Monthly Archives: November 2016


Prego Restaurant - Gnocchi

Prego Restaurant – 19 Nov 2016

One of my work colleagues had recommended I visit Prego which has been on my list for a long time so I finally made it here. Booking is essential, since we walked in on a Saturday evening, the restaurant filled up very quickly. Prego Restaurant is located on the Cambridge Street side with floor to ceiling glass windows creating an inviting, classy, yet unpretentious atmosphere as soon as you walk in. The wait staff who attended to us throughout the night were really friendly which is refreshing, particularly at a fine dining establishment.

Before the meal began, a complimentary plate of falafel was served. The menu here is Italian but has a very strong Mediterranean influence as can be seen with this dish and others that followed. The falafel are full of flavour and not too intense with a crunchy crumbed outer enjoyed with the refreshing Mediterranean salad.

For entree I had the gnocchi but have never seen it served in a seafood broth. Still very plump and juicy potato parcels, they took on the form of a dumpling enjoyed with the delicious flavoursome seafood broth. I really enjoyed the tender mussels and super tender calamari. A really interesting and impressive dish. I also had a small taste of the other entrees, a tasty juicy Moreton Bay bug with tender eggplant, and a perfectly cooked tender juicy chicken liver. I’m not a fan of liver but it depends on the form. Foie gras is amazing and I also like chicken liver pate. Chicken livers done in this form are not to my liking, but I enjoyed the taste I had and glad I didn’t have a plate of this as the liver is rich.

For mains, I chose one of the specials: a duo of slow roasted lamb and wood fired spatchcock. The lamb simply cut like butter, such was it’s tenderness. Lacking a touch of seasoning, the lamb oozed flavour and was thoroughly enjoyed. The spatchcock was also tender and particularly enjoyed with the Mediterranean influenced yoghurt mixture and the accompanying cous cous salad with pomegranates and eggplant. These were tasty and refreshing elements to liven the palate and create a go-between to the meats of the dish. I also had small tastes of the other mains ordered – a juicy tender delicious duck, and juicy delicious prawns and snapper. To add some more veggies to the meal, we also ordered a side of spinach which was suitably sautéed in lots of garlic and butter for bags of flavour. Really tasty.

There’s always room for dessert though I was pretty full at this point. I was really keen to try Prego’s version of kunafe after first discovering this amazing creation at Chee Tayeb. The version here is a little different, tasty but I preferred Chee Tayeb’s version. A hot mini pan of sizzling haloumi cheese covered with the shredded filo is presented before the waiter pours some of the spiced sugar syrup over and around the sizzling cheese. Gooey melted cheese with a touch of sweetness and crunch of pistachios is an excellent way to finish off the meal. Really tasty but way too full. I also had small tastes of the other desserts ordered, a delicious sorbet and a spoonful of a very strong coffee flavoured and slightly heavy tiramisu. A lovely place to celebrate any occasion with quality crafted meals with a different flavour profile to what one typically expects of an Italian restaurant, though this difference makes it unique and one to enjoy.


Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar - Wok Tossed King Prawns & Mussels

Melbourne: Lucy Liu Kitchen & Bar – 12 Nov 2016

For my second night in Melbourne, one of my ex-colleagues recommended a visit to Lucy Liu’s which is an Asian fusion type restaurant. Located down Oliver Lane, the place is packed but I manage to score a table and are seated at one of the high benches overlooking the restaurant. There are hooks underneath the bench, perfect for hanging my bags after a day of shopping. The interior is very chic, covered in criss cross wood formations, yet there is plenty of buzz and is another venue with lots of atmosphere. Turn over the placemat to reveal the menu, there’s plenty to choose from and I seek the guidance of the waitstaff.

I start with a fresh betel leaf. Yummy and hands on way to roll up the betel leaf and consume the lovely tuna and roe. It’s light and refreshing and the perfect start to the meal. I’m a real fan of bao so the crispy pork bun was an easy choice. The soft bun encases crispy pork and contains a lovely sauce to amplify the flavour. The crunch of the pork is distinctive, although a little chewy at times, contrasting against the soft bao which melts in your mouth. Enhanced with some lovely Asian ingredients and the kewpie mayo, each bite is delicious.

For something more substantial, I opted for the wok tossed king prawns and mussels. I didn’t expect to get such a large hearty bowl though. t love the delicious flavoursome XO influenced broth, the succulent mussels, juicy prawns, crispy prawn heads, and the minced beef. The Chinese doughnuts are a distinctive food item throughout many parts of Asia and are perfect for sopping up broth as is the case here. Once soaked, the doughnut takes on the flavour of the broth which is simply yum. So full, I continue walking around Melbourne to walk off my full belly.


