Sunday, December 13, 2015

Woody P and Hugh!

Woody P
121 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000

My sisters and I met in Flinders Lane for a quick dinner before going to see Hugh Jackman’s Broadway to Oz (amazing!).  Chin Chin, had a queue (of course) and the last table had just been taken at The Meatball and Wine Bar so we headed into Woody P, not really knowing a lot about this contemporary Italian restaurant. It was a good move as the food was delicious.
We ordered wine (1litre carafe $52) and the house marinated olives to nibble.

House marinated olives / $6

For main I had the Barramundi with kale and artichoke. It was delicious. The fish was beautifully cooked and all the flavours went well together. 

Barramundi, kale, artichoke / $38

One of my sisters got the Veal Milanese. Whilst it wasn't quite what she was expecting she enjoyed it.  

Veal milanese, shredded cabbage, parmesan / $30
The witlof, pear and walnut salad we shared was very nice. Crunchy, fresh flavours.

Witlof, pear, walnut/ $8

We had no time to linger over dessert and coffee - Hugh was waiting!!

Apologies for the bad phone photos.  It was a great concert. Hugh is an amazing entertainer - funny, talented, a great storyteller, good looking! The total package!  If you ever get a chance to see him perform live I highly recommend it.

"I still call Australia home" Spine tingling!

Woody P Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Welcome To Thornbury

Welcome To Thornbury
520 High Street
Northcote 3070

Welcome to Thornbury is actually in Northcote for those who are a bit pedantic about these things!  A car manufacturing factory in its previous life it is now a bar and food truck venue which can accommodate up to 700 people!  I went on a sunny Saturday afternoon and the place was packed and buzzing.  The crowd was mixed with all ages represented and a lot of people with young children and dogs.

View from the food trucks

There are 6 food trucks on site most days and these change daily. There is a schedule on their website if you want to check out who is going to be there before you go. After getting some drinks (my sauvignon blanc was $7.50 a glass) my friend and I spent a bit of time checking out what was available and then went different ways.  

View from the indoor bar area looking towards the food trucks

I went with the Digging For Fire BBQ Kitchen and had the 12 hour pulled pork, Israeli couscous, pineapple/chilli relish and lime mayonnaise in a bowl for $13. You can also get it in a roll for $10.

This dish was delicious and full of flavour. The salad was fresh and the pork beautifully tender.

My friend had Lamb Souvlaki "The Bahh" $10 and Chips with Oregano $5 from the Greek Street Food truck.  She really enjoyed her meal but unfortunately I didn't get a picture of the souvlaki. I can vouch that the chips were delicious!

The Greek Street Food truck was very popular.

Welcome To Thornbury manages to be cool yet family friendly. We were there from around 4pm on a Saturday afternoon and it was packed and I imagine that is only going to get worse as the weather improves. Their opening hours are on their website but on the weekend it is noon until 10pm.

Other vans there on Saturday were selling Vietnamese food, burgers, pizza and there was a mushroom/vegetarian option! There really was something for everyone.

I'm looking forward to returning.

Welcome to Thornbury Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000

I'm back!! If you are still reading thank you :)  

A couple of weeks ago my sister in law and I met up for lunch at Chin Chin.  Surprisingly neither of us have been there before, (I don't like queuing), so we went with the Feed Me option. For $69 they will serve you a selection of their favourite dishes. I must say I was a little nervous but it turned out to be a fantastic decision.  And the food just keeps coming!  It was definitely an indulgent long lunch and we enjoyed every mouthful.

To begin from the "Little Something" section we were served three dishes.

Kingfish Sashimi, Lime, Chilli, Coconut & Thai Basil

I loved the kingfish sashimi.  It was fresh, light and full of flavour. A great start.

Chin Chin Pork Roll Ups, Red Braised Suckling Pig, Pancakes, Slaw & Asian Herbs

The pork rollups were delicious and fun to make. I could have happily had more of these.

Spicy Corn and Coriander Fritters, Iceberg Lettuce, Chilli Jam

The third 'little something' were spicy, crispy fritters. I love the combination of corn and coriander and these crunchy little balls were yum. Wrapped in a lettuce cup with the bite of chilli jam - perfection. 

Our next dish was from the "Rice & Noodles" section of the menu. 

Pad Seuw of Six Hour Braised Wagyu, Gai Laan, Rolled Rice Noodles & Crispy Shallots

This is pure comfort food for me.  The noodles and beef were sublime, the coriander and crispy shallots the perfect finishing touch to the dish.

Crispy Barramundi & Green Apple Salad, Caramelised Pork, Peanuts, Chilli, Lemongrass

Next up was a salad from "Green Stuff". Not what I would have expected from something in that category but it was one of my favourite dishes. The pork was sticky, the fish tasty and the apple salad fresh and crunchy.  A lovely, refreshing combination.

By this stage we were getting quite full and thought we may have finished the savoury part of the meal but no, there was more - a dish from the "Curries" part of the menu.  The butter chicken curry was good but didn’t wow me like the dishes that came before it and I probably wouldn't order it again. As an aside though I must say I loved the bowl it was served in!
Butter Chicken Curry, Yoghurt, Green Chilli served with Rice

Our final course was from "Sweet and Refreshing Things".  This is not something I would have ordered but it was nice and a lovely way to end our meal. Actually I probably wouldn't have ordered dessert at all so I was glad it was a part of the Feed Me experience.  I particularly liked the sweetcorn icecream and the crunch of the wild rice.  

Coconut Sago, Sweetcorn Ice Cream, Praline, Puffed Wild Rice

I highly recommend the Feed Me option, particularly if you've not been to Chin Chin before.  It allows you to get a feeling for the serving sizes of a vast portion of the menu, it is great value and it takes the stress out of narrowing down choices when you want to try everything.

We left very full but happy.  Particularly when we saw the number of people waiting for a table.  I can't wait to go back to Chin Chin but I will definitely go early again to avoid the dreaded queue!

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Barcelona Cathedral

As much as I love Paris, there is something so exciting and captivating about Barcelona. I had visited Barcelona once before, many years ago, on a 100 (it felt like!) cities in 30 days Trafalgar tour so my memories of it were quite vague.  This time I fell in love with the architecture, the ambiance, the shopping and the food!

Placa de Catalunya

In Barcelona Lucy and I stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, just minutes from the Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla. Another perfect location, surrounded by shops, restaurants, cafes, the on-off tourist bus and Starbucks!!  Let me just say that I don't think I've ever been to Starbucks in Melbourne but being so close to one in Barcelona was very exciting.  Free WIFI!!  And good, reasonably priced coffee and tea.  Below is a picture of a cup of tea I was served in a cafe in Barcelona.  Hot milk with a tea bag! After that experience I happily went to Starbucks.

Of course Barcelona is famous for the work of architect Antoni Gaudi, in particular his still unfinished Sagrada Familia. 

It don't think my pictures adequately convey the magnificence of this church.  It was a very hot day but we spent a lot of time standing on the street just staring and taking in its majesty! 

As we explored the streets of Barcelona it seemed that around each corner was a new amazing building!

I love the contrast of the plain (boring even) and the exotic!  Look at that roof!

We also did a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter and were captivated by the stunning architecture dating back to medieval times. 

Not unlike our quest to find the perfect onion soup in Paris, Barcelona was all about finding the best paella. And we had quite a few delicious versions.  We never planned where we were going to eat but rather just walked around exploring all the little lanes that branched off La Ramblas until we found somewhere that appealed.

This was one of the best.  We were seated by an open window on a beautiful warm night, the paella was very nice with the perfect crispy bottom and the sangria was refreshing though with a bit more fruit than I would have liked.

Another paella enjoyed at the Waterfront!
One night we stumbled across this gorgeous square and had dinner at one of the many restaurants.

We shared a traditional tapas dish, patatas bravas, which was just ok and a lovely fresh pizza.

Barcelona is home of one of the most amazing markets - the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or just La Boqueria. With its origins dating back to the 1200's this market is foodie heaven. It is a combination of fresh food - meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and prepared food - perfect for hungry tourists!  I loved this market. Prepare for a barrage of pictures as I had serious trouble picking just a few favourites!!

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

The famous Pinotxo bar at the entrance of the market
Lunch on the run - delicious!

Loved the egg shop!


There is so much more we did and saw in Barcelona - the waterfront with its impressive Columbus Monument, Montjuic (translated as Jew Mountain) with its stunning views of the city and harbour, the FC Barcelona Football Stadium .. the list goes on.  

Such an beautiful city, full of contrasts.  I hope I can return one day and spend even more time.