Friday, 28 February 2014

Just listed in top 10

In the 1900's somewhere in the land of America a man by the name of Louis Lassen created the brilliant creation of a Hamburger. A sandwich holding 1 or more cooked meat patties served usually with a conjunction of lettuce, bacon, pickles, tomatoes, cheese and finished off with a condiment such as mustards, tomato sauce or relishes.

Over time we have played and created our very own version of the perfect burger. Adding in beetroot, pineapple, egg, onion rings, hash-browns, the works.It never ceases to amaze me how we create something that no longer fits delicately in your mouth like a sandwich. You need to either dislocate your jaw to get it in, in one bite or dare I say it use a knife and fork to eat something that should always be held in your hands

TLBC other wise known as The Local Burger Co has just been listed in Melbourne's top 10 burger bars, and I must admit they are goooooood. Located on Rathdowne street, Carlton this small little Burger bar is becoming a hit to many locals.

Nothing to over the top in flavours, just simple and fresh. Me being a lover of burgers though did get excited about the fact that today's special was a sliders tasting plate. Who wouldn't say no to that when you can't make up your mind on what burger you want.

The selection of sliders were BBQ Beef, Pulled Pork and American Cheese. The BBQ Beef had a sticky smokey BBQ sauce smothering the beef with a fresh slaw, and was delightful. The American Cheese burger is everything you expect melted cheese over the beef patty with a thick layering of American mustard and tomato sauce. But my favorite was the delicious pulled pork made with a wasabi mayo and pickled ginger. Subtle delicate flavours that burst in your mouth makes if for pleasant eating.

 My Burger friend in crime went for the Mushroom burger; a slow roasted mushroom with roasted eggplant, halloumi cheese, lettuce relish and mayo. Adding a serving crisp bacon in their too and you have yourself a whopper of a meal.

For sided the chilli cheese fries were delicious and the hot wings.... ridiculously delicious. The Chilli cheese fries were mild and oozed with melted cheese and jalapenos, beans and red chilli. The wings were smothered in delicious sticky hot sauce that gave you chilli sweats but were that amazing you couldn't stop eating them. It was one of the best hot sauces that I've had, slightly sweet and sour flavours but a wham of chilli.
Milkshakes served in jars to wash it all down with are always a good choice or if you like the American softies, cherry cola, dr pepper are there for you to.

It was a delicious treat to experience the Local Burger Co and I have already been back, and have been telling friends to go there. Eat in, Take away of hire a picnic basket and enjoy it in the park. What more could you ask for? No matter where you want to eat a good burger the options are already there for you.

This little gem really does deserve to be in the top 10 Burger places of Melbourne, even after it only opened it's doors 5 months ago. What a way to start a new business with a Bang.

The Local Burger Co
687 Rathdowne Street
9347 7561
The Local Burger Co. on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Over dosed on Dosa

Whats a Dosa you may ask, well it's about time you all learnt.

A Dosa is a very light Indian fermented crepe made from a rice batter. A staple dish if you will is popular in the Southern Indian states.

It is not in Southern India where I find my Dosa's though, it was actually hidden in an old Bicycle shop.

Over Dosa has zoned in this spot for a fancy pop up with chairs decked out, and bright colours to bring some fancy Indian casual dining to our door steps of Fitzroy.

Three flavoursome Dosas are available for choice or if your extremely hungry do all three.  Classic Potato Masala; potatoes with traditional herbs and spices is quiet mild but showcase bold flavours. If your one for more simpler flavours this is the choice for you.

Spicy Tamarind Pumpkin; sweet, sour and spicy is exactly everything it says it is. Very strong flavours combined with soft sweet pumpkin. Very tasty indeed and it does awaken the taste buds.

Smokey eggplant with peas; Char grilled eggplant with a mild tomato and onion gravy with fresh green peas. The eggplant is well smoked and so it should be as it's been done over an open flame. The essence has really been captured within the aubergine. Sweetness from the tomato does cut through the smoke flavours and is very mild in spice and very enjoyable. The fresh green peas adds an additional freshness to the Dosa.

Each Dosa is light with a golden crisp casing, they really do remind you of a French crepe, but you know it's not. The flavour of the Dosa is unique and somewhat incomparable in flavours to anything else you have eaten.

We went for some of the Poppers as well; unusual lentil nuggets served with a light hot chilli chutney. These Poppers are explained to be a sauce soaker. Gorgeous crunchy coating with a thick lentil texture in the centre. I actually tried all the chutneys with these poppers and discovered that the creamy coriander and mint chutney was my personal favorite with these bite sized nuggets.

Now being a Pop up/ Food Truck that Over Dosa is, they are currently no longer in the position I found them. Now they are currently on the move providing friendly service to the festival goers or the Melbourne Zoo Twilighters.

Owners of the operations Kunal and Tyson are here to serve and educate you all on a good Dosa. They've had someone tell them before that it's better than their mum's. Now that's saying one thing, they are great and you have to go find them.

Their heart and soul has gone into OverDosa and it shows, not only in their faces when they are talking to you about their dishes, or in the technique they use when making the Dosas. It comes through from beginning to end. They are proud of their accomplishments and so they should be.

The Dosas are unique and you can't fins anything similar in the Food trucks that roam Melbourne streets.

So if you are looking for something far from the ordinary burger or taco you get from most Food Trucks, track these guys down. It's worth a shot.

You can tell you've found them as they always go that one step more by presenting their truck or pop up with there chairs and bright cushions to give it that final touch to draw you closer. And if you're still lost looking for them, look for the giant peacock painted on the side of the truck. You can't miss it.

Check out OverDosas facebook page for updates on locations that way you will never miss out on something great.

0413 102 914
Food Truck (on the move)

Overdosa on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 26 January 2014

We are going Sunny side up in Brunswick

It's great getting to know your locals. You are able to extract their knowledge of where they think the best places are to go and eat.

I am always one for asking people where they go for breakfast, seeing as it's my favourite thing to do, I am always on the look out for new places that are hidden or under the realisation on how amazing they are.

I have been told by several local breakfast attics that Jelly stone is the place to go, and since being there it too has now become my local favorite morning hide out.

Behind a stone wall is a gem of Brunswick serving tasty hearty breakfasts, smooth coffee and the most friendly service I have come across. Staff are down to earth and are more than happy to bring up random conversations or even include you in their own conversations. It's chilled and relaxing.

Breakfast is as it should be. An overloading plate of goodness. Here they are not trying to deliver you something extravagant and compete with finer service styles, it's a real breakfast with a slight variance to make it their own.

The Notorious VEG is filled with avocado, tomato, saganaki, mushrooms, eggs and beans. A big breakfast for vegetarians and adding a lil bacon to the side you have a big breakfast for the meat eaters. Everything is piled on, not being shy of anything. Be hungry for this one.

Now I am always a sucker when corn bread is offered so of course I had to try the beans and corn bread. Spiced up beans were delicious and made me a very happy person. The warm toasted corn bread made a great accompaniment. The bread was not too dense wither which made for a more pleasurable experience. The beans are topped with an avocado smash but of course I had to add a lil bacon too.

It was certainly one eye catching breakfast and got me excited.

As I said the coffee here is smooth, and medium strength. The best thing here is when you ask for a strong coffee, you get a strong coffee. It will be sure to wake you up, and as the saying goes; it will surely go 'POW right in the kisser''.

To also get you excited you have to test their milkshakes. Sure you can go a chocolate and vanilla, but why not go that little bit more extravagant and grab a ginger bread and salted caramel or a chocolate and peanut butter shake? Thick and tasty it's the only way a milkshake should be wouldn't you say.

It's a great location and am glad we were advised to go there. As it was explained to us originally the menu is exactly what you are looking for when you want a breakfast and then when it's bought to you it is exactly what the menu said it is.

It's certainly up there in my breakfast destinations, and maybe I will see you there soon too.

179 Albion st
9386 7750

Jellystone on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos

Summer time for all of us is knowing those heat waves are on the way. We prepare for the worst, venture to the pools and beaches, test the air cons and get the BBQ's on.

It's a time where all of us understand each others frustration as we all reach the breaking point of too much heat. The sleepless nights, the mosquitoes, the constant cancelation of trains and trams where you are left under the blazing sun that just becomes the icing on the cake.

So how do you cool down? Is it with an ice cold beer with a fan on your face, is it ice baths and cold showers or is it eating bucket loads of ice cream from the container with a spoon?

On those even light barmy nights around the streets of Fitzroy you will find most of the locals being drawn to one place, Gelato Messina.

An array of cold sorbets and creamy ice creams are before your very eyes. From Pear and rhubarb, Blood Orange, Nought to just plain Chocolate. It's every kids dream and a saviour to all those who are suffering from the heat.

A daily special board of eye opening flavours are on the back wall that will confuse you even more trying to choose the perfect flavour combination.

Cues are out the door and along the street just to get their hands on some of this beautiful ice cream.

I have been there a couple of times now and even taken a pack for home and am impressed with the flavour combinations.

The sorbets are fresh, flavoursome and exactly what you expect. There are no hidden flavour enhancers that would disturb the balance of the bitter fruits or sweetness.

The Ice creams are more playful on the palate, sure you always need to offer your vanillas and your chocolates but things get very extravagant here.

Ice creams that experiment with combinations such as banana, peanut butter and chocolate for example is no where to be found anywhere else, well that I have seen anyway.

Ice creams with whipped cream and brioche swirled through a strawberry sorbet makes it seem so dainty, and it's as though I should be enjoying this at a ladies high tea.

If you always wanted a birthday cake as an ice cream cake, then here is another option for you. Mind blowing designs with extraordinary flavour combinations are available and I know I will be getting one for this years Birthday Celebrations.

If you are not one for cues then go earlier in the day and not the peak dessert times where those dining on Smith street will leave their restaurants, grab and ice cream and roam the streets with friends.

It's worth venturing there and more than once. People are consistently talking about Gelato Messina and I also will admit that I am too a fan, so much so there Cookbook sits on my coffee table and have already begun my plan to become an at home Messina Ice cream maker.

Gelato Messina
237 Smith Street
9017 5470

Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Exceeding the Normal

Well Christmas is over and the new year has begun and I've been off the radar for a good 6 weeks, but never fear I've been eating lots and have plenty of reads coming your way.

The only thing I have to really put my mind to is where should I start? Should I start talking about the many burgers I have devoured, the brunches that were relaxing, the ice creams that are so heavenly or just about my Christmas feast in my new home.

Let me think....... Maybe I should just start at the beginning of my many weeks of my food comas and adventures.

Super Normal Canteen (Test Kitchen) is a delicious source of a pop up eatery and opened through till the 1st of March. A  sample of what will be an amazing restaurant serving us scrumptious modern Asian dishes.

Succulent prawns drowning in a miso sauce tantalises your testbeds and although I dislike the word that I use next to describe it, but it's true. The flavours make you salivate and is a soft way to begin your evening.

Some Peppers are ordered but saddened to find out that the seeds have been gutted and don't stimulate heat. However add some lovely chilli condiments that sit in front of you to flavour it up a notch .

The soft Bao never goes astray especially when you fill it with some wild boar meat to add more adventure to your evening. Not over powering in flavours and easy to enjoy. The bao's are fluffy like a new pillow and the meat a little richer than a simple pork, and very delicious.

Speaking of rich flavours the lobster rolls are a given choice for any seafood lover. Sweet milk buns becomes the home of sliced lobster in a creamy mayo dressing and rice. Simple but yet pretty scrumptious. When I read Lobster rolls my mind does tend to think American, but for some reason it works on this menu.

Of course when their are dumplings are on offer you have to have them. If your not a dumpling fan, then clearly you wouldn't but I'm just putting it out there that you would be missing out on something here.

Soaked in chilli oil these little dumplings are divine. Full flavoured gems that heat up the taste buds. I just wish the servings were bigger, or perhaps next time I devour a serve on my own....

Would you believe that we had to keep ordering dishes due to the fact that every time a dish came out and was presented on our communal table we wanted it.

I don't think strangers could fall for that what's that over there trick and steal their food. Could cause a rather abrupt argument.... but I do sometimes wonder what if I did that on a communal table. Food envy is a real thing and could potentially come to stealing other people food at a restaurant.

Dishes such as Tempura crab  served Vietnamese style with fresh lettuce and mint, cured octopus on a spiced capsicum and then Carpaccio of Waygu beef were all magnificent and hard to fault.

Everything was so tempting and there is still so much more that I wanted, so will only mean one thing.... I need to go back.

We of course though enjoyed some rather outstanding desserts though I have to admit. Some of the best desserts we have enjoyed for a while to tell you the truth.

A Lychee and sago dessert with freeze dried raspberries was sweet and textually amazing. Bursts of sago with the tartness of raspberries and sweet from the lychee was an adventure on its own.

The other hit and almost very hard to get a taste of due to Paul loving it so much was the Pink Lady soft serve ice cream. Luscious creamy soft serve exploding with sweet apple flavour and drizzled with a thick caramel and crushed nuts. It's as though you were eating a candy apple.

Service was a delight and food exceptional. As a test kitchen I don't think these guys will have to much trouble opening their real doors when the time comes.

Limited dining area of course being a pop up, however it still seats a good 60 or so. Get in early and their will be no problem getting a seat quickly and if you go at the usual peak eating time of 7:00 you will clearly be battling the many other hungry diners like any restaurant around that time. It's worth a visit and a trial, there isn't much you can choose wrong here.

Supernormal Canteen (Test Kitchen)
53 Gurtrude Street
9419 4888

Supernormal Canteen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 21 November 2013

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind.

Recently my travels on a date night introduced me to a warm and chique restaurant/ bar. Mr & Mrs Howell is bustling with diners on a Friday night and were lucky to be apart of their full house.

A warm greeting by staff is always a perfect way to start, but whats more perfect is the cocktails that were ordered and made for a busy day at work come to a smoothing and relaxing end.

The menu is Modern Australian inspired and encompasses our diverse culture of Melbourne to deliver a beautiful and inspiring menu.

A selection of amazing dishes were ordered, and each made for the perfect grazing evening. First to begin was the Almond crusted goats cheese, drizzled with candies orange and honey. 

The bar was set high for the remaining dishes as we gorged ourselves with this creamy and slightly sweet cheese on crisp baguette. 

Accompany some of this creamy heavenly cheese with some micro herbs and enhance and change the flavours, with hints of baby basil and more it is an eye opener on how such simple flavours can change so suddenly.

I am not afraid to admit this either but I was caught as they say licking the plate clean..... 

Grilled scallops with a black pudding crumb served with almond cream apple was shortly followed.

Perfectly cooked scallops with their slight golden caramelisation top and juicy flesh were tender and sweet. Bursts of black pudding softened the sweetness of the scollop adding a slight salty but delicate flavour. 

The smears of the almond cream apple added a pleasant finish and like any puree suck as cauliflower, celeriac or have it be a sweet potato under the scollop, it should never take over from what is really meant to be the high light of the dish. And in this instance it was perfectly balanced and structured. 

A softening course was presented to us prior to hitting more dominant flavours, and was a great cleanser between. The Prawn dumplings in a fish broth with mussels was filled with elegant flavours and well balanced.

The broth had such clarity and was not overpowering in fish flavours. Stocked with 2 large dumplings and 2 mussels it had such amazing flavours and textures. It was not long before it was devoured.

Our final main dish of the night was a slow roasted Pork Belly coated in a coriander, ginger and maple served with an Asian slaw.

This fall apart melt in your mouth pork was not only voluptuous in flavours, that makes you dive back in for more but was something simply balanced with the freshness of the slaw itself. Couldn't have been more happier.

I was impressed that when ordering we were not specific on how each dish came out to us, and was grateful that it had pre thought by our waiter and kitchen to ensure the balance of flavours from each meal would make our evening so complete.

We were able to remember each dish and hold on to each of their contrasting flavours and still be able to enjoy the next with out being confused on whether the flavours you were tasting now were from either the new dish or the old.

Dessert was a pleasant finish to the night, with jam donuts exploding in mango jam and coated in fine sugar along with the Creme Catalena. 

The Creme Catalena is almost a creme brulee. Silky smooth vanilla custard with that caramelisation of toffee which cracks as your spoon enters into the velvety underneath.

Our evening was sensational, a combination of fine foods, great service from staff who you can tell enjoy working here make for a great evening.

Happiness is always with in beholder and dining here can only bring you happiness.... and full stomaches of course, but the happiness I felt dining here is now making me want to return time and time again.

Mr & Mrs Howell
173 Sydney rd,
9381 - 0846

Mr and Mrs Howell on Urbanspoon

Friday, 8 November 2013

In the Glori(a)ous Kitchen

Above the dwellings of Swanston street nests a Lounge where Gloria's Kitchen sets up serving an American inspired menu. A perfect choice to match the bar beverage selection whilst you lounge around with friends and co-workers for Lunch, dinner, late or in between. Basically any time of day.

Start the Lounging with some Mac 'n' Cheese balls, looking like circular aranchini's but not. These crumbed golden balls are all about the mac and the cheese with bacon pieces and served with a spiced aioli. Any American food hunter wouldn't want to pass these up.

Sliders are the way to go but watch out, they are all above normal slider size and can become very overwhelming, rich and filling. All sliders served with a side of fries means you don't need to get that side of wedges or fries you usually do in most places. But I'd suggest maybe choose a salad to cut through the grease and the richness.

The Pulled pork Pig slider is as a duo with both over flowing with tender juicy pork and coleslaw in a soft whit bun. Simple but tasty, nothing to over powering and for those who are hesitant on rich American foods, this is a good choice. Settle down with a beer and this, and you are set for the evening.

The Philly-Steak Slider needs some preparing for. Steak pieces finished off with peppers and a rich melted cheese is to be a rich food fanatics dream. Unfortunately to rich for the likes of me, but flavoursome all the same. Having two of these bad boys would be a triumphant to get through on your own with the side of chips.

A special board is on display as you enter so make sure you check it out before you find a table, or ensure you double check it before you order at the bar. Today's special was the 'Pho Boy'.

Golden battered pieces of prawn and fish on a bed of lettuce in a soft white bun. Tasty yes but I question like I do with everyone taking on the Pho Boy, on how much batter and oil covers the fish itself. For me I'd just love to scratch the batter completely and have someone make the changes to grilling the fish to make for a less coronary experience.

The dining area is huge, with live music being played on some evening, which you can check out online for the line up. Sit on the outer decking for the fresh air option and gathering spots for that 5pm knock off drink with co-workers.

Service is friendly and food is served promptly with a smile. Atmosphere is relaxed and has a warm funky feel to it with vines over lighting and themes wall paper.

It's worth a check out in a group where you just need to unwind and arrange a social gathering.

Gloria Swanston's Kitchen
243 Swanston Street
9663 2916

Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon