Archive for February, 2012

ES-x Cafe, Exhibition st

After having a decent Guatemalan coffee at 65 degrees, I wanted to go to Society for breakfast.  Society is in the Age good Food guide, and also listed as breakfast available, as well as opening at 7:00am.  Not on this particular morning.  They were still shut at 7:05.  The lights were on, but the doors were locked.  I know this might be a little harsh, though, I did have parking restrictions as well a job to get too.

I decided to go down the road, on Exhibition st.  The place was called ES-x.  Rather a play on letters I think.  It seemed like it hadn’t been open for too long.  Not much signage, and no visible menu’s.  Speaking to the waiter (or owner, not sure), I ordered an eggs Florentine and a small orange juice.

For a change, the spinach was actually washed.  Inevitably, when you order an eggs Florentine, or any spinach dish, you end up with some grain or sand in the spinach, a sign that it has not been washed properly.  This was not the case this time around.  This was a good change.  It was actually a good breakfast.  It was good value for money.  Simple, good and quick.  Couldn’t ask for much more.

 

Washed spinach for a change

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The Italian, Collin St

Joined Michael for breakfast again this morning. I decided on The Italian, continuing from my Italian themed week last week.

I was a little confused with the entrance, as although the address is 101 Collins st, the entrance is actually from Flinders Lane.  So keep this in mind when you visit.

Listed in the Age good food guide as a 15.5 out is 20, a one hat restaurant. It was a high-end type place, with a nice setting. Breakfast was served in the “bistro section”, located in front of the restaurant proper.

Michael ordered some type of toastie, which looked liked it was served upside down. I ordered the omelette with asparagus and spinach.

Apparently The toastie was good. It actually looked like more of a eggs Benedict without the eggs. ( work that one out !)

I ordered an omelette, with spinach and asparagus.  It was an omelette, that had some cream in it, it seemed like, because it had a creamy texture to it.  It was an enjoyable omelette, if you can say that.  It was different from the many I have had before.  Definitely worth a try if you get the opportunity.

Rating  6.5  Enjoyable.

Sorry, no photo this time around..

Columbian Santuario Geisha.

Today I enjoyed a nice coffee, it was the Colombian Santuario Geisha, which was again another 100% red bourbon coffee.   This was very similar to the one I had last week,

Initial flavor was harsh, though once the tongue sensitized itself, it was smoother. Very nice coffee , though did not compare to the 100% red bourbon. it was good. I will have to try something different to this. Definite cocoa taste, strong berry aroma, a nice lingering flavor on the tongue. At the end it was nice.

 

Sensory Lab

D.o.c. Carlton

Continuing the Italian theme, I visited DOC in Carlton.  There are 3 restaurants that belong to this ‘chain’, and today it was the Pizza and Mozzarella Bar.  The traffic was bad, and thought it would be a wise to stop for a break.  It was a long day, and the eyes started to weigh me down a little.  I looked in the guide-book, and Pizza it was.  I think I am hooked on Italian beer at the moment, as this was the main reason why I chose DOC.  It smelt of Italy !!

I ordered an Italian Beer, and a pizza, Pizza ai porcini, Wild mushroom, truffle oil, mozzarella in bianco with grated d.o.p. pecorino.  I have come across the term D.O.P and D.O.C.  however, there is s link, which explains the different terms for Italian foods.  Basically it is like a Certificate of Origin for different types of cheeses, meats and other bits.

Pizza ai porcini - 'bella..'

 

This was nice.  Very traditional, and I enjoyed this more than the Tazio, though I am a bit of a mushroom fan, and therefore maybe made more to my liking.  I still missed the tomato base, which for me adds to the pizza, though I guess this is because that is all we are used to.  Even without the tomato base, it was a good pizza, and I think the truffle oil added some nice flavour to it overall.

I would recommend DOC for a good pizza.  Traditional, crisp base, and good quality ingredients..

Journal Cafe, Flinders lane

Wondered into Journal Cafe today. I have had a breakfast here last year for my coffee challenge, though, I did not realize there was a restaurant ‘upstairs’. I took a seat on the bench top facing the alley. Looking at the Lustre Bar and it was a nice setting. Why I decided on Journal ?  The typical prices in the age good food guide were under $30, with a promise of Italian wine. With the weather outside, I was in the mood for a nice red.

The Bench View

The wine was Umani Ronchi Montipagano. Montepulciano dAbruzzi. Mamma Mia! Such a long wine name. It was nice. Good winter wine, with an instant warmth to the body, which was welcoming.

Some bread was served. It was a sourdough style bread, which would have gone well with a hearty soup. I took one price and tried it, though kept the rest for my main.

It was a Roman Gnocchi, with asparagus.  It was a pan-fried style gnocchi, though the waitress told me that it was baked.  The asparagus that came with it was quite nice, and the gnocchi was pretty good.  The serving size was quite small , though came with salad. Creamy vinegar être dressing. This was good. Went well with the asparagus. The gnocchi went down well. Very good texture with a not so overpowering taste. There was some cream sauce, that the bread helped mop up.

The Roman Gnocchi

Although it was a small serve, it was filling.

Overall it was very nice indeed.  I would recommend this place to anyone.  Although, I have to say, for a vegetarian, options are quite limited.  Limited but good choice of italian drinks, beer and wine, as well as some good local ones.

You wont be disappointed.

Tazio, Flinders lane

I was walking around, looking for a place to eat.  I was getting hungry, and walked past a few places.  Economy is the key.  Cannot be spending too many dollars every time we go out.  So value is important.

I walked into Tazio, I do not remember seeing this restaurant here before, and, with limited signage, made it hard to spot out.  I don’t often visit this part of town.  Tazio’s is located on Flinders Lane, at the top end, near the corner of Exhibition St.  Some nice restaurants in the area too.

I was on my own, and all they could offer me was a ‘bar’ table.  It really wasn’t a bar table as such, it was a communal table, which actually was a good spot for someone on their own.  The waiter was very accommodating too, and the service was pretty good.

I ordered a beer (italian of course), it was a Forst Beer.  It was a lager, and was extremely refreshing in the weather that we were having.  I enjoyable indeed.  After walking out , I thought it would be a great place to come back simply for a drink, and a chat with some friends.  Good choice of italian beers…mmm, wish I could have another now.

The pizza was a Flavio, it had fior d latte, blue cheese and kipfler potato’s.  Fior di latte is basically a mozzarella made from cow’s milk as opposed to buffalo milk.  The pizza was pretty good, flavoursome, though, it really didn’t do it for me.  It tasted very traditional, thin base, not a heavy amount of topping, though I think a am a fan of tomato on pizza, for which this did not have any.

Overall was a good nite out, nice service, friendly staff, and a reasonable bill at the end ($24.00 for me in the end).  I would recommend this place, good atmosphere, good selection of beers, nice pizza, what more is there to say.

 

Sensory lab, Columbia. Santaurio, 100% yellow bourbon

Today on the slayer was Columbian Santuario, 100% yellow bourbon.  Last week I tried the 100% red bourbon, and when I saw the yellow on the board, I thought it would be a good comparison.

“Floral and creamy, with mild acidity.  Sweet and full mouthfeel with clean traces of cocoa”

It was a little similar to the red, however, I thought that the yellow bourbon variety was a little more acidic, therefore straight away giving the vibrant feel on the tongue.  I normally don’t mind this, but this was a little too overpowering.  However, as the coffee went on, this reduced, I don’t know whether my tongue was de-sensitized, though it got better.  The Cocoa traces were evident, and some fruitiness, which created a good all round coffee.  I still preferred the Red Bourbon variety more.  There was no distinguishable bitter after taste, which is good, and are able to enjoy the flavour of the coffee.

A good coffee, well-rounded.

 

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100% Yellow Bourbon, Columbian Coffee