Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Albert St Food & Wine

What: Albert St Food & Wine
Where: Corner of Albert St & 382 Sydney Rd, Brunswick

One of the hippest food and wine stores to pop up recently, run by Executive Chef Philippa Sibley (who appeared recently on Masterchef).

The food, wine, produce and the ambiance all combine to make it my new favourite weekend lunch venue.

Here is what my last indulgence consisted of (with a friend of course):


  • Quince Bellinis
    • Champagne mixed with quince poaching nectar – amazing (although quinces are seasonal)



  • Seared Ocean trout, Balmain bugs, saffron potatoes 
  • Crumbed pork scotch, turnips, watercress, green apple sauce


  • 2010 Valley Vignerons Pinot Noir Yarra Valley, Vic
    • Delightfully full flavoured, complex and long on the palate (perfect with any dish)



(a must as Philippa Sibley is know for her desserts)

  • Meyer lemon tart
  • Million Dollar Bullet
    • Think chocolate bullet flavours (but using chocolate mousse and liquorice ice cream)

In a word - Perfect!

Be warned though, the menu changes monthly so regular visits are wise.


Albert Street Food and Wine on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Creamy Pumpkin Soup

Although it is the end of winter here in Melbourne, having just returned from a trip to Kuala Lumpur I am struggling to view 18 degrees as warm and so have been feasting on all types of winter warmers.

The hardest thing I found whilst being away was that as it was a work trip I had to stay in a hotel. Oh yes, I know what a struggle! In my defence, it meant that I couldn't cook which was a struggle. I am so used to being able to control what goes into my meals (and how big they are!) that I found it quite difficult. With another trip (but this time a holiday) coming up soon, I am glad I have booked in an apartment for a few days so that I can at least make myself the occasional light meal.

Now that I am well and truly back at home, I realised I have missed out on weeks of new restaurant openings and of course catch ups with friends so am still eating out quite a bit, but alternating with the occasional light winter warmer at home. This recipe is the classic example of a quick meal that is filling, nourishing and warming; perfect for a night on the couch catching up on The Farmer Wants a Wife!


  • 1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock (cubes will do in a hurry)
  • 1 tbs fish sauce
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (the extras freeze very well in a ziplock)
  • 1.5kg pumpkin, cubed (I prefer butternut for its easy chopping qualities)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 1 birds eye chilli (you can substitute a dried chilli or even chilli flakes)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

  1. Into a large pot, add the stock, fish sauce, pumpkin and 3 lime leaves (bruised).
  2. If using dried chilli add it to the pot now.
  3. Bring liquid to the boil and simmer for 10 mins for until pumpkin is soft.
  4. Remove from the heat and remove lime leaves.
  5. Using either a blender or bamix/stick blender, purée liquid and pumpkin until smooth.
  6. Add coconut milk. Although I have said 1 cup above, it really depends on how creamy you want your soup so make sure to taste as you add and mix.
  7. On a low heat, warm the soup without boiling (boiling will cause your coconut milk to split)
  8. Finely slice your birds eye chilli and remaining lime leaf (you can roll it up into a long tube to make slicing easier).
  9. Once your soup is hot, pour into bowls and top with some chilli and kaffir lime slices, coriander leaves and a drizzle of coconut milk and lime juice.
  10. This recipe makes at least 6 servings and freezes very well for those times you need an instant meal.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Silo (by Joost)

Where: 123 Hardware Street, Melbourne 3000
Silo is the newest ‘zero-waste’ café in Melbourne by the eco-advocate and artist Joost Bakker.


  • A very small menu (available online) – but the coddled hen eggs (with mushrooms) are amazing.
  • Plus the home-made lemonade is amazing (very fizzy though)


  • A waste free menu that changes with the seasons.
  • Food is from all local and organic suppliers
  • All fresh produce is delivered in returnable, recyclable, reusable crates
  • All organic waste is treated in the café’s own food waste dehydrator
  • The café has a 15 seat communal dining bar

With only one communal table and the kitchen literally behind your back, the room is a bit cramped for me,  but I love the concept overall and the coffee.

Suggest going on a clear day and sitting outside.


Silo by Joost on Urbanspoon

Friday, 24 August 2012

Mexican @ Touche Hombre

Where: Corner Lonsdale St & Tattersalls Lane (Melbourne CBD)

This is one of the newest mexican places in town and I hope it’s here for good – because it is awesome. The food and the ambience are fantastic, even the authentic cups and plates add that something extra to the experience.

The menu is easy to understand and a manageable size AND the tequila menu is actually longer. I went for dinner the other weekday with a friend, and these are the tasty treats we tried.


Fatty Lamb ribs
- absolutely melt in your mouth, and with just enough sticky sweet honey

TFC (aka Fried chicken)
- the rich and creamy habanero sauce was the perfect match (finger lickin’ good)

Tacos (we tried 3 types)

De Carnitas (aka Pork)
- my favourite of the night

El Secreto (the daily secret surprise taco)
- this was great fun, we ate chicken hearts the night we went (it really is good although that they don’t tell you what the secret ingredient is till afterward)

De Jaiba (aka soft shell crab)
- the Crab batter was a bit too oily for me after our entree's, but it did work really well with all the other taco's flavours (perhaps get it to share)

And several Tommy margarita (delicious)!

Make sure you do give it a whirl (with several margaritas alongside of course), however I would recommend ordering a salad too as the meal sat a bit heavily in my stomach without one (or this could have just been a product of my over indulgence).


Touché Hombre on Urbanspoon