Monday, 28 January 2013

Sapore - Melbourne - 5 Fitzroy Steet, St Kilda

Looking for a bite to eat in St Kilda before reliving my Uni years and heading to the Espie, I decided to relive my dining years too and opted for Sapore.

Just walked right in and no booking required - good o.

I was out with some Ukranian friends now living in LA - what a hoot. I love people who are honest and frank and say it how it is.

One of them requests "vinegar please". I was not sure where this was going but soon realised that our lovely olive oil would have a dash of balsamic. A bit early 2000s I commented but I love people who don't care and are brave enough to ask.

Two of us ordered the seafood linguini. Once again I am reliving my early dining years and ordering the same dish from a life before. Double the price but still cooked well, although the mussels were a bit scarily big.

Mr Balsamic ordered a mushroom risotto. He said that the mushroom could have been blenderised cos he could taste the flavor but could not feel the texture. It was good nonetheless except for the big blob of what he thought to be butter in the centre. We told him that it was actually cream fraiche but he said that if the chef thought it would be good he would mix it in himself. Fair point.

Mr Balsamic has been displeased with aus wines since arriving from LA so far. So we had to order an Aussie wine. Unfortunately the selection was not great but he was pleased that this one had a cork. He and his wife and their friends in LA are cork collectors of course. He even noted that this one did not have the winery incrypted on the side.

I learnt that these corks can be used to create frames, pot stands and hot pan placemats. His are in a large bowl of course.

What a shame that Aus is starved of corks these days!

Overall a decent place for a quick pasta.

Around $45 each.


Sapore on Urbanspoon


Ruby Modern Thai - 2407 Point Nepean Highway, Rye

Finding a decent restaurant along the Mornington foreshore can be a chore for sure.

Ruby Modern Thai is an exception. A great menu with lots of favourites but also some gems like the prawn red curry with basil and lemongrass chicken.

Super friendly service, BYO and about $25 per head.

Can't go wrong with that.

Ruby Modern Thai on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Gorski & Jones - Melbourne - 304 Smith Street, Collingwood

Very excited about this place and even more excited after having read the menu. You will know most of the dishes but sometimes familiarity is a good thing.

Walking in the door, there is an eclectic feel to Gorski. Marble bench, French bistro tables, 1960s wood panelling around mirrors and odd bits here and there.

The problem - what to order - we could eat everything. Thank god we could share.

We started with a nice Aperol cocktail served by the very lovely bar man. Girls,  I recommend the bar.

The Sicilian style quail was magnificent. As was the tuna carpaccio with capers, radish and crime fraiche - probably the best I've have had for a long time.

The cured meats hanging around near the bar were homemade and excellent. As was the beetroot salad.

The only room for improvement was the special of goat. While the white wine sauce was excellent the meat was too tough - cook it for longer chef.

Nice to make new friends like Gorski and Jones - think they are keepers.

Gorski & Jones on Urbanspoon

Manton's Creek Vineyard - Red Hill - 240 Tucks Road, Red Hill

My New Years resolution was to not have a resolution but then I broke it and decided that it should be to eat out less and cook more in.

Not to save money or to ease the guilt of a lavish life but cos the truth is I always feel more proud and excited about eating a good meal that I have cooked myself than the fancy dishes of others. Simplicity is good.

Mantons is simple.

I am not going to crack the shits when I can't get into the likes on 10 Minutes by Tractor anymore, another resolution, I will accept the alternatives.

Mantons is a good alternative.

I am going to try and go away on more weekends and try local eateries, OK that may be another resolution.

Mantons is in Red Hill on a magnificent vineyard.

And the only exercise I will ever commit to doing is of the jaw and of the tongue - not a newy but a goody.

OK back to Mantons.

It has a simple menu with a mix of the likes of gyoza, ricotta gnocchi with burnt butter and sage and plates of cured meats and fine cheese.

The food won't blow you away but you will remember the scenery, the people you were with and that you will return.

This place has a very special place in my heart. Mantons has the most memorable chardonnay and tempranillo; although having said that neither were available for tasting this time and the name and label have changed.

But all in good spirits for the new year, I won't complain.

Let's see how long that resolution will last.

Cheers to all the resolutions and to breaking them all.

Frederick @ Manton's Creek Vineyard on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Shanghai St Dumplings, Wonton and Noodle - Melbourne - 64 Latrobe St, Melbourne -

Do you want some good dumplings that are not that dirty, then Shanghai St Duplings (sorry Dumplings) is the place for you.

Great pork soupy xiao long bao with thin skin, tasty and well cooked spring onion pancakes, good greens and many many more delights. Do try all the chef's specials if you can.

Fresh fillings, quick service and cheap ($15 each cash only).

The owners can't spell dumplings but at least they can cook them well.

Shanghai Street Dumpling on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Sarti - Melbourne - 6 Russell Place, Melbourne

Sarti advertised this night as an unforgettable New Year's Eve experience. Nice atmosphere sitting out on the deck and we got a partial view of the fireworks standing in the very left hand corner of the restaurant.  $170 including wine was a premium price paid for a regular dinner at Sarti - no special music, no special countdown and no special food.

We had shared entrees to start and then a choice of 4 mains and 2 desserts to share.

Let's start with the entrees. Steak tartare with a bubbled rice, herbs and quail egg - quite tasty but nothing to rave about.

The shallow fried calamari with black rice and cauliflower was excellent.  But the polenta entree was stodgy and the goat way too fatty. I understand the craze about eating some good fat on the bones of some good meat but there still needs to be at least some meat - this had nothin.

For main I chose the slow cooked lamb. This was enjoyable as were the moreton bay bug pasta, fish and pork eaten by others.

Desserts were disappointing. The pistacchio pannacotta was powdery and rather inedible but the nutella crostoli was not bad.

Overall not bad but pretty forgettable.

Sarti on Urbanspoon