Sunday Brunch @ Red Spice Road QV

Red Spice QV is re-defining Melbourne’s brunch experience for urban diners with a wide choice of innovative, delicious Asian inspired brunch dishes, generously proportioned, and served fast, with expertly prepared coffees, teas and refreshing brunch drinks.
An iconic Melbourne establishment, Red Spice Road offers Asian cuisine which is heavily Thai influenced. 
We started our brunch with a couple of refreshing smoothies. Of particular note was the Bent Nut Smoothie made from Bee Pollen, Banana, Honey, Cashew, Soy Milk and Chia Seeds - delicious! 
Chicken, Pomelo, Peanut, Herb, Coconut Salad

The salad boasted an intriguing combination of luscious chicken, sweet pomelo and herbs, and was accented by crushed cashew nuts and bean sprouts. The dazzlingly fresh ingredients blended harmoniously with the coconut milk dressing which resulted in a clean and bright dish with a perfect salt-sour-heat balance.
Kuay Teow Nam-Spicy Broth with BBQ Pork, Pork Balls, Noodles, Peanuts, Water Spinach, Beanshoots & Basil

The Kuay Teow was absolutely stunning. Served with generous slices of lean, tender BBQ pork in a beautiful broth which possessed the customary punchy flavours exhibited by South East Asian cuisine. The broth boasted a great depth of flavour and went well with the slippery noodles.
Sticky Rice with Coconut, Pineapple, Strawberry, Watermelon & Mint

A modern breakfast take on the traditional Thai dessert of black sticky rice pudding with coconut, this bowl of goodness arrived as pretty as a picture, boasting a lovely deep purple colour. Red Spice Road’s version was absolutely moreish - luscious and striking without being too sweet and with an expertly balanced level of salt. It was wonderful with the wonderfully fresh pineapples, strawberries, watermelon and mint.
Red Spice Road QV provides a new dimension to brunch in Melbourne by offering an authentic Thai breakfast experience that is tasty, fresh and impactful. Definitely worth checking out. 

What: Sunday brunch at Red Spice Road QV
When: Every Sunday from 10:30am - 5:00pm 
Where: Red Spice Road QV, 31 Artemis Lane QV, Melbourne
Phone: 8660 6300
Cuisine: Thai, South East Asian

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Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Apples + Pears Entertainment Group.

Restaurant & Bar Dansk

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Restaurant Dansk.
Restaurant Dansk impresses with outstanding contemporary Danish cuisine. Located in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the Restaurant Dansk is a brilliant introduction to Nordic cuisine and focuses on modern techniques to emphasise clean, crisp flavours, especially from hedgerows.
The menu created by top Danish chef Bente Grysbæk and Head Chef, Zoran Micevski is exciting without being over-theatrical, featuring lighter and traditional dishes like smørrebrod to bolder and more heartier dishes. 
The design of the dining room is Nordic cool at its best - egalitarian, clean, understated and timeless. 
Copenhagen - Bols Genever, Cherry Heering, lime juice, Angostura Bitters

Our dining experience at Restaurant Dansk commenced with a lovely cocktail over some traditional dark Danish rye bread based starters. The Copenhagen, a classic Denmark House cocktail combined a slight anise flavour from the Bols Genever and was perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the Cheery Heering liqueur while delivering a fresh sourness from the lime and aroma from the Angostura Bitters.
Curried herring on organic rye bread

The curried herring (a cherished staple) was a smooth exotic taste combining flavours of the orient and the north. 
Pate on organic rye bread

The pate on the other hand was light with beautifully caramelised onions which added sweetness and crispy bacon which added an addictive salinity to the dish.
Seafood sausages made with scallops and prawns served with sautéed spinach and creamy scallop sauce

This seemingly casual dish sausages was the absolute highlight of our evening. Carefully and intelligently composed to combine texture and flavour in exciting ways, the delicate seafood sausage of emulsified mousseline was poached to perfection before searing. The result was sensational - a light in texture and flavoursome scallop and prawn sausage with luxurious scallop beurre blanc and wonderfully wilted spinach. The addition of coriander was a masterstroke which added interest and a delightful freshness.
Braised pears and apples served with sweet crumbs, whipped cream and pear chips

The pear apple crumble consisted of syrupy morsels of pear and apple which harmonised with the biscuit-like crumble.
Warm beer porridge and white chocolate ganache

Made from Dansk Restaurant’s organic rye bread and dark ale, the bread and beer porridge had a wonderfully rich, complex taste. We loved the addition of decadent chocolate ganache which echoed the creaminess of the porridge. It was both interesting and absolutely delicious.
A Danish oasis with plenty of gastronomic rigour, Restaurant Dansk stands out from the crown with Nordic clean-tasting, honest dishes made from impeccable ingredients. 

Location: Level 3, 428 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9600 4477
Cuisine: Danish, European, Nordic

Restaurant & Bar DANSK on Urbanspoon

Thunder Road Brewing Co. + Mensousai Mugen Ramen Beer and Japanese Media Dinner

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Thunder Road Brewing Co. + Mensousai Mugen Ramen Bar.
Gastrology was recently invited to a Japanese Dinner paired with Thunder Road Saison Japon, Silver Medal Winner at the Australian International Beer Awards 2014, and other Thunder Road Brewing Co. Beers.
Located in a hidden alley way, Mensousai Mugen offers an intimate dining experience over 2 floors. The menu features Ramen or Tsukemen and a delicious range of Japas (Japanese Tapas) to share alongside a range of selected wines and beers from the bar.
Renown Chef Kin San (Ikuei Arakane), Yoshi Kurosawa, the owner of Mugen Ramen Bar and Robot Bar across the road, were our hosts for the evening. We also gained insight into the delicious beers over the course of the evening as we heard from Colin Paige (Master Brewer) and Marcus Cox (Senior Brewer) from Thunder Road Brewing Co. 
Saison Japon is a collaboration between Thunder Road Brewing Co. and Yoshi Kurosawa who just so happens to be a master cocktail alchemist. The beer is the perfect match for Japanese food, having European complexity as well as Japanese finesse. Infused with the four traditional Japanese botanicals including Konbu, Shiso, Yuzu and Ume, the result is a wonderful new style of beer.
What was clear from the food we devoured was the Mensousai Mugen philosophy - the focus on high quality produce and provision of a unique experience.
Japanese konbu seaweed cured snapper with yuzu sushi rice roll

Our favourite beer and food match was this snapper and the Saison Japon. The aromatic, complex bitter and sweet flavours of the Yuzu immersed the tender pieces of snapper while the sushi rice was perfectly made. Together with the Saison Japon, this dish was sensational. 
Sous-vide cooked Wagyu slice with spicy fruit soy dipping sauce and black sansho pepper

The Wagyu beef was stunning, exhibiting a melt in the mouth tenderness typical of a quality piece of Wagyu Beef. The spicy soy dipping sauce added a delicious savoury note while the black Sancho pepper added a desirable heat.
Roast duck breast slice wrapped soba crepe with yuzu & saikyo miso dip

We loved the duck’s thin crispy skin and the healthy layer of unctuous duck fat that lay atop the tender duck meat. The yuzu and saikyo miso dip provides a rich and robust flavour to the crepe wrapped duck pieces. With the crunchy cucumber to counteract the richness of the duck, it was simply delicious.   
Slow cooked pork belly and parsnip puree with beer wheat served red wine vinegar 

The large nugget of moist pork belly, which contained the perfect amount of unctuous fat, encased in a crisp outer crust imbibed with red wine vinegar was spectacular. Each bite was gratifying. We loved the addition of crispy beer wheat which added both texture and complexity.  
White fish of the day served with Japanese Gin–an sauce

The final course of White fish of the day served with Japanese Gin–an sauce was, for us, the dish of the night. The fish was exceedingly tender, having retained its characteristic delicate texture. The fish boasted a lovely sweetness and juiciness which was further enhanced by the accompanying broth. The crispy skin looked and tasted amazing.
We loved Mugen Ramen’s distinctive Japanese cuisine which sets it apart from the crowd. Together with delicious beers from Thunder Road Brewing Co, the venue is a place where good food and good times go hand-in-hand. 

Location: 11 Bligh Pl  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9620 3647
Cuisine: Japanese, Noodle Shop, Tapas, Bar

Mensousai Mugen on Urbanspoon Robot Bar on Urbanspoon

New Premium Stacked Burgers @ TGI Fridays [April 1 to May 13]

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of TGI Fridays (Melbourne Central).
TGI Fridays has taken a page from its own legendary playbook, taking the burger, an all-time American bar and grill favourite, and raising it (quite literally) to new heights.
TGI Fridays has recently introduced a new burger menu that includes the following 5 Stacked Burgers served with freshly-baked, buttery, brioche-style buns:

1. French Onion
Creamy melted Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses topped with savoury caramelized onions, frizzled onions and drizzled with horseradish sauce.

2. Mushroom chicken mushroom
Filled with crispy breaded chicken breast, melted Mozzarella cheese and horseradish sauce topped with sauteed mushrooms, balsamic onions and battered Portobello mushrooms.

3. New York Deli
Freshly carved corned beef, tart sauerkraut, melted Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing topped with an oversized dill pickle. 

4. Philly cheese steak
Thinly shaved rib eye steak, melted Mozzarella cheese, horseradish sauce, and oven roasted capsicum, onion, and mushrooms topped with creamy queso sauce.

5. Twisted Southwest
Our favourite Stacked Burger, the Twisted Southwest has a real “kick”. Topped with crisp Potato Twisters and oozing with melted Cheddar cheese, the burger is filled with freshly made Pico de Gallo, pickled jalapenos and chopped cilantro and finished with warm queso cheese sauce.
We loved that each burger is served with crisp iceberg lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes, crunchy pickles and sliced onions in freshly-baked buns. The result is an indulgently delicious taste in every bite.
TGI Fridays is an American casual bar and grill that differentiates itself with a unique point of view, promising to deliver an energizing Friday feeling for every guest – any day of the week.

The new Stacked Burger line-up takes TGI’ Friday’s classic burgers to a new level, delivering on TGI Friday’s promise to provide great food to every guest through innovative menu items that highlight freshness and premium ingredients.

These premium stacked burgers will be available until the 13th of May.

TGI Fridays on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of TGI Fridays (Melbourne Central).

Express Lunches @ Asian Beer Cafe & Father's Office​

$9.50 Bento Lunch Box @ Asian Beer Cafe
The Asian Beer Café at Melbourne Central needs no introduction. Well known for its Asian inspired interior, central location, bustling ambience and amazing views out to Swanston Street, the Asian Beer Café is a great place for a bite to eat or a drink with friends.

Gastrology bloggers were recently invited to sample the new $9.90 lunch bento boxes. There are 4 different options to choose from such as Chicken, Vegetarian, Beef and Seafood, each of which adopts the Japanese concept of bento boxes but are distinctly south east Asian and Indian in terms of their contents.
Chicken bento
Beef bento

We found both were very flavoursome, the portions were big and each box had a great variety of flavours. Definitely a great value for money lunchtime proposition.

$15 Corporate lunch @ Father's Office

Located on Little Lonsdale St, Father’s Office Speakeasy Bar & Restaurant is designed in the style of a prohibition era, 1920s American bar.

The drinks menu continues this theme with a wide range of whiskeys and rums, as well as a variety of beers on tap. The food menu is largely American inspired and comprises both a more traditional a la carte menu as well as a bar menu.

Gastrology bloggers were recently invited to sample the new $15 express lunch menu. The wide range of options available for $15 includes a soft drink which can be upgraded to an alcoholic beverage for $2 extra.
Garlic and leek sausages 
Chargrilled Victorian free range pork sausages topped with fresh spring onion and a house made stick jus laid on a bed of Californian mash
Roasted winter vegetable salad
Selection of seasonal winter vegetables roasted and tossed with baby spinach and cherry tomatoes through a house made balsamic vinaigrette then finally topped with pan fried Haloumi

We found the express lunch enjoyable, generously proportioned and great value – overall, a great workday option that won't break the bank.

Asian Beer Cafe on Urbanspoon Father's Office Speakeasy Bar and Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Gastrology bloggers dined at Asian Beer Cafe & Father's Office courtesy of Retail Savvy Group.

Fire in the Bowl @ Oriental Tea House

Location: Gd 068/69 Melbourne Central Shopping Centre (Enter via Elizabeth St. entrance)
Phone: 03 9066 0207
Cuisine: Chinese
What has three serves of dumplings, sweet potato noodles, tofu skin, cabbage, pieces of chicken and fish and A TONNE of chilli and peppers…?
It’s Oriental Teahouse’s aptly named 'Fire in the Bowl’!
Peach Melba ice tea - to help us handle the heat
Calm & Concentration tea - to calm us down after the fiery experience

After the recent launch of Fire in the Bowl, Gastrology bloggers experienced the theatre of this truly hot pot and tested our spice tolerance a couple of days ago at Oriental Teahouse in Melbourne Central. 
Costing a mere $12.50 for a generous *hot* pot, you get to choose from three levels of heat – mild, medium or spicy! 
The hot pots are very tasty but be warned, the hua jiao (Szechuan Pepper) is certainly not for the faint-hearted. Fire in the Bowl is certainly all you would expect from an authentic Szechuan Hot Pot and we couldn’t help but go back for more!

  Oriental Tea House on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Oriental Tea House

Cafe Review: Bing Boy

Location: Melbourne Central
Phone: 03 9922 1100
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Sandwiches/Subs
Bing Boy is a new urban Asian street food outlet which combines Asian and Western cuisines to create a new funky fresh style which is suitable for people of all ages.
Bing Boy serves wheat wraps with a distinctive Asian fusion flavour and has recently opened its second Melbourne store in Melbourne Central. The omelette wraps have a brilliantly distinctive soft texture are a great alternative to the traditional wraps that are commonly available.
Bing Boy is a great alternative to a fast food lunch, the exciting new food outlet provides a selection of “Bings” based on the traditional “Jian Bing” - a street food originating from China. The thin wheat omelette wraps are filled with a choice of fresh meat, fish, or vegetables – making them a healthy and an extremely tasty food choice.

Bing Boy Melbourne Central on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Bing Boy