Month: August 2009

Bars & pubs, Drinks, gin, Richmond

Drama at Der Raum

It’s about theatre. And Der Raum does it well. Gin – there’s a selection of all the good stuff – is chilled with liquid nitrogen. It boils in a glass jug with clouds spilling down its sides and along the bar counter. When the ice clears from the surface, it is safe to sip. And it is a good martini. A very clean martini. It’s not one that will bitch slap you in the face – although I like those. […]


Good ideas beat all comers, but keep flexibility

IN a rapidly changing market, success isn’t just about bringing the right product to market at the right time but charting the correct course through the shifting media environment. For Geoff Hunt, who spent four years working on the launch of online print-on-demand photo book service Momento, his advantage in 2004 was that he was among the first in Australia. As such he was able to capitalise on the novelty of the service in promoting it to the media. At […]


Preserving the Australian Way

Ever wondered where salami comes from? Ed Charles spends a day learning the ropes from a family of winemakers in the Yarra Valley. Fattened on acorns, the end of three pigs Brick, Stick and Straw was always inevitable. A family meeting of the De Bortoli winemaking clan at their Yarra Valley property brought about a salami making day for winemakers, neighbours and friends and a celebration of wine and pork. On the second day of salami making, the action begins […]


Huge shake-up to Victoria in Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards

I believe we all have our favorites – I know I do – and this shows in the list of the top restaurants in Victoria from Gourmet Traveller. You can check out the full list here A big congratulations to Dan Hunter and team at The Royal Mail Hotel who were awarded best regional restaurant. Otherwise there was a massive shake-up in the list for Victoria with a handful of completely new restaurants and a couple of promotions. This means […]


Alpine green tea helps the existential crisis

Green tea packed in anti-somethings from Alpine Tea Co, 33 Kiewa Valley Highway, Tawonga, Vic 3997 I didn’t know that tea was cultivated in Victoria, let alone the alpine valleys. I should’ve guessed it having iced my nuts at a hill station in India in January. But I didn’t as I was spending too much time on my existential crisis that you may have read about. Existential crises are the sort or things that feed on themselves so I decided […]


Sod local food, it’s mango season

Fresh peppercorns Two things drag me out of the local groove; mangoes and mud crab. We did the mud crab on full moon. Now it’s the turn of mango. And the fresh green pepper corns discovered at Damian Pike’s stall on the recent bloggers’ tour of Prahran market. Fresh peppercorns are a real treat. In Cambodia and India I enjoyed them – thanks to French influences in Phnom Penh and Pondicherry – with peppered steaks. But few people have bothered […]

Eat streets

101 – sorry 127 – things not to eat and drink before you die

I recently had a non-brush with death while eating what turned out not to be my last meal. It made me think of all the meals I’d wasted. A bad meal is a wasted eating opportunity. Here, with a little help from my blogging and Twitter friends, are some tips on the food and drink best avoided. I’ll be updating as more come in. And please add to the list in comments. Or, why not publish your own list and […]

Italian, Restaurants, Richmond

I forgot I was meant to die. But at least I unwittingly ate my last meal at The Grand Hotel

Vincisgrassi makes every other lasagne seems brutal. The Grand Hotel, 333 Burnley Street, Richmond +61 3 9429 2530 Hopeless. There I was talking about how this Vincisgrassi could be my last meal in September but I got the date wrong. I should have died at the same age as my father on the 5th August 2009, at least I always assumed I would follow in his footsteps. It is a huge disappointment to still be alive. I’ve failed in every […]


The great egg swap

Flat leaf parsley is rampant right now. And our neighbour’s chickens are productive laying about five eggs a day. It’s a swap. Herbs for fresh eggs, small eggs. Some are blue and others covered in crap. Personally, I see no problem in this. I crack the fresh eggs, dirty and clean, into a pan. But this is the first argument of the day. Apparently, they need to be washed. Then they need to be cracked into a bowl then tipped […]