Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Epocha

This is the kind of place that inspires you to blog and spread the word.  It’s a culinary adventure! We were recommended Epocha by ma soeur, and while we were in the area (going to IMAX at the Exhibition Building no less) we thought it was a good opportunity to have a taste…

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Saigon Pho (Carlton)

So I managed to make it back to Lygon Street for my Vietnamese after I was convinced that there is actually decent pizza to be had there (who would’ve thought, huh?) and pulled up a chair at Saigon Pho. It’s in the part of Lygon Street that others call the ‘terrace end’ (due to there being a lot of historical terraced shops in a row) but I call it the end of ‘world cuisine’ as you’ll find pretty much everything here except for an awful Italian pizza joint. (Here’s your Vietnamese style iced coffee and Longan drink – each $3.50)

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Tiba’s Lebanese Restaurant

I think we know each other well enough now that I can let you in on a secret restaurant of mine: Tiba’s in Sydney Road. I almost don’t want to blog about it because I understand the power of the written word, the power of word of mouth and the (very small) amount of power I wield as a food blogger (Muahahahaha)… I just don’t want to be crowded out of here or see a rise in prices. So use your new-found knowledge wisely!

Okay, seriously now. The first time I went to Tiba’s I went with a vegetarian friend of mine who insisted that this was the most filling and awesome vegetarian feast that you could get this side of the city at a fraction of what you would expect to pay. I was astounded to find that this was true, so I brought back a host of friends (well, 5 plus me) and found that this claim also holds for the meateaters and non-eaters and everything in between.

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Madame Sousou

It was one of those days at work where I didn’t even want to care. Ever have those? Some days I don’t care, but I wish I did; some days I just couldn’t have been less present. As I was sent out on assignment to my neck of the woods, I figured I would take a long lunch and try somewhere that I wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to try (other people’s tastes, wallets, etc) and when I checked out the lunch menu online… oooh la la.

Madame Sousou takes up a corner on Brunswick Street (back toward the city from Johnston Street) with a good number of outdoor seats from which to watch the passers-by, like any good restaurant in Paris. On a sunny Friday this is absolute heaven. Table for one, with my book? Don’t mind if I do.

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D.O.C. Pizza & Mozzarella Bar

I thought I had dinner already scoped out for the night with The Boy. We planned to meet up after my squash game at the Uni and go for Pho on Lygon Street. No, you didn’t hear me wrong. I wanted Vietnamese in Melbourne’s most famous Pizza mile…yeah. My squash mates had different ideas and convinced us to change plans to go and get Pizza.

But Pizza in Lygon Street? My experiences have always been bad. I mean, I like pizza (who doesn’t?) – but only in Italy. I’m a pizza snob; yes I am. Lygon Street is, for me, like running the gauntlet past various old Italian spruikers (and they’re not even attractive, unlike the ones in Hardware Lane) who are trying to pass off their various La Porchetta-like restaurants as authentic. Or any good at all.

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Komeyui

I haven’t been this surprised by Japanese for a LONG time. It was still morning when I called up Mum and asked what it was we were going to do for dinner that night. Apparently my sister had laid down the law requested Japanese. So which Japanese restaurants in the inner South/East are on my hit list? Komeyui was certainly one.

It was relatively full for a Friday night, I made a booking earlier in the day and we were the only spare table at 8pm. It’s a very clean restaurant with a good sushi bar element down one wall, where you can spy the incredible chefs doing their thing.

As you can imagine, we ordered about 8 different dishes between the four of us (not including dessert) so it was a fairly lengthy sitting with a lot of different flavours; but what excited me the most was that everything we ordered was at least ‘good’ and sometimes amazing.

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Tom Phat

You know when you haven’t seen your best friend in a while and when you meet in a ‘cool’ busy restaurant and you need to just have 2 or 3 dishes to pick from so you can get on with the catching up? Yeah? This is just to spite me. That’s 27.

But just read it and tell me you don’t want to eat every single goddamn thing on that menu!

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Morris Jones & Co

Okay, I admit it, I approached Morris Jones with a bit of scepticism. I can’t count the number of times I’ve forked out for something somewhat less than average (The Smith, I’m looking at you). I didn’t want something fad-ish and trying to do the whole ‘restaurant AND bar’ thing doesn’t really cut it. Do one and do it well is generally the motto. But… I actually think this is different.

The food at Morris Jones is worth your money. Then you can always stay for the cocktails.

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The Mess Hall

This little eatery at the top of Bourke Street is a reliable choice at pretty much any time of day, for any occasion. I’ve come here for the odd sneaky dessert, as well as for dinner (on dates, some good, others not so much…) and a good morning tea coffee the time we strategically left the building before the fire drill started (I have friends in high places, what can I say? Haha). I’d never come for lunch before, but it was actually a marvellous surprise.

Our team at work went to celebrate H’s leaving us and A and I getting qualified. Yes, so many celebratory meals! You have to have a good reason to go out all the time… and this was certainly well worth it. We took up the whole of the giant table upstairs – I didn’t even know it was up there, but easily caters to large groups.

We left it up to the boss to order a smattering of different entrees, which included the incredible croquettes (with harissa sauce, absolutely melt in your mouth), Polenta chips with aioli – polenta is a huge tick in my book, any day of the week, and these were the perfect crispness from the pan and soft polenta centres, with incredibly lip-smacking aioli. The calamari fritti with tartare and roquette was certainly the most delicious calamari I’ve had this year, hands down. I don’t know where they’re sourcing their ingredients but these were fresh, soft and tasty. Sadly, no photo, but the croquettes were pretty photogenic:

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PM24

Was it ever going to be any wonder that I’d choose PM24 for a celebratory dinner? For me, it was ticking all of the boxes: Philippe Mouchel (back to wow me again), French Bistro-style cuisine, Pinot & Duck combinations and the promise of dessert later…heaven on a plate. The only problem was this: do I book it in for the celebration of getting certified (April) or my Birthday (June)? After a collegue of mine went back in March, I figured I couldn’t really hold back any longer.

And yes, I do believe that is PM himself at the counter there placing the finishing touches on some dishes! (My sister, ever the food-fangirl, got him to sign a menu at the end of the night. Typical)

And yes, it HAS taken me over a month to get my act together and blog about the experience. And for this gushing post I am truly, truly sorry. If the sight of warm sourdough makes you salivate like a puppy, look away now.

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