Saturday, May 28, 2011

Georges - Camberwell - review

Name: Georges Restaurant Bar Cafe

819 Burke Rd
Melbourne, 3123

(03) 9882 0777

Food: International, Italian

Average price: $15 - 32 for mains.

Complimentary: Nothing.

We ordered:
Main: Chicken Parmigiana with chips - $23.95

Nanna loved this but she will love any Chicken Parma (hers was the one with ham).

Mr.M on the other hand found it to be an average parma.

Pea & haloumi fritters - $14.95

These were quite soft and full of mushy peas, which was fine as I quite enjoy mushy peas. The haloumi was cubed and therefore still very firm, I think it would have been better grated that way the saltiness would have been evenly spread throughout the pea fritters and the cheese would have been a little melted. The fritters were served with tomato and avocado with a yoghurt sauce and a slice of lemon. The acidity was definitely needed as the fritters are quite sweet on their own. Overall I quite enjoyed this dish.

Dessert: Creme Brulee 

As soon as I saw the topping I knew it wouldn't 'crack' beneath my spoon and I was right. Therefore it failed the first test which is a hard, toffee crust.  The second test is the custard. I prefer a vanilla flecked, not overly sweet, with smooth, not too firm but not too liquid texture. This, whilst gorgeously vanilla flecked, was a touch too liquid for me. Instead of leaving a white space once a spoonful had been scooped out the custard slowly began to viscously ooze into the space. Whilst not a great creme brulee it also wasn't the worst I have had. I still ate the lot.

Lemon tart

Nanna and Madame A both thoroughly enjoyed this dish, having ordered it for the second time.

Cost: $136.50 for 4 mains, two desserts and two cafe lattes.

Service: OK. Food came out pretty fast but we had to ask to have our water refilled.

Atmosphere: Cafe-esque. Despite being one of the more 'upmarket' eating establishments on Burke rd it still has a very typical cafe feel of that hustle and bustle and medium noise level. On the plus side the tables are decently spaced apart and the seating comfortable. The decor is neutrals with mostly dark brown tones and charcoal walls.

Parking: Limited metered street parking, but there is nearby 2hour free parking at Target etc around the corner on Prospect Hill Road.

Website: None.

Hours: Open Daily 10am-11pm

Would I return: Yes - for a cafe style lunch it was rather good and reasonably priced. They have recently opened a more 'refined' and therefore expensive restaurant on the second level.

Georges Restaurant Bar Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 23, 2011

Centonove - Kew - review

Name: Centonove
109 Cotham Rd
Kew 3101 VIC

Phone: (03) 9817 6468

Italian, ModOz
Average price: Entree: $18-24, Mains: $29-42, Dessert: $13-14

Complimentary: Bread with olive oil.

We ordered: Mother's Day 3course menu for $45 each. Thanks to Blogger deleting almost all of my drafts, I have to go by memory as I no longer my original notes.

Entree: Cauliflower soup

Smooth, creamy soup with a slight sweetness and subtle cauliflower taste. It was a lovely soup.

Beetroot salad

Madame A: My entree Baby beets with blue vein cheese and walnuts was delicious. I loved the delicate sweetness of the baby beets being paired with the tangy piquant flavor of the blue vein cheese. The 'crunchiness' of freshly light roasted walnuts brought the dish together adding a subtle roasted flavor to blend with the sweet and tang. It was a little on the 'scarce' side.

Beef carpaccio salad

My Nanna loved this. She said it had just the right amount of meat.

Main: Onion jam & taleggio risotto

It had a great balance between the jammy sweetness of the onion and the saltiness of the cheese. The rice was cooked well and I enjoyed it as a dish.


Madame A: My main meal of grilled swordfish with green peppercorns on radiccio salad was also delicious. The swordfish was a respectable portion and was perfectly cooked, slightly moist, bursting with freshness and flavor and perfectly complimented by the green peppercorns that were not overly 'peppery' in flavor which was nice. I was pleasantly surprised with the warm radiccio salad. It was lightly tossed in fish broth which added to the overall flavour.


Nanna loved this also.

Side: Garlic & rosemary roasted potatoes - $9

The potatoes had that perfect texture of crunchy outer and soft fluffy center. Whilst I loved the aromatic rosemary and caramelised garlic I felt the potatoes were just slightly oversalted.

