Restaurant and bar stories, news and reviews


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 […]

Chinese, Crown Casino, Melbourne, 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 […]

Bourke St, cafe, coffee, Melbourne, 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, Melbourne, 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 […]

Bars & pubs, greek, Melbourne, Restaurants

Little Press and the mini wagyu burger

Mikro Bifteki – the $7 mini wagyu burger It’s the sort of thing we all say: “I’ll meet you at Movida Next Door at 6.30.” Of course, you can’t squeeze in without a 40 minute wait. And Movida itself is full. And an ill-tempered waitress at Coda inevitably tells you to F-ck off. Next time, try dropping into The Little Press & Cellar (listen out for really annoying music) for a couple of drinks and a few nibbles. The staff […]

Albert Park, Butter, Melbourne, Restaurants

The Point: old vs new

Old: Poached egg, white polenta and black truffle It’s a nice idea. Pit the old school talent of your executive chef versus the new technique-led talent of a young chef. Tonight it was at The Point pitting the old school butter soaked technique of executive chef Scott Pickett versus Ryan Flaherty who has worked at Arzak, El Bulli, The Fat Duck and a few other avante garde style restaurants. New: 63c egg, blackened corn and jamon Winner: Old: Poached egg, […]

French, Japanese, Melbourne, Molecular cooking, Restaurants

Heirloom – one foam too far

Heirloom looks great but the food needs to be simpler. The best French chefs are Japanese nowadays, they say. But they aren’t French they are Japanese. They are just cooking French-style with the addition of Japanese ingredients. Meanwhile, the best French chefs are now open in Japan. They rock. Or at least Michel Bras does, the man who is one of the inspirations for local, sustainable super-natural cuisine several decades before Noma had even been dreamt of. And now this […]

Collingwood, Melbourne, Restaurants

Josie Bones: we ate everything

We all know Chris Badenoch right? The bad boy beer guy who was runner-up on Masterchef series one. He’s the one that was chewed-up by the tabloids and spat out a love rat. Now he’s a place of his own to, so to speak, chew-up rare breed animals and swallow, together with several hundred beers. Josie Bones, his love child with Masterchef runner-up Julia Jenkins, has only a token page of wines to a telephone book of beers but surprisingly […]

Restaurants, St Kilda

Book now: Food bloggers to prove they can cook

The time has come for Melbourne food bloggers to prove they can cook in a special once-only dinner that is not for the food intolerant at Miss Jackson in St Kilda. Anchovies, tongue, pork, gin and strawberries are all on the menu. Some come and join me Penny (whose idea this was), Billy, Jess and Matt for what promises to be a big and interesting night. Where: Miss Jackson, 2/19 Grey Street St. Kilda (enter via Jackson Street) When: 6.30pm […]