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Blog Created: Aug 25,2016 at 07:11

The Fat Duck London & Melbourne


July 13, 2015Eight CaesarsGreat BritainLondonMelbourne CBDNine CaesarsRestaurant Reviews

The Fat Duck is about to pull a hat trick.

The culinary overlord Heston Blumenthal (you may have heard of him) utterly and definitively blew me away when I dined at The Fat Duck in Bray over a year and a half ago. It was a transformative experience, teaching me that food can be elevated to unimaginable heights, yet take you back to food play dates of childhood. It is art, theatre, and the fulfilment of fantasy all in one meal. You do not visit a restaurant such as The Fat Duck to merely eat. Sure, in the end, it’s just food, they say. Only idiots would pay $500+ for a meal, they decry. Well then, let us fools be parted with our money – these tables are hard enough to nab as they are.

So many people tried to book a table at The Fat Duck’s 6-month stint in Melbourne – nearly 100,000 people applied for the mere chance. I, the masochist, tried my luck at the chef’s table – an even more improbable feat. Needless to say, I was truly counting on a lucky star to shine upon me. And then, one did.

Date Last Visited: 10/1/2014 (London) | 04/07/2015 (Melbourne)
Address: High Street, Bray, Berkshire SL6 2AQ, United Kingdom | 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): the experience itself


Chin Chin Cover


August 23, 2014Melbourne CBDRestaurant ReviewsSeven Caesars

Chin Chin is one of the hottest Melbourne restaurants, both figuratively and literally. The hype for this place just does not die down – I’ve followed it for a years, and when I finally had the chance to visit, the queues were as Great-Wallian as ever.

Surely, a simple restaurant styled around contemporary Malay cuisine cannot generate such buzz? Granted, Malay food is delicious, but also ubiquitous. What makes Chin Chin stand out? Does it deserve to?

I practically killed my tastebuds to find out. The results were…fiery.

Date Last Visited: 29/11/13
Address: 125 Flinders Ln Melbourne, VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): Massaman curry of coconut braised beef w/kipfler potatoes, peanuts & crispy shallots


Cumulus Inc Cover


August 17, 2014Five CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant Reviews

Few food-centric visits to Melbourne are completed without a trip to Cumulus Inc. Andrew McConnell’s restaurant café is widely regarded by locals and visitors alike.

When backed by a bevy of solid recommendations, it was only a matter of time for me.

Though I find that the crowd is generally correct about the quality of Melbourne establishments, Cumulus Inc surprised me in ways I did not expect.

Date Last Visited: 27/11/13
Address: 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): Grilled Lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans & 65C egg


Vue de Monde Cover


June 24, 2014Eight CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant Reviews

Executive Chef Shannon Bennett is a household name in Melbourne in the same way asPeter Gilmore is in Sydney. Enter Bennett’s Vue De Monde – quite possibly the ultimate antithesis to Quay’s subdued presentation, but giving up none of the flavour sensations that Quay is famed for.

VDM is one of Melbourne’s premier fine dining establishments. Situated at a sky-shattering level 55 of the Rialto Tower, this three-toqued restaurant rewards the discerning diner’s eyes, as well as the palate.

This post has 60 pictures in it – the most of any single restaurant post I’ve ever done. You will soon see why – click in for one of the most splendiferous meals you’ll ever get to feast on.

Date Last Visited: 8/6/14
Address: Level 55/Rialto 525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): let the staff guide you


Melbourne Sweets Cover, Chokolait, Brioche by Philip, Dessert Story, Koko Black, La Belle Miette


March 23, 2014Eight CaesarsFive CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant ReviewsSeven CaesarsSix Caesars

Be prepared, dear readers, for this post is a doozy. Eyes will roll.

I kid – this post is extensive, but only because it includes a lot more eyeporn. Why more photos? Because this is a roundup! Not a definitive one mind you, but five places in Melbourne for which sweet is the name of the game.

Aye aye, read on to drool over five times the usual sugary goodness! We explore La Belle Miette, Brioche by Philip, Koko Black, Dessert Story & Chokolait!

Dates Last Visited: 5/7/13-8/7/13
Address: see Urbanspoon icons


Manchester Press Cover


March 14, 2014Eight CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant Reviews

Continuing the trend of putting up posts from ancient times is Manchester Press. I feel I should put these up as soon as possible so I will no longer be shamed displaying my poor photography skills from days bygone to the public.

Or, I could be just making excuses to finally get all of my Melbourne posts out. Either way, can’t complain right? Melbourne’s awesome and anyone who doesn’t believe it hasn’t been there.

Gosh, I sound like a Melbournite, with my highbrow statements (of fact *ahem*).

But hey, I have yet to find a location in Sydney that can make a living off mere bagels. That’s where Manchester Press makes its oblique entrance. Read on to whet your appetite on the food item that gets confused with doughnuts a bit more often than I’m willing to admit.

Date Last Visited: 6/7/13
Address: 8 Rankins Lane Melbourne, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): pulled pork bagels easily make a favourite of mine


The Hardware Societe cover


March 12, 2014Eight CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant Reviews

You know you’ve got an extensive backlog of posts, if you’re still putting up photos that have your ancient watermark over them. But alas, they must step out of the dark some day. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I may never actually catch up, but at least nobody can say that it was for lack of trying.

I’ll try and put up an old post every now and then – at the very least, I hope my backlog will eventually all have my new watermark. That’s when I’ve made progress!

Now, onto the subject of this post – MELBOURNE. I visited this lovely city twice last year, but I’m so far behind I’m actually blogging the first time I went. I’m terrible, I know.

Anyone who visits Melbourne will be interested in the food there, even if they’re not a foodie. It’s hard not to be drawn into this hipster, beatnik city, with its bohemian (and absolutelybeautiful) alleyways, hole in the wall cafes, and no-nonsense approach to food. Melbourne’s got some of the world’s best coffee, to boot. Sydney’s food culture is an ever-swanky juggernaut that’s nigh unstoppable, but Melbourne food culture is incomparable – in a dashing way of its own.

Which brings us to The Hardware Societe (or Société if you really wanna go there). Widely regarded as one of Melbourne’s worst-kept secrets, this is a must-stop for almost any visitor, and indeed Melbournite as well. Yes, there are those who deride the hype machine, but I myself am entranced. Read on to see what it’s all about.

Date Last Visited: 5/7/13
Address: 118-120 Hardware St Melbourne, VIC
Recommended Dish(es): baked eggs, charcuterie board, fried brioche


Ezard Restaurant Cover


August 11, 2013Eight CaesarsMelbourne CBDRestaurant Reviews

I walked away from my birthday degustation at Black by Ezard with mixed feelings. The food was good when it was good, overpowering when it was overpowering. Add to that the rather odd service (some dishes were explained, others were plated without a word) and it made for an…interesting experience indeed.

Still, the name Ezard is one with weight behind it. As such, I was naturally curious to see how the original Ezard restaurant in Melbourne fared. Originally, we intended to visit Attica, supposedly the best restaurant in Australia at the moment, but unsurprisingly we were unable to secure a booking. As it turns out, Ezard was good for us, so away we went – I never expected I’d be dining at the original so soon.

Boy, could I be more glad we chose two-hatted Ezard as our token fine dining experience in Melbourne. Read on, there’s a whole scoop here 
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