The day I drank juice.

So it starts. Another instance where I think I just need to give the bod a break from donuts and burgers and all the yums (mmm burger), and embark on a juice cleanse. Only one day. Geez couldn’t do more. I love you, bacon. I’ll miss you.

I kicked off this morning with an epic Step class at the newww Aquanation in Ringwood. What a gym. Uber impressive and love new shiny things. It was a brilliant start to the day and I was ready to take on the juices.

Kept a few notes along the way to allow you to ‘experience’ the cleanse. Overall, yes I would recommend it over the other ones out there. Delicious juices to be honest, and although I complained about food throughout the day, I was never hungry! Shock, horror. I know. So below, enjoy my rambles throughout the day that JP said goodbye to food.

IMG_5640

All the juice.

8.32am. Juices arrived at work. Yippee. Super pretty box and it’s ‘made with love’ so that’s always a good sign. Secured the juice in the work fridge. Name plastered all over said pretty box to ensure juice remains in said pretty box and not in random person’s belly. Not saying that happens at my work, but Green St are popular, they can make people do strange things. Oh lordy, I’m going off on tangents already and it’s not even 9am.

IMG_5639

Numero Uno.

First up, Enlightening liberty. Yum! Awesome way to start a day I reckon and I will definitely be getting me some more enlightenment.

9.50am. Feeling good! Loved that first juice so excited to see what else is in store. Next up is a 95 Greene aka Pure Heart. I have my moments with green juices so let’s see how this goes….

IMG_5642

Not bad at all! This is packed with green vegies like lettuce, celery, cucumber, kale and apple and lemon, ginger, mint, parsley and dandelion is thrown in too. A lot of celery came through on the initial sip which I wasn’t ca-razy about, but overall it’s a good one.

11am. On the dot. First tummy rumble. Quite loud. Probably because I checked Instagram and there’s lot of food on Instagram. Rookie error, JP. Limited Instagram checking will be in force until tomorrow morning or we are going to struggle today.

12.15pm I held out for a while for the next juice so I could go and enjoy the sunshine with my jooos. And it was glorious outside! What a day. The sun is actually giving off heat, birds are chirping, people are smiling, and everyone seems to be eating delicious treaties. Whilst I have my juice.

IMG_5649

Feel like I’m the Fresh Prince of Bel-air…for some reason.

Admittedly, this juice is probably my favourite so far. They call it the Bronx, so I naturally had to go to the Bronx of the CBD whilst drinking it. Aka. King St. Ok I walked about 10m along King st, but hey, I’m now tougher.

The Bronx is a gorgeous purple colour with the prime ingredient of Beets mmm beetroot. On a burger. With an egg. And bacon. Gawd dammit, it always comes back to the bacon.

Pay attention JPizzle. There was also carrot, lemon, ginger, flaxseed oil, rosemary and burdock root. With their powers combined, they create (Captainnn Planet, he’s our hero), Juice. They create juice.

1.50pm. Free muffins were just offered to me. Free. Berry. Muffins. Sad face. Yes I stayed strong, and quickly escaped to get my next juice before the warm muffin smell got to me. Next up was Thanksgiving. I have never had a sweet potato drink before so I was looking forward to trying it. Overall, I really liked the flavour of it, the sweet potato added a slight creaminess. What I didn’t particular enjoy were the cinnamon floaties. All for the cinnamon (donuts) but didn’t really like that component.

Thrown into Thanksgiving was sweet potato, cinnamon, carrot, apple, lemon and flaxseed oil.

Still feeling good though. I have now been to the bathroom about 398420 times today.

IMG_5655

In New Yorrrrrk, concrete jungle where dreams are made offff….

3.45pm Oooh this one’s a goodie. Empire state. Picturing Alicia Keys slamming on the piano keys and now I am pretending to be Jay Z. Just go with it.

Empire state is a combo of carrot (I’m going to turn into bugs bunny soon), green apple and, wait for it, my favourite ingredient of the day, Astragalus. Where you put the emPHAsis is unknown so feel free to go with whatever you come up with. It’s an organic herbal extract for those playing at home.

Could be my favourite. Empire State currently trumping the Bronx.

5pm. Back to the Bronx. I really like this one so I was glad I had two of them! Beetie, lemony, ginger goodness. All for the Bronx. I feel I need to sing ‘I’m still Jenny from the block…’ when drinking this. Now I’m dancing. I might be going a little cray cray now after this many hours sans food.

Now is the tricky part of the day. Returning home. Where the pantry is full. And dinner will smell really good. And I know there’s cheese in the fridge. Next to the Freddos. Below the leftover cake. Engaging Willpower. Bring it on, Fridge. I can take you.

IMG_5657 (1)

Yes I’m just taking photos of the bottles around the house….

6.30pm It’s not easy being green. Especially when you’re a drink. Ah yep, I’m rambling way too much due to lack of food. I can now smell dinner cooking and my tummy is growling at me. My thrilling meal was the Greene St Classic. Hate to say it, but this was my least favourite of the 8. Overpowering taste of celery.

The classic has cos lettuce, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, apple, ginger, mint, parsley and dandelion herb extract.

download

Last one. Yum yum.

