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?

Monday, April 8, 2019

Camber... well....

And bievenu my dear readers/poissons.  I'm so very sorry it's been a while between entries.  I've yet to finish:

*  the Umbrian entry (truffles, beautiful country side, can I recommend Spoletto, Assissi and a small nunnery out of Solarno?);
*  my trip to ®Adelaide (where I ate royally, and had a surprise in the inner west under the flight path... Francesco's Osteria, a humble building but authentic Venetian cuisine, reasonable prices and warm hospitality)
*oh yeah, my trip to New Zealand (or Kiwi) where I was introduced to the delights of muscle fritters and kumara chips.

But if you take those points, you can take those entries almost as read.

The reasons for my hiatus are two-fold;
a. because I've been busy with publication production on Tales of Enlightenment* – my short story collection to arrive in bookstores soon (!!!!), and;
b. I've been slumming it in Camberwell.  I know what you're thinking!  Boring.  But the old dame still has some tricks up her sleeve...

I've been surprised to learn that there ARE some really good food offerings there despite my early prejudices that good food stopped at Glenferrie Rd.  And the gourmet strip?  Camberwell Rd, opposite the cinema, of course.  Let me take you on a quick tour of the offerings:

Tandoori Den

This place is a classic, and although not in the heart of the eating strip - on the other side of the junction, this is a place to be celebrated.  Open for over thirty years they found themselves on the wrong side of the liquor licence line; Camberwell being a dry zone, while the other side of the junction could sell wine.  Cue fifteen or twenty years of wrestling with council, and this place now can sell you a beer or wine (or spirit) with your Tandoori chicken, divine vegetarian options and generally excellent food - the place smells like roasting cardamon when you walk in.  Habituated by swamis and Sikhs in coloured turbans, a must visit with park views out the windows.

Walking from the junction opposite the Rivoli theatre, we have (in order of address, not stature):

Youngs Wine Bar

This place used to be Youngs Auction Rooms, which was a rambling timber and brick affair with stages in it, and has now been carved up into two eateries.  The first is the wine bar, which really operates as a formal restaurant, with screen ordering, seating and presented bills as opposed to over the bar service.  A trendy eatery, probably a bit over hyped with those trendy toilets, this place is what the junction has been needing for a while - a fine dine with a glass of wine (it's only rival probably Italy I on Burke Rd).  A little starchy, but good quality if unfortunate views of the alley.

The East End is the bar they've shaved off at the North-West end of Young's auction rooms, East End.  Max Gorn, of Melbourne, allegedly an investor, speaking of shaved.

A quick skip along the path here reveals:

Ambrosia Mediterranean restaurant

Cafe Paradiso ...with beer garden.


Fiorelli - an oldie but one of the originals

Modern Mexican

Japanese - OhShu

Special Mention*


9 Evans Pl, Hawthorn East
Tucked around the corner in a carpark (the old entrance for Harry Evan's hardware), just along the row before the Dan Murphy's, is a nice little bistrôt Franco-Belge.  Their offerings are typically Franco, though when eating them you might think "a little bit more on the German side" which must be the Belgian influence.  Charming host Fred and his wife Ange.


Can I direct you to a little smoked fish joint at the Camberwell market?

Tom Cooper Smoked Salmon, Stall 23, Camberwell Fresh Food Market

Excellent fare, served by the Canadian man who makes it, to be enjoyed with a glass of wine.

Read the review at Good Food here.