Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: Shandong Mama

Shandong Mama needs no introduction. Mama is known for her Shan Dong dumplings, proven with a runner up title in the Time Out 2014 awards Bang for Buck category.

My eating compatriot and I decided to lunch in the city one day, with me suggesting Shandong Mama. Located in Mid City Arcade, this dumpling joint was a typical casual Asian eatery. No fuss, no frills - you sit down, you get a menu, you order and your food arrives in a timely fashion. You can easily finish a meal in under an hour - perfect for those office lunch breaks.

Greediness got the better of us and we ordered three dumplings and one appetiser:

Sweet and sour shredded cabbage salad with a dash of sesame oil

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Cecconi's Flinders Lane Restaurant & Cellar Bar

I was invited to Cecconi's for their relaunch and to try their new seasonal menu recently.

At the door, I was greeted by an array of canapes and drinks at the door, ranging from smooth velvety sweet corn veloute to melt-in-your-mouth pan-seared scallops served on a fancy spoon. With one hand holding a glass of Aperol Spritz and the other, a mouth watering San Daniele prosciutto-wrapped grissini, you could tell this was going to be a night to remember.

 The restaurant now features a clean, contemporary feel, thanks to the work of Mollard Interiors. The open space kitchen was a stage in its own right. There was also a sense of home in the restaurant, with family photos featured prominently on a wall.

Now on to the food! The first course served was a risotto, freshly shaved black truffles, parmesan and truffle oil. There was a generous serve of shaved black truffles that provided an earthy taste, and the risotto was well-done.

This was followed by a Chatham Island Blue Cod with Confit Tomato, Fennel, Fried Zucchini Flower and Aged Balsamic. The cod was amazing - perfectly cooked and seasoned and a dish strong enough to enjoy on its own. The accompanying zucchini flower was done beautifully - light and crispy.

The next dish was Twice-Cooked Duck, Sweet Potato Puree and Lime. I really enjoyed the combination of the well-done duck and the velvety sweet potato puree. The lime added a little zing after-taste, which I thought was rather interesting.

The night finished with two types of dessert - Formaggio - with pear, dried fruits, quince paste, crackers and Caramel Pannacotta, wild fig cake, macadamia ice-cream.

I particularly enjoyed the pannacotta - the flavours were balanced really well and I cleaned up the glass in seconds. From someone that is not a huge fan of figs, that is saying a lot about this dessert!

The relaunched Cecconi reinforces that it will always do what it does best -- fine Italian food with a touch of class.

* Special thanks to Tim O'Connor for the great photos

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dinner with Guillaume Brahimi and Chris Morrison

For a great night out with French food and good champagne, come to Dinner with Guillaume Brahimi and Chris Morrison on Monday, 25 November 2013. 

Featured under the Drink & Dine series as part of the Good Food Month, experience Guillaume's four-course dinner matched with wines selected by Chris Morrison. 

Bistro Guillaume

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: Yering Station

I was lucky enough to be invited to a work lunch at Yarra Valley recently where we took our clients out for a day trip. After a tour and tasting at Domaine Chandon, we settled at Yering Station for lunch.

We ordered the following entrees to share:
- Cured salmon and kingfish, lime and radish, campari dressing
- Scallops, black pudding, pea puree, pear chutney
- Verjuice rabbit rillettes, brioche, sweet garlic, baby herbs

To drink, the 2010 Yering Station Reserve Shiraz Viognier.

For my main, I had the special of the day which was Whiting and salmon tortellini.
Didn't manage to get dessert as none of my lunch companions had a sweet tooth..

Cured salmon and kingfish 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Sosumi Japanese Restaurant

Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you I looooove Japanese food. There's nothing like a fresh plate of sashimi or a good bowl of unadon to give me an instant boost for the day.

Sosumi was a little bit of a random pick - it was lunchtime, i was hungry and with a little help from urbanspoon, found a restaurant i haven't yet tried.

Sosumi is located close to Swinburne university and according to the owners, had just opened earlier this year. The menu was quite standard, but what caught my eye was black cod fish. I haven't had this in a while so I immediately knew what I was going to order.

We ordered the soft shell crab, takoyaki, black cod fish and the sosumi bento box.

The soft shell crab was crunchy and mostly well-seasoned, although a little small. There were some parts that was a little saltier, but was easily offset by the side salad.

Soft shell crab

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Recipe: Lime pie

When you're in the mood for baking, and Coles has run out of lemons, what do you do?

Bake a lime pie, that's what!

Lime pie
Recipe adapted from

Prep time: 20 - 25 minutes
Baking time: 40 - 45 minutes
Lime pie: Ingredients

Monday, March 04, 2013

Review: Etto @ South Melbourne - Pasta galore!

First official review!

Now, what better way to start the first review of the year than to blog about a meal with the very person that's encouraged me back on the flog scene?

So Thanh (@ieatthereforeiam) recently invited me to try Etto - a new pasta place in South Melbourne. Located in Clarendon Centre, Etto has a pretty relaxed feel to it, with bright coloured chairs and a tiled feature wall reminding me of an argyle sweater I used to wear (now where did that sweater go..)