Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Meat & Wine Co

Restaurant: The Meat & Wine Co.
Location: 3 Freshwater Place, Queensbridge Square, Queensbridge Street, Southbank

Jenster has made a post on The Meat & Wine Co already, but I thought I'd publish my own take on the restaurant.

First impressions of the place was pretty classy, we arrived just when it was opening so basically no one was there yet. Our reservation was under the name "Pin", and was seated at our table almost imediately.

Memorable moments was when Helen asked for the lights to be brighter, but was rejected.

As for the food ...

Pork Tasting Platter - Tender pieces of pork belly, served with a burnt apple puree and flame-grilled pork chops on a bed of crushed kipfler potatoes, topped with a peach & apple chutney.

This was the our favourite dish for the night I think. (Although Emma Z who visited a few weeks later would disagree) Just the tenderness of the pork belly and the sweetness in the sauce, on a bed on potatoes. However, I would not dare attempt to eat this all by myself, between the four of us, it was just enough to leave us hanging for more next time.

Pork Tasting Platter

Pasta of the day - Linguine with mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, cherry tomatoes.
This was our least favourite dish of the night. Not enough flavour, and a bit too oily in texture. I guess it was our fault though for choosing a pasta dish at a steak place.

Pasta of the day - Linguine with mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, cherry tomatoes

Steak didn't taste particularly special, which was a huge disappointment.
and the chips? well just look at the pictures. Although, my workmate seems to really enjoy the rib-eye steaks from here.

New Yorker (Sirloin) 300g Medium

Rib-eye 350g

Overall, lets just say my quest to find the best steak is continuing.
Any recommendations? I have yet to try Squires Loft recommended by Linda

Untill next time eat well, live well,
♥ j


Restaurant: Horoki
Location: 19 Liverpool St, Melbourne
Link: (the site was at one stage working)

A few weeks back my friend (Katie) recommended Horoki (and Ezard) to me. Out of the blue one night I decided to have dinner there. We were fortunate to arrive before the dinner rush and managed to get two seats on the benches.

My first impressions of the restaurant was a friendly and welcoming environment. It is a small restaurant though, so I wouldn't recommend bringing all your friends here.

Now for the food...

First thing we had was the garlic bread as we didn't think that we got enough food, and luckily we did because it was really nice.

There was three sticks but we ate it before I remembered to take a picture of it.

Next on the list was Sashimi Daikon Salad. This was one of our favourite dishes of the night.
Awesome mixture of flavours, fresh sashimi, fish roe, salad and dressing. Just couldnt get enough of the fish roe.

Next was fried oyster. Good texture and sauce mix. But we should have gone for the naturals instead.

This was MY favourite dish. Fish roe & butter sauce pasta with seaweed.
I've never tried anything like this, and I think thats what made it so good. It was just so different from the norm. The different mixtures of the flavours and texture - the popping out the fish with the butter sauce. Must try again but with a different sauce base.

Lamb chops with a bed of mash and asian style sauce. The thing that made this different was the sauce and the seasame seeds. Nice fusion.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the food, service and ambience. Definately will be back for more.

Rating 9/10 (there is always room for improvement)

♥ j

(Lunch review to be posted)

Horoki Casual Dining Bar on Urbanspoon

Kum Tong

Location: 19-21 Andersons Creek Road, Doncaster East
Cuisine: Chinese, Yum Cha

One of our worst dining experiences out in the suburbs. This place was not just slow, but also rude and also very very average. So not worth the wait or the money.

Complimentary soup

The night started out quite pleasantly. We ordered a 4 person banquet which included oysters and abalone and our complimentary soup came out quite soon after. The soup was also quite nice, with turnips and pork bone broth.

Then the waiting began...

The remains of our steamed oysters with black bean sauce, and abalone with spring onions and ginger

As one can tell, I did not get a photo of the dish when it first came out. Why? Because we waited for half an hour after the soup before the food came out - and this was after giving numerous prompts to the waiters. And in stead of just apologising and being polite about it, the head waitress (who I believe is married to the head chef and owner) stated that the reason it was so slow was because we had taken so long to order! We just could not believe she even said it, because we ordered well over half an hour ago, and the soup came out almost immediately - soup does not arrive until you have ordered. That aside, the food itself was quite good (albeit somewhat overcooked), but we were too hungry, too angry and too short of time to care so much.

Special baked salted chicken $21.80

The chicken was quite tasty, and very salty indeed. Again there was a considerable wait between the oysters and abalone and the rest of the dishes coming out, but not as long as the first wait. The chicken could have done with more of a smokey baked smell and taste, but the dipping sauce of ginger and spring onions was the perfect accompaniment. However, it tasted just as good as what you might find at a Chinese roast house - nothing spectacular, and ridiculously expensive for what it was.

Stuffed bean curd in special soup claypot $16.80

This was not what I had expected this claypot to turn out. First I expected some sort of thick sauce, and I also expected the beancurd to have more flavour. Much more flavour. The mince meat that was used to stuff the beancurd had been over cooked and was tough and bland. The beancurd itself was also tasteless. I tried to drink the soup, but wasn't a fan of the nearly absent taste.

Stir fried snowpea leaves with garlic $15.80

Normally, I love snowpea leaves done at Chinese Restaurants, however, this one was a complete disappointment. The veggies were stringy, the stalks were tough and had some form of husk covering most of it - indications that these had exceeded their picking/harvesting time. Mind you, the garlic made the dish smell so much nicer than it actually was.

Service: rude, abrupt, slow, especially from the head waitress
Atmosphere: what a pity, because the atmosphere was quite nice, and there were two birthday celebrations on the other side of the room - identified by the happy birthday song being played quite loudly over the PA system

We are never going back again - we can get the same 'average' food from cheaper shops in Box Hill, or pay the same price and get decent food at the other restaurants in the area,

Overall Impression: 2/10

Monday, August 24, 2009


Location: Level 3, Melbourne Central
Cuisine: Japanese

Teapot and Mouse decided to host their birthday dinner at Tomodachi, to give the girls a taste of sushi train - given the popularity of sushi at work!

Some dishes from the sushi train

Complimentary edamame

Not as good as the edamame at Shogun (perhaps that was because Shogun made it fresh the first time we went), but still good nevertheless.

Tempura prawn

Beef udon

One of the best udon I have ever had. The udon was cooked until soft (unlike most places, who leave it slightly tougher) and very easily consumed. Beef was thinly sliced the gyu-niku way and well-marinated. The broth was light until you reached the end where the sauce from the marinated beef had dissolved. The snowpeas tasted quite fresh, but the slices of processed soy (pink and white slices) were a little tough and bland. The seaweed and enoki mushrooms added an extra textural dimension to the dish. The udon was served in a claypot, which helped to keep the soup and noodles warm for a slow eater like myself!

Chicken yaki udon

Vegetarian yaki udon

Vegetarian okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake)

Chicken teriyaki with rice

Seafood yaki udon

BBQ chicken with rice

Sushi and sashimi platters

The food was well-cooked and very tasty. For most of the table, sushi was a new concept and they seemed to enjoy the novelty of the train, as well as the extensive variety of dishes that travelled along it.

The service alternated between good and poor. Our main waiter for the night was particularly patient, friendly and accommodating, and even brought out complimentary edamame for the tables (about 4 bowls, each serve worth $4.50 each).

The other waitress there, on the other hand, was ridiculously rude and lazy. On requesting that the birthday cake be brought out with some plates and cutlery, the waitress informed us that they did not have enough plates and gave us five (keeping in mind that there were 12 of us). Not enough plates? It's a restaurant! So we asked our waiter for some more, and he brought over more than enough plates, and new spoons for everyone as well. We decided not to tip and instead offered the waiter a slice of cake. Tipping would have meant that the bitchy waitress would get a share of it.

And we discovered afterwards that the reason the waitress had refused to give us more plates, was because she had to clean up the table afterwards!!

Overall Impression: 8.5/10

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Max Bar and Restaurant

Location: 54-58 Hardware Lane, Melbourne
Cuisine: Modern Australian

13 people for a birthday dinner and Max was my choice. Having been there quite a few times (including a work Christmas function), I knew that they were capable of handling large groups. I also knew that there was a pretty extensive menu meaning that everyone would be able to find something to eat.

So here was all the food we ordered...

