All posts by piglet

Abbotsford: Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
https://threebagsfullcafe.com.au/
Tel: (03) 9421 2732
Menu link – here

I would have to say Three Bags Full is one of the best brunch cafes in Melbourne. Good coffee, obviously great baristas, and consistently great food.

We ordered two of the Cajun Soft Shell Crab Burgers this time around and the Chilli Scrambled Eggs.

Chilli Scrambled Eggs – fried chilli and soybean scrambled on toast, pickled mixed mushrooms, crispy shallots, chilli threads, coriander shoots & chilli oil. Boy is this tasty. This goes beyond the normal chilli scrambled eggs dished up by other cafes and leaves your taste buds singing, working out all the elements in the scrambled egg as you eat each mouthful.

The cajun soft shell crab burger – with white cabbage and green chilli slaw, tabasco aioli & fresh lime with sweet potato fries is again everything you’d expect from a soft shell crab burger. crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside the crab is cooked well, and all the elements go together on the plate.

Do come here, it’s well worth it!

Food: 9/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 31.5/40
$$

Three Bags Full Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Brunswick: Misoya Sake Bar

Misoya Sake Bar
165A Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC 3056
(03) 8589 3685

This is my ‘go to’ ramen place in Brunswick. I am here quite often. So one of the first things I love about Misoya Sake Bar is that there is no MSG. Frequently a lot of Japanese restaurants are loaded with MSG.

They focus on toriro – Japanese chicken broth and have a vegetarian broth option as well. I guess my point is, don’t come in thinking that you’re in for a tonkotsu (pork) broth. Their toriro is indeed very thick, creamy and gelatinous chicken stock. I mainly go in and order the misoya special ramen, which is the thick gelatinous broth with miso added. There are normally two pieces of very tender pork belly, one 6 minute egg, and spring onions and seaweed in every bowl. The noodles are decent but probably not the best noodle I’ve tasted. However it is still a very decent and satifying meal. Misoya Sake Bar provide a very generous serving, and for the price point $16, not a bad place when you’re too lazy to cook at home on a cold winter’s Melbourne night.

Misoya special ramen:
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Vege miso ramen: Decent, and very tomato and corn based. Not a bad vegetarian option, but lacks the depth of flavour and moorish nature of the chicken broth ramen options.
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Food: 7.5/10
Value for money: 8/10
Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30/40
$

Ramen Misoya Sake Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasmania: Dandy Lane

Dandy Lane
10/138 Collins St, Hobart TAS 7000
http://dandy-lane.com/

Dandy Lane is located in the Hobart CBD. It is tucked away from the main CBD foot-traffic, and quite unassuming. Great clean, calm atmosphere once you walk in, and friendly staff. I loved firstly that they used Bonsoy soy milk and Milklab almond milk. The coffee is decent.

Dandy Lane’s menu can be found here. 

We ordered the:

  • Zucchini, Fetta & Mint Fritters with grilled haloumi, poached eggs, pickled cucumber, harissa labna, soft herbs
  • Herb & Parmesan Rosti with spinach, poached egg, hollandaise, avocado & haloumi

I asked for hollandaise on the side, as I’m not a great fan of hollandaise sauce in general. Both were exceptionally yummy, well-cooked and well balanced dishes. The zucchini, fetta and mint fritters had a middle eastern influence and were delicious. The herb and parmesan rosti was more like a well cooked mash mix inside rather than the grated potato kind of rosti, but still delicious. Dandy Lane is well worth a repeat visit.

I would highly recommend going here for brunch.

Dandy Lane 4

 

Dandy Lane 5

Food: 8/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30.5/40
$$

Dandy Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tasmania: Urban Greek

Urban Greek
103 Murray St, Hobart TAS 7000
Tel: (03) 6109 4712
http://www.urbangreekhobart.com/

Urban Greek looks small from the sidewalk, but is quite spacious inside.

The menu is much more extensive when you arrive in person, than on their website. Pages and pages long.

We started with the house red by the carafe, which was pretty decent.

We choose the chargrilled octopus for the entree. Delicious. As good as something that you’d get in Greece. The octopus was tender and had a beautiful char. There was already some vinaigrette on top. They give you another shot glass filled with vinaigrette, and the good thing is the waitress warned us that we might not need it. It was true, the dish didn’t need anymore vinaigrette. Great start to the night.

Next we picked one of the specials for the day, pork hock with salad and roasted potatoes. The dish was very generous and actually could have fed two people quite easily. The pork hock was well cooked, and very substantial. The sauce was not bad. The potatoes weren’t the most tender. Had a bit of a chewy taste to them, so I didn’t really enjoy it that much. The salad accompaniment was again, okay but not great.

Urban Greek 2

The second main we choose was again, a very generous serving size. Salmon with a herb crust, cauliflower risotto and a herb oil dressing. Honestly this dish was not great. It doesn’t warn you on the menu that the cauliflower risotto has such a strong blue cheese through it, and is too creamy. You just feel like you’re being smacked in the face with blue cheese and just eating a spoon full of dairy. The cauliflower gets so lost in the mix. The salmon was cooked well, and actually if you picked out the salmon meat, that was quite pleasant. The herb crust though was over fried, and had a strong bitter taste to it which I didn’t find too pleasant to eat either. So because it had so many over powering flavours, I tasted but didn’t touch the herb oil. There were just too many strong flavours, and overall a very poorly executed dish.

Urban Greek 3

Perhaps if we had chosen another two mains we might have felt differently about this restaurant. Very friendly and attentive wait staff.

Food: 6/10
Value for money: 7/10
Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 27.5/40
$$

Tasmania: Peacock and Jones

Peacock and Jones
33 Hunter St, Hobart TAS 7000
1800 375 692
http://peacockandjones.com.au/

Peacock and Jones, intriguing building. Loved the modernised decor to an historic building.

The staff are warm and seem to be very family oriented to each other.

So on to the food. We ordered:

  • chicken liver parfait | preserves | madeira jelly |  house brioche
  • market fish | vadouvan | honey bug | fried curry leaves
  • huon valley berkshire pork chop | pomme puree | crackle | sauce perigueux

I guess I want to make mention of the bread and butter that came out first. I would have liked the bread to have been warmed potentially. The butter just seemed pretty standard, nothing to write home about. Even the bread basket can set an impression for the night.

So the house brioche was very well done. Lovely and toasted. The chicken liver parfait and madeira jelly was quite satisfying. Very rich however. Shared between two, we couldn’t eat it all. The radish and the blackcurrant preserve accompaniments paired well. The radish was crisp and fresh, and the blackcurrant gave it a sweet, sour note which both cut the richness of the liver parfait well. Unfortunately I still compare all chicken liver and foie gras parfaits to Heston Blumenthal’s Meat Fruit at Dinner… so in comparison this is fairly well executed but still can’t touch the awe I still have for the Meat Fruit.

Moving on to mains, I was a little disappointed there weren’t better vegetarian or white meat options. On their website, they seem to have more variety listed, than when we went in person and viewed their night’s menu.

The market fish was ling. Ling is probably not my favourite choice of fish, barramundi, perch, cod, kingfish, salmon all come to mind before Ling as a fine dining fish of choice.

Whilst the dish was cooked okay, I liked the honey bug element on the plate, the ling was okay, but I didn’t really enjoy the curry leaf jus.

The Huon valley berkshire pork chop though, was cooked very well. Beautiful crackling – I wanted more! The pork was cooked well, pomme puree was smooth, creamy and silky and sauce perigueux was delicious. A well executed fairly standard pairing.

Overall, I would say a decent dinner, and great service by our lovely and very entertaining waiter. Probably didn’t leave me morish for coming again and again though.

 

 

Food: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Overall Score: 30/40
$$$

Tasmania: Macq01

Macq01
18 Hunter St, Hobart TAS 7000
http://www.macq01.com.au/

We arrived at Macq01 coincidentally on their 1st birthday, happy birthday Macq01!

The rooms were lovely. Very stylish, clean, and well designed rooms. Great touch naming each individual room, and having a Tasmanian history and story-telling element throughout the hotel.

Lovely room amenities, tea and coffee were lovely. Perhaps coffee pods are not the most eco-friendly choice, but still the mini bar was well stocked.

Staff at the concierge and reception are lovely and well trained.

Potentially a little bit of work needed on their dinning experience. Wait staff have differing levels of training. Tea comes without a strainer, to leave you surprised when you have a cup full of tea leaves, forget to provide napkins, not very versed in the menu. Perhaps I just had a bad run of newbie wait staff.

The food is quite delicious, so the chefs know what they are doing.

The warm fireplace in the front sitting area is clearly well-loved by patrons. Great place to snuggle up and order a pinot noir or shiraz and cheese platter and just let time go by.

Breakfast though… if you’re looking for value, probably look else where. Apparently you can only order a-la-cart with the buffet for $38 per person. The buffet is just a continental buffet, and you can’t order off the a-la-cart menu without the buffet. Strange arrangement if you ask me. Perhaps they only want to cater to the guests who have booked breakfast with their accommodation, and don’t want to encourage outside patrons. Might I suggest Dandy Lane? 🙂

All in all though worth staying here for the view, location, and stylish room and amenities.

Room: 8.5/10
Hotel service: 9/10
Ambience: 9/10

Food: 8/10
Food service: 7/10
Ambience: 9/10

Tasmania: Macq01 – Old Wharf Restaurant – dessert

Old Wharf Restaurant at the Macq01 Hotel
18 Hunter St, Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: (03) 6210 7600
http://www.macq01.com.au/eat-and-drink-en.html

As we were staying at the Macq01, we thought we would fit in a sneaky dessert. Downstairs is the Old Wharf Restaurant. We ordered the Bitter chocolate tart, yuzu sorbet and sesame crisp; and an Apple tarte tatin with double cream.

Both were pleasing desserts. The bitter chocolate tart delivered in flavour, it was quite a small portioning, not that deep or generous in the filling, but still quite nice. The yuzu sorbet is well done, and does cleanse the palate and cut richness and bitterness of the tart, but I’m not convinced it goes together. The sesame crisp is again quite well done… but again I’m not convinced the flavours all marry together. Not a bad dessert, but not the best.

The Apple Tart Tatin, was lovely and caramelised, the pastry was cooked well. Quite a thin dessert, again their desserts are very small portioned and not generous feeling, it’s probably just a nice ending to a full three course meal.

Not bad, not outstanding though.

 

Food: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7/10
Overall Score: 28.5/40
$$