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?

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!!

The Station Hotel - still punching above it's weight
59 Napier Street, Footscray VIC 3011

Coo - I was at the end of my tether last week!  Car at the mechanics, a meeting in Footscray and a train ride out there in 37 degree centigrade heat.  How best to console oneself as you are losing the will to live after an hour and a half meeting with the prospect of catching public transport back to civilisation, and losing your cool?  Why not slip into the Station Hotel in Footscray?

A short amble from the station toward the Town Hall, this gem has received three (count them1,2,3) reviews in this blog.  Why?  Because I am so singularly impressed every time I go.

Here you can see my lunch made up from small dishes on their specials menu:

  • Fish croquettes with lime
  • Crab stuffed zuchinni flower
  • Scallop on herb butter
  • Heritage tomato salad with buffalo mozzarella and a mix of fresh basil and trarragon.
  • All enjoyed with a cleansing Hendricks Gin and tonic with cucumber and pepper on top.

Scrummy!   And you can still, of course, buy the steak menu etc.  I was also reminded how good the staff are; sure, they're Westies, but they're the best in the West - i.e. tip top waiting staff who are also friendly and unpretentious.

I dub them excellent and boost their rating to eight tentacles out of eight for longevity.

Lincoln Hotel - Under New Management
91 Cardigan Street, Carlton VIC 3053

OK, this pub is a stalwart of mine, where I have been drinking for over twenty years.  I've seen many incarnations, from when it was a union brawler with a guy selling Don Smallgoods nicked from the factory out of a basket and there was another bloke there selling watches and bikie rings, down through the ages of fine dining (the recent just ended era of Antoinette and her husband), and now to this latest incarnation that I'm not exactly sure how to typify.  Young?  "Starting Out"?

The menu is reduced, with "perfect to share" plates, in the modern style.  And not bad.  But we were the ONLY ONES there, and our waitress just couldn't leave us alone, and kept trying to join in our conversation; telling us how "delicious" each dish was (I'll be the judge of that thanks), being palsy when she could have been absent, the experience was weird and too intense.  I wouldn't say to strike it off your list, but let's put a wait and see on this 'un.

Downgrade - five tentacles out of eight.

Princes Park Lawn Bowls
109 Bowen Crescent, Princes Park Carlton

OK - vested interest time.  I see this Melbourne Institution has just had a new website done by super dooper design studio Blue Vapours!  Wow, check it out.

Anyway, as is the case in Melbourne town, if you want to eat and drink with park views, you have to go to a lawn bowls club or a golf club.  There's no pubs on the park here.  That said, drink prices are low, they have a Vietnamese food truck a couple of nights a week, and this Thursday 29th January, they're having a mini-open day/evening with free food starting from around 6pm.  Be there!!

Two thumbs up, no tentacles attached!!