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)

A big thank you, as always, to my sponsors at Blue Vapours (use them for all your design and advertising needs - we are waiting for your call!).

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Crackers!

“Nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice, pepper, salt”...
Season’s Greetings!
OK, I know it’s a bit weak.  How about, “What did Santa say when he went to a brothel?”
‘That is an easy one,’ as Jeannie might reply.  ‘He either said “Ho ho ho…” or “Mistletoe belt buckles all 'round.”

I know….

I “sleigh” you.

And Jeannie would never make a rude joke like that.  She’d just blink at you.

Christmas time is here again.  What insights can Kit’s Cucina possibly have for the Christmas feast?  Actually, two top tips which could truly-ruly save your Xmas day!

Now read on!!

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

A Publicans' Lunch

The Malvern Hotel, Toorak

Cnr Glenferrie and Malvern Rds, Toorak  www.themalvern.com

Those who know me (i.e. you), also know that there’s not much I like better than a lunch.  A looooong lunch.  Specifically, a long lunch with fine dining, crisp salad, saliva inducing savoury dishes,  and (of course) a beverage or two.
And if you can have a lunch under the auspices of work, all the better.
On Tuesday I attended what is known in the hotelier’s trade as a “publicans' lunch”.  If you haven’t heard of them, you need to be a publican (i.e. a licensee of a pub), or the guest of a publican, to attend.
I walked in the door and the sound of talk and the clink of glasses washed over me like the lap of welcome water after a year in the desert. It’s “an event” lunch, in support of some cause; but they haven’t nominated who they’re supporting with their raffles yet.   But going to the lunch was a cause I could believe in: i.e pubs.  And the beautiful liquid amber fluid that is BEER.
I mean, come on!

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Monday, August 31, 2015

Spaghetti Marinara

How to make the ultimate seafood pasta, and impress everyone (even yourself).

Let’s get one thing straight.  This is an article and recipe about seafood - specifically how to make spaghetti marinara. Though my International readership (in the US) may be confused.

Spaghetti is an Italian word.  It means “Italian egg flour noodles”.  They're  adapted from Chinese noodles discovered on a cultural exchange program with China by Marco Polo in the Thirteenth Century (he introduced Asia to rice in return… not that either food took off!).

I think we can agree on that. (Actually we can't... see comments below from yourself some months later ~ Ed.)

But “marinara”?  Does it mean “of the sea”? I’d like to think so.  Technically, you’d use the term “frutti di mare” in Italian, meaning “fruits of the sea” (which sounds highly suss).  In the US, they think “marinara sauce” is a tomato based concoction, that you might have “with or without clams”. But here en Australie you can readily buy “marinara mix” at fish shops and the supermarket.

So first up, this is about how to make the greatest seafood pasta you can possibly make.

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Monday, August 3, 2015

“I See Young People” – Bar Reviews

Rupert on Rupert | Kustom Kommune | The Carlton | the Grace Darling | the Shaw Davey Slum

How do you know you’re getting old?  Probably when you go to a bar, and the people you're out drinking with are at least twenty years younger than you… and they’re all there legally.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing (i.e. you out drinking with youngies).

First up, they’ll be fitter and almost universally better looking than your usual cohort, they’ve yet to be ground down by the heel of bitter experience, and are prone to more outrageously entertaining behaviour than your more mature colleagues.

That said, I’ve been to a few bars lately as an older “tourist”, visiting the gathering pools of the hip and young(er) punters.  Here’s a couple of tips of where to go should you be craving younger companionship:

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Broadsheet (“Pop-Up” bar and restaurant)

166 Gertrude St
Fitzroy  VIC  3065
HURRY: Open until 2 August

Urgh.  ‘Pop-Up’… I never thought I’d write that without including a back-hander about Gen Y, and cruffins.  But this one is actually pretty good.

You may be aware of a mooted building development on Gertrude St; there’s going to be multi-storey apartments built at the former site of an old hardware/paint store called Manfax.

While the developers wait (there have been several appeals about the size of the intended development), they’ve leased out the old paint shop.  And the result isn’t too bad.

Enter yours truly for lunch today, while the Mrs popped the dog back in the office before joining me.

(click the link below to read more...)

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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Festivus for the Rest of Us


Many of you may have heard of Festivus, the alternative Christmas proposed in the TV show Seinfeld.  No?  Well, let me enlighten you with a YouTube link...


But it seemed like there was nothing for us here in the Southern Hemisphere.  Well not any more...

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Victoria Street Recommendations: Arisoo (Korean) and Jinda (Thai)

I live a block from Victoria Street (and have done for fifteen years); Richmond’s famed strip of Asian restaurants.

And when I say “strip of Asian restaurants”, I mean a long line of shops; easily confused with “strip-off Asian restaurants” where you might see racy-strip shows while you eat (Yuck! Can you imagine the food safety and hygiene implications??? It doesn't bear thinking about).

Just making sure you got that.  I know you and your dirty mind.

I admit we don’t dine on Victoria St as often as we should.  When we first moved to Abbotsford, we’d eat out there three to five times a week; but after six months, the smell of peanut oil – and the idea of ever eating deep fried spring rolls again – would turn my stomach.

Occasionally, however, we’ll have a visitor who is keen to pop down for a visit, and I’ve discovered recently that there’s more to Victoria Street than your traditional pho (soup) restaurants, or the rice paper rolls, Mongolian beef and lemon chicken many restaurants have included on their menus in an attempt to be a “me too” experience for the unwitting.

Some are lifting their game, becoming more genre specific and getting trendier interior fit-outs. After the last couple of weeks trawling the strip (with Jane’s cousin Matt-o-san) we found two very good options which I can recommend you try... the next time you find yourself on Victoria St wondering where to go.

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Doing It Greek-Style!

Kit takes us to the Alpha Ouzeri, Jim’s Greek Tavern and covers a little bit of the Greek scene in Melbourne… 

I was going to title this article “It’s all Greek to Me”, but my wife suggested that was too clichéd and I’d have to try harder.

How about:
“Losing My Marbles over Greece”?
“I’m Slipping in the Greece!”?
“Euripides Trousers… Eumenides Trousers!”???
“Doing it Greek style” it’ll have to be then.

I’m not of Greek ancestry(.com).  However, I am a classicist, enjoy olive oil, seafood, char grilled meats, democracy and a good argument.  Hell, I’ll even throw a discus if it gets me a dolmade.

Want to know what's hot in Melbourne's Greek scene?  Read on...

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Melbourne Food Scene On the Slide®

Low Food Becoming the New High

Right, that’s it!  Melbourne’s food scene has gone far enough.  Dressing up junk food as high food is the direction dining has been taking in this city, and I am frankly fed up.  Up to the gills and wiping my face of grease and feeling self-loathing.

I heard a junky girl at a KFC twenty-five years ago ask: “And could I have extra mayonnaise on my chicken burger?… and when I say extra, I really want you to drown it in the shit”.

Who knew she would be forecasting the future of dining in Melbourne?

Want some evidence? Here’s a critique that reveals a city-wide trend through the microcosm of my local eating neighbourhood of Fitzroy. Now, read on…

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

There is nothing like a Dane

Dansk Restaurant and Bar, Denmark House

Level 3, 428 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia

A Danish designed space, furnished sparingly with lovely furniture, serving three types of pickled herring with an aquavit menu as long as your arm. This sounds too good to be true.  Why have I never been here before?

Melbourne’s Danish Club is over a hundred and twenty five years old.  The original Denmark House used to be in St Kilda, but was sold and a new space opened up in the CBD in around 2009 near the High Court (on Little Bourke, just off Queen St).  Inside they’ve opened a restaurant called Dansk, habituated by Danes, lawyers, and those looking for a thrill (me).

Feeling like a  culinary adventure?  Why not come along?
(now, read on...)

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Chinese New Year 2015 – Year of the Sheep

Hello (or should I say “ni hao”?)!

It occurs to me that Chinese New Year’s day is supposed to be next Thursday 19th Feb (opinions vary, and Crown Casino stretches the Lunar New Year out for a month… they know their ”lucky” key demographic, after all).

But don’t you think we should make next Wednesday a Chinese New Year’s eve dinner, and make it totally 70's style? (there's a picture of me here on the way to such a dinner...)

I do; I firmly believe in celebrating everybody’s holidays. You may as well – you get more fun that way, not to mention inter-cultural awareness.

This article looks at some Chinese New Year customs you can indulge in, and recommends a return to traditional (1970's) values.  Now read on!...

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Restaurant updates...

In response to one of my readers complaining she hadn't seen an up date in a while ("...and why she's telling me about her sex life, I'll never know!"), here's some foodie news in Melbourne as gleaned by me over the last week or so:

*  Station Hotel upgrade
*  Lincoln Hotel crashes
*  Princes Park Bowls Club - cool

Now read on!!

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