8.30pm Husband is eating chocolate. Inside my personal space. Usually this is ok as I would steal said chocolate. However, tonight, it hurts. It HURTS. I want food. I also just completed the world’s greatest accomplishment of making lunches for work with a warm roast chicken and did not sample any. So proud. That smell. Ah I want some!

Lucky I have the West Village to get me through until tomorrow. This was a delicious juice and one I would definitely buy again. Love the almond and coconut flavours. Didn’t taste alot of mint but didn’t mind, it didn’t need much more in my opinion!

West village was made up of alkaline water (…fancy water), activated almonds (Pete Evans wuz here), coconut flesh, medjool dates, chia seeds, milk thistle and mint.

Each juice you take comes with it’s very own mantra and although I am usually the first to laugh at such things, I really enjoyed these throughout the day. For West Village the mantra was ‘All is well in my world’. Yes. Yes it is.

I would really recommend the Greene St Cleanse for anyone looking to press the reset button. I didn’t do it for weight loss reasons or any reason really, I just wanted to see how my body reacted. Yes you want solid food, that’s a given. But I slept like a log the night following the cleanse so I would do it in future for that reason alone! Brilliant flavours and so many to mix and match. Try it!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Get your Market on.

It’s that time of year again. When Jack Frost rolls on it, the coats, the boots and the scarves go on, and everyone heads to Vic Markets every Wednesday for mulled wine, soup in bread bowls and a whole lotta meat. So I obviously knew where I had to be a few Wednesday’s ago, and you need to be there too. Oh the food.

The lovely ladies of Q Strategies gave me a few vouchers to check out the food on offer and of course, I ate too much. Naturally.

IMG_3081

I call it, arty shot of crates. 
IMG_3084

I call it, arty shot of lights. 

I knew I needed to take my portion control issues partner in crime, my lovely husband. If you think I eat alot, you should see his daily menu. What a man, what a man, what a mighty (hungry) man.

Anyhoo, back to the food. The vibe of the markets is always brilliant. Everyone keen for a good feed and a good time. The markets are open between 5pm and 10pm each Wednesday during Winter until the 26th of August. Only two more Wednesdays to go so get in for all food deliciousness.

IMG_3090

That’s amoreeee.

We arrived around 5.30pm and the lines were already building so we made a beeline for the pizza. Oh Gradi, you so fine. I am yet to visit Gradi at Crown but I am a huge fan of 400 Gradi on Lygon. Best pizza in Melbs, in my opinion. These smaller versions were a great kick off for the evening. Husband went with the potato pizza and I chose wisely with the chorizo number. Lots of crust on these boys but I wasn’t complaining. Love it when it’s chewy and cheesey and …ah I’m drooling again.

Click to add a blog post for Gradi Crown on Zomato

IMG_3093 IMG_3092

Oh the magnificence.

The Carvery was definitely the most popular stall of the market so make sure you get in early if you love your meat. Who wouldn’t when it looks like that! Snap. Crackle. Pop. Indeed. Look at that pork. Husband had to drag me away from the rotating meat, otherwise I would probably still be there, watching the glorious hunks spin.

IMG_3099

Can I get one of these installed in my new house?

IMG_3104

Taco style boeuf.

IMG_3106

Ready for his close up.

IMG_3116

Beef Short Rib. Those gherks. That gremolata.

We knew it was there. We could smell it when we were on the approach and knew a visit to the market was not complete without the goodness of Blue Bonnet BBQ and Burn City Smokers. So we decided to divide and conquer, and conquer we did. I had ridiculously good, melt in the mouth beef with taco rice salad. The meat just fell apart and let’s just say, it didn’t last long enough for me to share with Husband. Best dish of the night for me. Husband went for the beef short rib at Burn City Smokers and demolished it. Once again, moist, falling apart meat that you could eat kilos of.

IMG_3121

I shall call him squishy and he shall be mine, and he shall be my Squishy.

I couldn’t resist the nemo reference after seeing the flame grilled octopus that night. It was flying from the grill and everyone was singing the praises of the baby seafood. Always been a favourite of mine, and these were no exception. As you can guess, we tried 99% of stalls and I can guarantee – it’s ALL GOOD. Go there. Try it all. We didn’t manage to fit in dessert but there are plenty of options for the sweet teeth and those who are partial to the icecream dinner. All for it.

Even if you aren’t a big foodie and just love experiencing the world’s most liveable city (5 times running, but who’s counting!?), the atmosphere is brilliant at the Night Market and there are plenty more activities running to tickle your fancy.

As I mentioned, only two more nights you can go until the markets pack up and roll on out for another year. So rug up, get yo’ scarf on and get amongst the markets. Eat all the things and thank me later.

http://www.qvm.com.au/night-market/food/

Click it and get ready to drool.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A new Legacy.

The Rostered Day Off. My new best friend. I seem to have a lot of best friends that aren’t actually people….but that’s a whole other issue that I need to work through.

I have been blessed with an office job that provides it’s lovely employees with an RDO once a month. Yep. Don’t hate the player, hate the game. Or the man. Or..hm. Anyway, bacon.

One of the benefits of this brilliant day is that I can go out for breakfast at regular breakfast time and not queue! It’s great. You should try it.

So on my recent RDO, I ventured to Legacy in Camberwell with my beautiful friend MK (not Michael Kors…he was last week) and her darling daughter who provided many a laugh as she devoured two babycinos. It’s amazing how frothed milk amuses for such a long time.

