Buongiorno, bonjour and “g’day”! (don't you like how they're all the same thing? ~ who knew Australian vernacular was so cosmopolitan???).

Also, "a good day to you, sir/maam" for our American pals, "Ni Hao" to China, and "Здравствуй" to our Russian comrades, "etcetera etcetera and so forth"... (for Yul Brynner).

It’s your old pal Kit (Christof) Fennessy here. I've been writing this blog with your help for ten years, and there's over a hundred and fifty recipes, restaurant reviews of Australia and around the world, and general gourmet articles in these pages for you to fritter away your idle hours on.

Want to know more about me? Friend me on facebook, follow me on twitter, or even look up my New Yorker cartoons on instagram! NB; different platforms not all food related)

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Now, what's on the bill of fare today?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Deanery

Bligh Place
Melbourne VIC 3000
ph: 9629 5599

Looking over past entries, I note that in many ways, literarily speaking, I've become a parody of myself. "Here's a discrete little number tucked up an alleyway in Melbourne. And watch out gastronauts!" Well, I'm sorry! But this mockery, of a debacle, of a sham is going to just keep rolling on because that's exactly the same case here!

The Deanery is a discrete little number tucked up the end of a pretty discrete little alleyway.. and watch out gastronauts discrete or otherwise! I guess this venue is a direct result of the post-Kennett CBD eatery and bar explosion that makes such statements cliched. But what a cliche! Like "a thousand dollar hooker"! Built in an old carpark, with a secure and temp controlled wine storage facility, groovy decor and a well considered menu mean, you could eat here every day and you'd never eat or drink the same thing twice - mostly due to penury.

My first memories of this restaurant come bar are from my last days at VU's Graduate School of Business in the city. If you know where that is, you won't have trouble finding it. Basically, it's at the end of an alley off Flinders Lane near Elizabeth St - a lane it shares with a bar called Robot which most Gen Y-ers seem to know.

My history with this place is a long one. I was taken there for my farewell lunch where I ate some of the most memorable scallops on the shell I've ever eaten; and my boss got caned for using the corporate credit card for it. And I used to catch up with my friend Paul there; he's a bit of a glamourpuss, and had organised discount rates on bottles of French champagne over the bar. And last but not least, when I blew up the elctrics on the old Saab by putting the battery in the wrong way, I quickly took Jane there before I had to pay the mechanics.

Not much has changed at the Deanery in the last six years. It doesn't look tired. The fit out is a little dated, early 2000's, but there's so much wood and strips of bamboo, etc. that it's timeless. And it's still a place to go and blow the last of your cash before the outside world catches up with you!

Across the back wall of the restaurant, a mezzanine at the back, there's an impressive looking sealed glass wine storage facility. It holds the restaurant's cellar and you can store six cases there for as little as $25 per month with card swipe access. Drinking your own booze on site attracts a $10 corkage, but if you're from an office at 303 Collins and are looking for a place to quickly go and knock the top of a Grange between meetings, it's really not a bad option.

There's a special menu at lunch at $35 for two courses, but they'll get you on the wine and extra side dishes. My companion at lunch there in October asked where the rest of his entree was! The food is perhaps a bit on the "nouvelle cuisine" side, as made popular in the 80's; big white plates with small artworks in the middle.

I had the mulloway which was just delicious with sides of lyonnaise potatoes - sans the bacon, quel dommage! (which I've subsequently learnt to spell, thanks Babel Fish!!) - and a crisp green salad.

It won't run to everyone's taste, but the service is good and the menu delicious. If you're feeling cashed up and generous, you could do much worse. I rate it 6 and a half tentacles out of 8! Bon apetite!!

Visit their site online at:


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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Libertine French Dining Room

500 Victoria St
North Melbourne VIC 3051

Have you ever been to France? Have you ever eaten at paper covered French tables, candlelight and rich saucy foods? Degustation, verily? So too, you will find gourmet dining in the old tradition at the Libertine, with flock gold wallpaper upstairs under black chandeliers and a simple bar style atmosphere downstairs, it's a hard statement to beat. But be warned; degustation is the next door neighbour of disgustation... from too much food! I've read that death rates rise during boom times from access to excess, and after this visit I can believe it!!

Our visit to the Libertine was certainly a splendid affair. Jane and I were catching up with friends for a birthday (hello Fiona!) and I was pleasantly surprised to be going to a fancy place I'd never heard of yet again. Our wires got a little crossed, and we arrived half an hour before everyone else but the staff plied us liberally with the complimentary bubbles (not brut, qu'elle damage) so by the time the rest of the party arrived we were brimming over. Fantastic.

The menu was set (with four or so choices a course, by four courses) and the champers ran as long as the hors d'oeuvres lasted: duck liver pate, a single tortellini with a crab (?) filling in a purree de bonne femme, a savoury puff pastry with creme fraiche, maybe more?

Roll on the entree. It's a set price four courser, so I guess we'd best gird our loins and lay on. From onion soups with baked tops, rustic terrines to artistic piles of fish and ornamental works, lovely. White wine anyone?

Who's going with me on the game bird for two? She would be a game bird taking on Lachy and I, but I'm always up for a threesome. Oh my, it is rich! A partridge you say? And where is the pear accompaniement? Just the rich sauce, baked beetroot, et al? How's the steak? More red wine???

Oh, my godfather, that's done it. No more. What? There's dessert, fixed price? What did I order. The fruit. Phew... ah, baked apple pastries with cream and pastry. Coffee? No, I urp...

Oh, it's the birthday girl's night of nights, and there's follow up birthday cake! I...I can't eat another mouthful.
Oh, go on monsieur, it is only wafer thin!
Fuck off. I've had enough. Jeez, I'm going to have to take a stroll around the traffic lights. It's cold out here - freezing - but at least I'm upright and gravity is pulling the food down.

Take my advice. Order food as you need it if you get the rather impressive pleasure of dining at the Libertine. "Viva le France! Pass the Mylanta!!" I rate it six and a half tentacles out of eight.. no seven! Check them out at:


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Gingerboy Restaurant

27-29 Crossley Street
Melbourne 3000

Down the alleyway beside Pelligrini's - right next door to Becco (my favourite restaurant) -stands the Asian black laquered disco that is the restaurant Gingerboy.

I'd heard so much about it. "It's a smash, it's a tidal wave, it's the biggest thing on Broadway!" (or was that in the Producers?). Whatever, like Max Bialystock I found myself (inwardly) shouting at home after the meal "You lousy fruit, you've ruined me!".

My review may also be jaded by having gone immediately beforehand to the best bar I've been to in about two years (see Seamstress Review this blog). Still, Gingerboy was groovy (especially their font use, and web site) and specialises in "hawker style food" - South East Asian food with a twist.

The decor is based very much on the busy trattoria style. We were are crammed in together with the other customers (a full restaurant, alweays a good sign) and there was a definite buzz in the room. The walls and roof are decorated with black bamboo intersperesed with fairy ights and the decor is, as suggested above, an oppulent Asian disco. Meanwhile, the staff are trendy and friendly; the two "y" words you'd prefer in waiting staff (as opposed to filthy, bitchy or stuffy).

The food is delivered as a shared dish experience, and we started with a few entries and moved on to only a couple of mains. I made a point of ordering the much vaunted "Son In Law eggs" a whole egg cooked in coconut milk (or something), and served with chili jam. I understand it's their signature dish and we were encouraged to pop the whole eggs into our mouths to enjoy "the taste explosion". But, quel horreur! Our female companions baulked at this, and when the waiting staff saw that the yolks weren't runny, they ran (unsolicited) and fetched us complementary replacements and removed the charge from the bill. But still, after eating two hard boiled eggs in one meal, I was slightly over egged by the finish and could taste them at 3 o'clock in the morning.

The oysters were nice, but I wouldn't bother with double orders on them, and the salt and pepper chicken spare ribs were a definite winner. For mains we enjoyed the red duck curry and caramelised ox cheeks, attended by more of the chili jam.

An honest and groovy affair, we escaped drinking two bottles of wine and dinner for four for under $100 per head. Still, it left me little jaded and certainly groaning with food and rich food indigestion. I rate it six tentacles out of eight!

I'd highly recommend that you check out their website. It won last year's Age Good Food Guide restaurant website of the year, which was plainly created by the same studio that knocked up ezards website (I suspect the people behind Gingerboy are the same as those who are responsible for ezards as well, but this has a new theme). Anyway, the address is:


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Seamstress Bar and Restaurant

113 Lonsdale Street

On going out for dinner the other night with friends, they suggested we meet at a bar beforehand. Little did I realise that the experience would overshadow the main restaurant we were to later attend. Hip, upstairs, great decor and music and an extremely expensive/impressive cocktail bar, Seamstress is the perfect place to pop in for a vodka martini or two before dancing the night away.

I'm guessing that the building is an old sweatshop. There's a bar downstairs with that name (Sweatshop) and then the flights of stairs lead up past cotton reels/spools hanging from the walls. The ceiling of the upstairs cocktail lounge is decorated with hanging lengths of fabrics and those little Asian pyjama jackets hanging from coat hangers. The bar has a distinctly 1930's / art deco look. Suited bartenders taste the cocktails they mix from straw samplers one of whom had a convincing English accent.

I enjoyed a three olive martini (not on the cocktail menu) which I was disappointed to see was stirred with a glass rod (did he think it was gin?) - but was made with Russian grain based vodka and was simply delicious ($18). This I followed up with suggestions from their cocktail menu:

Quicksilver fizz ($15)
A gin, absinthe, lemon, passionfruit syrup and egg white number - a simple twist on the silver fizz

Followed by something the bar staff recommended made with rum and a foam egg white head featuring raspberry dots on top ($17).

Snacks included peanuts heated through with spices (delicious) and prawn crackers.

The music also left me mightily impressed. A mix of acid jazz, lounge, soul and funk. I even heard James Brown while there.

An alcoholics delight, I rate it seven wobbly tentacles out of eight!!

Visit them online at:

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pearl Restaurant

631–633 Church Street
Richmond Victoria 3121

Like going to any block buster movie you've heard great reviews of, you're inevitably disappointed when you finally get to see it.

"But what about the exploding fire truck?"
"Eh, I saw it coming."
"The swinging midgets hanging from the helicopter?"
"Come on, how about the latex love scene?"

So too Pearl, though it was certainly one slick affair to remember.

We recently visited Pearl as a study in design, marketing, public relations, etc. on our corporate development day. It won best new young chef and also won the best service awards in the Age Good Food Guide, so we arrived with high expectations.

The decor was light and airy, the front door opened magically as we approached and I might add that the food was delicious. The bill was impressively top end - but I don't know, I left feeling slightly deflated. Could it have been the waiting staff? Fast and compliant, they seemed to lack a bit of the bon homie I've come to expect in truly great dining experiences. Austerity went out with snooty French waiters looking down their noses at people using the incorrect cutlery. And trust me, we used the right cutlery. Still, I can understand their being a little reserved, some of the clientele there were scary; at those prices I imagine it's only the "let's cut the balls off the competition" type people who can afford to eat there regularly.

The pearl meat entree and modern takes on sashimi were simply delicious. My advice would be to probably focus on the pescatorian side of the coin; a restaurant called Pearl has obviously chosen a fish themed name for a reason. That said, the red duck curry is a specialty de maison, but only eat it if you avoided entree. They're also famous for their desserts a la Turkish Delight, fairy floss and coconut ice (refer to Geraldine of Camberwell's recipe in the original Disco Volante... or was it edition 2?).

The wine list was excellent and the somnalier outdid himself with his selections of wines to match what was a quite diverse dining experience. Rich food, pleasant surroundings, scared stiff staff - it took my intestinal tract 24 hours to recover.

I give it 7 tentacles out of 8 (it really was good).

To find out more visit:


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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Il Solito Posto

Basement, 113 Collins St (*entry George Parade)
Melbourne VIC 3000

Il Solito Posto - "the usual place". Located down an alleyway between Collins St and Flinders Lane beside 101 Collins St, it's directly across from Italy I and Jamie Oliver's concept restaurant Fifteen. On one of my many visits there, we managed to get in through the barriers of the G8 summit by telling them we were popping in for something to eat. Great security!

Little has changed since the very first time I stumbled in out of the rain, alone and hungry (a different occassion to the G8 Summit). They gave me a table next to a book shelf where I took down a ripped version of 'Vintage Stuff' by Tom Sharpe. I'd never read Sharpe before (also the author of 'Wilt') and before I knew it I was enjoying myself immensly - wine, pasta and great reading entertainment. Il Solito Posto has since become one of my favourite places to eat alone, which I did quite recently and realised it was about time I gave it a mention in my blog.

Checking out their website, I see they now describe themselves as "ENOTECA, CAFFETERIA, TRATTORIA" - which would really get up some of my friends' noses as being overly pretentious. It's trendy to throw around Italian words in gastronomic marketing these days, but the place does have a genuinely Italian feel.

Forget about a date or dinner for a large group. The place is a crowded narrow room which faces a bar teaming with convivial staff who will, none the less, see all of your romantic dinner disaters or fail to juggle enough to all of your party. Take a seat alone at the bar however, and talk to cheery staff who all have a nose for a good drop and don't mind entertaining.

The wine list is impressive. The food menu fits on two pages, the wine runs to around a dozen. A wide range of varieities and nationalities, you camn get lost in it. Take the easy way and ask what they'd recommend. There's always something that's a hit at the time.

It's strange. The place should look as threadbare as an old couch with the amount of use it gets and the length of time it's been there - and how little it's changed - but I guess someone must give it a lick of paint every few months.

Wine, pasta and the joy of solo dining. I give it six tentacles out of eight!

To find out more, visit:


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Monday, June 22, 2009


Some love them, some hate them. Instant death or aphrodisiac, oysters remain the enigma of the dining world. And now, in the heart of Melbourne's winter, is the best time to eat them. "How can you stand them?" Ive been asked by bug eyed weirdos who stare google eyed as I let another slip gracefully into my mouth. It's not a huge leap and possibly one of the most delicious morsels that can be consumed (not to mention a fantastic source of zinc which is very good for male "downstairs" health). Follow a few basic steps and you're guaranteed of a delicious dining experience that won't threaten your life.

Step 1. Never eat them in a month with an "R"

I got this useful piece of advice from Noel, publican at the Builders Arms Hotel in Fitzroy, one afternoon as we sat on the street eating oysters and drinking white wine (I think it was a Sav Blanc).

"Never eat them in a month with an R? Qu'est que si que ca?" I asked, impersonating Harry Hill (Actually, it's Finsbury Park: "Do they mean me? They surely do!")

It transpires that oysters spawn in warmer weather, as the water temperature heats up and this makes oysters taste a little "cloudy". Add to this the thought that you're decimating numbers while they breed and that in warmer weather the protein rich oysters are ideal breeding grounds for bugs, then it's kind of obvious that this is the wrong time of year to eat oysters.

Apparently this is the obverse rule for the northern hemisphere, who rule that you cannot eat oysters in a month without an R. But then, they get extra months of oyster eating, so if autumn hasn't been to fierce I think you can relax the rule to include late May and extend the season into September. Christmas oysters are, I'm afraid, black banned.

Step 2. Ensure they are freshly shucked

Shucking is the opening and preparation of the oyster. The process goes something like this. Whole oysters live on rocks, farmers come and break them off and pop the whole oyster (both top and bottom lid intact) into a wet hessian bag for transporting. The little live oysters sit huddled in the sack, much like kidnapees of the Hobyar man, where they can live for up to two weeks while waiting to be eaten.

At the fish mongers, someone (maybe you) comes along with a short flat knife. You insert it into the hinge of the oyster (because if you try and pry an oyster open where the lips close, the shell smashes). Insert the knife near the tendon and prise it open. One half should flip off. The next trick is to cut the connecting tendon of the oyster off the lid of the shell. And there you have it, one ready to eat "shucked" oyster.

The problem? Once an oyster is open, it dies. It lies in the open shell and exposes it's lovely self to the air and all passing germs, bugs, sneezes and other nasty airborne apocrypha. And now, with centralised warehousing at major supermarket chains, oysters can be opened days in advance, shipped hundereds of kilometers and then sit there waiting to be bought, all the time open and exposed to the air. I absolutely refuse to buy oysters from Safeway Wonthaggi, and that's the only place in town you can buy them. Go to a market!

Step 3. Keep them cold

Do not eat an oyster that's been sitting around warm. This is a good way to get food poisoning. Take a small esky if possible with you to the fishmongers and keep them on ice on your trip home (or down the coast).

Step 4. Sniff test

If they smell pongy, taste slightly fizzy or in any way leave you with a question mark, DO NOT EAT.

Step 5. Au natural or shooters, please

A personal bug bear of mine is the oyster kilpatrick. This recipe is possibly the best way to sully one of God's greatest achievements. I'm guessing the recipe was developed as a way to disguise slightly off osyters. The absolutely best way to eat an oyster is icy cold, with some lemon juice (the acid in the lemon cooks the fish) accompanied by white bread, butter and a really, really, cold Crown Lager.

I have to make a notable concession to oyster shooters, however, as a close second to au natural. I've been delightfully surprised by bloody mary shooters and an interesting twist they do at E-zards using Mirin and wasabi.

