Thursday, July 15, 2010


Location: Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: Mexican/ Tapas

The dinner started with a Taco de Pescado (Grilled fish with lime, achiote paste & red onion salsa). This dish was a great start to the meal as it was light and fresh, but also had a tangy/spicy flavor which was probably the achiote paste. The taco was soft shell, and not crunchy which differed from expectations.

(Grilled fish with lime, achiote paste & red onion salsa taco)

Next was the taco with duck. This dish was pleasant, but didn’t meet the excellence of the grilled fish taco. After adding the salsa to the taco that was on the table, the taco tasted better as it probably needed a sauce.

(taco with duck)

The quesadilla with mexican truffle, mushrooms, roasted corn, epazote & queso fresco was next up. This was a unique dish as the table had not eaten anything like it. The mushroom and truffle were the most distinctive flavours and was quite nice after a few bites.

(quesadilla with mexican truffle, mushrooms, roasted corn, epazote & queso fresco)

Tostaditas were crunchy “traditional” tacos and came in three varieties.
The slow braised pork shoulder with encurtidos & jalapenos taco was quite dry and had a bit too much meat on it (which isn’t a bad thing normally).
The next tostadita was the mud crab. This was the highlight. It was fresh and a great balance of flavours. Lovely and exceptional.
The market fish with lime, guacamole, nasturtiums & serrano chili tostadita was ordered after the first few dishes. This dish was also a highlight as it was also fresh and the hint of lime made the dish impeccable.

(Right: slow braised pork shoulder with encurtidos & jalapenos taco
Left: tostadita was the mud crab)

(market fish with lime, guacamole, nasturtiums & serrano chili tostadita)

To finish off the meal, we had the fresh mint flan with caramel. This was also a memorable dish as the caramel was superb. It was not overpowering with sweetness and the hint of bitterness created a good complement to the flan. Quote from a member of the dinner party was that the caramel was the “I’ve ever tasted”.

(Mint Flan with caramel)

Now, this is where the experience became interesting. The flan had a slight crack in it on the side, and the manager came up to the table and commented ‘I would have provided you with one without the crack…if I knew you were taking photos’. He also asked us which blog we were from and mentioned other blogs such as jeroxie and im hungry. Then we revealed our identity as gluttonygluttony.

Busy. The restaurant is very busy, so be warned get there early (5pm) or book (if 8 or more people). Not too loud and not too quiet which was good. The lighting was dark and “typical” tapas environment.

Very good. We were seated straight away, and menus were provided immediately. The waiter described all the categories of food which was good. Furthermore, the water was filled efficiently and finished dishes were promptly removed.

$90 for 3 people
Value for money IMO.

~Overall Impression~
Very good Mexican food. Will return soon!
Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Location: 5/55 Woolley Street, Dickson ACT 2602
Phone: (02) 6262 5500
Cuisine: Italian

Zeffirelli's really justifies the saying that you get what you pay for. Being a cheap family restaurant, a large proportion of the menu was around the $10-$15 mark. Which probably explains why the service was so appalling.

Firstly, it took them over 10 minutes to get us seated, despite the fact that we had made a booking. Then it took them 45 minutes to take our orders - and this involved one of us actually getting a waiter to come and take the orders. The menu looked pretty amazing and it was hard to choose between dishes, but 45 minutes? Seriously?

Having finally ordered, we waited to see how long the food took. One person's meal came out 15 minutes after ordering, and we started to get excited, and were almost prepared to forgive the 45 minute wait to order. We got excited too early - the rest of the food did not arrive until 35 minutes after we had first ordered.

Being pretty annoyed (and extremely hungry) by the time we finally got our food, I was expecting my food to taste amazing. 

Marinara pizza: tomato, cheese, seasoned seafood tossed in garlic and parsley

Unfortunately for me, my pizza was a little on the dry side (like they had left it in the oven just that little too long) and the sauce was not quite tomato-y enough. The seafood was a little overcooked and chewy, but other than that they nicely flavoured. The base would have been the only thing they managed to get perfect - being soft and fluffy on the inside, but crispy enough to hold its shape when eating.

Home made spinach and ricotta ravioli with calabrese sauce (hot salami, white wine, olives, onion, fresh tomato, shallots, chilli and oregano in napoletano sauce)

Erin's ravioli was quite nicely done, and the strongly flavoured sauce complemented the more subtle spinach and ricotta ravioli.

The general consensus seemed to be that we would not be returning there. At least not any time soon.

Overall Impression: 4/10
Zeffirelli Dickson on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Maze @ Crown Metropol

Location: Level 1, Crown Metropol, cnr Whiteman and Clarendon Streets, Southbank, VIC 3006

Phone: (03) 9292 8300 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (03) 9292 8300      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Cuisine: French, Modern Australian

After months of waiting, we finally secured a booking at Maze Melbourne and got to try it out.

Maze is located in the new part of Crown, where late night shopping really is late night shopping. We arrived and were shown to our seats. The dining area was dimly light, but the atmosphere was elegant and classy.

Complimentary warm bread with seaweed cream butter

I have never tasted better butter than this. The seaweed cream butter was smooth and rich, with a nice hint of seaweed infused in the butter. The bread was warm and crispy on the edges, soft in the centre. We were particularly pleased when they topped up the bread between courses!

Queensland mud crab, pressed watermelon, pickled ginger, rock melon sorbet

Dish of the day. Actually, probably one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The whole dish was well-balanced and so so fresh! Pressed watermelon base was sweet and crunchy, the crab was fresh and mixed in with the pickled ginger and some greens. The rock melon sorbet was surprisingly soft and smooth. Who would've thought there would be so much fruit in what was supposed to be a savoury dish!

Cauliflower veloutte, lobster

From what I was told, the cauliflower veloutte was smooth and creamy, but not too heavy. The lobster, whilst nice, was not the star of the dish though (the key part being the veloutte).

Marinated pink fir potatoes, smoked eel, sour cream, blackened leeks, shaved foie gras

From reports, this was also quite nice.

Coral trout, chicken skin, trompette royal, fennel, lemon thyme consommé

This was the second most popular dish at our table - credit probably goes to MasterChef when a Maze chef and Jonathan had to make this dish for the Celebrity Chef Challenge. The trout was beautifully cooked - tender and lightly flavoured. The chicken skin added a really good texture and flavour to the fish as well. The consumme was amazing - not too strong, but there was a depth of flavour from the vegetables.

Roasted quail, black olive caramel, young spring onions, rocket

Hot chocolate and violet fondant, salted almond ice cream

The dessert looked amazing. A few of us were slightly disappointed as we didn't quite like the violet taste (a little too strong and odd for the dessert). The salted almond ice-cream was also quite odd and something you really don't expect in ice-cream. The fondant, however, was rich with gooey melted chocolate inside, and firm on the outside casing. The ice-cream went surprisingly well with the ultra-sweet fondant. Without the violet, I think I would have enjoyed it much much more.

Coconut and white chocolate pannacotta, mango and black olive caramel

Complimentary white chocolate coated strawberry ice-cream balls

These arrived with the bill - small balls of strawberry ice-cream coated in white chocolate. A nice way to end the evening!

Service: as expected from a top restaurant such as Maze. The waitress we had made sure we knew how the ordering operated and gave us suggestions (although we didn't really follow them).

Price: not as expensive as some of the other top restaurants, but the serving sizes aren't huge so you would be looking at ordering multiple courses. The smaller 'entree' style dishes are between $12 and $18,, the larger 'main' style dishes were mostly $22-$26.

Overall Impression: 9.5/10
Maze Melbourne on Urbanspoon