I’d heard a lot about Legacy and after my GPS told me it was a kilometre away from it’s actual spot, I trudged on in. Firstly, love the fit out. Not the usual dark walls and polished concrete, but great brick work and white panels. So open. Makes you want to stay for hours. And I probably could now I know I want to try everything on the menu, and then all of the treaties in the cabinet.

Since opening late May, Legacy already has a pretty big following, so get in quick before the line is as long as Chin Chin. With the minds of Collective Espresso behind the caf, they know what they’re doing and I loved the healthy spin on the menu, whilst still giving you the option to eat all the bacon.

Which I did.

IMG_5392

Candyman.

My usual cawfee of a Long Black was of the Candyman variety from Columbia. Brilliant name. Had to have two just because of the name. And my addiction to caffeine…that I also need to work through. This is kinda sounding like a JP therapy session…back to the food!

IMG_5377

What a stack.

IMG_5379

Oh yes. Hashtag yolk porn indeed.

I ummed and ahh’d over the menu, as usual, but had to go with the sweet potato, kale and amaranth fritters which were served up with rich goats cheese, cherry tomato chutney, Kaiser bacon and I threw a poached eggie on there too.

What a tower of amazingness with epic #yolkporn. The fritters were delicious but I’m sorry to say the chutney was a little too sweet for me. Great in moderation, but I couldn’t eat it all. Loved the combination of it all together though. That bacon, speaks for itself. So good. Best I’ve had in a long time. And I’ve had A LOT of bacon.

MK’s daughter had tough decisions all around and was so distracted by her babycinos, mumma had to decide for her. Great piece of multigrain sourdough with good old Vegemite. She also wanted to steal one of mummy’s strawberries, so the kitchen gave her her very own monster strawb. They charged 50c for that bad boy which I guess is warranted…but when you’re feasting for brekky, a strawberry probably could have been thrown in? No?

IMG_5386

Trending. Every thang.

The 50c strawb was a slight hiccup in an overall great experience at one of Melbs’ newest cafes. MK went with the trend that doesn’t seem to want to leave, the ‘Power Bowl’.

Usually complete with Acai, MK decided on the dragon fruit side of things and it looked superb. Served with housemade coconut yoghurt, strawberries, banana, chia seeds, hazelnut crumb and granola, the purple vibrancy of the dragonfruit looked pretty amazing. MK loved it all and it was a huge serve that she couldn’t demolish, so feel free to share it with your nearest and dearest! But be prepared to fight for it if you have portion control issues like me. Probably best to just get two.

The treaties cabinet looks ridiculously good and I would have devoured any one of those house made donuts if I had an inch of room left in my tum tum. That’s right, somehow, I turned down a donut opportunity. But I will definitely be back, so those donuts better be ready.

Great new spot. Definitely worth a visit. A new Camberwell Legacy. (Ha, couldn’t help myself)

Click to add a blog post for Legacy on Zomato

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Being a Frenchie. Dominique Portet style.

IMG_3143

Sunny Saturday afternoons are just meant for hanging out in the Yarra Valley, eating cheese, French food and, it goes without saying, drinking wine. And that’s exactly what we did.

A few weeks ago I was invited along with Melbourne’s elite (ok ok self proclaimed) to Dominique Portet Winery to mingle with the man himself, Q Strategies and a bevy of bloggers, writers and those in the social-media-know. Mhm, it’s a tough life we lead. Of course, you can’t have wine without ze food (well you can but on this occasion we couldn’t) so the ever talented Philippe Mouchel was in charge of the menu for the day, and trust me, it did not disappoint.

IMG_3140

I’ve admittedly never really been a fan of Rose (there’s a but coming…), BUT Dominique Portet is the major exception to this. Especially when it is served in its sparkling variety. I think this may be my favourite drink for the upcoming Spring/Summer sessions. Yes I’m hopefully that Spring really is just around the corner. Come on sun, show us some heat!

The Brut Rose is so refreshing, flavoursome and just so lovely to drink. Yes, ok, I don’t know a lot about wine or the details behind each one, but I do know, that it tastes damn good. We were mingling in the sunshine on this fine afternoon, sipping Brut Rose, whilst being served scrumptious smoked chicken gougeres and a damn delicious salmon rillette, and I really want the recipe! What a start to the afternoon.

IMG_3144

I had ventured to Dominique Portet as part of my hens day and it really is one of my favourite wineries in the Yarra Valley. The landscape is just so picturesque and you can easily spend a day (or five) relaxing in the lounge chairs sipping any or all of their wines.

IMG_3148

We soon moved inside and were seated at a table that seemed to be covered in wine glasses. Obviously, noone complained. Fantastic function space me thinks and I would definitely investigate that if you’re looking for a noice spot in the YV for a gathering of sorts.

I have to say, it was a cracking group gathered at the winery for the Frenchie feast. Side note. No Frenchies were harmed in the making of this feast. It was a bubbly group filled with a whole lot of talent. And me. Yay!

Now we move our attention to the food. The glorious, glorious food that captured the attention of everyone.

IMG_3158

Those who have read my bloggy a bit, would notice that I have many favourite food words. One of which being ‘charcuterie’. And let me tell you, this was no ordinary charcuterie selection. Take a look at that bad boy. All you could possibly want/need enclosed on one board.

This bloody delicious board of awesomeness had…(big breathe) Terrine, parfait, rillette, prosciutto and wagyu bresaola. The camera’s were flashing for what seemed like hours and we could all finally dig in. And dig in we did.

IMG_4984

Life’s tough when you’ve got this sitting in front of you. #perks.

IMG_3161

Cured salmon, horseradish cream and pickles. More fooood.

IMG_3159

Chickpeas, Cauliflower, Pumpkin and Pine Nuts. Mhm.

IMG_3162

Parfait love. Smooth. Creamy. Drool.

The conversation was flowing fantastically as was the vino and guests were offered the 2014 Sav Blanc or the 2014 Fontaine Rose. Once again, not usually a Rose fan, but when it’s D.Portet, you drink it. Delicious! I was full of charcuterie and parfait and salmon and the fourth stomach needed to kick in when I smelt the pièce de résistance entering the room.

IMG_3166

Oui, oui. The cassoulet was here. And boy did it smell good. It looked incredible and we couldn’t wait to dig in. But, we were surrounded by bloggers and writers and photographers so I patiently sat back after getting my snaps and drooled over it while others snapped away.

I also must say that the staff of Dominque Portet, including the great man himself were there and absolutely fantastic with their service and kindness towards the guests. Definitely a key feature of the winery, and I will definitely be returning.

IMG_3172

Drool.

What a dish. Take a look at that bad boy. So many meats. So many beans. I was hoping the large dish that was placed on the table was my serving (you know I could eat it all), but I had to settle with regular people portion sizes. It was rich, with so many textures…ah I want some right now please.

This was accompanied by one of the top wines of the winery ‘Andre’, as well as a 2013 Heathcote Shiraz. Both were delicious, but if you want to spoil a loved one/yourself go on and splurge on a bottle of ‘Andre’. Named after Dominique’s father (nawwww) this is a blend of Cab Sav and Shiraz grapes and well, I think I found my best friend in wine form. That sounded a lot more depressing than I intended….but you get the idea!

IMG_3174

The main man. Showing off ‘Andre’.

It was a fantastic afternoon and the weather (surprisingly for Melbourne) was still so pleasant and so we were invited outside for a spot of Patonque (bocce/bowls/hybrid thing) and some delicious pasties. BUT FIRST. It wouldn’t be a frenchie party without ze cheese! I have a love affair with cheese that extends way back to my childhood and the need to devour an entire bega block. Luckily my palette has matured a little since then (no offence to Bega! Love your work).

IMG_3177

Plateau de fromages

Sound those angels. What a platter. I think the group of us just sat there in awe for a while, then realised we were lucky enough to be able to dig into it. They even went all fancy and made a leaf out of an apple. They’ve got all the tricks. Amazing cheeses. Rich perfection.

IMG_5002

Pastries and proof of sunshine.

See, Melbourne. The shadows show there was sunshine. It does exist. We can hold on. Spring is coming for us and we will finally defrost. But to concentrate on the main attraction of that photo, the pastries! Phillipe Mouchel, you did so well. Citron, chocolat….well there’s the extent of my french vocab…I’ll let your eyes do the talking.

If this is a glimpse of the kind of quality that Mr Mouchel is showing off at Deja Vue in the CBD, I want me a piece of that pronto. Dominique Portet is one of my favourites in the Yarra Valley and definitely worth a visit for a tipple and a purchase of a ridiculous amount of wine when you realise just how good it is.

Brilliance. Frenchie frenchie brilliance.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fine Dining at it’s Finest. Woodland House.

It’s not every day or every meal for that matter, that you find a place that;

Pushes all the right buttons. Thrice.
Makes you wanna do the happy Bey dance
Makes you wanna sing like Pavarotti
Makes you contemplate homelessness in exchange for more meals there.
Gives you that sense of being ridiculously welcomed, and embraced in the best cuddle ever (sorry husband).

Enter, Woodland house.

I cannot sing your praises enough and I have procrastinated writing this for a while as there is really nothing to say that comes close to the incredible experience I had that fateful night, that the two Jess’ met Woodland House. The other Jess being my foodie bestie, who happens to write a brilliant blog, Jessica’s All Good Things.

Yep, I’m speechless. Well kind of. You know I will still talk and ramble and go off on tangents. But be prepared, this post will make you drool and make you wish you could live at 78 Williams Rd, Prahan.

Side note. Yes for those up the back, this is the address of Woodland House. I wasn’t sending you to my house, or my uncle Larry’s house with the seven pet monkeys. Or maybe I was so you will never find my favourite house. Of the woodland variety.

Jess and I had no reason to venture to Woodland House, but we had heard ridiculously good things, so knew we had to spoil our selves for the sake of our fans. Yes, all seven of you. We did this for you. We ate all the beautiful food for you. So really we did you a favour. You’re welcome.

IMG_3033

Purple Congo potato chips and champagne. Because, Woodland House.

As soon as we walked in the door, our jaws were on the floor. Ooh that rhymes. We tried to play it cool and react smoothly, but I think we failed at that ever so slightly. We were assisted throughout the evening by the lovely, attentive Gareth. Kudos to you, Gareth. The best service I have ever received. So knowledgeable, friendly, yet not overbearing. So many in hospo could learn so much from him. I can’t bring myself to call him a waiter as he was so much more than that. Ah I sound like I’m talking about a best friend. Let’s be friends, Gareth.

We knew the only way to do Woodland House was the chef’s tasting menu. So we put our dining experience into the hands of Gareth and the incredible head chefs/owners Hayden McFarland & Thomas Woods. We had a lovely chat to Hayden at the end of the night, who was more than happy to share more info about each dish and just have a good old chin wag. So impressed with every element of this place, if you didn’t guess that already.

The purple congo potato chips were served and even from these razor thin morsels, we knew we were in for a delicious feast of beautifully presented dishes. The ‘chips’ just melted in the mouth and I really liked the texture. Who doesn’t like chips? Especially when they’re purple. We thought we would stay local with the sparkling so went with the 2010 Yarrabank Vintage Cuvée. A perfect start.

IMG_3037

My first foie gras experience. With kiwi love. 

We were ready for the amazingness and we weren’t disapointed. I honestly cannot say a bad thing about Woodland House so will let my poor poor camera skills do most of the talking. I had never tried foie gras before, and yes I know there are some out there who won’t eat it/don’t agree with it…but they might change their mind after they try these bad boys. Fried foie gras with kiwi jelly. Yes. A fancy, fancy pants nugget. Woodland House are probably going to hate that description but I mean it in the best way! Fantastic.

IMG_3040

Rainbow Trout, cuttlefish, ink dressing.

IMG_3041Peek-a-boo.

The mouth watering dishes continued and I am running out of descriptive terms so I apologise if I start to make up words. These dish definitely has the wow factor when it is placed on the table. The cuttlefish and ink dressing were the perfect accompaniment and the trout was, you guessed it, perfectly cooked. Trust me, go there. Right now. Both JW & I were recommended a glass of 2013 Basa Blanco from Rueda, Spain and it was fantastic. I am honestly not the biggest fan of white wine in general, but Gareth (we are on first name terms…) knew what to recommend every time and amazed us with perfect pronunciation of every wine no matter what country it was from. This sounds like a fan piece for Gareth instead of a food review. But go there, and you will see what I mean.

IMG_3043

Dried Tuna with Silken Tofu.

You read that description and if you hadn’t experienced the wonder of Woodland House, it almost sounds like a sushi train dish. Then it hit the table and we were amazed yet again. This biscuit-like slice of dehydrated Tuna was nothing like anything I have had before and the roe and tofu puree complimented it oh so well.

IMG_3045

Spanner crab mornay, lobster emulsion

Well, there’s not alot I can say about the dish. The description and the picture are enough to make the taste buds go nuts. The textures (with an added panko crumb), the flavours, ah my mouth is watering. My vino of choice for the next couple of dishes (oh yes, there is so many more to come) was a 2011 Gruner Veltliner ‘Von Stein’, Salmon Undof, Kremstal DAC Reserve, Austria. Yes that’s a mouthful but find it and drink it. This was the most amazing white wine I have had. I need to find it. Multiple bottles of it. Gareth recommended this in particular for the upcoming John Dory dish. Perfection.

IMG_3048

Storm clam, daikon and BACON broth. (It was brilliant. and it had bacon)

IMG_3050

John Dory, sheep’s whey, bottarga, dill

The dishes kept coming and we just kept looking at eachother with that look like you had just won tatts lotto. Side note. We did not win Tatts lotto. We had just found the best dining experience of our lives. No biggie. The NZ storm clam definitely had the wow factor when it was placed on the table and they had me at ‘bacon’.

The John Dory was one of my favourites of the evening. Always a big fan of cavolo nero Not sure how I can say that as they were all my favourites. It’s like trying to name a favourite child. It’s so hard, but you secretly know which ones deserve the title.

IMG_3052

Pacific Oyster, white soy, shitake

IMG_3055

Hervey Bay Scallop, roasted bone marrow, iceplant

No surprise, more deliciousness. I have never had an oyster served out of it’s shell and it was brilliant. so much flavour and it was just enhanced by the white soy and shitake mushroom. With this dish and the scallops (drool) Gareth recommended a new style of beverage. Enter Korean sake. Mutemuka Shuzo for me. It was a great pairing with the seafood dishes and hey, who doesn’t love a sake.

I’ll always choose scallops when I see them on the menu so I was over the moon to see how Woodland House did it. Another favourite. The scallops with the bone marrow dressing and dehydrated citrus was just *insert angels singing here*.

IMG_3056

Pork cheek, swede, wattleseed and sancho berry.

IMG_3060

Lamb tomahawk, parilla, bamboo salt

These two were definitely my favourites as well. Ok I had a lot of favourites. The pork as you may have guessed, freakin melted in the mouth and the salt baked swede was delicious! The wine of course kept flowing and I tried the 2011 Etna Rosso ‘Archineri’, Pietradolce DOC, Sicily. Every wine complimented the dishes oh so well. I’m giving you a standing ovation at the moment Woodland House, just in case you wanted to know.

Yep. That’s a lamb tomahawk. On a plate. In a fine dining restaurant. And we weren’t given cutlery. That’s another thing I love about Woodland House. This could be made into a Ten Things I Love About You movie. They’re not pretentious. They know food. They know you love food and they’ll serve it like you want it. It goes without saying, this was the best lamb chop I have ever had. Ever. Sorry, pop. Can someone please deliver this to me now? Cheers.

IMG_3061

Hahndorf venison, black garlic, horseradish AND truffles. Because, truffles.

IMG_3065

Aged pigeon, broad bean, beetroot and tamarind.

In case you were living under a rock for the last couple of months, it’s truffle season. And they have been amazing. I want to take a little piggy or a dog out for a run in the fields and come across these gems. When offered some Pemberton, first of the season, Truffle, well it would have been rude to say no! Oh the venison. Oh the truffle. Accompanied by a horseradish and artichoke puree, this was incredible.

I hadn’t experienced Pigeon before Woodland House and I think any other versions I try, will be underwhelming. This was a sensational dish and one which I will forever attempt to find again. The combo of flavours were ….ah there are no words.  With these dishes I tried the 2011 Crozes-Hermitage from the Rhone Valley. Yep, that beautiful valley in France? Mhm I had that wine.

JW got her hands on a glass of Wynns 1988 Cab Sav. Served through a Coravin. A fancy pants device that allows you to choose a brilliant, well matured wine by the glass as the wine is released without removing the cork. Vino magic. That wine was as old as me. Standing applause again.

IMG_3067

Freakin fantastic looking Cheese Plate.

Because we hadn’t eaten enough already, we of course had to add the cheese plate to our wonderful evening. Because I love cheese. Almost as much as I love Woodland House. We were served a semi hard cows milk cheese using a contraption that skims the surface of the cheese and turns it into that paper thin flower type pattern above. This cutting method increases the surface area, where it breaths more and enhances the aroma. Tada! This was served with a cauliflower puree, shaved cauliflower and a betel leaf. I’ve never paired cauliflower with cheese, but I will be doing it every time as of now.

IMG_3073

Chocolate and mandarin w salted loco rice sorbet.

IMG_3074

Celeriac, macadamia milk sorbet, pineapple.

The desserts rolled on in and we had a fantastic chocolate and mandarin plate that had salted rice sorbet that blew my mind. Not physically….of course, but it was delicious. And everyone loves freeze dried raspberries. Mhm. Brilliance.

With the desserts, I sipped on an Iberia Cream Sherry from Spain which was, again, perfect with the range of desserts we had. Especially the Celeriac plate of awesomeness. Yes that’s it’s official name. Macadamia milk sorbet and fermented pineapple. Who would have thought that that combo would work? Woodland House. That’s who.

IMG_3079

Mini madeleines w lemon curd, yuzu jubes and chocolate nuts.

Whilst we oooh’d and ahhh’d at every piece of decor in the room, as well as admired the wall of decanters (yes they have multiple, spectacular pieces), we realised a sad, sad fact. Nothing could top this experience. Well if there is something out there, then I would like to make it my mission to find it. What a first world problem to have.

To finish, we were served mini madeleines filled with delicious tart lemon curd, yuzu jubes and a bowl of chocolate nuts that we just demolished. We probably tried to be lady like and only eat one or two, but that wasn’t going to happen.

And there you have it. An experience to match no other and JW was the perfect person to enjoy it all with. Yes, it is worth every penny and we would spend the money again in an instant. Bravo to you, Woodland House. Special mention to our main man, Gareth Burnett who is just kicking goals for the service, entertainment and sheer brilliance he showed off that night.

I will be back. And I will eat all the food again. I might just have to book in another night right now.

No rating of any kind can match the experience.

Click to add a blog post for Woodland House on Zomato

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oooh. Barra-Coda.

So, yes. I’m married now. JP turned to JT. And my blog titles are still as corny/hopeless as ever. Wife life is treating me well. As I benefit of going from P to T, red head husband and I had a brilliant celebration with our nearest and dearest and received many a lovely gift. One of which was a spectacular voucher for an evening of deliciousness at a restaurant of our choice from my work buddies. Oh yes, they know me well.

IMG_2973

Dranks. Beer. Sparkling. Oh the choices.

There we so many choices, but for the vibe we wanted and the food we craved, enter Adam D’Sylva’s Coda. This funky, moody, electric restaurant is nestled next to the big boy of Flinders Lane, Chin Chin and definitely holds its own. As one of Melbourne’s finest, it is very hard to score a table at this fantastic location, but never fear, unlike it’s asian fusion neighbour, it’s book-able. Mhm. Call them. now. You’ll be drooling soon.

We were welcomed by one of the numerous friendly staff and given the cosy corner seat which was awesome for both people watching and food lighting. Bravo, Coda. The restaurant was packed on this buzzing Friday night and we were loving watching the clientele and their random interactions. Oh yes, we can’t help it.

Ok. I will admit I had a post it in my bag with my menu decisions. I can’t help it! I did still peruse the menu and let Husband pretend he had some input into menu choices. But really, I knew what we would be eating before we even walked in. Sorry, husband. You married this.

I rattled off my post it notes to the waiter, who had to stop me 3/4 way through to let me know we “mayybe” had enough food. I was sceptical but trusted him. Probably wise considering I intended on being able to walk and not roll out of the restaurant at the end.

IMG_2976

Oyster love.

First up were a delicious sample of Barilla Bay oysters from that little island down south, good old Tassie. I love a delicious natural oyster, and the finger lime dressing was a great accompaniment. Mm I want some now. They were so fresh and yes, I could have ordered several dozen, but my portion control issues were controlled. For a moment.

