Duck

Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar

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Kamo Nan Soba

(noodles with sliced seasoned duck meat and mushrooms in a warm soup)

Aside from the tough chewy duck that was in the soup, everything was really good.

★★★★☆

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Salmon Salad Soba

(chilled noodles with salmon sashimi and green salad topped with basil sauce)

A refreshing salad with nicely seared salmon.

★★★★☆

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Agedashi Tofu

(deep fried tofu in a soy based broth)

★★★☆☆

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Complimentary potato salad

★★★☆☆

Overall:

Look no further for fresh authentic soba noodles! Using Tasmanian buckwheat, an in-house Japanese stone mill produces buckwheat flour daily which is then used to make their hand-kneaded noodles. Service was friendly however the arrival of our food was very staggered. Note that this place only accepts lunch reservations, so arrive early for dinner or expect a bit of a wait.

Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar

17 Liverpool St, Melbourne, VIC

(03) 9654 6727

http://www.shimbashisobamelbourne.net/

Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thai Tamarind

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 Gaeng Phed Ped Yang

(red duck curry with vegetables, pineapple and lychee)

Lots of colourful vegetables, generous amount of duck, while the pineapple and lychee added some nice sweetness.

★★★☆☆

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 Pad Bah Mee

(stir-fried rice noodles with carrot, egg, onion, cabbage and bean sprouts)

★★☆☆☆

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Tom Yum

(clear spicy and sour soup with chicken, lemongrass, tomato, onion and mushroom)

Fragrant and mildly spicy.

★★☆☆☆

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Mixed Entree

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

One of the few Asian restaurants in Margaret River, this place offered prompt service but average Thai fare. The ventilation here could also be improved as we left smelling strongly of stir fry.

Thai Tamarind

Shop 1/97 Bussell Highway, Margaret River, WA

(08) 9757 9041

http://www.thaitamarindmargaretriver.com/

Thai Tamarind Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Okra

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Cassava crackers with sambal

You can’t go wrong with fresh complimentary crackers.

★★★☆☆

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Eggplant with Homemade Sambal

★★☆☆☆

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Ayam Merah Nonya

(red curry chicken with kaffir lime leaves)

Mildly spicy, tender chicken.

★★★☆☆

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Pad Thai

(rice noodles with chicken, prawns, bean shoots and peanuts)

The tastiest Pad Thai I’ve had in a while. The noodles were cooked perfectly and unlike many other places, the dish wasn’t laden with sugar.

★★★★☆

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Duo Seafood

(scallops and prawns with palm sugar and chilli)

From the menu description I thought this dish would predominantly comprise of scallops and prawns, not vegetables.

★★☆☆☆

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Twice-cooked Black Pepper Duck with Champignon

 Cooking the duck twice removed it from all its flavour, while the sauce had a disagreeable liver taste to it.

★☆☆☆☆

Overall:

Apart from the Pad Thai, the food was unremarkable. The staff however were very attentive as our dishes were taken away as soon as we were done with them and our water glasses were constantly being refilled (I don’t think my glass ever reached half empty). Note that this place is in the Entertainment Book.

Okra

159 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC

(03) 9813 1623

http://www.okrahawthorn.com.au/

Okra 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

Oree Korean Duck Restaurant

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Duck and Beef Set

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Bean paste, Salt and Pepper in Oil, Bean Powder, Chili Paste

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200g Fresh Duck

As soon as the duck cools it becomes tough and chewy, so it’s best eaten straight off the grill.

★★★☆☆

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100g Angus Beef Rib

★★★☆☆

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Beef gal-bi

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

One of the most unique Korean barbecue experiences I’ve had due to their specialisation in duck. (In fact this is Australia’s first Korean duck barbecue restaurant) The set menus were reasonably priced while service was very attentive. A good option for those who feel like Korean barbecue, but don’t feel like red meat.

Oree Korean Duck Restaurant

179 Queen St, Melbourne, VIC

(03) 9642 1270

http://www.oree.com.au/

Oree Korean Duck Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Axil Coffee Roasters

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Red velvet pancakes with cream cheese ganache, raspberries and black sesame ice cream

A must try for all those with a sweet tooth! These glorious pancakes had fluffy centres and crispy edges, and were almost cake-like. The cream cheese ganache and black sesame ice cream were delicious accompaniments, while the raspberries provided some lovely tartness to this overall sweet dish.

★★★★☆

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Beechwood smoked duck breast with fennel, blood orange, pistachio and vincotta

Well cooked duck breast served with a fresh zesty salad.

★★★☆☆

Overall:

An excellent place to head to for good food, friendly service, and of course quality coffee.

Axil Coffee Roasters

322 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn, VIC

(03) 9819 0091

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Sault

 

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House made sourdough

= ★★

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Sher wagyu beef sourdough parcels, enoki mushrooms, soy, chives

= ★★★★

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Hopkins River eye fillet, onion, red capsicum, eggplant, thyme volcanic salt, red wine jus

= ★★★

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Roasted free-range corn-fed duck breast, chestnut purée, duck liver parfait, grilled mushroom, Pedro Ximenez jus

= ★★★

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Musquée de Provence pumpkin, pine nuts, sage, blue cheese and buttermilk kuzu gnocchi

I could not believe that this was under the ‘something more substantial’ category of the menu. Where was the rest of the dish? What’s worse was that the five bites of pumpkin and five tiny morsels of soft watery gnocchi drowning in cheese also turned out to be extremely disappointing taste wise.

= ★

Overall:

Beautiful setting, good service (although our drinks were forgotten and had to be chased up), unsatisfactory food. Perhaps we went on an off night but even so I doubt I will return.
Sault

Sault

2349 Ballan-Daylesford Rd, Daylesford

5348 6555

http://www.sault.com.au/

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