Atlas Dining

There are a lot of things I respect about Atlas Dining. For one, the food is inspired by chef Charlie Corrington’s travels. I love the fact that he has brought back pieces of his travels, and is now sharing it with us in the form of food. Let’s not forget that he is only 24 years of age. The menu at Atlas dining changes every 4 months to the cuisine of another country. This concept is not only brave, but it shows that they are not scared to push the boundaries. Helen and I had a chance to experience their Peruvian menu, read on to find out what I thought of our experience!

Walking inside, the interior was very warm and comfortable. It had a Scandinavian feel to it, with the use of light coloured wood around the restaurant. The stained stone wall and big mirror on the feature wall was the X Factor. As we sat down, we noticed the leather cutlery pouch straight away. As much as I appreciated the attention to detail, this leather pouch turned out to be a massive confusion! My cutlery was faced in a different direction than Helen’s, so the cutlery on my left side turned out to be on her right side. It was a guessing game which cutlery we were supposed to be using for each dish. Another thing to note is that they love their stoneware here. It felt like a stone exhibition after a while. After scraping on stone with my cutlery for 7 courses, I really missed porcelain dinnerware!

The menu itself was simple enough, $70 for 5 courses or $95 for 7 courses. I was warned beforehand by my trusted adviser that there was no way 5 courses was going to be enough for me. Therefore we opted for the 7 courses, but little did I expect the 7 courses to be so short on food! More on this later. The food itself was very creative and I got to experience some new flavours here. My favourite dishes were the flathead ceviche and lamb arroz. The ceviche was the perfect starter. I had never had flathead this raw before, and didn’t realise it could have such a nice texture. The lime juice punches through and the result is an extremely appetising dish. The lamb arroz was like a savoury rice pudding, with chewy bits of lamb ‘jerky’. They probably don’t call it jerky, but it tastes exactly like it! I thoroughly enjoyed this dish.

Some of the other dishes I wasn’t a fan of was the potato, and duck dish. The potato with Ocopa and Aji sauce was simply way too dense for me. It started congealing in my mouth and I could barely swallow it. The sauces were good though. The duck was bland, which was a shame because it was cooked perfectly. The eggplant and charred beans did very little to help out.

Before I finish up, we need to come back to the portion sizes. If I was to use universal clothing sizes as a guideline, the portion sizes here would be XS! The extra two dishes did very little to fill us up, and I do speak on behalf of Helen because even she expressed the same views. I feel that for the price, they could have provided a bit more food. Unless you’re coming off a lemon juice diet, it’s hard to imagine anyone even getting close to ‘content’ on the 5 courses. I think one should come here expecting to spend $95 per person minimum for the 7 courses, and even then I felt more suppressed than content.

Overall, Atlas Dining opened my eyes to a wide range of Peruvian dishes. Even though the dishes were a bit hit and miss for me, I appreciate the experience nonetheless. One final thing I’d like to say is that the service here was fabulous! The waiting staff were kind and attentive. Their attention to detail was second to none, and we were well looked after. If any of you are reading this review, keep up the good work!

Atlast Dining
Approx $110 AUD per person
Address: 133 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9826 2621
Website: atlasdining.com.au

Atlas Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pie In The Sky

On one sunny afternoon we decided to make the trip to the Dandenong Ranges to check out Pie in the Sky. We’ve known about this place for a while and know that it’s been featured on TV shows as a spot to visit, famous for their hand-made pies made daily.

Upon arrival and entering we could see that it was an obvious tourist drop in place as there were plenty of tourists there either eating in or buying a pie for takeaway. The eatery itself was quite spacious with plenty of wooden tables and chairs.

The staff seated us at a table, however the table still had crumbs and had not been cleaned from the previous customers. In fact, a lot of the other tables looked the same.

The process was to order and pay at the front counter first so Davin got one of the multiple gold medal winner pies which was the Korma Chicken. It had tender chicken pieces and two coloured vegetables in a creamy yellow curry sauce. I ordered the pumpkin pie which had blends of roasted pumpkin and roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary, garlic, leeks and fresh feta. Both pies came out piping hot with a lovely crispy pastry. The ingredients were fresh and flavoured well. I loved the combinations of my pumpkin pie and would definitely order it again. Davin’s pie had generous chunks of chicken, and combined with the curry sauce it was also quite nice.

Overall the pies were very nice and tasted fresh and hand-made. The service however was very average as I think they must get tourists in everyday and perhaps don’t have enough time to clean and set the tables in time.

Pie in The Sky
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 43 Olinda-Monbulk Rd, Olinda VIC 3788
Phone: +61 3 9751 2128
Website: pieinthesky.net.au

Pie in the Sky Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Curry Smuggler

We recently had the pleasure of being invited to dine at Curry Smuggler. In addition to the fact that I love their choice of name for their restaurant (it certainly made me giggle!), I love Indian cuisine and never get an opportunity to eat it as much as I would like to so of course we happily accepted the invitation!

Curry Smuggler is located on the business end of Brunswick Street in Fitzroy, a more quiet location away from the busyness that you would normally see and experience on a Saturday night. On the outside, the restaurant looks like any other, however upon entering, we noted how clean, spacious and modern it was inside.

We were warmly greeted and seated at a window seat which was perfect for us. Being a food blogger, great lighting for our photos is everything and nothing beats natural light! Menus were then provided for our perusal which got me quite excited because there were so many delicious dishes to choose from! It is also worth noting that they also have an extensive vegan menu for all the vegans out there which we thought was very considerate.

We settled with trying the Daaku Di Tangri (Smuggler’s) Drumsticks. With ‘smuggler’ in the title we assumed it must be one of their signature dishes so had to try it out. The dish had chicken drumsticks with a core of lamb mince, marinated in tandoori spices and yoghurt and the chef’s special sauce. This is a dish we’ve never had before and was very interesting. It was strange cutting into the chicken to find pieces of lamb mince attached to it. However the meat was tender and flavoured well. The creamy sauce also complemented it.

For mains we ordered the Butter Chicken (it’s one of those dishes I ALWAYS have to get because I love it so much), which were boneless pieces of tandoori chicken cooked with tomato, spices and a nut cream sauce, the Tawa Goat which was cooked in smoked flavoured traditional curry served with smoked onions and capsicum on a hot plate, the Biriyani Lamb which was lamb cooked with basmati rice, and two garlic naan.

The Butter Chicken was really good! The chicken was tender, and the sauce was cooked perfectly as it was not overly creamy and you can taste more of the tomato flavours in the sauce. The Tawa Goat however was probably the star of the show. The goat meat was SO soft! It literally just melted away from the bone and was flavoured really well with lovely spices and flavours.

The Biriyani Lamb was nice however probably didn’t stand out for us compared to the other dishes. Similarly, the garlic naan was just okay, and interestingly had a bit of salt on it which with some bites may have been too salty for our liking.

Overall it was a lovely experience and we enjoyed the food. The prices are probably more on the expensive side compared to other Indian restaurants we’ve come across, however the servings were quite generous and we were so full when we were done!

Curry Smuggler
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 223 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 8597 0647
Website: currysmuggler.com.au

Curry Smuggler Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato