Lunch @ Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen

Service is almost non existent at this restaurant… when my mate D and I arrived, we were a bit lost because there was a worker at the bar who didn’t bother to greet or even look at us, so we just seated ourselves. Ordering is at the front counter and a staff member just comes out, places your plate on the table and leaves, that’s it. No communication. In addition, the parma I had was mediocre at best (I wouldn’t mind trying the “kickass burger”, which has received rave reviews). The only attractive aspect of Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen that could possibly convince me to come back is the ridiculously chill environment of the restaurant. It definitely lives up to its name “Lounge” ahah. The venue is spacious, rustic and just a great place to socialise and have a beer with your mates. Other than that, it’s pretty average.

Chicken Parma ($10 on Mondays, original price is $20.50) – Parma with house-made slaw and crinkle cut fries.
Every component was very lacklustre and just down right uninspiring. Nothing excited my taste-buds… the parma was dry and it was very difficult to cut into with my knife. I’m pretty sure the fries are just the typical McCain frozen crinkle cuts or something of the like, and the slaw tasted like cabbage mixed with mayonnaise. No love and care were seen that day (lol). Even though I only paid $10, I expected the parma to be at least a tad better than this. I wouldn’t pay $10 again for this dish, let alone $20.50. Very disappointing meal.

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3.5/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 3.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – not worth it
Service – not sure how to judge… there wasn’t a service?
Atmosphere – chill, social, relaxed
Overall experience – 3.5/10

Interested?
Lounge/Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen (American)
243 Swanston St, Melbourne (CBD)
(03) 9663 2916
Open Monday to Friday 12PM-10PM, Saturday & Sunday 2PM-10PM
http://gloriaswanstons.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/gloriaswanstonskitchen
Gloria Swanston's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

 

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Lunch @ Etto – Italian Street Pasta

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K’s meal:
Black Angus, white wine & vegetable ravioli w/ Roma tomato napoli ($12) – 
rich Italian tomato sauce with onion, garlic & Italian herbs
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C’s meal:
Chilli linguini w/ Roasted Vegetable Caponata ($11) – 
zucchini, red capsicum & eggplant roasted in confit garlic and a Roma tomato napoli sauce
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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.

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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

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. 

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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

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.
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Lunch @ Iv’s Burritos Food Truck

Iv’s Burritos is one of the freshest food trucks to come out and deliver food to the Melbourne masses, having been on the market for only around three months. Knowing how much A.T loves his burritos and how much I love my food trucks, I just couldn’t let this opportunity pass, it was a win-win! The food truck is run by a great team (nice guys, they were very timid at the start but they opened up a bit more when I told them about my blog), and they strive to use ingredients which are ethically sourced! Their burritos are securely wrapped, quite generous with their fillings and they taste lovely 🙂

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A’s meal:
Pulled Pork Burrito ($11 + $1 guacamole = $12) – flour tortilla w/ oregano saffron infused rice, refried beans, sour cream, smokey BBQ pulled pork filling, hot jalapeno salso verde and added guacamole.

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My meal:
Spiced Chicken Burrito ($11 + $1 cheese = $12) – flour tortilla w/ oregano saffron infused rice, refried beans, sour cream, mexican spiced chicken, mild chipotle mayo and added mozzarella cheese.
My burrito was pretty banging. Not sure if it was because I was super hungry but I had a really good meal. The rice was flavoursome and had a soft texture, there weren’t a lot of beans in my burrito which was perfect for me, and it was wrapped very tightly. The chicken was tender too. I just wish there was more of that salsa/salad to give it that extra crunch and freshness.

7/10

7.5/10

Our dessert:
Chocolate Brownie w/ Orange Glaze ($3.50) – the brownie itself was delicious; very soft and moist with a nice chocolate flavour. However I thought it could’ve gone without the orange glaze because it had this intense and strong bitterness which was way too overpowering for both A.T and I.

7/10

7/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 7/10
Overall experience – 7/10

Interested?
Iv’s Burritos (Mexican Food Truck)
0423 215 255
Check our their websites for trading times and locations:
http://www.ivsburritos.com.au
http://www.facebook.com/IvsBurritos
http://www.twitter.com/IvsBurritos
Iv's Burritos on Urbanspoon

Hope to see y’all next week 🙂
From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Lunch @ PappaRich

I’ve been curious about this place for a while as there’s almost always a bunch of people lining up outside, waiting to go in… and I’ve finally got around to trying it! Their food was delicious (especially the roti!) and they had great music playing in the background… particularly que sera sera and stand by me. The restaurant setting catered to all sorts of customers from couples and groups of friends to even families, and includes both indoor and outdoor dining.