Dessert: Yoghurt pannacotta with rhubarb

I'm not normally a fan of pannacotta but this one had the perfect amount of firmness and wobble. It was creamy and slightly tangy and paired well with the tartly sweet rhubarb, delicate but satisfying.

Madame A: it was delicious. Light and well set and a perfectly balanced flavour, not too sweet, not too sharp.

Cost: $144 - for three Mother's Day Menus and 1 side dish.

Service: OK - there was a long wait in between meals, it took 1.5hours to get the three dishes. We were also served out tea and coffee 10mins before desserts came out which I thought was odd.

Atmosphere: Chilled but classy. The decor is dark, modern and elegant with a large chandelier, marble topped bar and pieces of marble in the red concrete floor. The lower level is cramped compared to upstairs which is filled with light from the large windows, the tables are also spaced decently apart.

Parking: Ample - there is decent street parking.


Hours: Tue-Sat 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm

Would I return: Yes. Nanna has declared this her favourite restaurant.

Madame A: The setting, the seating, the ambiance, the service, the timing of serving the meals was all faultless. 5* I would absolutely go back and highly recommend it. Loved it!

Centonove on Urbanspoon

Louttit Bay Bakery - Lorne - review

Name: Louttit Bakery

Address: 46B Mountjoy Pde,
LORNE 3232
(03) 5289 1207

Food: Bakery, cafe

We ordered: Caramel slice

This was THE BEST caramel slice I have ever had in my life. The chocolate and biscuit base were lovely however this is all about the caramel, and oh my Lord, was there plenty. The caramel was more akin to a luscious ducle de leche. It had the perfect balance of sweet and saltiness and had me licking my fingers like a fiend.


This was also the best hedgehog I have ever had the pleasure of eating. It was a gorgeous fudgy texture with a beautiful crumb, it was perfectly balanced with dark chocolate and plenty of coconut. A substantially delicious hedgehog. Both bars were also a generous size.

Service: Good.

Atmosphere: Cafe-esque and busy.

Parking: Ample street parking.

Website: None.

Open Daily 7am-6pm

Would I return: Yes - if I am in Lorne it will be a definite stop. Aside from the sweet treats this bakery had the most varied and gorgeous looking selection of freshly baked breads as well. Next time I will be walking out with loaded arms.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kafe Kaos - Lorne - review

Name: Kafe Kaos

Address: 52 Mountjoy Pde
Lorne, 3232

(03) 5289 2639

Food: Cafe, International

Average price: Mains: $5.50-$16.50

Complimentary:  Nothing.

We ordered: Famous brekkie foccacia - $12.80

Bread spread with pesto, dipped in egg, with grilled tomato, fresh basil and tasty cheese

The flavours were fairly mild and it was nice enough but there was WAY too much melted cheese, and I adore cheese but even I had to pick some off to tame down the saltiness. It also came with a few mixed salad leaves in a Balsamic dressing.
BLT Burger

Mr.M enjoyed this but thought it was just OK. It also included chicken and avocado on Turkish pide.

Service: Good. The waiters came out with water and menus fairly quickly, the food also arrived quickly.

Atmosphere: Cafe/park. Outside there were wooden benches, inside the tables were polished wood with large floral arrangements and red accents. There was an eclectic mix of paintings on the wall. The vibe is very casual and chilled out.

Parking: Ample street parking.


Hours: Daily 7.30am-5.30pm (Winter 8am-5pm)

Would I return: No. The food was average and there are other places to try.

Kafe Kaos on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sosta Cucina - North Melbourne - review

Name: Sosta Cucina

12 Errol St
North Melbourne 3051 VIC

Phone: (03) 9329 2882
Food: Italian
Average price: Entree: $3-$18,  Mains: $16-$29,  Dessert: $12-$18

Complimentary:  Bread with olive oil.

We ordered:
Starter: Antipasti platter.

Main: Capretto con zucchine $32
Slow cooked organic goat cooked in milk with white wine, lemon, oregano and whitezucchini

Mr.M: this dish was too salty, and I couldn't relax to eat it as it was filled with dozens of bones, large and small.

Corzetti con melenzane, pomodoro e ricotta - $27
Fresh pasta discs with roasted dwarf eggplant, Ligurian olives, fresh sugo,basil and buffalo ricotta

B said this was OK, although her pasta was a touch undercooked.

