Dessert Evenings by Pierre Roelofs

Dessert Evenings by Pierre Roelofs has well and truly settled in at Adriano Zumbo’s beautiful high tea salon, Fancy Nance. The beautiful space is a wonderful backdrop for the delectable treats that ensue during the Dessert Evenings - an ever-changing 4 course dessert degustation from Pierre alongside warm, friendly service. 
Pierre’s desserts are culinary works of art courtesy of an impressive resume including a three year apprenticeship in the Swiss Alps and stints at Michelin starred restaurants in England and Spain.
Raspberry cheesecake tube

Our evening commenced with the renowned dessert tubes.  Presented in a tube with layered flavours, this dessert was both interesting and fun. We loved the use of the various layers which created the familiar tastes of a cheesecake but enjoyed in a different manner.
Beach Kiosk Crush - orange, caramel, vanilla

Our favourite dessert of the evening, the Beach Kiosk Crush was well-balanced with the tartness of the orange cutting through the creaminess of the caramel. This dessert was a masterclass in textural balance and layered flavour.
Italo-Disco in San Francisco - lemon ricotta, passion fruit ice cream, toasted coconut crumble, golden syrup foam, puffed millet

Wonderfully melt in your mouth, the lemon ricotta went beautifully with the textural coconut crumble and tart passion fruit ice cream. 
Cold Summer's Day - tres leches, blueberry, brioche

A visually enticing dessert which combined three textures of milk, blueberry and buttery brioche, it was certainly a stunning conclusion to our evening.
Next Dessert Evening (Thursday, 29 October) is a Gluten Free menu and Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) will be the dessert Namer.

What: Dessert Evenings by Pierre Roelofs
Where: Fancy Nance, 21 Daly Street, South Yarra
When: Every second Thursday
Price: $68 pp


Café Rosamond Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Share a Churros Week @ San Churros and support beyondblue [15 – 21 June 2015]

San Churro, Australia’s favourite Spanish chocolateria, has partnered with not-for-profit organisation beyondblue to raise awareness and funds to promote good mental health across Australia, with the café launching its ‘Share a Churros Week’ initiative.
‘Share a Churros Week’ urges Australians to connect, or re-connect over churros, with all 46 San Churros stores donating $1 to beyondblue for every churros dish purchased between Monday 15 – Sunday 21 June.
Also, San Churro has further pledged to double its donation for every in-store churros photo posted to Instagram using the tag #shareachurros, as well as displaying donation boxes at the counters of all stores to raise additional funds!
San Churro is the perfect place to share a sweet treat with friends. The menu is full of refreshing and fun desserts, ice cream sundaes and shakes that are perfect for sunny days and social celebrations. Although San Churro’s delectable churros are what keep us coming back time and time again, San Churro also does some delicious classics like ice cream sundaes and shakes.
Chocolate & Churros Tapas

Our favourite share plate is the "Chocolate & Churros Tapas" share plate which is full of delectable delights such as mini churros, chocolate, deep fried chocolate truffles, choc brownie, strawberries and other chocolate delights.
To find your local San Churro store and participate in Share a Churros Week, visit www.sanchurro.com or for more information about beyondblue, visit www.beyondblue.org.au.


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The Green at St Columbs

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Jesuit Social Services.
Located in the beautiful former chapel at the St Columbs church, The Green at St Columbs is the latest wholesome, community-minded project from Jesuit Social Services.
The Green at St. Columbs has all of the ingredients necessary for a premium Melbourne cafe - a comfortable and chic ZWEI interior, Code Black Coffee and a modern, all-day menu crafted by Head Chef Kevin Dick (of Cutler & Co. and St. Ali North esteem). 
This stylish social enterprise in Hawthorn is an extension of Jesuit Social Services’ hands-on hospitality training program, Ignite. The Ignite program operates over three cafes and provides mentoring and pre-accredited and accredited training programs to long-term unemployed people and disadvantaged job seekers, assisting them in gaining skills and experience so that they may make lasting positive changes in their lives. 
Each day, participants of the Ignite program further develop their skills alongside hospitality professionals at The Green. The café is developed to work towards self-sustainability, with all proceeds put back into the Ignite program.
The menu at The Green at St. Columbs is a versatile and exciting culmination of locally-sourced and seasonal produce, with dishes ranging from wholesome breakfast offerings to larger lunch plates.
Moroccan lamb salad –slow-roasted lamb shoulder, pulses and hummus

The lamb shoulder was deliciously tender. As expected, it was exceedingly flavoursome and just melted in our mouths having benefited from being slow cooked for hours. The rich house-made hummus tied lamb, pulses and grains together while the tangy sumac dressing added a lovely acidity to the dish.

House smoked salmon fillet gnocchi and poached eggs

Marinated, dried out and smoked, the salmon was superb. The gnocchi was wonderfully soft while the eggs were expertly poached. A memorable dish combining flawless texture with equally superlative flavours.
The house-made cakes and pastries were the perfect afternoon companion to a cup of Melbourne’s finest Code Black Coffee.
The Green at St Columbs is open Tuesday through Sunday and its hours of operation are 8:00am until 3:00pm, with the kitchen cooking all day long.


