Saturday, October 16, 2010

Jai Ho

Location: 205, Swan Street, Richmond
Phone: 03 90787798
Link: http://www.jaiho-indian-restaurant.com/index.html
Cuisine: Indian
Overall Impression: 5/10
Highly recommend their Fish Curry (Fish fillets cooked in rich coconut and onion gravywith mustard seeds and fresh curry leaves)/ This sets you back a fair $ 17.00.
Simply delicious!

Friendly and prompt service. Very nice ambience. Good food. The portion sizes are very small even for mains so be prepared to order a few dishes. I'd advise you go with a few people so you can order a lot more - to share. And corkage is a mere $2 a head!
Jai Ho Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kellybrook Winery and Restaurant

Location: Fulford Road Wonga Park 3115 Victoria Australia
Phone: 9722 1304
Link: http://www.kellybrookwinery.com.au/
Cuisine: French
Overall Impression: 4.5/10

I guess I was just dissapointed.
It looked so good on the website. I was salivating just looked through the menu.. checking out what was on offer!

In the restaurant's defence, I am a pretty excitable person. (Is excitable a real word? Wait I just checked, http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=excitable yes it is!) Anybody who knows me, knows how much I enjoy just waiting in anticipation. I enjoy booking weeks in advance and planning what to order like a week before I step into a restaurant. Now that I think about it, I probably have some mental disorder. But I digress…

The point is I was very excited and I already had high expectations for this place. And the prices didn't really help. So, all things considered, including value for money, I think 4.5/10 is a fair score.

Oh and one thing that this place is famous for is Apple Cider! Both J and I really enjoyed the drinks we ordered. I got the Kelly Brothers Sparkling Cider and J got the non-alcoholic cider

Chicken and pistachio terrine served with homemade fig chutney
Caramelised sweet potato and coconut cream soup
Salmon paté – prepared with smoked and fresh salmon, served with dukkah-spiced toasts
Fillet of Blue eye, baked, and served with a minted green pea puree and parsnip crisps
Porterhouse steak, chargrilled, and served with Kellybrook Shiraz jus
Honey and almond tart, served with honey and spice icecream and clotted cream
Apple brandy cheesecake served with brandied apple compote and clotted cream
Nothing was really wrong with the food. It was just very very ordinary. There's nothing wrong with 'ordinary' food per se ,but I didn't think the prices were justified. I was particularly dissapointed with my Salmon paté. It was just way too salty. Which would have been fine if it had been served with a whole lot more bread. The soup and the terrine, on the other hand were both too sweet.
The evening ended on a high though. With a delicious honey and almond tart. What was truly special was the home-made honey and spice ice cream. =)
The place has a really nice ambience. Its not a very long drive from Melbourne but when you get there, it feels like you're miles and miles away. J and I walked through their garden before heading inside for dinner. And it was lovely.

Mandala

Location: 133 Commercial Road, South Yarra
Phone: +61 3 98279297
Link: http://www.mandalarestaurant.com.au/
Cuisine: Ethnic Fusion
Overall Impression: 5/10

Decided to have dinner with J at this restaurant. Ambience wise, this is quite a nice restaurant. Cute fittings and fixtures. Its a bit noisy for my liking but overall, it was a good night out.
The menu comprises of a range of Asian food and some western food as well. Don't expect a 'fine dining' experience and you will be ok =)
Entrée:Okra FrittersChicpea batter okra cubes with apple tamarind chutney

This dish was quite bland. Lacked basic seasoning - salt and pepper.

Main: Soft Shell CrabWith pickled plum, toasted peanuts, cherry tomato

This was a highlight for me. The softshell crab was crisp on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. Yum!

Main: Slow Cooked Lamb ShankWith spiced bokchoy, wombok and market vegetables

This is an example of an attempted fusion dish. It tasted alright but it wasn't anything special.

Dessert: Pistachio Kulfi With wild berries and mango puree

A bit too creamy for my liking. The 'pistachio' bit of the kulfi was overpowered by the large amount of cream in that Kulfi. I guess its a matter of taste since J liked it.
Mandala Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 1, 2010

Esposito Seafood Dining

Restaurant: Esposito Seafood Dining

Location: 162 Elgin Street, Carlton Victoria 3053
Link: http://www.espositofood.com

After a wonderful meal at Esposito I felt the need to share it with everyone my experience. Considering that it was a last minute decision to go to Esposito since we had split the bill tokens collected from the Herald Sun, we were lucky enough to book a table for three the night before. Each of us had a three course meal for half price.

The meal started off with a complimentary seaweed salad.


The entrees that we had were specials for the night, they included a mud crab meat dish and kilpatrick oyster wrapped in slow cooked pork belly.


My friends had the mud crab dish and I had the oyster wrapped in pork belly, the oyster was very fresh and not over cooked. The sauce went well, but I wasn't too sure about the pork belly. Nonetheless, it was very nice.


Next on the menu I had a Fillet of Snapper, steamed mussels, celeriac remoulade, saffron glaze. The fish was cooked perfectly, the vegies and dressing made the dish really fresh and vibrant. I loved the touch of saltiness in the mussels and beautiful dressing.


The other mains included another special of the night the Atlantic Salmon with vegies and the Rock Flathead Fillets, king prawn omelette, broad bean & preserved lemon salad, pancetta dressing. We all had fish and from what was discussed I think we all enjoyed our dishes.

Atlantic Salmon

Rock Flathead Fillets

Time for dessert!!

After some deliberation about whether or not Helen should order the Date tart which may take at least 20 mins to cook, Helen opted for the Hot Date Tart with spiced frangipane and vanilla bean ice cream, Jie had the Warm Chocolate Fondant, liquorice scented with black berry ripple ice-cream and I had the Elderflower Panna Cotta with a toffee pear and butterscotch sauce.

Warm Chocolate Fondant - the ice cream was fantastic!!

Hot Date Tart - that we waited for around 40 mins

Panna Cotta - really nice panna cotta and butterscotch sauce!

All up the total bill for our meal came to $120 with the 50% off. I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, it was good food with good company. Will definitely be back next time (with split the bill tokens).
Esposito at Toofey's on Urbanspoon