All posts filed under: Dinner

Noisy Ritual / East Brunswick

One of the newer bars in East Brunswick, Noisy Ritual is a unique location for food and drink.

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Trunk Diner / Melbourne CBD

The American inspired Trunk Diner is a charming all day diner up the Exhibition street end of the CBD. Fresh from our New York odessy, an American breakfast sounded like just the thing. There is both indoor and outdoor dining space, the indoor is small but comfortable. The wrap round windows give it a feeling of space and connection with the outside world. It’s almost hard to believe you’re in the heart of the city. We started our meal with coffee, it had a lovely creaminess with sweet honey notes to finish. Our first dish was the El Gringo. A Mexican inspired breakfast with chorizo and sweet corn chimichanga’s, refried beans, queso and fried eggs. The chimichanga was an absolute winner and perfectly fried, we would have liked more bulk to the dish though, more refried beans to act as a carrier. If you’re going to go for a Mexican breakfast, instead of all the heuvos rancheros going round, why not try this? We’re always in the mood for a eggs benedict, so our next …

The Dojo Ramen Bar / Northcote

When you’re craving ramen, there is nothing for it but to drop everything and overload on Japanese food. We visited The Dojo Ramen Bar in Northcote for our fill of this delicious Japanese comfort food. The Dojo has a great feel about it. The space is casual and welcoming, cool but accessible. It aims to emulate the feel of Tokyo ramen bars while fitting the Melbourne scene. The menu has plenty of delicious foods to choose from and we ordered as much as possible to get a taste of everything. Our starters included old favourite edamame, crispy, salty Japanese fried chicken and Okonmyaki on a stick. This was a particular surprise as this dish is usually served almost like a cabbage pizza. The stick was easy to eat and had all the flavour of the original but did lose a bit of the crispness. We also tried the Pork Gyoza, served hot and crispy with a whack of flavour, and a refreshing sauce of vinegar, sesame and soy. Finally what we came for, the ramen! Our first choice …

Hawker Hall / Windsor

Hawker Hall is the newest venture from the team behind Chin Chin, our CBD favourite. As you’d expect, it boasts hawker style dining inspired by Malaysian and Singaporean food – think buns, noodles, curry and spice! The venue is large and comfortable and we didn’t have any issue getting a table after visiting for a late lunch on a Sunday afternoon. It’s walk-ins for most groups but bookings are available for 10-12 having the banquet or feast menu options. We hadn’t visited before and found the staff welcoming and happy to to explain the menu. But first, a drink! My choice was a cocktail with gin and cucumber, a perfect summer beverage. The name escapes me, but for those who share my love of gin, it’s a must try. The menu at Hawker Hall is designed to share, and we ordered lots of dishes to ensure we got a taste of everything. It’s the smaller dishes that really wowed us. There was the hot and crisp popcorn chicken with creamy, spicy sauce as well as the dumplings …

Up in Smoke / Footscray

Up in Smoke is an American BBQ joint making waves out west. While we’d been keen to visit for some time we left it quite a while after opening to pay Up in Smoke a visit. We sat outside in the sunshine, it was warm, fresh and very pleasant. We were hoping to try their meat but were unaware they weren’t available for a weekday lunch. Instead we chose a range of everything else on offer. Starring with a creamy and tangy potato salad. Next up, cheesy and spicy corn on the cob – something we’ll always order should we come across it on the menu. We also tried the ridiculously good BBQ rubbed fries, delicious for having soaked up all the meaty, fatty, crispy  bits. We also opted for a Mini kransky dog, super crispy, meaty, cheesy and delicious flavour burst! Given we couldn’t try their BBQ meats we went for the only options on offer. A real star was the brisket burnt ends burger. All I can say is that if this is …

Hellenic Hotel / Williamstown

Hellenic has a new home at a historic Williamstown Hotel. The Hobsons Bay Hotel was first re-developed in 1908 and has gone through a few changes and hard times before becoming the new home of George Columbaris’ gastro-Greek pub, the Hellenic Hotel. The menu has been inspired by some of the history of the venue and offers a gastro-pub twist to the delicious Greek food Hellenic is known for. With a sports bar upstairs and restaurant downstairs there’s sure to be something for everyone.

Tokyo Tina / Windsor

    Tokyo Tina is one of three Asian eateries along with Hanoi Hannah and Saigon Sally,  with a reputation for being both incredibly cool and delicious. You’ll find Toyko Tina up Chapel Street in Windsor, an area with countless great eateries, shopping and bars. There’s really something for everyone.      We visited for lunch, finding plenty of people had the same idea and more than a few enjoying a cocktail and D&M with friends over their meal. We loved the feel of the venue, you could go for a casual lunch like we did, or dress up and turn it into a real occasion.    We started with pot stickers, caramelised and full of flavour, following them up with DIY beef rib bao. Bao are always delicious, quite messy, but the bun and filling always satisfying. Somehow it’s even better when it’s beef rib and you get to watch the meat fall off the bone as you load the bun up yourself. We loved the sticky sauce with the tender meat and the punchiness of the pickle with the …

Sam Sam / Melbourne CBD

  Fried chicken is an obsession of mine: Korean fried chicken definitely fits the bill. Sam Sam is recently opened, in the heart of the CBD on Bourke street. I visited with an equally fried chicken obsessed friend for a feed! The venue is narrow but modern, making most of the space with close tables and stools. You’ll need to wait to be seated but there is table service. The space can be a bit chaotic and the staff can find themselves distracted or overrun. We ordered the kimchi fries and chicken, not given an indication of how it would be served, we were expecting it to come out as ready.  We chose to share the Loaded Kimchi Fries, served with cheese sauce, sour cream, chilli, crispy pork belly and of course – kimchi! The flavours were delicious, a great combination, but we really wanted more of the fillings throughout. While we were expecting crispy pork belly in big chunks, it was actually smaller pieces, more like bacon bits, hidden inside. We ended up ordering another side …

Red Petite / South Melbourne

    Red Petite is a cute Thai cafe, popular for their meals in South Melbourne. Despite how popular they are with the locals I had stayed away because the prices were too high for a work week lunch ($15). As soon as their prices dropped with lunch specials for $13 I was on for an old favourite – the green chicken curry. The menu has the usual Thai suspects, with most people in the cafe with a bowl of curry in front of them. We asked if they had roti and were fortunate they did, despite it not being on the menu when we visited. The satay was fantastic, all about the peanut with that chilli warmth, but the roti was a little disappointing. It just needed a bit of brown; a nice golden colour to invite and give it a bit more flavour.  Our table ordered a Massaman and a Green Chicken Curry. They were both creamy and generous in their sizing. While there wasn’t a lot of veggies the serving of chicken was good and …

Wat Da Pho / South Melbourne

I went for the classic beef, light strips served in a steaming soup, to be topped with spring onion and bean shoots, chilli and basil to your hearts content. The soup is so light and fresh, warming from the inside out. I’ve always been fascinated with watching the flush of the beef cook in the broth, changing from pink to light brown without losing any moisture or freshness