Location: 5 Saint Columbs St  Hawthorn
Phone: 03 9819 0890
Link: Facebook 
Cuisine: Coffee, Breakfast, Cafe


The Green at St Columbs on Urbanspoon

Bibelot by Chez Dré opens tomorrow!

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Bibelot.
Located at the Coventry Street-entrance to Chez Dré, Bibelot is an opulent destination for all things sweet; an artisanal patisserie, gelateria, coffee bar, chocolate shop, high tea salon and a library of coffee table books for any dessert aficionado. Good news is, they open tomorrow!
Presented by the creative team behind Chez Dré, Bibelot houses a retail space of beautifully packaged and crafted gourmet gifts; from chocolate bars to enrobed fruit and nuts, decadent biscuits, locally sourced honey as well as specialty coffee and teas. 
We were wow-ed by Bibelot’s wide range of petits gâteaux, bonbons, macarons and delicate biscuits. Paying homage to classic French patisserie, each mouthful showcased a combination of high quality ingredients, delicate flavours, artisanship and attention to detail. 
Their gelato is also worth a mention... hint: try their pistachio flavour!
Staying true to Bibelot’s European roots, the space designed by Melbourne’s Breathe Architecture boasts an elaborate interior of custom mosaics with art deco influences. From the beautifully crafted recycled timber floors, to the large scale custom designed mosaic wall, every detail of the fit out is representative of the brand ethos – intricacy, opulence and carefully handcrafted creations. 
A luxury European-inspired dessert boutique, Bibelot is the perfect addition to the food scene and boutique streetscape of South Melbourne. 

Location: 287 Coventry St  South Melbourne
Link: http://bibelot.com.au/
Cuisine: Dessert, Gelato

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Autumn @ Royal Saxon

As Melbourne turns golden and the leaves begin to fall, the Royal Saxon in Melbourne’s inner east is serving up a whole new array of deliciously rustic dishes that fuse simple classic flavours with an elegant modern twist. 
The all new Autumn 2015 provides a fresh, enticing experience that make this local haunt a serious dining contender. The Royal Saxon is a Richmond institution that’s best known for its edgy beer garden and excellent nightlife. But this two storey venue on Church Street in the heart of East Richmond also boasts a seriously delicious menu that rivals some of the best restaurants in Melbourne. 
Whether eating in the beautifully intimate restaurant, the upbeat bar or the leafy courtyard, the entire menu is available across the whole venue until late every single day.
The kitchen is in safe hands, being led by Italian-born Head Chef Simone Righetto and his first class kitchen crew. The warm and inviting selection of meals fuse traditional Italian cuisine with the best of fresh and seasonable Australian produce. 
As expected of any great Italian eatery, Royal Saxon is particularly good at producing quality pasta dishes of exceptional quality. The mushroom and ricotta parpadelle special that we had recently was no exception. The parpadelle was exquisitely al dente and when combined with the earthy mushrooms and rich, truffle infused ricotta, this dish was pure nirvana. Seemingly simple but with a great complexity of flavour, this pasta course undoubtedly belongs on the permanent menu. 
Royal Saxon serves some of the best pizzas in Melbourne. The delicately thin crusts have the perfect balance between crispiness and chewiness and the expertly judged toppings are always impeccable. 
Righetto has bought his hearty Italian feel to the new main dishes and constructs them with an air of delicious purity. From the whole snapper fillet that is baked in paper to seal in the succulent aromas, to the premium O’Conner grass fed steak, grilled to perfection and served with a drizzle of balsamic, each dish is prepared to accentuate and preserve their natural flavours – a skill of artistic simplicity which Righetto and his team have truly mastered. 
The menu now features an extensive range of sides and salads from which diners can select and share from. As summer fades and new, fresh options become available, the sides menu is constructed to take full advantage of this by including a vast array of fresh Autumn produce. From cannellini beans and peas to shitake mushrooms and broccolini, with a menu like this there promises to be a little something to suit all tastes.
Our favourite dessert from the new autumn menu, and a definite MUST-HAVE is the Poached pear tart with spiced red wine reduction and cinnamon ice cream. A beautifully decadent dessert, the soft centre of caramelised pears combines with the buttery crumbly pastry, the rich red wine reduction and moreish cinnamon ice cream in perfect harmony - absolutely sublime!
Make the most of Autumn’s cooler months and come sample these new flavours at the Royal Saxon. From something casual in the courtyard to something cosy in the restaurant, Royal Saxon is sure to delight. 

Location: 545 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9429 5277
Cuisine: Italian, Pub/Bar Food, Coffee


Royal Saxon on Urbanspoon

A chat with Bernard Chu and Yen Yee @ T By LuxBite

Gastrology bloggers visited T by LuxBite courtesy of MATRADE's Malaysian Kitchen Program.
More than just an ordinary retail cake store, LuxBite is a fun, interactive workshop where people can go to embrace and indulge in the sweeter things in life. LuxBite founders and flavour-makers Bernard Chu and Yen Yee employ their artistic ingenuity to craft a diverse range of desserts that push the boundaries with great success.
Over the years, each of our visits to LuxBite have been greated with macarons that are assembled with care and attention; the immense pride with which LuxBite produces its macarons is evident from not only the appearance of each macaron but also in texture and taste. Luxbite’s exhibit a clear passion, patience and most importantly, precision.  
Bernard and Yen have recently opened up a new concept in the CBD, T By Luxbite. We chat to them about how having a Malaysian background has influenced their work in the kitchen, what makes them tick and their new venture T By Luxbite.
How has your Malaysian background influenced you?

Our philosophy has always been to incorporate French techniques with South East Asian flavours.
Growing up in Malaysia (Asia’s cultural melting pot) has meant being exposed to many different interesting flavours. It is these flavours that evoke our childhood memories and the very flavours we seek to share with our customers. An example of this is our kaya toast macaron which features the classic Malaysian kaya (Malaysian coconut egg jam).
Do you use a lot of Malaysian/ Asian ingredients?

We push the boundaries and want Melbournians to know there is more to Asian dessert flavours than black sesame and green tea! We were on the forefront with Yuzu years ago (which is now common place in Melbourne). Other flavours we have brought to the front include bamboo charcoal which again is becoming more common place. While of course, the flavours do not have to be of Asian origin or inspired by Asian ingredients to get our creative juices flowing, we certainly love incorporating these. Sometimes, it even goes beyond flavour it’s a cultural/ way of life thing like our scrumptious Emoji and Kuma tarts - Cute desserts, which are very Japanese/Asian inspired.
What is your process of creating a new dessert?

The concept comes first and then the look and then the flavour. Inspiration comes from everywhere. From our dessert chefs to our natural surrounds. The next step then is to make an idea which seems impossible, possible. This includes consulting each other and creating. For example, we had an apple tart with autumn leaves, inspired by the leaves we would see falling down during the autumn.

How often would a new dessert come on the scene at LuxBite or T By Luxbite?

It’s hard to say but probably around 5-6 weeks per recipe/product as it really is a process filled with trial and error. It also depends on the holiday seasons and celebrations. It is pertinent to be organised. For example, Mothers Day recipes are already under way and Chinese New Year dessert recipes had to be finalised back in Christmas. That’s how we stay on top of things so the new dessert creations are also influenced by the seasons and celebrations.

What is your favourite Malaysian ingredient?

We love using pandan, coconut, kaya as well as Kopiko and Ribena (not quite Malaysian but definitely something Malaysian kids and ourselves grew up with!).
Your sweet temptations include the extraordinarily famous “Lolly Bag Cake” as seen on Master Chef Australia, made from seven layers of succulent flavours, including banana lolly jaconde, freckles crunch, mandarin jaffa ganache, musk mallow, more banana lolly jaconde, spearmint leaf buttercream and is topped with a redskins glaze. It was one of the craziest desserts Australia has seen! What other crazy desserts have you been making?

We've had some really interesting creations over the years including recently, Chinese New Year inspired creations such as our Bakkwa (i.e. 肉干) macaron as well as Gai Chai Peng (i.e. 鸡仔餅 also known as Little Chicken biscuit) macaron.

Have any Malaysian influencers inspired you? Any non-Malaysian influencers?

In terms of Malaysian influencers, Cheong Liew comes to mind. One of South Australia's most well-known chefs, Cheong Liew leverages from his Malaysian background to utilise an amalgamation of Malay, Indian, Chinese and English cultures and cuisines in his cooking.

In terms of non-Malaysian influencers there are many. Various people from the industry as well as European legends such as Pierre Herme have influenced our methods. We also love to read and share our thoughts, ideas and recipes with others in the industy which in turn inspires us.
What is T By Luxbite?

T stands for tarts. It is Luxbite’s new confectionery concept: a store dedicated entirely to the wonder that is the tart.

How does T By Luxbite fit into the Luxbite concept in South Yarra?

Luxbite isn't just one thing. We are a concept, a collaborator and truth be told, a little bit crazy. Starting with our South Yarra café and patisserie, the LuxBite concept has expanded to include dessert festivals and product collaborations with brands like Wondersnack, Mörk Chocolate and N2 extreme gelato. T By LuxBite is the latest piece of the puzzle to join our family, a city-based traiteur where you can pick up tarts, macarons and other take home treats in a snap. So look out for future concepts by Luxbite.
Hottest tart flavour which is available in store at T By Luxbite at the moment?

We love our Kalamansi tart which is made from jackfruit, longan, chilli salt, kalamansi curd, meringue, kaffir lime and serbet. This was inspired by our travels to Thailand.

Any exciting events we should be keeping our eyes peeled for?

We’ve got Sugar Hit coming up in April. Details will be available soon but keep yourself posted on https://www.facebook.com/sugarhitmelb and http://sugarhitmelb.com.au/. We love collaborations as it is an opportunity to create something new and exciting with others as passionate as we are. And when we say “collaboration”, we mean it! You’re always going to be trying a never seen before new dessert from us at these collaboration events, including Sugar Hit.
T By LuxBite’s range of tarts and macarons is truly amazing. The macarons on offer range from the more classic flavours such as Salted Caramel and Hazelnut, to modern twists such as Heilala Vanilla Crème Brulee and Bamboo Oolong Tea but it doesn’t stop there. LuxBite push things to the next level with flavour sensations such as Ribena Lemonade and Kaya Toast.

