Matilda 159 Domain

For those of you that know me, you will know that Scott Pickett’s Saint Crispin restaurant has been one of my favourite restaurants for a long time. It’s one of those restaurants that I normally recommend when people ask me where they can get a taste of some quality food with great ambience, that’s not too ridiculously expensive.

So saying I was excited was a real understatement when I found out that Davin had booked for us to dine at Scott’s newest restaurant, Matilda 159 for my birthday. Located in South Yarra, where Saint Crispin is more upscale, this particular restaurant has a focus on food cooked over open fire and hot coals providing a more casual and feeling of comfort.

We were seated at the lovely bar where we could watch the bartender work away on mixing cocktails and drinks. We ordered some red wine and perused the menu. Everything looked amazing on the menu and I wanted to try it all! But we finally settled on a few starters which included some oysters with bone marrow crust, a salmon roe tartlet with bonito cream and the ox tongue with horseradish and sauce gribiche. Not surprisingly, every dish was assembled together with so much precision and care. They were beautiful dishes visually and tasted even better!

We also ordered the kangaroo tartare and dressed spanner crab with prawn butter and flat bread. The tartare was really good, but the spanner crab was the true highlight. It was so deliciously soft, juicy and buttery. We couldn’t get enough of it and felt like we needed one each!

For mains, we ordered the whole tiger flathead with fennel and squid ink, and the Rangers Valley wagyu bavette 7+ with burnt carrot and wattleseed. We also ordered some broccolini with aged cheddar and marble potatoes cooked in hay for side dishes. We couldn’t really fault any of the dishes. They were perfect in flavour and presentation. The fish was cooked well and wasn’t dry, the beef had just the right pinkness inside. All the carefully chosen ingredients to complement the mains went so well together.

Finally for dessert, we could not resist ordering their popular Pink Lady apple tarte tatin with smoked vanilla bean because it was all we could smell throughout the night! It was the most amazing, sweet and buttery pastry smell that kept wafting by us every time someone would walk by to serve this dessert. And when it was finally placed in front of us, it did not disappoint! The pastry was so crispy and light. The sweetness of the apples and the smoked vanilla bean made each bite heaven!

Overall we had such a great experience. From the food and ambience, to the service. It was amazing and we will definitely be back!

Matilda 159 Domain
Approx $80 AUD per person
Address: 159 Domain Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9089 6668

Matilda 159 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Woodland House

Davin and I will use any excuse to celebrate by eating out somewhere nice. So recently when it reached the mark of 13 years since we’ve been together we quickly agreed we needed to celebrate through some fine dining! Forget the presents, we just want to eat something amazing! We ended up making a reservation at Woodland House in Prahan.

For those that don’t know, this restaurant was formerly known as Jacques Reymond, one of our favourite 3 hat restaurants during its time. We were lucky to have dined there and met Jacques before he decided to step down in 2014.  So of course we were super excited to return to a place we really enjoyed, even though it was under a new name and ownership. We knew that Woodland House had 2 chef hats and the reviews were very positive.

Upon entering we saw that they had kept the restaurant looking like the house that we remembered it a few years ago. We loved that about the restaurant, that it has this modern, homey and intimate feel to it. We really felt like we were dining in someone’s home. The staff were super attentive and friendly, opening doors, pulling out chairs and checking on us. They were also SO quick! They asked us if we preferred tap or still water, and as soon as we said that tap water was fine within a few seconds they were back pouring us our water. We ordered a couple of glasses of champagne to start off with and a bottle of red for dinner and within an instant the drinks were there! We barely had time to take a few snaps before they were back to serve us!

The menu offered a tasting menu or an a la carte. From Tuesday to Thursday they also offered from the a la carte of 4 courses for $90, 5 courses for $110 or 6 courses for $130. It allowed us to pick any of the dishes on the a la carte menu which was great because it meant if Davin and I got a few different dishes each we had more to try! Being as greedy as we are, we opted for the 6 courses. Now we don’t want to bore you with every single dish that came out so we’ll just talk about the highlights. But before we go into that, we have to say that hands down every dish was fantastic. Every single dish was cooked to perfection, flavoured and presented beautifully. We could not really fault any of the dishes and it is clear how meticulous and carefully thought out each of the dishes were.

The Murray Cod, spanner crab and smoked sour cream dish was an exceptional dish. We absolutely love cod and have had this fish a number of times especially when we were in Europe. It has such an interesting texture for a fish, almost like a scallop. And this is probably why Woodland House ingeniously presented the cod to look like a scallop! It was cooked to perfection and the lovely sauce poured over it was flavoured but not too intrusive. It complemented and ensured the cod was the hero of the dish.

The green peas, cured pork fat, abalone and sardine dressing dish was a truly balanced dish. The sardine dressing was like a silky smooth sauce and flavoured well. Again it didn’t overpower the star of the dish, the abalone which was paper thin and the softest we’ve ever had!

The Sancho kangaroo, pickled beetroot and currant reduction was also another highlight. The kangaroo was cooked perfectly, rare to medium rare, and they had these cute little mushrooms we’ve never had before which had a lovely bouncy texture to it.

The corn fed duck, grilled octopus and sweet pepper was also another amazing dish. The skin on the duck was so crispy and flavoured. The grilled octopus was an interesting combination with the duck but it worked.

The Cape Grim short rib, witlof, preserved plum and horseradish dish. The beef was cooked for 7 hours and it was melt in your mouth soft. The bitterness of the witlof gave it an interesting flavour.

We also had a number of desserts which included the chestnut with sesame, beetroot and yoghurt sorbet, and the pear souffle with salted liquorice icecream and star anise. Both desserts were delicious and presented beautifully.

We were also served some complimentary additional desserts. What stood out from this for us was the miso butter icecream which was SO good! It was light and buttery with a subtle strawberry jam which was not too sweet. To add to the delightful experience they allowed us to take home the remainder half bottle of our red wine.

We were thoroughly impressed with Woodland House. From the attentive service, to the top quality presentation and well balanced flavour of the dishes, it is truly an all out experience that we would highly recommend to anyone that wants to fine dine or celebrate something special.

Woodland House
Approx $130 AUD per person
Address: 78 Williams Rd, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9525 2178

Woodland House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Rewind it back to 6 months ago, I received an SMS from Helen with a picture of a David Blackmore Wagyu grade 9+ steak from Rockpool. The feeling that ran through my body was one of complete utter betrayal! She was supposed to be my life long food partner, and I could not believe that she had gone and enjoyed this steak without me. She was equipped with the knowledge that I had never had this steak from Rockpool before, let alone stepped into the main dining room, but not an ounce of remorse from her! To my surprise, she had made plans to go again with her friend without me. There comes a time in one’s life where you have to put your foot down, and I wasn’t going to let her have this steak without me again!

As I walked into the main dining room, I realised that Rockpool looked a lot more glamorous than the bar area where I normally eat. I had already looked at the menu weeks before this occasion, trying to work out what steak I was going to get. Frustratingly, their menu changes all the time! Their steak menu changes constantly based on availability, but Helen, myself, and her friend all got the David Blackmore Grade 9+ wagyu sirloin. At $125 a pop, it was the best steak on the menu, cream of the crop. Self admittedly, I had never paid this much for a steak in my life, but I’ve eaten David Blackmore steaks before and have never been disappointed. You know it takes something special for Cape Grim steaks to be the cheaper option on a menu, as they are highly regarded in Australia also.

A few cocktails to ‘cleanse’ the palette, then we had a bottle Cab Sav ready for the arrival of our steaks. We ordered a few side dishes to go with it – potato and cabbage gratin, organic carrots, mushrooms, and heirloom tomatoes. My favourite was the potato and cabbage gratin, it’s a bit weird eating potatoes which taste like cabbage, but it works and was damn tasty! My excitement levels rose as soon as I saw the steak placed in front of me. It looked simplistically beautiful. The sirloin was cut into 4 pieces and had a wedge of lemon next to it. We got some horseradish cream and Bearnaise sauce to go with our steaks, but I had always preferred to eat it without sauce. I slid a piece out and saw all the wonderful marbling glistering in the light. I took a bite, and thought to myself ‘I was expecting this steak to be softer’. I probably felt this way because the last Wagyu beef experience I remembered was the Kobe beef in Japan, which was pure melt in your mouth.

Was I a little disappointed from my first bite? Probably. My next bite I decided to focus more on the taste, and it was at that moment I understood why this steak was so good. They say that fat is flavour, and this statement couldn’t be more true when it comes to this steak. The fat around the steak and the marbling was just bursting with flavour! This truly was a special experience. I went through my first two pieces way too fast, it wasn’t until we joked that each piece was worth $30, that I realised I needed to slow it right now! I understood that I had initially done this steak a huge injustice by trying to compare it to the steaks in Japan. The ones in Japan are purely bred for texture, and while you do get wowed by how buttery soft it is, the beef flavours are miles better with this David Blackmore sirloin. It’s hard to not think of the price, because it is a ridiculously expensive piece of meat, but I felt it was worth it.

We all slumped into our chairs after the steaks, floating on cloud nine. Nothing could wipe the grin off our faces, it was a joyous night indeed. We polished off some small desserts, but they were never going to be the star of the show. We all had a great experience at Rockpool, the service was top notch as always. We talked about making this a yearly event in the future, certainly no objections on my part!

Rockpool Bar & Grill
Approx $100 AUD per person
Address: Crown Entertainment Complex 
8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: +61 3 8648 1900

Rockpool Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cosi Bar Ristorante

Not too long ago we were in the mood for some Italian and decided to check out Cosi in South Yarra. Ratings for the restaurant were quite high and positive so off we went. Cosi is a fine dining restaurant with a lovely intimate feel. Upon entering you’ll notice the dim lights and white table cloths. Staff were also very friendly and efficiently seated us.

For mains I ordered the Tagliatelle with blue swimmer crab, tomato and smoked butter. This was SO delicious! Oh the flavours from the smoked butter and the generous chunks of crab meat. This was a dish to die for and we would happily order this again. The pasta was also super fresh.

Davin ordered the Spaghetti Marinara with white wine, chilli and garlic. This was also a really nice dish and had generous amounts of prawns and mussels. However we both agreed that my Tagliatelle dish was the winner.

For dessert we decided to share the basil panna cotta with berries and chocolate. We loved this! The panna cotta had the perfect wobbly texture and really tasted like fresh basil. It was an interesting and refreshing dish. I believe they may change the flavour of the panna cotta so it may not be available anymore. However we were so glad to have had the opportunity to try the basil flavoured one.
We thoroughly really enjoyed our experience at Cosi and felt the quality of their food was top notch. We will definitely be back when we feel like some fine dining Italian!