IMG_2983

Crispy Hà Nôi style rice paper roll with pork, taro and nuoc mam dipping sauce

I was ready for a food parade. Like the Easter Parade but without the hats. Oh dear JP, that’s the best you could come up with? Clearly need something to eat. Those cripsy pork rice paper rolls would go down a treat right now. I’ve never had fried RPRs but they were great. Moist meat with that crunchy texture and freakin’ yum Nuoc Mam dipping sauce. mmmhm. They’re onto a winner there.

IMG_2993 IMG_2990

Spanner crab, galangal, roasted chilli and lime betel leaf

These bad boys deserved two photos because they were twice as good. And there’s two of them so I thought I should let them both have a moment in the limelight. I haven’t had many betel leaf combos and before trying these, the favourites were found at Longrain. BUT. These were delicious. So fresh. Husband wanted to me include that he thought these were “Fresh like the Prince of Belair”….yup we deserve eachother. He’s not a huge fan of spice so these were juuuust right for him and I thought the little bit of spice just let the crab dance in your mouth. Sorry for the Masterchef language, but it’s true. They were one of my favourites for the evening.

IMG_2997 IMG_2995

Blurry goodness – Calamari, green papaya and cucumber salad, with nahm jim, peanuts and crispy anchovies

Apologies for the not so crisp photo. I was in a hurry to eat this one as it looked so good, and the aromas ahh the aromas. I had heard alot about this dish in particular and it didn’t let us down. Terrific textures, flavours, the whole shebang. Definitely order this dish when you visit. I know you’re going. You know you want to. Loved the anchovies in this in particular.

IMG_3003

Blackened quail, daikon and shiso salad

IMG_3006

Master stock wagyu brisket, chilli vinegar, spring onion, peanuts and sesame salt 

IMG_3010

Roasted yellow duck curry

The dishes kept rolling on in and they were each as good as the last. This fine establishment deserves it’s title as one of Melbourne’s finest. From the sommelier to the food to the freakin’ bathrooms. Everything has been thought through and everything is damn perfect.

I’ve never had a blackened bird and the quail was so tender. Loooove me so tender quail. Yes it doesn’t look very appealing, but the daikon and shiso side salad lifted the initial ‘look’. The meat just fell from the bone and this teeny tiny bird gave a huge impression.

Oh the brisket. We liked this so much we ordered it again after we’d finished the savouries. Yep, we both have portion control issues. Once again, made for eachother. SO tender to the touch. Just had to place the fork on the meat and it melted. I’m drooling again. So much flavour in this little piece of heaven. Loved the chili vinegar as well. I think I need this on every dish I eat ever again.

The yellow duck curry was packed with flavour and although a tad pricey ($40), the flavours were brilliant and the duck was cooked to perfeeection. Sorry, more Masterchef talk. But it’s true! This was Husband’s favourite alongside that brisket.

The vibe of the restaurant was fantastic and although I tried to ‘accidentally’ walk into the kitchen to see if Mr D’Sylva was in there a few times, the staff were still so hospitable and just lovely! Ah I sound like a little old lady but they were!

The beer & vino selections by our sommelier were fantastic as well and I always appreciate a sommelier that speaks in ‘people language’ not just about tannins and fancy french words. Thankyou, sir!

FullSizeRender (2)

Toasted meringue, vanilla sponge, coconut, granny smith apple and yuzu

I really don’t know why waiters bother asking “would you like to see the dessert menu?”…there is only one obvious response that should apply to this question. Unless you’re in a first date type situation where the female or male for that matter, might do the old trick of hesitating, pretend they’re watching their figure and then order 4 desserts anyway. Husband knew from the first date that I was pretty straight down the line when it came to seeing the dessert menu. Yes I want to see it. And yes we are ordering different dishes so I a) don’t have to share mine and b) can eat some of yours. It’s just science.

IMG_4465

Dark chocolate dèlice, mandarin, cocoa nib, pearl barley and malt

We decided on the rather spectacular duo of the Toasted Meringue with vanilla sponge as well as THE chocolate delice. Oh the richness. These really complimented eachother as the delice was oh so rich and delicious and the meringue was so light and tangy with the apple and yuzu. They both looked like Da Vinci portraits on the plate as well. So impressed. Yet again. It would be worth going to Coda just for that delice. But then I would have to order the quail, the brisket…the betel leaves…ok just go for all the food.

Overall a freakin’ brilliant evening with the best company I could ask for (nawww) and fantastic service, vino and fare. Kudos, Coda. You got it going on. One of the best in Melbourne for so many reasons.

10/10.

Click to add a blog post for Coda on Zomato

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Boy of the Lady variety. Richmond. G Rated.

She’s all you’d ever want,
She’s the kind they’d like to flaunt and take to dinner.
Well she always knows her place.
She’s got style, she’s got grace, she’s a winner.
She’s a Lady(boy).

Whoa whoa whoa, she’s a Lady(boy).

IMG_2937

Just in case you didn’t realise what the post was about.

No I don’t know what that song was in my head on a recent dinner with the besties, but it happened, so just go with it ok. Yep I know, now it’s in your head too isn’t it. Whoa whoa whoa….Ha. Mission accomplished.

So, yes. Ladyboy. Because Bridge Rd was in need of something that wasn’t another breakfast spot or pub. And they are doing a fine, fine job. The four of us ventured to the boy of the lady variety a few months back, without knowing much about it, aside from its entertaining name. And we were in love with the pork hock (it’s coming) and their delicious, inventive cocktails. With ridiculous names like trans-gin-der, Adam’s apple, man-go Ladyboy, you know you want them all. I think we had several of them all that first visit.

IMG_2936

Ha. I see what you did there.

Ladyboy is headed up by Fran Leaper and Mitch Townrow who hails from the halls of Longrain. They’re now well established on the Bridge Rd scene and there’s often a wait for a table on a busy Friday/Saturday/Sunday…any day night. But don’t let that stop you. There’s an uber awesome courtyard out the back and a bar to lure you into those cocktails. A range of nibbles are available out the back too. So you can just have a party out the back until your tables ready to continue the festivities!

Back to our recent evening! Our buddies have decided to leave us to go gallivanting around Europe, to cycle, eat, and cycle some more (@aus_velo….check them out and live vicariously through them with me!) So we of course decided to go eat all the food at Ladyboy before they depart.

Banquet locked in. At $45/pp still not convinced it’s the best value for money, but I’d probably pay top dollar for that pork hock (it’s coming) so no complaints here. Yes, I do usually like to choose what’s coming. But I trusted the waiter. And I was tired from sitting at a desk all day and wanted someone else to make the decisions whilst I sipped Prosecco. Is that ok!? Ah…breathe, JP. Think you need some pork hock to calm you down. (It’s coming).

So the conversation rolled from upcoming holidays to house hunting (ah we are totes growed up now) to random tangents of ridiculous topics that make no sense to anyone else (not so growed up).

IMG_2942

fish cakes + crispy thai basil + sweet chilli

First up was a dish we hadn’t tried before, being the fish cakes with crispy thai basil and sweet chili. The cakes had a great consistency but the sweet chili was (shock) a little too sweet for me. Enjoyed by the rest of the group though so that’s always a good thing. I prob would have preferred a bit more heat in there, but I did notice most of their dishes pull back on the hot stuff.

IMG_2945

crispy pork hock + black vinegar caramel + fried shallots

Feast your eyes on my main man. (I say that a lot) The crispy pork hock (drool) with black vinegar caramel and fried shallots. We requested this be part of the banquet so ended up with two bowls of it instead of a different dish (not complaining. I repeat, not complaining. At all). When I first had this dish, I thought it might be too sweet for me but the rich meat balances the caramel and you have a match made in freakin heaven. Ah I could live on this. Ok, I probably couldn’t, but I assure you, one day, I will try.

IMG_2946

son in law egg + sweet fish + crispy shallots

Son in law eggs were next up. I was pleasantly surprised as I didn’t enjoy them on our previous visit but today they were cooked well and were damn tasty. Still not my favourite thing in the whole wide world, but still enjoyable. EP isn’t an egg fan so splitting an egg three ways was pretty entertaining. Yes we split the spare egg 3 ways. I told you we all have portion control issues.

The vino choice of the evening was a super noice blend and complimented the food really well. EP and I have a love for red wine and good food. Hence why we became friends. Ok I’m sure there were other reasons too, but the food and wine is the gel of our friendship. She also likes donuts and bacon. So we are SUPER good friends.

IMG_2961

All the food. Kudos to the char-grilled roti + satay sauce

IMG_2954

yellow curry + beef + snake beans + baby corn

IMG_2953

stir fried asian greens + oyster sauce

More dishes rolled out and soon came a (future) favourite of mine. The yellow curry was packed with flavour and delicious falling-apart beef. Once again, would have loved a bit of heat in there, but hey, that’s not a yellow curry so that was a-o-k. Rich sauce. Good vegies. Yum yum yum. That’s super technical gastronomy language there. Yum with a capital Y.

Just thought about that old Sesame street skit where there was a letter Y in a western showdown saying “You wanna know whhhyyy (Y. get it)…..” Ha. Brilliant. Sorry. Surprise surprise. Distracted.

Can never go wrong with satay and a good peanut-y peanut sauce and the stir-fried Asian greens are always a winner for me.

As had occurred on past visits, the service was great. Friendly but not overbearing and although they were busy, there was no rushing to get us out (*Cough* Lupino….). Bravo, Ladies and Boys.

IMG_2963

Coconut sorbet

EP’s top priority, aside from MP, is ice-cream. She. Loves. Ice-cream. As do most people, I hear you say. But her love for the frozen goodness goes beyond that of a regular human. She loves ice-cream almost as much as I love bacon. That’s a lot of love. So when she says the coconut sorbet at Ladyboy is good. It’s freakin spectacular.

And it is.

Super refreshing coconut sorbet is the perfect way to wrap up the banquet at Ladyboy. And at $3 a pop, you could probably just order 10 of them and have that for dinner! But then you’d miss out on the pork hock, so maybe don’t do that.

Another super enjoyable evening at Ladyboy with the crew. Super sad we couldn’t convince the buds that Europe isn’t that great (lie) and that they should stay in Melbs with us…but we still had a great night with finger-licking good food and a buzzing atmosphere.

I like you, Ladyboy. 8.5/10

(11/10 for the pork hock)

Click to add a blog post for LadyBoy on Zomato

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 250 other followers