After launching in May 2015, WOODY.P  is revamping its Italian offerings with a new Executive Chef, Timothy Martin and a new seasonal menu. Most recently serving as Head Chef at acclaimed restaurant The European, Martin brings over fifteen years culinary experience to WOODY. P with a CV that is jammed with industry accolades.

WOODY.P offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere that caters to a broad range of dining experiences. The interior is composed of polished timber floors, exposed brick walls, textured glass and contemporary pendant lighting. Highlights include a sophisticated bar area with a tiled feature wall and suspended planted hangers. WOODY.P also comprises a large outdoor dining area where diners can eat and drink among greenery, lanterns and bluestone floors, a nod to Melbourne’s rich architectural heritage.

The menu is produce-driven and defined by simple Mediterranean and Italian flavours.

Martin’s Spring  menu leads  WOODY.P to authentic Italian roots, with new dishes such as bone marrow crostini, Moreton Bay bug tagliatelle, suckling roast lamb and charcoal fire grilled steaks, executed using a strong focus on local Victorian produce that references Martin’s Gippsland childhood.

Of particular note is the dish of Swordfish crudo. The quality of the swordfish we sampled was exemplary. The flesh was delicate and moist. It was a fresh dish that allowed the natural subtle sweetness of the fish to be enjoyed.

Positioned on Flinders Lane, the city’s most dynamic food precinct, WOODY.P is part of Melbourne’s bourgeoning range of restaurants and drinking spots.


121 Flinders Lane, Melbourne


03 9654 5000




Italian, Pizza

Woody P Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of WOODY.P

SunPork's #PorkonParade dinner @ Eureka 89

Gastrology attended the Pork on Parade dinner at Eureka 89 last week.
The evening was a fantastic showcase of Sunpork's expanding pre-prepared pork range. The endless possibilities were on display during our delectable dinner at Eureka 89. 
Eureka Head Chef Renee Martillano devised a seven course mouth-watering menu, inspired by and using SunPork pre-prepared products, inviting food lovers to rediscover what can easily be achieved at home. 
Renee explained how it was really easy work from her end as all the pre-cooking and marinating had already been done!
Clockwise from top right: Shredded Pork Croquette & seared scallop; Slow roasted pork belly; Peri Peri Pork Schnitzel; Pork Belly Rasher in Korean BBQ sauce

The Peri Peri Pork schnitzel was particularly impressive. We enjoyed the crisp exterior and the generous use of spices and the perfect amount of chilli-kick.
Slow cooked pork ribs in BBQ sauce, potato rosti, mushroom crisps

Another highlight from our evening was the Slow cooked pork ribs in BBQ sauce, We adored the smokey BBQ flavour and the pork meat which was so tender and simply falling off the bone.
Apple, Rhubard, Fennel and Pork skin crumble

Our evening concluded on a sweet end with a very clever dessert which of course also showcased a pork element! 
SunPork, a Queensland based company has recently expanded its offering of prepared pork products, aimed at busy people who still want tasty, nutritious and healthy food. The range initially started with SunPork's popular shredded meats and has today evolved to include Pork Schnitzels, Slow cooked BBQ pork ribs, slow cooked pork belly and Korean Belly Rashers. All products are available at Woolworths.

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of SunPork.

Woody. P Launch

Gastrology bloggers attended the event courtesy of Woody.P.
A feast for the eyes and the palette, Woody.P is set to establish a cult following with Melburnians and travellers alike.
The restaurant opened its doors recently in May and offers a fun and relaxed atmosphere that caters to a broad range of dining experiences. The menu is produce-driven and defined by mouth-watering yet simple Mediterranean and Italian flavours.
Woody.P’s beverage list is however, not to be outdone. Paying homage to the city’s rich European heritage, the wine list offers a range of varietals, focusing on local appellations. The cocktails have been developed around an aperitvo style and showcases the best aperitifs from home and abroad. 
The kitchen is headed by Head Chef Clinton Camilleri, whose impressive portfolio of culinary experience spans for over a decade. Working extensively in kitchens throughout rural Victoria (Eleonore’s Restaurant in the Yarra Valley, Royal George Hotel in Kyneton and the much-awarded Lake House in Daylesford), Camilleri was recently the Head Chef of the Healesville Hotel, where he achieved the 2014 Good Age Food Guide Regional Restaurant of the Year.
Leading a team of skilled chefs, Camilleri is joined by Venue Manager Brent Scales, who has recently worked as Restaurant Manager for Stokehouse Café in St Kilda and opened the Stokehouse City Bar. 
The service is fast paced, informed and friendly, matching up to the fun and uniquely designed restaurant space which offers a series of comfortable and discrete spaces. Each space has its own unique look and feel.
The interior is composed of polished timber floors, exposed brick walls, textured glass and contemporary pendant lighting. Highlights include a sophisticated bar area with a tiled feature wall and suspended planted hangers. Woody P also comprises a large outdoor dining area where diners can eat and drink among greenery, lanterns and bluestone floors, a nod to Melbourne’s rich architectural heritage.
Positioned on Flinders Lane, the city’s most dynamic food precinct, Woody.P is an exciting new addition to Melbourne’s bourgeoning range of restaurants and drinking spots.

Location: 121 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9654 5000
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza

Click to add a blog post for Woody P on Zomato

Australian VIP launch of JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection 2015 Edition

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Diageo.
Gastrology attended the Australian VIP launch of JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection 2015 Edition at Lake Eyre Penthouse, The Olsen last night.
Hosted by UK’s talented whisky aficionado Dave Broom, we enjoyed an exclusive dinner by Spoonbill Restaurant and were one of the first people in Australia to taste this limited release. 

This blend of rare fruit character by Master Blender Jim Beveridge is the second annual release in a series, which showcases the innovative spirit and craft of the blenders behind the world’s leading Scotch Whisky house. 
The JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection launched with the 2014 Edition (which we also had the opportunity to indulge in), an exploration of the JOHN & WALKER & SONS signature smoky character from three celebrated regions of Scotland. 

The 2015 Edition is a limited release – only 8,888 individually numbered decanters worldwide, and from that only 252 bottles hitting Australian shores – that reveals the fruit top notes of the JOHN WALKER & SONS house style. 
Jim has selected several treasured casks from a study started many years ago into the fascinating effects of wood on maturing whisky, which have created a richness and perfect harmony of flavours over time.  These unique whiskies have been chosen to both complement and contribute to the fruit character, and balance the blend with a touch of dryness and sweetness. 
The JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection 2015 Edition (46.8% Alcohol By Volume) is presented in a deep red glass decanter with an angled cut to reflect the slanted label on the iconic JOHNNIE WALKER square bottle, and is set in a cream box with the story of the Rare Fruit Character of this blend. 
JOHN WALKER & SONS Private Collection is exclusively available from Dan Murphy’s Australia (www.danmurphys.com.au) nationwide, RRP $888.00.

Frankie Says - new eatery and bar

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Frankie Says.
Gastrology bloggers recently joined the masterminds behind culinary hot spots Hoy Pinoy, The Meatball Company, The Melt Shop and Café Italia as they shared their first look and taste of their new Eatery & Bar and debuted a series of table wines.
Frankie Says, the brand spanking new Eatery and Bar along the riverside in Abbotsford is set to open in late January 2015.
Founders Megan Phillis and James Meehan, were thrilled to launch their new project and to provide us with a little teaser of what’s in store when Frankie Says opens its doors.
Frankie is more of an idea than a person, the outlet for Phillis and Meehan’s creativity and the fun aspect of their food business. Frankie Says embodies all the things they love about Italian food, specially created for local residents to enjoy like it’s their own place. As Frankie Says - eat, drink, share and relax.
Frankie Says promises to serve up a delicious range of antipasto boards, the perfect share plate, a variety of savoury and sweet-filled Panzerotti, homemade stone-oven pizzas and to finish a selection of traditional style deserts.
The Panzerottis were sumptuous golden pockets with mouth-watering fillings. We loved the pork belly and apple panzerotti in particular which was filled with generous amounts of melt in your mouth pork and slightly tart apple slices.
The desserts were amazing. Creative yet grounded in tried and true flavour combinations. We adores the salted caramel cheesecake which was decadent and absolutely delicious.

A unique aspect of the eatery and bar will be the ever-changing menu, ensuring regulars are able to expect a different menu upon every visit.
We enjoyed Frankie Says’ new series of table wines at the event, a bright and inviting 2013 Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills with luscious citrus and tropical notes, and a 2012 Padthaway Cabernet Sauvignon with rich ripe berry and minty leaf characters.
While you’re waiting for Frankie Says to officially open its doors in 2015, visit the Frankie Says cart hosted each Wednesday at Queen Victoria Night Market, and Coburg Markets each Friday in December.

Location: 15 Acacia Place, Abbotsford
Link: www.frankiesaysmelb.com.au
Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrankieSaysMelb
Cuisine: Italian

Frankie Says on Urbanspoon

Launch of Superior Gold smoked salmon @ The Flower Temple

Gastrology bloggers attended the event courtesy of Superior Gold.
Gastrology recently attended an exclusive launch event for Superior Gold, a brand new ultra-premium smoked salmon Launched just in time for the entertaining season, Superior Gold is setting a new benchmark for smoked salmon.
The official launch was an evening of sensory delight and was hosted by The Champagne Dame. We also experienced the art of superior salmon smoking with Superior Gold’s own talented Smoke Master, Nathan Smith.
The Flower Temple was the perfect back drop. We loved the beautiful space which was devoted to nature's beauty. Beautiful flowers spill from urns and rockeries in an enchanted indoor garden.
Superior Gold is set to redefine the smoked salmon category as it’s known, using the finest curing ingredients and most sophisticated smoking techniques to deliver Australians the ultimate smoked salmon culinary experience.
Rich in flavour, succulent in texture and sublime in taste, the new Superior Gold range is perfect for gourmet entertaining occasions. From Smoked Salmon Slices, Hot Smoked Salmon, to Connoisseur Cuts for cooking and traditional Gravadlax; Superior Gold has a delicacy for any canapé, entertaining platter or meal.
Only the finest quality Australian Atlantic Salmon is hand-selected from the exceptionally cool and pristine waters of Tasmania. The superior Australian Atlantic Salmon is artisanally cured and smoked by the Superior Gold Smoke Master, Nathan Smith.
Our favourite product from the range was the Superior Gold Hot Smoked Peppercorn Salmon. Perfect on its own with Superior Gold’s Garlic Aioli or added to a fresh salad, risotto or pasta dish, the hand selected superior Australian Atlantic Salmon is traditionally cured in a combination of Australian sea salt and Bundaberg raw sugar to preserve the premium quality, Once cured the salmon is then hot smoked over sustainably sourced Beechwood to bring out the salmon’s natural flavour whilst preserving the succulent texture and adding a smoky undertone. The Superior Gold Smoke Master, Nathan Smith, has overseen the process to ensure only the highest quality and premium tasting product is produced.
Superior Gold sets a new benchmark when it comes to premium taste. A beautiful deep orange coloured hue, matched with a tender texture and taste so delightfully sweet, smokey and sophisticated, Superior Gold has successfully pushed the boundaries to create a new premium product range, catering to all sophisticated entertaining occasions. 
Left: Superior Gold Gravadlax, radish, cucumber, horseradish
Right: Superior Gold Connoisseur Cut (freekah salad)

All Superior Gold salmon is responsibly sourced and farmed, in partnership with the WWF, and certified to ensure our environment and oceans are healthy for the future. The Superior Gold Smoked salmon range is also a good source of Omega 3 for optimum health.
Superior Gold salmon is beautifully packaged in a black sleeve with a signature gold emblem making it easy to spot in the refrigerated smoked salmon section of supermarkets. Superior Gold salmon is available in Coles, Woolworths and IGA from October 2014. RRP ranges from $5.49 through to $11.99.

Flower Temple on Urbanspoon

Quaff-ing with YumTable

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of YumTable.
Gastrology bloggers attended the launch of YumTable at Quaff recently.
Situated in the heart of Toorak Village, Quaff is a sleek and informal restaurant. Head chef John Psanis is a man with an impressive resume - having been a key talent behind The Botanical, Paysan, Browns and One Fitzroy Street. That vocational history is evident in Quaff’s menu, with Psanis’ innovative flair being showcased through dishes strongly grounded in French gastronomy.
The dining room is at once traditional and relaxed, shunning the grungy look that is today’s Melbourne norm in favour of a more conventional and elegant atmosphere. 
The Yum Table launch was held in Quaff’s crystal room. Dimly lit with scattered pockets of luminescence emitting from tabletop candles, it was a comfortable setting and one that was perfect for discussing Yum Table, which launched in early September.
Carpaccio of cured atlantic salmon, fennel salad, infused olive oil

The carpaccio of salmon arrived as a plate of thinly sliced salmon topped with dressed fennel salad. It was a triumph of a dish both in terms of texture and taste, with the tender slithers of salmon contrasting nicely with the crisp fennel and the rich oil enhancing the lovely oily texture of the salmon. 
Seared canadian scallops, sweet potato puree, prosciutto dust, parsley oil

Similarly well executed was a dish of caramelised scallops which were expertly seared and superbly complemented by the savoury prosciutto dust and the luscious sweet potato puree.
Confit duck leg, red cabbage, ricotta dumplings, sauce a l'orange

The skilfully prepared duck paired classically with braised red cabbage to great effect. The accompanying ricotta dumplings were delicious - rich and hearty yet light. It was a simple dish of an older age but one which was the highlight of an excellent meal.
Cinnamon panna cotta, rhubarb mille feuille

The cinnamon panna cotta was wonderfully flavoured with cinnamon and had a luxurious velvety texture. The rhubarb mille feuille  was well-made, boasting layers of thin pastry and decadent cream. The dish was best enjoyed when all the elements were eaten together.  
Quaff’s classic soufflé served with ice cream

The soufflé was superbly cooked and was absolutely delicious. We loved the airy consistency and the addition of berries for a slight tartness and the accompanying smooth and dense ice cream. It was a decadent end to a decadent meal.
Quaff presents well executed European and modern Australian cuisine which highlights innovative, yet familiar flavour combinations. It was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and wine and most importantly, for getting excited about YumTable.

Read more about YumTable here.

Location: 436 Toorak Road, South Yarra
Phone: 03 9827 4484
Cuisine: European, Modern Australian

Restaurant Quaff on Urbanspoon

Restaurant launch: polēpolē bar + kitchen

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of polēpolē.
Gastrology recently attended the launch of polēpolē (pronounced ‘pol-eh-pol-eh’), the newly opened warm and spirited bar and kitchen on Little Collins Street.
Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Dean and Jeanelle Mariani, polēpolē is inspired by the couple’s extensive travels through East Africa. The vibrant energy of Sub-Saharan Africa peeks through in tasteful hints, from the flavoursome fare and cocktail menus, to the exotic décor and dynamic tunes.
A curated menu of signature cocktails offers guests the chance to try some unique and intriguing flavour combinations. We loved the two cocktails we sampled on the night (Ginger Lesson and Mzungu Martini). The Ginger lesson was a fiery cocktail made from gin, house-made ginger syrup, Montenegro and citrus. We loved the heat from the ginger which worked marvellously with the tangy citrus notes. The Mzungu martini on the other hand was an African style espresso martini. We loved the heady rum mixture.  
We were also delighted by the distinctive selection of rare and imported African beers on offer.
The menu at polēpolē was constructed by Consulting chef, Andy Mac (Executive Chef at Axil Coffee Roasters) and features a selection of sweet, smoky and spicy dishes designed to share with friends, including Pork, almond and cinnamon cigar with lava salt and pomegranate molasses and Rum and raisin brownie mousse cake with vanilla brulee and chocolate soil. 
Our favourite dish from the night was the Harissa lamb ribs. These were expertly prepared and had juicy, succulent flesh. The outstanding ribs were crusted with a flavoursome spice mix and served with delicious red pepper salsa and tahini yoghurt.
The term polēpolē is Swahili for “take it easy” - aptly so given the bar seeks to be a welcoming escape from the stresses of city life.

Location: 267 Little Collins St  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 2811
Cuisine: African, bar

Polēpolē Bar & Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Emporium Launch by Baz Luhrmann

Gastrology bloggers attended the launch as guests of CFS Retail Property Group together with GIC.
On Wednesday 20 August 2014, Gastrology attended the official launch of Melbourne’s reimagined retail icon, Emporium Melbourne which was created and hosted by creative visionary Baz Luhrmann.
Emporium Melbourne appointed Creative Visionary Baz Luhrmann to create the official launch celebration for his extraordinary ability to take an old classic and reimagine it into a contemporary icon.
This sentiment reflected the vision of Emporium Melbourne, which has been dramatically transformed since first opening its doors as the Myer Emporium in 1911.
More than three million people have experienced this Melbourne icon since it opened on 16 April, reimagining the CBD retail landscape with its exceptional design and impressive offer across fashion and food.
The official celebration also marked the arrival of even more fashion firsts and flagship stores, building upon Emporium Melbourne’s already impressive world-class line-up.
Opening throughout July and August are:
  • Australia’s first Kate Spade New York, which will feature new digitally-controlled change rooms that enable customers to change backdrops when they are snapping themselves in the latest looks;
  • The first Melbourne stores for Michael Kors and one of Australia’s most celebrated new designers, Dion Lee; and 
  • The largest Topshop in the southern hemisphere and first store to the Melbourne CBD, delivering three levels of fashion.
These incredible fashion firsts join Victoria’s Secret, who also recently opened their first Melbourne CBD store.
Over the coming weeks, Emporium Melbourne will also welcome flagship stores for:
  • American brand Coach, with the launch of a brand new fashion direction;
  • Italian icon Furla and their range of high quality bags, shoes and accessories, celebrated since 1927; and 
  • Fashion favourites Oroton and Ted Baker.
The arrivals of these retailers are reason to celebrate with the completion of the Little Bourke Street International Precinct, delivering yet another dimension to this already outstanding line-up.
These fashion firsts and flagships will be joined by celebrated foodies:
  • South Yarra institution Dainty Sichuan, in the Urban Kitchen precinct on the Lower Ground Supercharger Wholefoods, a celebration of superfood and vegetables by Restaurateur Paul Mathis and business partner George Incretolli; and
  • Gourmet food store Jones the Grocer, Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar New York and waffle and coffee restaurant, Waffee.
Once all stores are open, Emporium Melbourne will be home to over 200 fashion and food brands, offering a reimagined shopping experience like no other.
Baz Luhrmann’s celebration proved to be one of the biggest events on Melbourne’s calendar this year with the transformation of Emporium Melbourne into a set of experiences that tell the story of the iconic building’s colourful history.

La Condesa - Johnston Street's new Mexican Cantina and watering hole

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of La Condesa.
Gastrology bloggers recently attended the launch of La Condesa Cantina.

Originally Fitzroy’s ultimate balmy taco destination of summer, La Condesa popped up in Melbourne in the spring of 2013.  
Nestled on Fitzroy's buzzing Johnston Street, it began as a quaint taqueria for gringos locos to get their fill of tacos and tequila. Following the success of this stint, they decided to expand their operation to more permanent digs next door at 234 Johnston Street. 

We enjoyed sipping on Paloma cocktails and sampled several items form their menu which showcased traditional flavours with a Fitzroy twist. The corn and fried chicken dhishes were of particular note. We loved how the touches of spice cut through the sweetness of the corn and how perfectly battered and fried the chicken was.
La Condesa pays homage to the buzzing bohemian quarter and vibrant nightlife of Condesa in Mexico City, where the latest in food, art and culture is showcased and young artists and entrepreneurs - known as condechis, come out to play.

Location: 234 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 03 9419 5675
Cuisine: Mexican

La Condesa Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Tourism Australia launches 'Restaurant Australia' campaign in Melbourne @ Vue de monde

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Tourism Australia.
Tourism Australia has unveiled the latest evolution of its global campaign – ‘There’s nothing like Australia’ - with exceptional food and wine experiences from around the country playing a starring role in an effort to convert the global appetite for Australia as a travel destination into more visits.
Gastrology attended the Melbourne launch of the campaign last week at Melbourne’s award-winning Vue de monde. Local and international chefs, Shannon Bennett, Sanjeev Kapoor and Alla Wolf-Tasker were in attendance as Tourism Australia MD John O'Sullivan shared how the campaign would cast the spotlight on Australia's culinary experiences.
It was exciting to hear about the new $10 million campaign, 'Restaurant Australia', which is based on the idea of Australia being the world’s greatest restaurant.
The campaign activity has begun its roll-out in 12 key international markets with high profile events and consumer promotions. In addition, an international media familiarisation program will be hosted for ‘Restaurant Australia’ in partnership with all States and Territories in November this year.
It was interesting to hear that according to research conducted by Tourism Australia in 2013 (in 15 of Australia’s key tourism markets), only 26 per cent of people who have never visited Australia associate the destination with good food and wine offering. But for those who have visited Australia, they rank us second in the world for food and wine experiences (60%) after culinary giant France and ahead of Italy. 

This perception gap presents a real opportunity to bring Australia’s culinary credentials to the fore which is where the ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign comes into the picture.
Vue de monde was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and wine and most importantly, for getting excited about the new 'Restaurant Australia' campaign.
Pork, onion, mint
Matched with: 2010 Granite Hills Pinot Noir, Macedon Ranges, Victoria

Our first course consisted of unctuous morsels of pork accompanied by sweet onion and silky mint sauce. The centrepiece pork morsels possessed a beautiful depth of flavour, with the acidity in the vegetable components helping to alleviate its richness. 
Blackmore Wagyu beef, beetroot, apple
Matched with: 2010 Mount Langi Ghiran Hollows Shiraz, Grampians, Victoria

The wagyu course was the perfect example of a straightforward dish done well. Served medium-rare, the wagyu fillet was well seasoned and retained a juicy, tender consistency throughout. The "brick" of tender pulled wagyu on the other hand had a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth texture and was full of flavour.
Duck yolk, pear, truffle
Matched with: 2011 Tarrawarra Chardonnay, Yarra Valley Victoria

A dish we have had privilege to indulge in on previous occasions, the dish of duck yolk, pear and truffle was as expected, an absolute delight. The velvety egg yolk and truffle sauce combined to produce an intensely rich dish. It was an excellent dish which typified the multi-faceted Vue de monde style of cooking.
Vue de monde Pavlova
Matched with: 2013 Delatite ‘Catherine’ Gewurtztraiminer, Mansfield, Victoria

We loved Vue de monde's take on the humble Aussie pavlova. This striking dessert was an explosion of intense fruity flavours. The meringues were crisp on top and addictively sweet and chewy in the centre. The tartness of the passionfruit curd produced a balanced dessert.
An absolute highlight of our time at the launch was meeting Australia's pre-eminent wine critic, James Halliday and Wagyu pioneer, David Blackmore.
Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon

European bier hall ‘Hophaus’ launches @ Southgate

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Hophaus.
Gastrology attended the launch of reinvented European bier hall ‘HOPHAUS’ at Southgate last week. 

Along with the impending opening of new Southgate Italian wine and tapas restaurant ARTUSI, Red Emperor’s new location and chef Lin Chan (Flower Drum), and Bluetrain’s critically acclaimed new upper level fit out, HOPHAUS affirms Southgate’s position as a landmark Melbourne dining and socialising destination.
A contemporary twist on the great Bavarian Beer Halls, HOPHAUS is the latest addition to Red Rock Leisure’s stable of social pubs and Southgate’s restaurant precinct, drawing inspiration from the history and tradition of the world’s original “craft breweries” that celebrates the Germanic approach to brewing, one of both art and science. 

HOPHAUS’ architectural design has been created by the multi award-winning Maddison Architects founded by Peter Maddison of Grand Designs Australia. The unique interior is based on research of European beer halls, and then re-inventing them, so that the materials and finishes are familiar yet different – a prime example being the polychrome glazed brickwork (over 6,000 in total) that features throughout the venue.
Venue manager Scott Highfield & Executive Chef Marc Brown

HOPHAUS owner, Paul O’Brien has successfully created a truly one-of-a-kind experience that delights and surprises but retains a familiar and hospitable atmosphere. 
We loved the food that we sampled. The menu at HOPHAUS features classic Bavarian favourites with a contemporary Melbourne flair with a big focus on communal shared dining. Curated by Executive Chef, Marc Brown, the food was exciting and fresh, using age-old European cooking styles that brought out the natural flavours of great Victorian produce.

The open kitchen showcased low and slow cooking methods over the coal fired pit and rotisserie. We sampled a selection of barbequed meats at the launch and they were absolutely delicious. Each morsel was cooked to perfection and seasoned beautifully. 
HOPHAUS houses over 30 draught taps around its huge central bar.  With an impressive selection of German, Austrian, Belgian and Czech Brews on offer, HOPHAUS is a unique drinking house - somewhere to taste and learn about the famous German beer styles that have influenced the drinking habits of generations across the globe.

The feature beers at HOPHAUS change regularly and some of Germany’s and Europe’s oldest and most loved brews will be available on tap, including beers from the famed Weihenstephan (the world’s oldest brewery), Paulaner, Franziskaner and Bitburger breweries.

HOPHAUS also features a selection of German, Austrian and Alsace wines by the glass along with New World wines that celebrate the region’s famed varieties: Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gruner Veltliner and more.
With a menu that features uncomplicated, good and honest food, HOPHAUS will keep you coming back for more.

Hophaus on Urbanspoon

Amarok Bar & Restaurant launches @ Southgate

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Amarok.
Gastrology attended the launch of Amarok Bar & Restaurant last week. 
Amarok Bar & Restaurant is a newly renovated restaurant adjacent to Ice Bar Melbourne, on Southgate’s mid level.
Featuring a menu inspired by traditional North American and Canadian flavours, the restaurant strives to use only the finest ingredients.
Bobby Stephens, founder and creator of Ice Bar Melbourne, this year engaged a business partner Peter Anastas. With over 23 years hospitality experience within the restaurant and cafe industry, Peter set out to create a cutting edge restaurant and bar to compliment the Ice Bar.
The name Amarok derives from an Inuit mythological creature, described as a “gigantic wolf”, whose purpose is to “hunt down and devour anyone foolish enough to hunt alone at night”.

Head Chef Carey Stephens created the menu to stand out in Southbank. A native Maori from Te Awamutu in New Zealand’s north island, Carey has over 30 years industry experience in some of the worlds’ finest restaurants. “I loved the idea of the hungry explorer,” Carey explained.
We enjoyed the canapes on offer, which were a peek into Amarok's menu. The items were delicious and showcased a fusion of Native North American flavours made from the freshest local Australian ingredients.
Of particular note was the tiger prawns which were served with seaweed and the pork served with apple slaw. The prawns (an item from the Karpok part of the Amarok menu) were perfectly cooked - plump, juicy and well-seasoned. Each morsel of pork (an item from the Perlertok part of the Amarok menu) simply burst with flavour. The pork skin was delightfully crispy and the meat was tender and succulent. The accompanying fresh slaw was a match made in heaven.
Guests were also given the opportunity to check out the iconic Ice Lounge. It was an incredibly novel experience. We loved being surrounded by all the carved ice and sculptures in Ice Lounge's unique arctic environment which is chilled to at least -10°C. 
Chill On Ice Lounge & Ski Lodge on Urbanspoon
We cannot wait to return and try the the Amarok Feast Board which we hear is fit for any hungry explorer. 

Amarok Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Media launch of Nespresso’s new Boutique Melbourne store @ Vue de monde

Gastrology bloggers dined coutesy of Nespresso and Vue de monde.
Gastrology was invited to celebrate the opening of Nespresso’s new Boutique store in Melbourne’s newly opened premium shopping destination, Emporium. After a media briefing where we were acquainted with the new store and Nespresso’s latest additions (read more about the new Boutique store here), we were whisked away to a decadent Nespresso-inspired brunch at Vue de monde.
view from Vue de monde
The bespoke menu was crafted by Vue de monde’s Head Chef and Nespresso Ambassador, Shannon Bennett.
As part of the ambassador role, Vue de monde has been serving Nespresso coffee to restaurant and event guests.
The brunch started with a delicious selection of canapés. The truffle marshmallow was a particular highlight. We loved the intense aroma and flavour of the truffles and the delicious chewy texture of the perfectly shaped marshmallows. 
Duck yolk, pear, truffle  

The dish of duck yolk, pear and truffle was inspiring. The velvety egg yolk combined to produce an intensely rich dish. It was an excellent starter which typified the multi-faceted Vue de monde style of cooking.
Spanish Mackeral, coffee, potato and Nespresso Arpeggio Grand Cru

Superbly cooked, the pieces of white fish were succulent and sweet. The flavours were subtle and earthy. We loved how well the coffee synergised and brought a beautifully balanced flavour profile to the dish with its aromatic allure.
The brunch concluded with arpeggio espressos which were served with delightful doughnuts and signature Vue de monde lamingtons. The Arpeggio's strong character and intense body made it the perfect coffee to have with the sweet treats.
Read about Nespresso’s new luxury boutique at the Emporium here.

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon

Nespresso launches new Melbourne Boutique in Emporium

Melbourne’s coffee connoisseurs will be delighted this week as Nespresso – the worldwide pioneer in premium portioned coffee – opened the doors to its new Boutique in Emporium, inviting shoppers to experience Nespresso at their own pace.
Located in Melbourne’s new world-class shopping destination, Emporium, the Nespresso Boutique spans 230 square metres and boasts the largest Coffee Room in Australia. 
This tasting area features 11 machines, catering to coffee lovers who like to savour their tasting moments and discover all that Nespresso has to offer. 
The new Emporium Boutique will host some of Nespresso’s latest innovative services including Victoria’s first Self-Selection Room and Boutique Pick-Up counters, offering those already familiar with the brand even more convenience.
The Nespresso Self-Selection Room enables Club Members to select and scan their capsules and checkout automatically at a self-service kiosk. 
The two Boutique Pick-Up counters allow for a quick collection of pre-ordered products, saving busy shoppers time. 
Visitors can also discover Nespresso’s range of 22 Grand Cru coffees in the Coffee Room, explore The Discovery Wall to learn about the full range of machines and browse through the range of Nespresso accessories. 
As part of Nespresso’s commitment to sustainability, Melbourne Club Members will also be able to recycle their used Nespresso capsules in store. 
To celebrate this Boutique opening, Nespresso reveals a unique indigenous artwork created from Nespresso capsules custom made by the Jumbana Group, Australia’s leading Indigenous strategy and design company. Proceeds from the installation will go towards a Jumbana Group Project, Indi Kindi.

Media launch of the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival 2014 @ Union Dining

Location: 270 Swan Street, Richmond 
Phone: 03 9428 2988  
Cuisine: European, Modern Australian

Recently, Gastrology bloggers attended the launch of the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival 2014 at Union Dining. Jim Berardo, founder and director of the festival, was thrilled to announce the most exciting and comprehensive line-up to date as this world-class festival continues into its eleventh year.

Well regarded for their warm hospitality and hands on approach, Union Dining offers a provincial dining experience that evokes the brasseries and trattorias adored by chef Nicky Riemer, with a distinct Melbourne identity. The menu combines traditional and contemporary European fare
The lunch was held at the top floor of Union Dining - the Wine Room. Furnished with oak barrels, the area is spacious, elegant and exudes an air of calm. The wide windows present views of bustling Swan Street and allow the sun to trickle in.
Pastis cured Huon Atlantic salmon, soft egg, horseradish cream, salmon roe

The cured salmon was the highlight of our meal. Complemented with a savoury horseradish cream and salmon roe, this was a well formulated dish of bold and vibrant flavours.
Hopkins River beef blade tagine, pickled cauliflower, coriander & dukkah salad 

The texture of the beef blade was excellent, falling apart at the touch of a fork. The flavours of the dish were subtle, drawing attention to the pickled cauliflower which complemented the aromatic coriander and dukkah salad.
Yoghurt & buttermilk panna cotta, raspberries, mint & pomegranate 
Under the guidance of Head Chef Nicky Reimer, Union Dining offers a memorable dining experience that focuses on fresh and local produce. It was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and wine* and most importantly, for getting excited about this year's Noosa International Food and Wine Festival!

Read more about the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival 2014 here.

Union Dining on Urbanspoon

*including whether food bloggers should be able to deduct food expenditure on an apportionment basis per Ronpibon Tin NL v FC of T (1949) 78 CLR 4.

Waking up to a Yousli Breakfast

Gastrology bloggers joined the Yousli team at their headquarters where we got up close and personal with a brand new brekky that embraces deliciousness and health – the perfect ingredients for a great start to the day.
It all began when Paul Findlay, the creative behind Yousli, was spending too much time in the supermarket aisle trying to find the right cereal blend for him. He was frustrated by the misconception that ‘if it tastes good it must be bad for you’. So, he took things (quite literally) into his own hands by hand-mixing his own muesli creations with the most delicious whole foods he could find.
After nearly six months of tasting and testing with a bunch of his best food loving friends (until they all agreed it was the best muesli they had ever had), Yousli was born. The group paid particular attention to the "crunch profile" of their creations, and having tasted the various blends, we are very glad that they did.

Guided by the Yousli Nutritional Calculator developed by author and nutritionist Arabella Forge, you can create a nutritionally balanced, delicious breakfast combo, hand-mixed to your own unique tastes and preferences.
Once your Yousli blend is ordered online, you can expect it on your doorstep anywhere in Australia within two to five working days. Some lucky Melbournians can even expect same day delivery, with Yousli’s roaming bicycles soon to be hitting the local streets of Melbourne.

We were lucky enough to be invited to Yousli HQ to sample Yousli’s first range of scrumptious pre-made mueslis, as well as the first “Favourite Foodie” release – Shane Delia’s Shameless Delight, washed down with delicious coffee courtesy of St Ali.

There are five pre-made Yousli mueslis on offer…
Gluten Freedom

Gluten Freedom
Utterly delicious, this Yousli blend is made up of puffed quinoa, blueberries, almond slithers, activated buckinis, puffed amaranth, toasted flaked coconut, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, organic currants, zesty barberries & a sprinkle of raw cinnamon. This mix is low in carbs, sodium & a great source of protein & dietary fibre.
Tasting Notes: Light nutty flavours of puffed Quinoa, amaranth, toasted almond slithers and soft creamy toasted coconut are lifted with deep juicy blueberries and currants and activated buckini crunch. A medium level crunch density.
Top: Ginger, Barberry & Macadamia
Bottom: Almond & Sour Cherry

Ginger, Barberry & Macadamia
This delicious ginger blend of creamy roasted macadamia nuts, decadent pistachios, activated buckinis, the warm flavours of ginger spice and the tang of zesty barberries awaken the senses!
Tasting Notes: The subtle, earthy flavours of barley, amaranth, activated buckinis and toasted coconut give way to the rich creaminess of macadamias, followed by small sour pops of barberry, with the naked ginger spice opening up on the finish. Overall a lot to medium level crunch density.
Almond & Sour Cherry
This was Yousli’s original blend which is made up of a delicious mixture of oats, whole grains, plump sour cherries, rolled spelt flakes, activated buckinis, pepitas, chia seeds and the sweet natural flavour of organic currants. The mix is low in salt and a good source of protein and dietary fibre.
Tasting Notes: Organic oats and raw whole grains sit alongside whole dry roasted almonds and deliciously plump sour cherries, finished with a dusting of aromatic cinnamon. A medium to high level crunch density.
Left: Shameless Delight
Right: Sesame Fig & Walnut

Sesame Fig & Walnut
Made from a mixture of luscious dried figs, crispy walnuts, decadent pistachios, organic currants, baked sesame seeds and toasted flaked coconut, this mix is seriously delicious.
Tasting Notes: Whole earthy walnuts, buckwheat grouts and luscious wild figs with raw cinnamon dusted whole grains, organic currant small deep pops and a rich, nutty baked sesame seed finish. A medium to high level crunch density
Shameless Delight
A delicious blend by chef, restaurateur and TV personality Shane Delia, Shameless Delight is a feel-good combo. A Middle Eastern take on breakfast, this Yousli is packed with cinnamon buckinis and quinoa matched with Goji berries, pomegranates and mouth-watering sesame rosewater jellies.
Tasting Notes: Soft, earthy cues of puffed brown rice, quinoa and whole walnuts, with sour bursts and goji berries and chewy pomegranate tang. Cacao nibs add chocolate notes and sesame coated date and fig jelly rosewater on the finish. A low to medium level crunch density.
Of course, if you would prefer to create (and name!) your own breakfast masterpiece, yousli.com.au makes it an incredibly straighforward 3 step process, and allows you to select from a huge range of healthy wholefoods and organic, delicious goodies.

After our tasting of the pre-made muesli, we given the opportunity to do just that!
The first step involves choosing from one of four deliciously simple base blends: Classic, High Fibre, Gluten Free or Cinnamon & Whole Grain.

The second step is to add your favourite Nuts, Seeds and Grains from a long list including Activated Almonds and Buckinis, Pomegranate Seeds, Puffed Quinoa and Amaranth. The final step is to choose your favourite fruits from an exciting array including Barberries, Inca Berries, Figs and Uncrystallised Ginger.
Hand-mixed with quality natural whole foods, Yousli‘s muesli mixes are delicious, healthy and quite honestly, a very exciting new addition to our pantry.