Month: April 2011


Do you know a surcharge sinner?

If you can find somewhere open today – or any time this Easter weekend – potentially it’s an expensive time to eat out because of public holiday surcharges of 10% or more. It’s a unique situation having five days straight off work and I know I’ll be chowing down in what restaurants I can find open. I was interviewed by Channel Ten News (which should air sometime today after 5pm) on this, the fact that many restaurants and cafes are […]


Last of the summer jam

It’s late in the season and the blackberries are almost over. I love this time of year. It’s a time for blackberry and apple pie. And jam making, a wonderful way to preserve any fruit. We used to stomp through blackberry bushes making prickly mazes, hooking far flung fruit with walking sticks collected from dead relatives. We’d return home grazed, pricked and with purple fingers and lips from scoffing the sweet fruit. Jam making should be simple – for most […]

Cooking, Easter, Eat streets

The great Easter bun hunt

I love this time of the year because I can indulge in hot cross buns. I love their spiceness combined with the sweetness of raisins on soft buns. Naturally, things have come a long way since I first ate them as a kid toasted, spread with a thick chunk of butter (we always at Lurpak slightly salted in those days) with home made blackberry jam and indoctrinated by Catholic brothers. Nowadays there are so many variations from chocolate chip to […]

Chinese, Eat streets, Restaurants

A Temple that needs more spice

It’s very hip. It’s dark like a nightclub with individual lamps over each table illuminating the food. Not so dark that you could get away with the kind of nefarious under table hand shuffling that was reported in the defunct Bistro Guillaume bar that previously occupied the basement space. But dark enough to make any food photography futile. I could be anywhere in the world, but I’m in Melbourne in the basement dining room in Crown Casino insulated from the […]

cafe, coffee, Eat streets, Restaurants

Busting the great Pellegrini’s myth

People love Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. It’s because of the atmosphere and the 1950s charm. It’s a great place to hang out and watch the top end of Bourke Street go by – as long as you are not eating or drinking coffee. If you have anything more ambitious than a glass of water (alcohol isn’t served) you’ll be disappointed because the food and the coffee are also both stuck in the 1950s. But the place is packed, so why would […]

Chefs, Eat streets, 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 […]

cafe, coffee, Drinks, Eat streets, Paraphernalia

Cibi: a cafe and a gallery by any other name

Cibi: try the green tea muffins Cibi is a cafe that thinks it’s a gallery. Actually, it is a gallery and regularly holds openings to launch the various (mainly kitchen) products it imports (mainly) from Japan. Housed in a modern warehouse building on Keele St, the Cibi space features a large open kitchen and grunge cafe mixing found objects and mismatched tables and chairs with a minimalist feel – if that makes sense. It’s the brainchild of former architecture nut […]

Eat streets

Win a KitchenAid Mixer

Win a KitchenAid mixer in the colour of your choice There are two schools on foodprocessors. There are the KitchenAid people and the Kenwood people. It all depends whether you want a mixer that looks like a boot or one that is truly beautiful. I don’t often do giveaways and, unless it is something really cool, or for one of my advertisers such as Kitchenware Direct. This competition I’m happy to say combined both – a really cool prize and […]

Eat streets

Food that looks like Hitler: risotto

Some dishes are difficult to photograph. Lasagne often lookslike a cowpat. And sometimes the lighting conditions don’t help. At least in the case of this Carciofi grigliati, limoni canditi e mandorle tostate con timo fresco (Italian grilled artichokes, in house preserved lemon, thyme and roasted almonds, $26.50) a shadow makes it look a little like Hitler. Risotto is one of those dishes that while appetizing is almost impossible to style, especially at the restaurant table, in this case Tutto Bene […]