Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Eating it up in 2011

Greeting Readers. This is a rather tardy first post for 2011. I know, I am slack, and I am unreliable. But please stick with me. I promise to be better.

Not that I am making excuses here, but its been a rocky start to the year, and food/blogging hasn't been too high on my list of priorities. I've relocated and my postings will be coming to you this year from Northcote! Lovely.

With all that out of the way, I will be posting a few reviews of places I have visited recently. Highlights include - Hutong Dumplings, A Minor Place, Trentham Estate Winery and a wild little story about zucchini pickles. 

Stay tuned...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Parkview Hotel

The Parkview is perched on the corner of Scotchmer and St Georges in North Fitzroy and is fondly know to my lovely boyfriend as 'the spew'. Don't ask, don't tell. For many years I thought that the best possible thing about this place was its view of Piedemontes (have written about my eternal love for Piede's here).

The front sports bar isn't going to win any points for atmosphere, the staff pretty much look like they want to top themselves, and pokies are a big off put, but its really not that bad, and the lure of a cheap parma is sometimes to hard for me to resist. 

So on a rather desperate Wednesday night, three days before I pack my life up in boxes and put it in storage, I decide that we should go to the Spew. Although it wasn't parma night, I was happy enough for it to be $16 Portahouse night.

The steak was sprisingly good, the cut of meat was good quality, thick cut, and cook to a perfect meduim. The mushroom sauce (or gravy) left a little to be desired, but when you are getting a nice steak for under $20, bitching about the sauce is a bit trivial.

If your not that fussy, and like a cheap midweek meal, the Parkview is OK and will hit the spot.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toto's Pizza House

One of the best things about working in a hospitality once upon a time, is coming back and being the diner. It's been years since my tired little feet pounded the tiled floors of Toto's, but the greetings are standard "Niiiiiickiiii! Good to see ya sista".

I can't eat at any other pizzeria without feeling like I'm cheating on them. I do. And I always feel just a little bit guilty.

The menu at Toto's isn't going to blow you away, but all the favorites are there. Spaghetti Marinara, Pizza Bologna, Pumpkin Lasagna!     

I have a love hate relationship with pizza. I love a good pizza. But I hate how hard it is to find one. I'm not sure if its because I ate this style of pizza every week for years but I always love a Toto's super special.

And the marinara. The praws are juicy, and the sauce is always rich. I add a disgraceful amount of chili and cheese, and proceed to inhale the dish. Its not pretty.

If you are in the area, check out Toto's. The food is cheap, and service is friendly and fast, and I can assure you that the kitchen is clean and the people who work here are happy.

Perfect for a per Cinema Nova dinner.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hey Presto...Cashew & Parsley Pesto

The weather in Melbourne has been quite splendid this November.  Plenty of rain and loads of wonderful sunshine has kicked my garden plot into full production.

Among other delicious things, the garden plot has provided an abundance of parsley.

 What do you do with bags and bags full of parsley? You made PESTO!

I have had a pretty good success rate with pesto in the past, so this little recipe is an off the top of the head number. For this batch, I hijacked Nicole Jone's kitchen, and used her whiz bang food processor. But a mortar and pestle will do.

You will need:
  • a truck load of parsley 
  • around a cup of cashew 
  • a hand full of almonds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • around a quarter of a cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • a cup or so of Parmesan finely grated
  • teaspoon salt and a grind of pepper

remove stalks from the flat leaf

add nuts and give it a good whiz

add the cheese, and most of the olive oil...pulsing the food processor gently as you add the oil

and hey presto, you got PESTO!

The texture of the pesto was pretty dense, so I ground some more nuts separately and folded them into the mixture.

So what do you do with this green velvety delight? Why, you made pasta of course.

And you wash it down with a nice cold beer. Spring on a plate.