Welcome to Melbourne Foodie. The blogspace of a young foodie with a passion for cooking, fine dining and quality food and produce. Melbourne Foodie, along with the other sources I write for is my way of casually expressing and recording some of the experiences I have had for others to enjoy. I always welcome any feedback, comments or restaurant suggestions you may have and would love to hear from you soon.

MUST VISIT SOON: Livingroom, Hare & Grace

MOST RECENT FEASTINGS: Pei Modern, Sarti, PM24, Vue de Monde

BLOG OF THE MOMENT: I Eat Therefore I Am

Happy eating,

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
SYDNEY: Pancakes on the Rocks
Another sickly sweet indulgence I sometimes enjoy when travelling to Sydney is a visit to Pancakes on the Rocks. I personally think their pancakes are a lot better than those of say, Pancake Parlour in Melbourne and they are really good value as well, with most options under $12, and extra pancakes available for $2 each.

To eat - Hot n Troppo ($10.95): Buttermilk pancakes with grilled banana, walnuts, cream, chocolate ice cream and home made chocolate sauce. Delicious - though I did feel a little sick for the rest of the day after all of the chocolate and cream which I am not really used to. Certainly not a healthy choice but I guess a little indulgence is OK sometimes.

Pancakes on the Rocks have four locations throughout Sydney, with long trading hours 7 days a week. They serve reasonable meals including ribs and steaks as well as a tempting selection of sweet and savoury pancakes and crepes. If you haven't been before Pancakes on the Rocks is a great place to try. Not somewhere to visit every week, but I guess it can certainly be a nice indulgence every now and then.


  posted at 11:56 AM  

SYDNEY: Marque Restaurant
Unfortunately this is not going to be the full blown review that I originally intended, but instead a small synopsis and some photos of what would have to be one of the best constructed meals I have had in Sydney, since the original Rockpool experience some years back. I dined at Marque, in Sydney late last year enjoying the obligatory surprise degustation, with each course announced upon arrival and a menu presented upon completion of the meal. Unfortunately I had already seen a sneak peak of the menu online prior to my visit so I guess I only got part of the experience, but it was pretty darn special all the same.

Marque is all about the food. The dining room is cosy and modern, but tables are very close and there is no real wow factor to report on. The service, whilst professional is possibly a little stiff. I only wish it exhibited the same quirkiness as the food. On that note however the food was rather amazing on most counts. Some of the dishes absolutely sublime. Here is a little look at what Marque is all about. Enjoy!

Amuse - Chaud-Froid Free Range Egg: A deconstructed play of textures: warm yolk, cold froth: sweetness and saltiness all in one dish. Certainly enlivens the taste buds for what is about to come.

Almond Jelly with Blue Swimmer Crab, Almond Gazpacho, Sweet Corn & Herring Roe:
A mix of more subtle flavours to begin with. Flawless ingredients, immaculately presented. Nice idea and well enjoyed; together the dish works without really blowing me away.

"Fish Floss" with Spring Bay Scallop, Apple and Green Mango:
The only course of the evening which really does not quite hit the mark for me. The scallop slices are so thin they barely taste of anything, the fish floss so overpowering and salty I cannot stand the smell let alone the taste. The fresh apple and gel helps to balance the dish and it is all finished off with a 'nicotine tuille' which is sweet, crisp and perhaps a little weird. Sorry to dissapoint, but I'm not addicted to this one.

A slightly subdued start, however from here on things start getting pretty serious with some truly sensational dishes to come.

Cured Ocean Trout with Coleslaw, Lemon & Dill Jelly:
A sweet delicate strip of ocean trout gently rests upon a crisp, creamy coleslaw. Atop the trout rests a layer of juicy salmon pearls, all finsihed with a slightly sweet, tangy jelly strip which gives the whole dish another dimension. I had fun deconstructing this course and playing around with the different flavour combinations on their own and together.

Duck Ham with Duck Liver, Peas, Parmesan and Mustard Cress:
I cannot even begin to tell you how incredible this dish was. One of the most sublime courses I have ever eaten. The duck liver is rare, but warm and literally melts away in your mouth with a gentle gamey flavour, the house-smoked ham (if you can call it that) is sweet and smoky with delightful hints of hickory present. The parmesan custard is creamy and not at all overbearing and everything just comes together in a perfect symphony. A triumphant dish!

Roast Jurrasic Quail with Green Lip Abalone, Chocolate Feuilletage and Celeriac:
Succulent quail breast rests upon a light, flaky chocolate pastry accompanied with a creamy celeriac puree and finished with crispy shreds of abalone and a sweet jus. Another wonderful dish.

Poached Veal Loin with Eggplant, Coppa and Tuna Butter:
Perfectly cooked, tender veal that is not messed about with too much. The eggplant crisps give the dish an added textural element and the "tuna butter" provides a little saltiness and acidity to make the course more interesting. It all comes together very well.

Sauterne Custard with Caramel:
It is sticky, rich and very sweet as it should be; however I question the placement of such a dish straight after a selection of heavy mains. A lighter palate cleanser may have proved more refreshing.

Poached Strawberries with Raspberries, Liquorice, Yoghurt Sorbet and Vermouth:
A lovely mix of elements: fresh raspberries, lightly macerated strawberry slices and a clever light yoghurt sorbet which is not too sweet at all. Light, refreshing and pretty as a picture.

To finish - Salted Caramel Chocolates & Campari Bon Bons:
Very classy. Both have liquid centres that burst once they enter the mouth. The salted caramel chocolates are just divine and the bitter-sweet bon bons a clever way to conclude the meal.

Overall the food at Marque was exciting and really did deliver in nearly all of the courses. I tasted two of my favourite dishes of the year here: the amazing duck liver/ ham duo and the quail with salty, sweet crispy abalone shreds - both rather unbelievable.

The eight course degustation is a great way of seeing what chef Mark Best's cooking is all about. It is available for $145 plus wines and is compulsory on Friday and Saturday evenings. Whilst the service and setting did not dazzle me Marque is definitely worth a visit if you are serious about trying creative, impeccably crafted food which takes you on a journey and really does "wow".

MY RATING: 17+/20 - Food: 9+/10 Ambience: 4/5 Service: 4/5


  posted at 8:04 AM  

Monday, March 30, 2009
The secrets to weight loss and getting healthy!!
Just a quick entry here, but for those of you who don't know me I have changed a lot, physically and otherwise, over the last year. I have lost a good 50kg and have become a much fitter, healthier being with a new found spring in my step. A lot of people have asked me how I have done it and what the secret to losing weight quickly and getting healthy is. This post is basically an answer to those people - I am here to say there is no secret: just two easy steps - eat healthy and exercise.

It really is that simple: if you burn off more calories than you consume the weight will start melting away. For those who say I have tried everything but it doesn't work you are kidding yourselves. I made excuses for a long time but when I finally got serious about changing my ways the results were quickly noticeable. So if you want to lose weight start off by getting your ass of the couch and going for a bit of a walk or jog, bike ride or doing something active. Cut out the junk food, soft drinks and sugars. Snack on fresh fruit, drink lots of water/ herbal teas and enjoy a balanced diet with lots of vegetables, fish and lean meat. Seriously - try it for a few weeks, coupled with around 20 minutes a day of exercise and you will be amazed. Keeping a food diary is also a great idea as you can see exactly what you are consuming and adjust your ways if need be.

I probably went to the extreme for many months barely touching a gram of fat or sugar, cutting out alcohol, caffeine and doing lots of exercise but even smaller changes can see big results. I have personally slacked off a bit over the last 6 months and indulged a bit, but I'm tightening back up now - I want to lose another 10kg to reach my goal and I will do it.

SO.... Honestly there are no secrets to losing weight. You don't need pills or diet companies - just a commitment to make a change, a bit of hard work and plenty of perseverance and you will get there.

Best wishes everyone. Hope this is of help to some of you. Some restaurant-related posts will be published shortly.


  posted at 7:18 PM  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Updates.... Vue de Monde and more!!
Hi there followers,

OK - I know its been a long time everyone but I am still alive and Melbourne Foodie is far from finished. Just had a look at my dashboard and I have over 10 posts that I've started and never finished - unfortunately many will be abandoned but I promise I will complete a few soon including some Sydney stuff. I have just been so busy with work and personal issues that Melbourne Foodie has been pushed right to the side. I will however try my best to be a better blogger and post a lot more. There is so much I'd love to say but unfortunately so little spare time.

Something particular to report on is a special dinner I had tonight at Vue de Monde - a Gourmet Traveller readers' dinner featuring UK chef superstar Sat Baines. A great evening which I will be reporting on soon.

I also want to give special thanks to my loyal readers for your ongoing visits, emails and support. I'll try and post a lot more frequently for you all over the coming months.

xoxo, Jon!

  posted at 12:06 AM  

About Me

Name: Jon!

Thanks for visiting Melbourne Foodie. I hope you enjoy reading about my personal culinary journeys of Melbourne and beyond. Happy eating!

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