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
Upon entering, one immediately immediately feels at home as you are greeted by the friendly, casual staff who seem to love their jobs: definitely a good sign. I happily take a seat at one of the large newspaper and magazine scattered communal tables at the front of the the venue and am presented with a menu, and left to ponder for a couple of minutes. The menu is fairly broad with a selection of smaller and larger dishes including a range of Asian-style dishes, pizzas and some more inventive fare.
I start off with a couple of the small plates. First up is a "Siamese Samosa" which has a warm mushy filling with just a hint of spice. The pastry is flaky without being greasy and it is sided by a fresh tomato dipping salsa. Most enjoyed.
The other starter I sample is the rice balls. They are just crisp outside with a softer filling made up of white rice and a fine dice of vegetables. The balls are finished off with a peanut satay sauce which provides a nice balance to the dish, as well as a few rocket leaves for crunch. Once again, quite satisfying.
Moving onto mains I probably choose one of the less adventurous options in the "Vegie Roast", interested to see what their interpretation would be. The dish is presented well and I am not dissapointed in the choice. What you get is not just a pile of vegies that have been baked and thrown on the plate. Each of them has had their own preparation, some exhibiting sweet caramalisation, others having been marinated or gently confit. A selection of root carrots, potatoes, pumpkin and zucchini sit atop a bed of baby spinach and rocket leaves and the dish is finished with a range of seeds for crunch and texture. The accompaniments include a good hummous and some toasted foccacia for dipping. A very generous plate of food, which again I cannot really complain about. If anything though I would have liked a mushie or two to be thrown in the mix.
After a short break I decide that I am persuaded into trying one of the house-made cakes to end the meal. There are a range of delectable choices available on displau including a vegan offering in the Chocolate Royale. What I'm presented with is a huge slice of sheer chocolate indulgence. It is rich, moist and oozing with a runny chocolate centre, as well as being smothered with a silky ganche and flaked coconut. It has some serious yum factor, and the one slice will comfortably treat two people after a meal - I personally winded up playing with it after a couple of bites, making a right mess. The soy hot chocolate to accompany my dessert is OK, without being particularly praise worthy. I'd possibly have been better with one choosing an organic chai.
The Vegie Bar is located along busy Brunswick Street in Fitzroy and has a diverse menu which is sure to have somehting to please everyone. Cheap, cheerful, casual dining - you really can't go wrong.
It has been a couple of years between visits but last weekend called for a lunch trip out to Kew, and how could we go to the Skinny Dog and not order their famous parmie. $25 gets you a gigantic oval plate sized parma - good quality chicken breast, a nice herb crumbing, good napoli sauce, shaved ham, fresh basil leaves and heaps of mozzerella goodness - not fine dining but satisfying nonethless. Chips and salad are served with this beast - but as the picture dominates - its all about the parmie itself, and it was good - leaps ahead of the equally huge beast I remember demolishing a couple of years back. For those not so brave a half serve is available for $15, as well as a range of other menu options. The only thing I worry about is consistency, as friends visit here a lot and from what I here it can range from being average to excellent. Anyway - worth a shot I think.
Massive apologies that I have been so very slack over the last 2 years but I've had a lot going on and can't wait to share with you all my new foodie experiences from Melbourne & beyond.
Without any hesitation I would have to say that Zaaffran offers the best Indian food I have ever experienced. Unique flavours unlike anything I have tried before - this is not your typical curry house and really makes all the other Indian restaurants I have tried seem like novices.
A snapshot of a meal: Simple looking food, that delivers on so may levels.
SALMON MARINATED WITH YOGHURT, GARLIC, DILL AND MUSTARD; OVEN-ROASTED
WITH BELL PEPPER TOPPING; SPICED MASH; LEMON-TURMERIC REDUCTION; MINT CHUTNEY:
A very subtle flavoured, but elegent dish.
LAMB CUTLETS GRILLED WITH GINGER, GARLIC, BLACK PEPPER, CORIANDER AND CURRY LEAF, FLECKED WITH SESAME SEEDS; SEASONAL SALAD; GARLIC CHUTNEY; BEETROOT RAITA; POTATO WEDGES:
A simple looking dish but meet that is so tender it just melts away, with spicing to match.
GARLIC NAAN: the way it should be.
SYMPHONY OF KULFI AND ICE-CREAM: A selection of Aam ki Kulfi - Zaaffran's version of mango kulfi, Zaafran Sensation - a triumphant blend of pistachio with saffron, cardamon and almond, and Gulab aur Elaichi Kulfi - a sweet kulfi flavoured with rose petals and cardamon.
Zaaffran ultimately serves up some of the most unique tasting food of any type you are likely to try and certainly provides a massive "wow factor" in terms of taste. Deliacte spicing and subtle finishes make you yearn for more. It is a restaurant which I strongly look forward to visiting when I return to Sydney, featuring an intriguing menu which I cannot wait to explore further.
MY RATING: 15.5/20 - Food: 8.5/10 Service: 3.5/5 Ambience 3.5/5