Archive for December, 2008

What’s For Lunch?

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Just some leftovers from last night’s dinner, but with leftovers like these, it sure looks like I’m having a party at my desk!

Leftovers

Clockwise from top-left: Ricotta cakes; roasted beetroots and carrots; homemade mushroom soup; beef braised in a rich passata sauce

Advertisements

Very Vlado’s

Posted in Food Reviews, Restaurants, Restaurants in Melbourne with tags , , on December 9, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

It’s been 13 hours since I had my cow and I am still unable to look at food without feeling sick. I had an apple for breakfast instead of the usual cheese-toast, a sign that last night’s carnivorous indulgence hasn’t bid my tummy too well.

Yes, we had our inaugural (and epic, if I may add) dinner at Vlado’s, what is supposed to be the best steakhouse in Melbourne. Those who know me would know that I am not fanatic about meat. I love the occasional chicken or beef and more often than not a good piece of fish, but ask me on any day and I would happily opt for vegetarian. When R&S suggested heading there on Sunday, I thought, meh, why not. I would probably order a piece of steak and let the Jman have the rest.

BOY WAS I WRONG! What we didn’t realise was that the menu was already set – the only thing you get to choose is how you want your meat to be cooked and if you wanted more salad. The moment we sat down, a tray of sausages was ushered out onto our plates. Those are the “starters”. Then came the entrees, a mixed meat platter of pork neck, calf’s liver, mini scotch fillet (which was divine). I had a piece of the scotch and passed on the rest.

By the time we were done with our pre-mains, I was already reaching my limit. If not for the salad, I didn’t think I could get past the sausage. But there were the mains – a choice of an eye fillet of epic proportions, or a porterhouse that was equally huge – and they all looked REALLY good so we soldiered on. The waiter brandished 4 slices of pure red meat on a tray in front of us and asked us to choose our victims. I chose the eye fillet, medium rare, while the Jman had a beautifully marbled porterhouse done the same way. Some 15 minutes and more salad later, our lovely steaks arrived.

What can I say! We mercilessly dismembered our steaks and were surprised at how wonderfully tender and juicy the meat was. I didn’t like the porterhouse as much (it was sandpaper next to the eye fillet!), but the eye fillet almost melted in my mouth. What absolute pleasure! Pity I could only manage half my steak (which was in itself huge) before I had to admit defeat and passed on my precious medallion of pleasure to the Jman.

This is the first “proper” steakhouse I’ve been in Melbourne so there isn’t anything for me to compare it with, but I can say it was an enjoyable experience and definitely beats all those powerhouses in Singapore (the big boys such as Lawry’s and Morton’s) hands-down. It is also worth noting that a fellow dining companion who ordered his meat well-done found it butterflied so that it wouldn’t be dry and tough when it arrived on his plate, something I was rather impressed with. For now, even though I cannot look at another cow for a long time, I would say the dinner was a very memorable one.

We ended off dinner on a sweet note – strawberry crepes with vanilla ice cream. Not surprisingly, I polished off my entire plate with glee. As they say, there’s always room for dessert!

Next up: Charcoal Grill on the Hill. But I don’t think that would be happening in the next half a year or so.

Moo out.

Cafenatics

Posted in Cafes with tags , on December 1, 2008 by thepseudoepicurean

Cafenatics Logo

Ever since the Jman introduced me to Cafenatics last week, I’ll admit that I’ve stopped going to UD. Unfortunately that’s quite a hike away from my work place, sitting in a little alley somewhere on the Collins-L.Collins-Queen-William grid, and since the Jman is only in the city twice a week (which are the days we drive in to the city), this meant that I would only be able to get my Cafenatics fix on Wednesdays and Thursdays or whenever his boss calls him in.

I guess I could deal with that, I thought to myself. Convenient enough for me to break my caffeine addiction and limit my coffee intake to two cups a week. Until.

Last Saturday, Cafenatics opened a new branch at QV. It’s right outside my tram stop (it’s diagonally across Grill’d and right next to the new Myer Furniture store), perfect opportunity to get a hot cuppa on my way up to work (I was lamenting before that it was impossible to get a decent cup of coffee on the Lonsdale stretch).

David Seng of Victoria Barista Championships finalist (or semi?) fame is barista-in-residence at QV. He was at the Collins Street branch when we first visited the place, but has moved over to QV together with the uber-coolest coffee machine I’ve seen. The cafe also uses Veneziano beans, one of the smoothest coffees I’ve tasted in Australia (although I know there is a whole lot more science that goes on in extracting the coffee and frothing the milk etc…but admittedly the beans to play a part).

What can I say, it’s just damn hard to break a coffee addiction when you’re in Melbourne, especially when the maestros are setting up shop all over the place. It’s a good problem to have, though. Hopefully we’ll be rid of Brunetti and Starbucks soon!

*raises a coffee mug to toast*