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Lot Twenty - 19 Nov 2014

Lot Twenty - Lamb Ribs with Tamarind Glaze

Lot Twenty presents a really inviting, relaxing and casual outdoor area to grab a drink and a meal, perfect for afterwork drinks / functions. The menu offers a range of reasonably priced meals and they also have desserts for $3-$5 or so, or you can grab the $16 dish which features 4 desserts. They also offer home made ice cream at $3 a scoop. I ordered the lamb ribs which contained plenty of tender succulent meat with an excellent gooey sticky tamarind glaze. An excellent dish, the only thing that spoilt it was the lack of protection against the hot sun! If dining for lunch and you don’t get a seat under the few umbrellas outside or a seat in the limited seating area inside, I’d advise against coming here. Please, look after your patrons and do something!!! . . . → Read More: Lot Twenty – 19 Nov 2014

Country Road Cafe - 11 Nov 2014

Country Road Cafe - Pesto Mushrooms with Wilted Spinach on Toast

Not being a fan of eggs severely limits my breakfast choices on any menu. I chose the pesto mushrooms with wilted spinach on toast which sounded rather simplistic but was anything but. Country Road Cafe offer several vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options which my dish ticked on all fronts. From not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised and then really impressed with a deliciously crafted meal. The Turkish bread is really lovely, warmed through and enhanced by the oil from the pesto. The pesto adds additional flavour to the wilted spinach and there were plenty of well cooked and seasoned mushrooms to provide meat to the dish. Along with a salad to balance any richness or fat from the pesto, and then washed down with a lovely warming honey, cinnamon, red chai latte, my breakfast provided plenty of fuel and energy for the day and left me impressed and satisfied. Even though I’m not a vegetarian, vegan or gluten intolerant, I’d be happy to eat this dish anytime for breakfast. Full marks for creativity and great value. . . . → Read More: Country Road Cafe – 11 Nov 2014

The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - 15 Oct 2014

The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - Chicken Roulade

On my first visit I was pleasantly surprised with the unassuming dishes waiting to surprise, packing flavour, elements carefully paired, flavours balanced. Today’s experience didn’t quite live up to the high standards set. The small taste of the pulled pork parcels were perfectly executed with soft tender pork surrounded by a dark golden brown crunchy crumb, but the dish was let down by the lack of seasoning. The small taste of the chicken roulade was excellent, well cooked chicken paired with a delicious pistachio filling. My mains of beef cheek was also under-seasoned and lacked punch, despite being super tender with the meat breaking away with the touch of the tip of a knife. The gnocchi was excellent and couldn’t be faulted. The fondant potatoes wee good but didn’t wow. The small sample of mango panna cotta was superb, silky smooth and full of flavour. The passionfruit mousse was also excellent too. This dessert was easily the best dish of the lunch, but my dessert wasn’t to be disgraced. The banana parfait contained a lovely soft banana flavour which went down well, but I didn’t care for the crumb of chewy peanut brittle. The dark flavours of the chocolate mousse were an excellent finish to the meal, but it probably didn’t pair as well with banana parfait as another element. Then again, who can say no to chocolate! . . . → Read More: The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen – 15 Oct 2014

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen - 25 Sep 2014

The Painted Bird - Panko Fried Oysters

My last visit to The Painted Bird was impressive with the quality of food, the ambiance, and service on offer second to none. I decided to use my Dimmi $50 voucher here and ordered a range of dishes. I shared the Panko crumbed oysters which were superb. A golden brown crunchy coating encasing the cooked oyster meat was complimented by a fantastic mayo which made the dish. For mains, I ordered the fish of the day – deep sea groper. It was nice and tender, a slight crust, perfectly seasoned, and enjoyed with roast vegetables. While the beetroot was a little too firm, the golden crusted slices of roasted potato were a highlight, except there wasn’t enough of them on the plate! For dessert, I had eyed the maple crème brûlée with bacon ice cream from my last visit and finally got to eat it. The maple crème brûlée was delicious, soft, creamy vanilla & maple flavour custard. The bacon ice cream was interesting, a hint of maple and a subtle aftertaste of bacon creating an interesting sensation. Once again, not enough ice cream on the plate! The sponge helped to sop up the quickly melting ice cream ensuring no flavour was not lost. Another fantastic meal. . . . → Read More: The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen – 25 Sep 2014

Durty Nell's Irish Pub - 17 Sep 2014

Durty Nelly's - BBQ Chill iBeef Short Ribs

Durty Nelly’s offers up some pretty hearty pub food. Today was no exception with delicious BBQ Chilli Beef Short Ribs that were packed with meat and had a lovely chilli marinade that packed some bite. Along with the wedges which were a bit disappointing, even despite a dunk into the sour cream, the meal was pretty good and left me pretty stuffed. . . . → Read More: Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub – 17 Sep 2014

The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen - 30 Jul 2014

Painted Bird - Nougat Gelato, Brioche Doughnuts, Rhubarb Compote

Cuisine: Italian, French, Modern Australian Location: Perth CBD – Wesley Quarter

I have a more recent food review of The Painted Bird here.

