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.


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


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.


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


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


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


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


…and I sampled almost every single dessert.


I quite liked the macarons…


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


Check out their colourful Sundae Station!


A buffet restaurant that I would gladly return to.



7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise, QLD

5584 1200

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Rae’s Restaurant, Balgownie Estate


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.


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.

= ★★★★


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.

= ★★★★


Vine Smoked Chargrilled Boneless Rib-eye

(with chips, green beans, Bordelaise sauce)

A solid steak with very tasty Bordelaise sauce.

= ★★★


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.

= ★★★★


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

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

Squires Loft Albert Park


300g Scotch with creamy garlic sauce and chips



200g eye fillet with Danish blue cheese sauce and a baked potato



It’s been years since I last ate at a Squires Loft and couldn’t recall what the steaks were like. And that’s the thing, the steaks here were satisfactory, making them unmemorable to me. Squires Loft wouldn’t be the first place I would think of when I get a steak craving, but I also wouldn’t have any opposition coming here (if I happened to be in the area that is).

Squires Loft Albert Park

St Kilda Road Towers, 1 Queens Rd, Melbourne, VIC

(03) 9863 7700

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Hurricane’s Grill

130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach NSW 9130 7101



Steak and Ribs Combo with chips

200g free range sirloin with half a rack of pork ribs


Pork Ribs (Half) served with a baked potato



One of the worst steaks I’ve ever had (flavourless, tough, rubbery) and some of the best ribs I’ve ever had (tender fall off the bone meat that had been generously marinated in a delicious gluten-free secret recipe basting sauce). Be prepared for some messy eating when it comes to the ribs, but don’t let that deter you from coming here as the staff will offer you the option of having a bib (which they even tie around your neck for you). The service was quick, the atmosphere family friendly, a place certainly worth visiting for the ribs.


Hurricane's Grill on Urbanspoon


32 Bourke St, Melbourne 9650 7020



 Edamame and Sake


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)



(grilled chicken meatball skewers)


Salmon Carpaccio

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


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


Mixed salad, Squid, Salmon


Sweet red bean ice cream and Green tea ice cream



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.


Takumi on Urbanspoon


25 Market Lane, Melbourne 9650 0848



Pickled fish and vegetables

Intensely sour

= Not bad


Savoury Egg Custard

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

= Excellent



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


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



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

= Excellent



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

= Good


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


Mixed Steamed Rice

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

= Not bad


Green tea ice cream

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

= Not bad



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.


Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Noble Calzones

238 Railway Parade, Noble Park 9791 2699



The Sweet Hot Chick



Pepper Steak with Goats Cheese


Choc Berry Double Bliss calzone


The Sweet Hot Chick – sweet chilli chicken, capsicum, onion, fresh chilli (that is actually hot) and herbs = Good

Pepper Steak with Goat Cheese – sliced steak (bland and chewy), onion, capsicum, chevre (goat cheese) and peppercorns = Not bad

Choc Berry Double Bliss calzone – chocolate fondant and berry calzone served with vanilla ice cream. Although the photo I took of this is not particularly appetising, this calzone was actually quite tasty. The sweet butter dough reminded me of donuts and the fondant itself had the right amount of sweetness to it and was not overly rich = Good


The terrific thing about this place is that all the meat and dairy used here are certified halal products and that no pork products are used or kept on the premises. The menu items that contain ham and bacon are in fact beef ham and turkey bacon (I had no idea that turkey bacon existed!). The service was incredibly warm and friendly, and the food tasty and exciting.

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Mrs Kim’s Grill

136 Koornang Road, Carnegie 9563 4424



Moo set


Oink set


Moo set – 350g of marinated Galbi beef ribs, 150g of Skirt steak, tomato and avocado salsa salad = Good

Oink set – 250g of chilli pork belly, 150g of pork neck fillet, smoked salmon and onion salad = Good

Note that each set comes with butter and garlic potatoes, corn, soup of the day (which was soy bean paste soup), and rice for two.

The complimentary side dishes that are served with all meals include: homemade kimchi, pickled onion, spring onion salad, ssamjang soy bean, dipping sauce, and pepper and garlic salt.



Really delicious and well marinated meat! In fact everything here was very tasty. My only complaint is that the meat sets need to be bigger so that there is more meat to be enjoyed! The atmosphere is casual and the staff are efficient and friendly.


Mrs Kim's Grill on Urbanspoon

Montalto Restaurant and Winery

33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South 5989 8412



Ricotta dumplings, roasted pumpkin, oyster mushroom, kale & pinenuts


Beef eye fillet, celeriac puree, asparagus, glazed shallots


Three pepper duck breast, whitlof tart


The views that can be seen of the vineyard are simply stunning, and there are plenty of interesting sculptures scattered around the estate. Service was a bit slow even though they weren’t particularly busy at the time (weekday lunchtime). The food was beautifully presented although portions were smaller than what I would have liked. The dishes we ordered used fresh ingredients and were good but nothing spectacular. Would I come back just for the food? Probably not. But would I come back for the amazing views, unique sculptures and the wine? Perhaps.


Montalto Restaurant and Winery on Urbanspoon



Two Birds One Stone

12 Claremont Street, South Yarra 9827 1228



Two birds – eggs on toast with mushroom, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, haloumi, avocado, house made sausage and bacon



Black Angus steak sandwich with bacon, beetroot chutney, horseradish cream, rocket and cheese



Corn fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado and snow pea tendrils



House smoked salmon omelette with beetroot relish, goats cheese and chervil on toast



Two birds – a typical big breakfast dish = Not bad

Steak sandwich – the sweet beetroot chutney combined with the tangy horseradish made this a satisfying steak sandwich even though the steak was slightly overcooked = Not bad

Corn fritters – somewhat dry but the snow pea tendrils gave the fritters a fresh and unusual taste = Not bad

Salmon omelette – the omelette itself was nice however the toast that it came on was really thin and dry  = Not bad



Good atmosphere, average service and so-so food. Probably not a place that I would be rushing to go back to.


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