Restaurant and bar stories, news and reviews

Chefs, Melbourne, Restaurants

Albert Roux respects bugs

Albert Roux: respect for the bug I‘ve often wondered why so much food is so bad in Queensland. According to Heston Blumenthal we need moist nasal passages to taste best, which is partly why food tastes of nothing on planes. Queensland being so humid should mean that everything tastes better than in the drier humid Melbourne. There’s plenty of great produce up in Queenland, especially the fruits of the sea. Take the Morton Bay Bug, for instance, an ugly critter […]

Bars & pubs, greek, Melbourne, Restaurants

Little Press and the mini wagyu burger

Mikro Bifteki – the $7 mini wagyu burger It’s the sort of thing we all say: “I’ll meet you at Movida Next Door at 6.30.” Of course, you can’t squeeze in without a 40 minute wait. And Movida itself is full. And an ill-tempered waitress at Coda inevitably tells you to F-ck off. Next time, try dropping into The Little Press & Cellar (listen out for really annoying music) for a couple of drinks and a few nibbles. The staff […]

Albert Park, Butter, Melbourne, Restaurants

The Point: old vs new

Old: Poached egg, white polenta and black truffle It’s a nice idea. Pit the old school talent of your executive chef versus the new technique-led talent of a young chef. Tonight it was at The Point pitting the old school butter soaked technique of executive chef Scott Pickett versus Ryan Flaherty who has worked at Arzak, El Bulli, The Fat Duck and a few other avante garde style restaurants. New: 63c egg, blackened corn and jamon Winner: Old: Poached egg, […]

French, Japanese, Melbourne, Molecular cooking, Restaurants

Heirloom – one foam too far

Heirloom looks great but the food needs to be simpler. The best French chefs are Japanese nowadays, they say. But they aren’t French they are Japanese. They are just cooking French-style with the addition of Japanese ingredients. Meanwhile, the best French chefs are now open in Japan. They rock. Or at least Michel Bras does, the man who is one of the inspirations for local, sustainable super-natural cuisine several decades before Noma had even been dreamt of. And now this […]

Collingwood, Melbourne, Restaurants

Josie Bones: we ate everything

We all know Chris Badenoch right? The bad boy beer guy who was runner-up on Masterchef series one. He’s the one that was chewed-up by the tabloids and spat out a love rat. Now he’s a place of his own to, so to speak, chew-up rare breed animals and swallow, together with several hundred beers. Josie Bones, his love child with Masterchef runner-up Julia Jenkins, has only a token page of wines to a telephone book of beers but surprisingly […]

Restaurants, St Kilda

Book now: Food bloggers to prove they can cook

The time has come for Melbourne food bloggers to prove they can cook in a special once-only dinner that is not for the food intolerant at Miss Jackson in St Kilda. Anchovies, tongue, pork, gin and strawberries are all on the menu. Some come and join me Penny (whose idea this was), Billy, Jess and Matt for what promises to be a big and interesting night. Where: Miss Jackson, 2/19 Grey Street St. Kilda (enter via Jackson Street) When: 6.30pm […]

Japanese, Melbourne, Restaurants

Izakaya Den is “quite nice really”. Or is it?

What do you say to a celebrity when you meet them? It’s a question raised by the Freakanomics guys and what that I often face. When Rachael Griffiths pats my gimpy dog, or my grumpy dog tries to savage one of Guy Pearce’s Basenji, I just make polite conversation and try and treat them normally (although if I see Hughsy jogging down my street I’ll shout “maaaaaaate”). But more to the point what should a celebrity say to you should […]


No, I’m not involved with Golden Plates Awards

I was surprised when I received an email from Pam Jewson asking me to suggest people who might like to be judges for the Golden Plate Awards as we have history. I didn’t reply. I was even more surprised to hear from somebody who had been contacted who said the Golden Plate Awards were using my name in association with this scheme – especially as I gave evidence against them at Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on behalf of […]

cafe, Food blogs, Restaurants

Help needed to support Streetsmart charities

In a world with big budgets and high overheads, Streetsmart is one of those charities that helps the small and local, roping in cafes and restaurants to support often forgotten frugal local causes. On Monday 9th November its 2009, running until Christmas Streetsmart’s campaign kicks off. The idea is that diners leave an extra $2 for Streetsmart, which distributes the funds to local homeless-related charities, the kind that only really need a few thousand dollars. It isn’t a big charity […]

Restaurants, Sydney, Wine

My Sydney wine fix

Fix St James: Funnily enough very close to St James station, 111 Elizabeth Street, Sydney NSW 2000 +61 2 9232 2767 There must be something about Fix St James to make me return. During the last two of my trips to Sydney I have visited, three times – twice in the past week. And it is a place now popular with bloggers and twitterers @reemski, @felixexplody and @carmr. But also it is popular with the ACP crowd, including the editors […]