Lunch @ Etto – Italian Street Pasta

IMG_3720IMG_3723

K’s meal:
Black Angus, white wine & vegetable ravioli w/ Roma tomato napoli ($12) – 
rich Italian tomato sauce with onion, garlic & Italian herbs
IMG_3724

C’s meal:
Chilli linguini w/ Roasted Vegetable Caponata ($11) – 
zucchini, red capsicum & eggplant roasted in confit garlic and a Roma tomato napoli sauce
IMG_3726

My meal:
Chilli linguini w/ wagyu meatball polpette ($13) – 100% wagyu mini meatballs in a Roma tomato napoli sauce topped with crunchy herb breadcrumbs.
I honestly didn’t find anything particularly outstanding about this dish. The pasta was pretty sloppily presented on all of our plates and veggies were scarce on C’s dish (in contrast, mine had a lot of pasta and meatballs). The flavours of my sauce were barely distinguishable… I had to add a lot of salt and pepper to make it less bland. The pasta was a bit underdone, but for me under>overcooked pasta so that didn’t bother me too much, and the dish overall came out pretty lukewarm. In saying that, the wagyu meatballs were juicy, meaty and beautifully pink inside. I also appreciated the breadcrumbs together with the parmesan because it added a textural element to the meal.

IMG_3728

6.5/10

Try this place out if you’re ever in the area and wanting some quick food and/or takeaway; it’s definitely a great option for workers there who are on their lunch break. The owner was very friendly and eager to give suggestions if you’re stuck on what to order (like I was) and the restaurant itself is quite funky with outdoor seating! However, would I eat here again? Perhaps, if the opportunity arises but I wouldn’t go out of my way to come back.

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 6.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – colourful/quirky, local
Overall experience – 7/10

Interested?
Etto – Italian Street Pasta (Italian)
261 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
(03) 9696 3886
Open Monday to Friday 11.30AM – 9.30PM, Saturday & Sunday 12PM – 9.30PM
Eat in or Takeaway

Ciao! Grazie! 🙂
From your weekly foodie,
– T

Advertisements

Lunch @ Footscray Best Kebab House

Now, one must be very bold and confident in order to claim oneself as the best. In addition to that, others would expect them to live up to their self-acclaimed title. In this case, I believe Footscray Best Kebab House has fallen a tiny bit short from the “best”, as I’ve had better kebab plates from other restaurants. Don’t expect anything fancy from this restaurant… I mean after all, it is Footscray. This place is just plain, simple, authentic. The staff was slightly unfriendly but maybe it’s because of the 30 degree heat. Don’t get me wrong, the food was still delicious and I finished every spoonful. I guess I’ll just have to come back another time to try their actual kebabs and see if I can be proven wrong!

My meal:
Small kebab plate ($13) – 
your choice of meat, 2 dips w/ salad and turkish bread. I opted for the lamb & chicken w/ cacik and red capsicum dips. The dips were delicious, particularly the red capsicum which had a nice sweetness to it. The turkish bread was definitely one of the best; it was fluffy, light and chewy whilst still retaining its crispy exterior (heavenly!). The salad was a bit of a letdown as it was too salty, however that faded when eaten with everything else. I would’ve preferred to have the dips separate from the salad to preserve its freshness and the meat to be cut in thin long slices instead of shreds because it tends to be a bit dry but that’s just me being picky. Overall, a comforting and generous meal that leaves you satisfying full and happy!

8.5/10

8.5/10

A.T’s Meal:
Large kebab plate ($15) – your choice of meat, 2 dips w/ salad and turkish bread. A.T went for lamb & chicken w/ cacik and hot chilli. 

IMG_3709IMG_3707

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – very reasonable
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – casual
Overall experience – 7.5/10

Interested?
Footscray Best Kebab House
93 Nicholson Street, Footscray
(03) 9689 0777
Open Monday to Saturday 9AM – 7PM
Closed on Sunday
Footscray Best Kebab House on Urbanspoon

Stay tuned for next week’s post!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Brunch @ Common Galaxia

As mentioned from an earlier post, I am not a big fan of the most overpriced meal of the day a.k.a brunch, however I’ve decided to be more open minded and give different places a go. The first brunch place since my “change of perspective” being Common Galaxia. It is the ideal place to go on a nice warm day, although I still think it was a bit overpriced (I have yet to find a brunch place that isn’t… any recommendations?). The restaurant is trendy and modern with large windows inviting the relaxing sunshine, and is furnished with clean wooden tables and chairs. It’s got a cosy feel to it, which makes you feel like a local there. The staff was quite friendly and helpful with the menu and service was quick.