We also spotted one of our favourite LuxBite creations in store, the Endless Love Macaron Cake which is inspired by Pierre Herme’s Ispahan. A dessert which features lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee, fresh raspberries, rose & lychee macarons it is a must-have. The combination of perfectly soft yet chewy rose and lychee shells, the decadent lychee ganache and rose cream filling is a marriage made in heaven;  truly superlative in every sense.
From left: Mango gelato tartBrulee gelato tart 

We couldn't resist devouring these 2 "Bye bye summer time tarts" before we left. A collaboration with N2, these tarts incorporate N2's luxurious nitrogen gelato. The Brulee gelato tart boasted a beautiful passionfruit caramel, whipped passionfruit curd, toasted coconut and N2 pandan gelato and topped with sugar crackling. We loved the perfect balance of acidity and sweetness in the tart. The Mango gelato tart on the other hand was a refreshing creation of whipped lemon curd, chewy coconut jelly, N2 mango gelato and was finished with coconut and sesame crumble. YUM!
It was an absolute pleasure to hear from these passionate creators. T By LuxBite is an exciting addition to Melbourne's CBD with speciality tarts and macarons that push the boundaries in the most miraculous manner. The flavour combinations are interesting, complex but most importantly they work.

Location: 517 Flinders Lane  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9629 9662
Cuisine: Desserts

T By LuxBite on Urbanspoon




Dex2rose Nitrogen Gelato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Dex2rose.
Dex2rose is a welcome addition to Melbourne’s frozen desserts scene.
Specialising in premium made to order gelato (using liquid nitrogen), the café sets itself apart from the existing plethora of take-away gelato/ice-cream vendors by offering (as well as encouraging) patrons to chill out at the venue with their delicious coffee and cold pressed juices and soon to be introduced pastries. 

Their menu changes every fortnight and features interesting flavours combinations not available anywhere else.
Whilst cold drip coffee has become a staple in the Melbourne coffee scene, Dex2rose have gone several steps further with an Australian first - nitro brew infused with apple and cinnamon. The end result is a complex, smooth, full-bodied brew with a bright juiciness, low acidity and caramel finish.
Honey Stash

The Honey Stash was our favourite flavour. Made from top quality Italian ingredients, this Pistachio and Honey gelato surprises with hidden honeyed nut clusters. Topped with a light fresh Raspberry cream, this gelato was to die for. 
Left: Lazy Dinner (Sage, Burnt butter & Caramel)
Right: It's a Match-AH (Matcha, crunchy peanut powder)
Pink Flamingo (Peach & Rose Moscato)

Another favourite was the Pink Flamingo. A vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free wonder, this peach and rose moscato sorbet was the perfect treat for a steaming hot Melbourne summer day. We loved the refreshing flavour of the sorbet which combined beautifully with the airy coconut cream which boasted just the right hint of rosewater.
Using a time-old technique of churning ice cream with liquid nitrogen, the result is cool, smooth ice cream in interesting flavours like Lazy Dinner (Sage, burnt butter & Caramel) and Rockkaido (Rock melon & Hokkaido Milk Tea powder).


Location: Access Through Racing Club Lane 377 Little Bourke St  Melbourne,
Phone: 03 9078 0784
Cuisine: Ice Cream/Gelato


Dex2rose Nitrogen Gelato 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


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Pidapipó Gelateria opens permanent store, just in time for summer

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Pidapipó.
Lovers of gelato have much to celebrate this summer as Pidapopo has opened its new store on Lygon Street – and this time, the store is permanent.
The brainchild of owner and chef Lisa Valmorbida, Pidapipo has quickly built up a reputation for offering fresh, delicious gelato produced in the authentic Italian way.
After studying the art of Gelato at the Carpigiani Gelato University, Lisa returned to Australia to share her moreish creations with the people of Melbourne in a store named after a game she played with her nonno as a child.
Each gelato flavour is made from scratch every day from the highest quality Italian and local ingredients resulting in a fantastic final product. All of the flavours we sampled exhibited impressive purity of flavour. The subtlety and delicacy of flavours such as the Fior Di Latte and the Ricotta gelato were particularly impressive and set Pidapipo apart from its competitors. We were also impressed by the perfect level of sweetness across all flavours - a very welcome contrast from some of the over sweetened gelatos available elsewhere.
Pidapipo will be launching a seasonal range every 3 months to keep things fresh and, as we head into the festive season, we highly recommend indulging in a few scoops of the wonderfully decadent and complex Christmas pudding flavour. Another standout flavour was the pistachio gelato, made with pistachios from Bronte in Sicily.
Pidapipo is steadily building a cult following from lovers of authentic, artisan gelato – and for good reason. As the weather heats up, there is no better time to pop down to Lygon street to check out all of the delicious flavours on offer and welcome Pidapopo permanantly to Melbourne.


Location: 299 Lygon Street,  Carlton
Phone: 03 9347 4596
Link: http://pidapipo.com.au/
Cuisine: Dessert, Italian, Ice Cream/Gelato


Pidapipó on Urbanspoon

Moo-light in the Jardin

Gastrology bloggers attended the event courtesy of Jardin Tan.
Melbourne chef and entrepreneur Shannon Bennett has extended his passion for food fusion and reinterpretation to include craft beers that also put their own spin on traditional styles.
Bennett formally launched his connection with Tasmanian craft brewery Moo Brew at his newly established “Jardin Tan” eatery at the Royal Melbourne Botanical Gardens last week. 
Moo Brew – known for its five premium craft beers and unique sculptural bottles labelled with John Kelly artworks – was the brainchild of fellow visionary entrepreneur David Walsh; the man behind Tasmania’s world-renowned MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art). 
Bennett sees Moo Brew as a great match given their reputation for stylistic beers that transcends core styles – but with their own twist with Jardin Tan which takes French Vietnamese cuisine and imbues it with farm to table philosophy. 
Gastrology was pleased to attend the Moo-light in the Jardin media launch which featured John Kelly artworks plus some new, exciting Bennett sourced artworks from David Teplitzky including Sigalit Landau: 4 Love Heaters, 2012, Heater and neon light, various light installations, launch of the Banh-Mi bikes (custom-made bikes which will deliver food to Jardin patrons around the Tan), Moo Brew installations and styled food.
Mini bo la lot burger

We adored the perfectly matched morsels that went hand-in-hand with beer.
Prawn and sweet potato fritter with pickled green chilli

The fritters had a crunchy golden brown exterior and were succulently sweet - the nuggets of deep fried batter brought pleasure to our taste buds. 

Mark Eather lemongrass fish skewer

The skewers were another highlight. Sufficiently seasoned and flavoursome, the skewers had benefited from sufficient time on the grill to achieve the perfect degree of outer charring.

Vietnamese spring rolls, nouc mam Cham


Bo la lot: Beef mince wrapped in betel leaves

The bite-sized appetiser of betel leaf with beef mince was a medley of aromatic and acidic ingredients and was thoroughly enjoyable.
Crispy tofu, fermented chilli, lemongrass salt
Mini pork Banh mi 

The traditional Vietnamese pork banh mi was a delight. The crunchy bread roll was shimmered with pâté and mayonnaise and filled with generous serves of pork, topped with a salad of sweet pickled carrots, cucumber, coriander and fresh chilli. It was both fresh and very tasty.
We adored the Moo Brew beers. The Dark Ale was our favourite of the bunch. An American Brown ale using resinous hop flavour, the beer was rich and dark with caramel and chocolate notes with a lightly roasted finish - beautiful.
The evening concluded with a decadent array of beautifully made desserts...
With the beautiful  Royal Botanic Gardens as a backdrop, Jardin Tan is at once warm and welcoming. The delicious menu draws influence from the Vietnamese/ French fusion cuisine which makes it perfect for sharing with friends for any occasion whilst knocking back on some delicious Moo Brew craft beer. 
Location: Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9691 3888
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Cocktails, Coffee


Jardin Tan on Urbanspoon

New Summer menu launched at San Churro

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of San Churro.
Springtime is synonymous with warmer weather, rising spirits and the start of social season. To celebrate, Spanish chocolate cafe San Churro has released a new menu full of refreshing and fun desserts, ice cream sundaes and shakes that are perfect for sunny days and social celebrations.
Although San Churro’s delectable churros are what keep us coming back time and time again, San Churro also does some delicious classics like ice cream sundaes and shakes.
Using trending ingredients and a healthy dose of fun and nostalgia, they have put a creative spin on these traditional summer staples to create an innovative and delicious range of refreshing drinks and light, summery treats that are perfect for sharing. 

Ice cream sundaes are a beloved summer indulgence and have received a fun and premium makeover at San Churro. 
We had a lot of trouble picking a favourite but thought the new Raspberries & Cream Sundae was a particular delight. Inspired by the iconic Australian Iced Vovo biscuit, the sundae is a refreshing combination of white chocolate ice cream, shortbread crumble, raspberry jam coulis, coconut and fluffy pavlova meringue.
We also loved the new dulce de leche ice cream - texturally perfect ice creams with a beautiful flavour. 

San Churro also offers a range of icy cold and refreshing real fruit smoothies, mocktails (including a new Pina Colada Mocktail) and a new range of premium Iced Teas available in lemon with fresh mint and peach with raspberries to quench your thirst on a hot day.
Mango smoothie

To add something fresh into the mix, we shared a delicious mango smoothie. Made from real mango blended with apple mango juice and ice, it was a refreshing and delicious treat.
With more than 100 items on offer, there’s something delicious to suit all palates and preferences this summer.

Find out more about San Churro here.

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

Getting fresh with Vapiano | Blog giveaway: Win a meal at Vapiano for you and a friend!

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Vapiano.
Spring is well underway and Vapiano has launched a new menu of specials to celebrate the warmer months.
The restaurant serves made-to-order hand-tossed pizzas, fresh house-made pasta, gourmet salads and delicious dolci in a fun, relaxed atmosphere with a focus placed firmly on freshness. Pasta is hand-made on the premises throughout the day and prepared right in front of the diner, while pots of fresh herbs on every table are perfect for sprinkling over your plate.