Cosi Bar Ristorante
Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 68 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9867 39999

Cosi Bar Ristorante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Punch Lane


We have been going to Punch Lane now for quite a number of years. It’s been one of our favourite go to places and one that we always recommend to people when asked for suggestions. Nestled on Little Bourke St in the CBD, Punch Lane is the ideal restaurant for an intimate first date.


Upon entering you will step into a cosy, dim lit place with leather chairs and wooden decor. It gives you a very classy, European feel. Staff are extremely alert, efficient and friendly here so they’ll look after you straight away.  But of course we come back here time and time again because of the food! The quality of each dish is top notch and they have never disappointed us. The menu does change but some highlight dishes over a number of recent visits include this amazing cured salmon, twiced baked cheese soufflé, venison tartare, pan roasted scallops and their duck! They recreate their duck dish so it’s slightly different every time we go but still so delicious!




Each dish is carefully and beautifully presented, and the flavour combinations of each dish is faultless. Nothing is ever too salty or too sweet. They offer a set menu of 5 courses where you can put yourself in their hands to feed you and give you a bit of a tour of their menu. They also have a great selection of wine and cheeses, if you can fit it in! Overall we highly recommend Punch Lane if you ever want an intimate setting for a date with fabulous food! You will definitely not be disappointed!


Punch Lane
Approx $80 AUD per person
Address: 43 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9639 4944

Punch Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Perfect Drop


Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had an awesome holiday and celebrated it just like how you wanted it. For us, we took a road trip and spent our NYE in Daylesford dining at an amazing restaurant called The Perfect Drop in our true foodie style!

As soon as we parked outside we were awed by how lovely and quaint the restaurant looked from the outside. I loved it! Inside it maintained that homey and intimate feel with a fireplace and tables scattered across a number of the rooms. The ambience was perfect.


Staff were very efficient and attentive, seating us right away and providing us with the menu. Given it was NYE, it was a set menu of 7 courses and a glass of bubbly for $125 AUD per person. We started off with a zucchini veloute with almond foam. Basically it was like a soup in a small shot glass. It was a nice start to get our appetite going.


Then came the quinoa and tomato salad in a vegetable soup with goats cheese mousse. All the flavours of this dish just bursted in our mouth and our taste buds were hyped!


The scallop carpaccio dish came next, and this was certainly one of the highlight dishes for us. The fresh scallops sat on a bed of apple, celery and vanilla salad, with a scoop of oyster icecream on top. Yes you heard it! Oyster icecream! At this point we were thinking wow this place is brave. They were pushing the limits of ingredients and we loved it. The whole dish worked. The icecream really tasted like oyster and the sweetness of the apple salad balanced out the rest of the dish. It was a fantastic dish.


The next course was the scampi with confit tomato in a bisque with red berry granita. The scampi was cooked to perfection and the tomato was so deliciously sweet. Combined with the bisque each bite was heaven. We could of have a lot more of it!


The final main was the lamb loin and shoulder with ratatouille cannelloni and crispy mash. This was also a well thought out and delicious dish. Both the lamb loin and the shoulder was cooked beautifully medium rare. But I also really enjoyed the complements of the crispy mash and the ratatouille cannelloni which was so different but worked. They were both presented like little cigars with a surprise inside.


Finally with dessert we were served a raspberry sangria with rosewater foam. This was served in a little glass and it was a nice little taster to prepare us for the main dessert.


The final dish of the night was the chocolate sphere with salted caramel and passionfruit icecream. It was to die for and presented so beautifully. The sphere was made of lovely dark chocolate with delicious fresh cream inside. The passionfruit icecream also complemented it so well. We probably ate this dish too quickly because it was so good!

Well after the final dish, we both agreed that we really couldn’t fault this place at all. The food was spectacular and every dish amazed us. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience, from the food, to the ambience, to the service. So if you’re ever in Daylesford and you want to do some fine dining, check it out!


The Perfect Drop
Approx $125 AUD per person
Address: 5 Howe St, Daylesford VIC 3460
Phone: +61 3 5348 1100

Perfect Drop - Wine Bar & Food Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rare Hare and the Jackalope experience


A couple weekends ago we visited Rare Hare, a restaurant out in Mornington Peninsula, which is part of a fairly brand new establishment called Jackalope.

Jackalope is a unique one stop shop getaway which includes a luxury art hotel, a vineyard and wine tasting cellar, a fancy cocktail lounge called Flaggerooot, a fine dining restaurant called Doot Doot Doot and a more casual style restaurant called Rare Hare. You literally don’t need to go anywhere else and could spend the whole day here. Or even stay there the night if you want to!

Anyway on that day our focus was Rare Hare because we had heard good things about it. Now Jackalope has only been around since April this year so it is VERY new and yet the word was already out there about how amazing the place was. In fact the day after we visited, it was featured on TV on Postcards.

Rare Hare only takes bookings for groups of 8 or more so we decided to show up at 2 PM on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch. The restaurant was still buzzing! We were told it would be about an hour wait and I provided my mobile number so they could text me once our table was ready. This gave us time to explore the grounds. First stop? Straight to the wine cellar of course for some wine tasting!


The wine cellar entrance is attached to the restaurant and so after we put our name down on the waiting list we walked straight through the door into a huge open warehouse space with an abundance of wine barrels from floor to ceiling lined up against the walls and perimeter of the warehouse. It was quite a sight! Outdoor heaters were set up in the warehouse for warmth near the wine tasting table. Staff there were very friendly and chatty. And surprisingly all the wines were quite good! We’re not Chardonnay drinkers and almost passed on tasting it but the friendly staff convinced us to give it a go, and guess what? It was so good we ended up buying a bottle! We also purchased a Shiraz and a Brut to take home and was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the wines.

With still time on our hands we then went to check out their cocktail lounge which is located just inside the Jackalope hotel. As soon as we entered we were like wow! This is a glamorous cocktail lounge you would probably normally experience in the city but not out in Mornington Peninsula! We seated ourselves at the bar which had a lovely marble finish and ordered a couple of cocktails. Behind the bar there was an abundance of colourful bottles of liquor. They also had a bar food menu so we decided to order the truffle mac and cheese croquettes, which were AMAZING. The batter was so crispy and the filling oozed of delicious goodness.



It was not long after I got a text advising us our table was available so off we went to Rare Hare. It was still packed when we were seated and handed the menus. Everything on the menu looked great. We started off with their pacific oysters and got half a dozen with a migonette sauce. We enjoyed it with their lovely 2012 Wllow Creek Vineyard Brut which went really well with it. The oysters so fresh! In fact they were so good we ended up ordering another half a dozen! We also ordered some cured meats and the cured trout with horseradish creme which were both delicate, fresh and delicious.


For mains we ordered the kingfish, rare venison, chargrilled squid and beef cheeks to share. There isn’t even any point in describing each dish because every single dish was faultless. The presentation of the dishes were beautiful and the flavours were spot on. They really focused on highlighting their fresh produce and we were really impressed with the quality of their food. We also got the meringue which had lemon verbena, fennel seed custard and rhubarb for dessert which was also spectacular. What more can we say? We are super happy that we found this gem and we’ll definitely be back for more of their amazing food.





We ended up finishing the great day by sitting on their comfortable chairs outside with a final glass of sparkly (tea for Davin as he was driving), watching the sunset before we headed home. It was a perfect day.


Rare Hare
Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North VIC 3926
Phone: +61 3 5931 2501

Rare Hare Wine & Food Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chez Olivier


Okay, so there’s been a bit of a theme lately and we have to admit that there is a particular cuisine in which we have been frequenting more often than others, and that is French food! I personally have always loved French food so I have no problem with that. But it just so happened that we have been coming across some top quality restaurants in Melbourne. So without further ado we introduce Chez Olivier!

Located in Prahan, Chez Olivier is a cute little restaurant on Greville Street offering authentic French bistro food. As soon as you enter you are faced with a well equipped bar with friendly staff and small tables scattered around. We were then escorted to the back area with more tables and a fireplace. I loved the wooden decor, framed mirrors and chandeliers, giving it an intimate and romantic feel.


For starters we ordered the seafood bisque which was thick, creamy and full of seafood flavour. I’ve had a real liking to seafood bisques lately so really enjoyed this one. I also can never say no to a steak tartare when I see it on the menu so we also ordered that. It was 100g of finely chopped raw Black Angus beef with brandy sauce and the usual condiments. Mixed in with the raw egg yolk, it was delicious and seasoned well.

Davin decided to order one of the specials of the day for his main, which was the duck breast with balsamic vinegar sauce, pumpkin mash and puff potato. The duck was cooked to perfection – medium rare. Combined with the balsamic sauce and pumpkin mash, it was presented really nicely on the plate and tasted even better!

I ordered the 200g Black Angus eye fillet which was wrapped in proscuitto, with a slice of foie gras, mushroom sauce and white truffle oil served with mashed potato. It was sooo delicious! The foie gras literally just melted in my mouth. I reserved a bit for each bite of my steak. And the combination of the truffle oil and the creamy mashed potato was heaven.

There was quite a selection of dessert options after dinner, but we ended up on settling on the chocolate fondant to share which came with vanilla ice cream and strawberry coulis. The fondant was cooked well and lovely warm chocolate sauce oozed out, which is what you expect from a good chocolate fondant!

Overall, we really enjoyed our experience. The food was top quality, the ambience was great for a date night, and the staff were also very attentive and friendly. As usual we were probably the last ones there but they were more than happy to take dessert orders and there was no rush to get out. We will definitely keep this place in mind when we’re in the mood for French next time!


Chez Olivier
Approx $75 AUD per person
Address: 121 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9525 2273

Chez Olivier - Le Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



I’ve always said that Japanese was my favourite cuisine. The reason for this is that it is generally healthy, the flavours are clean and it’s one of very few cuisines which I could eat more than twice a week. However lately, I must be honest and say that lately French food keeps knocking on my door and challenging my favourite cuisine title! Maybe I do prefer the big bold flavours, the fancy sauces and cheesy goodness which is evident in so many of their dishes. It’s sending me a message to eat first and worry about my cholesterol later. Right now I’m a bit confused which cuisine I prefer more, but I know for a fact that Helen has already jumped over to the French ship!


So without further ado, I would like to introduce you guys to Entrecôte – Parisian Streakhouse & Bar. I initially found Entrecôte online when I was looking for a late night steak place. It kinda dropped off my radar for a while, as I was eating my way through different restaurants. We were reunited when Helen and I came across them in the Entertainment Book. Now armed with a discounted price, we weren’t going to let Entrecôte slip away again! The interesting thought I felt after dining here was that they were really selling themselves short by calling themselves a ‘Steakhouse’. It’s rare for the French to sell themselves short, as they normally do the opposite. They have always been great at marketing their products, because they supposedly make the best wines, best perfumes, best handbags, etc etc. I firmly believe that they are so much more than just a steakhouse, and stating this in their name could steer people to just their steaks. As a consequence of this, people may miss out on all the other wonderful foods on their menu, because who wouldn’t order steak at a steakhouse right!?!?


Luckily for us, we have a bigger appetite than most normal couples. We started off with easily the best dish of the night, Soufflé Gratine – Jerusalem artichoke, Gruyère & black truffle soufflé. This dish was simply mind blowing! I would dare say that this is the best soufflé I’ve ever had, sweet or savory. Great decision to use Gruyere as it’s one of the best baking cheeses of all time as it doesn’t overpower the dish at all. Texture of the soufflé was perfect and the hit of black truffle at the end was heavenly! Best of all it didn’t feel heavy at all and I reckon I could have polished 5 more of these if they were presented in front of me (okay… at $22.90 each, maybe not). It’s a must have, way too good to share, get your own if you come here.


Steak tartare was spot on. Authentic, seasoned perfectly and the steak was fresh. Speaking of which, yes the actual steak here was pretty damn good too. The colour of the herb sauce took a little getting used to, can’t say I’ve had many steaks where the sauce was that shade of green. It was also very runny, certainly tasted better than it looked. As soon as a piece a steak was moved, the sauce would ooze down and coat it straight away. The steak was Black Angus beef and had an amazing beef flavour. It was also cooked exactly how we wanted it, nice & rare. The serving was massive! Helen and I had decided that sharing one steak would be the best option next time. 3 entrees and 1 steak would allow us to have more variety as well. For $44.90, you get a steak, fries and a soft leaves salad. I felt as though this was a little on the pricey side. However I must repeat, the quantity is substantial and I doubt anyone would leave hungry. I must make a quick note – house wine was only $7 a glass! We didn’t inquire too much about the wine, it tasted great and we both ordered seconds.


Décor was more French than Camembert, loved it! I think the pictures speak for themselves. Service was relaxed and we never felt rushed. We don’t normally hang around too long after we’ve finished eating, but if you’re the opposite, then this is certainly the place to do it. Aside from the steaks which I felt was a little pricey, I really don’t have anything bad to say about Entrecôte. Rest assured, we’ll be back the next chance we get, and I recommend you guys check it out too!


Approx $80 AUD per person
Address: 131-133 Domain Road, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9804 5468

Entrecôte Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Stokehouse Q


A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference with a few other colleagues in Brisbane. A dinner was booked at Stokehouse Q in Brisbane’s Southbank precinct for the 8 of us on our first night. Being the foodie I am, I instantly looked up the restaurant and could see quite a few positive reviews so I was excited to check it out!

Now before I get into it, I have to apologise in advance if the photos aren’t up to our usual standards as I didn’t think to pack my proper camera. So all these photos were taken from my trusty ol’ iPhone. I didn’t want to use flash for obvious reasons but mainly so that my colleagues didn’t think I was ‘that crazy photo taking colleague whom we’ll never invite again’. So these were quick snaps without holding everyone up from eating!

Stokehouse Q is located in a great location, right along the river and was no casual affair. It had very classy decor with the white table cloths, dim lights and gorgeous views. Staff there were very friendly, attentive and accommodating. We started off with some bubbly to celebrate and then perused the menu which looked absolutely amazing. One of the staff also brought out a whiteboard and talked us through the specials for the night.


For entree I ordered the Moreton Bay bug, mussel and clam chowder with Jerusalem artichoke, guanciale and paprika. This was so delicious! I really had to resist from eating it too quickly because it was so good. The flavour combinations of the seafood mixed with the saltiness of the guanciale was perfect.


For mains I ordered the charred wagyu intercostal with cipollini onions, salt bush, shaved squid and mustard seeds. This was cooked sous-vide style and oh my gosh, the wagyu was so soft! I have to say it was one of the softest cooked beef I’ve had! I also loved the generous green sauce that came with it. That with all the other elements on the plate made it a beautiful and enjoyable dish.


By the time dessert came around I was so full so we all agreed to order just a few to share. I picked the The Bombe – frozen white chocolate parfait, strawberries, toasted meringue. From memory we also ordered the chocolate and hazelnut cremeux, tonka bean cream, mixed nut ice-cream, crumble and the vanilla cheesecake mousse, poached rosella, mandarin sorbet. All desserts were scrumptious!

Overall, it was hard to fault this place. Amazing food, great service and perfect ambience. What more could you ask for? I highly recommend Stokehouse Q if you’re ever in Brisbane, whether you’re looking for a venue for a work function or a romantic, intimate dinner for two.


Stokehouse Q
Approx $90 AUD per person
Address: Sidon St, South Bank QLD 4101
Phone: +61 7 3020 0600

Stokehouse Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zomato Meet Up @ Vivace


Last week we were invited by Zomato and Vivace Restaurant for an exclusive Zomato foodie meet up and Winter warming Italian Feast! It was an intimate four course dinner by Head Chef Davide Ferraro and was set up in a lovely private dining room near the back of the restaurant. In addition, there were matching wines from Hancock & Hancock, Barone Ricasoli, Italy’s oldest winery, to compliment each dish. We were fortunate to have the Head Chef talk us through each dish, and a representative to also talk us through each wine. We were super excited about trying out the food and wine but more importantly, to meet other food bloggers!

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of Prosecco, Italian sparkling wine which was very nice and crisp. We introduced each other to the other foodies and then of course like the others started snapping some photos. The beauty of this night was that there was no shame in taking as many photos as we wanted because everyone including the Zomato staff were snapping away with their cameras! It was the best!


After all the introductions and photos we sat down and was served with an Antiplasti platter which included natural oysters, prosciutto and arancini. I love oysters and these were super fresh so I gobbled a couple of them up fairly quickly! The prosciutto was lovely, soft and wasn’t too salty and the arancini balls were full of flavour.

With the entree, main and dessert we were given a few options to pick from so Davin and I made sure we ordered different dishes so we could try more. For entree I ordered the pumpkin, goat’s cheese and potato croquettes with crushed amaretti, beetroot, capers and raisin. The sweetness of the fresh beetroot and raisin balanced out the croquettes beautifully. Davin ordered the caramelised scallops with cauliflower, chorizo, shallots, fennel and coriander. The scallops were cooked to perfection! The matching wine with the entrees was a 2016 Hancock & Hancock Fiano McLaren Vale, SA.


We all got a pasta dish as part of the set menu which were pasta parcels filled with potato and leek, truffle and blue cheese sauce – all the things I love! Unlucky for those that may not like blue cheese but it was heaven for me. The portion was also very generous. The matching wine with this was the 2016 Hancock & Hancock Grenache Rose McLaren, SA. By the way, the staff were incredible and they were SO generous with the wine. They just kept pouring and pouring. I had to ask them to ease up at this point as I knew there were still a couple of more wines to try!


For mains I got the Murray Valley 12 hour slow cooked, crisp pork belly. This was accompanied with rhubarb, apple, onion and ginger relish, thyme roasted squash and white balsamic sauce. The pork had the nice crispy skin that you would look out for and the sweetness of the rhubarb and onion and ginger relish balanced it out really well. I also liked the touch of the roasted squash. My matching wine was the 2014 Hancock & Hancock Shiraz Grenache McLaren Vale, SA.

Davin ordered the roast lamb loin with pistachio brioche crust, smoked eggplant, asparagus and sweet bread. He also really enjoyed his dish and his matching wine was the 2014 Hancock & Hancock Cabernet Touriga McLaren Vale, SA. Both of the red wines were nice but I have to say the Shiraz was the winner out of the two.

I have to say that by the time mains reached us I was already kind of full because of the generous portions (and pouring!) so I was definitely over capacity when it reached dessert, but who can say no to dessert?



I ordered the dark Belgian chocolate fondant with fig, mascapone and honey gelato. The chocolate fondant was sooo good and oozed with warm, sticky chocolate lava when you broke into it with your spoon. Combined with the honey gelato it was delicious! Davin got the Panna cotta which came with white chocolate and vanilla, fresh strawberries, balsamic and pistachio praline. I could only manage a spoonful to try this but it was also yummy and the panna cotta had a nice wobble to it. The matching wine that came with our dessert was the 2009 Craigmore Botrytis Mudgee, NSW. Because I was so full and sweetened out I could only manage a sip!

Overall the food and wine was great, the service was outstanding and staff were so accommodating and friendly! We also loved being able to chat and socialise with other food bloggers and foodies and just openly take photos and talk about what we love – FOOD! So thank you Zomato and Vivace for having us, it was a great experience and we loved it. Until next time!


Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 317 Bay St, Brighton VIC 3186
Phone: +61 3 9596 9511

Vivace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Noir Restaurant


We recently discovered Noir in Richmond and was very impressed with the food and service so of course wanted to share our experience with you!

Noir is a cosy French restaurant so you do have to make sure that you make a booking if you’re planning to dine there! Although the space is small, the wooden tables and chairs are quite generously spaced from each other so you do get a sense of intimacy and personal space.

From the moment we walked in, the service was excellent and it remained that way throughout the night. From the waitress who talked us through the menu, to the sommelier – who had a thorough understanding of the wine list and made a great recommendation on the Chateau Turcaud, a lovely white wine that went well with the food – it was an impressive experience.


The food was also exceptional. We started off with the Royal Miyagi premium Tasmanian Pacific oysters. We got some with champagne granite and some with pickled watermelon, spanner crab and chilli. They were refreshingly delish!

We also ordered the eye fillet of beef tartare with Waldorf salad and pommes gaufrette. This was one of my favourite dishes and I absolutely loved the flavours of the beef tartare combined with the sweetness of the apple. It was a match made in heaven!


The cured kingfish with vichyssoise mousse, baby leeks, sugar snaps and samphire was our other entrée and was a beautifully presented dish with fresh flavours that complimented each other perfectly.

For mains, Davin ordered the seared fillet of bass groper with macadamia nut gnocchi, sorrell and Portarlington mussels. I ordered the crisp breast and confit leg of duck with black fig and pain d’epices puree. The duck was tender and definitely had that crispiness to the skin that you need for this kind of dish. With the fig and puree combined, each bite was a burst of yummy flavours. We also ordered the potato gratin and steamed yellow beans with confit shallots, walnuts and roquefort as sides.


