Saturday, February 16, 2019

Shark Fin Inn, Melbourne by Obelix

Shark Fin Inn, in the city, is one of those ubiquitous restaurants along Chinatown - tables crammed in; big fish tank of groupers awaiting their fates; noisy patrons; pokey staircase.  Not that any of that was bad - it's all part of the ambience.

Shark Fin Inn, Melbourne, peipa tofu
Peipa tofu

We were there for family dinner - fourteen of us in total, comprising of teens with bottomless stomachs and hangry adults. It was not one of those meals where you get to savour the food over convivial chatter.  We were bolting down our meals, squabbling among us as we fought for control over the spinning lazy Susan. The problem with fitting such a large party on the one table, the dishes we ordered may not all come with enough for one morsel apiece.  Kids were arguing over their sibling 'hogging all the steak' and missing out on the fried prawns. Despite the survival mentality that besieged us, once I stepped out into the cool night air to reflect on the meal, I was actually replete and satisfied.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Squires Loft, Nunawading by Bureaucrat

Having heard through word of mouth that it's a good place for steak, Ms S decided to have her birthday dinner at Squires Loft.  A bit of Googling showed that there's actually quite a few Squires Lofts around town (including some overseas) - and the one we went to was out in the burbs in Nunawading.  For those who know of Brand Smart, Squires Loft is situated on the exterior of this discount shopping outlet.

According to Ms S, organising the birthday dinner was a bit of hassle with the guys at Squires Loft.  While I can't comment on all aspects of the pre-dinner service, I did note that they made it clear that there is a minimum $45 dollar spend per person - so Ms S had to be sure that there were no empty seats for her dinner booking, lest the rest of us had to pony up the outstanding monies.  In addition, for a 6pm booking we were told we must be finished by 8pm.  All of this gave Squires Loft an impression that it had rather fancy airs about itself.

Squires Loft, Nunawading, eye fillet steak
With 12 of us for dinner, all but two people went for the steak (the others ordered a grilled vegetarian dish and grilled lamb chops).  I only took a photo of my dish - a 200 gram eye fillet which came with chips.  For extra, you can order a side salad and sauces (which I didn't).  There's lots of different cuts of steaks on offer but most went for the eye fillet and a side dish.  

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Gold Leaf, Docklands by Foghorn Leghorn

There are five Gold Leaf restaurants dotted around Melbourne, and I’ve had a few discussions about which is the best for yum cha. Recently people mentioned Docklands in favourable terms, so Mrs Shiraz and I decided to give it a go.

Gold Leaf, Docklands, fried taro dumplings
Deep fried taro dumplings

Our reliable restaurant companions, Knuckles and Shazza, cycled over from Footscray to join us. Once upon a time, if you saw someone from Footscray on a pushbike, you could guess that they’d had stern words from the magistrate about what would happen the next time they were caught driving. But Knuckles and Shazza have genuine licences (ie not the sort that a friend has run through the laminating machine at the job training centre), and they still choose to cycle. That’s gentrification for you.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Royal Stacks, Melbourne by Log Lady

Last week I attended Royal Stacks 3rd birthday party, which also incorporated the launch of their natural wine menu. At this event I also got to taste one of their burgers and enjoy their rather odd ball entertainment – but more about that later.

Royal Stacks, Melbourne, burgers
A selection of burgers

First about Royal Stacks, modelled after great American burger chains such as Shake Shack and 
In-N-Out Burger, their flagship store at the Collins Street location opened in 2016 with subsequent locations in Brunswick and Chadstone. The owner Dani Zeini has worked in a number of burger joints around Melbourne, including the family run Dandenong Pavilion, Grand Trailer Park Taverna, Easey’s, Truck Stop Deluxe and Motorhome Majestic.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

D'elephant Thai Street Food, Glen Waverley by Bureaucrat

It's rare to find me inside a shopping centre.  Sprawling mega-complexes are just not my thing. But I have to admit the better food offerings and the nicer facilities and decor do intrigue me enough to venture forth into Casa Capitalism.  

D'elephant Thai Street Food, Glen Waverley
Another hot Melbourne day, and not wanting to cook, saw me take refuge at The Glen's refurbished food court.  The tempting aromas coming from D'elephant made it easy for us to decide what to order. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Plough @ Trentham, Trentham by Obelix

It would be just my luck to pick the hottest most humid day to go gastro-motoring with friends in their restored Corvette sans air con.  Even though I looked and felt like a steamed bun, I had, rather my taste buds had, a wonderful time at The Plough in Trentham.

The Plough @ Trentham, Trentham, charcuterie board
We started with a charcuterie board replete with slices of terrine; pate; little nuggets of fried cubes of beef, and the usual suspects of crusty bread, salami and pickles. The terrine was melt-in-your-mouth smooth and the beef cubes were moreish.