Recent posts

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

11 strategies to drink less but better alcohol

I’m not going to do FebFast this year because I suspect giving up alcohol altogether isn’t going to do anything for Australia’s economic progress. Let’s face it, the economic impact on restaurants and bars of Febfast is horrendous. Most hospitality venues are doing it fairly tough and the fact that the economic model is based on selling alcohol, February is about to become a lot tougher. And let’s not forget, outside of the resources sector, the contribution winemaking and restaurants […]

Inside My Mexican creole controversy

Inside My Mexican creole controversy

I started with a vieux carrĂ©; Buffalo Trace bourbon, Remy VS Cognac, Rosso Antico, Yellow Chartreuse, Orange & Rhubarb bitters, a grapefruit twist. But this whole creole contraversy was shaken and stirred when @burgermary started calling the authenticity of My Mexican Cousin’s creole credentials into question. Is short the restaurant, which is attached to and with it’s Six Degrees fitout jars with the Melbourne Recital Centre, is named after the most popular dish on the St Ali menu (corncakes) and […]

The George Calombaris effect and surcharges

As the Christmas and new year break recedes and Australia Day approaches, once more the open wound of the hospitality game one again resurfaces: surcharges. This time though it has hit the headlines big time thanks to the perfect storm of a silly season slow news cycle and Masterchef judge and serial restaurateur George Calombaris mouthing off about it in the Power Index (where I’m pleased to see That Jess Ho rates a mention in its analysis of the Melbourne […]

A griddle to die for

A griddle to die for

When I arrived in my flat nearly a year ago, I brought only half a kitchen with me and had many essentials missing. I’ve been limping along with a cheffy frying pan that needs replacing and no griddle. But the early arrival of zucchinis at my plot in the Mater St Community Garden meant that I had an urgent need for a griddle before I was overwhelmed by monster vegetables. The thing is I’m in early negotiations with a sponsor […]

Gorski and Jones woodfires Smith St

Gorski and Jones woodfires Smith St

There’s no website. Or Twitter account. Or any effort in marketing the newest spot on the Collingwood side of Smith St, Gorski and Jones, which is next door but one to Cavellero. Yet G&J place is packed with good reason. The place looks fantastic and their short menu of food and drinks is good. Very good. It’s brought to us by the people behind Brunswick St Alimentari – “The Deli” – and a keen fan. The music is booming and […]

Inside the Paul Wilson Twitter spat

Inside the Paul Wilson Twitter spat

This blog is unprofessional, according to the person behind chef Paul Wilson’s Twitter account – whether it is Paul himself or his wife Bec. I’ve asked for an apology but they have chosen to ignore the request. And now I’m telling this story which encompasses how people fuck-up on Twitter, ethics and how and why reviews here are written. So what happened? Well, I published a story about two Prahan pubs Morris Jones and The Smith that was unintentionally inaccurate […]

How to taste an oyster

How to taste an oyster

There are only two main species of Oysters that we find ourselves gobbling in Australia, the flat and the cup-shaped. This week at the Oysters and sake event I organised with Andre from Kumo and Adriane Strampp as part of the Fringe Food Festival we had 13 varieties including from (Tasmania) Blackmans Bay, Saint Helens, Pipe Clay Lagoon, Dunalley; (South Australian) Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay, Kangaroo Island, Smoky Bay, Thevenard (Ceduna); and (New South Wales) Wallis Lakes and Tweed Heads. […]

The Smith vs Morris Jones

The Smith vs Morris Jones

Here’s what should happen. Somebody should take Michael Lambie, owner of The Smith in Prahran, and stuff him into Morris Jones, the other brand new, nearby pub on Chapel Street in Prahan. I love the Byron George fitout of the former 1887 department store that is MJ and the passion and energy that owner Hayden Burbank, a restaurant novice, has put into executing the design from distressing the walls to his brilliant, affordable living wall of greenery. What I’m not […]

Chai to die for

Chai to die for

I‘m sent a lot of stuff. In the past few weeks alone, two cookbooks, a bottle of whisky, beer x 2, prawns, wine, magazines and more. Dealing with the packaging alone is a pain as I don’t own an industrial compactor and only have a small recycling bin. But out of all the guff, I was very happy with Prana Chai, something I first tasted way back at Dr Jekyll in St Kilda. Most chai comes as a dry and […]