Dessert was also a highlight! We shared the Cremeux d’ Anjou which had strawberries, blueberries, honeycomb and berry and basil sorbet. It was amazing! The fruit, the crunch and sweetness of the honeycomb and the refreshing sorbert, it was a beautiful dessert! And presented so prettily too!

I would highly recommend Noir for some beautifully presented and delicious food, excellent service and great ambiance!


Noir Restaurant
Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 175 Swan St, Melbourne VIC 3121
Phone: +61 3 9428 3585

Noir Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bahari The Hellenic Palate


If you are craving some amazing, fresh Greek food then look no further than Bahari The Hellenic Palate. With such great reviews we were of course expecting big things and boy did they deliver!

The restaurant had a great modern and rustic funky vibe to it with the combination of the brick floors and dark wooden and white decor. We were given a window seat so had a nice view plus the natural lighting from outside.  First and foremost I have to say that staff were super friendly and on the ball. They were very attentive and were more than happy to provide recommendations and make suggestions, especially when we were indecisive because we wanted to order everything on the menu! Every dish sounded amazing!


So the menu itself is designed for sharing with small and large sharing plates. We finally agreed on (are you ready for this?) the trio of dips, the haloumi with onions, tomato, roasted peppers, olives and sumac, the wild mushrooms with roasted garlic and crumbed feta, the char grilled octopus, the zuchinni flowers stuffed with garlic prawns, the cured raw tuna, the cauliflower and pomegranate salad AND a chicken souvlaki! Of course we probably over ordered but it was already hard enough shortlisting it down to that final list. So let’s talk about the highlights.

One of my favourite dishes was the haloumi, it was SO good! It was super soft and was complimented well with the tomato, roasted peppers and olives. The wild mushrooms was also mouthwatering and each bite was a burst of juicy and seasoned flavours.


Davin really liked the zuchinni flowers and garlic prawns. The zuchinni flowers was battered to crispy perfection and the prawns inside were also flavoured really well.

We also loved the trio of tips which came with fresh hot bread and the chicken souvlaki which we heard good things about and did not disappoint! All dishes were just so scoffable and we just ate our hearts out. We could not fit dessert after all that food but have no doubt that would have been nice too.

Overall we were very impressed with the quality of the food and the fantastic service. We would definitely come back again if we’re craving some high quality Greek food!


Bahari The Hellenic Palate
Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 179 Swan St, Melbourne VIC 3121
Phone:+61 3 9427 7898

Bahari The Hellenic Palate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Rockpool Bar and Grill


A lot of the restaurants at Crown come with a lot of hype but not much substance. I’ve been stung many times before with various restaurants in the complex, so I actually avoided Rockpool Bar & Grill for a long time, thinking that they’d just be overpriced and underwhelming. I would never have thought that they would be one of my favourite and ‘go to’ restaurants!

Even though I have been here on numerous occasions, I have never ventured into the main dining room. The reason for this is because the ‘bar menu’ is just such good value, and you get full access to the proper menu also. So the rules are simple, you come and ask to sit in the bar area, the area is strictly for walk ins only and they don’t allow for booking. They will either ask if you want to sit at the bar for a drink or you can go and wait at Spice Temple. Spice Temple are owned by the Rockpool Group so either way they’re going to make some money off you. If you do choose this option, they will make a phone call to Spice Temple to grab you when a bar table is ready.

With the bar area you’re not actually sitting at the bar, but there’s another section with a little partition to seperate from the main dining room. You still get to sit on at a table with some comfy chairs, so you don’t need to stress that you’ll be sitting on bar stools! When it gets busy, you do have to wait a while… my longest wait was nearly an hour. However generally 15 to 30 mins, a table will be ready.


There’s an adequate amount of options on the bar menu. What’s my pick of the lot? The Mishima burger of course! Mishima is a special type of Japanese cattle which David Blackmore breeds. This burger is not available all the time, so it can be a bit of a gamble whether it’s available or not. Sometimes when I’m really craving for it, I would call them up first to ask if the Mishima burger is on the bar menu. Otherwise I just wing it and hope for the best! This is my favourite gourmet burger in Australia and it’s truly amazing. The meat patty is cooked medium rare – when the meat is freshly minced, you can have a medium rare patty no problems. The meat is not only juicy and succulent but also has that strong beef flavour. The pickled zucchini and onions just top it off as it adds some acidity to the taste. They even seperate the tomato and cos lettuce so you’re burger doesn’t get soggy, how’s that for consideration!


I’ve also had other dishes such as the Minute steak, fish stew, cured ocean trout on brioche and the steak tartare. Speaking of the steak tartare, this is another stand out dish which you must get! It’s served with fat cut chips which surprisingly goes really well with the tartare. These two dishes are my favourite but I cannot fault any of the other dishes here. They all taste great and you won’t be disappointed. I used to also get a quail entree but they’ve since taken that off the menu. I’m quite upset the quail is gone… Rockpool if you’re reading this, please bring the quail back!