Linguine al granchio e bottarga - $29
Linguine with blue swimmer crab, E.V. olive oil, garlic, parsley, golden breadcrumbs and bottarga

This seemed to be the best dish of the night. A enjoyed it.

Pumpkin pasta in a sage and burnt butter sauce - $27

Imagine my surprise when this came out covered in diced glace fruits. I was dubious just by looking at it. Unfortunately it just got worse from there. The fruits, as I expected, were saccahrine sweet and absolutely revolting with the pasta. After scraping them off I was hoping for an improvement; there was none. The pasta itself was undercooked along the edges and the filling itself was sugar-sweet. There was not one ounce of 'savoury' about this dish. The flavours were so revolting that despite being pregnant AND starving, I couldn't eat more than two mouthfuls. I passed the dish around to the others, and they too, after one taste, declined to have any more.

Cost: $Around $130 for 1 starter platter and four mains.

Service: Bad. There was a misunderstanding.We ordered one antipasti plate to share as well as our mains. When the antipasti platter came it was set up on a stand above the table. We assumed that meant it could be left on the table whilst our mains came. Over an hour later, with only one scrap of prosciutto that had been left on the plate for the previous 30mins we enquired about our mains and how much longer they would take. The waitress then informed us that she was waiting for us to finish the antipasti before sending the mains away (she had not asked us once if we were finished the entire hour). This was rather irriating seeing as though none of us had even touched the platter for a good 30mins and that we weren't informed that they would be waiting for us to finish before sending our mains away. Aside from that our water wasn't topped up.

Atmosphere: Softly elegant. Muted neutral tones punctuated with luxurious chandeliers and patterned booths.

Parking: Good - there's a decent amount of street parking.


Hours: Tue-Sun noon-10pm

Would I return: No. It's disappointing since we enjoyed the desserts we had eaten here previously, but the food as well as the service were dismal enough that I would not chose to come again.

Sosta Cucina on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Maris - Malvern - review

Name: Maris

Address: 15 Glenferrie Rd
Malvern 3144 VIC
Phone: (03) 9500 0665

Food: European, Italian and Modern Australian

Average price: Entree: $15-$20, Mains: $25-$39, Dessert: $16
Set menu: 2 courses, $35

Complimentary: Bread with olive oil and balsamic. They also offer more should you want some.

The bread was cold but soft and a touch doughy but nice enough.

We ordered:
Entrees: Yarra Valley quail burger, tomato, caramelised onions, tomato & mustard sauce  - $18

Mr.M: It's difficult to sell a gourmet burger for $18 at a restaurant considering most people will compare it to places like Grilld, where it's half the price and triple the size.
That aside, it was packed full of flavour and was pleasant to eat. Although I felt like the bun was too sweet for the burger contents for me, I would have preferred the bun to be just the foundation and not necessarily a flavour component.

Smoked beetroot salad with chicory, pumpkin custard, pine nuts, goats cheese - $18

Flavours were great but beetroot was a bit too acidic from the vinegar and smothered the other more subtle flavours, otherwise overall it was nice.

Main: Buckwheat pasta, black & white cabbage, potato & tallegio cheese - $26

Pasta was a touch underdone. I'm not sure why but for some reason the flavours didn't appeal to me, perhaps it just needed an extra dash of salt? Everything else was cooked well.

Seared Queensland king prawns wrapped in prosciutto, amaranth, organic carrots, squid ink & fennel - $35

Mr.M: Awesome presentation. Everything was cooked well. I'm not really a fan of prawns but every now and then I order a prawn dish to see if my taste has changed, unfortunately I am still not a prawn fan.

Dessert: Valrhona chocolate with hazelnuts, caramel cream & cherry sorbet - $16

Mr.M: I was surprised at first as I smelt coffee, and then tasted coffee, and whilst it went well I wasn't expecting it and I don't think it really added anything to the dish. The ice cream was nice as was the chocolate. Sorbet was also nice. Nice dish, but nothing really memorable.

Slow cooked quince, sweet brioche, sago custard, pear and ginger sorbet - $16

Quince was delicious, custard was yummy and subtle, but the ginger was a touch strong and tended to overpower the other flavours. Brioche was too crispy and more reminiscent of a crouton and wasn't needed but otherwise I enjoyed the dish.

Cost: $129 for two entrees, two mains and two desserts.

Service: Great. Very family style and personal. They told us their names and enquired as to whether we enjoyed each dish, held door open for us when we left,  and never let out water get less than half full. Food came out at decent rate as well.

Atmosphere: Stark and well lit. The decor is mainly white with some colour given by the artwork and glasses. In terms of the atmosphere, there is something is lacking, perhaps the lighting was too bright but hubby felt it was akin to a fish and chip shop. The tables are very close together and you are hesitant to talk above a hush. When coffee machine is on it drowns out the whole room.

Parking: Decent. We went on  Thursday night and there was some street parking still available.


Hours: Tue-Fri noon-3pm, Tue-Sat 6pm-10pm

Would I return: Yes. The service was great and most of the dishes were rather enjoyable.

Maris on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 2, 2011

Grossi Florentino - Melbourne - review

Name: Grossi Florentino

Address: 80 Bourke St
Melbourne 3000 VIC

(03) 9662 1811

Food: Italian

Average price:  Entree: $39-$50, Mains: $50-$55, Dessert: $26-$35
Degustation menu: 8 courses, $195
Set menu: 5 courses, $140
Degustation with matching wine flight $265; Five-course menu with matching wine flight $190

Complimentary:  Bread basket with olives, butter and olive oil.

Quality ingredients.

Amuse bouche - potato soup

Nice, simple soup.

Cream and berries

Petit fours of a macaron, nougat and chocolate brownie.

We ordered: (somehow this post fell through the cracks and is actually from November 2010.)
Zuchhini flowers
olive and goats cheese, mint, pumpkin caponata, white aspargus shavings, pumpkin jus

This was lovely and well executed.

Spaghetti with alba white truffle and potato - $110 supplement

The pasta was the perfect al dente texture whilst the truffle gave light earthy fragrant flavour with butter potatoes. It was lovely, but not worth the expensive additional price tag.

Risotto venere - venere rice,morton bay bug, parmesan sabayon
Egg yolk ravioli - pumpkin, egg yolk, vincotto, parmesan - (veg version)

The pasta  was well cooked, the pumpkin was quite sweet as was the vincotto, and the egg yolk quite heavy.
Mr.M thought his dish was only 

Baby onion tart carpaccio crumbs, beetroot, wilted spinach

The presentation was lacking. The onion tart extremely wet with a soggy crumb, the wilted spinach avereage, and the beetroot puree too tangy - overall too much sweetness with unwelcome tang.

Glenloth pidgeon roasted breast, leg ravioli, black cabbage, marsala, cardamom and liquorice powder, beetroot, couscous

Mr.M said jus was overwhelming and he couldn't taste the other nuances.

Slow cooked waygu rump cap
pickled veal tongue, shallots and potato saltate, fennel and rosemary praline, salsa verde

Mr.M said this was quite nice.

Valrhona chocolate soufflé malt ice cream and chocolate sauce

I thought this was lacking a chocolate depth, it was more akin to a malt and chocolate milkshake. The soufflé was gorgeously fluffy though.

Buffalo ricotta slice pumpkin, 30year old balsamic, amaretto crisp, amarena cherries, roast quince

The ricotta was dry and tasted like aged cheese, it very smelly too. It was bitter, salty and tasted like a foot, as if it was off - the alcohol from the cherries and sweetness from the quince did not help - we did not like this dish one bit.

Cost: Around $500.

Service: Good. The food came out at a good pace and the waiters were knowledgeable, but perhaps a tad absent. As it was my birthday, when they brought out the dessert they sang  'Happy Birthday Miss Lady' which was lovely and also made me giggle a bit at their choice of words.

Atmosphere: Luxurious Italian villa. Large murals adorned the claret red wallpapered walls as chandeliers hung from the ceiling, it's all quite opulent and perhaps a bit too formal. The dining space is quite small and therefore the tables were closely spaced.

Parking: Limited street but plenty of paid underground.


Hours: Mon-Fri noon-3pm, Mon-Sat 6pm-11pm

Would I return: No, although the food was nice it wasn't anything truly memorable.

Grossi Florentino on Urbanspoon