Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest at the following venues
You may notice these days, that there’s quite a bit of a gap from when I have a dining experience on Instagram, versus when it’s up on the blog.
It’s definitely hard to stay on top of everything, between flat out days at work which leave me not wanting to be in front of a computer, nights out and then making sure I’m in bed by 10:30 so I can go to the gym (prioritising fitness, whoo!) and well…blogging is a bit of work!
So here’s a little round up of a couple of places that I’ve been wanting to write about, just to help expedite the process a little!
106-112 Hardware Lane
A couple months back, I popped into Nieuw Amsterdam to check out their new (and now obviously running) autumn menu, matched with cocktails.
I’m always amazed at how creative with cocktails the guys at Nieuw Amsterdam get. One of my favourites from the evening? Peas-go-sour. A play on a ‘pisco sour’ (see what they did there?) with pisco, applejack, lime, snow pea syrup and habanero shrub. What. It’s fresh, it’s springy, it’s almost healthy…right?
Highlights included the deep fried pickles we munched on prior to our meal; which are basically the perfect bar snack. How come these aren’t everywhere? Golden, crunchy, piping hot and just yum.
Southern fried quail with romesco sauce and pickled grapes are also pure fried perfection. I absolutely love that these meaty mouthfuls are only dedicated battered, and the kick in the seasoning. There’s a lovely heat, and each mouthful is still so juicy. Happy sighs.
Curry spiced lamb ribs with cauliflower, eggplant, coriander and lime are also a favourite of mine, again amazingly meaty and no-hands-barred with all the flavour. Love the charred outsides and still pink insides.
It’s hearty, hearty food, it’s been a little bit of a warm autumn sure, but once we swing full on into the colder weather…? Oh goodness. Perfection.
LE PETIT PRINCE
1A Mercer Road
Armadale and Toorak can sometimes be a bit pretentious, and hoity-toity sometimes. But I love being surprised and instead of finding overly healthy dishes, or a little bit too intricate plating, just great big hearty dishes, that still look great.
Le Petit Prince did just that for me. Beautiful coffees, in sky blue cups, and a pumpkin dish with roast pumpkin two ways which I just want to eat all my life. I don’t think you guys fully understand just how much I love pumpkin. Also helps this dish is loaded with haloumi as well, sprinkled with a bit of dukkah. It’s wholesome but not heavy comfort food that I love eating while sitting outside in the breezy weather.
Brad’s mixed mushrooms, Spanish morcilla, poached eggs, smashed avocado and feta is also a surprisingly generous feed, and incorporates all my favourite things…what’s not to love?
34 Inkerman Street
When I hear there’s a new restaurant open beneath the slick and very cool Newmarket hotel…well…House of Crabs isn’t exactly what I expected when I walk in.
You’re instantly transported to the quirky corner of the south, with funky lamp shades, fringe and red…lots of red. It feels a little burlesque bar, but with a band playing Cotton Eye Joe instead. It’s kind of hilarious and the atmosphere is instantly jovial and bright.
The cocktails are hard, but delicious; yes there’s a mini bottle of tequila that’s pouring out into my glass.
But it’s really all about sitting down at the butcher paper lined tables, donning some blue plastic gloves…and getting intimate with some crustaceans.
Mussels, prawns, and a selection of crabs are available to have as a boil, with your choice of sauce. The Singapore sauce is one of my favourites, totally reminds of chilli crabs back in Singapore, and I can’t remember which, either the Cajun or the Creole has some beautiful curry-ish flavours going on.
It’s a bit of work, but it’s a whole lot of fun and always a great icebreaker. Good way to vet out a potential date too (if they ain’t peeling prawns or getting into crabs, they’re a party popper and a no goer I’d say).
The stuff on the side is also really good too, lobster fries with bacon, cheese and lobster gravy are terribly moreish and I love the crunchy buttermilk chicken bits with cajun sauce.
Also highly recommend the soft shell crab tacos with jalapeño mayo and apples, beautifully crisp and a nice kick of heat.