Crumbed Calamari - lightly crumbed lemon and pepper calamari served on a bed of salad and tartare sauce

Thai Beef Salad - marinated beef with hokkien noodles, crunchy Asian salad and a Thai chilli dressing

Max Classic Caesar Salad - grilled chicken fillets, bacon, crispy cos lettuce, poached egg, croutons, parmesan and anchovy dressing

Special: Chicken and Chorizo Paella

Linguini Pescatore - seafood flamed in olive oil, garlic and herbs and napoli sauce

BBQ Chicken Pizza - marinated chicken pieces, baby spinach, pineapple, mozzarella cheese and garlic yoghurt

Chicken Max - char grilled chicken breast filled with roast capsicum and macadamia nuts, served on a potato rosti and drizzled with a light dijon cream sauce

Veal Scallopini - pan cooked baby veal in a white wine sauce with garlic mash and seasonal vegetables

Main sized crumbed calamari

Prawn & Scallop Risotto - tossed with fresh tomato, garlic, chilli, white wine and fresh herbs

Salmon Fettuccini - smoked salmon, onion, capers, tomato and spinach in a white wine cream sauce

This was beautiful. The salmon was cooked but only slightly, so that the smokey flavours still remained and the meat was nice and soft. The sauce was smooth and creamy, perhaps a little on the rich side, but the tomatoes, spinach and a squeeze of lemon juice tamed it a little. The serving size was a lot bigger than it seems to be in the picture.

T-bone Steak - grain fed T-bone with a jacket potato, seasonal vegetables and a mushroom jus

Pumpkin risotto

Italian Style Lamb Shanks - oven roasted with a red wine jus and served with garlic mash and seasonal vegetables


The serving was as large as I had last time - when I ate it by myself. I always find the chocolate gelati doesn't quite fit in with the strawberry and what I think is either lemon or pineapple, but on its own tastes smooth and creamy.

Warm chocolate pudding with vanilla ice-cream

By all means, the dish of the night. The pudding was thin and wafery on the outside, and oozing with chocolately goodness on the inside. The chocolate sauce on the outside was rich and just sweet enough, and surprisingly did not cause a chocolate overkill with the chocolate goo inside. The ice-cream was just ice-cream, but necessary to balance out the richness of the rest of the plate.

Sticky date pudding with vanilla ice-cream

The food was pretty good value for money, especially the $27 two course meal deal. We were very disappointed with the waitress who served our table though - she was particularly rude and abrupt about how the deal worked. Generally the male waiters at Max are a lot more polite and friendly. She destroyed the restaurant's reputation for good service.

Overall Impression: 7.5/10

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Meat & Wine Co

Location: 3 Freshwater Place, Queensbridge Square, Queensbridge Street, Southbank
Cuisine: Grill, Modern Australia

I've been meaning to try out this place for over a year now, and we finally decided to give it a go!

The table settings

Pasta of the day - linguine with asparagus, spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes

This dish actually tasted really good. Fresh, light and simple. At times the linguine lacked a little flavour, but the lightness of the vegies helped balance this dish out with the rest of the dishes to follow.

Pork tasting platter - tender pieces of pork belly, served with a burnt apple puree and flame-grilled pork chops on a bed of crushed kipfler potatoes, topped with a peach and apple chutney

By far the best dish of the night. The pork belly was extremely tender and juicy, the pork chops equally well-marinated and grilled. Some of it was slightly charred, but added a very nice smokey effect to the smell and taste. The accompanying chutney and apple puree worked harmoniously with the meats and the bed (or tower) of potatoes was soft and crumbly, mixing well with the chutney and puree. We could have gone for seconds of this dish had we not had two other steaks awaiting us.

New Yorker Sirloin - (Angus 120 day grain-fed) 300g with mushroom sauce

Rib-eye - (Angus 120 day grain-fed) 350g with mushroom sauce

The steaks were both quite good, I couldn't tell a whole heap of difference between them, but then again I do not claim to be a steak expert. We ordered both to be cooked medium, and they came out slightly pink in the middle, but soft and juicy on the outside. The mushroom sauce was incredible - creamy, and loaded with chopped mushrooms!

Garden salad

We actually ordered one steak with a garden salad and the other with chips - however, as you can see in the pictures above, they brought out both with chips. So they brought us a separate garden salad...leaving us with twice the chips for the same price!

The service was pleasant and classy, which matched the table settings and the general decor of the place. It was hard at time to get service though, as the night was quite busy - and we went on a Monday night too. Tip is to book if you don't want to be left waiting for a table.

Overall Impression: 9/10