Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kouzina - Doncaster

Name: Kouzina modern Greek & mezze bar

Address: Westfield Doncaster
Shop 2001
619 Doncaster Rd (Cnr Williamsons Rd)
Doncaster 3108 VIC
Phone: (03) 9840 6055

Food: Modern Greek
Average prices: entrees - $11, mains - $25, desserts - $12.
Complimentary - nothing.

We ordered:

Entrees: Pork kebabs - $12.50.

Ryan said they were juicy and tender but definitely needed the tzatziki for flavour.

Flaming saganaki - $13.50.

I'll give points for theatrical display by lighting Metaxa poured over the saganaki. However, the Metaxa completely overwhelmed the cheese which needed nothing but a squeeze of lemon

Mains: Vegetarian moussaka -$22.50.

This was
Layers of eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, feta, lentils, tomatoes, kefalotyri Béchamel baked in a clay pot served with a Greek salad. I felt this was overcooked as the topping was quite papery whilst the lentils on the bottom were dry. I also don't feel the lentils added anything whilst I could not taste the feta at all. It was basically slices of zucchini with tons of bechamel. The Greek salad on the side was average, no dressing so was a little dry.

Veal yiouvetsi - $21.50.

Tender veal ragout with roma tomatoes, root vegetables, orzo pasta, three Greek cheeses slow baked in a clay pot. Ryan said this was full of flavour and the meat was falling apart it was so tender.

Desserts: Dessert sampler for two - $26.50.

'Chios' mastic chocolate mousse; tasted a little like cheap chocolate in that it didn't have that deep chocolate flavour and tasted like 'cream' whilst not being super creamy in texture. Couldn't really taste the mastiki. The berries (previously frozen I think) were also a little bitter.

Baklava; moist and syrupy but there was way too much cinnamon and it became bitter.

Fig brulee; this hardly had a sugar crust and it was runny and grainy with some pureed fig in the center.

Pistachio and rosewater ice cream; this tasted more like a vanilla and honey icecream nice consistency and Ryan's favourite.

Honey and sheep's milk yoghurt panna cotta; this was really lemony and was served with pomegranate seeds which were unpleasant to eat and did not compliment the dish.

Cost: $96.50
for 2 entrees, 2 mains and 1 dessert platter.

Service: Great. Our plates were cleared almost immediately and they were pretty good with topping up the water. We told them we wanted to eat and go - our entrees arrived 10mins after ordering, the mains took 20mins after our entrees were cleared and the dessert came 15mins after the mains.

Atmosphere: Good. Very lively. It's in the newly refurbished Westfield Doncaster which is almost like Crown in decor - really lovely and stylish.

We went on a Saturday night and the restaurant was practically full,. There are seats at the back in front of wall length windows with a gorgeous view of the city skyline, we arrived just before sunset and watched the beautiful view.

Those seats were full as were most of the seats outside the front of the restaurant in the shopping centre so we sat adjacent to the bar on a communal table on stools.

Parking: Ample - the shopping centre has hundreds of car spaces. Parking is free for the first 3hours or 4hours if seeing a movie.


Hours: Daily 11am-11pm.

Would I return: No - it's decent but not great

Monday, February 2, 2009

Radii - Melbourne

Name: Radii @ Park Hyatt hotel

Address: 1 Parliament Sq (Off Parliament Pl)
East Melbourne 3002 VIC
Phone: (03) 9224 1211

Food: European
Average price: entrees - $25, mains - $35, desserts - $18.
Complimentary: 1 bread roll per person with half a circle of butter.
As there were 9 of us I will group together those who enjoyed their meals, and those who did not.

We ordered:

Entrees: Tasmanian oysters - natural of with red wine and shallot vinegar (1/2 dozen) - $25.

Smoked salmon, lemon mascarpone and zucchini terrine - $22

This was actually really lovely. The smoked salmon blended well with the lemon mascarpone and zucchini, however my salad included coriander leaves (I cannot eat them) and there was also a small insect on one of the leaves.

Crab salad with avocado soup and salmon roe - $18

This was enjoyed, however they did not receive a spoon with which to eat the soup - my father-in-law ended up drinking it from the bowl.

Harvey bay scallops - $19

These were enjoyed, they were also topped with coriander but it was easily removed.

Duck rillets, cornichons - $18

Ryan had these, he didn't like it.

Mains: goat's cheese, spinach tortellini in a garlic cream sauce - $24

This was extra tough and chewy. The filling and sauce were nice but the texture ruined it. Half my plate was full (and I was absolutely starving).

Asparagus and chive risotto - $24

This was good.

Crispy salmon with cherry tomatoes and sauteed spinach - $35

This was also good.

Veal cutlet in a mushroom sauce served with chips - $47

Ryan hated this as the veal was cold. The chips however were lovely.

Rack of lamb on minted peas - $36

this was good.

Tasmanian lamb with mustard sauce- $32

This was an incorrect order, meant to be the minted peas lamb.

Gippsland tenderloin with roasted potatoes - $45.

This was good.

Desserts: Vanilla creme brulee -$16.

Ok, but a little too eggy. The creme brulee had a custardy consistency and wasn't that smooth.

Trio of chocolate - chocolate tart, white chocolate mouse, chocolate fondant - $16.

The tart tasted like a block of chocolate. The mousse was really sugary but good consistency. The fondant was more like a moist cake, no gooey unctuous oozy chocolate flowing from the center.
Summer berry pudding - $16.
Accidentally deleted pic - this was decent.

Pistachio cake with poached rhubarb - $16.

Mum really enjoyed this.

Cost: $591 for 9 entrees, 9 mains, 5 sides, 6 desserts. We also ordered $62 of drinks. TOTAL: $653.

Service: Terrible. We had a waitress who said it was her first day, for a table of 9 it was too much for her. Taking our orders took her 20mins (no joke) and she went around the table twice to confirm. In the end the dishes were mixed up, some of us (including myself) were served other people's dishes or were given the wrong dishes entirely. Water was left to run out, some did not have glasses and the wait for our meals was excessive, with our entrees taking a staggering 1hour despite the restaurant being empty. To receive all meals it took 3hours - we left immediately after dessert.

Atmosphere: Good. The restaurant was practically empty when we went so there was zero noise. The decor is lovely, modern art deco in a way set over multi levels.

Parking: Ok. There is some 2hour meter street parking, or you can valet at the hotel - be sure to get your ticket stamped by the restaurant of you will pay $20.


Hours: Mon-Fri 6.30am-10.30am, weekends 7am-11am
daily noon-3pm, 6pm-11pm

Would I return: No. A below par experience the second time around means no returns.