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?

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Meat Smith

283 Smith St
Fitzroy  VIC  3065

 I'm torn about this entry.  The other day I was walking down Smith St, past the old Safeway, when I stumbled across this place and was literally stopped in my tracks.

It's meat.  It's murder.

And, let's face it, this shop is extremely Gen Y / Millenial in its styling and concept; i.e. from the same cats who brought you beards, fixy bicycles, "discovered" plastic skateboards, set up endless coffee shops (white tiles optional), have tattoos, primitive earrings and buy themselves five hundred dollar heritage axes because they're in touch with the past, man.  I mean, should I be plugging a business so obviously "hipster" it makes me want to be violently ill?  Even the name of the shop is kind of annoying.

Obviously the answer is yes.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Champagne Charlie is My Name!

University House Champagne Expo 2016

The University of Melbourne - November

Well, you can imagine the scene.  I’m meeting one of my favourite clients at the University of Melbourne who tells me she’s attending a champagne tasting at the University Club in two weeks time.  Nine champagne houses will be in attendance, with smoked salmon tastings to boot.

‘Can I come too?’ I asked timidly.

Thirty dollars later, I was in.

The following article is a longish one, but if you’d like to improve "votre" education on all things authentically bubbly, click below to read more.  Meanwhile, for those of you who just turned up to hear the song Champagne Charlie (which we discuss the origins of below), here's a link!

Champagne Charlie - the song.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Best Sandwiches in the World

The Alpen Pantry
23 Arcadia Rd
Old Greenwich, CT 06870, USA

Alright, fine.  I know what you're thinking:

'What an ambit claim, how can you possibly demonstrate that something is the best?  It varies from week to week, even the greatest sandwich maker has an off day."

Well, I am prone to hyperbole, but as the man at the Alpen Pantry (Old Greenwich, Connecticut) said as he leaned on the counter and someone fixed my sandwich up "Well, we've been here for over seventy five years, so we must be doing something right".

Yes, I'd agree.  There's a preponderance of black breads, and their website is essentially the sandwich list supplied below, but for those who are thinking of opening a sandwich bar of their own, you could do far worse than emulate this little gem that my brother pointed out to me while I was visiting the US recently.

Click the "full text..." tab below for the complete list of sandwich fare.  OK, so there's only one vegetarian option.  But a crab/langostino sandwich?  Come on!!  Truly excellent:

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Bergerac is Coming Your Way!!

Bergerac Restaurant
131 King St
Melbourne  VIC  3000

No... not the TV show, the restaurant!

If you don't know the song used in the title of this article, you should probably click on the link below and listen to it while you read the rest:

Spiderbait: Bergerac (from ShaShaVaGlava)

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Lunch for Two with Dorothy Parker

Kit Fennessy takes us on his October book tour to New York, where he finds one of the best receptions he gets is from a ghost writer while out at lunch...

“I’m going on a literary tour of New York to promote my new novel. Any advice on who I should meet?”

I recently, believe it or not, guilelessly asked that question, just days before leaving for the Big Apple, my new title ‘the Hidden People’ just back from the printers and a plane ticket in hand.

This question left rather a lot of people “in the know” stumped, many of which replied back with “sorry we can’t tell you”. The Melbourne City of Literature Office, however, were more helpful:

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ricky and Pinky - a Preview

@ Builder's Arms Hotel
cnr Gertrude and Gore Sts

One of the advantages of working next door to a trendy eatery/pub is that you get to see what's happening before everyone else.
The Builder's Arms reopened it's front bar doors last night at 5pm, and I was afforded a preview of the new fit out for Ricky and Pinky, the Chinese restaurant mooted to be opening on Monday 29th August... though you can try your luck with the kitchen now with the bar menu on trial.  See the fitout pics here!

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Monday, August 22, 2016

The Cape Tavern

Corner Surf Beach Road and Market Place,
Cape Paterson


OK, I shouldn't do this.  Any time I want to do anything to promote the Cape, people say "shut up, do you want people coming here or something?"

And the answer, invariably, is "not really, no..."

But last Friday's dinner convinced me to write a review of the Cape Tavern anyway.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Gastronomic Utopia

Hello You! Have you heard about the 21st Symposium of Australian Gastronomy?

"Heard about the 21st one??? I  still haven't heard about the first one!" ~ I hear you think.

Well, I quite agree.  Me either!

It appears it's coming up in December, and at it numerous luminaries will flex their considerable foodie knowledge, go on a wine tour to central Victoria and then all tuck in to a banquet dinner  (find out more here) ~ all to the theme of Thomas More's "Utopia".

Thomas More was an Englishman who lost his head for not supporting Henry VIII's Church of England – which might not have been such a bad thing since he was later sainted by the Catholic church and avoided becoming Henry's "Lord Privy Chancellor"; where you had to wipe the enormously fat king's bum with a flannel.  Blech!!

His famous work Utopia was about an ideal society, and coming from England, I'm sure he probably would have liked some nicer food.  He would have been sick of chip butties, baps, and curries Indians had never heard of.

The gourmet contact who gave me the tip-off to let me know about this confluence of gourmets was a little late in letting me know for the submission of a paper (catastrophe!).  However, in the interests of transparency and petitioning the committee, I have submitted a proposal today and leave you with the option of rating whether or not YOU think I should present at the symposium.  Have your vote on the poll I present to the right of this post...

Read Kit's proposal here!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

We want plates!

Thanks to Sue Stanic(!), please find  a link below to an amusing Facebook page dedicated to all the terrible ways restaurants' try to execute novelty food presentation:

We Want Plates

Get thee hence!
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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Authentic Coq Au Vin Recipe

L’accent sur le coq, évidemment.

Bonjour mes petits cornichons. Comment allez vous? Malade de l’hiver? Vous avez les “blues”? Geler les fesses hors ? Sur le point d’ouvrir une veine à l’idée d’une journée grise plus pluvieuse à Melbourne ?

Jamais peur. Le Tour de France est ici! Et pour fêter cela, ainsi que de la fête nationale en France (14 juillet), je partage avec vous - oh, mon seul moelleux - un plat pour vous engraisser contre les vents d’hiver et vous laissant sourire jusqu’aux oreilles.

(I don’t expect you to know any French for this blog, but it’s fun, n’est pas? – click read more for the translation and le recipe!!)

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

Another post from Greece

Well, I haven't been reposting all of these (I've been receiving more missives), mostly because Tim's posts are more popular than mine.

I wonder if it's because I suggested in the last one that there was a naked lady if you clicked "read more"???

Then again, who am I to stand in the way of the internet highway or my voracious readership?!?  To wit, Tim Scally writes:

A little cafe in one of the market lanes downtown Salonica (or Thessalonica if you prefer) called "Bazagiazi " or blackspot restaurant.  You always get given a 500 ml  plastic bottle of water complementary and frequently given the sweet of the day also complimentary.

(I include his dishes and descriptions in full article)

Off to Milano in the morning where the Cuisine will be very different cheers

See pics here.  No nudity promised...

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Winter Solstice - Tuesday 21st June 2016

... and the Summer one if you're reading this in the Northern Hemisphere (well done, incidentally, for having warm weather... you bastards...).

I went out for another of our pagan festivals on Saturday; my therapy session of a long lunch with friends on a Saturday near the winter solstice.

This year it was at the Railway Club Hotel (two thumbs up, incidentally), and I felt compelled to make a speech to mark the significance of the event, though really only said "thanks for coming to this, because I suffer seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and need something to look forward to, and didn't those pagans have it right with their Yuletide celebrations?"

I had, however, prepared a rather longer historico-research piece about the winter solstice and pagan rituals, and for those interested, you might like to see the full text here.

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Roving Blog from Greece!

Yassou!  Comedian Tim Scally sent these notes from Greece, which I post here in the hope he receives a fish dinner in compensation:

Kit this is for your blog very delightful Greek salad and as I know the two boys in the picture  the older one Kostos younger one Simon I thought I might ask  to put it on your blog if you can do it overnight they will cook me a great big fish cheers your roving food blogger t PS La Randa is Greek for the prow of boat and The un- dressed lady is part of their restaurant decor.

(Click here to see more photos... including "the naked lady" who I believe may be Sofia Lauren)

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Builder's Arms is Changing... again!

Well you can imagine my surprise on arriving at work the other day, and my wife asking if I knew anything about Ricky and Pinky, our soon to be new neighbours.

"Quoi?" I said.

"Oh yeah, they're opening a Chinese restaurant next door.  Is says so in the Age... The jack hammers are starting up next week."

Here we go again.

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Monday, May 16, 2016


Note: this article is not about cooking road kill
(but is mostly about): Dean Street, Albury

And aloha!  Team Blue Vapours have just returned from a three day trip to Albury (as in Albury Wodonga... "See Both Sides"
AND while in town, were taken by local foodie guide Justin "Stan" Stanic for a trawl up and down Dean St to see what’s hot hot hot North of the River (properly north of the river…).

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Rose Hotel - new fit out

406 Napier St

Could Fitzroy get any trendier?

Well, apparently, yes!  OK, first up, let me say – as a long time habitué of Abbotsford, Collingwood and Fitzroy – I've become aware that there are a number of neighbourhoods within these suburbs, kind of like the French arrondissements and départements.

"Prenentious?  Moi?"

So there is Fitzroy, and then there's "Fitzroy" and then there's another type of Fitzroy as well.  Maybe ten or twenty zones if you want to be picky (including the murder zone!).

The wedge between Smith St, Brunswick St, Johnson St and Alexander Pde/Freeway extension is relatively affluent these days.  For example, there's the "Croissanterie" called Lune, which migrated there from South Yarra (near the Rose St markets) which has people queuing for croissants so often, their "goddamn"street view from Google maps has a line of people waiting on the street.

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Monday, April 4, 2016


Hey, I just turned 44, and found out from one of my German friends that it is a schnapszahl (schnapps number/year)... he turns 55 today (happy birthday Gerald!).  So I'll be celebrating a schnapszahl at the same time as him every eleven years.

Schnapszahl?  I understand the "double digits" are like seeing double, or even triple, like when you've had too much schnapps.

Of course, I had to check the spelling (thanks Maria), but you can now astound all your Deutsche pals!!... then ask them for a drink.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

KFC – Kit’s Fried Chicken

The Original KFC Recipe

 Thankyou Google search engines.

Okay, so this is another variant recipe from one I found on the net, and a meal I just remembered after cooking onion rings recently.

I originally got a Southern Fried Chicken recipe off SBS’s Food Safari, the US series, about four years ago… and their recipe is not bad.  But it requires you to fry the chicken for so long in the oil that the outside is like a burnt brick in order to get the meat cooked all the way to the bone (perhaps they use smaller chickens / chicken pieces, and have the lard not too hot).  But nobody wants you eating raw chicken.

The super trick to this recipe is cutting up the chicken the day before and letting it soak in buttermilk, which keeps the chicken deliciously moist and tender.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Perfect Onion Rings

OK, OK! I know fried food is bad for you.  Especially me, with my alleged cholesterol problem and all.  But there’s a maxim I heard somewhere:
“Eat as much junk food as you like, so long as you make it yourself”

...the idea being that whatever you do, you can never make food as bad for you as the processed food industry would (who notoriously throw in things like corn syrup, emulsifiers, cancer causing flavourings and the like).

I saw an article in the newspaper recently for onion rings, where someone used beer batter, chilled in a fridge to make it like tempura, and was inspired since I had a stack of red onions kicking around with nothing to do.

Not being able to find the fabled recipe from the paper, I scanned the net and found this recipe (presented here with my own variations) which is MUCH SIMPLER. While making these I was taken back to other American classics I’d made like Kit’s Fried Chicken (What?  No recipe for that in this blog?  I’ll remedy that soon).

This recipe may not be for people watching their weight, but were so delicious and simple (and as American as rock 'n' roll), I just had to let you know.

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Monday, February 29, 2016


Goz City
502 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Just a quick entry today:

Well I had to laugh.  "Finally someone's putting me up on a pedal stool."
"A what?"
"A pedal-stool".

Oh come on!  Surely you've seen the IT Crowd???  Check it out here.

Goz City has these seats, which made my day, and their gözleme are pretty good too.  I had the chicken and herb while enjoying a very tasty black coffee.  Why not give them a try?
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Return to Sorrento

Morgan’s Beach Shack, Cakes and Ale, Hotel Sorrento, the Continental Hotel 

As I recently drove down to the Peninsula, I took a new (to me) road called Peninsula Link (“PenLink” to those in the know), or the M11; passing dozens of wineries, with the vines covered in nets.  The roads have changed, as has the scenery, but memories of teenage holidays I’d taken down there with friends came flooding back, and I realised it had been years since I was there last.

Mornington Peninsula is an odd part of Victoria. It’s famously the holiday refuge of the wealthy, with luxury cars in evidence and stunning architectural properties on the hills looking out over the sea.  But I don’t know if you’d call it relaxing in summer’s high season.  Last time I was there, traffic was at a standstill, Ferraris and Maseratis idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Drummond St Carlton: Carlton Wine Room, Masani, and Town Mouse

There’s a nice little corner just a block off Lygon St, if you’d like something a little bit fancy.  Yes, I’m talking about the corner of Faraday and Drummond Streets, and it’s little wonder the Readings Books headquarters is located in this foodie hotspot (well, I understand they like the best down there).

I’ve been to all three of these restaurants over the years, each within hopping distance and sight lines of each other, but see I’ve neglected to include this cluster of quality in this blog.

An error now addressed.

They’re all pretty good, so if you’re in Carlton and can be bothered walking one block from the standard pizza and pasta joints, you’ll find yourself well rewarded.  They also have a very good bakery nearby…

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Monday, January 18, 2016

Adieu to the Elms Family Hotel

Corner Little Lonsdale and Spring Sts

A piece of Melbourne culture disappeared almost silently yesterday, slipping into the ocean of history with a soft blub that was almost (almost) drowned by the sounds of cruffin shops opening.

See the photos here...

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