There are five new food dishes - Pizza Porporano, Risotto Pollo Levanto, Pasta Gamberi con Rosso, Classic Pumpkin Soup, and White Chocolate Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Honeycomb - all made with fresh ingredients and some TLC.
Classic Pumpkin Soup

The classic pumpkin soup was thick, hearty and smacked full of flavour. 
Pizza Porporano

The Pizza Porporano was a delicious pizza. Rich and decadent, the pizza was topped with expertly judged toppings of premium Aussie air-dried salted beef, rocket, shaved Parmesan, and drizzled with luscious Truffle olive oil a top a homemade tomato sauce and mozarella base. 
Pasta Gamberi con Rosso

As expected of any good Italian restaurant, Vapiano is particularly good at producing quality pasta dishes. The Pasta Gamberi con Rosso that we had was no exception. The sun-dried tomato pesto worked well to provide both moisture and flavour and, overall, it was a delicious dish.
White Chocolate Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Honeycomb

The dish of the nigh, this dessert was a delicious take on the traditional cheesecake. We loved the decadent white chocolate that came through on the middle pallete and the delicious lashing of salty, gooey sweetness delivered by the salted caramel beneath the layer of honeycomb crumble which provided texture. It was both well thought out and executed.
The Vapiano concept certainly resonates with Australian diners looking for a quick and easy dining option that does not compromise on quality or cost the earth.
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Blog giveaway: Win a meal at Vapiano for you and a friend!

How to enter 

All you have to do, is: 
  • Follow us on twitter (if you have not already) 
  • Send us an email answering “What is your favourite Italian dish and why?” 

The best 4 entries, as judged by the Gastrology team, will each win a voucher for use at Vapiano Melbourne ONLY. The voucher entitles the winner and their guest to:
  • A choice of Pizza Poporano; Pasta Gamberi con Rosso; Risotto Pollo Levanto, and Pumpkin Soup (one each)
  • White choc cheesecake with salted caramel + honeycomb (one each)
The vouchers must be used by Friday 31st October – as that’s when our specials end so will no longer be available!

No booking is required – Vapiano's Melbourne restaurant team will be fully briefed to welcome the winners.

The competition will run from Sunday 5 October 2014 to 5:00pm Tuesday 7 October 2014 (winner to be announced on this post on  Wednesday 8 October 2014). 


#GetFreshWithVapiano 
Facebook: Vapiano Australia
Twitter: @VapianoOz
Instagram: VapianoAustralia

The fine print: 
Only entries made using a valid email address are eligible. Your email address will not be published. This competition is a game is of skill not chance. This giveaway is open to readers in Australia only. Prize is not transferable or exchangeable or redeemable for cash. The Promoter is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. The image of the prize is purely representative and the actual prize is subject to change. 

******

[8/10/2014] Announcement: Winners of meal at Vapiano


Thank you to everyone who entered!

The 4 winners are…


Gwen L. with the following entry:

"My favourite Italian dish is saedas. They are the perfect Italian snack with a cup of espresso. Simple, beautiful and who doesn't love a good pastry filled with cheese!"
Natasha C. with the following entry:

While it is hard to pick a favourite (I love everything Italian) my favourite Italian dish is a Margherita pizza. I love a good one made with fresh tomato, oregano and lashings of fior di latte. One which lets the ingredients speak for itself.
Jason M. with the following entry:

It's gotta be gnocchi with a ragu of some kind. Soft fluffy pillows of potato coated in a rich tomato sauce and tender meat which just melts in your mouth. These are the sorts of meals hearty beautiful Italian meals that create memories.
Clay U. with the following entry:

My favourite italian dish is the humble pannacotta. As simple as this dish is in terms of ingredients, it is amazing how difficult it is to master. When you find a place that nails it, it is a sight to behold. I love when they have the texture and the balance  of sweetness  just right. Bellissimo!

 … Congratulations, the winners will be contacted via email. Competition Now Closed.

A La Folie Patisserie

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of A La Folie Patisserie.
A French expression used when one is madly in love, “A la folie” perfectly describes the passion that owner Mercédé Coubard has for her patisserie, and the desserts she creates.
We were delighted by the macarons and petits choux from A la folie’s exquisite range of French delights.
Each of the macarons we tasted were superb. Made from an authentic recipe, the almond based macarons boasted a crispy outer shell, soft, smooth inner and delicious cream filling. 
The Dulcey was our favourite macaron. The combination of delicious Varlhona dulcey (blonde chocolate) which featured its signature smoothness and creaminess contrasted wonderfully with the tangy bergamot jelly. It was an impeccable combination of flavours.
The vanilla and salted caramel macaron was a classic flavour done well while the rose delight pleased with moreish Middle Eastern flavour combinations of rose water and orange blossom, raspberry jelly and was finished with baklava nuts.
We loved the intense and unique flavours of the Salted caramel pâtissière and Mango & passionfruit crémeux petit choux that we sampled. A modern twist on the French classic, “choux à la crème”, A la folie's petits choux were delicately light choux pastry filled with naturally flavoured crème pâtissière, and topped with a colourful fondant. 

Described by Mercédé as the perfect balance of pastry and cream in each mouthful, these colourful, full flavoured desserts conveyed the same joy that Mercédé has for her patisserie. The sweet and soft fondant top combined with the airy and light pastry with just a hint of texture-adding crust was followed by a burst of flavour from the decadent, silky smooth cream centre. It was beautiful.
A la folie offers a wide range of delicious macarons and petits choux that are made from fresh and natural ingredients. Mercédé brings her unwavering  passion and love for the small pleasures in life, imbuing her delectable creations with an air of fun and joy. 

Location: 589 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Phone: 03 9827 3337
Cuisine: Coffee, French, Desserts


A La Folie Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Regional Italian dinner @ Gelobar

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Gelobar.
One of Melbourne’s favourite gelataria, Gelobar proudly serves authentic Italian dishes at an affordable price.
The décor is warm and welcoming, it feels like stepping into the Scullino family's home for dinner. The menu boasts an array of traditional dishes that pay homage to rustic Italian cooking.
After 20 years, Gelobar still remains focused on three things - food, family and love. Apart from introducing Melbourne to the famous recipes of gelati, Gelobar now offers compelling authentic Italian fare (both sweet and savoury) to enjoy over coffee or a few glasses of wine amidst a vibrant and energetic atmosphere. 
We visited on a Thursday night, Gelobar’s regional Italian feast night and were treated to a delicious selection of rustic Italian food with plenty of soul.  
Our table was quickly adorned with an array of delightful starters. Among these, the battered calamari was our favourite.
The delicious ribbons of calamari were perfectly seasoned and featured ethereally light and crispy batter. 
Left: Capretto e patate - baby goat with potatoes in tomato sauce with black olives
Right: Green olives and potato spaghetti
Stocco e patate - cod fish with potatoes in tomato sauce with capers
and green olives

The mains were unpretentious, full of flavour and generous. The goat and cod fish mains were both traditional Southern Italian dishes that were available for the Thursday night Regional Italian dinner only and do not form part of Gelobar's regular menu.
The dolci menu is one not to be missed, bursting with a gorgeous selection of desserts featuring artisan style gelati and traditional Italian pastry including ricotta cheesecakes and cannoli.
Our evening at Gelobar concluded on a sweet note with a dessert plate of “spaghetti” gelato, ricotta cheesecake and a shot of Frangelico. The gelato, as expected was delicious. Texturally perfect with beautiful flavour combinations, the passion for artistic expression using quality ingredients can be tasted in their gelato. Each flavour was made with dedication and artisanship. The ricotta cheesecake was a charming Italian cake. The filling was beautifully smooth courtesy of being made using excellent ricotta and we loved the fact that it was not too sweet. The Frangelico was an indulgently sweet and heady way to cap off our night. 
We left with a selection of Gelobar’s delicious cakes to have at home.
At the end of the day, the food is but one reason to visit Gelobar. The Scullino family legacy is that they have created a warm, inviting, home away from home where you can enjoy rustic Italian food with friends. 

Location: 74 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
Phone: 03 9388 1419
Cuisine: Desserts/Ice Cream, Breakfast/Brunch, Italian


Gelobar on Urbanspoon

The Pantry Delicatessen Re-opens!

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Pantry Delicatessen.
The Pantry Delicatessen is back with a stunning new fit out and a colossal selection of delicious and healthy take-home food.
The huge range of seasonal take-home meals provides for everyone. Salads, soups, pastas, wet-dishes, roast; the list goes on! Restaurant quality food, cooked by restaurant chefs, caters to every taste.
The Pantry Delicatessen offers dozens of sweet choices. Pantry pastry chefs custom design unique treats which are only available at The Pantry Delicatessen.
The Pantry Delicatessen offers a large range of gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free options which makes the Delicatessen the perfect option for a healthy, hearty meal – prepared with love daily by our dedicated and talented chefs.
Recipes inspired by the world’s best chefs are adapted to the season and feature fresh and high quality ingredients.
The stunning new interior features timber-clad walls and a slick silky charcoal theme throughout; the decorative props, a mix of new and vintage were sourced from as far as the south of France.
There are many exciting food collaborations to come this year at The Pantry Delicatessen. Some will take the form of interactive food experiences with others hosting Australian food icons.
During our visit we selected a few delicious items: Sourdough from Burnham Bakery Bread, Miso Salmon with soba noodles and 2 delicious sweet treats – a cinnamon tea cake and a lemon meringue pie.

We loved the sourdough which was made using traditional techniques and baked in state-of-the-art ovens. Featuring a lovely thick crust, it was delicious when served with generous splashes of extra virgin olive oil.
The salmon and soba noodles were a healthy and delicious option. The salmon was tender and juicy and had a lovely umami flavour from the miso. The noodles were slippery and flavoured well.
The cinnamon tea cake and lemon meringue pie was absolutely lovely. The cinnamon tea cake was moist and had just the perfect level of sweetness while the lemon meringue pie struck the right chords with an expertly balanced sweetness from the meringue and tartness from the lemon.
We loved this new comfort food destination and cannot wait to return and further explore what The Pantry has to offer.

Location: 1 Church Street, Brighton
Phone: 03 9591 0393

Pantry on Urbanspoon

Harry's ice cream party | International ice cream month

Gastrology bloggers' ice cream party was sponsored by Harry's Ice Cream.
Not like we needed any excuse to have ice cream... but this month is  International Ice Cream Month!
To celebrate this delicious month, Gastrology teamed up with award-winning Australian ice cream maker, Harry’s Ice Cream for an ice cream party to celebrate this special frozen dessert.
With a house full of toppings our guests set out to pair up Harry's delicious ice cream flavours with some sugary goodness.
Harry's Raspberry Cheesecake ice cream (and our personal favourite) was a particular hit and in our view, best enjoyed as is!
We even had cocktails made from Harry's Pavlova ice cream!


