Month: May 2009

Eat streets, Restaurants

How I found a table a Collingwood’s Gigibaba

It was an epic journey from St Kilda up to Gertrude St and then down to Gigibaba at Smith St followed by an epic meal. We left at 5.30 in the evening to ensure we would find two seats in this hot Turkish joint, arriving at the working class tea time of 6.15pm. Along the way we bumped into various well known food characters on Gertrude St. I even considered moving nearby. My paternal grandfather made a similar epic journey […]


Dial up dollars on the phone: iPhone applications

THERE’S a lot of hype about the Apple iPhone Application Store. In the US an individual developer made about $800,000 in five months for a game called iShot. On its peak day, January 11, almost 17,000 copies of the game were sold. But the reality for most applications sold in the store, especially those tailored to the small Australian market, is that they will make good money but probably won’t sell that many. Graham Dawson’s application Oz Weather hit No1 […]


10 minutes on local produce with Sat Bains

Outside at the Langham I finally managed to catch Sat Bains, an English chef with Indian heritage who has one Michelin star for his Nottingham restaurant and hotel. He’s big,black bald and ballsy. Plus he also swears a lot. He was one of the highlights of the many Michelin starred chefs attending the 09 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. You can read my story for SBS Food here. Sat Bains talks at full throttle: “Marco (Pierre White) made a big […]

Restaurants, St Kilda

Sunday lunch stuns at the Melbourne Wine Room no thanks to liquor licensing bully boys

So the other Saturday the Melbourne Wine Room at The George had the boot boys in. Liquor Licensing Victoria sent in its storm troopers to shut the place down mid-service on a Saturday night. The only way they could have been anymore heavy handed would have been to raid the kitchen and Tazer Karen Martini before bundling her off in a sack in the back of a dark-windowed SUV. When I saw the sign on the door I was put […]


Meet Sat Bains

He’s big, bald and boisterous and swears the whole time, in a broad Midlands accent, with the rapid-fire delivery of a stand-up comedian. Ed Charles caught up with Sat Bains at the recent Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Sat Bains is the hottest of the new generation of British chefs, but he’s not based in the culinary capital London, instead he resides in Robin Hood territory, the regional city of Nottingham. Born to Sikh parents from the Punjab, he doesn’t […]

Eat streets, Restaurants

Botanical $29.50 burger badly disappoints

My mission is to find inner-Melbourne’s best high-end burger and the Botanical was at the top of my list. Last year, invited by erstwhile executive chef Paul Wilson, I spent a pleasant lunch stuffing myself with oysters from the size of a fingernail to a fist. We tasted various breeds and cuts of grass and grain fed beef. And we drank. And laughed. But the real discovery was what I dubbed the best chips in Melbourne, constructed to the Heston […]

Eat streets

The best local produce stories you’ve never heard

Sourced direct from Daylesford Victorian local produce is really buzzing right now. There are plenty of local chefs promoting it but a special mention has to go to Royal Mail Head Chef Dan Hunter who this week was awarded “Outstanding Use of Regional Produce by a Chef” at the 2009 Vogue Entertaining + Travel Produce Awards. But there is much more happening out there. The issue is being pushed partly because of government support of the regions post bushfires and […]

Chefs, Q&A, Video

40 exclusive minutes with Heston Blumenthal

With thanks to the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. It’s 3.50 on a Friday afternoon. I’ve just finished a great meal cooked by Scott Pickett at The Point in Albert Park and his mentor the brilliant Phil Howard from Two Michelin star The Square in London as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. I can’t get a taxi to take me to The Langham where I’m interviewing possibly the most important chef in the world Heston Blumenthal who […]