Obviously the Perth dining scene is very competitive and it seems the sudden explosion of restaurants in Perth over the past few years is unsustainable with a slow down . . . → Read More: The Painted Bird Bar & Kitchen – 30 Jul 2014

QLD, Brisbane - Aria Brisbane

Aria - Chocolate Centred Cherry Souffle & Coconut Ice Cream

For $72, a meal at Aria delivers lovely views of the river and represents excellent value when you receive 3 carefully crafted courses in a smart, sunlight filled environment with professional service. I liked the entree of kangaroo but felt it was overpowered by the acidity of the vinaigrette. Further there could have been a greater serving of kangaroo and if it were cut thickly one could get the rich flavour, allowing the other elements to come into play. The succulent coffee infused chunk of brisket with bits of fat was delicious, though needed far more jus to add additional flavour to counteract the meatiness of the beef and richness of the puree. It becomes a little one dimensional and may be better enjoyed with a side or the complimentary bread. The cherry and coconut soufflé was superb, especially with that tease of chocolate at the bottom. Please, some more chocolate! Paired with a light coconut flavoured creamy ice cream, this was a fantastic dish to finish. If the entree and mains were at the same tastalicious level the dessert deliver, this would have been a knock out meal. . . . → Read More: QLD, Brisbane – Aria Brisbane

NSW, Sydney - Est

Est - Goat's Feta Panna Cotta

The service element in this fine dining restaurant is once again highly professional. I particularly appreciated the service provided by one of the men who was professional but still friendly. Sometimes service can become very stilted. The whole dining experience at Est was excellent, as was the high quality food served. I find the style of cooking is to use quality ingredients, not do too much to them, and use other elements to provide the flavour, thereby keeping the integrity of the proteins intact. The first course of goat’s curd panna cotta was absolutely outstanding and the highlight of the meal. Unfortunately, while the following dishes were delicious, they didn’t meet the same standard set by this fabulous dish. The silky smooth panna cotta had a lovely creamy texture, a slight richness, but was counteracted by the vinaigrette and Jamon. The Moreton Bay bug and other seafood elements were cooked perfectly and the butter sauce provided the flavour with the peas providing a freshness. The Murray cod was super tender and the ginger vinaigrette provided a lovely Asian inspired flavour to the dish. I also loved the complimentary half bowl of shoestring fries which were crisp, golden brown, and moorish, perfect. The slow poached quince was another dish with beautiful presentation, however, the differing types of sweetness from several elements and the richness of the vanilla cream, overpowered the dish and threw the flavour balance out. A few slight tweaks and this dish can be excellent. I had a really lovely dining experience and am very full. . . . → Read More: NSW, Sydney – Est

NSW, Sydney - Quay

Quay - Custard Apple Snow Egg

It’s been a privilege to travel around and visit some fine restaurants. I was keen to see what Peter Gilmore’s creations at Quay would be like. The service is highly professional and the quality of the dishes are perfectly executed. The location and view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, plus the river views are amazing. However, on reflection of the whole meal, I expected more. The XO sea was a lovely dish creating excellent flavours and the perfectly cooked delicate seafood was special. The tender just pink poached duck with crunchy leaves and the green salad was very enjoyable. Though neither dish really wowed. What did wow was the dessert. I can see why the snow egg is a signature dish and this truly is a special creation. A dessert with several layers and components that compliment each other perfectly, I loved the refreshing granita, the meringue, the custard apple flavoured ice cream, the custard apple flesh, and especially the last layer on the very bottom – the vanilla custard. This dish is to die for and blew me away. It would be hard to get the other courses to match the impact this dish has but if the other dishes could rise a few notches it would make the dining experience all that more satisfying. . . . → Read More: NSW, Sydney – Quay

The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - 8 Feb 2014

Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - Oysters

After tasting a variety of what chef, Nick French, has to offer, I was impressed. The meals aren’t too extravagant, yet while the meals are kept relatively simple, they’re clean, are smartly paired with the appropriate elements on the plate, and the dish packs flavour. It’s this deception which hides the cleverness of the creations served in front of you, looking unassuming but waiting to surprise. The entree of chipotle ribs served up plenty of tender ribs covered in a sticky sauce that carried a bite leaving my lips zinging but with a flavour leaving you wanting more. The perfectly cooked lamb rump in that fantastic jus carrying an intense meaty flavour was just superb. There was plenty of jus to be enjoyed and it seeped into the greens adding so much flavour to every bite. The gnocchi presented a nice contrast to the meaty jus, and the cured lamb belly slipped totally under the radar, hidden underneath the rump, gnocchi and greens but tasty too. The dish is quite intense so the duck roasted potatoes were a welcome addition. I loved the crisp outer, encasing the soft fluffy potatoes. A big thumbs up. I really liked the creativity of the dessert, the firm but soft spearmint flavoured parfait providing a lovely refreshing feel to a night of dining. The light airy yoghurt cloud could easily be mistaken for cream, but the slight hint of sourness helps to balance the dish with the mint leaves providing a more noticeable flavour. The slightly sweet and tart strawberries help to balance all the other elements together and it’s such a lovely dessert but so filling. . . . → Read More: The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen – 8 Feb 2014