We’ve fallen in love with Prahran lately, probably because its market is one of the few that stays open until 5 PM which is perfect for us!

One weekend we decided to head to Hobba for brunch before we did our usual weekend shopping given it was on the way for us. We managed to find a parking spot right outside and entered the cafe. The cafe itself is quite a large space and reminds me of a warehouse turned restaurant with the brick walls, high ceilings with wooden beams and hanging plants. It was also PACKED! But surprisingly we were seated straight away.

We started off with some fresh juices. I ordered the Healthy Hawksburnian which had cucumber, apple, beetroot, carrot and ginger. Davin ordered the Detox Refresher with apple, cucumber and lemon. They were both super refreshing and quench thirsting.

For meals I zeroed in on the French Toast dish. Now I don’t normally order French Toast when we go out because this dish is generally served as a sweet breakfast and I always favour the savoury dishes. But on this occasion I noticed that this French Toast dish was served with cheese, bacon, asparagus, green romesco, pickled jalapenos, cheese foam and cured egg yolk. Yes please!

The dish was presented beautifully and tasted just as good as it looked! The bacon was cooked perfectly and not too overly salty, the cheese French toast was fluffy and flavoured, and the cheese foam and green romesco combined with the crunchy asparagus made each bite heaven.

Davin ordered the Mushroom dish which consisted of potato galette, mushrooms, pistou and capsicum caviar. We loved the contrast of all the mushroom flavours and textures, but we especially liked the dehydrated enoki mushrooms which added a more robust flavour to the whole dish. The capsicum caviar was also quite interesting but worked!

Overall we had a great experience at Hobba and will certainly think about this place when we drop by Prahran again which no doubt will be in the very near future. We have yet to try their coffee so we’ll have to do that next time!

Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 428 Malvern Rd, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9510 8336
Website: hobba.com.au

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

The Piano

The Piano is a contemporary Thai restaurant situated on Bridge Road, Richmond. We found these guys based purely on the fact that we were craving for fish! For some reason, one weekend we found ourselves starving at 5:30PM. We knew there were a lot of Vietnamese/Thai restaurants in Richmond who were capable of serving up a mean dish of fish. Which one were we going to? We had no idea. So we literally drove to Richmond, parked the car and started looking for restaurants. We found The Piano because they had a steamed barramundi on their menu, perfect for a Melbourne winter night!

We arrived at the Piano all smiles, but the waitress managed to wipe that off in about 5 mins. NO BARRAMUNDI! I looked at the time and it was only 6:30PM! It’s always been puzzling to me how restaurants can not have something right near their opening times. She offered to replace the barramundi with salmon, what choice did I have? We agreed on the salmon. Helen and I decided to drown our barramundi sorrows with some cocktails, which just happened to be $10 each because we it was happy hour.

We decided to get a dry martini and espresso martini. The waitress informed me that it was going to be an extra 10min wait because they needed to turn on their coffee machine. In my head I was thinking ‘yeah whatever, I’ve lost my barramundi already’. What proceeded was quite possibly the two worst cocktails we’ve ever had! The dry martini had a weird sourness to it, and the espresso martini was way too sweet. This happy hour was turning to be not very happy at all. Just as we were mumbling to ourselves how crap the cocktails were, the waitress came back out and told us that it was going to be a 30min extra wait on the confit duck, because they needed time to slow cook it! At this point I was about to flip the damn table and walk out! Fortunately for them, the waitress was extremely nice and apologetic, otherwise I would have put a $20 note on the table and walked out. I couldn’t remember a time where we hit this many roadblocks before any food even hit the table.

As it turns out, there was light at the end of the tunnel. The food here was absolutely impeccable. The Penang chicken curry was one of the best curries I’ve ever had. It had great flavours with a smooth creamy texture, and went beautifully with the coconut rice. I soon forgot about the barramundi because the salmon was cooked wonderfully. Salmon is unforgiving in the sense that it gets tough as soon as it’s a bit overcooked. The ginger broth was delicate yet flavourful, the mushroom, baby corn and spring onion all doing their part to compliment it. We couldn’t stop sipping on the broth, it was deeeeeelicious! The stir fry beef was an angry order because of the confit duck, I didn’t even realise I ordered it until it was placed on our table. Whilst it wasn’t as good as the other two dishes, it was still nice and I couldn’t fault it.

Well there you have it peeps, after a horrid start, The Piano finished on a positive note. The experience as a whole was mediocre, but the food was legit here. I feel as though there’s room for improvement with their stock management and also their drink mixing. It wasn’t worth getting a cocktail here for even $10, as they’re simply horrible. I’d be happy to come back purely for their food, but even then it feels like I’m dodging bullets in order to get the dishes I want. I’m conflicted, so I’ll leave the decision up to you guys for this one!

The Piano
Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 18-20 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: +61 3 9428 9385
Website: thepiano.com.au

The Piano Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Khao by HWKR

I’m generally the one that least craves for Asian food when we go out. It might have to do with the fact that I’ve grown up eating rice my whole life and so when we do head out to eat, I always feel like Western cuisines. I guess it doesn’t explain why Davin still has his cravings every now and then though!

But on this cold night when we were warmly invited by HWKR to try out their new Winter menu, the menu items listed for Khao by HWKR looked appetising indeed for Asian fusion.

The first dish we ordered was the Balinese-style barramundi with jimbaran spiced butter sauce, pickled cucumber, sambal and jasmine rice. We were delighted to see that the fish wasn’t fried but baked, and served on a banana leaf – because everything tastes better when it’s served on a banana leaf!

Anyway we dug into this dish and it was SO good! The lovely spiced butter sauce was subtle but you could taste the heat from it. The fish was cooked to perfection and that sambal! It’s probably one of the best I’ve had. I kept scooping more of that hot sauce onto the fish and rice. The pickled cucumber was very lightly pickled and provided the right coolness you needed to a beautifully well rounded and spicy dish!

The second dish we ordered was the Filipino roasted lamb ribs which came with burnt coconut sauce, pickled cucumber, toasted coconut and jasmine rice. The meat from the ribs literally just fell off the bone. I remember picking up one of the ribs with my hand and before I could do anything the lamb had just fallen onto my plate. It was so tender and soft. The burnt coconut sauce complimented it so well. It wasn’t too overpowering and was more like it’s equal friend in providing the perfect combination of flavours.

In the end we didn’t even know which dish was better. They both provided a burst of spice and flavours that made it so easy to scoff up with the jasmine rice. We couldn’t fault the dishes at all and we will certainly be thinking about this place on another cold night when we feel like something warm and appetising.

Khao by HWKR
Approx $20 AUD per person
Address: 137 A’Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9018 7135
Website: www.hwkr.com.au

Khao By HWKR Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Red Panda

It’s been a family tradition of ours that the birthday person shouts a meal for the rest of the family. I had already agreed to host dinner at my place for mum’s birthday, but rules are rules, and mum took us to Red Panda on her actual birthday. Mum was pretty excited about taking us here, she said that they’ve got a few special dishes which other Chinese restaurants don’t have. I personally don’t get too excited about trying new Chinese restaurants, but her energy rubbed off on me, and therefore I was eager to try these guys out.

Red Panda is located in a fairly quiet area in Wheelers Hill. I must have driven past this restaurant a million times and have not noticed them. I remembered the Salvation Army on this strip of shops, but that was it. A quick search on Google maps and I knew exactly where I needed to be. Red Panda felt and looked like a typical Chinese restaurant, they had a little takeaway counter which led into the main dining room. I sat down and my bum cheeks sunk into the chair! I found this a bit hilarious… these chairs have probably had their fair share of bottoms through the years! There’s also the fact that they’ve got carpet, I’ve never been a fan of carpets in restaurants. Apart from these 2 niggly things, the restaurant looked really clean and there was adequate spacing between the tables.

Mum had quietly whispered to me that their vegetables were a bit old and tough last time. I asked her which ones she ordered and suggested to order a Chinese broccoli this time. I also thought it was best we told them about her previous experience and confirm that their Chinese broccoli was fresh this time. There’s nothing worse than eating old Chinese broccoli as it gets stringy and tough. After being deprived of vegetables from our Japan trip, I was looking forward to some quality veggies back home!

We started off with 2 pigeons as entree, I was shocked to find out they were $28 each! I can’t remember the last time I had pigeon, so I cannot comment whether or not that was a reasonable price, but it felt expensive. It felt like an eternity before the other five dishes arrived, it was probably our fault because we asked for all the dishes to arrive together. I do not know the exact names of each dish because it was all in Chinese, but I can certainly tell you which ones were the best! My favourite dishes of the night were the fish balls with vermicelli, deep fried chicken spare ribs and the egg yolk coated eggplant. The fish balls had a bouncy texture and came with an awesome tasting soup. The chicken spare ribs were deep fried beautifully, crunchy texture and had a sweetness to it too. I enjoyed the egg yolk coated eggplant because it was just special and I had never had a dish like this before.

So remember the Chinese broccoli I was so looking forward to? Well they were old and tough! You know when you’re so deprived of something, then you think you’re gonna get it, and it turns out to be absolute sh*t? Well that’s the emotions I went through! My mood meter was sitting between annoyed and angry. To give you an idea how bad they were, we couldn’t even chew through a lot of the stems because they were so stringy. To put it bluntly, they need to fire their green vegetables supplier because they shouldn’t be serving this quality to their customers. The other dish that was disappointing was the enoki mushroom and tofu dish. It tasted quite ‘fishy’… I questioned mum what it could be, and she suspects that the dried scallops they used were probably not fresh. I’ve never had this experience before, but I’ll take her word for it.

Overall, the dishes here were a bit hit and miss. I noticed they really excel in a lot of the fried dishes, but I would never come here for greens. It’s not a place I would personally come back to, but if mum wanted to come here again then I would join her. Sometimes it’s not just the quality of the food, but also who you eat it with.

Red Panda
Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 4/192 Brandon Park Dr, Wheelers Hills VIC 3150
Phone: +61 3 9561 3256

Red Panda Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tahina Bar, Fitzroy

Tahina Bar has made a great name for themselves in serving Israeli street food in Northcote. They recently opened their second restaurant in Fitzroy and kindly invited us to check it out.

Upon entering Tahina Bar in Fitzroy my first impression was that the restaurant looked really clean with white walls and chairs, hints of blue and wooden tables. From the entrance the space looked like a small eatery but then you walk through to the back and it opens up into a lovely outdoor space with a roof and string lights sweeping low from the ceiling that remind me of Austin, Texas.

When we perused the menu we were surprised to find out that it was in fact a vegetarian Israeli restaurant! Either we never noticed when we checked it out online or it wasn’t really something that was advertised. Anyway I was fine with that. We need a break from meat sometimes anyway. Davin had a 20 second panic attack as he’s so used to having meat with everything but then he moved on when he saw the interesting menu items.

To start off we ordered a couple of smoothies. I ordered the Green Goddess smoothie which had mixed berries, spinach, almond butter, medjool dates, raw vanilla protein and coconut milk. Davin got the Green Warrior which consisted of spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, bee pollen and coconut water. Both smoothies were thick and tasted so nice and HEALTHY! I felt like they were a meal in itself!

For food I ordered the red falafel pita pocket mixed with chilli and red peppers, hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini. Davin ordered the yarakoht pita pocket which had sautéed mushrooms, pumpkin, hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage and tahini. They were delicious!

The red falafel pita pocket was really nice and we got an extra plate of a mix of green and red falafels served on its own with hummus and tahini for our eating pleasure. The falafels were really flavoured and crispy on the outside. We also thoroughly enjoyed the yarakotht pita pocket. The flavour combination of the mushrooms, the super fresh israeli salad and the hummus and tahini made each bite so tasty! The bread of the pita pockets were also warm and fluffy.

We shared the white shakshuka platter which had free range eggs, wild mushrooms, fennel, Jerusalem artichokes, chilli, fresh thyme, oregano and Meredith goats cheese. This dish was also certainly not lacking flavour. It smelt amazing because of the lovely spices and herbs and tasted just as good. It was an easy dish to eat and we happily used the fresh bread they served with hummus and lapped up as much as our tummies would allow of the dish.

We also ordered the cauliflower papiot which was a great dish. The cauliflower was slow roasted so it was really soft but lightly charred and served with hummus, lemon and tahini. A real easy dish to enjoy.

Finally for dessert we were served with the baklava. We generally find baklavas overly sweet but this one was actually nice and was filled with crunchy goodies. Unfortunately we started eating it before we realised we should have taken a good photo of it!

Overall we were quite impressed with the quality of the food. It felt like hearty home style cooking which we really liked. We met Roy, the chef and who owns Tahina with his partner Natalie, and he was so lovely and open for a chat. His passion for cooking great dishes with top quality produce and putting his love into these dishes for his customers is clear when he’s talking to us.

So do check Tahina Bar out and don’t let the fact that it is a vegetarian restaurant turn you away if you are a meat lover!

Tahina Bar, Fitzroy
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 362 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9417 4510
Website: tahinabar.com

Tahina Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kung Fu Burger

Bruce Lee, the greatest martial artist to walk the face of the earth. It was not only his fighting abilities, but his approach and philosophy to martial arts which was so admirable. In case you haven’t realised, I’m a HUGE Bruce Lee fan! Judging by the layout of Kung Fu Burger, the owners obviously adore this martial arts legend too.

The interior’s yellow colour scheme is a tribute to Bruce Lee’s famous yellow jumpsuit. The huge martial arts/burger poster looks to be a custom design and sets the tone that these guys are serious about martial arts and burgers! It’s so cool to see these guys channel something they love into their business. There are so many burger joints these days with their hipster interiors, but I felt the love with Kung Fu Burgers. I could be bias, but this place feels more personal to me.

We started off with a chicken bites and chips special. The chips were nothing to rave about, but the chicken bites were out of this world! Soft, juicy and succulent. I couldn’t believe how good they were, it was such a tease because I had to share them with Helen. The chicken wings on the other hand were not so enjoyable. They were smothered with an overly sweet sauce which was sickeningly sweet and was an appetite killer.

After the roller coaster ride with the starters, we moved onto the burgers. Helen got the Minister Chicken and I got the Gangnam Style. These burgers were absolutely SOLID. The characteristics of the chicken bites carried onto the chicken in the Minister Chicken. The yuzu mayo sauce which went with it worked so well because the yuzu actually cut through the heaviness of the mayo. I’d never thought I’ll use the word ‘refreshing’ to describe a mayo sauce, but this was exactly how it tasted.

The patty in the Gangnam Style burger was cooked beautifully. It also had strong beef flavours, exactly how a great beef patty should be. On my first bite, the Korean mayo and Kim Chi registers on my tongue but the brain is lagging. After a couple of seconds, my eyebrows go up and then I spurt out “this works!”. There’s also Asian slaw and cheese with this burger, and all the ingredients work together to create a memorable burger experience. The cherry on top is the fact that this burger only costs $12! Move over $20+ burgers, we have a new sheriff in town.

They put a skewer through the burger to keep it together. Just pretend it’s not there because everything falls apart anyway. This may be the messiest burger I’ve ever eaten. My hands were all dirty, I had sauce leaking everywhere, it was chaotic! I would recommend wearing dark coloured clothing or pre-stained clothes before coming here. I wasn’t offended at all by the mess, I just had a laugh! Just be aware that no amount of tissues was going to help. A quick wash of my hands with soap and water, and they were good as gold. A basin in the outside dining area would be hugely beneficial I think.

Will we return? Most definitely! It’s a high calorie meal but a walk to the Jam Factory cinemas helps with the fullness. Both of the burgers we had were only $12, the value of these burgers is unrivaled. Combine this fact with their late trading hours and there really is no reason to not try these guys out!

Kung Fu Burger
Address: 355 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9043 3361
Website: kungfuburger.com.au

Kung Fu Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


If you’re looking for a feast of Middle Eastern spices, flavoursome dips and succulent meats then look no further than Tavlin.

Located in Caulfield South, the restaurant stands out brightly on a corner block and beckons you in. We have dined here on many occasions with family and friends and always look forward to the feast which awaits us inside.

We always start off with their delicious assortment of dips and salads which comes with freshly homemade laffa bread. I’ve always loved dips and these were delicious, even their hummus. Now I’m not the biggest fan of hummus so it has to be really good to win me over. And win me over it did!

The Moroccan beef cigars are also a highlight. Crispy delicate pastry on the outside, stuffed with spiced minced beef and onions and served on green tahini. Each bite was a burst of flavours. We also ordered the fried cauliflower and sauteed mushrooms which also did not lack in spices and flavour.

For mains we ordered a variety of grilled meats to share which included chicken, chicken liver, beef, lamb and salmon. All the meats were seasoned well but the chicken in particular was oh so soft and succulent! We got some chips, more bread and salads to enjoy with our meats.

We ended the night with a few desserts which included the Turkish delight ice cream, trio of sorbet and Turkish delight. My favourite was the Turkish delight ice cream because it tasted just like the real thing but it wasn’t too overly sweet.

The food never disappoints here and has always been consistent for us so if you’re in the mood for a hearty meal packed with flavours and lovely spices, check out Tavlin!

Address: 678 Glen Huntly Rd, Caulfield South VIC 3162
Phone: +61 3 9972 5666
Website: tavlin.com.au

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

Shanklin Cafe

We’ve had Shanklin Cafe on our ‘to try’ list for a while now and finally got around to checking it out one weekend for brunch. Located in a more quiet area of Hawthorn where there isn’t as much competition with other eateries, Shanklin Cafe is a cute cafe embedded in with other residential houses, with the exception of the exterior of the building painted a dark grey so that it stands out as an invitation to come in and eat!

It was bustling and very busy when we walked inside however it wasn’t long before we were seated quite efficiently at a table. Davin and I ordered a couple of lattes to start off with and we were impressed already of the quality of the coffees. They were good strong lattes, something we don’t quite often get these days as we find they can be weak and too milky. But not these! They were strong and served at the perfect temperature.

For food I ordered the baked eggs shakshuka which included red peppers, cherry tomatoes, chorizo and goat cheese served with sourdough bread. This dish was SO good! I’ve had many baked eggs dishes during my brunch life and this one was top notch. I loved how it bursted with the flavours of the tomato and the saltiness of the chorizo, balanced out by the perfectly runny eggs. I was also surprised that for a dish that can generally be quite heavy, it was light and didn’t make me feel too overly stuffed. I certainly lapped up every last bit of the sauce with my bread.

Davin ordered the acai superbowl which was blended with banana and topped with seasonal fruits and granola. It was such a pretty dish and presented in a lovely bowl on a wooden serving board. It was also delicious! Davin gobbled it up pretty quickly and from the few bites I had, it was really refreshing and not too overly sweet.

I also ended up getting some freshly squeezed juice which consisted of apple, carrot, celery, ginger and orange. It was so thirst quenching and had the perfect balance of ingredients.

Overall we were very impressed with Shanklin cafe and will definitely be back to check out their other menu items and for their great coffee!

Shanklin Cafe
Address: 500 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3123
Phone: +61 3 9882 7549
Website: shanklincafe.com.au

Shanklin Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Light Years

We came across another great brunch place over the weekend! Light Years is located on the less busy end of Camberwell Rd in Hawthorn East so it was fairly easy to find parking on a Saturday.

The cafe is quite a large open and modern space with plenty of floor to ceiling windows right around, allowing lots of natural light to spill in. There are plenty of tables and chairs and we were seated right away.

I ordered a latte and Davin ordered a green juice for drinks. The latte was made just right, it wasn’t too hot and it was strong and not too milky.

For food I ordered the pork belly eggs benedict with poached eggs, spinach, apple, housemade bbq sauce and maple hollandaise on english muffins. The pork belly servings were generous and was really nice, the eggs were runny just the way I like them, and the sweetness of the apple made it a killer flavoured dish!

Davin ordered the miso scrambled eggs which had soy roasted mushrooms, seaweed, nori, spring onion, charred corn, and milk bread sticks. This was probably the highlight dish. The scrambled eggs were cooked so perfectly, they were soft and fluffy with lovely flavours. They were buttery and sweet with the right amount of saltiness. The sauce that went with it added to the flavours.

We found the overall portions to be quite generous and the food came out very quick considering how busy they were. The staff were also friendly and super efficient. A brunch place we’ll definitely be back again.

Light Years
Address: 132 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East VIC 3123
Phone: +61 3 9882 0181
Website: lightyearscafe.com.

Light Years Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Emerald Peacock

After dinner with the lovely Bearabbit, Tim.E and their partners recently we decided to find a bar for some drinks. Davin and I have been to Emerald Peacock on many occasions in the past but it sure has been a while! Nothing however seems to have really changed. The area is quite spacious and the decor still included lots of velvet chairs, retro wallpaper and chandeliers.

We headed straight up to the rooftop bar but it was so packed and noisy, there was nowhere to sit so we went back downstairs where it was a lot dimmer and found a lovely, intimate empty section which was kind of closed off by curtains. We thought the area was reserved for VIP guests but were told by a worker that we could use the space. WINNING! We had the whole room to ourselves for a while until other people discovered it!

Table service is provided here although we didn’t realise that at the start and went straight to the bar to order some drinks. Davin and I ordered the Bowmore 15 and Glenlivet 18, both neat. The Bowmore 15 was nice but I liked the taste of the Glenlivet more as it had more complexity to it.

Overall, having that section to ourselves made it a great place to catch up. It is quite dark downstairs and hard to see, and it can get very noisy particularly upstairs so I think seating location there is important when finding a nice spot to have a few drinks and chat.

The Emerald Peacock
Address: 233 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 9654 8680
Website: theemeraldpeacock.com

The Emerald Peacock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mussel Pot

Lately we’ve been really loving Prahran Market so have been dropping by quite often on the weekends. There are a number of reasons why we go so often. It is our go to for high quality rump cap steaks! However another key reason is that it’s one of the few markets that is open until 5PM. And those of us who know us well, know we love our sleep in!

Anyway we’ve walked by the Mussel Pot van a couple of times with keen interest to try them out, however unfortunately they can sell out pretty quickly and have tended to miss out… until this glorious day we will speak of now! One recent chilly but lovely Saturday, after we had a quick bite to eat for lunch, we tentatively walked up to the Mussel Pot van to see if they still had mussels. And to our delight we could still see the friendly workers cooking some mussels away!

So we quickly surveyed the menu board showing a list of different ways we could have these lovely live fresh mussels direct from the farm. Davin’s colleague has raved about this place before and told us to go for the mussels steamed in chilli, coconut, tomato, cream and parsley. Now my first thought was that this was an interesting combination of ingredients, a mussel broth I have not come across before. So I was keen to try it out! We ordered a serving of that to share.

When our order was ready, the friendly lady handed over our mussels in a plastic bowl, placed inside a plastic bag, conveniently for us to discard our shells. We excitedly unwrapped the plastic bag to be hit with these lovely aromas of coconut, tomato and chilli. It smelt magnificent. We also instantly noticed how generous they were in the portion. The mussels were stacked up high above the level of the bowl with a couple of pieces of bread on top.

We took our first bite of the mussels submerged in the lovely broth and were completely blown away! The mussels were so plump and juicy. They were also cooked to perfection, certainly not overcooked. The flavours of the broth went so well with the mussels. It was a spectacular dish. We have to admit, we’ve had plenty of mussels in Belgium, but these were super special. We have not stopped thinking about them since and will certainly be back to eat more of these juicy plump mussels the next time we’re at Prahran Market, which will be very soon!

Mussel Pot
Approx $13 AUD per person
Address: Prahran Market, 163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 417 050 617
Website: www.prahranmarket.com.au/trader/the-mussel-pot

Mussel Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


We caught up with our group of fellow bloggers again recently to check out B’Churrasco, a Brazilian restaurant which focuses on BBQ style cooking techniques. Now here is a warning: you have to love meat and lots of it if you do dine here! Why? Because you will be provided with a never ending stream of different freshly barbecued meats that have been cooked over an open fire and presented on sword length skewers that are brought out and carved straight onto your plate!

It’s a great experience because you get to choose what meats you would like carved out for you when they come out. So there really isn’t a need for menus because staff will keep coming out to present the particular sword of meat they are holding and you can let them know if you would like some. For about $56 per person, you get to eat as much as you want until you can’t anymore!

In addition to the meats, you get a range of sides which include salads, chips, pasta and these lovely banana fritters which we couldn’t stop ordering more of! Be warned again though not to fill yourself up with the sides and leave PLENTY of room for the meats. The sides came out first and we of course wanted to try a bit of everything.

The meat highlights for us was the picanha (rump cap) and the chicken hearts. Lately Davin has been obsessed with steaks, in particular picanha and so he was really excited to try them out here. The lovely slither of fat left on each slice of the picanha combined with the strong beefy flavour made this a premium cut of meat! Was soo good!

The first lot of chicken hearts were cooked to perfection. They were so juicy and flavoured so we asked for more. However the second sword of chicken hearts were overcooked and dry so there was an inconsistency issue. The third lot that came out were cooked perfectly again and so they were forgiven.

We ended with the grilled cinnamon pineapple which was delicious! We asked for that again a couple of times because it was so good. The barbecued crispy bits with the cinnamon worked so well.

There is a light on the table in which you can leave on green if you want the food to keep on coming, or switch to red when you need a break or have had enough. We finally switched it to red after non stop eating!

Overall it was a pretty good experience. Do make sure that your tummies are completely empty and ready to take on a heavily meaty meal if you decide to dine here though. Another great meal with the lovely company of Bearabbit, Tim.E and Feeds with Gusto.

Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 61 A’Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 8060 4770
Website: bchurrasco.com.au

B'Churrasco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


The saying goes… it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We forgot how we came across Nomada, but by the time we walked out the door, we realised that we have had one of the best Spanish meals ever! Nomada has a strong team of the Melbourne culinary world backing them, think Kettle Black, Bomba and Anada. Luckily I wasn’t equipped with this knowledge prior to writing this review, because it allowed me to enjoy the food as it is, and not to form any comparisons with the other restaurants.

Walking in, we were greeted straight away by a very friendly waiter. He ended up being our exclusive waiter for the night. No complaints from our end, he was extremely personable and knew the menu inside out. Wooden furniture, fancy lamp shades and green plants are scattered across the restaurant. It’s a safe and proven formula, and we felt very much at home. It did smell of heavy smoke inside, like I was next to a giant camp fire. By the end of the night, I was fully marinated and it resulted in the minor inconvenience of a second shower for the day. I’m not a huge fan of washing my hair twice in a day, gotta let those natural oils build up a bit before being stripped again! In saying this, the food did more than make up for the smoky smell…

We started off with some tapas – oysters with seaweed jelly and finger lime, slow cooked egg with spanner crab and Yarra Valley caviar, and Cape Grim steak tartare with black garlic and pulled beef tendon. If these menu items sound delicious to you, imagine the agony we went through with picking what we wanted… it was not a huge menu, but we just wanted to order everything! The steak tartare was a standout dish. Cape Grim is one of my favourite cattle producers, their meat quality is second to none. This quality translates directly across to this steak tartare. The flavour is clean and beefy, tribute to the cattle being grass fed and free of growth hormones. I’ve never had black garlic with steak tartare and I’m happy to say IT WORKS! The sweetness of the black garlic works beautifully with the steak. Steak tartare has come a long way since I’ve started eating it, and this style makes me excited for the future of this dish.

For the mains we got the hanger steak with parsnip, queso valdeon & bone marrow sauce and the coal grilled calamari, potato puree, chorizo & green pea. The hanger steak was cook perfectly, and the bone marrow sauce acted as a flavour booster. The texture was tender enough, but I did try to cut against the grain to help it along also. Calamari is something I love to eat but rarely order outside, because to be honest, most places overcook the hell out of it. This was not the case at Nomada. The potato puree was fluffy like clouds, and the chorizo and peas together were just a match made in heaven! It’s best eaten all together as the chorizo provides the salt for this dish.

We got two complimentary ports with our Creme Catalan dessert. Not my drink of choice generally but boy were these delicious! One thing I will say however is that I found the portions of some dishes a bit small. For example, the pipis cost $9 but I would have only got around 11-12 pipis. So if I divide 9/12, that means each pipi cost 75c each! I would have expected double the amount of pipis for the price? I am a little conflicted because it seems this is the price/quantity ratio of most Spanish restaurants in Australia though. Portion sizes and a smoky dining room are minor problems we can overcome together. I have always liked the Spanish food here more than in Spain. Nomada has further reinforced this view for me, and I’m happy to have another Spanish restaurant to go to. Seriously one of the best Spanish restaurants in Melbourne and I cannot wait to dine here again!

Approx $70 AUD per person
Address: 412A Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9416 4102
Website: nomada.com.au

Nomada Food & Wine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

PappaRich (Chadstone)

PappaRich is a place we think of when we feel like a quick Malaysian meal. There are a number of franchises scattered around Melbourne but the closest one for us these days is the one located just on the outside of Chadstone Shopping Centre.

It’s a casual and spacious setting with plenty of tables and chairs however be warned, you may have to queue up for a table during peak times. The line does go fairly quickly though!

Some of the regular dishes we generally order include the roti canai with curry chicken or tandoori chicken, pappa chicken rice with steamed chicken, dry curry egg noodles with steamed chicken, and the pappa fried mee noodles. The food always comes out fairly quickly and is never short on flavours. The chicken is generally always soft and tender and the portions quite generous.

For drinks we like the Kopi iced coffee, Pappa white iced coffee and the ribena melon. Their drinks are pretty refreshing and never too sweet.

Overall, it’s a decent place to go to when you’re in the mood. I wouldn’t say it’s the best Malaysian food out there however it’ll definitely satisfy that craving!

PappaRich (Chadstone)
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: F029/Chadstone Shopping Centre F029/1341 Dandenong Rd, Malvern East VIC 3145
Phone: +61 3 9568 3323
Website: papparich.net.au

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


We recently dined at Philippe, a French restaurant by Philippe Mouchel, located in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. We had quite high expectations given his previous restaurant, the Brasserie Philippe Mouchel at Crown was pretty good. Upon entering you are warmly welcomed by a window showcasing some of their quality meats before you are escorted by their friendly staff to your table. It is a formal setting with white table cloths, perfect lighting and large framed mirrors. The night we were there it was quite noisy and rowdy. We also noted that there were a lot of tables squashed in closely together particularly in the back room where we were seated, so you don’t get that spacious feel even though the restaurant itself is quite large.

We decided to order the quail and foie gras parfait with red currant and orange ginger jam, and toasted brioche. We’ve never had quail like this before and found it quite interesting. The parfait didn’t taste too unhealthy and rich like the foie gras that I’m used to and we enjoyed it with the jam and toasted brioche.

The second entree we ordered was the beetroot cured Ora King salmon gravlax, fennel salad, walnut mayonnaise and mushrooms. This was also a very nice dish. The salmon wasn’t too salty and was balanced in flavours with the other ingredients.

For mains we ordered the pan seared wild barramundi with autumn brunoise vegetables, beets and a red wine sauce. This dish was nice but didn’t stand out for me.

Davin ordered the Mayura Station wagyu rump cap with a black pepper sauce. It was cooked medium rare, however the outside was probably seared too much which made it a bit tough to bite into. The sauce was probably the highlight and accentuated the meaty flavour of the steak.

We also got sides for our meals which included the potato gratin and sauteed green beans. The potato gratin was quite mushy and was probably lacking in some flavours. The sauteed green beans were also soft and we generally like our beans crunchy so that was a bit of a let down.

Overall, the restaurant provides for a French experience, however for the price, the quality of the food in general could have been better.

Approx $75 AUD per person
Address: 115 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 8394 6625
Website: philipperestaurant.com.au

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

Punjabi Curry Cafe

We were invited to Punjabi Curry Cafe which is located on the more quiet end of Johnston St in Collingwood so parking was easier to find than expected. On the outside the signage makes it look like any other Indian restaurant. However when you enter, you realise how spacious the restaurant really is! It’s a large modernised space with plentiful tables and chairs, and brick arches opening up to other dining areas.

Staff were very friendly and accommodating, allowing us to pick a seat where there would be ample lighting for our photos. After extensively reviewing the menu, we decided to order a range of dishes to share.

We ordered the Mushroom Chilli House Special from their entree list. This dish had mushrooms tossed with onions and capsicums in a homemade garlic chilli soy sauce. The dish was really flavoured and quite nice however the chilli kick was probably lacking. For a dish called Mushroom Chilli we were just expecting it to pack a bit more of the chilli kick but nonetheless it was a nice dish.

For mains we ordered the Butter Chicken, the Goan Fish curry, and the Aloo Gobi which had cauliflower and potato cooked with cumin and spices. We also ordered the Goat Biryani, a garlic cheese naan and a Keema naan which had lamb minced stuffed in the bread.

I’ve always loved butter chicken and so it’s one of those curries I just have to order every time we have Indian as a comparison to other butter chicken dishes I’ve had in the past. Although the dish looked beautiful, I felt the butter chicken here lacked the tomato flavours and was more on the bland side. Similarly both the Goan Fish curry and the Aloo Gobi tasted fine but it didn’t stand out specifically for us. It felt like they were holding back on the flavours. We expected a party in our mouths of flavours, spices and heat but it was very tame for Indian cuisine. It may be that they’ve had to tone down on the flavours and spices to accommodate for their customer preferences, I’m not sure.

The biryani was flavoured but was quite mushy. We haven’t had biryani that wet and soft before. The garlic cheese naan was flavoured quite nice however wasn’t crispy. Davin had the Keema naan which he didn’t feel was very nice so I stuck to my garlic cheese naan.

Overall the restaurant has a lot of potential as their customer service was very good. Staff were super friendly and efficient. The restaurant has great ambience and the layout makes it a really nice place for groups of people to catch up, or for couples to have a nice intimate meal. We just personally felt like the food could have a bit more of the flavours and spiciness we are generally used to as we think there should be no holding back! But that’s just our humble opinion!

Punjabi Curry Cafe
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 87 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: +61 3 9419 5307
Website: punjabicurrycafe.com.au

Punjabi Curry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato