented, and tasted incredible. I don’t think I could pick a favourite dish as I relished everything we sampled and would order it all again. However a special mention is needed for the salt and vinegar saltbush chips. Who would have thought that leaves could taste this awesome?!?! These unique chips are a must try!

Champagne lunches are now available at Morris Jones on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (2 courses for $35 and 3 courses for $45 which includes a glass of wine).

Morris Jones

163 Chapel St, Windsor, VIC

(03) 9533 2055

http://www.morrisjones.com.au/

Morris Jones Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of HRPR and Morris Jones.

Sabai

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Wok tossed tofu, herbs, salted chilli, fried shallots and poached prawns served on prawn crackers

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House made vegetarian spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce

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Soft shell crab sliders with apple slaw

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Slow cooked pork baby back ribs with red curry glaze

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Slow braised lamb shank massaman, potato and cashews

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Somtum – green papaya, carrots, snake beans, cirspy shrimps, Thai chilli, garlic, cashews, cherry tomatoes, lime and tamarind dressing

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Tom Yum – spicy and sour soup with squid, mushrooms, prawns, tomatoes, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves

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Crispy barramundi, fresh herbs and apple salad, chilli, lemongrass and sweet sour dressing

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Steamed pandan, coconut and palm sugar puddings

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Affagato – mini magnum, kahlua, espresso, toasted coconut

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Thai tea panna cotta with coconut crumble and berries

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Thai milk tea

Overall:

The word ‘sabai’ means comfortable or relaxed in Thai, and this restaurant is certainly a place where you can kick back, relax and enjoy lots of great contemporary Thai food. Authentic Thai cuisine is based on the fusion of five primary flavours: sweet, salty, sour, spicy and bitter. These flavours are combined to produce dishes of amazing intensity, and this was definitely the case for many of the dishes we sampled. The somtum in particular was like a flavour punch in the face! (but in a good way.) A place worth visiting for well balanced Thai food and friendly service.

Sabai

460 Church St, Richmond, VIC

(03) 8528 6884

http://sabairichmond.com.au/

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

*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Sabai.

The Grand Hotel – Richmond

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The Grand Hotel in Richmond recently celebrated their 130th birthday and I was lucky enough to be invited along to take part in the festivities. The party started with drinks at the main bar and a quick glimpse at the Grand Dining Room. It is impressive to note that The Grand has been a winner of The Age Good Food Guide’s Chef Hat award nine times over the last decade, and is the only pub in Australia to consistently hold such a prestigious accolade. The Grand Dining Room is well known for their simple authentic Italian food which is served up by Michelin trained head chefs Federico Frigato and Mattia Aloisio.

Grand Hotel Richmond

After a while we were guided upstairs and encountered a smaller bar and three rooms. As we chatted, some enticing canapes came around. The first canape we sampled was cured ocean trout with citrus and berries, the second was poached veal tongue crostini with salsa verde and the third was tomato and basil bruschetta. All were very delicious!

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We were soon led into the Nesso room and was informed that the kitchen was down a chef and that we had to make our own dinner!

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So we each put on a T.Serafina apron, grabbed a rolling pin and began to roll out some clay.

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We then each received a beautiful piece of fresh Cone Bay barramundi and were told to be as creative as we liked in terms of flavouring this fish dish. I decided to go with potatoes, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olives, braised leeks, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Fish

Head chef Mattia Aloisio then instructed us on how to wrap up our barramundi so that it could be baked for our dinner. This whole process was so much fun and I couldn’t wait to taste my creation! We were then led into the Como room which had been stunningly transformed by event stylist The Three Piece Suit with stationary styled by Lauren Skorsis. And it was here where the incredible feasting began!

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Pepper Crusted Venison Carpaccio with Goat Cheese Mousse and Beetroot

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Agro Dolce Quail with Porcini Mushroom Puree, Brussel Sprouts, Quail Egg and Black Truffles

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Broad Bean, Pecorino and Mint Risotto

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Mortadella Cappelletti in Brodo

Fish Cooked

This was the moment we had all been waiting for! We made good use of our rolling pins and had a blast smashing these little terracotta parcels open!

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The result? Perfectly cooked barramundi that was delicate and moist, with a beautifully intense flavour. And as it turned out, the ingredients I added tasted fantastic in combination with the fish so I had a little bit of a ‘phew!’ moment after having my first bite.

