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Tag Archives: restaurant review

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a delicious Italian experience

AGFG (Australian Good Food & Travel Guide) is one of my favourite websites to visit for restaurant reviews, recipes, stories from the food and travel industry, dining deals etc… And this year, AGFG also bestowed the honour of Top 10 Bloggers, 2017 which was a great opportunity for me to take my work forward.

So when AGFG reached out to me to review the food at Thirty Eight Chairs, I was really keen because I had heard really good things about the restaurant and also, regional Italian cuisine is one of my favourites.

Thirty Eight Chairs has two locations – South Yarra and Carlton North.

Situated in a quiet, beautiful neighbourhood of Carlton, Thirty Eight Chairs is a dream come true venture for its owner, Gino Forlano.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

The South Yarra restaurant was a huge success but Gino always wanted to open a branch in Carlton because it has one of the biggest Italian communities in Melbourne. He wanted to have a dining space that was a reflection of both Italian hospitality and way of life. A space which is not hurried but where families and friends can sit down to good food and wine, engage in meaningful conversations and spend time with each other.

The ambience at Thirty Eight Chairs is best described as friendly. There are lovely streetside tables (great when the sun’s out and shining), a relaxed dining space downstairs and a large venue space upstairs. The staff are extremely friendly, very cheerful and was genuinely happy to help out with choosing from the menu.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

I had the opportunity to have a chat with head chef Giuseppe Di Mauro. He told me that the food served here is classic Napolitana style, true to its origins in terms of flavour but care has been taken to present it in a contemporary style. They use a mix of local and seasonally available ingredients but also source certain ingredients from Italy which are not easily available here.

It was a warm day and all our drink choices were centered on that. I started with a sparkling while the others chose a Cosmopolitan, Mojito and a whiskey cocktail. There are also wines on tap (somehow I get very excited everytime I see this) and I chose a Prosecco to accompany the mains.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

We had a selection of starters beginning with the ‘A Tunnat ‘e Mar (Peppered yellow fin tuna, crispy shallots, caper vinaigrette & micro herbs). Hands down, one of the best tuna dishes I have ever had. Presented beautifully and the flavours were simply incredible. Highly recommended!

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

No matter how many ever times I have had it, I simply cannot resist ordering ‘A Caprese (Fresh tomato, basil & buffalo mozzarella) when visiting an Italian restaurant. It’s a classic and an instant judgement of what’s to follow because this salad is all about freshness and quality of ingredients. Happy that I was not disappointed at all.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Fried street food is also quite popular in Neopolitan cuisine so we also tried out ‘O Coupon ‘e Terra  – a mixed platter of pea arancini, potato croquettes, polenta chips, beer battered zucchini & salty dough balls. Absolutely loved all of it but my favourites were the polenta chips and beer battered zucchini.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Thirty Chairs is quite famous for its pasta dishes as all the different types of pasta are made in house using traditional Italian methods. And what surprised me was the fact that there were so many pasta varieties that I still had no clue about. Don’t bother about the term ‘al dente’ here as that’s not the texture that suits fresh pastas!

The first pasta dish we tried was a signature dish that was highly recommended by the chef. ‘E Mafaldine ‘a Cacciator (long curly pasta, slow cooked duck ragú, porcini mushrooms & shaved pecorino cheese). The simplest of dishes yet the most complex in flavour as that duck ragu was slow cooked for hours to get the perfect texture and consistency. And the taste of freshly made pasta is simply out of this world.

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The second pasta dish was from the day’s special list. Yet another variety I have never tasted before. Mixed with fresh sausages, chillies and tossed through the most amazing sauce, this pasta dish could easily be one of the best I have ever had.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

The seafood lover in me had to try out the special seafood dish with cuttlefish, swordfish, scallops, prawns, clams, salmon and mussels unshelled in a delicious tomato chilli broth served with a side of grilled bread. Absolutely stunning flavours especially that bisque was just heavenly.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Also ordered a light and refreshing Bietola e Caprino (Mixed beeroot, baby cos, snowpeas & goats cheese, in lemon dressing salad) which paired extremely well with the rich flavours of the other dishes.

Thirty Eight Chairs, Carlton (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

To summarize, the dining experience at Thirty Eight Chairs was a delicious and delightful one. I have dined at a lot of Italian restaurants yet discovered that there is more to the cuisine than I really knew, especially the differences between Napolitana style and other regional styles.

The freshly made pasta was a delight and clearly sets apart the pasta dishes served at Thirty Eight Chairs. And with a great ambience and customer service, it’s definitely a place you want to visit with friends and family.

Thirty Eight Chairs

651 Rathdowne St
Carlton North
VIC 3054

Phone no: 03 8383 4113

http://www.thirtyeightchairs.com.au/carlton-north/

Timings:

Tuesday – Saturday
Lunch: 11.30am – 3.00pm
Dinner: 6pm – 10pm

Sunday
Brunch/Lunch: 10.30am – 4pm

Disclaimer – I dined as a guest at Thirty Eight Chairs, but the opinions and views expressed are unbiased and entirely mine.

Thirty Eight Chairs Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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MoVida Original (Hosier Lane, Melbourne) – a Review

I can’t really call this a review, but rather an experience because MoVida is one of those landmark restaurants of Melbourne that needs no introduction to any food lover.

It’s been on our list for quite a while now but it finally came to be on Father’s Day. The place is slightly on the expensive side so a planned visit is ideal. And make sure you have made prior bookings too.

While there are other MoVida restaurants, we wanted to visit the original MoVida Bar de Tapas situated inside the iconic Hosier Lane. Frank Camorra and his team had visualized an intimate bar ambience focusing on traditional Spanish tapas style food with modern influences and an equally great wine list to match. And that’s exactly what you get at MoVida Original.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

We were lucky to be seated at a corner table which only added to the intimate experience for the three of us since we were looking to spend some quality family time over a slow, relaxed dinner.

The staff was extremely friendly and very attentive. After enquiring if this was our first time at MoVida, she explained about the menu also offering us wine pairing suggestions based on our order. Tapas is what MoVida is most famous for and we wanted to taste most of the dishes so our order was heavily from the tapas section. As for drinks, we went with the staff’s recommendation since we didn’t know much about Spanish wines.

(All the details of the dish described under each photograph)

MoVida (Melbourne), a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

2015 Ladairo Mencia Monterrei – with an intense raspberry colour, it had fresh and fruity aromas, quite soft on the palate and paired beautifully with all the dishes we ordered.

MoVida (Melbourne), a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Bread, warm and fresh from the oven to start off the meal….

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

GAMBA – Crisp Potato with Slices of Poached Prawn & Parsley Aioli. Amazing flavours and textures with super thin and crisp potato slices. Delicate yet packed a punch and a great way to start the meal. Highly recommended!

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

COGOLLOS – Baby Cos Lettuce with Anchovy & Pickled Garlic. Light and fresh, this was quite an interesting dish. Garlic and anchovy are strong flavours but when topped on the freshest cos lettuce, it was a delight and not overpowering at all.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

TOSTADA – Pressed Pork Sandwich, Red Onion Jam & Quail’s Egg. So different from the tostadas that we are used to at most Spanish restos. Again a super thin and crispy base, hardly get the flavour of pork but the onion jam was simply stunning

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

VEIRA – Port Phillip Bay Scallop Baked in its Half Shell with a Jamon &Garlic Sauce. It’s hard to go past scallops and we are so glad that we decided to order it. Perfectly cooked, plump sweet scallops in the most delicious jamon and garlic sauce.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

ANCHOA – Hand-filleted Cantabrian Artisan Anchovy on 
Crouton with Smoked Tomato Sorbet. Anchovies are an acquired taste so if you are new to it, you might be a bit hesitant about the flavours of this dish. But if you love it, then this would be a great one to try. I was so blown away by the flavours of the smoked tomato sorbet.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

CABALLA AHUMADA – House Cold Smoked Spanish Mackerel with Pine Nut Gazpacho Sorbet. Our first smoked mackerel experience. This one arrived in with a bit of theatre at the table; the little fellow was squeaking with delight watching the smoke escape as the lids were lifted.

Since we had feasted many rounds on the tapas, we decided to order just one main and a side.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

BROCCOLINI – Chargrilled Broccolini with Manchego Custard and Soft boiled eggs. Never have I tasted broccolini so delicious. That creamy custard and soft boiled eggs oozes over the broccolini resulting in sheer magic on the tastebuds.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress.com

CARRILLERA DE BUEY – Slowly Braised Beef Cheek in Pedro Ximenez on Cauliflower Puree. Absolutely melt in the mouth beef cheeks in a creamy cauliflower puree with a sticky reduced Ximenez jus.

And we completed the meal with one of the best desserts I have had in a long time.

MoVida (Melbourne), a review - thespiceadventuress..com

ACEDERA – Sorrel Sorbet with Kiwi, Citrus, Blood Orange and White Chocolate. A celebration of native Australian flavours with a modern interpretation. Every mouthful was a delight and I could go back just to have this again.

MoVida is a beautiful and delicious experience for any food lover. And it’s definitely a place I would be returning to.

MoVida

1 Hosier Lane, (off Flinders St)
Melbourne
VIC 3000
Melb. Office Tel:
+61 3 9663 3038

Timings:

Open Mon to Sun 12pm ’til late

MoVida Bar De Tapas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all the food and drinks were paid for by me.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review

ARZ was first recommended to me by a senior official at the Dandenong council. Knowing my extreme fondness for Middle Eastern cuisine, she suggested the place and wanted to know what I thought of the food. While this conversation took place almost a year ago, I somehow never managed to visit ARZ till 2 weeks ago.

ARZ has changed ownership recently (we had a great conversation with the head chef post dinner) so I cannot do any comparison between the old and new.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

On arriving, we realized that there was a private party happening and since it was in the main dining area, we were not sure if the restaurant was open for public. Within seconds, the staff came out to greet us and informed that the restaurant was open to all as long as we don’t mind the extra bit of activity and music that was happening. She also suggested that we could sit outdoors if we felt that it was noisy inside.

We were quite glad to be seated outdoors because it was a beautiful evening and the weather was just perfect for an outside dining experience. Must say that the dining space inside the restaurant is beautiful with textured walls, low lighting and plush seating and outside, it’s rather basic with plastic chairs and tables but that did not deter us one bit.

Moreover my husband had also noticed that many people sitting outside were using the sheesha/shisha. And on enquiring, the staff said that the sheesha could only be used outdoors which reinforced our decision to sit outdoors.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

ARZ has a really good menu to give you a glimpse into traditional Lebanese cuisine. Instead of a-la-carte, we decided to go for the banquet option so that we could have a taste of many dishes. The banquet we chose has no dessert options but a range of savoury dishes as outlined below;

The first to arrive at the table was the cold mezze which included a trio of dips – hummus, garlic tahini dip and beetroot dip along with bread and tabbouleh. Classics done well but that beetroot dip deserves extra mention because it was really delicious.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Soon arrived the hot mezze…Lebanese sausages grilled to perfection (really delicious), chicken livers cooked with onions and spices (another fabulous dish) and a platter of falafels, fried kibbeh, pickles, onions with sumac, all served on a bed of lettuce. While all the dishes were excellent, the sausages and falafels stood out to me personally as the most delicious.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

To be pretty honest, we were quite full already and didn’t mind the fact that the next course took a while to come out. And while we were waiting, we decided to order for a Sheesha and chose the double green apple flavour…our first Sheesha experience in Melbourne. While I do not smoke or encourage smoking of any kind, the Sheesha was more of a fun experience than anything else.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

And then it was time for the grilled meats to arrive…a platter laden with chips, chicken skewers, lamb seekh kebabs and beef skewers topped with more of the sumac spiced onions. The skewers were pretty similar to many others I have had at other Middle Eastern restaurants. The lamb kebabs were really good but the beef was not tender enough to be enjoyed. And while the chips have become standard fare in Australia, I would have preferred a salad instead.

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine, Dandenong (Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Desserts are not a part of the banquet; would have been nice to have a traditional one included to complete the meal experience. But there are a few on the dessert menu that you could try out.

The hospitality and service at ARZ is commendable; the staff are attentive and make you really feel welcome. We also got the opportunity to have a good chat with the Chef and hear about his passion for the cuisine.

Will I go back? Yes, most definitely….

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine

Shop 2, 78 Cheltenham Road
Dandenong
Victoria 3175

Phone no: 03 8743 3929/03 9799  0999

Website: http://www.arzlebanesecuisine.com.au/

ARZ Lebanese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post!

Transport Public Bar, Melbourne CBD – a Review

Lunch dates with girlfriends is such an awesome thing; infact it must be made legit and compulsory. That few precious hours snatched away from the daily grind and routine is such a relaxing experience for me.

I am lucky to have a few but a solid bunch of girlfriends here in Melbourne with whom I meet at varying frequencies. And we always try and meet up for lunch at restaurants in and around the city which also gives us an opportunity to try out a new place each time. So this time, we headed to the Transport Public Bar in the CBD.

The Transport Public Bar is one that needs no introduction, especially given its location. Though many of us might not have walked into the space, almost all of us would have seen it at some point or even everyday. If location is anything, this place has picked out the most coveted spot; right opposite Flinders station and bang in the middle of Federation Square.

Overlooking the city, Transport bar has an amazing view on offer. Whether you pick your spot outside or inside, it’s a space that you can both relax and soak in the city atmosphere at the same time. We chose indoors as it was slightly chilly. And being a working weekday, there weren’t too many customers which suits just fine when you are catching up with your girl tribe.

For drinks, we decided to go with cocktails as the menu had a few interesting ones. Both the drinks and food menu changes often which is great as this is a space that attracts a lot of regulars.

I chose the Lemongrass and ginger daiquiri, specifically because of those two ingredients. The flavours were distinctly refreshing and even though I expected it to taste summery, it actually reminded me of autumn…

Lemongrass and ginger daiquiri - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

The second cocktail chosen by one of the girls was the Pom Plum Rum (I hope I have got this right), a delicious concoction of rum, cherry and other ingredients. Apologize that I forgot the exact combination; we were having too much fun to get into the details but nevertheless it was delicious and perfect for autumn.

Pom Plum Rum - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

And the third drink we ordered for the day was the Somersby apple cider…..which really needs no introduction at all.

Somersby apple cider - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

The food at Transport Bar is relaxed and casual; no fancy stuff but crowd favourites created in the most delicious way.  Easy to share food with good quantities is another highlight which works perfect when you are catching up with friends or stopping by for an after work drink or a bunch of tourists.

We ordered three dishes which we shared amongst ourselves and these were;

The Baja fish tacos with coleslaw, lime and coriander – a Mexican delight that just can’t go wrong. Succulent pieces of fish encased in soft tortillas and finished off with coleslaw, salsa, lime, coriander and a dash of sour cream. Absolutely delicious and fingerlickin good.

Baja fish tacos with coleslaw, lime and coriander - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

Simple couldn’t go past the Mexican street corn with cheese and Tabasco butter – how can you not love corn on the cob with grilled cheese and that splash of Tabasco to spice it up. Highly recommended especially if you are a corn lover!

Mexican street corn with cheese and Tabasco butter - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

And the final dish was the day’s special – buffalo chicken wings. Yet another classic that was done to perfection. The chicken cooked perfectly and tossed through a delicious buffalo sauce that had just the right kick of heat. Yet another fingerlickin one.

buffalo chicken wings - Transport Public Bar (Melbourne CBD) - thespiceadventuress.com

Thoroughly fed and satiated, we said no to dessert this time. Maybe another lunch date to try out the desserts. I am sure we are going back…..

To summarize, a great place to hang out with friends and family. Do make it a point to take out a bit of time from all the stuff you need to get done and catch up with that someone special; small priceless moments of happiness.

Transport Public Bar

Federation Square, Corner
Swanston Street and Flinders Street
Melbourne CBD
Victoria

Phone no: 03 9654 8808
http://transportpublicbar.com.au/

Timings:
All days – 11.00am to 3.00am

 

Transport Public Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all the food and drinks were paid for by me and my friends

 

An Indian Food and Wine Experience in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

The first time I heard of Tulsi Indian Restaurant was in 2014. Tulsi had just won the distinguished Victorian Award of Excellence 2014 by Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering HOSTplus Awards for Excellence and I had the opportunity to write a feature about the restaurant and the team behind it for Indian Link.

During the course of research and writing the feature, I got to know more about Chef Devendra and his wife Shashi Singh, their love for food and also their passion for representing India’s rich culinary heritage through Tulsi.

But the surprise factor for me was Shashi Singh, who also happens to be a winemaker; one of the few Indian-origin winemakers in Australia. She owns and operates Avani (The Earth) Syrah, located at Red Hill, Mornington Peninsula.

I got an opportunity to meet Shashi again early this year at the ‘Spice and Wine’ Masterclass held as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Along with Chef Adam D’Sylva of Coda and Tonka, she took us on a learning process of how to match Indian spices and flavours with wine. The first thing that struck me about Shashi was her friendliness and down-to-earth approach. She was so welcoming when I requested that I would love to have a personal tour of her winery.

And that wish of mine was finally fulfilled a couple of weeks ago when I visited both Avani and Tulsi as part of my Mornington Peninsula holiday.

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Shashi’s home is situated on the vineyard itself; infact, you look out of her living room and you see the vineyard stretching out like a green panorama as far as eyes can see. Totally addictive!

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We had a small wine tasting session, a very personal one as Shashi believes in small, intimate groups rather than large, commercial ones. I totally agree with her viewpoint especially after visiting a lot of wineries in Australia where sometimes the tasting session becomes so stuffy and formal. Shashi is happy to answer all your questions and she puts you instantly at ease that you would open up and ask the most basic things you want to know about wine and pairing with food.

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Apart from the Avani Syrah, we also had a taste of the 2015 Pinot Grigio which is yet to be bottled. She was so enthusiastic about this one and wanted us to have a taste. And I am so happy she did. For the first time, I understood what ‘spicy tones in a wine’ means. She later told me that she is planning on calling it ‘Amrit’ (the names of her wines are all Sanskrit and so brilliantly apt).

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After spending some time at the vineyard, we decided to visit Tulsi for dinner and more of the Indian food and wine pairing experience.

Situated in Somerville, Tulsi might come across as a regular suburban Indian restaurant. But the minute you step in, you realize that this is not your average, pedestrian Indian curry house. The décor is classic contemporary with definite Indian touches in the form of wooden artwork and photographs.

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The service is extremely professional yet friendly. A relaxed ambience with a view into the open kitchen where you find calm and composed chefs going about their business of sending out delicious food.

There is a good wine list which includes ones from their vineyard; you can also request for matching wines for each course. The dinner menu is a short and limited one unlike many of the Indian restos where you can usually find pages after pages of dishes; a matter of quality over quantity.

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One among the many awards won by Tulsi!

One among the many awards won by Tulsi!

We started off on hot, piping samosas filled with a savoury peas and potato stuffing. Now, I have had plenty of samosas in my lifetime but what made this one stand apart is its buttery, flaky shortcrust pastry which is really hard to find in Melbourne.

Samosas filled with a savoury peas and potato stuffing

Samosas filled with a savoury peas and potato stuffing

Next, we had the Kesari Murgh Tikka; melt-in-your-mouth chicken morsels with subtle yet flavourful marinade of spices and saffron. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that this is the best chicken tikka I have had for a really long time especially in Australia. No artificial colours and absolutely juicy chicken bites. Highly recommended.

We also had a tasting of Tandoori Champ or marinated racks of lamb. Delicious with the cooking of the lamb spot on.

Kesari Murgh Tikka and Tandoori Champ

Kesari Murgh Tikka and Tandoori Champ

For the mains, we had steamed basmati rice and naan/bread accompanied with Saag Paneer (cottage cheese and spinach curry) and Jheenga Nariyal (King prawns cooked with coconut and spices). I hardly ever talk about the naan I eat at the Indian restaurants here but at Tulsi, you will want to. And that’s probably because of the slight twist, the bread is finished off in an oven instead of a tandoor which makes it soft and pillowy, the perfect carrier for scooping the curries.

I am usually not a big fan of saag but this one was delicious primarily because of the quality of the cottage cheese. Anyone who is familiar with paneer or Indian cottage cheese would be able to say that this one is prepared in house as it is soft and crumbly. The dish was mild just as it is prepared in Northern part of India. Definitely recommended for paneer lovers.

And I will not be able to stop talking about the prawn curry. Perfectly cooked king prawns in a luxuriously creamy coconut gravy with just the right hint of spices. Again, totally recommended!

Steamed basmati rice and naan/bread accompanied with Saag Paneer (cottage cheese and spinach curry) and Jheenga Nariyal (King prawns cooked with coconut and spices).

Steamed basmati rice and naan/bread accompanied with Saag Paneer (cottage cheese and spinach curry) and Jheenga Nariyal (King prawns cooked with coconut and spices).

Finished the meal with gulab jamuns (dumplings in golden sugar syrup) with a side of mango ice-cream. The jamuns were warm and fresh but could have been a tad bit softer but paired beautifully with the mango ice cream.

Gulab jamuns (dumplings in golden sugar syrup) with mango ice-cream

Gulab jamuns (dumplings in golden sugar syrup) with mango ice-cream

Now I know the post is getting longer but the experience at Tulsi cannot be complete if I do not talk about another dining opportunity I had at the restaurant. Three days after I visited, Tulsi was hosting a special Diwali dinner series specially curated and prepared by Chef Balaji who specializes in South Indian cuisine.

It was a three course meal with matching wines from Avani. The restaurant was beautifully decked with traditional earthen lamps (diyas) and rose petals.

The first course consisted of Kerala Pan Seared Salmon, Pepper studded Vadai, Madras style Calamari and a shot of peppery Rasam. The accompanying wines were two different types of Pinot; the first one a 2015 Pinot (Amrit) – with spicy notes which matched perfectly with the South Indian spices. The second was a limited edition 2015 Pinot fermented with the skins on which gave the wine a nice rosy hue and a refreshing lightness.

I loved the salmon; crispy skin and perfectly flaky flesh with a subtle hint of spices. Loved the calamari too which was served on a bed of lettuce and sautéed onions. The vadai was delicious but I would have preferred it warm and slightly crispier but then, that’s the South Indian in me talking. All finished off with a shot of rasam, high on flavour and packed a punch.

Kerala Pan Seared Salmon, Pepper studded Vadai, Madras style Calamari and a shot of peppery Rasam

Kerala Pan Seared Salmon, Pepper studded Vadai, Madras style Calamari and a shot of peppery Rasam

Limited edition 2015 Amrit (Pinot) fermented with the skins

Limited edition 2015 Amrit (Pinot) fermented with the skins

2015 Amrit (Pinot)

2015 Amrit (Pinot)

The second course was Kozhi Vartha or Oven Roasted Chicken with Coconut served with Hyderabadi Pilaf and Long Beans Poriyal. Paired with a 2013 Avani Syrah which matched beautifully with the spices in the chicken. The meat was tender and served with a flavourful savoury tomato sauce with the pilaf subtle but delicious.

Kozhi Vartha or Oven Roasted Chicken with Coconut served with Hyderabadi Pilaf and Long Beans Poriyal paired with a 2013 Avani Syrah

Kozhi Vartha or Oven Roasted Chicken with Coconut served with Hyderabadi Pilaf and Long Beans Poriyal paired with a 2013 Avani Syrah

And the final course was dessert which was the most delicious rice and saffron kheer and jalebi which I have ever had. I am usually not the person to rave about desserts but this one was outstanding. The kheer was light, not very sweet to match the sticky, syrupy sweetness of the jalebis. Absolutely brilliant.

Rice and saffron kheer and jalebi

Rice and saffron kheer and jalebi

Tulsi was a delicious experience and a clear stand out among the mediocre Indian restaurants out here in Melbourne. Each dish is carefully prepared with the best quality ingredients and a true understanding of the cuisine which translates into a delicious and memorable experience for the diner.

The Team.....

The Team…..

Making a reservation ahead is advised especially for weekends. Also sign up to the Tulsi newsletter for special dinners, wine matching events and degustations.

Rating – 8.5/10

Tulsi Indian Restaurant

74 Station Street
Somerville
Victoria 3192

Phone no: 0359776733

Website: http://www.tulsi.com.au/

Timings:

Monday – 5.30 pm onwards
Tuesday – closed
Wednesday – 5.30 pm onwards
Thursday – 5.30 pm onwards
Friday – 5.30 pm onwards
Saturday – 5.30 pm onwards
Sunday – 5.30 pm onwards

Tulsi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – We were guests at Tulsi on both occasions but all the views and opinions expressed here are entirely mine.

Afghan Rahimi Restaurant and Reception (Dandenong) – a Review

A visit to Rahimi has been on the cards for such a long time, but it didn’t quite happen till now. Guess Melbourne has too many good food joints that a lifetime does not seem to be enough!

This restaurant is a stone’s throw away from where I live and pass by the place almost every week. But the realization that this is one of the best Afghan restaurants to dine in Melbourne came after reading a review by Matt Preston (Masterchef fame).

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The first thing that struck me walking into the restaurant was the ornate décor….. deep red brocade curtains, richly decorated wooden tables and chairs set in a large space and the low lighting which set a very inviting ambience to the whole place.

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Rahimi Baryalai, the owner of the restaurant, greeted us on entering and after enquiring specifics, we were seated and the menus bought out. While there are many a la carte dishes, it was the banquet option that caught my eye. And I would totally recommend this to anyone who is visiting Afghan Rahimi for the first time. Very reasonably priced, there are several banquet options ranging from $35 to $55 depending on the number of dishes and people; this is the ideal way to experience the best dishes that the restaurant has to offer.

We went for Banquet 3 (Afghani) priced at $45.00 which is a five course meal. The dishes are bought out one by one to the table and soon you have a banquet to feast on.

The bread and dips arrived first. I don’t think I have appreciated Afghan bread so much before (have had plenty of it); it was soft and the perfect carrier to scoop the dips and chutneys. There was a simple tomato and cucumber salad, a carrot based dip, a cucumber based yoghurt dip and a chutney. The perfect way to start off a meal exciting your tastebuds for the remaining meal….

Afghan bread, dips, salad and condiments

Afghan bread, dips, salad and condiments

The next dish to arrive was Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy). Perhaps, the most famous dish at Rahimi and Matt Preston’s absolute favourite. I don’t think words do any justice to what these dumplings do to your tastebuds. Melt-in-your-mouth, soft, creamy, juicy….oh, it’s an experience. Get yourself to Rahimi just for this.

Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy)

Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy)

Next came a plate of Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce). I am not too fond of eggplants but this dish has converted me. The flavour was so bespoke that I happily forgot that I was eating eggplants.

Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce)

Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce)

The Afghani traditional rice came next. Now I have seen a zillion recipes claiming to be Afghani rice on the Internet; if you want to experience the real deal, visit Rahimi. Perfectly cooked rice with a generous topping of carrots and raisins with a subtle hint of spices.

Afghani traditional rice

Afghani traditional rice

Along with the rice came Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy). Yet another delicious dish; I think I have repeated delicious enough number of times by now and I don’t intend to stop.

Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy)

Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy)

Next to arrive was the Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers. Loved the flavour on these meat skewers and it was delicious but would have preferred the meat to be slightly more tender.

Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers

Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers

Followed soon by the fried fish preparation (I couldn’t get the name of this one). Mr. Baryalai personally bought it to our table saying that it is a special preparation that he enjoys very much. Now most of you know my obsession with seafood but it would be perfectly fair to say that I have not eaten a more beautifully cooked fish preparation before. Subtly spiced and absolutely succulent and flaky fish; it is to be experienced.

Fried fish preparation

Fried fish preparation

The meal ended with a glass of traditional green tea that was flavoured with organic saffron and cardamom accompanied by gulab jamun (Dough balls are fried and soaked overnight in a sugar syrup) and another milk based sweet (which we call ‘peda’ in India but couldn’t get the Afghan name) and a bowl of vanilla icecream drizzled with honey for my little one. He got the ice cream for being a wonderfully behaved child and eating all his food. What a little personal touch…this is what customer service is all about.

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Reading so far, you would have an idea of why this spread is called a banquet. A thoroughly delicious experience, one which I will want to return to over and over again.

The customer service is exemplary; to have the owner of the restaurant taking care of every need of yours is not a common thing. Mr. Rahimi was telling us about how the popularity of his restaurant has gone up which makes it a hot destination for those living far but the locals of the suburb seem to have forgotten the place. You would easily find cabinet ministers and the elite dining at the next table to yours at Rahimi.

Quality food at an affordable price for all to enjoy is what Afghan Rahimi is all about. Perhaps the closest that many of us would get to experience true Afghan hospitality and the richness of the cuisine.