Gazi Restaurant - Loukoumades

Melbourne: Gazi Restaurant – 11 Nov 2016

One of my ex-work colleagues told me about this place so upon landing, my first point of call is a visit to George Calombaris’s Gazi Restaurant. Seated at the bar overlooking the kitchen, it was interesting watching the kitchen in operation. There are hooks underneath the bench to hang your jacket or bags which is perfect as it’s a bit cold outside but the heat of the kitchen warms everyone up. The atmosphere is buzzing, plenty of people crammed in but with sufficient space to enjoy conversation and waitstaff rush around to cater for the hungry hords. Despite that, there is no compromise on the excellent service provided throughout the night. There’s plenty of choice from the menu which makes it hard to decide. I asked the waitstaff for some recommendations and chose a number of dishes, though, with the rotisserie in front of me, I rather fancied some dish that incorporated some of those delicious meats. I heard there is the option for takeaway but I’m here in Melbourne for the weekend.

I started with the miso eggplant dip which presents super smooth eggplant dip evoking a strong but well controlled eggplant flavour that is just delightful. Dipping the warm soft puffy Pita into the dip is a delicious and an enjoyable experience.

Next I went with the saganaki cheese – I love cheese so was interested to see what this dish would serve up. Melted cheese on a sizzling hot plate with a golden brown crust and a cumquat citrus sauce. The citrus seems unusual at first, a sweet sensation but it balances against the richness of the cheese, particularly the slight touch of acidity. Yum!!!

I had to grab a mini souvlaki, or souvalkia and opted for the duck version. There’s lots of succulent juicy duck with an Asian inspired fusion. The duck is delicious, though a tad oversalted. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the dish, the soft Pita and the ingredients it held. I think the Hoison is overshadowed by the mayo to an extent.

Finally, I had to squeeze in dessert and chose loukoumades, Greek doughnuts. Oh wow! What a finish to the meal. Crunchy on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside. Drizzled with honey for sweetness with a touch of nutella to add a chocolate hint, these are to be savoured. I also like the strong Greek coffee flavoured ice cream. Wouldn’t mind more of that. Really full, glad to have some variety and really enjoyed the flavours and experience of this venue. So typically Melbourne, nothing that Perth offers comes close.


Copper Chimney - Mixed Platter

Copper Chimney – 6 Nov 2016

I’d heard from people Copper Chimney was an excellent Indian restaurant so I finally made a visit. It’s a casual open space tastefully decorated to reflect the Indian culture. There’s heaps of choice on the menu, including the specials, so you’re spoilt for choice. We got a mixed platter to start which proved to be quite filling but offering lots of variety and tasty treats. The tandoor imparted flavour is evident in the tandoori chicken and bharah kebab. The samosa is delicious, as too, the paneer and mint chutney to pour over the salad. They also offer 3 thalis, we got the meat version and I had a taste of some of the items which were pretty good. We shared other dishes like the masala dosa, a huge thin crispy pancake encasing a delicious spiced potato mix. Plenty of extra dosa to dip into the tasty curries and condiments. We also got the kangaroo vindaloo which packed some bite, was reasonably tender and the curry flavour hid the gaminess to quite an extent. Certainly not chilli hot but the heat built and was hot but bearable. Pretty stuffed with all the food, we shared a dessert. I had a small taste of the pistachio kulfi, the Indian ice cream was tasty. I also popped across the road to grab some cannoli at Patisserie La Vaspa, given my sweet tooth, and enjoyed this as a very late afternoon snack. I also got some biriyani to takeaway and ate that for lunch the following day. Flavoursome and packed full of chunks of goat. The service, flavours, venue, and menu choice is excellent and certainly a solid choice for Indian fare if you live around Freo.


Meat Candy - Southern Fried Chicken Sandwich

Meat Candy – 2 Nov 2016

I’d heard about this place, in particular, the fried chicken. With staff ties to The Old Crow, I was keen to see what interesting fare would be served up. I’m really glad the sun has emerged and the light is longer. This makes it perfect for going to dinner and grabbing a table outside. I chose one of the starters – smoked brisket chimichangas and salsa. What a delicious dish! Crunch from the crispy tortilla, tasty beef brisket, lovely salsa, but that refried bean paste, what flavour! There’s also a slight acidity from a squeeze of lime juice which ties everything together. So delicious. For my mains it’s hard to go past their specialty – fried chicken. Available in southern, medium or hot, I chose the southern. The chicken is available as a quarter ($15) or a half ($30), I chose the quarter. OMG! Wow! So delicious. Ultra crunchy batter with a most delicious southern style spice mix encasing succulent chicken served atop a slice of bread. I love the spicy kimchi sauce and blue cheese sauce. The pickles cut through the deep fried chicken and the bread soaks up more of that spice. You need to dive in with hands and clean that chicken off the bone. Finger lickin good!