Scallop

Gyoza Gyoza

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Salmon Tataki

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Tuna Tataki

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Soba Noodle Soup

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Yaki Hotate

(baked Japanese scollops with creamy miso sauce)

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Lobster Mini Burgers

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Panfried Miso Eggplant and Duck Gyoza

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Kinoko Hoiru-yaki

(foil baked mix mushrooms with ponzu butter sauce)

Overall:

What makes Gyoza Gyoza such an appealing place is that all their dishes are $6.50. With more than 80 Japanese tapas style dishes to choose from, we spent a fair amount of time deliberating over the menu. We had high expectations with the gyoza (due to the restaurant name) but they turned out to be rather ordinary and also smaller than expected. In fact most of the dishes we sampled turned out to be quite ordinary, with the only stand out dish being the baked scallops. Service was average and the small tables meant that it became a tetris challenge trying to fit all our dishes onto the table. Gyoza Gyoza may not offer the best Japanese food, but they do offer a wide variety for a decent price.

Gyoza Gyoza

115-117 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, CBD

(03) 9663 0801

http://www.gyozagyoza.com.au/

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Hinoki Japanese Pantry

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I finally tried the sushi bar at Hinoki Japanese Pantry the other day after buying groceries from here in the past.

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Hotate (scallop) and Salmon Aburi

★★★☆☆

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Nosé Maki and Hoso Maki

★★★★☆

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Small Sashimi

★★★★☆

Overall:

Our order took a little while to prepare but when it was finally ready, everything tasted fresh and was of fantastic quality. The grocery store section at Hinoki Japanese Pantry is impressive with a wide range of products ranging from Japanese curries and ramen to sake and green tea Kit Kats. This simple orderly store is a good place to head to for your Japanese grocery needs, as well as for delicious sushi and sashimi. Note that limited seating is available so getting takeaway may be necessary during busy periods.

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Hinoki Japanese Pantry

279 Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC

(03) 9417 4531

http://hinoki.com.au/

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Bazaar

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I rarely go to buffet restaurants these days due to my somewhat defective satiety centre, however this place certainly impressed me and I am glad that I went. The dining area was sleek and modern, while service was surprisingly outstanding for a buffet restaurant. Our cheery waiter was efficient and very observant which meant that we had fantastic table service.

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There was a considerable variety of food and everything was fresh, colourful, and of great quality.

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Unlike many other buffet restaurants, the dishes here are not labelled which encourages you to interact with the friendly chefs and ask questions about their creations.

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There are daily tapas and steaks available that are made to order. These are brought to your table once they are ready. 

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The tapas were delicious but my steak was a bit overdone unfortunately.

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I lost count how many scallops I ate while I was there…

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…but I’m pretty sure I had 3 slices of pizza…

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…and I sampled almost every single dessert.

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I quite liked the macarons…

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…and the dulce de leche I had with my donut was pretty good.

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Check out their colourful Sundae Station!

Overall:

A buffet restaurant that I would gladly return to.

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Bazaar

7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD

5584 1200

https://www.qtgoldcoast.com.au/food-drink/bazaar/

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Satoru’s Japanese Restaurant

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Sushi Set

(salmon, tuna, prawn, calamari, scallop nigiri and sushi roll)

★★★☆☆

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Bento Plate

(prawn and salmon dumplings, chicken spring roll, calamari tempura, teriyaki chicken and sushi roll)

★★★☆☆

Overall:

We visited for lunch on a Saturday and had a lovely cheerful man (I’m assuming he’s the owner) both prepare and serve our food. The seafood was fresh and the bento plate unique (this was the first time I’d ever heard of prawn and salmon dumplings). I can see why this place is the most popular Japanese restaurant in the area.

Satoru’s Japanese Restaurant

Shop 1, 108 Old Pacific Hwy, Oxenford, QLD

5665 9295

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Rae’s Restaurant, Balgownie Estate

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If you are thinking about taking a break this winter to visit Victoria’s pre-eminent wine region (only an hour’s drive from the Melbourne CBD), I strongly recommend dropping by Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort and Spa. This outstanding resort received the prestigious hotel industry award for “Best Regional Accommodation of the Year” at last month’s 2015 Tourism Accommodation Australia (VIC) Accommodation Awards for Excellence, and the on-site restaurant offers a marvellous dining experience. Executive Chef Graham Taute and his team at Rae’s Restaurant (the on-site dining venue) have a real passion for using fresh local ingredients, and incorporate the best of local produce into their menu. I recently had the wonderful opportunity of sampling their new winter menu for 2015.

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Seafood Chowder

(prawn, scallop, salmon, white fish, herb oil)

Creamy hearty comfort food with a substantial amount of seafood in it. Utterly delicious and perfect for winter.

= ★★★★

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Hand Rolled Potato Gnocchi

(smoked ocean trout, fennel, minted pea puree, Balgownie Estate chardonnay cream)

The gnocchi was soft and fluffy, while the sauce was smooth and flavourful.

= ★★★★

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Vine Smoked Chargrilled Boneless Rib-eye

(with chips, green beans, Bordelaise sauce)

A solid steak with very tasty Bordelaise sauce.

= ★★★

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Beer Battered Fish of the day

(with smoked paprika dusted chips, baby leaves, celeriac remoulade)

Light and crispy batter, moist steaming fish, crunchy golden chips. Simple and satisfying.

= ★★★★

Overall:

With a delicious new menu, roaring open fire and spectacular views of the surrounding Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Valley, Rae’s Restaurant is certainly worth a visit this winter.

rae's restaurant

Rae’s Restaurant

1309 Melba Highway, Yarra Glen

9730 0774

http://www.balgownieestate.com.au/restaurant/rae-s-restaurant.htm

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*Disclaimer: I dined as a guest of Balgownie Estate and Tyrrell PR. 

Jackman & McRoss

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Everything looked delicious and it took us a little while to decide what to get.

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Blueberry Coconut Cheesecake, Lemon and Ricotta Crumble Cake, Hot Jam Donut

★★★☆☆

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Apple and Raisin Danish

★★★☆☆

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 Scrambled egg, bacon, tomato and avocado panini

★★★★★

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Scallop & wakame pie

★★★☆☆

Pork, Sage and apple sausage roll

★★☆☆☆

Overall:

We grabbed some takeaway and found the food to be delightful. This place is well worth stopping by.

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Jackman & McRoss

59 Hampden Rd, Battery Point, TAS

(03) 6223 3186

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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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