Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Fatto Bar and Cantina

** Before I start this post I just wanted to say thank you for coming back and reading my blog. I have had a long, unplanned hiatus for a number of reasons which I won't bore you with but I am very excited to get back into regular blogging.  There are a couple of restaurants I visited last year that I will be reviewing but rest assured that I will be making sure my comments and data are still relevant.** 

Fatto Bar and Cantina
100 St Kilda Rd

What do you think about pre-theatre menus?  I am not a fan as I often feel like they are rushed and don't represent good value for money.

Last year my sisters and I went to a concert at Hamer Hall so we booked Fatto Bar and Cantina for dinner, which is located next to the concert venue. To ensure we were finished on time we went with their pre-theatre menu. The set menu was 2 courses (with choices) for $45 per person. I don't think that was an unreasonable price however the meal had a few issues.

The menu is split into Small Dishes, Medium Dishes and To Finish. We all chose from the first two selections.

From the 'small dishes' or entree section I selected the Bruschetta with Broccoli Rabe, Bagna Cauda and Chilli. 

This was not very successful. It was served cold and would have been better warm. It was also very cold as if it had just come out of the refrigerator and would have benefited from being brought to room temperature at least.

J had the Whipped Ricotta, Poached Nectarine, Pistachio, Pane Carasau.  She was underwhelmed and felt the different elements didn't really work well.

K chose the Seared Tuna, Zucchini Noodles, Pine Nuts, Vincotto, Nasturtium which she enjoyed.  

For main J and I had the Roasted Beetroot Risotto, Goats Curd, Walnuts, Chervil.  This was quite tasty and visually very beautiful although I don't think it photographed well!

K again went with the seafood option and chose wellKing Salmon, Zucchini, Salsa Verde, Hazelnuts, Orange Zest.

We shared the Roquette, Fennel, Pear and Pecorino salad which was nice.

Overall this meal was nice but it didn't wow me and I wouldn't rush back to Fatto despite the convenient location.

Pinot Grigio

I think if we'd arrived early, ordered one of their pizzas, (which by all accounts are traditional and delicious), to enjoy with our wine my overall impression of Fatto would have been very different. 

So, are you a fan of the pre-theatre set menu?  Any recommendations to change my mind?

Fatto Bar & Cantina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, June 17, 2016

Yak Italian Kitchen

Yak Italian Kitchen & Bar
150 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Express Restaurant lunches are a great way to try a new restaurant (or visit an old favourite) on a budget. For $40 you get the choice of 2 courses, a glass of wine and coffee.

I generally like to try a new restaurant and so I met a friend at Yak Italian, on the corner of Russell Street and Flinders Lane. I have been past this corner many times but never really noticed this restaurant.  

To begin we were served warm bread with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and olives.  How gorgeous is the crockery! The speckled gold plates and bowls are beautiful.

My friend and I ordered the same items so unfortunately I don't have a variety of meals to show.  In the battle between what I want to eat versus what would be good for the blog post, the want won this time.

Handmade potato gnocchi served with a rich meat ragu

For entree I had the Gnocchi of the dayIt was divine.  The gnocchi were light and fluffy and very moreish.  The sauce was ok and to be honest not what I imagine when I read the words rich meat ragu but the gnocchi was really the star of the dish.

The other entree option was a Caprese salad.

Pan seared fish fillet served with a seasonal vegetables salad

For main, I ordered the Fish of the day.  The pan seared barramundi came with a selection of seasonal vegetables and fennel foam.  It was beautifully presented and the fish was cooked perfectly.  The vegetables were interesting, the fennel strands were quite crisp and the fennel foam was very tasty and perfectly complemented the dish.  

The serves weren't large but they were perfect for lunch.

I enjoyed a class of Little Vespa Pinot Grigio from the King Valley with my meal.

The alternative main option was Veal Ossobuco Milanese served with chargrilled buckwheat polenta.  I did like the sound of this however it was a really hot day so I decided to go with the lighter fish option.  I did not apply this logic to the entree because gnocchi!

Good coffee finished our meal.

For those with a sweet tooth the dessert offerings were Italian style doughnuts filled with pistachio ice cream, baked orange and cinnamon or Tart of the day.

Yak presents tasty, interesting food.  I'm glad I finally 'discovered' it.      

  Yak Italian Kitchen and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, February 29, 2016

Crittenden Estate

Crittenden Estate
25 Harrisons Road
Dromana 3936

Before I start talking about lunch at Crittenden Estate I want to mention that today is Leap 'baby' Piecey Num Num's 4th birthday. I didn't plan to launch my blog on the 29th, it just sort of happened and as the day only comes around once every 4 years I think it is worth mentioning. The last 4 years haven't exactly panned out as I had planned. The frequency of my posts has been a bit erratic over the years as I have allowed 'life' to get in the way of blogging but I have big plans for the blog this year and regular posts are at the top of the list. Now back to lunch :)

On our way home from our week in Mt Martha we dropped into Crittenden Estate for an early lunch. On the weekends in summer they serve casual food truck style food on the terrace in front of the Stillwater restaurant.  This suited our plans perfectly for a casual lunch and the food was delicious.

Normally at a winery I am all about the wine but as I was driving home and it was just before noon I decided to have tea. Tea and coffee are served with a petit four and on this occasion it was a divine little macaron. The flavour was intriguing - I didn't write it down (blogger fail) but I remember it was a combination of chocolate and sichuan pepper.  

We shared a number of dishes for lunch.  All the food arrived picnic style in baskets and boxes. My favourite was the pork slider but the mushroom and truffle arancini were also delicious and very moreish. The truffle flavour was gorgeous.

Pulled pork sliders with dill pickles, slaw & BBQ sauce (2) / $14

Mushroom & truffle arancini with aioli (5) / $12

Bowl of chips / $10

Prawn gyoza with soy & mirin sauce (5) / $12

The kid's fish and chips were a big hit with everyone, not just the kids!  We also ordered the kid's pasta bolognese ($13) but Miss 4 was too hungry to wait so no pictures.  She polished it off so that's always a good sign! (The penne bolognese was served in a bowl!)

Kid's fish & chips / $13

The grounds are gorgeous and huge with lots of space for kids to run around.  My niece and nephew had a lot of fun exploring and visiting the various animal sculptures dotting the landscape.


As we left we visited the cellar door.  It's a lovely space overlooking the lake so I will definitely be coming back to sample some wine.

Stillwater at Crittenden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dee's Kitchen

Dee's Kitchen
19 Pier Street
Dromana 3936

Dee's Kitchen is a cool cafe/deli in the seaside down of Dromana, on the Mornington Peninsula.

I have been there a couple of times and each time the food was fresh, interesting and delicious.  The cuisine has a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern focus. Their menu is seasonal and nearly everything is made on the premises, bread being the exception.

On my first visit to Dee's I had the delicious shakshouka.  My perfectly poached eggs were nestled in a pool of spicy salsa with spinach and chèvre. A very satisfying dish. Loved the smokiness of the chorizo and the house baked pita was perfect.

Shakshouka - baked Middle Eastern salsa with spinach & chèvre, topped with 2 poached eggs, house baked pita and chorizo / $18.50 

They do good coffee. 

My second visit was with my brother and sister in law and we were all impressed with our selections.

Broccoli fritters, beetroot & sesame dip, shaved pecorino, pickled pear & roquette salad 
with a poached egg / $19.50

I had the Broccoli fritters which came with a beetroot dip, roquette salad and poached eggs.  This was really tasty.  The fritters were full of flavour and appeared to be baked which I liked. The beetroot was delicious and the salad fresh. A beautiful dish that felt light and healthy.

My sister in law enjoyed the smashed rosemary potato and pumpkin with poached eggs, crispy pancetta and pepperonato. I must say I had a little bit of food envy as I had been considering ordering this dish.  Hard to go past smashed potato and pumpkin for a comfort food fix!

Delicately Smashed Rosemary Potato & Pumpkin with poached eggs, crispy pancetta & pepperonata / $17

My brother had the daily special which was Lamb, walnut & pomegranate meatballs with grain salad and in house made pita. This was really good. Great flavours that went well together. A healthy and satisfying meal.

Lamb, walnut & pomegranate meatballs with grain salad and house pita / $17

And even though we were having 'brunch' food there was wine involved.  Because holidays.

Dee's Kitchen is definitely worth a visit if you are in Dromana. They also have a range of products that you can take home, from prepared meals to cakes and deli items.  I must say it is hard to leave empty handed!

Dee's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato