Tag Archives: restaurant

Noir Is The New Black

Ocean Trout cured in Hendricks Gin with Cucumber, Juniper and Rose

Almost overnight, in the space where the once excellent coffee focused cafe Flavours of Lakhoum used to be, a suave new restaurant called Noir appeared. With virtually no media attention at all, hardly any reviews on the web, and only about 3 weeks of being in operation, it’s 35 – 40 seats have pretty much been booked solid all weekend. Quite impressive – such is the power of Word Of Mouth.

Peter Roddy, who has worked at many restaurants across the globe, including Gordon Ramsay’s ill-fated Amaryllis in Dublin, and Michael Roux Jr’s Le Gavroche in London, is the Chef and owner. He has created a nice little space, the black (noir) walls and polished wooden tables giving it a classy, distinctly Richmond kind of feel.

Ezard, Glorious Ezard

Eight Score Sher Wagyu Beef, Creamed Truffle Potatoes, Asparagus, King Brown Mushrooms, Sticky Shallot Sauce and Mache Salad

Ezard is one of those restaurants that just “has it”. It’s sexy, it’s romantic, and – most importantly – it serves damn good food. It’s no wonder Ritsy chose to come here for her birthday dinner (Well, actually, she chose George Calombaris’s The Press Club for something different, but they were booked out for Saturday nights until August…)

Located down a small flight of stairs at The Adelphi hotel on Flinders Lane, past the not-so-private room (glass and see through curtains means you are eating there to be seen) is the long and narrow restaurant space. Tables of two are gently separated along the banquet-chair lined wall with small, rectangular cushions that divide the territory between you and your next-door diner.

8 Courses at Attica

Potato cooked in the earth it was grown

As previously mentioned, it was Donny’s 30th Birthday towards the start of January, so what better way to celebrate than with the 8 course tasting menu with matched wines at Ben Shewry’s Attica!

We were lucky enough to decide we wanted to eat there the same week the restaurant started accepting bookings for the New Year (although as it turned out, there were a couple of empty tables on the Friday night that we were there…) and were quite excited to see how the standard menu compared to the Tuesday night Chefs table.

I spent some of the afternoon worrying that something had gone wrong with our booking as I never received a confirmation call like you do from most restaurants, but figured as they took my credit card details at the time of booking everything should be ok – and ok it was – phew!

Bamboo House

Bamboo House

Early last year, Robert Wong (our favourite Maitre d’ ever!) told us that he and Alex Tseng were selling their share of Bamboo House, the wonderful Northern Chinese restaurant in Little Bourke Street.

As sad as it made us to hear that news, we were hopeful that our favourite Chinese restaurant (yes, Flower Drum is fantastic, but it’s a special occasion place!) wouldn’t lose the two things that make it so great – the service and the food.

Robert sets an exceptionally hard act to follow – after about a year of eating there once every couple of months, he started to recognize my voice over the phone when I called up to make a booking – and then say my last name as he was writing down our booking (at our “usual” table) without me even having to mention it.

Sunday Brunch at Ad Hoc

Salad of Little Gem Lettuces

Our beautiful, unseasonably warm sunny Sunday morning in Yountville, Napa Valley, was spent eating brunch at Thomas Keller’s casual restaurant, Ad Hoc.

It’s open for dinner 5 nights a week (Thursday to Monday), and also for brunch on Sunday. We were quite lucky that our 4 nights in the Napa Valley coincided with us being there on a Sunday as we were quite interested in the Brunch 🙂

Brunch is a funny thing – we don’t typically go out for it as Ritsy’s stomach usually gets angry if it hasn’t been sated by 8am! To counteract this, we opted to make our booking quite late (11:30am), which allowed us to get one more “breakfast” in at Bouchon Bakery (also Thomas Keller’s, and just over the road from where we were staying). This ended up working out very well considering the size and richness of the three courses of the day, which cost us $34 pp plus tax.

Anada Bar & Restaurant

Echuca Berkshire Pork Belly with Fennel Seed & Smoky Aubergine

Anada is another one of those places that we’ve been meaning to go to for a long time (ever since they opened, which is nearly 3 years ago now!) but never got around to it. One Monday in early December, the opportunity arose to eat there as we were heading out to the Fitzroy side of the city. We called up on the day and managed to secure the last table.

Being huge fans of MoVida (see our MoVida Aqui writeup here), we were interested to see how Anada compared, as it’s always been given good reviews from the press and visiting chefs alike. Incidentally, head chef and owner, Jesse Gerner, and his wife Vanessa both worked under Frank Camorra at MoVida.

Leeuwin Estate Dinner at Maze Grill

Back in August (yep…this is Ritsy writing!) we had the great pleasure of attending the Leeuwin Estate Art Series dinner at Maze Grill in Melbourne.

This was our first time at Maze Grill and after reading some mixed reviews we were definitely going more for the wine than the food. I’m pleased to report though, in the main the food was quite enjoyable – so much so that at one point I got sprung by our waiter scraping the last remains of a dish with the comment “scrapey scrapey” – gold…

We started the evening in the bar / holding area with a glass of the beautiful 2009 Art Series Riesling, which was generously topped up until we were walked through the restaurant to the Grill where we were dining.

Dainty Sichuan

Lamb Slices in Chilli and Cumin

Dainty Sichuan is (now) located in South Yarra, in the space that used to belong to Flower Harbour (which, as nice as it looked, was not very nice!). We had been meaning to eat here for quite some time, as we heard that the food is great, if you can handle spicy dishes.

We knew we were in for some pain as we walked into the restaurant, as we were greeted by a drinks fridge stocked full of 1L bottles of milk, in close reach of both sections of the dining room. Bring it on!

It was pretty quiet when we arrived – around 5:30 on a Friday night – so we didn’t have to wait in line, and we were given a 4 seater table (for the two of us) on the lower level, in front of the windows that look out onto Toorak Road.

Saint Peter’s Restaurant and Bar

Seared Canadian Scallops with an essence of asparagus and spinach, salmon roe and baby parsley

We had been quite excited about trying out Maurice Esposito’s new digs after having thoroughly enjoyed Esposito’s in Carlton, which is also all about sustainable seafood.

After a short wait in the entrance outside Saint Peter’s Restaurant and Bar, and another short wait while the waiter who asked if we had a reservation disappeared upstairs without seating us(!!!), we were shown the way to our table by the window.

Soon after we were seated, we were given our menus and the wine list. We ordered a Mojito($16), a Negroni ($17), some Cape Grim Sparkling Mineral Water ($10 / 750ml) and our food.

Four slices of fresh baguette arrived swiftly, which we had with quality self-poured olive oil, and soon afterwards we were treated to a wonderful complimentary appetiser of Seaweed with a Mustard Fruit, Sesame Oil and Thai Basil dressing.

A Leisurely Sunday Lunch at Loam

SONY DSC

Yesterday Donny & I had the meal of the year during a beautiful lunch at Loam.

We left home early and built up a sizable appetite visiting a couple of beautiful wineries along the Bellarine Peninsula, so when presented with the list of possible ingredients for the month of November (in place of a conventional menu) it went without saying that we would opt for the maximum  number of courses available (7) with matched wines for $160pp.

Our waitress advised that this could take quite some time, but we were in no hurry, content to enjoy the landscape of olive groves and various wildlife out the large bay windows.

The meal began with a palate cleanser of radish and smoked butter and was followed by our first course of Dutch carrot, brazil nut, pine needle yoghurt, herbs matched with the local Oakdene ‘Jessica’ Sauvignon Blanc.

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