Service here is proper and professional. They don’t seem to smile much and they do take their jobs very seriously. They don’t really get anything wrong and I find them to be on the ball at all times. I did get a warm and bubbly waitress last time I was there which was a nice surprise, but generally the service is not like that. Depends what you prefer really, I’m someone who likes to have a chat and have a joke around with the waiting staff. There’s no right or wrong I guess. If you’re someone who loves proper and professional service, then you’d like the way they go about their business at Rockpool Bar & Grill.


Rockpool Bar and Grill
Approx $50 AUD per person (bar menu)
Approx $100 AUD per person (full menu)
Address: Crown Casino, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
Phone: +61 3 8648 1900

Rockpool Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bistro Vue


There is one thing which Bistro Vue set out to do, and that is to be as French as they could possibly be. As a matter of fact, they tried so hard that their dining room actually looks more French than all the restaurants we went to in France! Everything from the chairs, tables, cabinets, plates and even the walls are French influenced.

We made a booking on the day and was greeted warmly when we arrived. They asked us to have a drink first at Bar Vue which is attached to Bistro Vue. It was full of Friday after work drinkers but it wasn’t too noisy, we could still have a conversation. I ordered a Bourbon Macchiato and Helen got the cocktail of the day. Both cocktails were very nice however I thought the ones in the classic section were a bit pricey. Half way through our drinks we were told that our table was ready and we were escorted into the dining area.


We ordered a French red and proceeded to look at the menu. Now you know a menu is really good when there’s too many good things and you can’t decide what you want! We decided against the $110pp for 6 courses because we wanted to try specific dishes from the à la carte menu. The waiter who served us was a little odd. When we started ordering he kept making a weird face. I looked at Helen as if to ask ‘what does the face mean?’ but she had no clue either. I didn’t know whether it was because we were ordering too much or too little. He was also quite pushy with the Paperbark baked snapper dish which we did end up getting. Can’t say i’m a huge fan of the service.

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The food here was really high quality! Steak tartare was very authentic, and brought back memories of France. The garlic snails was nice but didn’t come through as much compared to the other entrees. The trout was beautifully smoked, but the highlight of the entrees and the night was the duck egg, this dish was just amazing! I never imagined duck egg and kale would go so well together. I would recommend anyone to come here just for this dish. The paperbark baked snapper provided some theatrics when it arrived on the table as they unravel the paperbark. It was a very tasty piece of fish. Worst dish of the night has got to be the kangaroo loin (serves me right for trying kangaroo at a French restaurant). It’s just that I’m still searching for that perfect roo which I had so many years ago…

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As a whole I really enjoyed my experience at Bistro Vue. The ambiance was great and they produce high quality French dishes. Apart from the service, I had an awesome experience here. I felt like the mains were on the expensive side in comparison to the entrees. The entree portions were quite generous so I’m thinking next time we would do 5 or 6 entrees instead of ordering mains. If you haven’t been here, do check Bistro Vue out, I’m sure you’ll leave with a very happy tummy!


Bistro Vue
Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 430 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9691 3838

Bistro Vue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Steer Bar and Grill


We both love a good steak. We make them at home and will happily go out and pay good money for it. So when we heard from a number of people that we needed to check out Steer Bar and Grill for their steaks, of course we couldn’t resist! We made a reservation for dinner and off we went.. and then went again not long after!

Located in South Yarra just off Toorak Rd, it looks like quite a formal affair with the modern décor, white table cloths and all that jazz. As soon you enter through their doors the reception desk is right there with someone to greet you. To the left is a glamorous bar which you can sit at for some pre-drinks. We haven’t yet experienced it as we normally show up right on time and get seated straight away.


For starters we’ve ordered the Kyoto style oysters which come with tobiko, shiso kewipe, light kombu and pickling sauce. The oysters were very fresh and the Kyoto style flavours were quite nice and didn’t overpower the oysters at all.

We have also ordered their Tataki style O’Connor premium Angus / Hereford tenderloin meats which were flamed over Japanese maple and served with Japanese pickles, radish, ponzu and wasabi. The meats were exceptional and presented on this lovely pink stone. We love rare meats and these were exactly that as they were very briefly flamed on the outside and then thinly sliced. They were oh so very soft! Dipped in the light sauce it was heaven.


For mains we ordered the David Blackmore Full Blood Wagyu oyster blade, 250 grams which was $72. I have ordered the Sher F1 Wagyu eye fillet before however it was not as soft as the David Blackmore and so this time we both ordered it. We were actually quite shocked at how soft the steak was the first time we tried it considering it was an oyster blade cut! It had a good meaty flavour to it, was really soft and practically melted in my mouth. You also get a selection of varied condiments to choose from to go with your steak and I normally get their horseradish cream and bearnaise sauce.

We also normally order some greens and their ‘Cafe D’ Paris’ mashed potatoes which are to die for! The mashed potatoes are so creamy, we couldn’t get enough of it.


By the time we were done we were so full so we decided to share a dessert. Being a sucker for citric desserts, I chose the lemon tart which came with sorbet and fruit. The tart had the perfect tang to it with a lovely smooth texture.

Let’s not also forget to mention the staff, who were very attentive, professional and friendly. They were happy to provide recommendations and chat about how particular steaks should be cooked to appreciate them. I highly recommend you try Steer Bar and Grill if you are craving a good steak and want the whole experience – great quality food, service and ambience!


Steer Bar and Grill
Approx $100 AUD per person
Address: 15 Claremont St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9040 1188

Steer Bar and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato