Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Bluestone Restaurant Bar [Lounge]

Location: 349 Flinders Lane [between Elizabeth and Queen Streets]
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Company: Stace, Alex, Ed

The thing to note with this place is that it is split up into a restaurant [upstairs] and a lounge/bar [downstairs]. The menu for the restaurant is twice as expensive as the menu for the lounge.

The lounge menu has an extensive range of pizzas, and a few mains and share plates. I had the 'greek style marinated lamb skewers, pilaf of rice, tzatziki dressing'. The lamb was a little on the dry side, the rice was cooked really well, and the tzatziki was fresh and you could taste the cucumber in it. Stace had the char-grilled tuna steak, which came with salad, Alex had the schnitzel and Ed had a pizza. The serving sizes were all fairly generous, and I didn't hear of any complaints regarding the food. Stace has all the photos on her camera.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Being a lounge/bar, the place had dim lighting and the atmosphere was very casual and relaxing. The service was a little slow, but very friendly.

The mains and pizzas ranged from $17 through to $25 depending on what was ordered. If you have the entertainment guide, there's a voucher in there for 25% off.

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
Very impressed with the service and the atmosphere. No doubt we'll be back again.

Terra Rossa

Location: 87 Flinders Lane [between Russell and Exhibition Streets]
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Italian, Tapas
Company: BD Clerks

We didn't get much of a say in terms of what to order as everything had been pre-ordered for us, but the food that came out was fantastic! We had a series of pizzas, including a lamb one, which all had perfectly crisp bases, and lots of topping.

The menu also has a range of tapas, pastas and other mains, and for the drinkers, a very extensive drinks list.

~Atmosphere and Service~
The place was bustling on a Monday lunch. Being one of few decent restaurants in the Paris end of Collins Street / Flinders Lane, it tends to attract a lot of suited up people. The service was pretty ordinary, although I admit I was impressed with the way they handled a group of twenty-odd clerks spread over two long tables. The only main flaw was a waitress snapping at one of the clerks for asking for an 'ice chocolate'. Since the meal had already been pre-arranged and paid for, only soft drinks were covered. This wasn't an issue, but the waitress snapped and said 'you can only choose soft drink' instead of just informing us that it wasn't on the set menu.

The pizzas were fairly large and cost between $15 and $20 each. The tapas seems a little more on the expensive side, but then again, I haven't seen the serving sizes yet.

~Overall Impression: 8/10~
I was very impressed with the pizza, and will probably go back and try out the tapas one day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Location: 66 Flinders Lane [near Exhibition Street]
Cuisine: Italian
Company: BD Tax Team

The menu contains a wide variety of pizzas and pastas, as well as foccacias, salads and the like. I ordered a small pizza called the 'veneto', which had pancetta, roasted peppers and goat's cheese. Beautiful!! The pizza base was thin and crispy, and not solid like some places tend to make it. The pancetta was also crispy and very strongly flavoured. The roasted peppers were soft and sweet, and the goat's cheese was smooth and creamy. There could have been a little more cheese though, since the roasted peppers and tomato base made it quite sweet.

~Atmosphere and Service~
Very friendly, although going with a larger group can make it a little more crowded than usual. The service was fairly prompt, especially for gourmet pizzas like the ones we ordered.

Very decent. A small pizza was about $14, larger pizzas were around $18. Drinks were a little overpriced though [bottle of coke was $4.50].

~Overall Impression: 9/10~
Very impressed. The food was delicious, the service was fast and friendly and the prices decent. Will definitely be coming back some day!

Coffee Coffee Coffee...

I've recently discovered a number of little coffee places around the eastern end of Collins Street in the city thanks to a clerkship I'm doing in a building in the area. Here are a few:

135 Flinders Lane
The staff are friendly and the place can accommodate larger groups along the side booths. Service is moderately fast and prices are fairly standard.

~Recorded Music Salon~
Level 1, 11 Collins Street
You can easily pass the entrance and not even realise, as there is no street front. Instead, you enter through a small door off Collins Street and head upstairs. The place is nice and space, with both long and short tables. Service is quite fast and very approachable. No idea about the price.*

45 Flinders Lane
Whilst the window is visible from the street, the door itself is tucked around the corner in a little lane coming off Flinders Lane. Service was friendly but slow, although the place was pretty busy when we went in. Again, no idea about the price.*

145 Flinders Lane
Located a little further away than Breadwell, the entrance is even harder to find as one has to walk down an old cobblestone looking lane way to get to the front door. Inside the room is partially divided in two, with standard tables and chairs down one half, and a larger table with high stools surrounding it in the middle. The service was average, the waitresses were rather slow in bringing out glasses and water, and the drinks took quite a long time to come out. On the positive side, the waitresses did pour our water and one impressed me by asking if I had a nut allergy when bringing out my hot chocolate [although I thought it would have been a bit more logical to ask when taking the order!]. And again, no idea about the price.*

*One of the benefits of a clerkship is that you get taken out for coffees all the time, and the bill is usually covered by the lawyers or the firm's recruitment budget.