Public House

Elegant and approachable, Public House impresses with a delicious menu that spans a wide range of world-inspired dishes.
The moody colour scheme and lighting accented by Art Deco detail within an industrial design create a relaxed ambience that is perfect for socialising. 
The kitchen is in safe hands under the guidance of Head Chef Paul Muir. Muir’s talent is palpable, courtesy of a successful career in Victoria’s epicurean scene, having previously headed the kitchen at Bacash and Stones of the Yarra Valley.

In line with Public House’s social setting, the menu items are designed primarily for sharing. 
Tempura battered zucchini flowers filled with Persian fetta & mint

The tempura zucchini flowers stuffed with Persian fetta and mint and served atop a dollop of luscious hummus were excellent.  The batter encasing the zucchini flowers was ethereally light and crisp while the stuffing was rich and flavoursome.  Combined with the creamy hummus, the dish was a delight to eat.
Grilled Hervey Bay scallops, waikami, salmon roe

The scallops were perfectly seared and bursting with sweetness - further enhanced by the restrained savouriness of the waikami. 
Fried soft shell crab tacos, corn & avocado salsa, kewpie mayo

We adored the beautifully crispy and juicy soft shell crab. The deep fried crustacean pieces were coated in a semi-thick crisp batter that encapsulated firm, sweet flesh. With a touch of freshness from the sweet corn salsa and fresh herbs, it was a playful and delicious dish.
Grilled Calamari, du puy lentils, chorizo, parsley sauce

The grilled calamari was another crowd favourite. Tender ribbons of beautifully grilled, unbelievably tender calamari were enhanced by spicy chorizo and fresh parsley sauce. The calamari was beautifully cooked and perfectly seasoned with a distinctly Spanish influence.
Crispy pork belly, hoi sin, Vietnamese herbs, picked vegetable salad

Each pork belly slice had been succulently roasted to retain a porky juiciness and retaining a healthy layer of melt-in-the-mouth fat in the process. The accompanying salad featured dazzlingly fresh ingredients which blended harmoniously, resulting in a clean and bright dish with balance.
Pork Belly Bao

The pork belly bao was wonderful. Featuring the tried and true flavour combination of hoisin sauce and crispy pork belly, it truly hit the mark. The outside of the bun was pan fried, resulting in a crisp exterior which echoed the crispy pork belly within.
Ricotta gnocchi, roasted pumpkin, walnuts, shaved parmesan, basil oil

Our favourite dish of the night, the house made ricotta gnocchi was simply superb. It was a faultless dish of light, fluffy gnocchi with a crisp exterior combined with sweet roasted pumpkin, crunchy walnuts and wonderful freshness from the basil oil.  
Rhubarb & frangipani tart, soft meringue, vanilla bean ice cream

This striking dessert of Rhubarb and frangipani tart was an explosion of flavour. The soft meringue was addictively sweet and melted in the mouth. Paired with the exquisitely short crumbly pastry, gooey rhubarb centre and vanilla bean ice cream, it was a beautifully balanced dessert.
Chocolate & Nutella pave, saffron pear, mascarpone 

Featuring rich chocolate and Nutella, the pave was a decadent end to a decadent meal. The saffron pear was desirably tender and fragrant and paired well with the chocolate, as did the mascarpone.
Selection of truffles (white chocolate, lemon & coconut, cherry & dark chocolate, almond & dark chocolate, pistachio & dark chocolate)
Located in the heart of Richmond, Public House delivers on all fronts - the dishes are bold and diverse, the staff friendly and the environment modern and relaxed.

Location: 435 Church Street, Richmond, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9421 0187
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Public House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Public House.

Hotel Lincoln

MoVida Aqui’s ex-manager, Iain Ling has taken over historic Carlton pub, Hotel Lincoln. While the iconic pub’s architectural features have remained the same, the food offerings have been revamped. 
Having assembled a dream team with Lachlan Cameron (Supernormal, MoVida Aqui) running the kitchen, Emma Ramos (Le Bon Ton, The Everleigh) behind the bar and Paul Guiney (most recently floor manager for Brooks) running the floor, Ling has breathed new life into the Lincoln with a menu that pushes pub boundaries.
We were pleased to indulge in a specially curated dinner featuring some of their most popular dishes.
Spanner crab, corn crackers

Atop the perfectly crisp corn crackers lay soft shreds of beautifully sweet spanner crab.  We loved this delicate start to our dinner. 
Coffee-cured trout with radish and nashi pear

The cured trout was delicious. A wonderful mélange of flavours, the cured ocean trout slices boasted a distinct coffee taste and aroma. We loved the addition of radish and nashi pear which added a delightful freshness to the dish.
Beetroot, pickled green tomato, farro, goats’ cheese

We were particularly pleased with this dish of perfectly balanced flavours. Luxurious goat’s cheese paired beautifully with the slight acidity from the beetroot and pickled green tomato which brought a lovely tanginess that cut through the creaminess of the cheese while the farro added a lovely textural element. It all came together beautifully.
From left: Triple cooked chips; Brussel sprouts, nduja, slow cooked egg
Lamb shoulder, pickled fennel, rocket

The lamb shoulder was superbly slow roasted and was incredibly tender and went very well with the well-conceived side dishes.
Chocolate & beetroot pudding, crème anglaise

The desserts at the Lincoln were similarly well devised. Our dessert of Chocolate & beetroot pudding was well made with gooey chocolate centre and a slightly crisp cake exterior. The classic combination of citrus (in the form of dehydrated orange zests) further enhanced the dark chocolate flavours while the addition of beetroot in the constituent batter ensured the pudding was beautifully moist.
Having earned a nomination for ‘People’s Choice’ at the Time Out Melbourne Pub Awards, our recent visit has certainly helped us understand why. The Lincoln is reaching exciting new heights that go above and beyond what you would expect. 

Location: 91 Cardigan Street, Carlton
Phone: 03 9347 4666
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Click to add a blog post for Hotel Lincoln on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Hotel Lincoln.

‪#‎from5fridays @ Royal Saxon

To celebrate the start of Melbourne's beautiful autum, Royal Saxon are spicing up your Fridays with ‪#‎from5fridays. And you guessed it... it all starts from 5.

The Saxon have also recently launched a delicious

new autumn menu

which has kept us coming back more.

If you've never had the Saxon's charming Italian pizzas before, you'll get to experience their magic during ‪#‎from5fridays‬ where the Saxon shout everyone complimentary pizzas from 5-6! So keep a look out for those delicious pizzas when you're there.

And please... please stay back for dessert. If you do, we recommend 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!

Think good tunes, cocktails & delicious aperitivo - All available from 5 PM every Friday.




From 5 PM every Friday


545 Church Street, Richmond


03 9429 5277



Italian, Pub/Bar Food, Coffee

Read our review of their new autumn menu 



Royal Saxon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Burns Hotel on Urbanspoon

The Racecourse Hotel

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Racecourse Hotel.
Established in 1858, The Racecourse Hotel has a long and rich history with the locals in Malvern East.

The pub is located on the corner of Waverly and Dandenong Road directly across Monash University and is within walking distance from the Caulfield Racecourse. Its location makes it easily accessible by tram or train.
The venue has recently been refurbished, boasting a new dining room which is ready to serve the locals with pub classics, modern fare and excellent service. 
Caramelized scallops with prosciutto & cauliflower cream

The bistro is opened 7 days a week from midday til late. The chefs have developed a menu that features pub favourites as well as signature dishes to ensure there is something for everyone.
Lamb kofta w pearl cous cous, smoked eggplant relish &coriander leaves

We started with entrees of Caramelized scallops and Lamb kofta. The scallops were plump and worked well with the creamy cauliflower puree. The Lamb Kofta on the other hand was a simple and tasty starter that was packed with flavour.
Eye fillet – 200gm Served with chips & house made tomato relish w your choice of sauce
Veal saltimbocca with prosciutto, fried sage and burnt butter w nicola potatoes

The veal was our favourite course from the evening. Beautifully tender, the veal had a melt in your mouth consistency. The prosciutto added a delightful salinity to the dish while the fried sage delivered a mouth-watering aroma. 
We enjoyed the option of having Greek coffee with our desserts.
Rhubarb and pear crumble

The Rhubarb and pear crumble consisted of syrupy morsels of rhubarb and pear which harmonised with the biscuit-like crumble.
Chocolate fondant

The chocolate fondant was lovely and featured an oozy chocolate centre. 
With a clean fresh look that honours the stories told by this significant structure; Racecourse Hotel and its people are here to make your visit a memorable one.

Location: 895 Dandenong Road  Malvern East
Phone: 03 9571 2154
Cuisine: Pub Food, Modern

Racecourse Hotel on Urbanspoon

The Wolf and I

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Wolf and I. Mention this review when you book for a special complimentary surprise.
Combining Scandinavian-inspired interior, great Aussie pub grub and a firm focus on affordable hospitality, the Wolf and I is a great addition to Windsor’s bustling food precinct.
The venue sits upon a historic site which occupies the former old Swan Hotel and is split into three distinct areas:  front bar, dining room and casual seating areas. The ambience is warm and inviting with stylish furnishings and fittings, exposed brick walls and timber ceilings. 
The kitchen is in safe hands with Head Chef Daniel Groom leading the charge. Groom had his most recent stint at Leftbank Restaurant and Bar and has a decade worth of experience at impressive dining establishments in the UK and Denmark.  
The menu features Modern Australian fare as well as pub classics. 
Duck cigars with chilli jam sauce

An Asian take on the cigar, the mouth-watering pastry cigars were delightful. Biting through thin, crunchy exterior pastry, our taste buds were greeted with a flavoursome concoction of tender duck, carrot, coriander and crisp shallots. 
Quinoa salad

An enlivening salad of quinoa, roasted pumpkin, sunflower seeds, Danish feta, candied walnuts, parsley and brought together with a basil pesto dressing, the salad was a medley of exciting flavours and textures which will appeal to even the most carnivorous individuals.
Barramundi, carrot puree, bacon lardons, barramundi croquettes, israeli cous cous, sweet corn & red wine jus

The quality of the barramundi was exemplary. The skin of the fish was perfectly seared to be very crisp while the flesh was delicate and moist. It was a wonderfully simple dish that allowed the natural subtle sweetness of the fish to be enjoyed.
Lamb rump, broad beans, pea puree, lamb beignets, gratin potato & balsamic jus

The lamb rump was an excellent dish. The lamb was very tender and fell away easily with the weight of our forks. Coated with a beautiful balsamic jus sauce, both items were very enjoyable to consume. The accompanying balsamic jus was beautiful, as was the pea puree which was creamy and well-seasoned.
Sticky date pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream

Mastering the perfect amount of sweetness, this dessert was a truly ambrosial version of the classic sticky date pudding. The pudding was well made and decadently coated in copious amounts of luscious caramel sauce.
Chocolate fondant, mascarpone cream, hazelnut crumbs and pistachio ice cream

Well made with a rich billowing chocolate centre and a slightly crisp cake exterior, this dessert would delight any chocolate lover.  The pistachio ice cream which accompanied the fondant matched it well and was refreshingly light and fragrant.  
The Wolf and I offers uncomplicated, affordable, masterfully executed pub favourites as well as Modern Australian dishes within a highly contemporary fit-out which combines the best of old and new. 

Location: 152 Chapel Street, Windsor 
Phone: 03 9510 1819
Cuisine: Pub Food, Modern Australian

Don't forget to mention this review when you book for a special complimentary surprise!

The Wolf and I on Urbanspoon

Part 2 - Trip to Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges - Holgate Brewhouse

Part 2 - Trip to Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges - Holgate Brewhouse

Holgate Brewhouse continues its legacy of sharing premium boutique beer to its many fans. The one hour drive from Melbourne CBD, is immediately justified with a pint of any of their hand crafted all malt real ales and lagers.

Read More

Saturday nights @ Woolshed Pub

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Woolshed Pub.
Overlooking the picturesque water and city lights, Woolshed is the quintessential waterfront venue offering innovative cuisine in a relaxed environment.
Located within a heritage building, the venue boasts sun-drenched dining areas during the day and romantic and beautiful views spreading across the boardwalk at night.
The menu showcases pub favourites as well as modern Australian cuisine with subtle Mediterranean influences with a variety of share plates and a la carte options standing alongside a thoughtfully selected wine list. The weekday specials offer exceptional value.
Chickpea kofte, tahini, sumac, lemon 

The chickpea kofte was beautifully made. Wonderfully crisp and combined with sumac to provide a delicious salinity to the dish, a squeeze of tart lemon juice ensured the dish had requisite balance. It was a simple dish executed perfectly.
Cured ocean trout 

The cured trout was delicious. A wonderful mélange of sweetness and acidity, the cured ocean trout slices were embellished with aioli, thinly sliced onions and pickled cucumber which produced an enlivening combination of flavours.
Chilli salted squid, parsley, salsa romesco 

The squid was very tender and was coated in a well seasoned, light and crisp batter. The smearing of salsa had a sharp tartness which complemented the fried squid.
Seared Kingfish, Fennel, Green Bean and salsa

The seared kingfish was a dish ordered from the specials menu and was delicious. The accompanying fennel and green bean added freshness and texture to the dish. The star of the dish, the kingfish was cooked to perfection. The flesh was succulent, delicate and had a rich buttery flavour.
Wagyu beef cheek braised in red wine with celeriac puree & gremolata 

Comfort food at its best, the beef cheek was very tender and fell away easily with the weight of the fork. Coated with a rich red wine braising sauce, it was absolutely delectable. This dish went very well with the celeriac puree which was delightfully creamy.
Nougat pistachio praline parfait, candied orange, dried figs, biscotti 

The nougat praline parfait was well made and accompanied by sweet candied orange and dried figs which were each bursting with flavour. The biscotti added a lovely crunchy element to the vibrant combination of flavours
Sticky date pudding, butterscotch sauce, vanilla bean ice-cream 

The sticky date pudding was wonderfully light and fluffy. It was an exemplary execution of the classic dessert. Decadently coated in copious amounts of rich butterscotch sauce, it was an absolute treat when eaten with the dense vanilla bean ice cream.

The Woolshed is the perfect spot to unwind with a cocktail, a glass of wine or a beer from the extensive beverage list over good food and stunning views.

Location: t18/161 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands
Phone: (03) 8623 9640
Cuisine: Modern Australian

Woolshed Pub on Urbanspoon

Monday Night African Feast from Jabili's Kitchen @ Mr Wow's Emporium

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Jabili's Kitchen.
Jabili's Kitchen is spicing up Monday nights at Mr Wow’s Emporium by introducing its new Monday Night Feast for two.
The Jabili’s Kitchen food truck is located at the back of iconic Mr Wow’s Emporium. 
Mr Wow’s Emporium serves an array of fine drinks. Best known for their cocktails ranging from classic favourites to the more exotic, Mr Wow also serves a selection of premium spirits, liqueurs, single malts, house-made bitters, fine-aged rum and wines. 
Mains: Braised goat in a tamarind ‘mannish water’ sauce; Sautéed baby squid with harissa tabouleh; Roast eggplant and tomato salad with a lemon & tahini dressing; Spice cous cous with saffron, currants, apricot & toasted almonds; Charred cauliflower in dukkah spice with a tamarind sauce
Condiments: Red onion ceviche, pickled cucumber, smoked pine nut satsivi, warmed injera bread

A delicious combination of five modern African flavours with accompaniments like injera bread and smoked pine nut satsivi, the feast is a sight to behold.

Both the vegetarian and meat dishes were delicious.

Our favourite vegetarian dish was the Charred cauliflower in dukkah spice with a tamarind sauce. It displayed a depth and complexity in flavour and had a lovely hint of sweetness that complemented the overall savouriness of the dish. 

The meat dishes were, like all of dishes we feasted upon, hearty. The braised goat in a tamarind ‘mannish water’ sauce was a particular standout. Each morsel was cooked to the point where the meat simply melted in our mouths. The flavours from the herbs and spices were unique and very enjoyable to eat.

The beautifully made injera which we used to pick up bites of the little dishes was the perfect canvas for the rich and spicy flavours.
The platter is a great introduction to African food and was simply delicious. Reasonably priced at $35 for two people, the Monday night African feast is a compelling proposition especially over a cocktail or two!

What: Monday Night African Feast 
Where: Jabili's Kitchen @ Mr Wow's Emporium, 97b Smith Street,  Fitzroy
Phone: 0421 483 464

Jabili's Kitchen on Urbanspoon Mr Wow's Emporium on Urbanspoon

What happened to Pugg Mahones?

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of the Shaw Davey Slum.
After 15 weeks of demolition and build, what used to be home to Pugg Mahones in Carlton has finally opened its doors as The Shaw Davey Slum. “The Slum”, as it has been affectionately termed, is unique in style, presentation and represents great value for money.
This is Anna Carosa and Stewart Koziora’s (Retail Savvy Group) 3rd venue and they are breaking the rules of design and price point whilst respecting the site and heritage of this iconic Carlton venue. 
The name ‘The Shaw Davey Slum’ is a play on words, based around a report on Poverty in 1958 written by two commissioners named Shaw and Davey; it was known as the windscreen survey (because they didn't get out of their cars), with recommendations to demolish areas of Carlton they deemed to be ‘slums'.
Crispy pork belly

This dish consisted of slow roasted pork belly pieces with crispy salty crackling served atop wild roquette dressed in a house made green apple and honey cider dressing, accompanied with a housemade apple and cranberry compote.
Stuffed field mushroom

A delightful dish of roasted giant field mushroom which was stuffed with a finely chopped mixture of macadamia nut, mushrooms, shallots and herbs that were sautéed in butter. It was also topped with goats cheese and served with baby spinach and a house made balsamic glaze.
Mega Chicken parma

The mega chicken parma was indeed MEGA. A large piece of chicken breast fillet was breaded with crunchy Kellogg’s corn flakes and topped with a house made Napoli sauce and a combination of Gruyere and mozzarella cheese.
All this for a mere $20!
Surf & Turf

For again, just $20, the Surf & Turf comprised of 200 grams of tender grass-fed MSA graded eye fillet beef cooked to our liking and was accompanied with garlic prawns, crispy pancetta, steamed broccolini and a house made Australian bush pepper Hollandaise.
Sweet potato chips
Background: Mulled Ribena
Foreground: Anzac biscuit ice cream sandwich

The Mulled Ribena was a lovely winter treat which was made from Ballantines, Ribena, red wine and orange juice which had been infused with cinnamon, star anise, cloves, honey water, orange and lemons.

We concluded our visit with a fun Aussie twist on a classic of ice cream sandwiched between two pieces of Anzac cookies. 
The venue also features a retractable rooftop bar (open Friday from 5pm with Dj’s upstairs starting at 7pm) which gives the space a more casual, outdoor feel than its lower level. 
The second level begins as you walk up the staircase past a stunning Swarovski crystal Chandelier and make your way to the 13 meter long bar, custom-made with concrete and sea shells from numerous beaches around Melbourne. A raised dance floor area with Beatles and Pineapple images are a throwback to the 1960’s In Australia.
Whatever direction you're heading - whether you're winding down or partying up, The Shaw Davey Slum are able to cater to your needs with a compelling value proposition.

The Shaw Davey Slum on Urbanspoon

Winter @ Royal Saxon

One of Melbourne's best bars, Royal Saxon offers a large selection of cocktails, beers and wine in a dynamic, bustling environment. Royal Saxon’s versatility is highlighted by the fact that it also operates as an Italian restaurant (and an amazing one at that).
Royal Saxon's dining area has a relaxed ambience with a large central bar that dominates the interior. Striped napkins sit atop the bare wooden tables with views to Church Street or the Royal Saxon courtyard (where on Sundays, you might catch a glimpse of the delicious spit roast).  
Under the guidance of head chef Simone Righetto, the kitchen serves consistently excellent Italian cuisine. All the pasta is handmade daily and the salumi and other cured meats are lovingly produced from scratch. 
Chef Righetto’s resume is impressive, previously holding high profile roles including stints with ‘Gamberro Rosso’; a 2 Michelin Star restaurant in Tuscany, ‘Perbellini’; 2 Michelin Star Restaurant in Verona and ‘Murano’; a 1 Michelin Star restaurant in London.
Margherita - tomato, oregano and fior di latte

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. We love their classic margherita - think layers of mozzarella teamed with delightfully fresh basil and juicy ripe tomatoes. Encircled with a puffy crisp crust, this pizza is consistently superb.
Duck ragu parpadelle 

As expected of any great Italian eatery, Royal Saxon is particularly good at producing quality pasta dishes. The parpadelle that we had was no exception. The parpadelle was expertly cooked and retained a slight residual bite. The other ingredients combined to create a wonderful complexity of flavour – the duck ragu was deliciously flavoursome and tender.
Pan roasted barramundi fillet with new season artichoke trifolati, mint and broad beans

Seared beautifully on the outside and wonderfully moist on the inside, the barramundi was stunning. The broad beans and the buttery, soft artichoke were the perfect accompaniment. A profoundly delicious dish displaying great technique. 
Our favourite dessert from the new winter menu was the delightful tiramisu. Well made, with its flavour heavily dominated by the constituent alcoholic component, it was a simple and traditional dessert that was well executed and thoroughly enjoyable.
The chefs at Royal Saxon deliver highly memorable, superbly executed Italian cuisine and service with panache and precision - every dish we have ordered from our numerous visits has been perfectly seasoned and consistently excellent. The new winter menu is no different.

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

Read about #SaxItUp @ Royal Saxon here // Read about Sunday #SpinsandSpits @ Royal Saxon here.

Royal Saxon on Urbanspoon

#SAXITUP launches @ Royal Saxon

Images courtesy of APL PHOTOGRAPHY.
To celebrate the start of the bone chilling Melbourne Winter, Royal Saxon are SAXing Up your Friday nights.
On Friday the 16th of May, Royal Saxon celebrated the start of #SAXITUP Fridays with plenty of libations, delicious canapes and tunes from DJs Piero, Funky Col and Rowie.
Think good tunes, Spiced Apple Cider cocktails & Laurent Perrier Champagne upstairs at the Saxon - All available from 8 PM every Friday.
When: From 8 PM every Friday
Location: 545 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9429 5277
Cuisine: Italian, Pub/Bar Food, Coffee

29th Apartment Relaunches

29th Apartment has received a good old-fashioned cut and polish. She’s shiny and new and just dying to take you by the hand and lead you astray - And you won’t be able to resist.
We were privileged to meet Steve and Keti Thomas, co-owners of 29th Apartment and Chapel Street’s Pawn & Co. (one of the 5 most dazzling bars in the world according to Forbes magazine) who were behind the refitted, refurbished and revolutionised 29th Apartment.

Steve provided us with a full run down on the story behind 29th and its renovations. In short, 29th Apartment is a re-creation of the apartment originally owned by the salacious Katishe, a lady of the night who endeavoured to become a famous artist who, as the story goes, lived in the apartment before leaving for New York and unwittingly becomes St Kilda’s premiere lady. 
Katishe's paintings adorn the walls and tell stories of the streets of New York. These stories are brought to life through the venue’s introduction of three-dimensional elements, offering an inspiring and eclectic journey through a fusion of Katishe’s apartment and the city that never sleeps. 

The menu

The venue boasts New York landscapes, a comfy lounge room with an array of games, a raised “fire escape” seating outside an apartment building, Katishe’s bedroom – complete with a NY style bed that folds away to reveal a fireplace and mantle, a bathroom, a bus stop, booth seating outside a hotel and a graffiti-filled dodgy alleyway.
The cocktails at 29th Apartment were amply sweet and to our delight, they were also very generous with that volatile substance we love. A good cocktail should always have a decent Alcohol By Volume (ABV) reading and these did not disappoint.
Buffalo wings
NY Steakhouse Burger
Goats cheese pizza (Note: Pizzas are $1 on Wednesday nights!)

The NYC-inspired dishes are the choice with any drink. We particularly enjoyed their finger lickin' Buffalo wings. In general, the dishes served are unfussy, tasty and brilliant to share. 
29th Apartment offers an experience that sparks the imagination and stimulates the senses, making this a trendy and affordable hangout for any crowd.

 29th Apartment on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of 29th Apartment.

Good Food Month (and beyond) @ New Gold Mountain

Location: Level 1, 21 Liverpool Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 8859
Cuisine: Pub/Bar Food
Overall Impression: 8/10
In classic Melbourne style, New Gold Mountain is hidden down a laneway and bustling behind a concealed door. Beyond this seemingly innocuous and normal looking exterior lies a slice of Old-world Shanghai, a glamorous yet debaucherous space reminiscent of an opium bar from a time long forgotten.

New Gold Mountain serves up an array of rarely seen and tasted delights. As its name alludes, New Gold Mountain is all about searching for classic gems in unexpected places. As some of New Gold Mountain's soon to be patrons may not realise, this cocktail bar is doing things a little differently and a little bit more sweetly.
New Gold Mountain is currently the only bar in Melbourne serving LuxBite's extremely popular range of cakes and macarons until the early hours of the morning. For the many addicts of LuxBite's morsels, New Gold Mountain is the destination to flock to. As part of Good Food Month, New Gold Mountain is offering an exclusive cocktail and Luxbite cake combination for a mere $20.  
From November LuxBite will be serving up a decadent bespoke cake, fittingly called Black is the New Gold. Featuring black tea chocolate mousse, blackberry crème and a black chocolate glaze, this delightful new dessert caters for patrons with gluten and nut allergies. This will be elegantly matched with a cocktail named 'Ode to Ada'. The ‘Ode to Ada’ cocktail has an Earl Grey base flavour and is macerated with Tanqueray, sweet vermouth and Crème Da Cassis. 