Celebrate International ice cream month with Harry's ice cream!
Get your hands on some Harry's Ice Cream which are available at Woolworths and selected IGA stores throughout Australia.
Drawing inspiration from classic Australian desserts, Harry's Ice Cream offers a range of distinctive and iconic flavours including Pavlova; Sticky Date Pudding; and Raspberry Cheesecake.

Read more about Harry's ice cream here.

Southgate Moveable Feast: Artusi | Amarok | Bluetrain [Sunday 15 June – Monday 4 August]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Artusi, Amarok & Blue Train.
Southgate's recent facelift of premium restaurants is garnering some well-deserved attention. The Moveable Feasts is a brilliant opportunity to taste and see what this bustling foodie hub has to offer.

Showcasing  three delectable courses each from a different Southgate restaurant, Southgate Moveable Feasts epitomises the changing dining trends of today as Melburnians look for new and different casual dining experiences.

We were led through a unique dining experience as we wandered from restaurant to restaurant, sampling unique world-class cuisines from Italian to native North American.



First Stop: Artusi
Location: UR1 Upper level, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 03 8199 1033
Link: http://www.artusi.net.au/
Cuisine: Italian

The brainchild of Luis Pampliega and Tamara Volkoff, owners of the much-loved Southgate Italian eatery Tutto Bene ARTUSI is a welcome addition to Southgate's dining precinct.
We loved ARTUSI’s architectural design. Splashes of copper, bluestone façade and marble accents create a comfortable space and a modern up-market vibe.  
The ethos of ARTUSI is ‘The Art of Eating and Drinking Well’ and this ethos is clear from the restaurant’s focus on producing artisan handmade pastas and a mouth-watering selection of delicacies matched with a wide selection of boutique wines.
Lingua di bu – slow cooked ox tongue, quail egg, salsa verde, lemon EVOO

Our afternoon commenced with unctuous pieces of slow cooked ox tongue accompanied by perfectly oozy quail egg, fresh salsa verde and lemon EVOO. a The centrepiece ox tongue possessed a beautiful depth of flavour, with the acidity in the salsa verde helping to alleviate the richness of the decadent tongue.
Mezzelune ai broccoli e parmigiano – broccoli filled potato parcels, bagna cauda butter, parmigiano reggiano

The Mezzelune ai broccoli e parmigiano was a superb dish that was highlighted by the light and fluffy potato parcels which captivated with its delightful broccoli filling and its lingering rich parmigiano flavour.
What was clear from what we tasted was ARTUSI’s head chef Leandro Panza Sicilian heritage and knowledge and passion for Italian cooking.
Artusi on Urbanspoon


Second Stop: Amarok
Location: Southgate Complex Mid Level, MR6, 3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank
Phone: 03 9663 1877
Link: http://www.amarokbarrestaurant.com/
Cuisine: North American, Canadian

Yet another new addition to Southgate’s ever evolving dining precinct, Amarok Bar & Restaurant features a menu inspired by traditional North American and Canadian flavours whilst using the finest ingredients.
The dining room has a cosy wood-fired cabin feel.
Sierra Nevada Stout, Pine Needle & Acorn Roasted Chicken Breast with a Turnip/Blue Cheese Potato Bake, Veg & Marsala Jus

The chicken was tender and superbly cooked. Coated in an in an addictively sweet marsala and stout jus which was nicely offset by the decadently savoury potato bake. 
Pouch Baked Salmon in Corn Mead with Lemon, Fresh Herb & Grape Quinoa Salad

The salmon was again, cooked to perfection and accompanied by a very fresh and fragrant salad which provided a refreshing element to counterbalance the relatively rich and oily fish.
Amarok Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon


Third Stop: Bluetrain
Location: Southgate Landing, Southbank
Phone: 03 9696 0111
Link: http://www.bluetrain.com.au/
Cuisine: Modern Australian

An expansive café and bar with floor to high ceiling windows overlooking the Yarra River, Bluetrain is a brilliant Melbourne meeting spot.
It’s 2013 major facelift sees the restaurant spotting a new look which combines eclectic and quirky materials, bespoke designs and a light feature using yellow bicycle wheels to adorn the walls and graffiti art pillars. 
Baileys Cheesecake

The cheesecake was deliciously rich and had just the right hint of baileys. 
Warm Apple pie

Our Southgate Moveable Feast ended on a delicious winter warmer, the humble apple pie. Crumbly pastry and thinly sliced and spiced apple - Blue Train’s apple pie was very well made and perfect for afternoon tea with a dollop of cream and a cup of coffee.
Bluetrain on Urbanspoon


Get on to it! 
With a host guiding the journey to each establishment, discoveries will be made along the way uncovering the stories behind Melbourne’s eclectic world of riverside eateries.
What: A three course journey throughout Southgate’s restaurant precinct, sampling unique presentations of world-class cuisines. 
When: Sunday 15 June - Monday 4 August. 12pm Sundays & 7pm Mondays 
Where: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, on the south bank of the Yarra River, Melbourne 
Cost:  Choose from two three course dining options for $60pp or $85pp. Entrée and main courses each include a glass of wine and dessert is served with tea or coffee. 
NB: Parking is available in Southgate’s Car Park off City Road / Southgate Avenue, $10 flat rate on weekends and after 4pm on Mondays. 
Bookings: Online bookings only, at www.southgatemelbourne.com.au 
Enquiries: Southgate Restaurant and Shopping Precinct, 03 9686 1000