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PappaRich is pretty unique in that they have a manual system where you order what you want by filling in the form then ringing the bell when you’re ready for the staff to collect your sheet. It’s efficient as the restaurant is pretty big and constantly busy, but there are also a lot that can go wrong:
1. There were two instances where workers got confused with the tables and gave us something we didn’t order
2. Even though we rang the bell, it took a while for the staff to actually come and collect the sheet off us
3. It’s hard to let them know of any allergies or ingredients you want to exclude from your dish because there’s limited space to write on the pieces of paper.
The staff looked pretty miserable and there’s a lack of communication between the workers and the customers. Hence, PappaRich lacked that hospitality needed to uplift the overall dining experience. It’s a shame about the service, because I really enjoyed the food.

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Our shared meals:
Roti Canai ($5.90) – fluffy and slightly crispy hand tossed bread w/ curry sauce, curry dhal and chutney (I think it was dhal and chutney?… please correct me if I’m wrong here!).
The roti actually meets its description brief. It was soft, thin and crispy… I wish they gave us more than one though! The chutney was so deceiving, you initially get a nice sweetness and then BAM huge hit of spiciness, but a good type of spicy. The curry sauce had a nice depth of flavour but I didn’t like the dhal, it was served pretty cold and had a thick grainy texture.

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8/10

Pappa Deep Fried Chicken Skin ($5.90) – I love deep fried chicken skin (well any fatty foods in general) so this was delicious! Great crunch and it didn’t taste oily at all 🙂

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8/10

C and K’s meals (they ordered the same thing):
Seafood Curry Laksa ($12.90) – bowl of noodles in spicy coconut curry gravy with mussels, prawns, eggplants, tofu puffs, foo chok (beancurd skin), fish cake and bean sprouts

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My meal:
Pappa Char Kuay Teow ($11.50) – wok-fried flat noodles with prawns, egg and bean sprouts.
This dish lacked presentation; the noodles looked like it was just chucked onto the plate. However, the noodles were soft and the flavours were quite lovely. The overall serving was adequate but they needed to be more generous with their prawns!

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7/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7.5/10
Price (based on food quality) – reasonable
Service – 3/10
Atmosphere – family friendly
Overall experience – 6/10

Interested?
PappaRich (Malaysian)
Level 2, Shop 11, QV Square, 210 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD
(03) 9654 2682
Open Sunday to Thursday 10.30AM – 11.00PM, Friday & Saturday 10.30AM – 12.30AM
http://www.papparich.net.au
Accepts Card (Minimum $25)

PappaRich QV on Urbanspoon

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T

Lunch @ Warra Warra

Warra Warra

Warra Warra is tucked away at the back of Tivoli Arcade and let me tell you it is completed PACKED during lunch time mainly with corporate workers. The restaurant has normal menu options but there are also items displayed at the food bar where you go up to the counter and order, kind of like a high school cafeteria. N and I did not know this and the workers didn’t bother to explain how it all works so we were clueless… as well as a number of other diners. There were people moving and standing about everywhere so everything was just all over the place. A very slow service to add to that… the couple next to us waited even longer than us for their food and the woman was so mad she received apologies from the staff and a refund, leaving without barely touching her food. The staff were cheerful though.

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Our shared meal:
Takoyaki Balls (50c each, total = $3) – SO CHEAP! The batter wasn’t cripsy but that can be excused because it was GREAT value for money. Quite tasty 🙂

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8/10

N’s meal:
Sizzling Stone Pot Bibimbap – assorted vegetables, egg on rice served in a sizzling stone pot with korean chilli or mild sauce.

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My meal:
Fried Chicken Tender ($1.50 a piece) – I think my chicken tender was left out on the food bar for too long because the chicken was dry and it didn’t taste fresh. It was pretty bland and needed some sort of accompanied sauce.

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5/10

Beef Bulgogi Box w/ Rice and Gyoza Salad ($11.50) – stir fried thinly sliced beef in sweet soy sauce.
The rice wasn’t fluffy and soft, it didn’t taste like it was cooked fresh to order. The gyoza on the other hand, was crispy with a yummy filling, while the beef bulgogi was moist with a sticky and sweet sauce.

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7.5/10

T’s Verdict:
Quality of the food – 7/10
Price (based on food quality) – cheap to reasonable (depending on menu item)
Service – 4/10
Atmosphere – disorganised and crowded
Overall experience – 6.5/10

Interested?
Warra Warra (Korean&Japanese)
Shop 19 & 20, 235-251 Bourke Street Melbourne CBD (Tivoli Arcade)
(03) 9662 2077
Open Monday to Friday Lunch: 11.30AM – 3.00PM & Dinner: 5.30PM – 11.00PM, Saturday Dinner Only: 5.00PM – 11.00PM Closed on Sunday
http://www.warrawarrakitchen.com.au

Warra Warra on Urbanspoon

From Your Weekly Foodie,
– T