Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Camper Pizza, by Obelix

I approached Happy Camper Pizza food truck with a bit of apprehension.  Can a food truck do good pizza? I wondered.  I was half anticipating food court grade pizza or worse still, the type of frozen pizza from the supermarket.  But I was pleasantly excited when I found out that Happy Camper had a wood fire oven built into the van and they were knocking out pizzas to rival a good pizzeria.

Happy Camper Pizza, food truck, salami pizza
I ordered two of the same pizza (greedy, I know).  Everyone in the queue in front of me were ordering the same salami pizza so I figured I would jump on the band wagon.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Sushi Boy, Fairfield by Obelix

Kiddo and I have been doing what we've called Random Urban Trails or RUTs.  We would pick an urban strip which we are unfamiliar with eg on the other side of town and explore it's main strip which more often than not be close to the railway station.  On a recent RUT, we explored Fairfield. After Kiddo had blown all her pocket money on the op shop by the station, we came across Sushi Boy for a bite of lunch.

Sushi Boy is a pocket sized establishment along High St, Fairfield.  It seemed popular with the locals and it offered a wide selection of hand roll fillings.

Sushi Boy, Fairfield, sashimi
I was feeling a bit ravenous and ordered a sashimi platter.  It had a fair amount of salmon and was fresh.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Petit Cafe, Kuranda (QLD) by Bureaucrat

We fell in love with Kuranda despite the near constant monsoonal-like rain that followed us during our visit there. It's a town north east of Cairns and it's home to many a hippie who've embraced the lush, verdant rain forest surrounds. Apart from the many art and craft stores that make up the Kuranda Market, there are quite a few eateries to tempt your taste buds. While we had allowed ourselves a few hours to visit the Market, in hindsight, we should have allowed a whole day there - there's just so many things to see and (more importantly) we could have eaten more meals there. Some of the food there looked truly tempting and incredibly well-priced. Mother Hen and I both really regret being too full (and also not having enough time to linger at the Market for longer) to have lunch at this tiny eatery that was dishing out some amazing and enticing Indonesian hawker-style food.

Petit Cafe, Kuranda, banana crepe
Despite still being a bit full from breakfast, I made sure that I had at least had one meal at the Market, and I chose the Petit Cafe - a creperie.  My pan-fried banana crepe came with lots of toasted flaked almonds, vanilla ice cream and warm homemade dark Belgian chocolate sauce ($14.50).  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Meatball and Wine Bar, Melbourne CBD (by invitation) by Benny

The Meatball and Wine Bar has raised a classic of home cooking (and one of my favourite comfort foods) to a new level of culinary delight – the ‘artisan meatball’. By all accounts the punters are loving it, and the blogosphere and mainstream critics alike are abuzz.

Having triumphed at lunch and dinner, it now promises to ‘grab breakfast by the balls’. Does it live up its promise? Big flavours and big serves answer a resounding ‘yes’, and surprisingly, the eponymous meatball plays only a minor (but very tasty) role.

Stepping into the Meatball and Wine Bar is like entering a long, dimly lit cave – the narrow shopfront extends a long way back and lighting is deliberately low. In the distance the ‘Meat Dept’ is proclaimed in Broadway-style lights over a display cabinet – bright in the gloom but still only dimly lit. Your eyes take a moment to adapt, slowly discerning bare brickwork, a bar extending down one side, lots of wooden tables, bentwood chairs and bar stools. The tables for two are very compact, and coupled with the low lighting, they are ideal for a discrete assignation.

Bilby Blue and I have been invited to review the recently launched breakfast menu, and only knowing the Meatball and Wine Bar by reputation, we eagerly scan the menu for meatball options – and get all the way to the end before finding the Grilled Breakfast Balls, almost an afterthought in the Sides. Since this is an invitation we want to ensure we sample a good range of what is on offer, so we ask Rhys, the manager, bartender and barista, for his recommendations.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Mother's Day dining at Southgate Melbourne

Mother's Day is coming up (Sunday, 8 May) and our restaurant friends at Southgate Melbourne have put together some delicious dining deals to spoil your mum.

Bruschetta with Adelaide tomatoes, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella on toasted house-baked sourdough rye at Tutto Bene

‘Grazie Mamma’ at Tutto Bene
Say 'thank you' to your mum with gorgeous Italian food at Tutto Bene (see Bilby Blue's review of their breakfast menu). Two and three course menus are on offer for lunch and dinner, ranging from $60-$75 per person.  Bookings required 03 9696 3334.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Gelato Messina, Pyrmont (NSW) by Bilby Blue

Since setting ourselves the challenge to sample the best gelato in Melbourne, we have visited some amazing gelato establishments, but so far we have overlooked the rock star of the gelato world, Gelato Messina.

On a recent business trip to Sydney I found myself opposite The Star complex – a great opportunity to sample more gelato from one of Gelato Messina’s Sydney outlets. Right next to the Sydney Lyric Theatre, and close to the Pirrama Road entrance to The Star.

On the evening I visited, there were far fewer customers than when Bureaucrat reviewed the outlet back in 2013. No queues and no pressure. Tastings were offered.

Gelato Messina, Pyrmont, gelato
The Boss’s Wife and macadamia crunch gelati

The menu lists 25 regular flavours and 10 sorbets (dairy free) plus five blackboard specials. Every weekday a new special is introduced, staying in the cabinet only for the next seven days. All flavours – both regulars and specials – are made from natural ingredients, and Gelato Messina states that only natural plant-based stabilisers are used.