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

Jinda Thai

It’s always nice to meet up with some fellow food lovers for dinner, because there’s nothing better than enjoying great food together in each others company. We caught up with Bearabbit, Feeds with Gusto and Tim.E, and the restaurant of choice was Jinda Thai. It was our first time here, and what a great choice it was from Feeds with Gusto!

The atmosphere at Jinda Thai was buzzing from start to finish. The interior is like an old warehouse with brick walls. Helen and I quickly shot gunned some couch spots, as the massive hole in the chair was not gonna do our backs any good. Equipped with 3 bottles of BYO red, being ‘hydrated’ was not an issue, but it was the food which we were most interested in.

After what seemed like some short chatter, we were inundated with food! It’s nice to not have to make all the food decisions sometimes, and have others pick dishes. We ordered so much food, and let me tell you, they were all solid! I couldn’t fault any of them, but there were a few which really stood out for me. I particularly enjoyed the chicken Pad Thai, steamed fish with chilli garlic dressing, and pandan cake with ice cream.

I’m a sucker for a great Pad Thai, funny enough I never even tried Pad Thai in Thailand and had only started enjoying this dish over the last 5 years. It’s probably the least Thai dish on the menu, but when has that ever stopped me from wanting it! This Pad Thai was not lacking in flavour and had a decent punch to it. The sweetness was perfect and the lime juice on top was just the icing on the cake. My friend sought out a Thai cook on Gumtree to make Pad Thai for his birthday party. I would say her Pad Thai and the one I’ve had at Jinda Thai were probably the best I’ve ever tried.

In my reviews I very rarely mention authenticity. I’ve never mentioned this before, but I don’t consider authenticity important to how I judge how good food is. To me, good food is good food, irrespective of how authentic a dish is. Now in saying so, I think that the strongest argument for authentic food is the memories it brings back. This statement could not be more true when it comes to the steamed fish I had here at Jinda Thai. As soon as I had the first bite, it took me back to the steamed fishes I had in Thailand. The acidity and chilli hit was relentless and this was the flavour profile which I’ve been looking for! The fish was fresh, and not overcooked. A highlight dish in every sense of the word.

To finish off with the pandan cake with ice cream was so soothing. After all the full flavoured savoury dishes, it was nice to retreat back to a quality dessert. The pandan sauce was not too sweet at all, and worked well with the soft silky cake underneath. I’m not usually a fan of pandan, but now I’ve been converted and will seek out more pandan cakes in the future. It even comes with two scoops of ice cream, not a bad deal for $8.50!

Great food and great company, what more could we have asked for. It was a great night, and I’m happy to have dined at Jinda Thai. It was a restaurant which had been on my radar for a long time now, and the food met and exceeded my expectations! Without a doubt we’ll be keeping these guys in mind whenever we feel like great Thai food. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Don’t make the same mistake as me, I’ve waited way too long to try this place, check these guys out ASAP!

Jinda Thai
Approx $45 AUD per person
Address: 7 Ferguson Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Phone: (03) 9419 5899

Jinda Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Moonlight Thai Restaurant

I guess it’s never a good sign when you show up to a restaurant at dinner time and the restaurant is empty. Granted, it was a week night so you wouldn’t expect a full house but still… we obviously ignored the first alarm bell and proceeded into the spacious yet very empty restaurant.

Don’t ask us how we found Moonlight, a Thai restaurant. I think we may have just done a search for places nearby and thought we would give it a go! Anyway as I mentioned, the restaurant was very spacious with plenty of tables. It was also very modern and clean.

Staff were very friendly and seated us then provided us with extensive menus. We ordered a few dishes to share which included the fried rice, red duck curry and the charcoal grilled chicken. The food was very underwhelming. The fried rice was just okay, the red duck curry didn’t really look like a red duck curry as the curry sauce was darker than usual. It also didn’t taste the best. The charcoal grilled chicken looked dry when it was served, and tasted dry too. Unfortunately we didn’t have a very good food experience there which is a shame as the staff were nice and the restaurant itself looked promising when we walked in. It’s safe to say we probably won’t be returning.

Moonlight Thai Restaurant
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 1200 Centre Rd, Clarinda VIC 3169
Phone: +51 3 9544 8707

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

Grill’d (Southland)

You may recall some time ago Davin and I went to Southland to watch Ready Player One (great movie!). Anyway they had movie and meal deals at certain restaurants during that time so Davin picked Laksa King and I chose to eat at Grill’d. If you’re wondering, no we didn’t separate to eat alone. I went with Davin to Laksa King first and watched him eat like the creeper that I apparently am! Well I had a few sips of his wine at least, however the staff were probably thinking I was on some weird diet.

So off we went to Grill’d once Davin was done to claim my movie and meal deal which was free chips with any burger purchase.

Now you need to know that I absolutely LOVE Grill’d. It’s no fine dining restaurant but I love the burgers there and always crave for it. I have been to many burger places in my foodie lifetime however I have always adored Grill’d.

My go to burger is the Simply Grill’d burger which has grass fed lean beef, salad, relish and herbed mayo. I also add tasty cheese to it. The ingredients are always fresh, the beef is flavoured and cooked well, and the relish and herbed mayo is scrumptious. Add the the hot and crunchy bun and it makes it one killer burger! I’ve eaten so many times at Grill’d and they have never let me down.

Their thick cut chips with their signature herb mix is also always so good and I tend to get at least one or two of their chip dips too cause I am a sucker for good dips!

Given we only ordered one meal for myself there aren’t many photos however I’m drooling right now just looking at it. Might need to stop by this weekend to get my fix!

Grill’d (Southland)
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: Southland Shopping Centre, 1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
Phone: (03) 9584 4555
Website: grilld.com.au

Grill'd - Southland Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sushi Jiro

Whenever we are craving sushi train we always have to travel into the city for it, however recently we came across Sushi Jiro which just newly opened at The Glen shopping centre. I have to say, that the new food court at The Glen is quite impressive! There are so many more food options now! Anyway, Sushi Jiro has to be one of the few sushi trains around our area in the ‘burbs’ so we were quite excited about it.

The premium items behind the counter looked impressive but we decided to line up and sit at the sushi train counter for lunch on this occasion. With their grand opening they were offering all dishes for $3.80 a plate. There were of course premium plates too which cost more. The line went fairly quickly and we were seated in no time.

Located right in the corner of one end of the food court, Sushi Jiro was surrounded by bright natural light coming from the floor to ceiling windows. Perfect lighting for photos! There were plates of sushi slowly whizzing by for us to take which we did, but we also ordered a lot of plates utilising the electronic menu screen in front of us.

We have to say that the variety of sushi was quite good and the quality of the sushi itself was also good too. The fish was fresh and we particularly enjoyed the salmon, especially the salmon belly nigiri, and scallop nigiri. It was super fresh! There were a lot of plates that had extra sauces drizzled on it which we thought was probably unnecessary. Also, the plates we ordered took some time to come out, a lot longer than other places. We were disappointed the scampi nigiri was sold out and we didn’t get to try it. However it’s a place we will probably visit again if we feel like sushi train without driving too far.

Sushi Jiro
Approx $30 AUD per person
Address:The Glen Shopping Centre, 235 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Website: sushijiro.com.au

Sushi Jiro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


All you can eat was the term we used growing up, and it meant permission to eat till you drop! Later on the word ‘buffet’ was used more commonly and I had always felt that it was just a glammed up version of ‘all you can eat’. I believe the difference between the two is that food at a buffet is always displayed and people help themselves. Okami doesn’t do this, food is ordered and then served by the waiting staff. They proudly advertise – everything on the all you can eat menu is $32.80 per person. I appreciate a restaurant who is upfront with me, I know exactly what I’m getting and how much my expenditure will be. Out of respect for Okami, I promised to give it my all and eat ALL THE FOODS!

The selection of foods here was very decent indeed. Some of the categories include – sushi/sashimi, dumplings, deep fried foods, noodles, rich, ice cream, etc. They even had a garden salad as an option, but I wasn’t going to go anywhere near that, as I had bigger missions to accomplish. The biggest test with these all you can eat Japanese places is always the sushi/sashimi. If this isn’t any good, they’ll be travelling down a slippery slope. Okami passed with flying colours, the fish was fresh and the salmon had a lovely layer of fat. I was surprised as I didn’t expect the fish to be so good!

The seaweed salad and squid salad were also stand outs. You have any idea how expensive these salads are!?! Over $5 for a small container at most places, and Okami was piling it on. I went to town with the squid salad, as it’s one of my favourite salads. The grilled squid wasn’t overcooked, and the teriyaki steak was soft and tender. I’m not a huge fan of deep fried foods, but their prawn tempura was decent too.

A lot of these all you can eat places would set a seating time limit, then bring out the food at a snails pace. Common strategy used in the Asian all you can eat world to minimise the customer’s food intake. Okami did not impose such strategy, and food was brought out promptly, huge advantage for big eaters such as myself. They also allowed us to tailor certain foods, for example they made just a salmon sushi/sashimi platter exclusively for us when we requested it. Don’t mean to disrespect the other fishes, but the salmon is the best fish here.

Long gone are the days of quality $20 something all you can eat places, the new price range is in the $30s. For the food quality we got, I felt that their price of $32.80 was well justified and I wouldn’t hesitate to bring my family here. There’s a fine print on their menu that any wastage over 200 grams would incur an extra charge, I fully support this move as food wastage is not to be tolerated! I sound like a broken record sometimes as with all my all you can eat/buffet reviews I say this, but PLEASE only order what you can finish. Lastly, take this for what it’s worth, but one of my trusted food advisers told me that he went to another franchise and it was very ordinary. This one I went to in Hampton looks to have the best reviews and I can vouch for them!

Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 530 Hampton Street, Hampton VIC 3188
Phone: +61 3 8899 6631
Website: www.okamirestaurant.com.au

Okami Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Workshop Brothers

Glen Waverley is always brimming with cafes and restaurants, old and new, so it is hard to keep up with it sometimes when you’re out there! We finally decided to check out Workshop Brothers one weekend which is a fairly newish establishment right in the heart of it all.

Upon entering, the first thing I noticed was the colour and the interior. The theme was pink with rose gold trimmings! It was dramatic but it worked! I’ve never seen a place like it but it was done quite stylishly, and it was packed with people!

Although it was bustling, we got a table straight away and perused the menu. We both ordered some fresh pressed juices. I got the kale, spinach, celery, lemon and apple juice. It was really nice and refreshing, and the lemon in it worked. Davin got the watermelon juice which was also great. They both quenched our thirst.

For food Davin ordered the Workshop Migoreng. It was a dish he couldn’t say no to as it was so unique. It had pork belly, seasonal vegetables, balinese sauce, egg noodles and a fried egg. It was so delicious and flavoured that it took us back to Asia. Davin thought it was probably a tad on the salty side after a while, but it was fine for me.

I ordered the slow cooked beef cheeks with rosemary hash, spiced cabbage, apple slaw, bearnaise and poached eggs. I was drawn to it because it had ‘Urban List Top 50’ noted in brackets next to this menu item. And wow, what a dish! It was pretty amazing! The beef cheeks were so soft and tender, the rosemary hash was cooked and flavoured well, the spiced cabbage and the sweetness of the apple slaw balanced out the dish. The bearnaise sauce was nice and light and the eggs were poached perfectly. I couldn’t fault the dish! It looked heavy when it was brought out but it wasn’t at all and I gobbled it up pretty quickly.

One thing I regret not trying out was their coffee as they claim to have amazing coffee, so I’ll have to come back and try it out next time. I have to also mention that the service there was fantastic. Staff are super on the ball and even though it was fairly busy, the food and drinks came out pretty fast.

Overall it was a really great experience and we’ll definitely be back. They are also open for dinner so next time we’ll check out their dinner menu!

Workshop Brothers
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 97 Kingsway, Glen Waverley VIC 3150
Phone: +61 3 9017 3586
Website: workshopbrothers.com.au

Workshop Brothers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Diplomat

The Diplomat was a cafe which Helen and I visited many years back, before we started blogging. One of the positives of food blogging is that it allows us to keep a record of all the places we’ve eaten, so they won’t be forgotten. The Diplomat was one of many places which fell off our radar, and you could say that it was by pure chance that I found these guys again! I went to Highett to buy some steaks for dinner, and just happened to be hungry (as usual). Walking along Highett Road, none of the places appealed to me. As I got closer to the train tracks, memories flooded back of this cafe which had really good food. Without a moment of hesitation, I got myself a seat at the communal table, and it wasn’t until I looked at the top of the menu that I actually remembered the name of this place!

It’s lovely inside, plenty of light coming in from the floor to ceiling windows, an abundance of indoor greenery, wooden furniture, edison bulbs, what’s not to like about this place! The setting is comfortable without trying too hard, a lot of other cafes could learn a thing or two. Another thing worth mentioning is that they are extremely kid friendly here. I was seeing colouring books and crayons flying out to the tables as fast as the food. It’s great to see that in an age full of technology, that they’re still trying to entertain the kids the old school way! From the looks on the kids faces, they appreciate the gesture. Prams were also not an inconvenience as they were parked neatly inside.

I decided to get a refreshing juice, instead of a latte. And refreshing it was indeed… one of the most balanced juices I’ve ever had! They’ve got the ratios down pat, the ingredients consisted of apple, kiwi, lime and coconut water. I do make some juices at home, but once there’s ingredients like kiwi and lime involved, I’ll just leave it to these guys. I only wish I got more of it! Or they could at least try to fool me with a tall and skinny glass!

There’s a lot of clean and healthy foods on the menu, which would appeal to health conscious people. I got the wood smoked salmon served with soba noodles, salad with brocollini, edamame, bean sprouts, spring onion and soy broth. The soy broth was full of flavour without being salty, and this transferred to the soba noodles, which was submerged in the broth. Never did I feel like the soba noodles were lacking in flavour. Same thing applied to the salmon also, I could taste the wood smoke but it was never overpowering. The salmon had a soft flakey texture and was very tender. I suspect that the salmon would have been cold smoked or a smoking gun was used. Overall a very enjoyable dish, and something I would order again.

It was nice to visit an old friend, and they were every bit as good as what I remembered them to be. The Diplomat serves some of the finest foods in the area, and their welcoming nature to families with kids is just an added bonus. The staff here are cheery and energetic. They also looked like they were enjoying each others company, this culture shines through to their service. I look forward to returning again with Helen, so I can eat some of her food too!

P.S. Quick shout out to Jules! I know you’re probably reading this review right now licking your lips… we’re expecting an email from you!

The Diplomat
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: 4 Railway Parade, Highett VIC 3190
Phone: +61 3 9939 6289
Website: thediplomatcafe.com.au

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

Oscar Cooper

One sunny weekend we decided to head to Prahran Market to buy some quality rump caps for a steak night (they are hard to come by locally!).  Anyway we thought we’d have some lunch around there before we did our grocery shopping and stumbled across Oscar Cooper! Nestled in the trendy Greville Street of Prahran, it looked like a popular hang out spot so we were drawn to it.

Staff were super friendly and asked if we wanted to sit outside or inside. We opted to sit inside and perused the menu. We straight away zeroed in on the all day cocktails for just $10! Bargain! So I ordered the Coopers Margarita and Davin ordered the Jamaican Me Thirsty.

For food, Davin ordered the cured salmon salad with fresh herbs and broccolini, avocado dressing, egg, nuts, seeds and beetroot puree. The ingredients were fresh and flavoured well. It was a really enjoyable dish.

Now I had every intention of ordering one of their brunch dishes but then they had ‘Damn fine jaffles all day’ noted on their menu and it peaked my interest. On their specials board their list of different jaffles sounded amazing so I ended up ordering the chicken, chive and gruyere jaffle. It was SO good! It came out piping hot and the lovely gruyere cheese just oozed out perfectly with each bite. In fact it was so good that Davin ended up ordering one for himself!

So we’ll definitely be back to check out some of their other dishes. The layout and atmosphere of the place also makes it a really great place to catch up and chill with friends while enjoying some good food and drinks.

Oscar Cooper
Approx $20 AUD per person
Address: 160 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181
Phone: +61 3 9529 5670
Website: oscarcooper.com.au

Oscar Cooper Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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

Laksa King Kitchen

Lately on Zomato, we’ve been having a little chatter about Laksa King based on someone’s review. I mentioned that I liked Laksa King Flemington better than their Glen Waverley branch. This got me thinking… how’s Laksa King Kitchen in Southland? I’ve always been a bit skeptical with this one in Southland because of the demographics. It’s located inside the cinema area, and seems to be trying to attract pre and post movie goers. Well look who the cat dragged in on this occasion?! ME!

Southland has a movie and meal deal promotion running till the 29th of April. A free glass of wine with any laksa purchase from Sunday to Thursday. A pretty good deal if I must say so myself, the wine on offer was the Lumiere Pinot Noir. I was curious to know whether I could have got the Penfolds Bin 28 for another $2 (the difference in price), but was too scared to push the friendship! After watching ‘Ready Player One’ (great movie by the way, you guys really need to check it out), I used my movie ticket to claim this deal.

The menu on offer is very tame compared to the other Laksa King franchises. I can see where they’re coming from though, as I don’t think a fish head curry laksa would be too popular here! The range was a lot smaller here and I finally settled on a seafood laksa. The soup base of the laksa was really intense in flavour. I was taken back, as I thought they would have toned it down a bit. I don’t mean this in a bad way at all because I’m happy they stuck to their guns. It was probably a bit too intense for me to sip the soup as it is, but it went really well with the noodles though. All the seafood in the laksa was fresh, especially the rockling fish. The only exception would be the Chinese takeaway style prawns, I’m not a fan of these prawns as they have close to zero prawn flavour. The size of the bowl which holds the laksa can be intimidating, but rest assured that the actual serving was a regular sized portion.

I also snuck in a serve of steamed prawn dumplings. The sauce for this dish was delicious! Perfect combination of salty, sour and spicy. Very appetising and doesn’t overpower the prawn dumplings. The dumplings themselves had good texture, but the winner is the sauce. I washed down this very respectable meal with the Lumiere Pinot Noir, not a bad night at all.

I have to admit that Laksa King at Southland was better than what I’d thought it would be. My preference would always be their Flemington restaurant, but Flemington is much further away for me. I had a nice meal here and would definitely return to eat again.

P.S. Helen was with me, as usual. She decided to go and take up another movie and meal deal at another eatery. She was watching me eat like a little creeper until she could get her own meal… =O

Laksa King Kitchen
Approx $25 AUD per person
Address: Westfield Southland, R205/1239 Nepean Hwy, Cheltenham VIC 3192
Phone: +61 3 9584 8858
Website: laksakingkitchen.com.au

Laksa King Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


We decided to head to Miznon on a Friday night after a number of raving reviews from our fellow bloggers. And boy do we see what the fuss is all about! Situated on Hardware Lane in the Melbourne CBD, Miznon serves up Israeli, Mediterranean style street food like no other place.

Under the leadership of Eyal Shani, considered one of the leading figures in Israeli cuisine, he opened his first restaurant in his home town Jerusalem, and then his first Miznon restaurant in Tel Aviv in 2011. His reach has subsequently expanded internationally, now reaching Melbourne.

The first thing that came into my mind when we entered and throughout the night was how genuinely nice the staff were there. Not only were they super attentive but they were lovely to chat to and were very generous and accommodating. They talked us through the menu and made some recommendations because we were just so overwhelmed given everything on the menu looked amazing! We truly wanted to order everything!

We finally settled on sharing the baby octopus and chips, the Hraime – a spicy fish with tahini and chili, the sweet potato with sour cream and sea salt, and the Sac de Coque – roasted chicken, herbs, fried potatoes and aioli. Given they were well known for their pitas we also ordered the Pita with a Bone which consisted of lamb rib stew, tahini, pickles, onion and chili. The dishes were presented in a rustic style, wrapped in baking paper. It’s about the flavours and not the presentation here because after all, they were representing street style food!

We were impressed with all the dishes. The baby octopus was lightly charred and the chips were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The spicy fish was SO good. It had the perfect kick of chili, and the fish was so soft. Now this may seem strange but the sweet potato dish was one of my favourites. It was so simple, charred on the outside and cut open with a dollop of sour cream and some sea salt. The flesh of the potato itself was soft and so sweet! How could something so simple be so full of flavour?

The roasted chicken was also really good. The chicken was so tender and soft, mixed in with those fresh herbs and fried potatoes, it was one appetizing dish!

Finally the Pita with a Bone was amazing! It came out with the lamb ribs sticking out which we easily pulled out because the meat was so soft. With the tahini, pickles and onions, the flavours were spot on. We literally scoffed this up so quickly.

By this point the bartender told us that they were about to hold their regular Friday night Shabbat celebrations and offered us free shots of whatever we wanted to take along to the ceremony. We ended up opting for Jamieson shots and took it downstairs to watch them cut up a huge loaf of freshly baked bread and cheered and downed our shots. It was so much fun and the atmosphere was amazing! We had the privilege of eating some of the bread with their amazing dips and then headed back upstairs to order dessert.

We couldn’t say no to what was listed on the menu as ‘The Best Chocolate Mousse’. Big call! And you know what? It was delicious! It was light and not too dense so we easily finished that in record time!

Now to go back to how nice the staff were, they were having issues with their EFTPOS machine and given we didn’t have cash Davin went off to withdraw some money. They were so apologetic we had to go out of our way (which we didn’t mind at all) and so appreciative that they offered us more shots on the house. We politely declined given we were driving that night but thought that was so lovely of them.

From the friendly staff, to the food, to their inclusive celebrations, it was such an amazing experience and we couldn’t fault it. We will definitely be back and highly recommend if you’re looking for some great food at affordable prices. And definitely go on a Friday night if you also want to experience their joyous celebrations!

Approx $35 AUD per person
Address: 59 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9670 2861
Website: miznonaustralia.com

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


We seem to be having my favourite cuisine Japanese a lot lately. Sometimes I don’t realise these things until I look at our photos inventory and then reality hits… not that I’m complaining though! Maybe we should go to a French restaurant soon to keep Helen happy. Well anyway… enough self reflection, let’s get on with this review! Tataki is a Japanese restaurant located in Elsternwick. The street was relatively quiet at night, and we were able to get parking right outside the restaurant. There’s a glass section at the front of the restaurant which displayed faux Japanese food, I thought this was kinda cool as it reminded me of Japan.

The interior of Tataki felt clean and comfortable. The sushi chef station is right at the front, again a very traditional Japanese setup. My only two minor criticisms were the chairs and the loud slamming of the door. The chairs just had a total lack of back support, and I was lucky I didn’t sit here for hours as that would most likely kill my back. Their door also slammed very loudly each time the Uber Eats delivery people picked up an order. It was loud enough to make the customers jolt every time! The waiting staff did constantly come out to check the door but I don’t think there was anything they could do, I think the door gas strut might need to be replaced as it clearly wasn’t doing it’s job properly.

Food wise, we ordered the beef tataki, salmon belly nigiri and kingfish belly nigiri for entrees. For mains, I got a grilled miso salmon & vegetables, and Helen got the lobster and salmon special roll. The beef tataki was ok…. I wouldn’t go out of my way for it. Whilst the beef was fresh, and the sauce was good, the beef itself was overcooked. I would have preferred it a lot rarer. My salmon on the other hand suffered a worst fate, it was extremely overcooked and was tough, rough and once was enough. I felt like this salmon died in vain.

On the flip side, the quality of all the fishes which didn’t require cooking were at a very high standard. The salmon belly nigiri and kingfish belly nigiri were some of the freshest and tastiest sushi I’ve had in Australia. Helen’s lobster and salmon roll was flavoured well and the grilled salmon was soft with a hint of char. One thing I did notice was that the sushi and sashimi was priced really high, and was comparable to other high class Japanese restaurants. Even the lobster and salmon roll was priced at $25 for 8 pieces. I’m shocked and confused with the price at the same time. Was the fish high quality? Yes. Was it expensive for this restaurant setting? Also yes. So therefore I’m conflicted as to whether or not I think it’s worth the price.

Tataki felt like a mixed bag of lollies. They’ve hit the wide spectrum of bad, ok, good and great. The inconsistencies shines through and was reflected in their dishes. The price discrepancies are also confusing. It’s hard to see how the lobster and salmon roll can be priced at $25 for 8 pieces. It seems as though their true strengths lie in their sushi and sashimi, but be prepared to pay dearly for these dishes also. All in all, I respect the freshness of their produce, but I cannot say that this is a big enough draw for us to come back.

Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 470 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick, VIC 3185
Phone: +61 3 9523 5275
Website: tataki.com.au

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

KOI Dessert Bar

When we heard that Reynold Poernomo from Masterchef was opening a pop up stall of his KOI Dessert Bar in Melbourne for just 3 months, we knew we had to check it out. His desserts have always looked amazing and now was our chance to finally try them!

Located in the HWKR Food Centre in the Melbourne CBD, along with a number of other pop up stalls, KOI provides a dessert menu you can order from until sold out. In addition they also have pre-made dessert delights behind a glass window.

We opted to order the Mr Grey on the menu which had French earl grey cremeux with strawberry white chocolate, yuzu, yoghurt sorbet, lychee and mint. The dessert was presented beautifully and I loved the earl grey flavours that came out from it. The sorbet and fruit made it really refreshing.

We also ordered one of the desserts behind the glass which was the Berry Cheesecake. This had almond sable, lemon cream cheese mousse, blueberry myrtle coulis and baked lemon cheesecake. It was such a pretty dish and the lemon cream cheese mousse was so soft and creamy.

Overall it was a good experience, we probably enjoyed the dessert prepared from the menu more than the pre-made desserts but of course you would expect the dishes on the menu to be better. The service was also really good and staff were friendly and efficient. They asked us how the desserts were when they cleared our tables away and were very open to feedback.

So if you’re interested in checking out the pop up stall, make sure you go soon before they leave on 30 April 2018!

KOI Dessert Bar
Pop up stall until 30 April 2018
Approx $15 AUD per person
Address: HWKR – 137 A’Beckett St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: +61 3 9018 7135
Website: koidessertbar.com.au

KOI Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato