Beef

Parlour Diner

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Lobster and Shrimp ‘Po Boy’ with Slaw and Chimichurri Salsa

★★★☆☆

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Blue Ribbon Crispy Fried Chicken served with curly fries, sauce and salad

★★★☆☆

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Dynamite Burger (beef patty, tomato, lettuce, cheese, pickles, chipotle, Asian slaw)

★★☆☆☆

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Grilled Corn on the Cob with Spicy Lime Butter

★★★☆☆

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Chocolate Peanut Butter and Banana Milkshake

★★★☆☆

Overall:

We came here for a late dinner on a weeknight and found the atmosphere, service and food to be fabulous. A special mention goes to the huge pieces of fried chicken (fantastically crispy on the outside, juicy and boneless on the inside) and the chocolate peanut butter milkshake (sweet with a hint of saltiness and contained tiny little pieces of peanut and a giant scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream). This place is quite small and the kitchen is minuscule so I can understand that waiting times for food can be quite long when it gets busy. Nevertheless if you are in the mood for decent American food, head to Parlour Diner.

Parlour Diner

64 Chapel St, Windsor, VIC

(03) 9533 2006

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Twenty & Six

594 Queensberry St, North Melbourne 9329 0298

Hot Choc

Bounty Bar Hot Chocolate with Mörk, coconut and almond milk (left)

The almond milk ruined this potentially terrific drink, making it extremely thin and watery

★★

Mörk Hot Chocolate (right)

Balanced and full of flavour, not exceedingly sweet

★★★

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Brioche roll with beef brisket, kaiserfleisch, chilli, cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese and seeded mustard aioli, served with hand cut chips and rosemary salt

★★

IMG_1275Wild mushrooms with soft polenta, roasted shallots, endive, two poached eggs, parmesan and pomegranate molasses

★★

Overall:

The only thing impressive about this place was the outhouse they had at the back. Food was average and portions were small, while the service was so-so. The staff here were very strict about their menu and refused to serve us chips on their own as it wasn’t on the menu. To be honest I’d much rather head around the corner to Auction Rooms for a bite to eat.

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Grill Me

357a Hawthorn Rd, Caulfield 9533 0550

 

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Spicy Melbourne burger

(grilled lean beef patty, havarti cheese, roasted peppers, dill pickles, lettuce, red onion, peri peri aioli)

served with chips, herb aioli and peri peri aioli

= Not bad

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Chicken Delight burger

(grilled marinated chicken breast fillet, crispy bacon, havarti cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, herb aioli)

served with chips, herb aioli and peri peri aioli

= Good

 

Overall:

Great value for money as the burgers here are enormous. The thick beef patty was well cooked however was lacking in flavor, while the chicken fillet was deliciously juicy and tender. The chips were crunchy and well seasoned, and you can’t really go wrong serving aioli with chips. A nice burger place but nothing outstanding.

 

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East of Everything

Level 3, 72 Auburn Parade, Camberwell 9882 4216

 

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 Cajun sweetcorn fritters with avocado salsa

Crispy fritters packed with juicy corn kernels and lightly drizzled with a spicy Cajun sauce. My only complaint with this dish was that there should have been more of the terrific avocado salsa!

= Good

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Pulled pork quesadilla

Sweet smoky pork. Delicious!

= Good

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The “Dom” – beef debris served on a bed of crispy chips with Cajun remoulade and pickles

If only this dish came with slightly more beef and slightly less chips it would have been perfect.

= Good

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Southern fried chicken Po’Boy

Crispy tender chicken + fresh crunchy coleslaw = a winning combination

= Good

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Peanut butter and chocolate cheesecake

Solid and difficult to cut through, this sweet homemade cheesecake was reminiscent of a Snickers bar.

= Not bad

 

Overall:

Quietly hidden away up a small flight of stairs, East of Everything know how to serve up some great Southern food. The menu is small and simple, the atmosphere relaxed and the staff friendly.

 

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David & Camy Noodle Restaurant

605 Station St, Box Hill 9898 8398

 

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Taiwan Beef Noodle Soup

A tasty combination of soft noodles, tender beef and tart pickled mustard greens

= Not bad

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Peking Pork Dumpling in Spicy Sauce

Sizeable dumplings filled with a juicy pork filling, covered in a very spicy sauce (which I wasn’t a fan of as it had some sour bits in it)

= Not bad

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Fried Chicken and Prawn Dumpling

= Not bad

 

Overall:

If you are in the mood for dumplings, steer clear of this place. Yes the dumplings were admittedly big however the fillings were so-so and the dumpling skins were lumpy, thick and chewy (we ended up just eating the fillings and discarded the dumpling skins). Service was stony and unfriendly, and our dishes were plonked on our table without the staff members even looking at us. I’m not sure what the rest of the menu is like but I doubt I’ll return to find out.

 

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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.

 

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Takumi

32 Bourke St, Melbourne 9650 7020

 

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 Edamame and Sake

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Takumi’s Special Wagyu Beef

(thinly sliced wagyu eye fillet grilled on the outside topped with finely diced onion and lightly dressed in refreshing citrus seasoning)

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Tsukune

(grilled chicken meatball skewers)

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Salmon Carpaccio

(salmon sashimi infused in tangy carrot, onion and soy sauce seasoning)

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Jo-hire eye fillet steak and Karubi wagyu beef bolar blade

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Mixed salad, Squid, Salmon

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Sweet red bean ice cream and Green tea ice cream

 

Overall:

The quality of the food here was fantastic. Everything tasted fresh and the flavours were superb. I found the usage of lard/fat to coat the grill plate quite interesting. No wonder the meat here tasted so good. We came with a Groupon voucher and definitely felt that we had snapped up a terrific deal. The staff were efficient and the “smokeless” grills that they use here are great as it meant that you could leave without having that strong grill smell attached to your clothes and hair.

 

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Pizza Religion

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Pork Pizza

(pork sausage, chilli, fennel, apple and cabbage salad)

Quite enjoyable but there wasn’t enough pork sausage (many mouthfuls of this pizza were purely of cabbage salad)

★★★☆☆

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Beef Cheek Pizza

(braised beef cheek, celeriac puree, caramelised onions and gremolta)

The pungent beef cheek tasted marvellous with the sweet caramelised onions.

★★★★☆

Overall:

There is a wide range of fresh gourmet pizza toppings available and they are all served on crispy thin crusts. The staff here are helpful and the atmosphere is truly family friendly.

Pizza Religion

493 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn, VIC

(03) 9882 2555

http://pizzareligion.com.au/

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Champions Bistro

37 Springs Rd, Clayton South 9544 9929

 

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Smoked oyster, apple, horseradish

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Beef tendon, salted macadamia praline

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Duck liver, rye crisp, mountain pepper

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Charcoal chicken wing, celeriac, scallop, lemon pith, miso foam

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House baked sourdough with butter

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Hapuka, nettle broth, broccoli leaf, pork fat

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Kangaroo, native plum, sorrel, dried berry

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Pynegana cheddar, mustard sheet, muntries

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Tangelo, black garlic, brioche, fromage blanc sorbet

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Jerusalem artichoke ice cream, dehydrated chocolate mousse, fragrant tea jelly

 

Overall:

Things I knew before dining here:

1. former Vue de Monde chef Clinton McIver heads the kitchen

2. reviews have been very complimentary and at one point this place was booked out for months in advance

With this in mind, I walked in with fingers crossed hoping that this place would live up to its expectations. Unfortunately for me it did not. Although I enjoyed everything that was offered on their tasting menu, nothing in particular sent my tastebuds into a frenzy. However the menu here is constantly changing depending on seasonality and other aspects so perhaps it was just the current menu that failed to impress me. I also found each course to be quite small and left still feeling hungry.

On a more positive note the service was terrific and I loved the simple unpretentious atmosphere (this place is unexpectedly located at the Clayton Bowls Club and the dining area offers a nice view of the bowling green).

I am still undecided as to whether or not I want to venture here again. Perhaps so once the menu has completely changed.

 

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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.

 

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