Toko

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Toko is located on Crown Street in the midst of Surry Hills. With a Toko also situated in Dubai, this little gem is a great place to visit. With an amazing contemporary design, diners are able to experience a unique and sophisticated Japanese cuisine which would be nicely complemented with either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage from the extensive drinks menu. Offering a range of dishes with fresh produce and amazing interior throughout, Toko is a perfect way to end a long day. This was our lunch experience at Toko:

Bar view

KITCHEN | TEMPURA DISHES

Tofu

pirikara dofu to avocado – cripsy fried tofu, avocado salsa, barley miso $13.60
Jessica: Presentation was so beautiful!! I loved the avocado salsa, I think the tomatoes in the salsa was definitely needed to bring a freshness to the dish. On it’s own, the tofu was not seasoned at all, so the sweet and slightly spicy sauce was needed to give it a kick and some flavour. I do wish that the fried tofu had more crunch to the skin though. 7/10

Jimmy: This was such a delicate little dish. The tofu was soft and had a slight crisp texture to it which allowed the avocado salsa to combine well. The red garnish on top which I believe is saffron, gave a light yet big difference in the overall taste and look of the dish. The micro herbs was enjoyable so was the barley miso, which gave this dish a great balance in flavours and texture. 7/10

Squid

ika no tempura – crispy tempura squid, soy chilli broth $14.80
Jessica: The squid was perfectly deep fried, it had a nice colour to it. When you eat the squid on it’s own, it tastes average.. However that broth definitely adds so much more to the dish. I love that the dipping sauce was a broth, it was warm and had really good flavours in it, I like that it was slightly chilli! It is different to the typical aioli or sweet chilli sauce that usually comes with deep fried food. 7/10

Jimmy: This is the perfect snack sized dish to have with a beer or a couple of drinks. For me personally, I enjoyed the texture of the batter and squid. The onions placed on the top did not overpower the squid and had a very light hint of the onion flavour. A simple but enjoyable dish, though a little over-priced for the serving portion, other than that it was a fresh tasting tempura option. 7/10

KITCHEN | TOKO ROLLS

Tempura prawns

ebi tempura maki – prawn tempura, avocado, cucumber, inside out, tenkasu $14.80
Jessica: It may look like a regular sushi roll, but the flavours in this are definitely a stand out compared to when you go to a regular sushi bar. Prawns were still slightly warm which is nice, and my favourite part was actually the seaweed! It gave a nice crunch and it also had really good seasoning of salt as well. It reminded me of those dried seaweed that you can get at asian groceries in small packets – crunchy and salty! I can’t put my finger on what it was about this sushi roll that made it extra special, maybe it was the spicy mayo that it was infused with? Delicious, and a great starter! 8/10

Jimmy: This was a great option to have as a small starter. The prawns were beautiful and so was the addition of avocado. I enjoyed the little details of the dish and it being “inside out” was a real bonus. The outer layer of rice was infused with tenkasu that gave it a great texture. The cucumber gave it a little crunch and everything worked so well together. Presented beautifully and the flavours made you want more. 7/10

KITCHEN | SMALL DISHES

Wagyu

gyuniku no tataki – seared beef, pickled onions, mizuna, garlic chips $18.40
Jimmy: As a last minute option to fill my stomach a little more, we went with the seared beef. Visually beautiful and the plate really helped make the colours pop. The pickled onions had a good texture, though the crunch element was the garlic chips that was quite strong on it’s own. The beef was seared well though it may have needed more of the dressing to help give it some moisture. 6/10

ROBATA GRILL | MEAT

Ribs

honetsuki buta amagara jouyu – pork spare-ribs, sweet soy chilli $19.80
Jessica: Oh man these were cooked sooo well! So soft and tender and you could easily pull them off the bone. I loved the caramelised flavour on the edges. And the sweet soy chilli sauce was needed to add more flavour.. Although this dish was delicious, I do feel like it was a little incomplete, something was missing that I can’t quite put my finger on. 7/10

Jimmy: One of the favourites of the day has to be awarded to these pork spare-ribs. Very, very simple but full of flavours that really make this dish so enjoyable. The meat is incredibly soft and tender, that each bite rips it straight off the bone. The sweet soy chilli dressing gave it a real kick that made it a real finger licking, delicious plate of yum. 7.5/10

Pork

butabara amakara so-su to issho ni – pork belly, apple-kizami wasabi relish, sweet soy $17.20
Jessica: This looks so appetising! There was only a small dollop of the apple relish, and that small amount packed a huge punch! I loved that it gave the pork some extra dimension. I do wish the pork was more soft and tender, it wasn’t overcooked, but it wasn’t cooked to perfection either. Overall, the sweet soy added the needed sweetness to the pork, I couldn’t get enough of the sauce – I kept going back to drench my pork in it! 7/10

Jimmy: I was not too sure about my expectations for this dish, but when it came out, it looked amazing. The plating here at Toko is unique in most cases and really helps lift the dish visually. The pork was moist and soft and the sweet soy was the winner. The incredible flavours allowed the pork to bathe in it’s sticky goodness. With that addition of the amazing apple-kizami, this was a great dish. 7.5/10

DESSERT

Crumble

rubarbu crumble nihonshu shabetto zoe - chilled rhubarb-macadamia crumble, vanilla custard, apple sorbet $14.80
Jimmy: When it comes to dessert, I get extremely excited at what comes out. This was a wow dessert. Everything was happening and I found myself cleaning the plate out quicker than I should have. First off, the flavour in the apple sorbet was full and rich, a zing of apple hit’s your tastebuds and is beautiful with the vanilla custard and macadamia crumble. The crumble was sprinkled on top and also was infused with the rhubarb, which varied in the sizing of the crumble that really gave the dish some fallback from the strong flavours of the rhubarb at the bottom. I thoroughly enjoyed this meal, the little ice box was a nice addition that I thought was quite interesting. 8/10

Fondant

torokeru chocolato to hazelnut no fondant – chocolate and hazelnut fondant, milk ice cream $17.80
Jessica: Ohhhhhhhh my goodness.. this fondant was amazing. It does look like a regular fondant on the outside.. but once you dig your spoon in chocolate just comes oozing out. I regret not capturing it on video! The chocolate was so rich, but the perfect amount of richness. What I loved about this was the hazelnut sauce that was in the fondant as well, it really did make the dish 10x better than a regular chocolate fondant. It added a nutty flavour that cut through the richness of the chocolate. The fondant was warm, rich, decedant and full of chocolate and hazelnut flavour.. what more could you ask for? The milk ice cream was nice, not too sweet which was great because it helped balance the dessert. The only complaint I have is that the ice cream melted soo quickly! One point to add is that on our second visit, I cut through the fondant expecting the rich chocolate to ooze out, however all I received was the hazelnut chocolate only, it was missing the rich chocolate that oozed out the first time I had it. I believe that the fondant I had the second time was overcooked, the ‘cake’ did have a bit of a crisp on the outside. However, having said that, I cannot forget my first experience with this fondant. 9/10

CLEANSERS

Soda

momo – white peaches, calpis and green tea blended with fresh lemon juice and soda water $9
Jessica: This definitely fits being in the menu under a ‘cleanser’ (non alcoholic drink), because every time I had a sip thats what I felt like it did, it cleansed my palette – so that I was ready for the next bite into my meal. It was refreshing, and very easy to drink. I would definitely order this again. 8/10

Grapefruit

zaksan – lychees and pink grapefruit muddled with genmaicha and soda water $9
Jimmy: This looks like an great summer refreshment. The colours look great in the bamboo shaped glass. Though I found the pink grapefruit overpowered the lychees and genmaicha, which was strong in bitterness and a little tangy. Not a bad cleanser, I just would have liked to have a greater balance between flavours. 6.5/10

Bar

Final Thoughts

Jessica: This blog post consists of two visits to Toko, after the first visit we just HAD to go back ASAP! The service from our waiter was perfect, he was very friendly, patient and professional. I do think that the hostess could’ve given us a smile though. I’m not sure what it is about the restaurant but you do feel very relaxed when you dine there. Food came out on time, and the dishes were all very well executed. Loved the interior design of the restaurant, great to see that there was attention to detail as I felt like even the plates and glasses worked well with the design of the restaurant. As you can see, presentation is beautiful and consistent throughout all the dishes. A great restaurant to dine at in the Surry Hills area, beautiful food and it has a great atmosphere!

SERVICE: 8/10
ATMOSPHERE: 9/10
PRESENTATION: 9/10

Jimmy: We visited Toko at lunch time, and although we did not have a booking, we were guided to a table and seated without any fuss. The interior is really chic and the simplistic colour combinations made you feel cozy. The waiter that served us was very polite and friendly. Though there may have been a inconsistent vibe between staff, it did not effect our overall dining experience. The food was incredibly enjoyable, though the portions may be small, it had a real focus on less is more. The atmosphere was peaceful with many diners being corporate/business people, it is a relaxing place to eat. Though for dinner, the vibe may become more energetic it is something for us to try next time. Overall, Toko is a lovely place to dine. The interior and presentation is amazing, the attention to detail is present and the location is great. Lovers of Japanese food, if you haven’t yet, chuck it on your to-eat-list.

SERVICE: 7/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
PRESENTATION: 8/10

Interior

Entrance

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Lunch/reservations available

Tuesday to Friday 12pm – 3pm

Dinner/no reservations

Monday to Thursday 6pm – 11pm kitchen closes 10:15pm

Friday and Saturday 6pm – 12pm kitchen closes 11:00pm

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OSOA is now on Steller

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Our Stamp of Approval is now on Steller! A visually stunning mobile storytelling app. Combining photos, text and video, it is a great way to create and share your stories. We are using this platform to share our dining experiences and some extras that we might not normally post on our site.

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The Book Kitchen

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The Book Kitchen is located on Devonshire Street in the culturally rich Surry Hills. With a 10 minute walk from Central Station, Sydney — The Book Kitchen is the perfect place to have a good meal or a good cup of coffee. And if you haven’t noticed, a good book to read just to add to your little dining experience or just a little personal getaway from the buzzing of the city. This was our lunch experience at The Book Kitchen:

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CaesarSalad

TBK caesar – pork belly, white anchovies, baby cos, cherry tomatoes, croutons, soft poached egg, parmesan dressing $18
Jessica: My all time favourite salad to have! The pork belly was a nice surprise to replace the traditional bacon that is usually added. It looked super crispy – which it was, but what I loved was that the meat was super tender and soft once you bite into it. Cherry tomatoes were fresh and sweet. I loved the croutons, it tasted like sourdough with a hint of olive oil. I would’ve loved more caesar dressing though. Perfect dish to have, it is light but will fill you up and won’t leave you feeling bloated! 8/10

WagyuBurger

Wagyu burger – soft centre of braised shin, beetroot relish, cos lettuce, smoked garlic aioli, brioche roll with chips $19
Jimmy: I have had quite a few burgers here and there, this was the first burger that I have had that oozed a great blend of flavours and textures of that of a “normal” Wagyu burger you would usually get. The two pieces of wagyu beef were incredibly soft and juicy, the garlic aioli complimented the meat nicely and the cos lettuce was fresh and gave it a little crunch. The brioche roll tasted beautifully soft and had a slight sweet taste and I actually prefer this to the sesame buns or the common leavened bread. The star of the burger award would most definitely go to the beetroot relish. This really made the burger for me, the flavour was delicious and nice on it’s own also. Warning that if you eat burgers as sloppy as me, it may get insanely messy so probably stay away from this dish if your wearing your best. In addition, the chips that came with the burger were a nice change. Chunky and seasoned nicely, a lot more filling than your usual straight, thin or french fries. 7.5/10

IcedMocha

Iced mocha $6
Jessica: You have the option to have this with some ice cream or just over ice, I chose to have it over ice. Coffee flavour was good, it had a nice aroma to it and there was the perfect amount of chocolate in it too! 8/10

Sweet

Orange and almond meal flourless cake $4
Jessica: O-M-G.. You could tell from the first bite that this little cake was made with love! I loved the fact that you could see some orange pulp throughout the cake. The cake was the perfect texture, it was moist and not crumbly at all. I absolutely loved this and I would go back JUST for this little cake. This would be a perfect treat to have with coffee, as the marmalade is quite sweet. I couldn’t get over how amazing the orange flavour was and how moist the texture was. A must try when you come here!! 9.5/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: I really enjoyed dining here, the staff were very friendly and polite. I love the interior, it looks very welcoming. They have a bookshelf with an extensive range of cook books and some good reads if you were looking for a place to wind down and relax. Food and drinks were above average, I would highly recommend this little cafe/restaurant for lunch or breakfast. I’m hoping to try out their breakfast menu the next time we come back. This is definitely a place their surrounding competition should take notice of!

SERVICE: 8/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

Jimmy: The Book Kitchen has all the makings of a great dining spot. Perfect location right across the famous Bourke Street Bakery, The Book Kitchen is a beautiful spot to stop, relax and enjoy a meal or drink. Though we didn’t read any books, it did not reduce the peaceful atmosphere. Dog walkers and casual diners stopped by to have a cuppa or a light meal. Food was nicely presented and executed well. Service was very friendly and they weren’t afraid to hold a conversation with you.

SERVICE: 7/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7.5/10
PRESENTATION: 7.5/10

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FaceBook TwitterInstagramW: The Book Kitchen

255 Devonshire St, Surry Hills 2010
0420 239 469
Open 7 Days // Breakie & Lunch from 8am

The Book Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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Sabu

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Sabu is a modern Japanese restaurant located on Church Street, Parramatta. Sabu offers a varied menu, ranging from sushi, banquet platters, Japanese and Australian inspired dishes. Sabu is fast becoming the Japanese gem of Parramatta! Providing both indoor and outdoor seating as well as having a sake bar, Sabu Japanese Restaurant and Sake Bar becomes an ideal place to dine for groups and couples in the Church Street eating scene. This was our experience as we dined at Sabu:

Tempura Zuichini

CHEF’S SPECIAL

Tempura Zucchini Flowers – tempura zucchini flowers stuffed with prawn, sauteed shitake mushrooms, coriander and chilli with a sweet and sour sauce $16
Jessica: Loved the stuffed prawns in this! Prawns were tender, the tempura batter had good seasoning and a really good crunch too. I felt like it was deep fried for the perfect amount of time as it did not taste oily at all. My favourite part was the sweet and sour sauce, the hint of chilli in it wasn’t too overpowering and complimented the rest of the dish. 7/10

Jimmy: A bit of crunch, a hint of spice and a mouthful of flavour is what you get with this dish. The prawns and zucchini flowers worked well together, the batter was what made this really enjoyable to eat. It gave it a real punch of flavours and the sauce was a great addition. Works well as an appetizer, not too filling and gets you ready for the next dish. 7/10

Sushi

SUSHI ROLLS

Kaarage Roll – karaage chicken, cucumber, spicy mayonnaise and tempura crunch $16
Jessica: This was pretty average for me, everything tasted freshly made and flavours worked well together. But I feel like this is something you can get when you go sushi train. The only thing that stood out was the tempura crunch! Don’t get me wrong, this dish was enjoyable, it just did not stand out for me. 6/10

Jimmy: I really enjoyed this kaarage roll. With sushi, I really enjoy the cucumber and chicken combo and with this you get a really nice simple and delicious sushi roll. The tempura crunch was the winner of this, it gave the sushi an enjoyable texture and the spicy mayonnaise was not too spicy and went with the overall dish perfectly. A little over priced in my opinion but nevertheless enjoyable. 7/10

Skewers

ROBATA

Mushroom Skewers – mushroom and zucchini skewed with truffle mayonnaise and tarragon $16
Jessica: Loooooved the shitake mushrooms!! They were grilled so nicely. Mushrooms and zucchini were cooked very well, mushrooms were soft and zucchini was still slightly hard which was a nice contrast. Surprisingly, the truffle mayonnaise complimented the dish well. However, I do think that $16 is overpriced for 3 skewers that only had a slice of zucchini and two pieces of mushrooms on them.. I think they should have at least 4 skewers for this price. 7.5/10

Jimmy: Robata pretty much refers to a method of cooking on a grill in Japan…I think. Jessica ordered these and I only helped myself to one of these skewers because I tend to enjoy enoki mushrooms more than the others. The mushrooms were nice and soft, there wasn’t much happening with this as it really was a little over priced for what was served which was pretty much mushrooms and zucchini grilled and poked onto a skewer. 5.5/10

Salmon

MAIN

Miso Butter Salmon – salmon with seasonal vegetables topped with miso butter sauce and micro coriander $28
Jessica: I was honestly so surprised to see that I enjoyed this dish more than I expected to! Skin was cripsy but the salmon was a little dry. However, the miso butter sauce had amazing flavour and made the salmon and added its needed moisture. Vegetables were cooked a little inconsistent as some were softer than others. but it didn’t bother me that much! 7/10

Jimmy: This dish caught me surprise, I had pictured something completely different. It seemed like a very simplistic dish consisting of two pieces of salmon and some veges. The salmon skin was very crispy and had a great flavour to it. The vegetables were nicely cooked and I really enjoy micro herbs so the micro coriander was a nice addition. The salmon was a little dry but had a great flavour to it. Now the star of the dish had to be the miso butter sauce, it gave a subtle but effective flavour to the salmon which without it would have been a below average dish. 6/10

DESSERT

Parfait

Snow – pistachio and matcha crumbs, yuzu parfait, pistachio ice cream and pine foam $16
Jessica: When this was brought out to me I thought woowww!! Amazing presentation.. definitely fits the name of ‘snow’. The pine foam looked like whipped cream, but it takes you by surprise with an instant hit of lime flavour. As you dig into the layers it reveals the pistachio ice cream and the yuzu parfait. The pistachio ice cream was smooth and had a nice hint of pistashio flavour. However, when you eat all the elements together the lime flavours overpower the pistashio. I actually didn’t mind it because it was so tasty! The yuzu parfait reminds me of those paddle pop ice creams.. the Bulla brand ones you get at supermarkets where the flavoured ice block covers the vanilla ice cream – it reminds me of the green lime coloured one to be specific. The pistachio and matcha crumbs added a needed texture to the dish. Although I do wish the pistachio flavours were a little more enchanced, I thoroughly enjoyed this dessert! Something different to what Parramatta has to offer. 8/10

Dessert

Kakusa - Cripsy brick pastry with strawberry ice cream, chocolate soil, assorted nuts and raspberry anglaise shot $14
Jimmy: To be honest with everyone, I did not expect this at all. The presentation of Sabu’s desserts are amazing and their concepts are impressive. I went with the Kakusa because for one I really wanted to try the chocolate soil and two, I saw a mention of strawberry and raspberry, so Kakusa I did..

First of all the crispy brick pastry looks amazing on the plate and the placing of the different elements on the plate gives it a wow factor. Now to the dessert itself. The chocolate soil didn’t have the flavour I was imagining, since I never tried it before. It has a dry texture with a hint of chocolate. The soil in combination with the berries were enjoyable and the raspberry anglaise shot was delicious. The crispy brick pastry was a great addition to the dish and gave me a little fun using it to dip the different elements on the plate. The strawberry ice cream to me was the best part of the dessert. The flavour was amazing, I wish there was another scoop. 7.5/10

DRINKS

Drink
Green Tea Mula
 $12

Jessica: When I saw this I instantly thought of the Starbucks green tea frappacino.. It had the perfect mount of green tea flavour and sweetness. And I love that the texture was super smooth! Definitely comparable to the Starbucks one and I actually prefer the texture of this better. 8/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: Love the look of this restaurant.. it is very appealing. Service was more professional than I had expected and they were very friendly as well. I love the way they present their wet hand towels (you’ll see when you dine there), its different and adds a little more to your experience dining there. Presentation was spot on, each dish looked beautiful. I do feel like some dishes are a little overpriced, however I would still recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a restaurant to dine at in the heart of Parramatta. I can’t wait to dine there again soon!

SERVICE: 8/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
PRESENTATION: 8.5/10

Jimmy: Lately we have been finding places to dine locally and I had my eyes on this place for a while due to the amazing egg shaped candles they had. It is a very nice place to dine, visually appealing and a great strip of restaurants surrounding it. From the moment we walked in we were greeted and felt welcomed. The service was polite and professional, the type you would not expect in many of the restaurants in Parramatta. The menu was interesting and the drink menu was extensive. For those wanting sake or whatnot, this is the place to go to. The food for the most part was very enjoyable, a little overpriced though the presentation of many of the meals makes you feel as if you’re fine dining. For the lovers of Japanese cuisine, put this on the list of places to eat next time you are in Parramatta, or even if you’re not, make a trip down there.

SERVICE: 7/10
ATMOSPHERE: 6.5/10
PRESENTATION: 8/10

FaceBookSabu’s website

Mon: CLOSED

Tue – Sun:

12pm-3pm

5pm-10pm

P: +61(2)9635 1088

321 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2150

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Ristretto & Co

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Ristretto & Co. is located in Liverpool, Sydney offering a range of coffees from the espresso to iced chai lattes. With a menu consisting of food for both breakfast and lunch with the addition of small pastries and sweets, Ristretto & Co is a breath of fresh air for the coffee scene in the area of Liverpool. It was a last minute decision to visit this little cafe, this was our experience:

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Brioche

Bacon and Egg brioche with provolone, aioli and smokey bbq sauce $9
Jessica: When I saw this in the menu I thought YES! I might actually be able to have a delicious bacon and egg like the one at The Boatbuilder’s Yard in Melbourne. The presentation was simple, and I liked that you could see the layers inside. Together, the burger was delicious, bread was nice and soft.. you could tell that it was fresh. The best part was the brioche bread and the beautifully melted provolone cheese! The cheese wasn’t too overpowering and was melted sooo well. The bbq sauce wasn’t ‘smokey’ like it was described to be though. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this! 8/10

Bircher

Bircher muesli with mixed berry compote & fresh fruit $9
Jimmy: For those that haven’t had bircher muesli, it’s pretty much like rolled oats with the addition of grains/nuts, fruits that are infused with milk or yoghurt or whatever it would be. Anyway, this was a really nicely presented meal. The various berries and the touch of mint made this look tasty, it makes you want to just dig in. The flavour of the compote was generous making the bircher muesli enjoyable throughout. I wasn’t too sure about the fresh fruit and where that came in on the bowl, though it didn’t trouble me much it would have boosted this to a great breakfast. 6.5/10

Coffee

Mocha (Right) $4
Jessica: The first thing that caught my attention was the colour of the coffee.. I thought it looked like there was no chocolate added in at all. In fact it practically looked like Jimmy’s latte. Second thing was that there was no pattern on the coffee. It’s no big deal but it’s the extra effort that makes a coffee more special. Coffee was the perfect temperature, and was not burnt. However, the sweetness of chocolate seemed to come more from the chocolate powder sprinkled on top. When you look at the glass you see chocolate settling on the bottom.. So I feel like the chocolate was not mixed in well with the coffee. Needed a bit more sweetness in my opinion. 6.5/10

Latte (Left) $3.50
Jimmy: Being extremely tired in the morning, I was really looking forward to the latte, and according to many reviews the coffee was of a high standard. With Ristretto and Co. using the Campos blend, I was always going to have high hopes for their coffee. Personally the froth was the perfect amount and the temperature was good. I can’t say much about the quality of the milk, it was quite bubbly and the pour evidently drowned the flavour of the espresso. 5/10

Tart

Salted caramel chocolate tart $5
Jessica: I noticed this baby from the moment I walked in.. at first I thought it was a dark chocolate tart but hearing that it was a salted caramel chocolate tart made it even more exciting! The salted caramel filling is so smooth and the bitterness of the dark chocolate layer balances out the sweetness of the salted caramel. Chocolate pastry was good, nice texture but I found that it was a bit fragile! Although it was delicious, you do need some water or coffee with it! 8/10

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Final Thoughts

Jessica: I feel like this could be the “Circa Espresso” of Liverpool. It has some of the same elements as Circa Espresso… however it is not executed as well. I feel like their coffee needs a bit more improvement.. food is great though! Staff were attentive; the waitress noticed that our coffees hadn’t come out yet when she gave us our meals. But I feel like they lacked at making some small talk or conversations with us. When we were there it looked like they were still getting the place together, looked like they were going to paint something on the wall? It has a great location and has a lot of potential! I look forward to giving them another visit within the next couple of months to see the place completely finished.

SERVICE: 6/10
ATMOSPHERE: 6/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

Jimmy: Ristretto & Co have so much potential and thrive on so many aspects that are lacking in the Liverpool area of Sydney. The decor and interior are inviting and different from the major franchises that monopolizes the area. The back seating area is peaceful and a really nice place to kick back and relax in the morning or catch up with some friends, away from the busy roads. The place can only improve as they seem to be doing a large mural painting that is in the works as well as a large chalkboard tracking the FIFA World Cup. They also have a large TV screen towards the front so that could be interesting come the World Cup. The food was enjoyable and the service was standard. The coffee was a real let down and I really expected better, however this is a really nice place that you can rarely find in a place like Liverpool. Within walking distance of Westfield’s Liverpool, this place should be on your list of places to try next time you’re thinking of a place for brekkie!

SERVICE: 6/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

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Catalina

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Catalina is a family business that run a beautifully located one chef hat restaurant on the site of Rose Bay. Opened since 1994, Catalina’s menu is inspired by French, Italian, Spanish and Mediterranean cuisines  and also provide an extensive wine list that has won 3 goblets at the Australian Wine List of the Year Awards 2013. Located within close walking distance from the Rose Bay ferry wharf, diners can find themselves arriving at Catalina in more ways than one. For a special night, diners may arrive by seaplane or by ferry which in many ways reflects Catalina’s amazing panoramic view of the Sydney water-scape. We dined here for Valentines Day for a 5:30pm reservation, this was our experience:

View from our table…

View from our table

ENTREE

PorkBelly

Crispy skin pork belly with apple remoulade, baby vegetables, smoked celeriac puree and port wine jus
Jessica: Crackling was perfectly cripsy and had an amazing crunch! Pork was tender and so soft. My favourite element of the dish was the wine jus, tasted amazing and worked so well with the pork. Apple was cooked well and added a needed sweetness to the dish. The puree was nice, a bit too smoked for my liking but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. 8/10

Scallops

Pan seared sea scallops with lemon emulsion, chorizo, cuttlefish and piquillo pepper coulis
Jimmy: Catalina is known for it’s beautiful seafood, so what better way to start the night with the pan seared sea scallops. Visually stunning with the vibrancy coming from the colour of the seared scallops and the cuttlefish and piquillo peppers. Scallops were cooked well, tender and not dry at all. The chorizo combination gave it a real boost of flavour with the lemon and emulsion and pepper coulis binding the dish well but flavouring could have been a little stronger. The cuttlefish was interesting and something I was not expecting at all, which gave the dish a little something. 7.5/10

MAIN

SmokedDuck

Smoked duck breast with confit duck Maryland, rhubarb tart and sauteed kale
Jessica: Smoked duck breast was cooked very well, I loved the salty skin on it! The confit duck was okay, it was a little too bland for me. To my surprise I really enjoyed the sauteed kale! I felt like it went so well with the duck. The rhubarb tart was delicious, I loved the pastry. It was nice and crumbly and perfect amount of flavour. Now.. although most elements of this dish was cooked well, I honestly did not fancy the flavour combination of the rhubarb tart with the duck. The pastry of the tart just didn’t go well with the duck. I think if they had taken away the pastry and just left the rhubarb there then it may have paired better together. If I were to rate the smoked duck, confit duck and the sauteed kale as a separate dish from the rhubarb tart, then I would give them a 7.5/10 each. However, for the dish as a whole.. a 6.5/10.

LambLoin

Herb crusted lamb loin with carrot puree, sauteed kipfler potato and zucchini
Jimmy: The presentation was sophisticated and highlighted the lamb loin in a wonderful light. The herb crust was packed with flavour and crunchy in texture. The lamb was cooked well, however not consistent which made it difficult to cut on some occasions. The carrot puree was beautiful and the kipfler potatoes were nice, personally I would have liked them more softer! The complimentary sides of the chips and salad were indeed a nice touch, and well needed to accompany the lamb loin. 6.5/10

Sides

Complimentary sides: Chips and Garden Salad

DESSERT

Banana

Banana and salted peanut butter parfait with caramel sauce
Jessica: The dish tasted exactly like what it was described as in the menu. All you peanut butter fans out there would love this dessert!! Peanut butter parfait was delicious. Banana and peanut butter pair sooooo nicely together and the sauce made it a little more special. Loved the combination of flavours! The only thing missing that would’ve made the dish complete was a little more texture, would’ve loved to hear a crunch in the base of the parfait. Favourite dish of the night. 8/10

ChampagneJelly

Champagne jelly with fresh raspberries and pomegranate; raspberry ripple ice cream
Jimmy: BAM dessert time and what better way to finish with a little bit of raspberry and ice cream. For those that do not enjoy the taste of champagne, the jelly is probably not for you, as it really is dry and the palette and has a strong aroma in it’s flavour. The raspberry ripple ice cream was a great contrast in temperature and I really wished there could have been more. Speaking of more, the pomegranate syrup was probably the best part of the dessert. Amazing flavour and I would have had a paid extra to have more! The base of the dessert was very interesting and one way that I could describe it would be that of Uncle Toby’s roll-ups. Overall the dessert was full of flavour and I enjoyed thoroughly, however the balancing of elements were the only problems I had with the dessert, besides that it was fun to dig into this. 6.5/10

PETIT FOURS

PetitFours

Final Thoughts

Jessica: Although the main was a bit of a let down.. Catalina is still one of my top 3 fine dining restaurants! Their staff are professional, attentive and most of them are friendly. We had an outdoor seating and the breeze outside was coming off a little strong.. the hostess was so kind to leave a scarf with me for when I did get cold! A gesture like that just shows that they actually care and they would do that extra bit more than just guide you to your table or serve you your dishes. I also love the fact that it is a family run business, you definitely feel warm and cozy and very welcome from the moment you walk in. I always recommend Catalina to my friends.. and I would still recommend it now, but maybe choose a different main from what I had.

SERVICE: 8.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 9/10
PRESENTATION: 8/10

Jimmy: Having previously taken Jessica here a very long time ago, it really became an instant favourite of ours. The view we have on the balcony table is stunning and peaceful. There’s no question that Catalina’s service is top notch from the last time we were here and with our most recent visit. It is a family business and you feel like you’re served with great care. Catalina is one of those places that couples can enjoy for any special occasion. The food is fresh in it’s produce and plated beautifully. Really do recommend Catalina, maybe we’ll try the seaplane next time we dine.

SERVICE: 8.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 8/10
PRESENTATION: 8/10

View from Rose Bay Ferry Wharf

Exterior

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Restaurant Trading Hours:

Monday – Saturday: 12 noon til midnight. (Restaurant remains open all afternoon. They do not close between lunch and dinner)

Sunday lunch: 12 noon til 6:00 pm (Closed Sunday dinner)

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North Bondi Fish


COVER

North Bondi Fish, Matt Moran’s latest restaurant with Peter Sullivan is located just across the road from the north end of the famous Bondi Beach. Opening from midday into the late evening, North Bondi Fish is the place to be for a great seafood meal or a range of exciting drinks. Since NBF opened up recently, we decided to dine here for lunch on Valentines Day. This was our experience:

Calamari

ENTREE:

Crumbed Calamari Rings – Lemon
Jessica: When you look at the photo the calamari rings don’t look that crunchy.. however, to my surprise there is a good crunch when you bite into it! These were crumbed perfectly, a good amount of flavour on the outside. The calamari was cooked very well, and they were seasoned well with salt. By itself they tasted above average.. but when you add lemon and the aioli, it gives extra punch and it’s sooo yummy! Please note that you may want to squeeze the lemon a little as you go… if you leave it for too long the lemon makes the crumb soggy. You do see that there are some herbs within the crumb mixture, I would’ve loved to taste a little more of those herbs. 7/10

Oysters

Oysters – Pacific (right) and Sydney Rock (left) 
Jimmy: For starters I had the oysters. One of the Pacific oysters and the Sydney rock for the other. It was just one of those days, eating near the beach you kinda crave a little bit of oysters. For me it was interesting as they had two different types of oysters and when they came out, you could see the distinct differences. The Pacific oyster was a little larger in size and tasted very fresh. The Sydney Rock on the other hand was different in texture but gave a nicer after taste. The combination of the lemon juice and dressing was pleasant and didn’t over power the oysters. Not a big oyster fan but for those who love them, you should try the Pacific oyster. 6.5/10

King Prawns
MAIN: 

King Prawns – Split, Lime, Oregano
Jessica: I ordered this dish on a whim.. As you know I’m not that big of a seafood fan, but I think my tastebuds have finally come around (about time) and I’m enjoying it more, the more I have it. I had seen some photos of the grilled prawns before, and they looked delicious! I wish the prawns that I received were a tiny bit more grilled.. I love seeing those grill marks. There was a slight hint of oregano, it did not overpower the prawn flavour, although I would’ve loved to have a bit more of that herb flavour. The prawns were cooked so well! It wasn’t a struggle to get the meat off the shell. I felt like the prawns by itself was missing another element, and that other element was the lime! Good thing I received a large slice of the lime, I practically drenched the prawns in lime juice. I wish that the lime flavour was already marinated within the prawn meat though. 6.5/10

Crab Linguini

Crab Linguini – Peas, Chilli, Lemon
Jimmy: I always have a soft spot for crab on the menu and after seeing a few images of this dish, it really got me excited to try it. The linguini was flavoured generously and never lost it’s depth of taste. For those that cannot handle an ounce of chilli, this was just the perfect amount and it never caused me any problems for the duration of the dish. The peas were a refreshing element and contrasted the texture of the beautiful crab nicely. 7/10

Fresh Mango

DESSERT:

Fresh Mango – Mango and Passionfruit Sorbet, Coconut Tuille 
Jessica: My favourite part of this dish was the coconut tuille! Out of the two sorbet’s I enjoyed the mango one more. It was a lot more smooth in texture compared to the passionfruit. I felt like the mango sorbet captured the flavour of a fresh ripe mango more than the passionfruit sorbet did. The mango pieces were quite small, I think the dessert would’ve been more “fresh” if there were slightly bigger pieces of mango. 6.5/10

Jimmy: Who doesn’t love a good mango dessert. This was tantalizing my taste buds and when it came out, I just dug into the mango pieces. A overly simple dessert that is really quite refreshing and satisfying. The mango pieces were accompanied by passionfruit pulps and the sorbet was nicely flavoured. Really did wish there was more of the coconut tuille because it did lift the dessert, giving it a different texture. Simple but tasty. 6.5/10

Cocktail

DRINKS: 
Home Made Soda – Mango, Passionfruit, Mint (right)
Jessica: I really enjoyed this drink, it was light and very refreshing. If it is a beautiful hot summers day, then I would highly recommend this drink! The mango in it was a little too sweet, and I would’ve liked for the passionfruit flavours to be a bit more enhanced. The mint flavour peeked through in the right portion, it was definitely needed to make the drink more refreshing. 7/10

Ocean Breeze – Havana Club, Cointreau Peach Juice, Mint, Licorice Syrup, Lime (left)
Jimmy: I don’t usually order cocktails, but wouldn’t you with the cointreau, peach, mint, licorice and lime? It pretty much convinced me to order it. The bartenders were fun to watch, and the ingredients used seemed very fresh. They had a few fresh peach slices on a stick and that was a nice touch. You can tell this place could get very busy during the evening on drinks alone. 7/10

Interior

Final Thoughts:
Jessica: It was a great experience at this restaurant. Definitely a great place to have lunch or dinner if you are hungry and you happen to be at the beach. Their dishes are light, with fresh flavours and I think that’s what makes it perfect for their location. Staff are friendly, although I did see some slight service differences with our waitress when it came to serving different customers. However, it isn’t really a big deal. Food is great, and you get an amazing view of the beach as well!

SERVICE: 6.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 8/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

Jimmy: North Bondi Fish is a great place to have lunch or even a few drinks as the sun goes down and you’re at the beach. At a perfect location you can literally walk from the main side of Bondi to the other side to get to this little chic spot. Service is standard and food offers variety. It should be an option to look at next time you’re at the beach, it does get a little packed at times so it’s safer to make a booking in advanced.

SERVICE: 6.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7.5/10
PRESENTATION: 6.5/10

Exterior

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Vue de Monde

Cover
Australian chef, Shannon Bennet’s three chef hat restaurant situated on the 55th floor of the Rialto building offers an amazing dining experience looking over the Melbourne city landscape. With an Australiana theme and some French influence, Vue de Monde offers an A la Carte or Degustation menu worth going for. This restaurant was booked in advanced for Jimmy’s 21st birthday and we had such a great night that we decided to post up a few extra pictures for you! Now we didn’t upload every picture we had taken that night just to preserve the experience for those going for the first time, as it makes it much more memorable. This was our experience at Vue de Monde:

Table view

APPETISERS:

Potato CrispsWallabyEmu JerkyTruffle MarshmellowsSmoked EelENTREE:

EntreePORK
Greenvale farm Pork, marron, wild herb cream
Jessica: The detail on the presentation is just amazing, look at the way that radish is curled!! The pork and marron tasted as good as they looked. Pork was soo tender, it melted in my mouth. Flavours of the pork and marron together were just meant to be, flavours weren’t overpowering – making it the perfect entree. 9/10

Jimmy: If you can’t decide what to get for your entree, this is a must. It’s like magic on the plate, visually beautiful and amazing on the taste buds. Perfectly portioned for an entree personally, with something that gets you excited for the next dish. First off the marron was cooked so beautifully that I could of had more. Pork melts in your mouth and the combination with the wild herb cream gave it a little more punch. I rate this entree highly. 9/10

entreeDUCK

Duck, apple, pine mushrooms, Gascony butter
Jessica: Again, just amazing presentation. Duck was cooked well and surprisingly the apple paired nicely with the duck. The mushrooms were okay, they had some subtle flavours but they weren’t anything amazing. However, the Gascony butter definitely brought the dish together. The saltiness balanced out the sweetness from the duck and apple. 7/10

entreeKANGAROO

Kangaroo, charcoal, onion
Jimmy: This was my second entree, and take nothing away from the amazing gastronomic experience you receive from the get go, this was a simple enough dish that was unique in many aspects. My first time eating kangaroo, I’ve heard in many cases that kangaroo meat can be tough, but in this case the kangaroo slices were cooked on some sort of heated piece of log, just seared on the one side that gave the meat a textual contrast. Onions were nice and soft, the onion cream eaten with the meat gives you a little extra kick.  6.5/10

Palate Cleanser:

Cucumber Sorbet with microherbs

MAIN:

MAINjessica
Smoked eggplant, onions, thyme
Jessica: Oh my god, this dish was amazing. It arrived to me with a glass cloche over it, it looked very foggy inside. When the cloche was lifted, it revealed a trail of smoke coming from a piece of burning bark. It definitely added a sense of smokiness before I even started eating the eggplant! Now the eggplant itself was amazing, it was soft and salty, the beetroot and onion complimented the eggplant so well. While eating this, I couldn’t get over how amazing it was. I honestly never thought that one of my favourite dishes of all time would be an eggplant dish. 10/10

MAINjimmy

Mark’s catch, leek, black cabbage, oyster, tarragon
Jimmy: If I can recall, this meal was the kingfish, and just by looking at it, it may seem like it’s just a piece of fish with some greens. The leek and oysters gives this dish something special. The fish was cooked for the Gods! Perfectly cooked and it was a really nice piece of fish. If you like a beautifully cooked fish then don’t hesitate to order this. 7.5/10

DESSERT:

DESSERTjessica
Chocolate Souffle
Jessica: The texture was light and fluffy, and unlike the one Jimmy had at Guillaume at Bennalong, this one actually had a good amount of chocolate flavour! Actually, the flavour of chocolate seemed to grow the more you ate it. It was an above average chocolate souffle, but nothing amazing. It didn’t disappoint, but it didn’t blow my mind either. 7/10

DESSERTjimmy

Passionfruit, white chocolate
Jimmy: When you look at the menu and you see “Passionfruit, white chocolate” you probably wouldn’t imagine a dessert looking like this. I felt like I was in a science lab when the waitress brought this out and I was actually taking my time looking at each element on the dish. How do you even start digging into it and what do you use to eat it. Well i ended up eating everything with my hands which I don’t usually like doing, but this was an exception. This was a really fun dessert and if your after something different, you’ve got to try this. You can’t go wrong with passionfruit..or chocolate. 8/10

PETIT FOURS:

Petit Fours (Pennys)Petit Fours (shells)Petit Fours (Gumballs)Petit Fours (Lamington)

Final Thoughts
Jessica: All I can say is that this is by far the best fine dining restaurant I have been to. It’s hard to describe my experience, as I can’t seem to find the words to describe it! I had my clutch on the table, then a couple of minutes later a waiter brought me a stool so that my personal belongings had a seat too! The service is amazing from the moment you are greeted on ground floor. Once we reached the higher levels, the lift opened and there was someone waiting there to guide us to our table. When we reached our seats the table had some random pebbles on it.. as the night progressed we slowly found out what each pebble was for. I don’t want to reveal too much about this experience.. it is unique and I don’t think another restaurant can ever replicate this. It is something where you just have to experience it to understand where I am coming from. I guarantee you will not be disappointed, this is a restaurant that NEEDS to be on your bucket list!!!!!! Ps. book in advance!

SERVICE: 10/10
ATMOSPHERE: 9/10
PRESENTATION: 9/10

Jimmy: Me personally, I had very high expectations for this restaurant considering the price and great reviews that I have read about. There aren’t many restaurants that I can really say impressed me from the start, middle and end, however Vue de Monde is truly a wonderful experience. Their fine attention to detail in their presentation, food and even their decor and furniture offer the diner a memorable evening. Our experience at Vue de Monde was second to none. The dishes were fun and enjoyable and the service was at the most professional and skilled. This place is up there with the best places I have eaten at so far and will most likely stay there for some time. A unique and fun experience that truly offers so much more than expected.

SERVICE: 9/10
ATMOSPHERE: 8.5/10
PRESENTATION: 9/10


Open Kitchen

Level 55, Rialto
525 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
T: +61 3 9691 3888
E: vuedemonde@vuedemonde.com.au

Lunch:
Tuesday to Friday and Sunday
Reservations from midday to 2pm

Dinner:
Monday to Saturday
Reservations from 6pm to 9pm
Reservations are essential

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Rosetta

cover

Rosetta is Neil Perry’s third Crown restaurant. As it is Perry’s first stand alone Italian restaurant, the many visitors of Crown in Melbourne are fortunate to have Rosetta in such close proximity. With a beautiful location off Crown Towers in Southbank, amazing decor that takes you back in time with the sophisticated backdrop of chandeliers, framed black and white photographs of Italian celebrities that in Rosetta’s design gives you a little taste of Italy. The food boasts a wide variety that celebrates the many regions of Italy with an impressive wine list to match. This was our experience:

exterior
ENTREE:

squid
Calamari – Fried Squid and Zucchini: $32
Jessica: As you can see, this is a fairly large portion for an entree! I was expecting to get 3/4 of this plate max. The fried squid was cooked well, however I do wish they were a bit crunchier. The zucchini was cooked perfectly, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The herbs added a light flavour, nothing too overpowering. To be honest, this large portion was starting to fill up my tummy! 7/10

seafood

Grigliata Mista di Mare – Charcoal grilled prawns, calamari, baby octopus, and mussels with extra virgin olive oil and lemon :$45
Jimmy: When this meal came out, it looked amazing. The portions seemed very generous and the first thing I thought was shit, this could get messy, as the prawns seemed to still be in their shell. So I started with the calamari and the flavour you get from the first bite really packs a punch. Really tasty and everything was so well cooked. Thankfully i could get through everything without having to use my fingers. The extra virgin olive oil and lemon gave the seafood something different from the charcoal grill and I’m happy that they had enough of the dressing as I feel the dish could’ve lost something as I ate more. 7/10

MAIN:

pasta
Spaghetti – with zucchini, chilli and prosciutto :$32
Jessica: My favourite dish of the night! I wish I took a photo of the pasta before the waiter put parmesan cheese on it! Of course, I requested for a lot of cheese. The spaghetti was cooked so well, everything in this dish was cooked perfectly! I’m usually not a massive fan of chilli, but this added another element to the dish and took it to a whole new level. As you can see from the picture, the spaghetti was drenched in quite a lot of olive oil.. the dish was delicious but it would’ve been perfect without. It’s hard to believe that I would say this but I prefer this pasta over my beloved bosciaola or carbonara sauce pastas! The problem with those heavier pasta sauces is that you can get sick of it easily, but this didn’t give that feeling at all. 8.5/10

duck

Anarta – Wood fire roasted duck, mattone style with saffron roasted apricots, pinenuts and raisins :$45
Jimmy:  There’s something about apricots that doesn’t really appeal to me, so whilst ordering this dish I was kinda hoping that it would give me something to convince me. To be honest, that duck was cooked so nicely, with the apricot and the pine nuts and raisins, this was an enjoyable meal. I really enjoyed the raisins with the duck and I wished there was a little more. Though nothing too special with this meal, the duck was really well cooked though I felt something was missing. 6.5/10

DESSERT:

ice cream
Torrone al Cioccolato – Frozen chocolate, peanut and coconut semi freddo :$21
Jessica: The frozen chocolate was quite nice, I feel like you could taste the chocolate more as you continued to eat it. There was a dark chocolate base under the frozen chocolate which added a nice bitter flavour to the sweetness of the entire dish. The semi freddo was a nice consistency, you could really taste the peanut flavour in it, not so much the coconut though! 6.5/10

panacotta

Panna Cotta – with rhubarb and strawberry compote :$21
Jimmy: This was the dish that really made my day. Panna Cotta! Let me tell you this vanilla panna cotta was by far the best one I’ve had so far. On it’s own the consistency was silky smooth and soft as a feather. The rhubarb and strawberry compote provided such a lift to the dessert, that I wish I had a second round. I have had a few panna cotta’s at Melbourne and this is the standout. 8/10

interior

Final Thoughts

Jessica: I had booked this restaurant to celebrate Jimmy’s 21st, and honestly this restaurant couldn’t have been more perfect. The service was great, staff were professional and friendly. The music was perfect (for Jimmy’s taste), they played his favourite music which went well with the atmosphere of the restaurant. Be aware that sunlight can come through to the outdoor seatings quite strong, so be aware of the time you are booking if you wish to be seated outdoors. Overall, this restaurant put up service and food that was a lot better than I had anticipated, highly recommend this restaurant!

SERVICE: 7.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7.5/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

Jimmy: I was actually meaning to take Jessica to this restaurant the last time we were at Melbourne but I overlooked it. But since we were here and Jessica booked it on a New Years Eve I was really excited to experience it. Rosetta is a place that when you look through the windows, you see a space inside that makes you feel like you will be dining at a sophisticated European fine dining restaurant. Though we sat outside in the terrace, the design was a little more modern but take nothing away from the beautiful fresh air! The service was friendly but professional from the moment we walked in to the moment we left. Most of the waiters/waitresses spoke Italian so that was something great to hear when you’re dining at an Italian restaurant. Pavarotti was playing in the background, three really enjoyable meals, especially the dessert and the occasion made the day that much more special. Although the food may be a little pricey, it could be a restaurant you consider when trying to decide on a place to dine while you’re walking along the Crown complex.

SERVICE: 7.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 7/10
PRESENTATION: 7/10

Rosetta Ristorante

Opening Hours

Lunch Tuesday to Sunday 12.00pm-3.00pm

Dinner 7 days from 6.00pm

Reservations

+ 61 3 8648 1999

Crown Complex
Southbank VIC 3006
Australia

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Charlie Lovett

CoverCharlie Lovett located at South Wharf in Melbourne is a cafe offering their own coffee blend and a range of food for those wanting to take some time off and enjoy sitting in a large seating area that offers both indoor and outdoor seatings. This cafe is practically next to the South Wharf DFO and is situated alongside other cafe’s looking out the waterfront. With their own roasted coffee blend and a mix between home-made and gourmet breakfast and sandwiches Charlie Lovett provides and caters for many. Whilst on a New Year Day exploration for a cafe that was open we stumbled upon Charlie Lovett, this was our experience:

Coffee

Latte

Jimmy: Well here it is the Latte made with Charlie’s single origin estate coffee beans. It becomes apparent that with the combination of the constant New Years Day flurry of customers, one barista, the expectation usually results to a lack of a quality cup when served up. I guess the pour was, well poor because I could hardly taste the flavour of the coffee as it become drowned by the obvious re-steamed milk that didn’t give me that smooth and full flavoured latte I was really hoping for. 4/10

Hot Choc

Belgium Milk Hot Chocolate

Jessica: We did not have to wait long for our drinks which is good, I believe there was only 1 barista on the busy New Years Day and she did a good job with getting these drinks out quickly. This hot chocolate was so disappointing.. if you are looking for a good belgium hot chocolate then I would recommend The Chocolate Room at Parramatta, Sydney. The hot chocolate had the slightest hint of chocolate flavour.. the rest just tasted like milk that was heated up. Very disappointing and I would not recommend it, unless you ask them to put extra chocolate in for you. 2/10

Benedict

Eggs Benedict on Turkish bread with Ham

Jessica: We waited at least 30-40 minutes for our food to come. In my opinion this Eggs Benedict was worth the wait. The texture of the hollandaise sauce was perfect and the flavouring was perfect as well! In the photo it honestly looks like a regular eggs benedict, but I think it was the quality in the hollandaise sauce and also the ham that made this above average. The only thing is, the “turkish bread” did not taste or look like turkish bread, it honestly looked and tasted like regular toast.. However, with this said, I would still recommend this! 6/10

Big Breakfast

Charlie’s Big Breakfast 

Jimmy: This is what breakfast looks like. I really enjoyed the spinach and sausage. The bread tasted fresh and the mushrooms were nice. The down sides were probably the bacon that was not as crispy as expected and the wait time for the meal, though it didn’t fail to deliver a good meal to start the day! 5/10

Final Thoughts

Jessica: We went on New Years Day, and this was one of two cafes open. I think that they should have been more prepared with the rush of people. You had to wait in the queue for at least 10-15 minutes before you were served at the counter. And food took 30-40 minutes which is just way too long to wait for breakfast… we did see a couple leave and I don’t blame them. It feels a bit unfair to judge them on the time it took for their food to come out as it was New Years Day, and most places were closed. They probably did not expect it to be that busy. But they should’ve been prepared incase there was a massive rush of people anyway! The food certainly wasn’t disappointing, but the service was.

SERVICE: 5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 6/10
PRESENTATION: 6/10

Jimmy: Charlie Lovett looks really good when you walk in. You’ve got the huge counter with their own roasting machine and the decor oozes a rustic fisherman’s hut to me for some reason. Kudos to the staff that got pumped for so many hours, as it seemed busy prior and after our visit. The manager offered a smile and a quick conversation whilst taking my order, indicated to me that they were consistent with good service. The New Year’s buzz aside, food was good, coffee not so much, though this place has so much more potential, I would not mind visiting it another time, when it isn’t as busy!

SERVICE: 5.5/10
ATMOSPHERE: 5/10
PRESENTATION: 5.5/10

Charlie Lovett South Wharf
43 South Wharf Promenade
South Wharf VIC 3006

catering.sw@charlielovett.com.au
(03) 9696 6886

Winter Trading Hours
Monday – Friday: 7.00 am – 8.00 pm
Weekend: 7.00 am – Late

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