We recently met up with the lovely Bearabbit over the Easter break to experience Jamu after our initial plans didn’t work out (we forgot to take into consideration the fact that a lot of restaurants were closed for the public holiday!). Anyway Jamu has been popping up a lot lately and describe themselves as modern Australian with Asian influences so it peaked out interest to check it out.

Upon arrival, the restaurant looked modern and spacious with wooden decor and floor to ceiling windows. The staff were super friendly, talking us through the menu and even making some recommendations. The menu looked amazing. It had so many unique dishes that we pretty much wanted to order everything! We finally settled on sharing ALL five entrees on the menu which included the cheeseburger springroll, chicken wings, hiramasa kingfish ceviche, raw ora king salmon and the raw beef.

I swear all the entrees were delicious. The cheeseburger springroll was so special and stood out for me. Who wouldn’t say no to trying that? It literally came out looking like a large springroll, was so crispy on the outside and tasted exactly like a cheeseburger on the inside! Their raw dishes, the kingfish ceviche, the raw ora king salmon and the raw beef were all so fresh and were very well balanced in flavours. They also had an element of crunch to it such as puffed rice to provide a layer of texture to their dishes which I loved. The chicken wings came with a dollop of salted egg mayo to dip in which was also quite nice.

For mains we also decided to share the char siu pork, the softshell crab and the roast bendigo chook. The char siu pork was probably our least favourite dish for the night. Even though it was sous vide, it was still quite dry. However it was an interesting new take on a traditional dish. The roast bendigo chook came with com tam sauce and pickled carrots and was flavoured quite well. The chook was so tender and moist, it was a great dish. The softshell crab was fabulous and had a lovely chili sauce with roasted tomatoes and mantou buns. The spicy kick of the chili sauce combined with the sweetness of the roasted tomatoes made it one killer dish. The mantou buns were also great for soaking up the lovely sauce.

Finally (and yes we still had room for it!) we got around to dessert. Given there was 4 of us we decided to share all 4 of the desserts on the menu! My favourite was the mango mousse with coconut granita and mango sorbet. It was a really refreshing dish. The taromisu was also a very unique concept and something we’ve never had before, a take on the tiramisu but using taro instead. It was actually quite nice and not too sweet.

Overall, from the fantastic and unique dishes, to the friendly staff, and of course great company we were in, it resulted in a lovely dining experience. The prices were also quite reasonable however one thing to note is that they do apply a 15% public holiday surcharge fee, a detail we didn’t realise until right at the end.

Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 2 Dyer Street, Richmond VIC 3121
Phone: 0431 261 221
Website: jamudining.com.au

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

Tommy Ruff Fishbar – Mordialloc

Tommy Ruff Fishbar had always been a favourite of ours, and recently my family and I have started eating at their Mordialloc location. They’re located on the busy strip in Mordialloc, and it’s always buzzing here. Even though there’s a lot of car parking available, you may have to occasionally camp for a bit in order to get a spot. Turning off on the smaller side streets, parking is plentiful and generally not too hard to find a spot. The best thing is that the parking is FREE! Considering they’re putting meters everywhere these days, really can’t complain.

Going inside they’ve pretty much kept the same theme from their Elsternwick restaurant. They are really busy here most of the time and the place always feels alive. Whilst this is the case, it’s never too noisy to talk amongst ourselves. They also have an outdoor sitting area available if there’s no tables inside. I rarely opt to eat outside because of the damn flies! However it’s not bad eating outside at Tommy Ruff, I don’t find myself swinging my arms like a mad man.

My dad loves his seafood, but have always complained that he can cook it for a lot cheaper at home. Valid argument I’d say, because eating seafood outside is so damn expensive! The fact that he keeps coming back to Tommy Ruff, shows that these guys are great bang for buck. The staple dishes to get here are the chef’s platter for 2+ and the seafood chowder. We’ve started venturing out to some of their other great dishes. The salmon with soba noodles, Poké bowl and the blue swimmer crab are some of the new dishes we’ve added to our order these days. As usual, all the seafood is fresh and cooked perfectly. I love how the chef platter constantly changes depending on what seafood is available. An example of Tommy Ruff working with their fresh produce and tailoring their platters accordingly.

The service here is fantastic, the waiting staff are on the ball and nothing is too difficult for them. They’re always cheery and smiling with zero attitude, It’s a pleasant place to be eating in. So next time you’re around the area, pay these guys a visit. You can even take away some fish and chips and enjoy it at the beach!

Tommy Ruff Fishbar
Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 574A Main Street, Mordialloc VIC 3195
Phone: +61 3 9580 2525

Tommy Ruff Fish Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



Hey everyone! It feels like it’s been loooong time since we’ve published a post. We’ve been super busy travelling, working on other projects and then studying for my final exam ever! Now that’s done, we’re back into the swing of things such as our love for food.

