Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Courthouse

Well, I think I may have set a personal best for breaking road rules...but always safely of course. Yes, probably a bit of a contradiction but seriously...

I've been trying really hard over the last few weeks to get my eating back on track after the last few months of over indulgence in crap that I shouldn't be eating, but I will have to admit, last week was a the low point. For almost a year now, I've cleaned up my diet, and even when I eat out, it's always a relatively measured approach (ok, every now and then I screw it up, but its only incidental). Never would I have ever gone out and stuffed my face with fried chicken (see previous post).
You can probably gather I'm still shame ridden. Anyway, dinner at the Courthouse was well and truly more controlled and pleasant. I started with the morton bay bug, which was fine, but nothing spectacular. My friend had the quail , which I note, did look delicious.

For the main show, I had the wild venison with jerusalem artichokes or something and yeah, it was brilliant.
I think what excited us (me) most were the side dishes of cauliflower and brussel sprouts. I love love love cauliflower. I eat so much of it that you would sort of expect me to get sick of it - but I don't. Cauliflower with grains, sultanas etc.. and the brussel sprouts were cooked with a bit of butter, nice and caramelised and just delicious.

For a sweet finish, I had the pumpkin brulee which was surprisingly good, with just the perfect amount of sweetness.

The Courthouse is definitely worth a visit if you're around North Melbourne. Is it the best gastropub out there? Probably not, but will you get a good meal out of it and leave pretty satisifed - yep.

The Courthouse, 90 Errol St, North Melbourne
The Courthouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Do you have moments where you know you're about to do something that you will instantly regret? But you know you're going to do it anyway? Do you have those moments where you almost have to do it just so you stop thinking about it?

"Gami" was that type of moment. It has been weeks in the making, WEEKS. The plan was to meet after work and go for nasty korean fried chicken (ok, in all fairness, the plan to go for nasty korean fried chicken was all mine, but I insist on sharing the blame). Well, it happened and I am full of shame.

What can I say? It was just a damn lot of fried chicken. Maybe I wouldn't be filled with shame if it was mind blowing - it wasn't, it was ok. I am however, surprised at how disappointed some people were when they were told they had to wait 1.5hrs to get seats. One guy even tried to negotiate this point indicating that "it's pretty fast food, blah blah people eat and go ". I mean dude...seriously?

Anyway, they handed out a bowl of prawn crackers or whatever that you get at an asian super market - I can even picture the silver bag, and I really don't know why we were given these things - but whatever, I'll say that it's part of the experience. We ordered the pancake, which was ok, but I wasn't too sure about the dipping sauce which was really just soy sauce , with flakey things that looked like chilli, but wasn't really hot - what happened to just mayo? Japanese mayo ? Yes, I know this is a Korean fried chicken place...but if going to use tomato sauce on cabbage as a salad dressing, then I figure it would be ok to use Japanese mayo on a pancake.

For the fried chicken we got the half sweet chilli and half original (so that  I think it was equivalent to a whole chicken or something, and it was scary how close we got to finishing it. I wasn't actually full, I just felt like hurling after eating nothing but fried chicken and beer. It says a lot when you start eating pickles because it's "refreshing". Yes, I'm sure that to some degree, acetic acid helps digestion...right?

Overall, I'm not sure why this place is that busy because it isn't mind blowing fried chicken. But if you just want to stuff your face in Korean fried chicken (just add salt and you've got yourself KFC) then I suppose this place is as good as any. if you're in the CBD.

Gami, 100 Lt Lonsdale St, CBD

Gami on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Carrot Cake

Yes, this is a blog about eating carrot cake icing - and damn, it was good.

But more importantly, BETTY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!


I ate that icing for you, I took those calories for you Betty, took those calories alright - and I hope you know, I don't eat carrot cake for ANY old friend (nor dedicate a whole blog post!!!). Enjoy my present.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It has been months, or even a WHOLE year, since I last visited Yu-u. I remember when getting reservations was virtually impossible. "Sorry, we're fully booked", "Sorry". Yeah, it gets old pretty quickly.

Anyway, we did a lunch at at this basement space. I won't talk about how hard it is to find, or the graffiti door or any of that crap, because you've all heard it before. Just look it up, and if you can't find it, well, you really don't deserve to eat.

It's all pretty much set menus with a few options for the "mains", I had the beef and the tofu (+$12 for the extra main), and my friend had the sashimi. She said it was good, and it did look pretty damn good.

Just so you know, dear readers, I feel so badass taking this photo!! I am such a badass aren't I? I've seen people been TOLD - NO PHOTOS.

The set menus include rice, or seasoned rice, some soup, a piece of fruit, 1 side salad, and 1 side pickles for about $18. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

But all in all, I feel this place has lost some of its charm. I remember when you had no choice, where whatever they served (just 1 main) on the day would be all you would get. I remember this was damn good.

I haven't been back for dinner for quite some time and chances are, dinner is where they shine as always.

Yu-u, 137 Flinders Lane, CBD
Yu-U on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 18, 2011


I swear...if another person says I'm in a shitty mood...

Anyway, I'm still getting used to this "RDO" "ADO" or whatever the hell they call the days where you get off from work. It is a novel thing which I'm trying to get my head around...does that mean I get 26 days of LEAVE in addition to my annual leave? HELL YES.

Anyway, on my second "ADO", I decided that it was breakfast at the old faithful Pope Joan and to my surprise they had truffles. It has been a long time old friend, a long time indeed (see post about Simon Johnson screwing up and not getting them in for Christmas - yes, I still remember and I don't want to order them again from you) - man, maybe I am in a shitty mood.
After having breakfast (I think it was more an early lunch than anything), I headed down south to Prahran Market to get some stuff. A visit to the pasta store to get their meat balls for my freezer as a quick non-processed tasty lunch.

And of course, after saying hello to my old friends, how could I resist when there was a massive sign that said MANJIMUP TRUFFLES from the mushroom man. I mean, seriously, ****, that is seriously calling to me isn't it? It is if you were wondering. I also bought some other french mushrooms which I can't quite remember the name of - but I wasn't that impressed with them (especially because they were about 150$ a kg (I do note, that it serves me right for buying stuff that has been transported so far).

What visit to Prahran market would be complete without a stop at Delicatess to get some Jamon. Yes, the photo you see below is a half eaten sandwich. I apologise if young children are reading this with their parents, but some ciabatta with a good slathering of mayo, butter and joselito gran reserva - oh yeah. Yes, store lady, you are right, it is the best jamon I will and have eaten, and yes store lady, I will be back.

Yes, then there is coffee at the Market. Market Lane is nice space, using good quality milk for their coffees (Schulz Organic Farm and apparently they use unhomogised milk). Schulz if you're wondering, does an amazing yoghurt. The coffee was ok, but maybe next time I'll put my shit down and in the car before I try to juggle two coffees (yes, that's how I roll, apparently, I can't just have one like a normal person), and stack it on the way to the car.

Pope Joan, 77-79 Nicholson St, Brunswick East
Prahran Market, Commercial Road, Prahran
Market Lane Coffee on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 11, 2011

My urban garden...mid July update

I could have waited another few weeks to update you with the progress of my winter crops given the last update was only a few weeks ago, but HOW could I resist when 1 (one) of my romanescos have finally started to crop.

Yes, I know, they are prolific at markets at the moment, but there is something incredibly satisfying when you grow your own food.

Also, my melting mammoths...or should I say melting mammoth (singular) has started to flower. I don't know why it's the only one flowering because I put them all in at the same time... the others seem like a few weeks away as I have not seen any signs of buds appearing either. With the exception of the sugar snaps which have started to set pods.

The melting mammoths and purple pods have grown so tall that I've run out of trellis for them to climb but they look strong enough to put up with the extra weight and wind (I hope).

Well, optimism has now returned and I'm slowly preparing for spring and summer plantings. I've ordered myself a heated propagator so I can get an early start.

I don't know about you, but I find it hilarious that I really do have a cabbage patch...I'm laughing about it RIGHT NOW.

My garden

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Coffee No. 3

Well, it has been such a long time since I've blogged about coffee.

Over the years the coffee scene seems to have accelerated well and truly into the mainstream. It is almost mandatory that if you're a Melbournian, you would have your "favourite" coffee house or roastery (micro of course) or whatever.

I remember a number of years ago, seeing latte art for the first time, and was absolutely amazed at how effortlessly the barista would free pour a rosetta. Back then I was determined to learn..and of course, came the months and months of self-practice. This is of course, almost the norm now in cafes...

Well, for a while, I was pretty good at it but after not really practicing for a while I'm trying to really get the hang of it again. I suppose my question to you guys is, what do you think impresses you with latte art (free pour)? Is it symmetry? intricacy? Notwithstanding the fact that it should actually be a good coffee to begin with...that's a given of course.

Anyway, here's one I poured today, not a rosetta, but whatever. Not really centered, but there's my problem...I am out of control!

I feel like I've lost some ability to pour really intricate patterns. I'm having real difficulty in keeping my hands stable and centeringe. I'll upload more photos in coming weeks and as I again, refocus on sharpening my skills once again....practice practice practice!

Maybe I shouldn't drink so many beforehand...ha ha! Anyway, I better go work on my garden before it's overrun with weeds again. I hope you've had a great weekend!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hardware Societe

Yes, I am the billionth person to blog about this place. Make that the billionth and one. What else can I say? It's busy, it's famous, and it's pretty cool.

We got there at 7.30 on a workday (ok, I got there @ 7.35, and I did demand that this unnamed person NOT be late). She wasn't late. I had to reschedule for a few minutes later.

The place was already buzzing. It is surprising how busy this place is even at this time of morning. The staff were incredibly friendly, a feat in itself for such an uncivilised hour.

We both ordered the omlette (with goats curd or something) and some mushrooms. So nothing fancy, but a good breakfast nonetheless.

I can see why people would love this place - for the very fact that they seem to make such a massive effort in the service space.

Also for their Padre coffee (from Brunswick East Project) and omfg, for those pistachio torsades (like what they also have at Brunswick East Project) , which I think are from Noisette.

I'm looking forward to trying lunch out....but maybe after I go for a bit of a run.....

Oh Happy New Financial Year!!! Isn't it exciting...

Hardware Societe, 120 Hardware St, Melbourne CBD
The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon