Dear Liza

Dear Liza is a relatively new eatery on St Kilda Road demonstrating a unique dining experience that has left customers wanting more. 
Owner, Rochelle, makes a conscious effort to accommodate for a range of customers’ needs and aims to deliver a welcoming and friendly experience for anyone who walks through the door. 
The restaurant operates as a cafe by day with lighter options. By night, the restaurant specialises in ribs, seafood and salads with plenty of Build Your Own options.
Edamame: Chilli salt; Bacon; Lime zest and cracked pepper

Everything is made in house by a passionate team that aim to produce the highest quality of food coupled with exceptional service.
Grain & Seed Salad

The Grain & Seed Salad was an enlivening salad of quinoa, pomegranate seeds, slivered almonds, celery, pumpkin, pumpkin seeds, spring onion, feta, basil, mint and coriander was brought together with an OJ vinaigrette, the salad was a medley of exciting flavours and textures which will appeal to even the most carnivorous individuals.
Moreton bay bugs with garlic, chilli, parsley, lemon, crusty bread

The Moreton Bay bugs were stunning and cooked to perfection. The lemon beurre blanc with confit garlic accompanied the sweet Moreton Bay bugs perfectly resulting in a dish that was flavoursome, rich and complex.
Char-grilled smoky beef ribs

The beef ribs were tender, falling off the bone, juicy and packed with flavour. We loved the smoky flavour imparted.
Churros, Barbecued banana, 2 x char-grilled pineapple skewer, both dipping sauces and your choice of 1 serve of ice cream

A playful dessert platter concluded our evening. The churros were of particular note. Moist and light on the inside with a crispy exterior, we enjoyed dipping them in the 3 different dipping sauces before eating each bite with a mouthful of house made salted caramel ice cream.  
With good food, exceptional service and a touch of charm, Dear Liza ticks all the boxes and is more than capable of providing each diner with a memorable dining experience. 

Location: 181 St Kilda Road, St Kilda, 
Phone: 03 9534 5492
Cuisine: Seafood, Healthy Food, Sandwiches

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Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Dear Liza.

The Left-Handed Chef

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Left-Handed Chef.
With a name that pays homage to the man behind it all, The Left-Handed Chef is a café that pleases patrons with life’s simple pleasures done well. 
With a relaxed, unpretentious and uncomplicated approach, the food features a variety of brunch options that will suit everyone, coupled with a friendly ambience.
Led by owner and Chef Ehud Malka, the kitchen is in capable hands. Ehud’s passion for food is clear and it is this unwavering passion and love for the small pleasures in life that imbues his creations with an air of fun and joy.
Pulled pork tacos 

The tacos were filled with an addictive medley of crackling, hot apple chutney, coleslaw and slowly roasted pork. The pulled pork was both tender and delicious, with caramel undertones. This brunch dish had it all - crackling, tender meat and vibrant fresh flavours.
Haloumi salad

The haloumi salad was delicious. This seemingly simple dish boasted balanced layers of flavour. The deep fried, salty haloumi was crisp on the exterior and matched beautifully with the rocket, pistachio, roasted pumpkin and asparagus. The balsamic reduction provided sweetness and acid, as did the pomegranate which also added a wonderful textural element. 
Serving good food at affordable prices, the Left-Handed Chef has unsurprisingly become a favourite choice for locals. A lovely and versatile meeting place, the cafe caters for lunching families to passer-by’s looking for a quick bite.

Location: 219 Park Street, South Melbourne
Phone: 03 9645 5800
Link: Facebook
Cuisine: Coffee, Sandwiches, Salad, Brunch

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Breakfast @ De Mad Hatter

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of De Mad Hatter and Collins Square.
The owners of Beanstalk Cafe have recently expanded their café portfolio to include the De Mad Hatter.

Alice in Wonderland themed, the café possesses an eclectic charm with a contemporary vibe. Wooden benches, stools and ceiling suspended lighting with Alice in Wonderland themed pieces such as the Rabbit’s timepiece adorn the dining area.
De Mad Hatter has succeeded in crafting a convivial atmosphere in which to enjoy a weekday brunch. Friendly and hospitable wait staff will be at your service throughout your meal.
Home-made Birchers Muesli topped with yoghurt and fresh fruit

The home-made muesli was the highlight of our breakfast. A fresh, moist and delicious option, we loved the luxurious yoghurt and the freshness from the berries. 
Prosciutto & asparagus bruschetta with rocket, olive oil, poached egg & parmesan flakes

Two perfectly poached eggs were succulently seasoned with savoury prosciutto and accompanied by perfectly cooked asparagus. The highlight of the dish was the grilled bread which had a lovely crunchy yet chewy crust.  In all, this dish was a respectable assembly of breakfast essentials.
DMH Signature. Fried egg, chorizo, oven baked cheesy tortilla topped with fresh tomato & bean salsa
House made Pancakes topped with fruit compote served with ice cream & maple syrup

A simple breakfast favourite that amalgamates the best things in life (such as ice cream). The pancake was fluffy and moist and embellished with delicious fruit compote. 
The coffees at De Mad Hatter are excellent. Served with an intricate rosetta in the milk foam, both our cappuccino and latte were well made, with the slight sweetness of the frothed milk cutting through the residual brightness from the foundation espresso. 
The breakfast offerings at De Mad Hatter are respectable with reasonable prices and an extensive menu to suit most.

De Mad Hatter on Urbanspoon

Paperboy Kitchen has left the market

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Paperboy Kitchen.
From their pop-up debut at the People’s Market in December to permanent haunt in the CBD, Paperboy Kitchen is the real deal. The menu is simple, delicious and well-priced.
Vietnamese coffee
The main menu items come in either Rolls or Bowls. Rolls being your traditional banh mi and bowls being the Vietnamese bun noodles. All the main menu items come with Asian Slaw, Carrot-Daikon Pickle, Sriracha-Mayo and coriander
Pulled Lamb & Hoisin roll

We received a crunchy bread roll shimmered with Sriracha-Mayo, filled with generous serves of beautifully tender pulled lamb, topped with a salad of Asian Slaw, Carrot-Daikon Pickle, coriander and glossed in a hoi sin glaze. It was both fresh and very tasty.
Slow Cooked Beef bowl

The beef bun was a lively noodle salad with flavoursome Braised Brisket and served with the loveliest Pho dipper (beef broth). The noodles were topped with salad including pickled carrot, shredded lettuce, cucumber, a sprinkle of fried shallots and mixed herbs - all finished with a generous helping of Sriracha-Mayo and Coriander.
Milk Bar Cookie

The milk bar cookie was as described, “Sweet and Salty Deliciousness”. Made with chocolate chips, pretzels, salt and vinegar chips and other naughty things, it was a delicious end to our visit. 
A budget-priced eatery with dishes reflecting the cross-pollinated culture of Vietnam, blending the heritage of Vietnamese street-food food with French flavours and Chinese cuisine, Paperboy Kitchen is a hit.

Paperboy Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Banh Mi Masterclass @ Ba'get | Recipe: Vietnamese Pickles

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ba'get.
Location: 132 Russell Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9988 4130
Cuisine: Sandwiches/Subs, Vietnamese
Overall Impression: 8/10
Melbourne's love affair with Asian street food continues to grow with the opening of a new traditional Vietnamese Banh Mi establishment, Ba'get in the heart of the CBD.

Ba'get brings together crusty, fresh baked bread with authentic house-made charcuterie, grilled meats, pickled vegetables, pate, Asian herbs and fresh chillies to create an all-encompassing flavour and texture sensation.
Ba'get is the brainchild of Duy Huynh and his family who have been in the Melbourne food industry for over 21 years.
Ba'get is the real deal – Vietnamese street food with its heart firmly located on the banks of the Mekong Delta. The banh mi are made using age-old family recipes that have been perfected over several decades.
We loved the freshness, balance and authenticity of Ba’get’s banh mi. 

We were also given the opportunity to make our own Ba'get baguettes...
Baked hourly, the baguettes are consistently delicious and ingredients are carefully selected to achieve the perfect texture and flavour balance.
Ba'get’s menu featues a wide array of authentic Banh Mi including: traditional Classic hams, Grilled Lemongrass Pork, Pulled Chicken, Buddha's Tofu, Rich Tomato Meat Ball and Grilled Lemongrass Chicken as well as more modern flavours such as leg ham and salami; all lovingly made to order to ensure uncompromising freshness. Ba'get also offers Vermicelli bowl versions of Banh Mi flavours as a gluten free option.
Lovers of caffeine will not be forgotten - they will also be serving up potent quantities of cà phê sữa đá - traditional Vietnamese coffee as well as hot, flaky pork puffs, Vietnamese sesame donuts and a selection of tantalising pastries including Cassava Cake, Coconut and Durian Buns.

Bata's interior is also reflective of Banh Mi's origins, resembling a Vietnamese streetscape; complete with overhanging power lines, splashes of luscious red and turquoise complete with French architectural finishes, referencing its colonial past.
Scrawled in calligraphy across the store's feature wall is an ancient Vietnamese poem; a mantra to the authenticity that Ba'get aims to achieve which rougly translates to:
“Half-truths are never true, nor can true love ever come in halves”

Recipe: Vietnamese Pickles 

1 x large carrot
1 x daikon
peeled and cut into matchstick battons
Pickling liquor
1 cup of vinegar 1/2 cup of water 1 tb sugar
1 tsp salt
1 clove of garlic sliced
1 bird's eye chilli split in quarters 8 pepper corns

  1. Sterilise a jar by placing in a 100c oven for 10 mins, or rinse with water and place in microwave for 2-3 mins, or on a hot dishwasher cycle
  2. Peel and cut vegetables into match stick battons — set aside in a bowl
  3. In a saucepan, heat the pickling liquor ingredients until boiling, and remove from heat.
  4. Pour the pickling liquor onto vegetables and combine well.
  5. Transfer to sterilised jar and store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks
  6. Always use clean chopsticks to serve pickles
Serving suggestions

Serve with grilled lemongrass pork on rice, in vermicelli bowls, in salads or as an accompaniment to meat or curry dishes where you want to add freshness and zing. Great served with crispy roasted pork belly, and hoi sin. And essential of course, in Banh Mi.

Ba'get Russell Street on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Ba'get.