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Caprese Palate Cleanser – basil, tomato, buffalo mozzarella

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Lemon Delizia – lemon parfait, almond crumble, limoncello gelee, candied lemons

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Candy Buffet

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A big thank you to Zomato and owners Barnie, Tiur, David and Katie for organising such an amazing night filled with spectacular food!

And finally if you sign up to become a Grand VIP member (which is free), you will receive a complimentary six course degustation dinner for your birthday! How amazing is that?

The Grand Hotel – Richmond

333 Burnley St, Richmond, VIC

(03) 8658 3459

http://www.grandrichmond.com.au/

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*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of The Grand Hotel.

Whet Restaurant

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Whet house chicken curry served with basmati rice, tomato and apple chutney and pappadums

Fiery curry that was packed full of flavour.

★★★★☆

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Tempura battered local wild caught barramundi served with chips and house made tartare

Average fish with really good chips.

★★★☆☆

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Chicken, avocado, rocket, tomato and bocconcini served on a freshly baked baguette with basil aioli and chips

Once again it was the chips that made this dish.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Set amongst tropical Daintree rainforest, Whet has an earthy and natural vibe. Whet is in fact fully self-sustained with generated diesel power, a tertiary level sewerage and grey water treatment plant, plus they have their own private water supply and rubbish removal. Pretty impressive! Service was average but the food was enjoyable so I’m glad we stopped by.

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Whet Restaurant

1 Cape Tribulation Rd, Cape Tribulation, QLD

(07) 4098 0007

http://www.whet.net.au/

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Rice Paper Scissors

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Crispy Barramundi ‘Yam Pla Foo’

(tapioca dusted barramundi with a green apple and roast cashew salad and nahm jim dressing)

= ★★★

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Betel Leaf ‘Miang Kham’

(topped with a tiger prawn, banana blossom and toasted coconut salad)

= ★★★

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Crying Tiger ‘Seua Rong Hai’

(chargrilled beef with a spicy citrus dipping sauce)

= ★★

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Balinese Roast Duck ‘Bebek Betutu’

(baked in banana leaf and spices served with coconut sambal and betel leaves)

= ★★★

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Crispy Coconut Wafer ‘Banh Xeo’

(filled with pork, prawn, bean shoots and fresh herbs)

= ★★

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 Banana Roti

(sugar banana, Nutella and peanut filled roti served with condensed milk)

= ★★

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Kaffir Lime Splice

(kaffir lime and Thai basil granita with homemade coconut ice cream)

= ★★★

Overall:

Fresh colourful dishes that are designed to be shared, bustling atmosphere and efficient service. Rock Paper Scissors is another one of those places that don’t take bookings for dinner so unless you get there at 6pm, expect a wait. We went on a Wednesday night and waited for more than an hour to get a table. Was it worth the wait? Nah, not really.

Rice Paper Scissors

19 Liverpool St, Melbourne

9663 9890

http://www.ricepaperscissors.com.au

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The Baker’s Wife

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The Lamb

(crisp spiced lamb shoulder, pumpkin hummus, fried chickpeas, beetroot relish, paprika yogurt, cucumber and mint salad)

= ★★★

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The Bubble and Squeak

(Bubble and squeak croquette, Italian sausage, roast tomato, fried egg, sourdough, house relish and house BBQ sauce)

I really enjoyed the croquette but the sourdough and the sausages were simply tough and dry.

= ★★

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The French Toast

(The Baker’s Challah, rhubarb and strawberry compote, spiced ricotta and Canadian maple syrup)

= ★★

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The Cheeseburger

(150g beef patty, Swiss cheese, brioche bun, pickled cucumbers, American mustard, lettuce, tomato and chips)

= ★★★

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The Barramundi Roll

(crumbed barramundi fillet, brioche bun, fennel, apple and celery slaw, fried capers, dill aioli and chips)

Delicious combination of ingredients. Plus the barramundi fillet was very tasty and had great crunch.

= ★★★★

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Nutella Donut, Hot Jam Donut, Raspberry and Custard Cruffin, Chocolate Cruffin

I definitely liked the cruffins more than the donuts…

= ★★★

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Nutella Donut

…although the donut fillings were delightfully bounteous!

Overall:

Warm inviting atmosphere, average service, good selection of pastries and muffins (which are baked fresh on the premises).

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The Baker’s Wife

414-418 Burke Rd, Camberwell

9809 1133

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