Calia has been a place that we have wanted AND have attempted to get in to try for a while now. Located at Emporium Melbourne in the CBD, the Japanese menu has been designed by Michelin star chef Francisco Javier Araya. The reviews for this place has been high and the photos of the dishes looked amazing so we were dying to check it out. Attached to the dining area is also a retail concept space which stocks and showcases high quality, luxury food and food related products.


However they are only open until 7.30 pm from Saturday to Wednesday and 9.30 pm from Thursday to Friday, and they don’t take bookings. Therefore you really just have to show up and try your luck at putting your name on the wait list. They take your number down and text you when it’s ready. However there are no guarantees you’ll get in because like us when we first tried, if it reaches almost closing time then you’ve missed out for the night. Their dining area is not huge either so the only tip we have is to get there as early as possible.

On this joyous night we decided to get there at 5.30 pm, and lo and behold, we were seated within about 20 minutes! We were so excited! While we were waiting we just browsed around in their retail store which had items ranging from wine, cured meats and truffle slices to tea pots, whiskey glasses and honey dippers.


Once we were seated we perused the menu and realised we pretty much wanted to try almost everything because it all sounded amazing! After some time though we narrowed it down. From the grazing menu we ordered the Alaskan king crab claw baked in miso mayonnaise, Unami fries, raw scallops dressed in wasabi ponzu sauce, baked scallops (cause we just had to try both versions!), and ox tongue with yakitori sauce.



The Alaskan king crab claw was a bit disappointing as it was dry and had no crab flavour at all. I think they relied heavily on the very strong miso mayonnaise. It was probably our least favourite dish of the night. The Unami fries were absolutely amazing! They were crunchy and flavoured with seaweed and the perfect spices. We couldn’t stop eating them! The raw scallops were SO fresh and their light dressing ensured the scallops itself were the hero of the dish. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night and I took my time savouring it. The baked scallops were also delicious and the creamy mayo sauce they baked it in was perfectly balanced in flavours.




What surprised us the most however was the ox tongue. When it came out we were wondering if it was really ox tongue or whether it was actually beef as they were presented on skewers as thick square shaped pieces. I guess we were envisioning thin slices of meat being ox tongue. But oh my gosh they were ox tongue and they were so soft! The meat literally melted in our mouths. They were SO good! The best ox tongue we’ve ever had! We also enjoyed it with this special green matcha beer they recommended which went down really well.



For the mains we ordered the marbled Sukiyaki bowl which had premium Marble 9+ wagyu slices with a 63 degrees egg and rice. This dish was SO tasty! The wagyu was so soft and flavoured perfectly, a spoonful of the wagyu, the rice and the egg was heaven. We also ordered the Ochazuke Samon which had grilled sustainably caught Tasmanian salmon with a dashi tea broth. The tea broth was lovely however the salmon was a bit dry. We recently had a similar dish with the tea broth in the U.S which was better.



With dessert we ordered the chocolate lava cake which oozed of warm matcha ganache. This dessert was to die for and we loved that strong bitterness of the dark chocolate. Really yummy dessert. We were also given a complimentary dessert which was their newly created crepes filled with the loveliest yuzu flavoured cream. It was really good and I would definitely order that again.

The service was good and there were a lot of staff to attend to their diners. Food came out super quick. We did struggle a bit in communicating with one of the staff because his English wasn’t that good, but other than that they were really friendly and accommodating. The prices for high quality food such as this are also VERY reasonable.

Overall it was a great experience and we’re really glad we got the opportunity to try their food.


Approx $40 AUD per person
Address: Shop 8, Level 3/287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9662 1688
Website: calia.com.au

Calia 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
Website: www.chezolivier.com.au
Address: 121 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9525 2273

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

Cafe Amba


We were recently invited by Cafe Amba to come and dine at their newish cafe, opened in January this year and located literally opposite the Jam Factory in South Yarra. We loved the decor as soon as we entered. A lot of cafes these days are going for that hipster feel with the brick walls and wooden furnishings however Cafe Amba had that plus the additional touch of glamour with modern hanging lights against a mirror backdrop making it quite the feature when you walk through. It was very pretty. There is also a back room and a little courtyard however on this occasion we were seated indoors. This was fine by us as it has been pretty chilly lately in Melbourne!


We were provided with the menus with included all day breakfast (yay!) and a separate menu outlining their specials for the day. We ended up ordering most of the items on the specials which included the Open Face Chef Omelette. This had bacon, kipfler potato, chilli and chives served open with toasted Roma tomatoes. I loved that the omelette had chunky bits of the different ingredients. It was also a very generous portion. We shared the cauliflower soup served with a dash of basil pesto and toast. The soup was delicious and again the bowl was huge! I could have had it on its own as a meal.



Davin ordered the salmon and prawn linguine which also had broccoli, onion, tomato, spinach and garlic in Napoli sauce. Now this was the highlight dish for us because the linguine was cooked to perfection, the salmon and prawns were fresh and the flavour of the sauce complimented the dish so well because it was not overly seasoned but just light and delicious. It was gobbled up pretty quickly!


We also finished up with some seasonal fruit salad with natural yoghurt and honey. I got my usual latte which was good and served with the right temperature. We also ordered some fresh juices with our meals. After being served the first couple of dishes, staff asked us if we wanted to move to a larger table to fit all our dishes which was fine by us. This normally happens with most places after they realise we’ve ordered food for more than the average couple! So we moved to the back room which had a lovely feature wall of flowers and plants painted directly onto the wall to finish our meal. It was very pretty.


Overall the food was really good, the staff were very friendly and accommodating and I loved the decor of the cafe. We will definitely be back!


Cafe Amba
Approx $25 AUD per person
Website: cafeamba.com.au
Address: 497 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9827 6747

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



We were recently invited by the lovely Tenzin to dine at his restaurant Shimbu, a Tibetan restaurant which recently opened in Brunswick East. So before we go into the finer details, thank you heaps Tenzin for your very generous and warm hospitality!

Upon arrival we were warmly greeted by Tenzin and straight away loved the vibe of the place. It had a casual yet very modern feel. We loved the large ‘Shimbu’ feature sign on the wall and it was buzzing with people. Davin was also very interested in the cool stools. For me personally because I have a bad back I always prefer proper chairs with the backing support but I have to admit that they did suit the decor of the place.



The menu is very cool as it had a list of traditional dishes on one side and on the other side of the menu it had options with a modern twist. We settled on some of Tenzin’s recommendations plus some other dishes we found interesting. We found the prices very reasonable with entrees on the traditional menu averaging $5-$6 and mains about $15. Set menus are available on the modern menu if you are not sure what to order and are priced at $34.90 per person and $24.90 for the vegetarian option.

From the traditional menu we ordered the shoko khatsu which consisted of potatoes with fresh tomatoes, ginger and spices. This was a really nice dish and I loved that they left the skin on the potatoes. We also ordered the steamed beef dumplings. The outer dough of the dumplings was quite thick compared to the dumplings we were used to however the beef itself was full of flavour. We ordered the chicken bedhai curry with coconut milk and vege and the sarsha tema under the vegetarian section which had mushroom and snow peas with garlic and ginger. I loved the sarsha tema dish! It was full of flavour and the vegetables were not overcooked, the snow peas still had that lovely crunch to it.


From the modern menu we got the pork belly soft tacos with white radish, carrot, tomato and kewpie mayo served on pan fried roti. There was an option to add avocado which we did. Oh my gosh this dish was so tasty! The roti was so light and crispy, it was probably the best roti I’ve had to date. And the pork belly with the other ingredients and their special mayo was a match made in heaven. We scoffed them pretty quickly!


We also ordered their bao buns which were freshly steamed with soft shell crab, white radish, carrot, coriander and kewpie mayo. This too was also really nice, the soft shell crab had that crunch and the bun itself was light and fluffy. We ALSO got the shimbu fried chicken. By the time this came out I could only eat one piece because I was so full so Davin pretty much cleaned it up.


For dessert we ordered at Tenzin’s recommendation the deysee which was sweet rice with sultanas and nuts. It also came with some coconut ice cream which balanced out the sweet rice well. A really nice end to such a feast.

Overall, it was a great experience. The food was fantastic and great value, service was really good and we loved the vibe of the place. We would highly recommend you check it out. Thanks again to Tenzin and the staff at Shimbu for your hospitality!


Approx $30 AUD per person
Address: 58 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Phone: +61 3 9939 0224

Shimbu Tibetan Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pablo Honey


We would like to thank Pablo Honey for inviting Helen and I to dine at their newly opened restaurant/bar. Please note that this meal was sponsored by Pablo Honey, however we pride ourselves on writing honest reviews for you guys and in this instance it’s no exception.

There’s a reason why we don’t dine at St Kilda much and that’s simply because the parking can be absolutely horrid! It was no different this time, as St Kilda had some event on which not only meant that parking was bad but traffic was also bumper to bumper. After a bit of driving around and frustration in the car, we decided to go to my trusty paid parking spot at the Coles car park. It was a short walk to Pablo Honey and wasn’t too bad.

We were greeted warmly by Emily at the door. First thing I noticed was the huge and brightly lit bar on the left. The honeycomb wall which doubles as alcohol bottle storage space was a very nice touch and stays true to the name of the restaurant. Emily had reserved a nice big table for both of us. As I’ve mentioned before in my reviews, big tables are just awesome, because we eat so much and it’s nice to have some table space to move the dishes around for photos.


A friendly waitress attended to us straight away and handed us the drinks menu. She would turn out to be the sole person serving us for the night, which I was very happy with. She was quick, on the ball, and knew the menu inside out. From the ingredients to the cooking techniques, she could answer all the questions we threw at her. She was a gun at her job, and Pablo Honey are very fortunate to have her working for them.

We opted to go for 3 small share plates and 1 large share plate in order to try some more foods. Looking back at what we ordered and the prices, I would say that the small share plates are pretty good value as they are a decent quantity for the price. Add to the fact that you also get to try more dishes it’s a no brainer. I personally found the large share plates a bit expensive, as the 3 dishes ranged from $45 to $55.


We ordered the smoked chicken wingettes, ceviche of octopus, green tree ant cured salmon, and the smoked fillet of snapper as the large share plate. The smoked chicken came with a salsa which had nice spiced flavours. Chicken was also extremely tender. There were however only mild hints of smokiness, I was expecting a lot more smokey flavours as per the name of the dish. As I bit into the chicken, I noticed that the meat was not smoked and as I suspected it the smokiness was from the sauce.

The ceviche of octopus I didn’t particularly enjoy. I expected the octopus to be more raw, but instead I was served an orange coloured thoroughly cooked octopus. The octopus itself was also very chewy, and was quite hard to swallow. Green tea cured salmon was my favourite dish of the night.


The salmon was fresh, soft and fatty! Great dish as it wasn’t heavily flavoured and allowed the salmon taste to shine. The salt and vinegar taro chips which came with the salmon was weirdly satisfying and went surprisingly well together. The taro chips to salmon ratio was a bit of whack though and we had way too many taro chips left over. Considering they were too flavoured to have by themselves, we couldn’t finish the chips. The smoked fillet of snapper tasted really good. I could tell that the fish was smoked this time as it penetrated the snapper meat. This also caused it’s downfall too as it made the delicate snapper meat a bit tough. The seaweed salad that came with it was probably our least favourite of the night. It may as well have been called a grapefruit salad as there was so much grapefruit in it. The dressing was also not very pleasant.


The dessert was very unique. We ordered the Dulce de Leche Mousse which was recommended by the waitress. It came out in the mould of a skull which represented the the wall of many beautiful skull sculptures behind our table which are designed and created by the owner Matt’s wife. There are so many pretty ones that are available for sale there. Anyway back to the skull dessert. With a spoon, we cracked into the skull sculpture which got us into the mousse. It was a very interesting way of presenting it. The initial entry of the mousse was pleasant and eyebrow raising but it got too sweet very quickly. There was also the element of popping candy which gave it some texture.


In summary we did enjoy our time at Pablo Honey. The interior decorations along with the superb customer service was the highlight of our experience. I admire the creativity of the food as it sets a point of difference with other restaurants, however the food was a bit hit and miss. Some fine tuning of the food and the potential would be infinite. The great thing was that Matt (one of the owners) welcomed our suggestions, and with such an open mind, it’s surely a recipe for success. I love supporting small restaurant businesses and would be happy to help in whatever way I can. If you’re around the area, give Pablo Honey a visit and show them some support, as I see a bright future for this new restaurant.


Pablo Honey
Approx $50 AUD per person
Website: www.pablohoney.net/
Address: 68 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182
PHone: +61 3 9534 3246

Pablo Honey 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
Website: www.noirrestaurant.com.au
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
Website: www.bahari-richmond.com.au/
Address: 179 Swan St, Melbourne VIC 3121
Phone:+61 3 9427 7898

Bahari The Hellenic Palate 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
Website: www.steerbarandgrill.com.au
Address: 15 Claremont St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone: +61 3 9040 1188

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

The Moat


We recently discovered this gem of a place and loved it so much we had to share this with you! The Moat is located in the CBD and is tucked away under the State Library. When you walk down the stairs you first reach the outdoor area which is a lovely place for drinks on a warm day, or even on cold day as they have the outdoor heaters to keep you warm if it’s chilly.

In our true spontaneous style, Davin and I did a quick search and just rocked up without a booking. On this particular day they were packed because they had a function on so there were no available tables however the waitress was very friendly and told us if we were happy to wait, we could enjoy some drinks in the outdoor area until a table was available. So we did just that! I ordered a glass of red and Davin got the Martin Miller’s Gin Martini with an olive.


It was quite a bit of a wait before a table was available inside however since we didn’t make a reservation we couldn’t complain. They were nice to give us the menus in advance for our perusal so that by the time we were called in we knew exactly what we wanted.

Finally a table was available so were able to view the inside of the restaurant! Upon entering it almost feels like you’re walking into a medieval cave with the dim lighting and uneven stone walls. With the additional touch of bookshelves with books and wine bottles, it’s quite a romantic ambience and setting.


We ordered the Spanish Cuca sardines picante served in a tin with crispy bread and kasundi as a starter which was really nice. The kasundi relish really complimented the sardines and made it a really tasty dish.


We also ordered the blowtorched salmon with beetroot prosecco gel and a celeric lime salad. This was a lovely, refreshing dish and presented very prettily.

The baked cauliflower with raddichio, lemon and zucchini, labne with a walnut and parmesan crumb looked interesting so decided to get that too. Although the dish was quite nice, it was probably our least favourite out of everything we ordered because the other dishes were so amazing. So onto our two favourite dishes of the night!


We ordered the pulled BBQ beef brisket which came with roast corn salsa, chilli sour cream and corn tortillas. The ingredients were de-constructed so you could wrap as much of what you wanted in your tortilla, and let me tell you, it was SO GOOD! The beef brisket was so unbelievably flavoured! Combined with the roast corn salsa and chilli sour cream, each bite with the tortilla was just a burst of flavours. It was my favourite dish of the night and probably one of the best beef briskets I’ve had to date!


Davin’s highlight was the chipotle spiced chicken ribs with smoked garlic aioli. This was pretty amazing, It was so amazing that we ended up ordering a second serving! The chicken was so flavoured and moist, coupled with the smoked garlic aioli it was divine! We are a big fan of smoked dishes and loved it with aioli.


For dessert we really wanted to try the coconut panna cotta with limoncello syrup however it was unfortunately sold out. We were so disappointed because we wanted to compare it to the one we had in Venice. Oh well! We settled on their creme brulee which was their special that day. It was very nice as was all their dishes that night.

Overall, The Moat provided us with a great experience and we have to say that this was our favourite restaurant for 2015! The service was great, the food was top notch (I’m still thinking about that beef brisket and the chicken ribs) and the ambience was really nice. Whether you’re looking for a place to have a drink or to have a great meal, I highly recommend you check it out!


The Moat
Approx $50 AUD per person
Website: www.themoat.com.au
Address: 176 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone:+61 3 9094 7820

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

Jimmy and the Wolf Head East


Helen and I were invited to a ‘Beergustation’ dinner at Orient East. This event was named Jimmy and the Wolf Head East. The event consists of an eight course dinner with beer pairings from two breweries, Wolf of the Willows & Brewcult. Their marketing team emailed us and asked if we wanted to come. Even though we’re not huge beer drinkers, we were happy to attend!

(Note: this event was not sponsored, so we did have to pay $65 per person just like everyone else).

Orient East is attached to a hotel. Now restaurants attached to flashy hotels are quite a big thing in Asia and Europe. They are seen as more prestigious and generally offer decent food. Unfortunately in Australia, restaurants attached to nice hotels don’t seem to have the same stigma. We were eager to see if Orient East fell into this same category.

We got there and I must say things weren’t off to a good start at all. They didn’t have our booking! How they can offer us an invitation but not even have our names on the booking is mind boggling. Later they told us that they outsource their marketing to a third party company so there must have been some communication breakdown. All is forgiven as everyone makes mistakes and they did provide good service.


When we were finally settled, we waited a few more minutes for others to join us in the event and we were off! There was a sheet of all the dishes and beers for the night. The menu looked very appetizing indeed and we were mildly excited. I won’t go through all the courses in detail as I don’t want to bore you, however I will make a mention of some of the dishes we really enjoyed.

I was initially a bit concerned as I was worried that since it was Asian fusion and a beer event, that they would tailor the food more towards Caucasians. The fact that they served ox tongue as the second course definitely proved otherwise whilst also earning my respect. This is a very brave dish to serve, and shows that they are willing to venture out to what most would consider ‘the norm’. It certainly tasted better than it looked. The ox tongue was soft and succulent, flavours were spot on. I haven’t had some good ox tongue in a while, this dish was well executed. Other stand out dishes include the golden sand chicken wings and the lamb ribs.

P1020401Ox tongue with miso mushroom and black pepper praline

P1020433Lamb ribs – Szechuan rub and 5-spice shaobing biscuit

They certainly left the best dish to last though! The dessert was a doughnut with salted duck egg yolk custard. We saw this on the menu and was thinking to ourselves that the ingredients sound like a recipe for disaster. After we took our first bite, Helen and I just looked at each other with our eyes wide open! This could possibly be one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. It’s funny cause we’ve eaten at numerous hatted and Michelin star restaurants overseas, but we were blown away by this dessert because it’s seriously right up there. It had a tinge of saltiness and wasn’t overly sweet at all. It had a golden crispy outer layer and piping hot egg custard oozing out from the inside. My only regret was that the waitress said that all these dishes were a one off for this special event, therefore I am saddened by the fact that I will never get to eat this dessert again. I really wanted to take mum here to try it too.


Beers were spectacular. These craft beers are certainly different from the mainstream stuff. Hearing the guys from Brewcult talk about each of their beers so passionately was a great experience. They explained what tastes to look for and even serving temperatures. Even though we are both primarily wine and whiskey drinkers, we really enjoyed the beers. They were also extremely generous with the portions.


If any of you guys were wanting to taste some nice Asian fusion food, I’d highly recommend Orient East. Even though you won’t get to order the same dishes we had for this event, I’m sure they’ll produce high quality foods for their normal dinner seatings. Alternatively keep an eye out for their next food event and we may even see you there!

Orient East
Approx $40 AUD per person
Website: http://www.orienteast.com.au/
Address: 348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Phone:+61 3 9685 2900

Orient East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Tippler & Co.

This was a restaurant Helen and I discovered upon returning from our first Europe trip. Trip Advisor is the preferred review site overseas, so out of curiosity I looked up what the top Melbourne restaurant was on Trip Advisor. To our surprise, it was The Tippler & Co! We had never heard of this restaurant before, so we were very curious as to why The Tippler & Co. were rated so highly by our international and local visitors. We made an online booking and when we got there we realised that a booking wasn’t really necessary. This continued to be a common pattern even until today. Out of habit I still call up to make a booking every time just in case. If you’re someone that links how busy a restaurant is to the quality of their food, The Tippler & Co. will throw that theory out the window because their food is amazing!

Pan Fried Gnocchi with sweet potato, sage burnt butter, lemon, pine nuts, goat’s chevre

The food is based on a sharing plate menu. They have a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods which will appeal to a wide range of people. The menu also changes regularly so we do get excited when something new is added (and equally get disappointed when a great dish is taken off). I can tell when a restaurant gets their food right when I really enjoy their vegetarian dishes. I’m usually the type that goes looking for meat in a dish but I actually look forward to the veggie dishes here. As a matter of fact, one of my favourite and long standing dishes here is the roasted cauliflower salad! It consists of cauliflower, green beans, pine nuts, goji berries, quinoa, and tahini yoghurt. This salad is just so appetizing and I love how they just lightly roast the cauliflower. I’ve lost count of the amount of times other places have charred the cauliflower. Everything just goes so well together and being so healthy makes me feel good too. That’s until I move onto the smoked chicken ribs! Oh these were so good we ordered another serving last time we were here. They have a nice woody and smokey flavour that’s been fully embedded into the meat, it’s topped off with a barbeque sauce glaze. These are guaranteed to make you want to lick your fingers!







Their pan fried gnocchi is another stand out. Sage burnt butter with lemon forms the basis of this dish. How can any dish go wrong with these two ingredients together? It’s just not fair! Then sweet potato, pine nuts and little balls of goat cheese are added in. While you’re enjoying the perfectly cooked and fluffy gnocchi, the goat cheese just bursts in your mouth. As the goat cheese flavour mellows down, the sweetness of the potato takes over. The problem with a lot of gnocchi’s is that it can feel a bit heavy and bloated, no such problem here even with the goat cheese. Other dishes such as the spatchcock and the chunky beef & wild mushroom pie were also exceptional. And this is what The Tippler & Co. does so well, they just understand how food should taste. It’s never bland or overseasoned, they just hit the mark consistently and they do it so effortlessly. Their dishes remind me of some country style dishes. Whilst there are similarities with the taste and ingredients used, what I’m really thinking of is the way the food here makes me feel. The food here gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling, the same feeling I get when I’m having hearty country style dishes.

Chunky beef & wild mushroom pie – smoky cheddar scone, roast tomato ketchup

Now the big question on your mind right now is probably… price? Well it’s our go to place to take our friends because the prices here are really reasonable! The last thing we want is to make anyone feel uncomfortable with high food prices. The smaller items such as the roasted cauliflower salad and smoked chicken ribs are around the $10 mark, and the larger meals such as the pan fried gnocchi, pie and spatchcock are in the low $20 price range. Excellent value considering all the dishes come in very decent portions.

The service has always been excellent at The Tippler & Co. They seem to really enjoy their jobs and it shows in their level of service. They are attentive and also break down the waiting staff / customer barrier. My impressions of them are that they are honest and down to earth. If we over order they will be the first to let us know. Their menu knowledge is also impeccable and can pretty much answer any questions you may throw at them. All while still making the effort to come and have a chat with us about a wide range of topics. This is the service I feel most comfortable with and I really appreciate their efforts. One minor disadvantage of The Tippler & Co. is probably the location, it’s situated in East Melbourne and therefore a little far away from the CBD walking wise. However there is a bar here serving a wide range of spirits and beers which should make for a pretty good night! A part of me doesn’t want to give away this hidden gem of a restaurant, well what can I say, guess I’m just a generous person. Do give The Tippler & Co. a try and I’m sure they’ll fulfill your heart with warm and lovely foods.

Ginger and date pudding – salted butter caramel and fried ice cream

The Tippler & Co.
Approx $35 AUD per person
Website: www.thetipplerandco.com
58 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, VIC 3002
Phone:+61 3 9416 0618

The Tippler & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spilt Milk

Spilt Milk

We discovered Spilt Milk a few weeks ago and ever since then I have been dying to go back. Located in Carnegie, Melbourne, it is a very small and cute cafe with small wooden furnishings and open windows that you can sit along and people watch while you enjoy some food and a coffee. We arrived around 2:00 pm for a very late lunch so was able to sit down straight away. Staff were very friendly and handed us the menus for our perusal which consisted of menu items named after animals. We immediately noticed the price which was a lot cheaper than other good brunch/lunch places which is always a plus.

Spilt MIlk

Spilt Milk 2

Because of my love for potatoes, I instantly zeroed in on the Rhino which was a baked jacket potato with chicken (you can also opt for tuna), avocado, corn, sour cream, chives, truffle salt and chilli jam on the side. It was delicious! It felt like a very gourmet version of a spud but all the ingredients went so well together. I tried really hard not to scoff my dish too quickly as I wanted to savour every bite. Davin ordered the Salmon which had smoked salmon, smashed avocado, fetta, capers, red onion, dill, olive oil and lemon on toasted light rye. His dish was also very nice too and the ingredients were very fresh. We both agreed however that the Rhino was the highlight. I allowed Davin to have an extra bite of mine because I could tell he was longing for mine after the first bite. I also ordered a latte which was also quite nice and the temperature was perfect.  Staff were also very friendly and efficient and were happy for a chat. They also asked us how the food was and made sure we were happy with everything when we were paying for the bill. Overall it was a very cute cafe with great quality food and prices were very reasonable. Definitey drop by if you are ever in the area, I may even see you there!


Spilt Milk
Approx $20 AUD per person
288 Neerim Rd, Carnegie VIC 3163
Phone:+61 3 9571 8880

Spilt Milk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yum Cha at Tao Tao House

Since it’s Sunday today, I thought it was only fitting that I post a yum cha review! Last weekend, Helen and I were really craving for some yum cha when we woke up. I was kind of sick of the bad quality yum cha we’ve been getting around our area, so I quickly jumped online to see if there were any other alternatives. I came across Tao Tao House through my research and quickly learned that the chef had worked at Flower Drum for nearly 20 years. He also worked at Golden Dragon Palace afterwards, another very reputable yum cha place. Quite an impressive resume there, I quickly called up Tao Tao House to make a booking.

Tao Tao House - Inside

When we arrived I noticed that Tao Tao House was a lot smaller than other yum cha places we go to. Normally yum cha establishments are huge with a sea of people, but this had a more smaller and intimate feel. The interior had a bit of a purple colour scheme happening with purple chairs and purple table clothes. A little different from other yum cha places, but it was quite nice and I quickly got used to it. The waiter seated us down straight away with some jasmine tea. One thing I hate about a lot of other yum cha places was the wait to get the first dishes on the table. No such problem here, a lady walked by with a tray of food and we were well on our way!

Tao Tao House - Yum Cha

Tao Tao House -

We quickly filled our table with food. The dishes we ordered were Har Gau (prawn dumping), scallop siu mai, chive prawn dumpling, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, chicken feet in black bean sauce, BBQ pork puffs, Xiao Long Bao (pork soup dumplings), prawn rice noodle roll and Chinese egg tarts. All the dishes were extremely high quality, and I was very impressed with both the taste and texture of each dish. Some of my highlights include the Har Gau, the prawns were very fresh inside and you could taste the prawn pieces in the dumpling. At some of the other yum cha places, the prawn in the dumpling can taste mushy. The Chinese broccoli was really crunchy and blanched perfectly. The oyster sauce was light, and flavoured the broccoli nicely without being salty. The chicken feet was so good! As soon as I tried one, there was a burst of flavour in my mouth. The prawn rice noodle roll had a very thin outing which just dropped over my chopstick when I picked it up. A lot of places make the rice noodle roll way too thick, which can taste very doughy and non appetizing. The prawns inside were once again very fresh. As much as we wanted to finish with a mango pudding, we were just too full. We enjoyed some fresh Chinese egg tarts for dessert. The pastry was very light and flaky. The egg filling inside was silky smooth and actually tasted like egg, and not just a sweet filling. Simply delicious…

Tao Tao House - Egg Tarts

It felt like there were a lot of staff there for a smallish place. We never had any trouble getting anyone’s attention, which can sometimes be a problem at really busy yum cha places. The customer service here was actually really good. They were not only switched on and very efficient, but also spoke nicely and were very friendly. A very pleasant surprise in the yum cha scene. The food kept coming out with next to no waiting time, and we got full pretty quickly. The price at Tao Tao House is a little more expensive, we found ourselves paying about $20 more between the two of us compared to other places. No complaints though, as the quality of the food justifies the price. This is the best yum cha I’ve had outside of Hong Kong. The search for great yum cha certainly doesn’t end here, I will continue to try other yum cha places in Melbourne and will definitely keep you guys up to date. I highly recommend Tao Tao House and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!

Tao Tao House
Approx $50 AUD per person
815 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: +61 3 9818 0968
Website: www.taotaohouse.com.au

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

Seafood delight in Venice


Venice is a city well known for it’s seafood, but with over 1000 restaurants, it’s clearly a land mine for tourists hoping to find a good seafood meal. Apart from the obvious places offering ‘turista menus’, there are a lot of other places which present themselves as offering the finest Venetian foods. A lot of these restaurants lure vulnerable tourists in, whilst offering food that’s below par.

I was determined to not be another statistic and did research on finding an excellent seafood restaurant in Venice. My research led me to this beautiful, cosy, 9 table restaurant called Osteria alle Testiere. This seafood restaurant is highly regarded in numerous articles, rated highly on Trip Advisor and also feature in the Michelin guide. Sounds like a winning combination to me! We wandered in for a late lunch, hoping to not have to wait. A beautiful aroma of fresh seafood welcomed us. The atmosphere looked casual yet classy at the same time. The restaurant was full and bustling, we couldn’t wait to join in on the action and taste the food. We were warmly greeted by Luca Di Vita, owner of Osteria alle Testiere. He said we wouldn’t have to wait long, and that a table would be available soon. True to his words, 10 minutes later we were seated and extremely excited.

Steamed spider crab
Steamed spider crab

The menu was a seafood lover’s dream! We wanted nearly everything on the menu and was in a real predicament on deciding what to get and whether we would be able to finish the food. We finally decided to order the sword fish carpaccio, steamed spider crab, spaghetti with ‘bevarasse’ clams, prawns in sweet & sour ‘busara’ style, scallops with orange and cervere leeks, and mussels ‘cassopipa’ style. Now the first thing I’d like to mention is the seafood was FRESH. Apparently the dishes are designed around the fresh daily seafood. We ordered a really dry and crisp local Tuscany white to enjoy with our seafood.

Swordfish carpaccio
Swordfish carpaccio

I really loved all the dishes and couldn’t fault anything about them. The dishes were clean tasting and simplistic. I’m a firm believer that with good seafood dishes, the chef should allow for the seafood to shine and allow it’s natural flavours come through. I find that a lot of chefs try to do too much with seafood, whereas I feel as though the seasoning should only compliment and play a supporting role with the dish. Osteria alle Testiere has achieved this perfectly, with every dish I am tasting the freshness of the seafood without any overpowering flavours. The sword fish carpaccio had the perfect acidity, the sweetness of the steamed spider crab came through, perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti flavoured by the natural saltiness from the clams, and the sweet & sour ‘busara’ sauce with the prawns were just to die for. I was a bit skeptical with this sweet and sour sauce because I automatically think of the Chinese version, which can really take over the dish. This busara sauce was really light and allowed me to fully appreciate the prawns.

Mussels "cassopipa"style & Scallops with orange and Cervere leeks
Mussels “cassopipa”style & Scallops with orange and Cervere leaks

We finished off with their homemade panna cotta for dessert. We tried to savour every bite as this was honestly the best panna cotta we’ve ever had! It tasted so milky and creamy, other panna cotta we have had just taste sweet. The texture was the real highlight of this dessert though, it was so wobbly that I was quite surprised it could even hold it’s own weight. I had never seen one made this well before. The lemon sauce and fresh berries that came with it just topped it all off! I was actually a little depressed after eating the panna cotta, as I was quite convinced that I may never experience a one this good ever again.

Overall, I absolutely loved every moment at Osteria alle Testiere. Luca was extremely friendly and provided a personable service. His recommendations on the wine, food and portions were spot on. The highlight was definitely the seafood though. I would say that this was probably the best seafood meal I’ve ever had. Now one thing I would say is that the price is certainly not the cheapest, and it makes for quite an expensive lunch. It would always be nicer to come for dinner but it’s extremely hard to get a booking. I thought the price was worth it, because dining at Osteria alle Testiere was one of my most memorable food experiences on our trip.

Panna cotta

Osteria alle Testiere
Approx €70 EUR per person
Calle Del Mondo Novo Castello 5801
30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Phone: +390415227220
Website: http://www.osterialletestiere.it/Testiere/Welcome.html