Rating – 9/10

Afghan Rahimi Restaurant and Reception

23/29 Walker Street
Dandenong
Victoria

Phone no: 03-97939981

Website: http://www.afghanrahimirestaurant.com/

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Thursday: 4.30pm to 10.00pm
Friday: 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturday – Sunday; 4.30pm to 10.00pm

Afghan Rahimi Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all was paid for by me.

Tengri Tag, Dandenong – a Review

Have you heard of Uyghur cuisine?

Uyghurs refer to an ethnic community who live mainly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region in China and also a few other parts of Eastern and Central Asia. The cuisine of this region is referred to collectively as Xinjiang cuisine as there are many ethnic groups but the predominant one is the Uyghurs. With time, the specific cuisine of the Uyghurs has come to be known as Uyghur cuisine.

I first heard of this cuisine through a food travelogue on SBS Food. It would be apt to say that the people, food and culture of this land was an eye-opener. It is one of the lesser known cuisines of the world but slowly and surely making its way known in Melbourne as there are migrants from the region settled here. Must add that it is a joy that I can experience food from all around the world here, in Australia.

There are only a handful of Uyghur restaurants here, mostly frequented by those from that region but a few others who have discovered the unique flavours of this cuisine. Ever since I spotted one in Oakleigh, I have been wanting to try the food since it all sounded so delicious and flavoursome.

As luck would have it, Tengri Tag which originally was situated in Camberwell moved recently to Dandenong which made it all so convenient and easy for me.

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The most important aspect that you must be aware of Uyghur cuisine is that it is unique and perhaps, nothing like you have ever tasted before. And this is because it is a delicious combination that draws inspiration from the Chinese style of cooking (as we know it) and the Central Asian cuisine especially Afghanistan and neighbouring countries. Most Uyghurs are Muslims (with exceptions) and so the cuisine also heavily borrows from the Muslim style of cooking of these regions.

Handmade noodles is heavily used in Uyghur cuisine and is a staple everyday food. There are historic claims that pasta could have originated from this during Marco Polo’s times but this is a much debated topic.

When you are dining out at a Uyghur restaurant, you will be pleasantly surprised to find kebabs, noodles, curries and stir fries, all sharing the same table.

Now to get on to my experience at Tengri Tag;

Located on Lonsdale Street, Tengri Tag is a huge space. Clearly designed to work as a restaurant and a community reception centre for weddings and events, the layout and ambience is more of a wedding reception space than a restaurant.

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We walked in expecting to be seated (there was a small counter upfront suggesting the same) but no one bothered with us till we caught the eye of a waiter. He guided us to a table and bought over the menu cards. Language can be an issue here with most of the waiters speaking only bits of English. The head waiter is perhaps the only person who has a good command over the language and since he is the one who will be taking the orders, it is best to address your menu related queries to him.
The menus arrived and we decided on a selection of dishes based on the little knowledge I have of the cuisine. One of the first things that struck me is the almost utter lack of customer service. The head waiter behaved as if he couldn’t be bothered and when I asked him to leave one copy of the menu card at our table, he was really hesitant. I explained that I would like to take another look at it as I was new to the cuisine but he was so reluctant to do so. A lot of request had to be done for him to hand over the menu to me. A reaction that surprises me!

No one was placing any water or Chinese tea or cutlery on our table but it all seemed to be there on other tables. Almost 20 minutes later, we figured that it is self-service. There is a table set up in front laden with all the cutlery, glassware, teapots etc…and we eventually figured out that you were supposed to get it yourself. It would have been nice if we were informed of this!

Now that you guys know what needs to be done, let’s get on to the food.

We started our meal with Uyghur oven buns. If you ever eat at this place, make sure you give this a go. Absolutely delicious; oven baked buns with a flaky exterior and a delicious soft meat filling. A cross between the English pies and the Chinese buns but much better, at least I think so.

Uyghur oven buns

Uyghur oven buns

Then came out the kebabs seasoned with chilli powder, salt and cumin. The Afghan-Turk influence to the cuisine can be clearly seen with these kebabs. You wouldn’t believe you are sitting in a Chinese restaurant and eating it. Really flavourful kebabs especially with the cumin coming through, we really enjoyed it. But I felt the meat could have been a bit more tender.

Kebabs seasoned with chilli powder, salt and cumin

Kebabs seasoned with chilli powder, salt and cumin

The next dish was the fried chilli with egg. Oh my…..hot and spicy but delicious. Strongly remniscent of the Sichuan style of cooking, I would totally recommend the dish if you can stand heat and actually enjoy it. I am definitely going back for this…

Fried chilli with egg

Fried chilli with egg

Fried chilli with egg

Fried chilli with egg

For mains, we got spicy chicken with special sauce. This dish simply astounded me….handmade flat noodles dunked in a rich, spicy Indian style chicken curry topped with fried dry red chillies. If someone had told me about this dish before I ever ate it, my foodie brain would have never accepted the flavours wondering how will it work. But believe me, the dish was a revelation. And I thoroughly enjoyed every spoonful of it. Again highly recommended for the heat lovers.

Spicy chicken with special sauce

Spicy chicken with special sauce

We got one more mains (not because we didn’t have enough food, just wanted to sample more of the cuisine) and that was handmade noodles with lamb and onion. This one leans more towards the familiar Chinese flavours , not very spicy but very flavourful especially with the onions. More of a wet style noodles with a bit of sauce than a dry one.

Handmade noodles with lamb and onion

Handmade noodles with lamb and onion

By the end of this, we were so stuffed that dessert was the last thing on our minds. And there really wasn’t much in terms of dessert except for a few staples. None really stood out to me.

So in a nutshell, visit Tengri Tag to experience traditional Uyghur cuisine and a delicious experience. But forget customer service and ambience when you walk in. I am being partial to the former!

My rating – 7/10 (All for the food!)

Tengri Tag

151 Lonsdale Street
Dandenong
Victoria 3175

Phone no: 0481 235 468 / 9791 7216

Timings:

All days of the week – 5.00pm to 10.00pm

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Disclaimer – All the food and drinks were paid for by me.

Urban Fox Café, Melbourne Central – a Review

Since we are on the topic of coffee this week, let me tell you about this cafe experience I had last week in the CBD.

Urban Fox is a modern, quirky cafe nestled in Melbourne Central. Being a coffee enthusiast and always on the hunt for a good caffeine experience, I was invited by Di Bella Coffee to try out their range stocked at Urban Fox.

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What I liked about Urban Fox is its location; situated at the corner of Swanston and La Trobe street, it is easy to approach this cafe from the Emporium too. That works for me because I always combine a shopping trip to the Central with a trip to the Emporium too given its close proximity.

I also liked the fact that apart from awesome takeaway coffees (to fuel my shopping!), Urban Fox also has takeaway soups. Now that’s a winner combo in my eyes, espcially given the weather.

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I have always complained about the lack of takeaway soups in the cafes here. I mean, what can be more comforting than a good hearty warm soup on a cold way or a quick working lunch. So my eyes fell straightaway on the soup pots at the counter which indeed put a huge smile on my face. The waitress informed me that there were 2 choices, one vegetarian and one non vegetarian; she also asked if I would like to have a taste to help me decide. That’s great especially if you cannot decide which one you want to have so make sure you ask for a taste even if you are not promptly offered the same.

The two choices for the day was Veggie Lentil Soup and Lamb with Winter Vegetables. To be honest, I liked both and found it really hard to decide but finally, I opted for the lamb just because of that extra rich flavour and the chunks of potato in it. I would totally recommend to try out the soup because it was really delicious and flavourful. Complete value for the buck!

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Lamb with Winter Vegetables

Lamb with Winter Vegetables

The menu at Urban Fox changes everyday so you will need to ask about the dishes available, most of which are anyway kept for display in the glass cabinet. It is a small space and is clearly meant for people on the go but there are a few seats for those who want to put up the tired, shopping feet.

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After the soup, it was time for the main bites. I chose the Cajun chicken rice with chickpeas, roasted veggies, peas and a soy and chili sauce. Didn’t quite like the rice; it was cooked perfectly but there was no real Cajun flavour which was a bit of a let down.

Cajun chicken rice with chickpeas, roasted veggies, peas and a soy and chili sauce

Cajun chicken rice with chickpeas, roasted veggies, peas and a soy and chili sauce

The hubby and son chose the Falafel roti with spinach, hummus, avocado, sundried tomatoes and mint. I managed to sneak in some bites and it was quite nice. The falafels were really good and overall a great filling sandwich.

Falafel roti with spinach, hummus, avocado, sundried tomatoes and mint

Falafel roti with spinach, hummus, avocado, sundried tomatoes and mint

The little fella chose to end his meal with a Belgian chocolate macaron. It was everything that you want from a chocolate macaron; crunchy, chewy, gooey, all in one bite!

Belgian chocolate macaron

Belgian chocolate macaron

While the hubby opted for the hot chocolate, I was of course going to sample the coffee. The hot chocolate was really good but not too rich which I actually liked….it had that perfect dose of chocolate to warm your insides.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

The cappuccino was really good; strong and full bodied which is exactly how I like my coffee. Most often, I need to ask for an extra shot of espresso to get the richness I prefer but with Di Bella, it was spot on. There were sacks of coffee beans kept at the counter where I sat, I kept scooping the beans into my palms and smelling the roast beans. Ah! the aroma……(I am sure the staff thought I was crazy).

Di Bella Cappuccino

Di Bella Cappuccino

A quick look at their website tells me that Di Bella sources the coffee beans from around the globe and includes both roasted single origin coffees and signature blends. Freshly roasted at their Brisbane headquarters ensures that the customer gets to enjoy maximum flavour and one of the finest coffee experiences in Australia.

If you are a beginner, Di Bella coffee can be a one stop shopping experience as they also sell capsule machines, milk forthers etc…in addition to premium coffee beans and blends. Remember how I told you I am planning on a Nespresso later this year; the good news is that Di Bella makes coffee capsules that are Nespresso compatible; you can read all of that information here. So if you already own a Nespresso, there’s nothing stopping you from a Di Bella experience!

Overall, the trip to Urban Fox was a delightful one. Standouts were the soup and coffee but the falafel roti came close.

My rating – 7.5/10

Urban Fox Cafe

Ground floor
Melbourne Central
Corner of Swanston St and La Trobe St
(or entrance from Little Lonsdale St)
Melbourne CBD

Timings:

Monday: 7am to 6.30pm
Tuesday: 7am to 6.30pm
Wednesday: 7am to 6.30pm
Thursday: 7am to 6.30pm
Friday: 7am to 6.30pm
Saturday: 8am to 6.30pm
Sunday: 8am to 6.30pm

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Disclaimer – This post was sponsored by Di Bella but the opinions are entirely my own.

Your Thai Rice and Noodle Bar, Melbourne CBD – a Review

One of the heavily populated areas of the CBD, Swanston Street has a ton of eateries catering to all kinds of cuisines especially from the Asian subcontinent.

After a day of exploring the Sea life Aquarium, we found ourselves on Swanston Street en route to Flinders Station. And when hunger pangs got the better of us, we decided to hop into one of the Asian cuisine restaurants lining the street which proved to be a very difficult task as we soon found out.

To start with, there is a constant stream of people flowing in and out of these restaurants which makes it extremely hard to find a free table in any of these. Secondly, there is no way you can judge the quality of food served at the restaurants without actually reading a good review because all of these are anyway full of customers. So I dished out my smartphone and checked on the ratings of some of these restaurants on my Zomato app. But unfortunately failed to find a spot at any of the ones with a decent rating.

Your Thai had a rating of 3.2 which seemed good enough when you are ravenously hungry and there was just one free table available. So in we went….

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Being an extremely busy place with a constant flow of people, there is no particular ambience as such to speak of. Very noisy and filled mostly with students, Your Thai is all about a quick and affordable meal. Functionality is the key word here so expect that when you walk in.

As soon as you are seated, the staff comes over with the menus. Service is cordial and friendly yet swift and food arrives at your table within minutes.

For drinks we ordered a mango smoothie and orange juice. Though the menu had several Thai beverages, we decided to stick to flavours we were familiar with. The drinks didn’t disappoint; refreshing and delicious.

Mango smoothie, Orange juice

Mango smoothie, Orange juice

We ordered prawn sesame toast for starters. Though it arrived first at the table, the mains also arrived almost immediately so be prepared for all the food to come almost at the same time unless you can eat real fast. The sesame toast was crunchy and tasted fine; average and nothing more to write about.

prawn sesame toast

prawn sesame toast

For mains, we ordered Red curry rice (seafood) and Massaman curry with coconut rice. Both the mains were just average. The seafood curry did have good flavour but if you have eaten a good Thai curry before, you will find this rather average. The meat was cooked well but again, the Massaman curry was just average and the coconut rice didn’t have much flavour through it and tasted just like plain sticky rice.

Red curry rice (seafood)

Red curry rice (seafood)

Massaman curry with coconut rice

Massaman curry with coconut rice

Overall, an average meal with really fast service and at affordable rates. I will definitely not go back for the food again because there are so many places in Melbourne that serve amazing Thai food. But if caught up in a similar situation on Swanston street and really hungry, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up here again.

My rating – 5.5/10

Your Thai Rice and Noodle Bar

255 Swanston Street,
Melbourne CBD
Victoria

Phone no: 03 9663 8010

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/YourThai255Swanston

Timings:

Mon: 11am – 11.30pm
Tue: 11am – 11.30pm
Wed: 11am – 11.30pm
Thu: 11am – 12.30am
Fri: 11am – 12.30 am
Sat: 11am – 12.30am
Sun: 11am – 11.30pm

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Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all the food and drinks were paid for by me.

400 Gradi, Brunswick – a Review

I have been hearing quite a bit about the food scene of Brunswick but haven’t had an opportunity to explore that area till now. Recently, I was there to attend a pottery open studio and also to pick up a few ceramic pieces to add to my prop collection. 400 Gradi was right across the street and somehow, very inviting too.

Now I must admit that I am quite new to the restaurant scene of Melbourne which is why I had absolutely no idea of this restaurant when I walked in. It was good in one way…since I didn’t go in with any kind of expectation; I was able to assess the quality and experience in an unbiased manner.

The connection between 400 Gradi and Pizza Master, Johnny Di Francesco dawned on me only when I happened to see a program of his on television. 400 Gradi is his flagship restaurant but he also runs many pizza and calzone outlets across Australia. With plenty of international acclaim for his pizzas, Johnny is fondly referred to as Melbourne’s Mr. Pizza which reflects perfectly at 400 Gradi.

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Though there is a large al fresco area, I would recommend that you get seated inside to enjoy the classic and decadent ambience of 400 Gardi. While the seating areas are done tastefully in hues of black and antique gold, the bar area is all vintage wood with rows upon rows of great wines and drinks and a glass salumi cabinet.

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Going through the menu, the first thing I noticed was the prices. It is an expensive place to eat especially if you are going as a family or paying for a large group. But there’s quality to match the prices which was a solace.

For drinks, my husband chose a Peroni while I went for a glass of 2012 Mocandunda Riesling. While I may not know how to speak in the wine language, I can definitely say that this was one of the best wines I have tasted in a long time. I love Rieslings and this one was sweet, citrusy and zesty…..totally refreshing and highly recommended.

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We started off the meal with Polpette al sugo (Italian style beef meatballs cooked in Napoli sauce served with toasted bread). I have eaten and prepared so many different types of meatballs in my lifetime but none as delicious as this. Melt in the mouth meatballs with an equally delicious Napoli sauce. It was delicious…..

Polpette al sugo (Italian style beef meatballs cooked in Napoli sauce served with toasted bread)

Polpette al sugo (Italian style beef meatballs cooked in Napoli sauce served with toasted bread)

The next dish we ordered was Fiori di zucca (Stuffed zucchini flowers with fresh buffalo ricotta, spanner crab and chilli). Oh my! I just didn’t want the dish to end…..wish I had a deep wallet to go on eating these. Beautifully fried zucchini flowers with the creamy insides. In yum heaven!

Fiori di zucca (Stuffed zucchini flowers with fresh buffalo ricotta, spanner crab and chilli)

Fiori di zucca (Stuffed zucchini flowers with fresh buffalo ricotta, spanner crab and chilli)

And of course, you cannot dine at 400 Gradi and not eat pizza. For someone who is much more acclimatized to eating pizzas from the fast food chains, real Italian pizzas can be a revelation. There are very few ingredients as toppings unlike the former which comes loaded with toppings. We ordered the Salsiccia e friarielli (with mozzarella, sausages and friarielli). Many of the dishes were explained using Italian terms on the menu so if you are not familiar with the language, it is best to ask the staff who are very helpful.

When the pizza arrived at the table, we were thinking of how the taste would be since there were just 3 ingredients including the cheese. But the quality of the ingredients is so good that you begin to savor each individual ingredient. The taste of the mozzarella and the sausages was so delish; a different pizza eating experience for me.

Salsiccia e friarielli (with mozzarella, sausages and friarielli)

Salsiccia e friarielli (with mozzarella, sausages and friarielli)

Overall, an amazing experience. The staff was wonderful and attentive, the food arrived on time and we had nothing to complain. Eating at 400 Gradi is a costly affair so a bit of planning might do you good especially if you want to sample many dishes or go in a large group.

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My rating – 8.5/10

400 Gradi

99 Lygon Street
Brunswick
Melbourne, VIC

Phone no: 03 9380 2320
Website: http://www.400gradi.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/400Gradi

Timings:

All days – 12 pm to 11 pm

Disclaimer – Wish someone had paid the bill! All of it went out of my own pocket.