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?

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Canberra Restaurants Reviewed!

Did you know they eat food in Canberra?  Me either!

OK, that's not exactly true.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Kilderkin Gin Ballarat


Wine tastings, I've been to dozens.  But gin tastings?  Who knew?

I was impressed last night to attend a gin tasting featuring a small Ballarat distillery named Kilderkin who walked me through their various offerings.

Things I learned:

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Chocolate Cherry Brownie Recipe*

*with mint and Toblerone variations

Brownies are very easy to make, can be whipped up for a nearly instant dessert, and – with a bit of innovation – you can turn them into your own flavour laboratory.

Find below a quite successful brownie I recently made with an adult twist; a special ingredient not for children.  That’s right – cherry brandy and glacé cherries!  Rich and tasty (like you)!

Recipe below:

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Turning Japanese

Is Smith St Fitzroy Becoming Melbourne’s New Little Tokyo?


OK. Obviously this headline is ridiculous. Anyone who’s ever been to Japan knows Tokyo is built up, high tech, far out, domo argiato, and more, whereas Smith St is a kind of down-at-heel Melbourne version of a mini-Brooklyn.

That said, there has been a noticeable decline in French food in my neighbourhood over the last several years, and a big uptake in Japanese restaurants coming through (not to mention every other nationality, including Korean, but we all know you're not allowed to confuse Korean and Japanese!!).

With the growth of the Japanese presence on Smith St in mind, find here a list of new (and not so new) Japanese restaurants in my hood – listed by order of my preference – which might make you feel like you’re Turning Japanese!!

(p.s. you might like to listen to the Vapors play their eighties classic, Turning Japanese, while you read this…)

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Chamonix, France

Bon soir (y’all)! Hey, you know I just worked out today that “bonjour” is essentially the same as “g’day” en Australie.  And "buongiorno" in Italian for that matter,

Well all good things must come to an end, and so must our “vacances” en Europe – which, you’ll note, wind up in France. My favourite.

Our last stay was at the beautiful Chamonix, a ski and mountain climbing adventure town at the bottom of the Mont Blanc massif (the range of mountains with Mont Blanc in it). Saucissons abound, as does garlic, and cheap and fine red wine.

Unlike Mürren, which attracted loads of Americans, Indians and Chinese, Chamonix seems to pull a lot more Australians and English tourists; there’s a Knight Frank real estate office here, as well as a Billabong and Quicksilver store. I wonder why? (*I was to find out later, these are glamour brands in France!  Who knew???).  But it is still “very French”, with lots of stores selling saucissons, goats cheeses, wine, etc., and it’s a town in the style of Queenstown in New Zealand; a holiday adventure get away.

Some notes from my diary of interest:

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mürren (Switzerland)

Mürren attracts loads of American, (sub-continental) Indian and Chinese tourists. I wonder why? Probably its location in Switzerland (money laundering), and the hosting of a rather famous James Bond museum at the top of the Schilthorn.

While we were there (spring), the Swiss pastures on the mountains were filled with spring flowers and hosted caramel cows wearing cow bells.  The milk has a wonderful buttery yellow colour and deep taste, which probably explains the superior taste of Swiss milk chocolate.

In lieu of trying to think too hard, for this entry I've lifted some notes from my live journal, so you can get it straight from the mountain cow’s mouth, as it were.  Now read on!

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Sunday, September 10, 2017

Annecy - France

Located in South Eastern France (right near Switzerland), Annecy is a lakeside holiday town known as the “pearl of the French Alps”.  It’s located on Lake Annecy, and sits at the Northern entrance to the “lake gorge”… obviously a major strategic military location.

It’s the original home of the House of Savoy (a royal family), established at the turn of the first millennium, who were later to become Kings of Italy – as well as Emperors in Africa for about two minutes.

Click below to find out more about this idyllic holiday destination, and some foodie tips…

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Grenoble Gourmet

Bonjour, et maintenant vous discover me en France.  Where I’m supposed to be able to speak the lingo.

Mais non.

This article covers the geography, history, and a little bit of sociology of the city of Grenoble before launching into a guide to several restaurants including tips from our man on the ground in town – Andrew.  I’ve made a map of my recommendations for eating and drinking which you can find here if you just want a handy reference while in town:

Now what can we expect to find in good old Grenoble Town?

(* please also refer to the bottom of the article and comments section to see additional insights, weblinks etc. from "Our Man in Grenoble", Andrew, after he had read this...)

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Carlton Draught Through the Years

Hi!  I haven't forgotten the Alps reviews (Grenoble coming next), but had these pics as a result of a brewery tour and thought you (especially you!!) might be interested in beer label evolution!:

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Torino (Turin) – City of the Bulls


Today’s entry lifts a few cheat notes from our trip to Torino; one of my favourite places we visited because of the prices, culture and our fantastic Air B’n’B apartment. I had an Italian guy later describe Torino to me as “properly old school Italian”, and it is cultured, into car design, a great food destination, and the first capital of Italy (before Rome).

But first, some notes about driving across Italy… (“holy mother of God!!!”)

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Borca di Cadore / Cortina

Why hello there!

OK, I'm lazy.

I was going to give you a recipe or something to go with this, but flicking through my diary thought you might benefit more from my notes about this treasure of the dolomites, including Eni Village, the famous skiing holiday resort that is Cortina (icy and pricey), as well as a short piece of "creative writing" by moi that may well transport you there.  I hope.


Borca di Cadore, Italy (in the World Heritage listed Dolamite Mountains just outside Cortina)

Good morning!  You find me propped up in a groovy sixties bed (with reclining vinyl headboard in yellow mounted on timber with little cupboards each side) in our little holiday chalet in the above locale.

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Monday, July 3, 2017

Innsbruck - the Brook of the River Inn

The following is a creative piece I wrote in Innsbruck... which doesn't do heaps for you as a foodie (but if you go there, I can highly recommend a restaurant called "the Piano" in the old town, with thanks to local guide Ben, from the Gold Coast); however it might give you a glimpse into this University city snuggled among the Austrian Alps.

Die Silberne Frau

I sat drinking a black coffee; an Americano, if you can believe it. Hot, not too strong, with crema floating on the top. I was having my coffee with a “nusschaker”, or some crap. When I’d pointed it out, the woman inside had warned:

“Oh, that’s nuts.”

“That’s OK, so am I."

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Munchin’ in München

Germans and giant beers, pretzels and lederhosen, roast pork knuckle (notes on which below) and surfing on currents on the Eisbach (part of the Isar River system) in the Englischer Garten. Could you get any more Bavarian? (the photo above is of the Bayern Munich supporters celebrating winning the Bundesliga in the Marienplatz, in the centre of the old town of Munich, incidentally, not a hem hem rally).

It’s part two of Kit’s Cucina’s tour guide to the Alps. Today we look at Munich, or München (the town near the monks). So let’s start with the most obvious thing. Beer!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Alps - A General Introduction

This article serves as a general introduction to Europe’s alps and provides some brief notes and comparisons of the alpen places we visited (see Jane's fantastic planning map above!).  It covers geography, a little history, languages, diet, economics and prices, climate, best times to travel, and cultural variations.

i.e. It may serve as a general primer if you’re considering a holiday there.

Let’s go…

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Monday, June 19, 2017

...well, I had to laugh.  With thanks to the New Porker... I mean Yorker.  Stay tuned for upcoming articles on our latest foodie extravaganza to the Alps in Bavaria, the Tirol, France and Switzerland.  From munching in München to shimmying in Chamonix, I'll have the low-down for you right here. (Coming soon! ~ I only just got back)
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Monday, May 8, 2017


11-13 Toorak Rd, South Yarra

I had the unusual pleasure on Sunday night of going out for dinner with not only the owner of a restaurant, but one of the most iconic restaurants in Melbourne: i.e. with Jean-Paul Prunetti at France-Soir. Established in 1986, here are just some of this establishment’s more recent accolades:

Legend Award - Jean Paul Prunetti and Geraud Fabre 
The Age Good Food Guide Awards 2017

Yellow Rose Award
Gault & Millau 2016

Financial Review Australia's Top 100 Restaurants 2016 
voted 53 / 100

But what is France-Soir really like, and what advice or tips did I get from Jean-Paul, whom even the awards have labeled a dead set “Legend”?

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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

One of the Happiest Hours - Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel

166 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Phone: +61 3 9416 5055

I went here for lunch the other day, and it was "not bad"...

... but not as great as their happy hour, which I discovered after some lamb and burgundy.

Farewelling my friends, and having a cleansing ale with the newspaper, I chatted to the bartender Damien (aka "Zizi", which I believe means something to do with a little penis), who recommended while in his alpen home in France (where I'll be in a few weeks) I visit "Le Cafe de la Place" in Menthon Saint Bernard (Annecy) - which does a $20 lunch with entree, main, dessert, coffee and wine.

The specials here, though not quite as good as what I'm hearing of en France, are still pretty good.  $15 for a half a dozen freshly shucked (if small - but just delish) oysters with a pot of tap beer... if you do it during happy hour, you might find yourself upgraded to a schooner - which in this instance I chose a dark ale.

Well, at those prices in Melbourne, who could say no?

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Monday, March 27, 2017

A Melbourne Pub Crawl

Philosophy, a Pub Crawl Map, 13 pubs reviewed, with a  further 15 suggestions...

If you are reading this in the US of A (or anywhere else for that matter – especially China where the only equivalent I could think of is a tea house), you might not be overly familiar with “pubs”, which is an abbreviation for “public houses”.  A short treatise.

As opposed to a “bar”, a wine bar, or a club, pubs hail from the English and Irish tradition; the little lounge on the corner, usually an old building with timber or tile lined walls, beer on taps, stained glass windows, and a quiet place to socialise and forget your troubles, a bit like a lounge room for the poor.  It’s a place that might have a dining room for a wedding, a nook for lovers, perhaps a ladies lounge apart from the men’s front bar where the girls weren’t supposed to come in (in the olden days).

In Australia, pubs are a big part of Victorian and South Australian cultures, and tend to be in old (in excess of a hundred years) buildings that have always been pubs.  Places built on the way to the gold fields, dotted in little country towns.  In NSW, it seems they’ve been replaced by Leagues Clubs, huge rambling barns with poker machines and tellys everywhere.  Queensland still has a few, but the old classics in Brisbane with big verandahs  seem to have been broken up into lots of little businesses in the old edifices or turned into monster nightclubs where you can score hard drugs.

Pubs are your “local”, a place to drink beer, and maybe see a band.  And they’re distinctly part of the core of southern Australian drinking culture; in short, if you ever come to Melbourne, get out of the CBD (the Central Business District) and into the inner suburbs like Richmond, Fitzroy, or Collingwood, and go to the fucking pub for fuck’s sake.  Or else you’ll have missed one of the key cultural experiences on offer.

Diatribe over (and sorry for swearing Mum!!).

Now for some background to the planning of this particular pub crawl (see map here); one which you might try yourself some day.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I haven't forgotten you!

Hello Voracious Readers!

Just a quick note to let you know I haven't forgotten you, despite no listings in February.  In fact, I've been flat chat making a new food based comedy television show and pitching it around to stations and distributors – so we're actually taking it to the next level!  We'll make a link available here once we go public with the whole thing, which is terribly hush hush!!

However... watch this space!  Next week I'll be posting a bumper "Northside Melbourne Pubs" spectacular, as I take a host of my friends on a bike based pub crawl from Princes Park (Carlton) to Victoria Park (Abbotsford).  To whet your appetite, here's the map!!

(who knows?  Perhaps I'll make another fillum...)

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Royal Standard Hotel

333 William St
West Melbourne  VIC  3003

Happy Australia Day (or Invasion Day – whichever you prefer)!

It’s a day off work, there’s cricket on the radio, the Australian Open is on the TV, there’s been a say no to racism rally a la cita, and Triple J’s Hottest 100 is on the airwaves.  Outside our studio, I can hear people drinking beer on the footpath in Fitzroy.

What could be more Australian than that?

(Alright then; “The 3 B’s: beers, BBQ and the beach”, as Robbie McEwan might say).

Well, here’s something.  Last night I went to a great pub, and thought I’d give it a burl on the blog, especially since I haven’t written to you this January.  This place was quintessentially Australian, as well as being very authentically Italian… in a second generation way, and fantastic value for money.

It’s not necessarily “fine dining”, with pizza, pasta and parmas on the menu, but they serve excellent food, the venue has a friendly atmosphere, and it’s a proper pub as well.  Only a short walk up the hill from the Vic Market, down the side street next to the church, this is a back street gem practically in the city.

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