Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Vialetto's Ristorante

Location: 75 Hardware Lane
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Company: Jie, Jenn, Law Crew

The menu lists a rather large variety of mains, pastas, salads and desserts. I ordered the roast duck, which was tasty but a little on the dry side. The orange sauce wasn't as sweet as I feared it might be, and tasted awesome on top of the vegies. This time I managed to get photos of what everyone else ordered.

The mains...

[semi-boned half duck, twice cooked to a crispy skin, served with an orange citrus sauce and seasonal vegetables]

[grilled fish of the day with a herb butter and white wine sauce,served with seasonal vegetables]
This may look pretty, but came with plenty of fish bones intact and they took it off the bill.

[seared fresh Atlantic salmon nicoise served on baby beans, desiree potato, red onion, tomato and olives, all dressed with Tuscan olive oil]

[aged scotch fillet char-grilled and served with a green peppercorn sauce, Tuscan style mashed potato and seasonal vegetables]

[char-grilled veal served on a bed of rocket salad with olive tapenade]

[linguini tossed with chicken, avocado, roasted capsicum, cream and fresh herbs]

[salad of pan-seared warm calamari, served on an artichoke,rocket and semi-dried tomato salad]

[grilled calamari tubes filled with fresh spinach, prawn meat, sundried tomatoes, chilli and mushrooms, drizzled with basil oil and served with a salad]

And then for dessert...

[warm strawberry crepe: splashed with Grand Marnier & served with homemade vanilla bean ice cream]

[bigné con cioccolata: profitteroles filled with crema pasticcera and served with warm chocolate sauce & vanilla bean ice cream]

[trio of summer sorbets: a delightful selection of mango, green apple & rasberry sorbets]

[Bailey’s & white chocolate ice cream: homemade ice cream served with a chocolate wafer & a splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur]

~Atmosphere and Service~
The main dining area was tucked away in the basement floor of the restaurant. The tables were neatly set [complete with white tablecloths] and the service was minimal but very accommodating despite them being quite busy (we went on a Friday night). Bookings are nearly essential and there is the option to pre-order to save time.

Mains are less than $20, desserts are about $8. And the serving sizes are rather generous too.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
Decent prices, pleasant, unintrusive service and a good variety of dishes. A perfect mix, not to mention the awesomeness of the desserts.
Vialetto Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Location: corner of Springvale Road and Burwood Highway, Burwood
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Company: family

Romanza is a classic family restaurant. The place itself is half-bar, half-restaurant with comfortable couches for a quiet drink, or tables and chairs in the restaurant part.

The menu is very expansive, and has dishes ranging from grills, to pastas, old favourites like parmagiana, scaloppini and so forth. We opted to order four dishes and shared them between us:
  • Linguini with king prawns: the pasta and prawns were tossed through olive oil, herbs and served with a lemon wedge. Although the pasta and sauce were a little bland, the prawns had plenty of flavour and tasted extremely fresh
  • Spring lamb cutlets: the lamb was done really well, slightly crispy and charred on the edges, nice and tender on the inside. There was plenty of accompanying tzatziki, as well as a fresh Mediterranean salad and roasted potatoes
  • Veal scaloppini: thin slices of veal came smothered in a creamy white wine and mushroom sauce, a mound of steamed vegies and roasted potatoes. The veal was nicely done, although the sauce itself could have done with more seasoning.
  • Parmesan crusted chicken: tender chicken fillets came with a slightly crispy Parmesan coating, a very large serving of creamy mash and also a mound of steamed vegies. The chicken was full of flavour and the sauce was rather nice.
The serving sizes were huge... especially the chicken.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The place had a more classy casual atmosphere. The lighting was slightly dimmed and the tables were nicely spaced out so that noise wasn't an issue. The service was limited but very sufficient. The waitresses were polite and very accommodating, but were able to leave us to eat in peace, only dropping by once or twice to see if we needed anything else.

The mains were all around the $20-$25 mark.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
Very satisfied with the variety of food available, decent service, and a nice place for a nice family dinner.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lazy Moe's

Location: corner of Springvale and Canterbury Roads, Forest Hill
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Company: Jean and Mark

A rather extensive menu offers plenty of mains, seafoods, pastas and risottos. In addition, they also have nachos, baked spuds and burgers. The steak comes on a massive plate, with a generous serving of either chips and salad or mash and vegies. I found the mash a little too on the sour side, but other than that, the meal couldn't be faulted.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Very very casual. This is a typical family restaurant, and when busy, can get rather loud. It's a good place to relax and enjoy good food.

Very decent, for the serving sizes, the food was totally worth the price.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
A good local place to grab a quick bite.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Don Tojo

Location: Cardigan Street, Carlton
Cuisine: Japanese
Company: Terry

Lowei suggested this place when Terry and I were looking for a quick bite before our negotiations competition. Turns out I'll have to trust Lowei's judgment of food from now on!

The menu was small and totaled about 10 choices, ranging from don (rice) to udon (noodle soups). My sukiyaki (beef) udon soup came loaded with beef, bamboo shoots and udon noodles. Although a little on the dry side (it could have had more soup), it was full of flavour and almost reminded me of the beef I had at Yoshinoya in Hong Kong. Terry's sukiyaki don came also heaped with lots and lots of beef and vegies.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The place was rather small, and very casual. It appeared like a place for people after a quick but filling meal, and the service was quite fast - quite possibly due to the limited menu.

Very cheap. All dishes were under $10.

~Overall Impression: 8.5/10~Adding this place to my list of quick and cheap eateries!
Don Tojo on Urbanspoon

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar

Location: 295 Drummond Street, Carlton South
Cuisine: Italian
Company: Terry, Lowei, John, Rihan

This Italian restaurant and 'Mozzarella Bar' specialises in pizzas with various creative toppings, all done in the traditional Italian way. They also have various 'antipizzas' and 'insalatas'. We ordered 4 pizzas to share amongst the 5 of us, the Italian names are a little too hard to recall but they can be roughly referred to as:
  • Pancetta and [loads of] mozzarella and tomato sauce
  • Chicory, cheese and lemon - the lemon was a tad weird, but creative
  • Lamb sausages with creme broccoli and cheese
  • Porchetta with salad on top
The bases were crisp, even when cold, unlike typical pizza bases which go solid when they go cold. The boys then ordered dessert. The sweet pizza looked delicious, and came with strawberries, ice-cream and white chocolate.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The place was bustling when we arrived, and well and truly packed. We were told to put down our names and then stand around and wait. We were finally seated about half an hour later. Service was quite good, although somewhat slow. The waiters and waitresses weren't too rude but took forever to take our orders, bring out the food and then to even get us the bill.

Pizzas cost about $15-$20 each, depending on which one you went for. Desserts were about $8. Drinks ranged from $3.50 for soft-drinks to $7 for a glass of wine.

~Overall Impression: 8/10~The food was great, and we spotted a few dishes we'd like to try the next time we go. Although slow, the food was worth the wait. And a bonus is that they shave their meats fresh - with a giant meat shaver out the front.

D.O.C. Pizza and Mozzarella Bar on Urbanspoon