The Easey Street Smoke Out

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Easey Street Smoke Out.
Ironbark Barbecue has teamed up with Australia’s first communal motorcycle workshop, Kustom Kommune, to reveal Easey Street Smoke Out.
The unique venue offers the best American style barbecue, in a real motorcycle workshop complete with welding, sawing and revving. The Kommune is also a fully equipped motorcycle workshop where members self-service their own bikes. They can access tools, knowledge and facilities from the Kommune community.
The bar and restaurant opened in February 2015 at Kustom Kommune, where the team serves up succulent cuts of ethically sourced Victorian meats, smoked on site from 5am, for dinner service starting at 6pm. The results are mouthwatering, tender, juicy, hot, smoked meats courtesy of using time old techniques which involve long processes.
The drink offerings are impressive with beers from local brewers in Thornbury, 3 Ravens, which was named Champion Small Australian Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards and also picked up Best British Ale for its slightly tweaked English Ale.
Ironbark's passion for real American style food is palpable. Coupled with the sourcing high quality meat, it is a compelling proposition. The quality meat offerings include prime Victorian beef brisket, free range pulled pork shoulder, succulent Victorian lamb ribs, spicy thick sausages, the American classic, Texas chilli, as well as delicious salads and sides.
The Slow Smoked BBQ boasts a great selection of meats a- all of which are smoked with different woods to impart specific flavours and are prepared using dry rubs. We loved our platter of beef brisket, pulled pork, lamb ribs and thick sausages.
The lamb ribs were stunning - Tender, falling off the bone, juicy and packed with flavour. Prepared in the Southern tradition, we loved the smoky flavour imparted from being smoked for hours. The beef brisket was another  standout. Particularly noteworthy for its fragrant and complex beefy flavours which were enhanced by being marinated prior to being smoked for numerous hours. The meat was both soft and delicate.
The accompanying red slaw salad was our favourite. It was an enlivening salad with bold tastes and textures. A mixture of red chilli, red cabbage,  radish, capsicum and cumin, the salad was a beautiful and fresh addition which went well with the meats.

The Easey Street Smoke Out is the best place in Melbourne for the 3 Bs (barbecue, beers and bikes), delighting patrons with authentic American BBQ meats which are slow-smoked over real hard woods and delicious side dishes.

Location: 25 Easey St, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 5123
Cuisine: American, BBQ

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The Noble Experiment

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Noble Experiment.
The Noble Experiment presents an exciting departure from the mainstream by serving exciting cuisine influenced by Head Chef Cameron Bell’s haunts across North America and Europe.
Bell’s Michelin starred background brings a finesse and understanding of flavour combinations. His unique culinary signature has been instrumental in shaping the culture of The Noble Experiment, and his developed style is embedded in the heart and soul of every dish. Melding influences from across the US, France and the UK, the complex culinary enigma constructed by Bell leaves patrons with an unforgettable experience. 
The venue boasts a wonderfully relaxed vibe. The dining room is comfortably vast with a bar at its far end equipped with mixologists ready to serve you a delicious cocktail or some fine aged whiskeys and champagnes.
In line with its social setting, the menu items are primarily designed for sharing, from snacks to share plates, chefs menu to large format feasts.
12 hour lamb steamed bun 

The lamb buns were an absolute winner. The fluffy, moist and slightly sweet buns were filled with an addictive medley of red miso and peanuts. Sitting alongside this was the wonderful 12 hour slow roasted lamb. Having truly mastered the art roasting, the lamb had been succulently roasted and was tender, juicy and packed with flavour.

This cheese sensation demonstrated that unforgettable dishes can sometimes be very simple. In this instance, a ball of unadulterated burrata simply paired with chargrilled bread and a fresh and slightly tart “green sauce”. When the outer solid mozzarella shell was cut, we loved how the creamy interior of soft, stringy curd and fresh cream revealed itself. The sumptuously rich yet sensibly balanced flavours were sensational.
Crispy brussel sprouts, coconut, lime, caramel

This was a well-conceived dish that would easily melt away any aversion to brussel sprouts. The wonderful morsels of coconut encrusted sprouts were wonderfully crisp and beautifully caramelised to develop a toffee-like outer shell.  Although vegetarian dishes are often easily dismissed, this particular gem is one that commands respect. More than a side dish, it was a jaw-dropping highlight of our evening. 
Lamb breast, green papaya, peanuts, spring onions

The lamb breast was tender and delicious falling away at the weight of our spoons. The salad was the perfect accompaniment. Fresh, vibrant and crisp, the salad provided acidity and texture. It was a magnificent dish.
Beef short rib, burnt onion, coffee

The beef short rib continued the trend of stunning dishes that preceded it. It was a memorable dish combining flawless texture with equally superlative flavours and was particularly noteworthy for its fragrant and complex beefy flavours and slight smokiness.
From left: Beetroot parfait, green peppercorn, sorrel; Maple custard rhubarb, shortbread, bacon

Both desserts were wonderfully executed. Each, a welcome departure from the mundane and each, offered its own unique characteristics. It was an exemplary display of Bell’s versatility.
The most exciting and memorable dining experiences tend to revolve around bold and innovative flavour combinations that seize the attention of diners from start to finish. This successful "experiment" manages to do just that. 

Location: 284 Smith Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9416 0058
Cuisine: Bar, International, Modern

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Spanish Armada @ Robert Burns Hotel [11 & 12 March 2015]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Freixenet.
As part of the 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Gastrology recently attended Spanish Armada at Robert Burns Hotel where celebrity chef Miguel Maestre and Head Chef Marc Albalate treated Robert Burns’ kitchen implements as paint brushes and our plates as their canvas.
The unique six course dinner was matched with supreme Spanish wines from Freixenet Barcelona, and paid homage to some of Spain’s most famous painters, with each dish inspired by the palette and mood of a masterpiece.
Miguel Maestre taking guests through each of the courses

Head chef Marc Albalate was born in Barcelona, but grew up in Palma, the capital of Mallorca (the largest of the Balearic Islands) and has turned The Robert Burns Hotel into the home of truly traditional Spanish cuisine, albeit its very Scottish name. 
The menu is classically Spanish and features the best dishes from the many different regions of Spain.
Red cabbage “Gazpacho”. Beetroot foam, balsamic vinaigrette reduction
Inspired by: Perceval Graells. ‘Al Alba’ (At the Sunrise) 2006. 
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro NV

The evening started with a lovely aperitif.  We loved the gazpacho’s wonderful freshness and vibrancy in flavour.  The matching Cordon Negro Brut echoed the gazpacho’s vibrancy with its crisp and clean characteristic. 
Mango “Salmorejo”, roasted peppers, cherry tomato jam, balsamic glaze, sprouts, leafy greens
Inspired by: Joan Miro, ‘El Jardin’ (The Garden) 1925
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro NV
Marriage of seafood “Salpicon” and Ceviche - prawn carpaccio, emperor ceviche, pickled mussel, red onion, leche de tigre
Inspired by: Joaquin Sorolla, ‘Paseo a Orillas de Mar’ (The walk on the border of the sea) 1909
Matched with: Freixenet Cordon Negro Vintage 2011

The ceviche was our favourite dish of the night. Displaying technique, elegance and skilful restraint, the ceviche items were beautifully presented and accompanied by a beautifully made leche de tigre, a citrus-based marinade that cured the seafood. It was a wonderful mélange of salinity, sweetness and acidity. 
Confit rockling, creamy goats cheese rice, black olive, ink cracker.
Inspired by: Pablo Picasso, ‘Guernica’ 1937
Matched with: Agnusdei Albarino 2013

This dish was visually, the clearest match to its corresponding work of art - A canvas of  black, white and grey. The rockling was cooked to perfection and the ink cracker was a nice addition. The matching Agnusdei Albarino’s unctuous, toffee notes acted as a great partner to the dish.
Grilled lamb ribs, baked beetroot, honey & rosemary braised baby onions, cherry tomato, potato
Inspired by: Luis Melendez ‘Bodegon’ 1770
Matched with: Solar Viejo Crianza 2011 & LalaLand Tempranillo

Our final savoury course, the lamb was roasted to perfection and hence was juicy and succulent. We particularly enjoyed matching this course with the Solar Viejo Crianza which boasted the fine aromas, liquorice flavours and red fruit flavours with an elegant oak finish.
Crema Catalana, chocolate coated honeycomb, chocolate cookie crumble, whipped white chocolate cream
Inspired by Salvador Dali ‘La persistencia de la Memoria’ (The persistence of the memory), 1931
Matched with: Segura Viudas Semi Seco NV

A theatrical dessert concluded our evening at The Robert Burns on a decadent chocolate note. The Semi Seco was a wonderful match with the medium acidity cutting through the richness of the dessert while the fruity and citrus notes matched the honeycomb and white chocolate cream perfectly. 
The Robert Burns brings the authentic tastes and cultures of Spain to Melbourne’s iconic Smith Street. A family and kid-friendly, restaurant, it is an ideal place for all occasions from relaxing in the courtyard, with drinks and tapas to a decadent dinner in the wine room.

Location: 376 Smith Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 2233
Cuisine: Spanish, Tapas, Mediterranean

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Masak Masak

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of MATRADE's Malaysian Kitchen Program.
Masak Masak serves Malaysian hawker food with a twist.
Masak Masak satisfies Melbourne’s unquenchable thirst for South East Asian cuisine in the heart of Collingwood.
The dining room is casual and contemporary with subdued grey walls complemented by comfortable furnishings. 
The menu features Malaysian flavours with an Australian twist. Travis Tong is a Malaysian born chef who is clearly passionate about food. This passion translates into the dishes that flow out of the kitchen - each dish was full of flavour and unique.
Chicken skin crisp, jelly fish, kewpie

Having studied at the acclaimed Le Cordon Bleu in Sydney and worked in kitchens such as Assiette, Aperitif, Sailor Thai and Sepia Restaurant and Bar before moving to Melbourne, it is no wonder the food presented by Masak Masak displays great quality and are of a high standard. 
Sticky anchovies, peanut, chillies, kicap manis

We began our Masak Masak culinary journey with a couple of items from the “Bites” section of the menu. It was a delicious start; the sticky anchovies were remarkably addictive while the chicken skin was beautifully crunchy.
Satay chicken and beef with condiments

We adored the succulent, aromatic, freshly grilled meat on skewers. We loved how the satay was authentically served with cucumber, onion and delicious ketupat which helped soak up the decadent and perfectly spiced satay sauce.
Prawn wonton soup

The wonton soup was delicious. The wontons were fresh and full of flavour and succulent bite. The clear chicken broth possessed a rich earthiness courtesy of being made from high quality stock.
Beef rendang

The full-bodied, pungent Beef rendang gravy was stunning. The accompanying bowl of fluffy white rice was the perfect canvas for the melt in your mouth morsels of beef.
Grilled stingray, pineapple and coriander salsa

The grilled stingray brought us back to Malaysia’s hawker stalls.  The belachan based sambal paste was beautiful. It had the perfect level of heat and had been coated liberally on the perfectly cooked stingray. 
Beef ribs (cooked for12 hours) served with sambal oelek

Continuing the trend of the evening, the beef ribs were excellent. The ribs were flavoursome and had benefited from their time on the grill thereby boasting the optimum degree of outer charring.
Our evening concluded on a sweet note with a modern take on cheesecake served with sesame ice cream and a beautiful chocolate dessert from Luxbite which was served with passionfruit ice cream. 
Masak Masak embodies the Malaysian night market with delightful dishes that are sure to please. 

Location: 230 Smith Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 4510
Cuisine: Malaysian, Asian

Masak Masak on Urbanspoon

Pop Up Scroll

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Pop Up Scroll.
The latest creation from Julian Chew, former owner of the popular Lip Café in Ivanhoe, Pop Up Scroll, has just touched down in Smith Street and offers an old-fashioned reward that, remains one of life's greatest pleasures.
Each scroll is made using techniques learnt from Julian’s impressive fine dining pastry training but in a way that brings it to the every day. Lovingly made, the collection of scrolls is chemical and additive free and uses organic ingredients. 
Alongside freshly baked scrolls which are made on site each morning the store offers carefully prepared coffee courtesy of their shiny new La Marzocco.  
Our coffees were well made, with the slight sweetness of the frothed milk cutting through the residual brightness from the foundation espresso (from Coffee Supreme beans).  Each came with an intricate rosetta in the milk foam.
Cherry Gingerbread

Made with good quality ingredients, the product line includes Original cinnamon scroll with cream cheese icing, Coconut white chocolate, Peanut butter & banana, Chocolate & caramel and Cherry Gingerbread
Original cinnamon scroll with cream cheese icing, 

The original cinnamon scroll was one of our favourites. Julian weaves his magic and turns moist, light dough into fresh, aromatic cinnamon rolls topped with rich, cream cheese frosting and infused with cinnamon and brown sugar. The scrolls are a blissful indulgence. Perfectly sweet, they boast a beautiful cinnamon aroma and taste.
Peanut butter & banana

Another winning flavour is Pop Up Scroll’s Peanut butter & banana scrolls. The scrolls were fluffy and moist on the inside and were topped and filled with velvety, decadent peanut butter and banana. The slightly savoury buttery flavour cuts through the richness of the scroll, resulting in a dessert that is not only incredibly indulgent, but very well balanced.
Coconut white chocolate

The Coconut white chocolate scrolls are a modern interpretation of the humble Malaysian coconut bun. Light and fluffy, filled with coconut shreds that helps provide a sweet taste and unique texture, we loved this clever rendition. 
Chocolate & caramel

Lovers of Chocolate rejoice! This one's for you... The Chocolate & caramel scrolls are decadent and possess a melt-in-your-mouth quality that is just heavenly. 
Scrolls may have been almost forgotten but Pop Up Scroll insists that they are indeed, ready to make their revival and we could not agree more. Marrying the concept of simple, sentimental baking and great coffee with playful, colourful interiors and retro styling, Pop Up Scroll is a welcomed addition to Smith Street’s bustling foodie precinct. The store is only new but is already full of patrons eagerly waiting to indulge themselves and fall in love with the smell and flavour of the scrolls.
As the name suggests, Pop Up Scroll is only around for a short time (until May to be precise) but there are already big plans in the pipeline for the next project due to open straight after the pop up closes its doors.  

EAT A SCROLL will be located just around the corner from the current location and will be a more permanent scroll house for customers to enjoyably follow them to. 

Location: 86 Smith Street, Collingwood
Cuisine: Bakery, Desserts, Coffee

Pop Up Scroll on Urbanspoon

Mr Claws pinces a new home in time for Christmas

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Mr Claws.
After being so well received at Taste of Melbourne, the trio behind Huxtable and Huxtaburger have finalised a short-term home for their newest delectable morsel, a lobster roll by the name of Mr Claws.

The team behind Huxtaburger and Huxtable, Daniel Wilson, Dante Ruaine and Jeff Wong have noticed the popularity of similar buns in parts of London and wanted to welcome one into their fold, a way of making a luxury product accessible to everyone.

The tantalizing Mr Claws is filled with generous pieces of lobster meat from a sustainable North American fishery, coated in a choice of three sauces: miso and wasabi, Sriracha spiced mayonnaise or buttermilk ranch, served up in a soft roll. Each roll costs $18 with potato sticks and pickles.
Miso and wasabi lobster roll

We loved both the rolls we tried. Sandwiched between buttery brioche buns are substantial portions of tender lobster meat, complete with indulgent sauces. These rolls wantonly disregard the current trend towards healthy eating and, as a result, are abundantly flavoursome – the slightly sweet flavour of the brioche is enhanced by the butter and the intense lobster flesh is accentuated by the liberal helpings of the sauces. 
Sriracha spiced mayonnaise lobster roll

We particularly loved the Sriracha spiced mayonnaise which added a mild chilli kick without overpowering the subtle sweetness of the lobster.  As a new addition to the Huxtable and Huxtaburger family, these lobster rolls are a triumph.
Snapping up its place next door to Huxtaburger at 104 Smith Street, the popup will also offer a range of drinks, such as beer, Pimms, and Gordons Elderflower Spritz. Some more permanent sites will be considered for 2015.

There will be some seating available for peckish patrons. Updates on the duration of the pop up can be found on the Mr Claws Facebook page

Location: 104 Smith Street, Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 6320
Cuisine: Seafood

Mr Claws on Urbanspoon