Recent posts

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 […]

Wellies on Gertrude St

Wellies on Gertrude St

Boulcott St Bistro: very French in influence There’s some wholesome about New Zealand, Wellington in particular with its clean air, nuclear free environment and the healthy, cheerful population. Even the local tourism body, who flew me over, is called Positively Wellington. Luckily on my 48 hours in the city I managed to find the only misantropic drinking hole, Hawthorn, where technology and phones are frowned upon. Somehow we settled in and escaped around 4am with a mostly full bottle of […]

Why I love The Family Meal

Why I love The Family Meal

We don’t see much innovation in cookbooks nowadays but The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adria is as you’d expect from one of the world’s most innovative chefs. What most people don’t realise is that most book publishers don’t test their recipes properly. Yes, the chefs and celebrities that write them actually cook the dishes sometimes even in their home kitchens. But a recipe tester using crappy basic cookers and bog standard equipment aren’t used. It keeps the price […]

Crumbs, it’s Phillippa’s

Crumbs, it’s Phillippa’s

Phillippa’s: the best breadcrumbs. Every so often a product comes along that you can’t ignore, that becomes a pantry essential. Personally, living alone I rarely buy bread, even in half loaves, as it often goes to waste and am not into freezing whole cut loaves. This means that I need to buy in breadcrumbs and don’t always want to default to Panko. The ones bought in packets from supermarkets bear more resemblance to the dust from a car park than […]

Oysters and sake tickets on sale

Oysters and sake tickets on sale

What? Oysters and Sake Where? Studio of artist Adriane Strampp. Studi 18a 236/248 Brunswick St, Fitzroy When? 5pm – 7.30pm Sunday 13th November 2011 Bookings $54 a head. Book through Trybooking. Now! Tickets are now on sale for our Oysters a sake event being held in the hidden-away top floor Brunswick St studio of artist Adriane Strampp in collaboration with Andre Bishop from Kumo Izakaya in East Brunswick. There will be two dozen oysters per head and have a selection of […]

Lunch at Vue de Monde at $1 a minute

Lunch at Vue de Monde at $1 a minute

Each table is assigned a chef from the open kitchen at Vue de Monde At $60 for the 1 hour lunch at Vue de Monde it is not the cheapest in town by far. But it adds up to so much more than two courses and a glass of wine as an experience; I defy you to not order more or want to return. The whole experience is high theatre and extreme camp from the ornate cutlery, the colourful chaise […]

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Mac Forbes Cibi cellar door

Wine in the groove at Cibi. Picture: Adriane Strampp Cibi is rapidly defining itself as one of the most interesting cafes (or should I say happenings) in Melbourne as I have written before. Not only does it serve a terrific Japanese breakfast at weekends, have a quirky shop of Japanese design objects but it also treats itself like a gallery with its regular opening nights. Then there was the recent pop-up store in the Aesop store in Flinders Lane and […]

Not another review of the Aylesbury

Not another review of the Aylesbury

These are the doors to The Aylesbury. Beautiful aren’t they, guarding the space that until it closed was the lovely pizza restaurant Barbagallo Trattoria E Pizzeria. It wasn’t any pizza restaurant but one started by Pietro Barbagallo who brought us, and sold, the much loved I Carusi in Brunswick East. It just goes to show how tough it is on this corner, 103 Lonsdale St. The original crew at Seamstress a few doors away found it similarly tough and went […]

The cult of the wineglass

The cult of the wineglass

Consult a financial adviser before drinking from a Riedel. Dishwasher tablets erode your glasses and crockery. Use liquid instead. Decant heavier reds at least 8 hours before drinking. If you want to drink champagne (usually a blend of chardonnay pinot pinot meunier and pinot noir) rather than sip it, use a pinot noir glass. I’ve spent my whole life avoiding scrapes with cults. There was the incident in London on the Tottenham Court Road where, bunking off school aged 14, […]

Restaurant and Catering on social media

If you were at my talk at Restaurant and Catering last week, I’ve published my ideas on social media on my Tomato Media Facebook Page here, including a short presentation that the talk was based on and some links to resources. There are also some useful links in the presentation.