Ice cream

Garagistes

103 Murray St, Hobart 6231 0558

 

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Smoked new season pink eye potatoes, sauce of whey, garlic scapes, herbs, flowers

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 Tartare of veal leg, uni and pine nut cream, nasturtium buds, speck and aged buffalo cheese

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 Green feast peas, lovage, samphire, lardo

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Venerupis clams cooked in kombu butter, chicken and anise hyssop dashi

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 Garagistes smoked eel, poached rhubarb, laver and pickled hawthorn blossom

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Lightly steamed Tasmanian blue eye trevalla and oyster mushrooms cooked over charcoal

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West Hobart lime posset, iced fig leaf kefir, caraway and dill shortbread

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Kunzea blossom ice cream, elderflower milk crisp, green almond cream

Overall:

Garagistes offer an ever-changing five course set menu with optional artisanal sake to match. The food here is beautifully presented and has interesting flavours, however portions are quite small (I left still feeling a bit hungry). Service was friendly but slow, and the decor was simple (eg. plain wooden communal tables) and dark (eg. black walls, dark floors). Not a place I am likely to return to.

Note that this place opens Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm, and that reservations open two weeks in advance.

 

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Yong Green Food

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Quinoa Fritter

Fried organic quinoa patties with veggies and spices, served with coconut chilli sauce

★★★☆☆

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Buckwheat Crepe

Organic buckwheat crepe with braised shitake mushrooms and wasabi soy mayo

★★☆☆☆

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Dragon Bowl

Biodynamic brown rice topped with assorted veggies, organic tofu, red chili paste and sesame oil, served with miso soup

★★☆☆☆

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Rawsagne

Layered zucchini with mushroom, avocado, cashew cream and raw walnut bolognaise

★★★☆☆

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Kelp Pad Thai

Kelp noodles mixed with organic veggies and a creamy chilli cashew sauce, topped with tamari almonds

★★★☆☆

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Teriyaki Chicken

Wheat chicken pan-fried in teriyaki sauce with biodynamic brown rice and vegetables

★★☆☆☆

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Green Tea Ganache

Macha, brazil nuts, goji berries, coconut, agave and raw chocolate

★★★☆☆

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Black Sesame Ice cream topped with Goji Berries

★★☆☆☆

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Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Cashew, raspberries, agave, cacao butter, macadamia nuts, coconut flakes

★★★☆☆

Overall:

As I was leaving Yong Green Food, I thought to myself that maybe I could become a vegetarian. But then a tantalising aroma of barbecued meat came floating down the street and I thought maybe not. But seriously, the food here is pretty amazing. The delicious and creative menu has many dietary options including raw, vegan, gluten-free as well as a no garlic and onion option (which was perfect for one of my friends who always has to check whether or not a dish contains garlic or onion). The menu here was quite extensive and there were many things that I wanted to try, particularly in the raw section of the menu. For those who are omnivores, I recommend not ordering anything that contains meat substitute as it will taste nothing like the real thing. Service was quick and friendly, and the ambience was relaxed and casual. I love how sustainability is an important aspect to those here at Yong Green Food. Not only do they serve predominantly organic vegetarian food using eco-friendly methods, they also use GreenPower renewable energy and donate 10% of their profits to help support farmer managed natural regeneration in East Africa.

If only I lived closer… I would be here all the time.

Note that this place is closed on Mondays.

Yong Green Food

421 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC

(03) 9417 3338

http://yonggreenfood.com.au/

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Waffle On

Shop 9, Degraves St Melbourne 0401 408 168

 

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Canadienne Waffle

Overall:

I had a massive waffle craving the other day so headed to Waffle On to grab one of their delicious waffles. The light crispy Canadienne waffle was served with cold vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and icing sugar. Service was quick but seating very limited (there are only two). We also noticed that the baguettes were very popular here. Something for me to try next time.

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Little Big Sugar Salt

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Guilt Free Hot Mess

Soft fluffy gluten free almond and berry pancakes, dairy free coconut ice cream, sugar free date syrup and fresh fruit

★★★★☆

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 Glutenfreekakes

Millet+sweet potato+currant cakes with cashew cream, chilli jam, wilted kale and fried eggs

★★★☆☆

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Rainbow Roots

Baked beetroot, quinoa, seeds, radish, herbs and a soft boiled egg (with a side of free range bacon)

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

Inconspicuously located among Vietnamese dominated Victoria Street, LBSS is an ideal place for those who are health-conscious and are after dishes that don’t taste like cardboard but actually taste good. The menu is small and simple, and is divided in such a way that all you need to do is decide 1.whether you want a little or big dish and 2. whether you want a sweet or savoury dish (hence the name of this place). The atmosphere was cosy and inviting (it felt as though we were in someone’s house), the staff friendly and attentive, and the service a little bit slow (most likely due to the tiny kitchen that they have here).

Little Big Sugar Salt 

385 Victoria St, Abbotsford, VIC

(03) 9427 8818

http://www.lbsscafe.com/

Little Big Sugar Salt Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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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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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Shoya

25 Market Lane, Melbourne 9650 0848

 

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Pickled fish and vegetables

Intensely sour

= Not bad

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Savoury Egg Custard

Marvellously silky steamed egg custard with chicken, prawn, mushroom and edamame

= Excellent

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Tempura

The tempura batter was delicately light, crunchy and subtly seasoned. My only gripe with this dish was the enormous piece of broccoli that was served. Don’t get me wrong, I love broccoli. It’s just a little difficult to eat when it’s the size of my hand.

= Good

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Signature Deep Fried Dish

The left portion comprised of a tantalisingly tender scallop that was wrapped with understated crab meat and deep fried, while the right portion comprised of deep fried egg and mushroom.

= Good

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Sashimi

Extremely fresh and delicious with each piece having that amazing melt in your mouth texture.

= Excellent

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Sushi

 Fresh and tasty but the wasabi was a bit too heavy for my liking.

= Good

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Wagyu Steak and Miso Soup

Not sure if this is the norm, but this steak happened to be cooked medium-well and some of the pieces were extremely tough and sinewy. The sauce was lovely and aromatic, however the quiche that was served alongside was quite cheesy and did not complement the steak whatsoever. A strange combination.

= Not bad

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Mixed Steamed Rice

Lacklustre fried rice that comprised of chicken, vegetables and mushroom.

= Not bad

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Green tea ice cream

Weak green tea flavour, dense and had ice chunks in it.

= Not bad

 

Overall:

This place offers tasty yet affordable lunch sets that start from only $24.80. The cheap lunch sets must be very popular as by 1pm we were told that the two cheapest sets had already been sold out. But that didn’t faze me as I wanted to get a slightly more expensive Shoya Special Lunch Set anyway. I ended up getting the Matsu Set and substituted the crab dish with tempura. Most of the dishes came out at a nice even pace so that as soon as we had finished one dish, the next one would promptly arrive. Service was good and the atmosphere was chic and sophisticated. We witnessed one of the chefs preparing Shoya’s famous sashimi ice domes. They looked spectacular but I think you can only get them as part of the $180 dinner degustation menu. I think I’ll just stick to coming here for lunch.

 

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Maha Restaurant

21 Bond St, Melbourne 9629 5900

 

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Cherry, Pomegranate & Bitters Mocktail

(uludag sour cherry soda, pomegranate juice, rhubarb bitters)

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Smoked hummus, lamb, cashew, cumin seeds, almonds

Local olives, maltese fel fel

‘Aegean coast’ – Wild greens, beach bananas, oyster cream and pork crackling

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Zucchini falafel, almond, handmade haloumi and radish

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Braised lamb neck, brik pastry, smoked eggplant and harissa pickled cabbage

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Silverbeet borek

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Market fish, parsnip, sesame, wild autumn mushrooms and hazelnut

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Cracked wheat pilaf, barberry, date and almond

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Fattoush, caramelised garlic, tomato and cucumber

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 12 hour roasted lamb shoulder, sumac, garlic, green olive tabouleh

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 Crispy skinned chicken leg, Iranian smoked rice, BBQ corn and egg

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Vanilla rice pudding, toasted marshmallow ice cream, pekmez ganache and almond biscuit

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Peanut butter and chocolate opera cake, brioche ice cream, salted caramel and lemon meringue

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Turkish delight filled doughnuts, honey and walnuts

 

Overall:

Each serving comprised of a spectacular array of flavours and textures, and I truly enjoyed each dish down to the last bite. However I do want to give special mention to:

1. The hummus – fantastic! The underlying smoky flavour took hummus as I knew it to a whole new level

2. ‘Aegean coast’ salad – the smooth oyster cream was simply divine and provided a lovely contrast to the crispy pork crackling

3. Turkish delight filled doughnuts – crispy light dough with a tasty dollop of sweet Turkish delight inside

This place transcends you to somewhere else with its exotic rhythmic music and its dark elegant decor. In addition it is located in a sub-basement venue so that it perpetually feels like night. The service is efficient and the portion sizes are quite generous. (I originally had my eye on the 6 course menu but as it turned out the 4 course menu was already a struggle to finish) Note that the menu here changes regularly so that there is always something new and exciting to tantalise your tastebuds. If you haven’t been here before, put this on your places to try list!

 

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Nieuw Amsterdam

106-112 Hardware Street, Melbourne 9602 2111

 

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 House baked sourdough

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Black kingfish ceviche

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 Chicken waffles

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 Smokey beef brisket

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Rabbit meatballs

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Grits fritters

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Baked eggplant

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 Peanut butter sandwich

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Pumpkin donuts

 

Thoughts:

House baked sourdough – tasted more like regular bread than sourdough as it did not have that mild sour taste. However this bread did have a crispy yet oily crust reminiscent to that of pan fried pizza base = Good

Black kingfish ceviche – served with daikon, dashi dressing, crunchy quinoa and finger limes. A fresh and cool combination of flavours and textures = Good

Chicken waffles – strong flavoured pate, terrine, crispy chicken skin and orange caramel = Not bad

Smokey beef brisket – juicy pieces of beef served with carrot remoulade = Good

Rabbit meatballs – dry gamey meatballs, undercooked tagliatelle, sofrito, and roast tomato sauce. Note that this dish is no longer on the menu = Bad

Grits fritters – marvelously fluffy fritters served with a variety of sweetcorn and heirloom beetroots = Good

Baked eggplant – served with grilled tofu, mushrooms and spiced yogurt = Good

Peanut butter sandwich – served with cherry ripe ice cream, peanuts, salted caramel and chocolate sauce. It’s such a shame that this dessert is no longer on the menu as it was delicious! = Good

Pumpkin donuts – crispy deep fried donuts served with Kentucky bourbon whipped cream. The donuts by themselves are quite dry so need to be eaten together with the cream = Not bad

 

Overall:

Great food, good service, dark and sleek atmosphere. This place is absolutely worth visiting.

 

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Cutler & Co.

55-57 Gertrude St, Fitzroy 9419 4888

 

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Seaweed and tapioca cracker with eggplant puree and black sesame

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Rye toast with crème fraîche, smoked trout and Avruga cavier

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Kingfish sashimi, green strawberries, sorrel and apple

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Peas, baby zucchini, toasted seeds, onion and bergamot

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WA marron, buttermilk potato, fermented carrot and Espelette

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Smoked duck breast, boudin noir, beetroot and sour cherry

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Wood grilled beef rib, kohlrabi and sesame

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Cream, watermelon and lychee granita

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Earl grey ice cream, chocolate, cherries and brandy jelly

Overall:

I was very excited to finally try out this place as I am a fan of chef Andrew McConnell having previously dined at his other restaurants Cumulus Inc. and Golden Fields, and absolutely loving the food. Located in an old metal works factory, this restaurant occupies a large interesting space filled with stripped back brick walls, high ceilings, exotic ferns and warm wooden tones. We decided to get the degustation menu (which changes quite often) and were quite impressed with the food served. The only problem with having really delicious degustation food is that before you know it, your plate is empty and you are left wanting more! This is definitely a place that I would visit again.

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