For more information on oysters, visit:

the walrus and the carpenter

or to find out about Ezards oyster shooters, visit:

the restaurant


read the epicure review...

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Monday, May 25, 2009

The White Lady

Cocktails Au Go Go 101.

While reading the Captain's Table by Richard Gordon (famous author of the Doctor in the House series), a mention of the White Lady cocktail came up at regular intervals. "What is it, how do I make one and why haven't I heard of this drink before?" I found myself asking me - quite pertinently I thought.

Well may I have asked myself. The recipe given: "Two jiggers of gin, one jigger of Cointreau and a jigger of lemon juice." Oranges and lemon with gin! Now there's an idea. My interest was further piqued by Cointreau's packaging as I gathered together the vital ingredients. "At the four corners of the globe. Used in the world's most famous cocktails including the white lady, the side car and cosmopolitan."

As usual with my experiments into ancient libations, the entire process was educative as well as mildly damaging to my soft tissue physiology. I found through experimentation that it's good to be heavy handed on the triple sec and back off a little on the lemon juice to get the balance. And that all important ingredient that demonstrates you're a cocktail genius? Internet reveals egg white! (Blurgh - can it be true? What about selmonella?)

Either way, here's a recipe and some interesting background information from Great Cocktails UK. For a video presentation on how to make all these variations, follow the video link at the bottom of the page! Salut!


The White Lady cocktail was first recorded in Harry Craddock's Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930, although Harry MacElhone, famed cocktail creator of Harry's New York Bar in Paris, also lays claim to having invented it in the 1920s.

It's a clean-tasting drink that needs to be drunk very cold.

You need:

2 parts gin
1 part Cointreau
1 part lemon juice
Shake the ingredients together well with ice. Strain into a frosted cocktail glass and serve.
Some recipes include an egg white, which adds a smoothness to the drink.
For a Pink Lady, add a dash or two of grenadine.
Replace the Cointreau with blue Curacao for a Blue Lady.
And for the Perfect Lady, use crème de peche instead of the orange liqueur.

Video how to link here!

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Cutler and Co.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
ph: 9419 4888, email: info@cutlerandco.com.au

The pen is rusty but the spirit is willing. Much could be said to be the same with Cutler and Co. A rustic fit out in an old cutlery factory at the - dare I say it? - mental patient end of Gertrude St. Homeless shelters abound and it's located a handy stone's throw from Turning Point. Still, the the edgeyness of the neighbourhood adds to its charms; plus it is just a couple of blocks from work!

A cocktail bar at the front with excellent martinis can also be used for a drop-in quick bite, since they don't take bookings in this section. The main restaurant has been tastefully fitted out without having gone to too much expense; the loos are in a large black box reminiscient of tawdry cocaine nightclubs.

While the menu is unavailable online for reference, after all it is constantly changing and it's a competitive jungle out there, I was impressed with it's brevity and yet wide range. Something for everyone, including oysters in different guises, a favourite. I had and can recommend the quail entree; beautifully cut and presented it was almost like crispy quail sashimi. Jane enjoyed her pork, slow cooked and absolutely falling apart; the best pork she has apparently ever eaten. I think I had the fish for mains -though I'm now unsure! The whole event became slightly unhinged with my party; all thoughts pushed aside as my sister launched a tirade at the end of the meal as there was no skinny milk for her cappucino! Quel damage.

I've heard nothing but good reviews about this place, so it was disappointing the service was a bit slack the night we went (we were at the back with a party of seven and had a prickly customer or two). The waiting staff were, however, all still charming. One of my dear friends had a very romantic dinner for two with her husband - probably what this restaurant is best suited to- where they shared a pheasant baked into a loaf of bread.

Think the cook, the thief, his wife and her lover with a disco come Home and Away overhaul. I give it six tentacles out of eight.

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Friday, February 27, 2009

The Station Hotel

59 Napier St
Footscray VIC 3011
ph: 9687 2913

What was ostensibly an old man’s pub only a few years ago, the Station Hotel has been transformed into what I have been reliably informed is a gastro-pub; and no, you won’t get a stomach complaint. Apparently it’s become the project of Sean Donovan, formerly of the Botannical Hotel - and that’s how good it is!

The outside looks unpromising, a blue trimmed corner pub looking down at heel 80’s, but step inside the refurbished dining room and be transported to the watering hole of the literati and glitterati of the West.

The restaurant has a high end menu, featuring some fantastic seafood, but apparently they take particular pride in their steaks- all of which were surprisingly good. The top of the line is a Gippsland (VIC) grass fed Black Angus rib eye at $38 (and not the Wagyu that also graces the menu). I’d go out on a limb and say it was the best steak I’ve had in two years.

Served with hand cut chips, salad and béarnaise sauce with just a touch of tarragon, it really was a meal to remember. I’d also recommend washing down your fleshy feast with a glass of Heathcote Shiraz – the wine menu is short but excellent.

The service is friendly without being OTT and while the general tenor, as against the many other pubs in Footscray and Seddon in its nearby surrounds, is a little bitty “spensy”, I can only say that some times quality is wirth the price. It is little surprise to me that this won the 3AW pub of the Year . I give it 6.5 out of 8.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009


229 Gertrude St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
ph: 9415 8262

You may have heard of a biblioteca – a library for books in Italy. Well an enoteca is a wine library, and it seems it’s become the trendy way to name wine bars these days.

The Gertrude Street Enoteca is beautiful, lots of timber and a kind of poverty chique without the matching price tag. Some tables are made from wine boxes and the walls are covered in wines.

As a wine store, you can chose anything from the walls and pay an extra few dollars to drink it there. They also have a simple food menu – toasted panini and a “selection of cured meats”, known everywhere else as an antipasto, that is simply fantastic, with beautiful marinated olives and goats cheese.

As this venue is just down the road from Blue Vapours, a particular favourite of mine is their silver salver of oysters on the bar at $2 a pop on Friday evenings.

The seats may be a little hard, but the coffee is good. While some may decry the trendification of Gertrude St - Enoteca is, after all, like a piece of upscale Melbourne (Toorak?) landing on the old streets of blood – if you like a tipple and a fancy nibble, they are reliable. I rate it 5 out of 8.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

The European

161 Spring St
Melbourne VIC 3000
ph: 9654 0811

Welcome to what makes Melbourne great as the food destination of Australia. It’s not this venue, in itself, but what it represents about Melbourne food.

Welcome to what makes Melbourne great as the food destination of Australia. It’s not this venue, in itself, but what it represents about Melbourne food. The European has been around a long time. Its quiet café interior is casual and reminiscent of, well, Europe. And the food is excellent, without being budget breaking.

Located opposite Parliament House and in the theatre district, excess wooden chairs hang from hooks on the wall at the back and the staff are relaxed in their professionalism and black aprons.

On my most recent visit there, I had the Manchego, an aged Spanish cheese, with fig salami as an appetiser - which I must say was an education. The fig salami was just that – figs. Rather like a fig paste. I can’t say that I’d have it again, but it was tasty and washed down with one of their European beers was an excellent start. I enjoyed a Czech Pilsner.

As a piscean, I am a fastidious fish eater, and think that the hallmark of any restaurant is the quality of the marinara pasta they make. The number of times I’ve been disappointed by tinned clams in heavy tomato on flaccid pasta I can’t tell you. But here, magnificent! The spaghettini – al dente. The fish, all fresh. Done with a garlic infused oil coating on the pasta, a feast fit for a king!

The melon sorbet comes in traffic light colours of watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe to create a well rounded palate cleansing experience.

If visiting Melbourne for only a short time, you could do far worse than choosing the European for lunch. I give it 7 out of 8.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009


11-25 Crossley St
Melbourne VIC 3000
ph: 9663 3000

Tucked down a laneway on Melbourne’s dining hill behind the Melbourne institution Pelligrini’s, I have to admit I am biased when it comes to Becco. I was taken there a few years ago by a good friend, and had such a fantastic experience that I’ve gone back many times.

But be prepared to pay the piper at the end. It has recently been elevated to a two chefs hat ranking in the Age Good Food Guide, but it is not stuffy. Indeed, the large windows overlooking the lane beside Pelligrini’s let in tonnes of light, the staff never write a thing down and the kitchen is on show at the rear.

The food is Italian in its origins, but not of the cheap and nasty pasta and pizza variety,. Primi piatis coinsist instread of choice like pan fried sardines or beef carpaccio. They do do pasta, with lobster, and could potentially be faulted for not having a comprehensive cool food menu (I went there when it was 43 degrees) but the blue eye fillet was … enter the superlative of your choice here.

There’s something reassuring about a menu that doesn’t change much, staff that have worked in the one venue for years and the immutable law that cream always rises to the top. A restaurant for the cognascenti of Melbourne‘s dining scene. 7 and a half tentacles out of 8 from me!

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