Friday, June 27, 2008

Fedoulla's Cuccina

Location: Shop 42, 43 - 45 Collins Place, Collins Street [near Spring Street]
Cuisine: Greek, Modern Australian
Company: the Law Crew

The menu wasn't very extensive, but was quite broad in terms of the types of dishes available, the range included fish and chips, lamb skewers, soup, steak, salad, calamari, pasta, degustation set menus and a few daily specials. I ordered the veal scallopini [which seems to have disappeared off most restaurant menus these days] which was excellent - the veal was tender and juicy, the roasted vegies it sat on was sweet and had the grilled 'smokey' taste, and the mushroom sauce that was poured over the lot was full of mushrooms and flavours. Among the other dishes, the fish and chips came in huge servings with some very crunchy chips, the lamb came atop Mediterranean salad and the degustation seemed quite worth the price per head, including a glass of wine each, and a series of entrees and share platters.

The dessert menu on the other hand was virtually non-existent. The waiter merely pointed out the cakes that were left int he front display case and told us we were welcome to choose from blueberry cheesecake or some vanilla slice. We opted out of dessert and left.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Very classy looking place, but the atmosphere was rather casual. We booked ahead to ensure we got a table [for 10] and were seated within a reasonable amount of time. The waiters were particular patient [as we were waiting for one more person to come and then order] and also very helpful, double checking our queries with the kitchen before giving us definite answers. The food all came out around the same time [minus a slight serving time difference between the two plates of fish and chips] and again quite speedily.

The prices were quite average and reasonable. Mains ranged from $15 - $25 depending on what you order.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
I was very impressed with the quality of the food as well as the service. The waiters knew when to approach and when to leave us alone. We'll definitely be going back to this place in the near future

Monday, June 23, 2008


Location: GPO, Bourke Street Mall
Cuisine: Japanese
Company: Jie, Liz, Helen

Not to be confused with the Kenzan on Collins Street, this Kenzan was tucked away in a small arcade behind GPO. It's a place for a quick, but fulfilling lunch.

The menu was what you would typically expect from a small Japanese restaurant - an array of sushi, udon, ramen and rice dishes. Being cold and hungry, we all ordered noodle soups. My niku udon came with an amazing mushroom broth, the beef was also 'well-seasoned' as the menu said it would be, but cooked for too long such that it was on the tough side. The udon was soft and slipped into your mouth easily. We still wonder why Japanese people like to give out massive, spoons, it's not as though their mouths are any bigger than the rest of the world's!

~Atmosphere and Service~
Service was minimal. The place was very casual, with minimal seating inside the actually restaurant. We sat outside under some heaters, which were turned up just that little bit too much. It was actually a little like a fast food joint - pay at the counter for your meal, take a number and they bring the food out to you when it's ready. The lady at the counter could have smiled, but the waitresses who brought out our food out were friendly enough.

A bit on the pricey side for a bowl of noodle soup [normally you would expect to pay $7-$10], but the udon was softer than I would normally get and the soup had it's own distinctive flavour.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
Really really awesome food. Liz said that the sushi is also really good, so we'll have to try that one day too.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


Location: Eastland [next door to Hoyts]
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Italian, Asian
Company: Jean, Mark, Jenny

A menu containing pizza, risotto, stir fries and steaks provides a nice variety. Although some mains were larger then others, seeming Jean and Jen both had larger servings (shanks and ribs) then Mark and I (steak and risotto), they were extremely satisfying. Ribs came with a side of wedges and a salad and the steak and shanks came with mash.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The atmosphere is very lively, bustling with people throughout the entire night. Service may lack in some areas but is partly due to the busy night. While the food came out quite quickly, asking for a bottle of water was a struggle since all their staff were extremely busy.

Prices were decent, ranging from $4-$10 for entrees and $20-$30 for mains.

~Overall Impression 8/10~
Food was filling and really satisfying. Service was lacking slightly but due to how busy the place is. Overall, very impressed with the quality of service and food.

Friday, June 20, 2008

City Grill Room [aka Squires Loft]

Location: Little Lonsdale Street [near William St]
Cuisine: Grill, Modern Australian
Company: Jenny

For lovers of steak, this is the place to be. You can take your choice of burgers, fish, prawns or the various cuts of steak with either a side of chips or a baked potato being their mains. Just to note, sauces are ordered separately from the mains.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Nice private feel to the place with some music to boot. The service was really good for the following reasons...our orders came out really quickly, waiters are really friendly and also when you ask for your steak to be cooked further, you'll receive fresh new sides including the sauce.

The steak would be the most priciest part of the meal where prices range between $24-$55 depending on the weight and cut. Ordering an entree of prawn kebabs, 2 steaks (mains) with sauces and drinks, came down to ~$80 for two.

~Overall Impression: 9.5/10~
Excellent service, food with a private atmosphere. I was impressed with the quality and speed of which the food came out once ordered. Also we got a note for a free dessert for the next time we came back.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tasty Thai

Location: Food Court, QV or Australia on Collins

Cuisine: take-away, Thai

Menu is rather specific and includes a variety of stir-fried, pad thai, curries, appetisers, salads and so on. I had the Tom Yum Prawns which was pretty much Tom Yum soup with a few prawns, some tomatoes, mushrooms and various leaves. Quite tasty, but a little spicy.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Very quick, and the food was made in 3 minutes as promised - less time than it took for Jie and Liz to get their KFC!

Slightly overpriced for food court fare - my soup was $8 and only contained 3 prawns. The soup was nice and full of flavour. For an extra $1 you can get rice to go with it. Combos are also available.

~Overall Impression: 7.5/10~
Quick and tasty, I might try out the Pad Thai on Saturday.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Seafood Hut

Location: Hawthorn/Kew Area
Cuisine: Asian/Chinese
Company: Family

Very good seafood, rest of the stuff is average. They make the best oysters with XO sauce and the best mud crab. YUM. All the seafood there is so fresh. They make a great duck egg coated prawn dish as well ('golden sand prawns') that's not on the menu but you should request it.
The fried rice was average. The meat dishes were yummy but not exceptional.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Service is friendly for an Asian place but they gave us 12 oysters when we ordered 14 (coz we had 7 ppl at the table) but they did cook the other two later so it wasn't too bad.

Great for seafood banquets. The quality and quantity justifies the price. It was a birthday dinner so it was slightly more pricey. For oyster, crab and seafood stew plus 3 or 4 other dishes, it ended up being $35 a head.

~Overall Impression~
Love this place. Our family always comes here for the traditional birthday celebrations.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Location: 78 Hardware Lane
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Italian

The menu was very much alcohol-oriented. A lot of the mains involved vodka or red wine or alcohol of some sorts. I safely ordered the [non-alcoholic] chicken picasso. Good stuff. Jean's pasta was awesome too and actually comparable to Lygon Street. Tiramisu for dessert - too "cakey" for my liking.

The place apparently had a band playing but I didn't notice. The conversations emanating from our tables was more than enough - highly entertaining, and bordering on "inappropriate"! Jemma's contributions were dirty as usual. There was much said which would be quite inappropriate to relay here, you just had to be there.

The waiters were alright. I would much rather that they did not continually ask if we wanted garlic bread for starters, but I guess it's their policy to ask.

Overall rating: 8/10

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fu Long

Location: 942 Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill [near Station Street]
Cuisine: Chinese
Company: family

When I go to a restaurant, I aim to order dishes that appear to unique to that place [without going so far as wild game, crocodile or coral] or seem to be a specialty of the chef. As a result, we bailed out on the 4 person banquet - which appeared to be very good value for money but unsurprisingly boring in content - and opted for our own selection. Well, pretty much my choice.

So we ended up ordering
  • Deep-fried spare ribs in prawn paste - light and crunchy on the outside, soft and juicy on the inside. The marinade was done very well and there wasn't too much oil.
  • Fu Long ginger-spiced chicken - steamed chicken in a very nice liquid sauce, with shredded ginger and spring onions over the top. Plenty of flavour and the ginger set off a nice contrast to the slightly oily sauce.
  • Seafood and bean curd claypot - lots of seafood, some vegies and bean curd in a sizzling pot. The seafood included prawns, scallops, squid and fish, and tasted quite fresh. The bean curd was a little bland, the sauce wasn't very strong - you could drink it like soup.
As with most restaurants of the same type, the meal came with soup, rice, red-bean paste soup and a fruit platter, not to mention the tea!

~Atmosphere and Service~
Service was pretty crap - the waitresses seemed disinterested and unorganised. One asked if we were ready to order, then wandered off saying that someone else would come... we had to hail down another waitress in order to do so. Then when she was talking to us, other waitresses would come and interrupt to ask her things - instead of patiently waiting on the sideline.

The price was alright - the banquet would have been cheaper, but as stated, I wanted to try a few more unique dishes so we paid more. Our meal totalled to just over $60, with some take away for tomorrow.

~Overall Impression: 7/10~
The food was good but not enough to make up for the poor service or the price. I think the waitresses need to be taught how to smile and be more attentive.

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