We met New Gold Mountain’s passionate General Manager, Callan Green who explained that ‘Ode to Ada’ is crafted in house by their skilled team of bartenders (as are all their cocktails). 

The passion for quality, consistency and presentation is evident with this delicious cocktail. The cocktail is sophisticated and mature and matches the cake perfectly. The cake in turn accentuates the distinctive flavours of the cocktail.
Reinventing the late night drink and eat experience, New Gold Mountain allows customers to satisfy their sweet tooth with a delectable selection of cocktails and exclusive LuxBite sweets until 5am. This delectable repose is ideal for night owls looking for a place to while the early hours of the morning away, while being pampered with great cocktails and delicious LuxBite gems to accompany them.

New Gold Mountain on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of New Gold Mountain.

Celebrate Spring with lazy Sundays @ Royal Saxon

Location: 545 Church Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 9429 5277
Cuisine: Italian, Pub/Bar Food, Coffee
Overall Impression: 8/10 
After the success of Spins, Spits and Swallows in July and August, the restaurant is continuing these Lazy Sunday sessions over spring!

Every Sunday from 12 pm to 8 pm this Spring, the Royal Saxon serves up succulent spring lamb panini from the courtyard spit and a special 2 course, Sunday Spring Lamb Roast set menu on top of their delicious a la carte menu. 
Buzzing for lunch on a Sunday, the Royal Saxon is a great place to finish the weekend off, especially given the Sunday specials include $5 Heineken, $5 Coldstream Cider, $12 Laurent Perrier and $20 Pink Lemonade cocktail carafes. 
Royal Saxon's hearty modern Italian menu and sharp, friendly service makes it a perfect Sunday lunch destination. Head down to the Royal Saxon for a spring celebration with Spins, Spits and Swallows over a cheeky cocktail and some delicious Spring Lamb Roast.

Royal Saxon on Urbanspoon

Markov's makeover

Location: 350 Drummond Street, Carlton
Phone: 03 9347 7113
Cuisine: Gastropub, Pub/Bar

Markov Beer & Dining had recently undergone an "extreme makeover". Now it’s Markov: a craft beer and dining venue in a designer warehouse space.

White walls that once displayed dated Spanish posters have been chipped back to reveal original brick foundations. The red feature wall is now a white canvas for a sea of metallic stick figures by local street artist Tom Civil, a nod to another of his pieces in the rear laneway, Markov Place.
 The new menu features 'Urban Comfort Food' which aims to serve the food that respects seasonal produce without disguising it as something it’s not.
Head Chef Trumble Dewé, has worked beer into dishes where he can—chicken schnitzel with apple cabbage slaw and pale ale relish, and pork and porter spare ribs with shallots, lime and coriander.
Other highlights include hot wings with ranch, lime and spiced salt school prawns, and warm beetroot, grain and yoghurt salad. Markov’s wine list is an around the world ticket from France, Italy and Spain to America, Argentina and then back home again. There are 15 reds and 15 whites, with three of each available by the glass.
From the sweet corner, lemon and ginger doughnuts served with passionfruit curd are popular.
Markov ditches fussiness in favour of deliciousness with a focus on affordability (mains average $22) and generous portion sizes. With its attractive and comfortable décor, unfussy menu and a drinks list that doesn’t forgo craft for accessibility, the new Markov is sure to become a regular dining destination for locals and newcomers alike.

  Markov on Urbanspoon

Restaurant Review: Josie Bones

Location: 98 Smith Street Collingwood
Phone: 03 9417 1878
Cuisine: Tapas, Pub/Bar Food
Overall Impression: 6/10

Set along Smith Street, Josie Bones has become a highlight for beer lovers during Melbourne evenings. Josie Bones features a wide range of beers from popular boutiques to lesser-known imported options - some even aged in whisky casks.
The restaurant has a solid menu which is aimed squarely at carnivores. There's ample seating and the staff are friendly. 
Whilst we enjoyed the beer and food at Josie Bones, the service really struggled - perhaps as a result of us being a party of 10. We were kept waiting a very long time before our first course arrived, and then again in between each further course.

However, given the clear calibre of the kitchen and the seductive list of beers on offer, we would definitely be open to returning in the future, but this time we'll just get a table for 2.

Josie Bones on Urbanspoon