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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Heard about Kenzan Japanese in the good food guide? It’s been around for a while, it’s a bit of an institution (god, when do we ever escape that word in Melbourne?!) This was my first foray into the dark regions of Collins Place (that’s not supposed to sound dirty) and I wasn’t disappointed. But then again, I wasn’t footing the bill on this one.
The rounds of food went by so quickly and were so varied, it’s actually difficult to remember. Sadly, I don’t think anything stands out in particular, although the quality was very high. Pickled vegetables $8.50 (not so keen on the brussel sprouts, but hey)
Shitake stuffed with prwn and deep fried $20
Tucked away in the strip of shops up in Fitzroy North, you’ll find a delicious little Italian restaurant called Pinotta. It has a very sophistocated atmosphere, extremely good taste in food and wine, and exceptional service. They probably wondered what hit them when I showed up, late and thoroughly dishevelled.
Luckily I hadn’t missed much, just some general catching up with the family brood, warm bread and a glass of something hearty. Although the lights are low and the tablecloths are brilliantly white, there isn’t anything stuffy or too formal about the dining experience here, I felt at home as soon as we got to ordering (not ‘moccasin-level at home’… apparently I only reserve the right to wear my moccies to and from takeaway places).
First served up was the Calamari (with lemon and roquette) $21.50. It was fresh and absolutely deliciously rolled in a light battering of herbs; perfect for a cleansing of the palette before the onslaught of the mains.
One of my mates at work came up to me the other day and wanted to know if I’d been to Lupino (it’s just a short walk down from the office). He said he ‘fluked’ booking a good restaurant when he recently took his parents out to dinner and they all had an exceptionally good meal; pizza, pasta… not to mention the desserts.
I went with my drinking parter L, and because we rocked up without a booking we were seated up at the bar, where we could watch the chefs work their magic with some pasta.
Teppanyaki is a lot like spectator sport: there’s thrilling performances (and feats of athleticism), a great arena (the teppanyaki grill), aaaaand…. plenty of annoying fans. Why is it that every time I go to Miyako to have teppanyaki I’m bombarded on all sides by the slightly racist and ignorant comments of the rabble?
To the two Teppanyaki chefs: “Are you guys brothers?? Twins? You look the same!” (They do not look related). This wasn’t just once either, it was a few times. Also, a very agitated and frantic guy asks his girlfriend if they can bring drinks into the main teppanyaki area, then not a minute later, “I’m very excited about teppanyaki” says the girl, to which her boyfriend replies “Yeah, as long as we can have drinks” (clearly hanging out for some bar options).
(Yeah, I’m aware this is an awesome photo)