My Meal:
Smoked salmon on sourdough w/ spicy avocado puree, 2 poached eggs w/ tomato & herb salsa ($18.50) – 
I thought this was quite a nice dish. I’m usually not a fan of tomatoes, especially eating them by itself but Common Galaxia may have converted me. I could’ve eaten those tomatoes all day, it was nicely dressed with a tangy yet sweet taste. The salmon went great with the sourdough bread and my oh my, that spicy avocado puree was just an explosion of flavour. However, the poached eggs just killed it for me; they were a tad overdone and made the dish very heavy. The meal would have been much better without them (deduction of one point for each poached egg haha)!

IMG_3699

8/10

A.T’s Meal:
Avocado w/ blood orange, marinated goat’s cheese, basil, almonds & radish on toast + extra poached egg ($16.50 + $2.50 = $19) – 
A.T seemed to really enjoy his meal and also agreed that his dish didn’t need that added poached egg. I was able to grab a couple of forkfuls of his brunch and I loveed it! Just when you think the creaminess of the avocado is too much, you are hit with the great texture and crunch from the almonds and a burst of harmonious flavours of salty and tart from the blood orange together with the goat’s cheese. A very well thought out menu.

IMG_3701

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8/10
Price (based on food quality) – a bit overpriced
Service – 7.5/10
Atmosphere – trendy & modern, local
Overall experience – 7.5/10

Interested?
Common Galaxia (Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch, Modern Australian)
Shop 3-4, 130 Victoria Street, Seddon
(03) 9689 0309
Open Monday to Friday 7.30AM – 4PM, Saturday & Sunday 8AM – 4PM
http://commongalaxia.com.au/
Common Galaxia on Urbanspoon

It is so good to be back!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Dinner @ Mesa Verde

C and I took our friend K to Mesa Verde for her birthday before watching a movie at the rooftop of curtin house. The restaurant is spacious, with a projector showing Mexican films on the wall, Mexican vintage candles and lamps all around the restaurant and on each table as well as a bar displaying hundreds of different tequilas, showcasing such a rustic and sultry ambience. The waitress was warm, welcoming and helpful with the menu. Oh and a little not-so-secret of mine: the way to really win me over is through the cleanliness and look of the restaurant’s toilets (that’s because I tend to go very often) and Mesa Verde really hits the spot. The toilets were not only clean and modern but it had a view (not the best view in the world but nevertheless, still a view) which instantly made me a very happy chap. I would recommend dining here if you’re ever in the city, especially if you’re not sure where to dine before your movie at the rooftop cinemas!
IMG_3383
IMG_3410

IMG_3387

Grilled Corn – w/ chipotle mayo, cheese & lime (3 for $9.50)
Seriously can’t go wrong with juicy grilled corn on the cob, some chipotle sauce, parmesan cheese and a squeeze of sour goodness to tie it all in. Mesa Verde even has their own sauce, which was extra spicy (just how the Mexicans like it) but it just made the corn that much better. Great banging starter! 8/10
IMG_3395IMG_3408

Tacos (from left to right) – baja prawn, chipotle mayo & iceburg lettuce ($8.50), potato and pork chorizo, romesco ($6.50)grilled skirt steak & red chimichurri ($8.50)
I had the baja prawn. I thought the taco itself was smaller than the usual tacos I’ve eaten but they weren’t hesitant on their filling portions. My prawns were delicately cooked although I found the taco rather average and plain. It needed more sauce and a bit more spice… just something to really bring the flavours alive. 7/10
IMG_3391IMG_3405

Salad – watermelon, seeds, beets, pomegranate and mint ($14)
This is the perfect salad for summer or the warmer climates. So refreshing, juicy and just really easy to swallow down. I never knew watermelon and mint could be such a harmonious match! The flavours were evenly balanced, and the seeds provided a crunchy texture. Loved it! 8.5/10
IMG_3400

Fried Chicken Wings (3 pieces, $10)
I really enjoyed the chicken wings, especially the seasoning/marinade that they use. It was amazing! The most beautiful concoction of savoury, salty and spicy flavours just lingered on my tongue. The meat was tender but the only major disappointment was that it came out cold. The restaurant only had one waitress at the time (kudos for her efforts) but the wings must’ve slipped her mind as she was tending to her other customers. 7.5/10
IMG_3412

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 8/10
Atmosphere – social, rustic
Overall experience – 8/10

Interested?
Mesa Verde (Mexican)
Level 6 Curtin House, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne (CBD)
(03) 9654 4417
Open Hours:
Bar open Tuesday to Sunday 5PM – late
Kitchen open Tuesday to Thursday & Saturday 6PM – late, Friday 5PM – late
Bar closed on Monday, Kitchen closed on Sunday & Monday
Mesa Verde on Urbanspoon

Happy Dining! 🙂
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Dinner @ Burger Culture

Burger Culture is a great local place to pop in when you’re around the area on a nice warm day. They have great tasting burgers and lovely tables and chairs that will make you feel like you’re at home. Though I’ll be honest, the staff were quite mundane and didn’t really open up to the customers.

IMG_3315

Chips w/ dipping sauces ($5) – thick cut chips ($4) sprinkled w/ crushed salt and rosemary served with culture mayo & chilli mayo dipping sauces ($0.50c each)
Chips were mediocre. The smaller sized chips had a great crunch, but the longer chips could’ve been cooked for longer in my opinion. The chips also needed a tad more salt and rosemary for the flavours to really come alive. The dipping sauces had a thicker consistency than the usual creamy sauces… which I didn’t mind that much. It just made it harder to really dip the chips in, so I would’ve preferred a more creamier texture. The flavours of the mayo dips were the standard mayo with a few added spices, nothing unique or memorable.

IMG_3329

6.5/10

A.T’s meal:
‘The Spartan’ Beef Culture Burger ($9.50) – lean beef, roasted capsicum, fetta cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, tzatziki, kalamata olives, & tomato relish in a wholemeal bun

IMG_3326

My meal:
‘New Yorker’ Beef Culture burger ($9) – 
lean beef, caramelised onions, swiss cheese, tomato lettuce, tomato relish & culture mayo in a wholemeal bun
The meat was cooked well and I liked how all the ingredients tasted together. Standard burger which tasted great, one thing I would say is that it would’ve been much better if the dip was creamier because I found that the burger was quite dry. I’m really impressed on how they assembled the burger as everything was stacked carefully on top of each other and it was cleaner and easier to eat.

IMG_3321

8/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – cheap
Service – 5/10
Atmosphere – casual, beachy/local diner
Overall experience – 7/10

Interested?
Burger Culture (American/Burgers)
3 Cole Street, Williamstown
(03) 9397 7156
Open Monday to Sunday
http://www.burgerculture.com.au/
http://www.facebook.com/burger.culture
Burger Culture on Urbanspoon

Have a happy new year everyone!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Dinner @ Yim Yam Yarraville

A group of friends and I went to eat at Yim Yam in Yarraville for A.T’s late birthday dinner. The restaurant is filled with a fusion of modern/urban and traditional Thai decor with a big golden statue in the middle of the dining area. Yim Yam’s service for the night was average… the waitress was very patient with us and tried to maintain her smile despite the swarming influx of diners constantly coming in. Due to the hectic nature of the restaurant, the waitresses found it difficult to pay attention to their surrounding customers and the restaurant was just overbearingly loud which really destroyed the overall experience. The presentation of their cutlery could have been more consistent as each person on the table had different sized and styled set of plates (that attention to detail nomsayn?). The quality of food on the other hand, was fantastic and I would definitely return again, perhaps to their Ascot Vale restaurant where it is much calmer and less noisy.

Roti Bread ($5) – served w/ satay sauce
IMG_3279

Papaya Salad ($12.90) – Laos salad of shredded green papaya w/ cherry tomatoes, beans, peanuts and a hot dressing
IMG_3273IMG_3278

Massaman Curry ($14.50) – indian-themed dish w/ chunks of beef, tamarind, potatoes and peanuts
IMG_3271

Creamy Seafood Curry ($20.90) – mix of prawns, mussels, fish and calamari steamed w/ herbs and served in a whole baby coconut (including an extra small bowl of curry)
IMG_3285IMG_3293

Satay Roti Roll Chicken ($8.90) – chicken & salad in a satay sauce and wrapped in roti bread
The roti bread was beautifully crisp and the chicken was tender. Simple yet all the ingredients were nicely suited for each other, and the satay sauce added a burst of flavour and thick creaminess to the dish which has gotten me coming back for more. Sensational!

IMG_3282

9/10

Pad Thai Prawn ($15.50) – Pad thai rice noodles fried w/ dried shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts & ground peppers w/ fresh prawns
Presentation could’ve been a tad neater. (N ordered the same meal and one our dishes… I think mine, was presented rather sloppily). However that could be excused because, with added squeezes of about 2 lemon slices, this dish made for a banging dinner. The noodles weren’t greasy, the prawns were beautifully cooked and with a pad thai this simple yet clean, you really can’t go wrong. I love myself some pad thai, mm mm!

IMG_3265

8.5/10

Banana Roti ($7) – caramelised banana in roti bread served w/ vanilla ice cream.
There was a whole mishap with the bill and C ended up unintentionally getting this for free. Terrible management at Yim Yam in Yarraville but it was a fortunate thing for us in the end. 🙂
IMG_3295

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – congested, busy & very loud
Overall experience – 7.5/10

Interested?
Yim Yam Yarraville (Thai&Laos)
40a Ballarat Street, Yarraville
(03) 9687 8585
Open Monday to Sunday 5PM – 10PM
http://yimyam.com.au/yarraville/
Yim Yam Thai Laos on Urbanspoon

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Lunch @ Laurie Dee’s

A.T and I decided to stop by Laurie Dee’s for lunch after my induction for a volunteer job at Pacific Epping (a place very far away from my home and where I would never imagine visiting, let alone working… but so glad I do now!). One of the best discoveries to date! Such a casual and quiet environment, Laurie Dee’s is a mix between an American diner and a fast food chain. I think the travel distance in those early mornings have now become well worth it when I know burgers as good as these are waiting for me at the end of the day.
IMG_3233IMG_3251IMG_3235IMG_3239

Chilli Cheese Fries ($8.95) – shoestring fries w/ Laurie Dee’s special seasoning and topped w/ mild beef chilli, cheese sauce and salsa fresca.
Both A.T and I agreed that the fries were tasty but also pretty average as well (and overpriced in my view, they were more expensive than the burger!). We both hoped for something spicier… it is called ‘Chilli’ Cheese Fries for a reason. I did enjoy the flavours and freshness of the ingredients blended together and found the shoestring cut of fries much easier and more addictive to eat than a thicker cut, so great choice of fries on their part!

IMG_3237

7.5/10

The Laurie Dee Burger (single patty $7.95) – angus beef minced patty, grilled onions, cheddar cheese, Special D sauce, tomato, lettuce, pickles & tomato relish.
A.T (who ordered the same burger) – when asked to review the burger, A.T thought it was appropriate and relevant to quote Marshall from How I Met Your Mother and also said that it was the best burger he has tasted to date.
TwT (me) – I would arguably agree… but at the same time, I haven’t tried many burgers in my lifetime. This juicy, sloppy, wholesome burger was just oozing of fatty goodness (though the only downfall was the oil, which kept dripping down the burger… it was one messy feast). Salty and tenderly cooked meat minced on the day, an added sour flavour and crisp of the pickles, the freshness of the tomato and lettuce, tying together with Laurie Dee’s genius combination of tomato relish and their creamy special D sauce which was special indeed. This bad boy was wrong for me in every way but tasted oh so right. A complete upgraded version of a typical American fast food burger, The Laurie Dee is great value for your buck! Definitely coming back very soon… I am already craving.

IMG_3242

9/10

Frozen Vanilla Bean Custard (single cup $2.95) – what a terrible way to end such an amazing meal. Their frozen custard just tasted like… well frozen custard. I could not taste the vanilla bean at all, it was just awfully sweet and milky. Very very sickening, both of us could only finish half of our cups and that was pushing it (we tried so hard to get through it, we really did). The only thing I liked was the ice-creamy texture.

IMG_3250

5/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 8/10
Price (based on food quality) – very reasonable
Service – 7/10
Atmosphere – casual, diner/fast food
Overall experience – 8/10

Interested?
Laurie Dee’s (American/Burgers)
Shop RE 03 Urban Diner, Pacific Epping Plaza, Epping
(03) 9408 0196
Open Monday 11AM – 5PM, Tuesday to Thursday 11AM – 9PM, Friday & Saturday 11AM – 10PM, Sunday 11AM – 8PM
Accepts Card
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laurie-Dees/211821058881980
Laurie Dees on Urbanspoon

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T