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

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

Nyala African

One night a couple of our friends called us up to see if we were free to catch up for dinner. We in fact did happen to be free and so our friends left it with us to choose a place. Now this happens quite often these days as we’ve been the ‘go to’ for restaurant recommendations for quite some time and we were fine with that. However on this particular night, with dinner only an hour away we went into this frantic panic mode of ‘where can we take our lovely friends where we also haven’t been’?! This is a predicament we’ve been finding ourselves more often these days. It’s easy to recommend our favourite restaurants that we frequent all the time. But it’s getting harder to find a good restaurant which no one has yet been to.

Anyway we told our friends we would handle it, and after some frantic searches and calls we decided to settle on Nyala African. So Davin and our friends have never been to a proper African restaurant before. Davin has tried African cuisine at a food festival but this would be his first proper dining experience. Our friends have never tried it. However I was lucky to have dined with a friend a number of years ago at an Ethiopian restaurant so had a bit of an idea of the type of food they would serve.

Located in the heart of Fitzroy, the entrance of the restaurant produced a narrow set of stairs which we climbed up to the next floor and opened up into a spacious restaurant. The decor had lots of dark wood and African images scattered throughout. With no air conditioning on a hot day, we sure felt like we were in Africa! The staff were super friendly. And when I say staff, I mean just one person who was managing the whole floor! However he seemed to be really on top of everything and was super friendly and accomodating. He talked us through some of the African beers they had on their specials board so we ordered a couple of them and a bottle of Taylors Cabernet Sauvignon.

The menu was extensive and had so many interesting dishes which I wanted to try. To make things easier for everyone we decided to go with one of the banquets so we could try a bit of everything. There were a few banquets to choose from and we ended up picking the one for $38 per person.

The banquet started with some dips and very thin flat bread which one of our friends described it as similar to flat sheets, which I thought, very true! The dips were Tahini – made from sesame paste, yoghurt, lemon juice and olive oil, Deberja – cooked eggplant with tumeric, coriander cumin, capsicum, garlic and yoghurt, and Lentils – Berbere chili, onion, fresh garlic and spices.

All the dips were yummy but out of the 3 we absolutely loved the lentils dip as it was really flavoured and had a spicy kick to it. We asked if we could have a bit more of the lentils dip because it was so good and he promptly brought out a very generous serving of it.

Then came the Baboutie and Cauliflower dishes. The Baboutie consisted of flavoured minced beef with sultanas and nuts mixed through it. This was a really flavoured and appetising dish! The cauliflower was fried and had a thick, soft layer of batter around it. We found this to be quite plain as there wasn’t really any seasoning and the batter around it had a texture we’ve never had before.

For the mains we had 4 meat dishes served with rice, couscous, salad, vegetables and Injera, traditional Ethiopian bread which has this soft, spongy texture, traditionally made from teff flour.

The meat dishes included the Doro Tibs which consisted of boneless pieces of chicken marinated in herbs and spices, sauteed in mild chili, with Nyala Awazi sauce. This chicken was oh so soft and tender and literally just breaks away from your fork. It actually reminded us of the soft chicken you get from Malaysian restaurants.

We also got the Beg Tibs which had marinated and spiced lamb cubes sauteed with fresh tomato, rosemary and white wine on a sizzling plate. The lamb was super flavoured and we loved it. Then came the two beef dishes, the Domeda, a hearty dish from Gambia, which included beef, peanut butter, potatoes, herbs and spices, and finally the Nyala Special which is a traditional Ethiopian stew with lean boneless beef, fresh ginger, garlic and homemade chili with other spices. Both beef dishes were nice and very spicy! The servings were also very generous and between the 4 of us we couldn’t even finish all the food so we were able to take plenty away for the next day.

For dessert we tried all 3 on the menu which was Sweet Couscous – a Moroccan dessert with slivered almonds, sultanas, icing sugar, unsalted butter and icecream, Tafach Mooz – an East African dessert with layers of bananas, brown sugar, cream cheese and cinnamon, and finally the last dessert was chocolate and vanilla icecream. The desserts overall were probably our least favourite as they didn’t stand out as being very special. We were also so full from the meal we couldn’t really finish them!  We also had some Ethiopian coffee with our dessert which as expected was quite different to our usual lattes, but hey – when in Rome, I mean Africa!

Overall it was a great experience. Particularly if you haven’t tried African cuisine before, I would recommend it if you are ever interested in getting a taste!

Nyala African
Approx $40 AUD per person
Address: 356 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone: +61 3 9419 9128
Website: Nyla.com.au

Nyala African Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Miss Katie’s Crab Shack


With all the glorious food that’s available in Melbourne, one thing we haven’t come across much is a place that does good crab! Given Miss Katie’s Crab Shack specialises in these lovely creatures we had to try it out.

Miss Katie’s is located within the Rochester Hotel in Fitzroy. A large red neon sign in the shape of a crab is attached to the building, a clue to point you in the right direction. You have to walk through the main pub to find yet another crab sign and the entrance to the restaurant. The interior is the usual industrial brick, concrete and wooden feel we’ve been seeing a lot in cafes and restaurants. The lights inside are dim to reflect the casual late night feed we were about to get into. Definitely don’t worry about dressing up because you’re there to get your hands dirty!


To start off with we ordered some of the oysters with mignonette and horseradish which were fresh and good. We loved the horseradish kick! We also got some glazed chicken ribs which were also quite nice. But onto the star of the show… the crab!



The menu lets you ‘build your own boil’ and every boil comes with cob corn, spicy kransky, chat potatoes and a 300g – 400g organic Australian blue swimmer crab. We added an extra blue swimmer crab as Davin and I were certainly not sharing! We also got king prawns, surf clams, mussels and some freshly baked corn bread. It came out looking amazing and it tasted pretty amazing too! You just dig in and go for it! Oh and we can’t forget to mention the delicious salad that we also got which had watermelon, jalapeno, radish salad, goats curd and mint. It was so refreshing, the combination of the goats curd and sweetness of the watermelon was brilliant.



Overall it was a great experience, we ordered a couple of cocktails to go with our food and it was a good night! A great place to take some of your family and friends for a casual, good feed!


Miss Katie’s Crab Shack
Approx $60 AUD per person
Address: 202 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Phone:+61 3 9419 0166

Miss Katie's at Rochester Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato