Beetroot

Public Inn

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Roast duck breast, heirloom carrot, aged balsamic and bergamot, beetroot, kohlrabi

I initially mistook the carrots for chillies. Those tricky carrots.

★★★★☆

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Ocean farmed cobia, green beans, miso and black garlic, sweet potato, ice plant, fermented chili and bisque

★★★☆☆

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Rare Wagyu sirloin, smoked olive and Parmesan, lemon, thyme, potato beignet, beef gratin pastry, fennel

★★★★☆

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Lemon and vanilla wild rice, black pepper ice cream, caramel popcorn, apricot syrup

The ice cream on its own was very peppery and needed to be eaten with the sweetened rice to balance the flavours out.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Located in what was once Castlemaine’s original fire station, Public Inn is a charming bistro and bar that offers marvellous food and exceptional service. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the Castlemaine area.

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Public Inn

26a Templeton St, Castlemaine, VIC

(03) 5472 3568

http://www.publicinn.com.au/

Public Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mum’s Burger Kitchen

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Pamela Burger

(double beef patty, double cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, garlic aioli, tomato relish)

This burger was huge and multiple bites were needed for me to get through all the layers. The taste reminded me of a Hungry Jack’s whopper except with less of a flame grilled flavour.

★★★☆☆

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Macaroni and Cheese

Kind of tasted like instant mac and cheese.

★★☆☆☆

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Barbara Burger

(beef, cheese, spinach, roast pumpkin, eggplant, beetroot, onion, tomato relish, avocado, basil pesto)

Really tasty. I’d definitely order this again.

★★★★☆

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Bad Boy Chips

These chips took a really long time to come out but at least they were super fresh albeit underseasoned.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

The buns and burger fillings were great however the beef patties were inconsistent. Some parts would have a nice char-grill flavour, while other parts had no flavour at all. Service was friendly but seats are limited so it’s a good idea to book a table if you plan on dining during peak times. Otherwise you can simply order takeaway and enjoy your burgers somewhere else.

Mum’s Burger Kitchen

Boronia Village, 5/159 Boronia Rd, Boronia, VIC

(03) 9761 3363

Mum's Burger Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Heroes Burger Diner

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All Star Burger

(beef patty, cheese, bacon, egg, house BBQ sauce, sweet onion, tomato relish, American mustard, tomato sauce, added beetroot, house baked brioche bun)

Heavy and overpoweringly sweet.

★★☆☆☆

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HFC Burger

(crispy fried chicken, tasty cheese, coleslaw, jalapeños, chipotle sauce, house baked brioche bun)

Also a heavy burger, but at least I could taste all the ingredients in this one.

★★☆☆☆

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Curly Fries

Dry and ordinary.

★★☆☆☆

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Salted Caramel Milkshake

★★★☆☆

Overall:

The decor here is awesome. Colourful comic strips line the walls and toy figures of heroes and villains are peppered throughout the diner. Service was quick and the food was well priced but ordinary. The burgers we sampled were overloaded with sauces which quickly led to soggy burgers. We also left the place smelling strongly like the grill (Korean BBQ style) so I think that the ventilation here could be improved.

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Heroes Burger Diner

Shop 14/6 Fordholm Rd, Hampton Park, VIC

(03) 8768 8868

Heroes Burger Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wide Open Road

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Thick cut bacon with gruyere cheese potato cake, poached eggs, beetroot relish, rocket, chipotle mayo

The thick cut bacon was delicious and had a lovely hint of sweetness. If only there had been more of it!

★★★★☆

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Corn, black bean and smoked mozzarella tortilla with chipotle lime creme fraiche, fried eggs and pork belly

I would have preferred less beans however the pork belly was quite enjoyable.

★★★☆☆

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Caramelised tiramisu french toast with espresso mascarpone, poached plums and a cocoa nib, cinnamon and nut dukkah

The sugar crust on the french toast was a nice touch, while the espresso mascarpone and poached plums made for an interestingly delightful combination of flavours.

★★★★☆

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Chai latte

★★★★☆

Overall:

Great food, average service, definite hipster vibe.

Wide Open Road

274 Barkly St, Brunswick, VIC

(03) 9387 6079

http://wideopenroad.com.au/

Wide Open Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Store Fifteen

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Beetroot Latte

(fresh pressed beetroot, ginger juice, steamed house made almond mylk)

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Golden Latte

(house made almond mylk, freshly pressed ginger and turmeric, topped with cinnamon and cracked black pepper)

Overall:

There was a strong emphasis on health and nutrition at Store Fifteen. The menu had even been developed with the advice from a highly trained nutritionist! The drinks we ordered were not your typical lattes but were fresh and interesting. The Beetroot Latte had a delicate sweetness with underlying spiciness, while the Golden Latte was extremely pungent and is not something I would want to drink on a regular basis. Service was friendly, atmosphere was casual, and the decor funky although the hessian sack seats were a bit scratchy and uncomfortable at times. An ideal place for the health-conscious.

Store Fifteen

15 Main St, Mornington, VIC

(03) 5975 5015

Store Fifteen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

Servery & Spoon

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Morning Super Salad

with kale, broccoli rice, toasted quinoa, beetroot, avocado, super seeds and a poached egg

Tasted healthy but lacked flavour and texture.

= ★★

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Buttermilk French Toast

with quince, lemon curd labna, sugared pecans and date maple

= ★★★

Eggs

Crispy Dukkah Crusted Eggs

with smashed avocado, crumbled feta and grilled orange on sourdough

Not sure if the grilled orange was necessary but the rest of the dish was delicious!

= ★★★★

Overall:

Well presented food, friendly service, open inviting space. Be sure to try the Crispy Dukkah Crusted Eggs.

Servery & Spoon

137 Waverley Rd, Malvern East

9571 7495

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