It has been a really long time since I made a post. But that doesn't mean that I stopped eating! Far from it, its the best time of year for eating, and believe me, I've done well. I got really busy finding a new place to live, moving into the new house, starting a new job, surviving christmas and starting a new year!
So as well as my memory serves me, I will attempt to wrap up of the places I have been and the things I have seen....
The move has bought me within walking distance to Banda Parte` Pizza. I have read some mixed reviews, but I have to say, I really enjoyed eating here. Good selection of beers and interesting pizza toppings. I'm looking forward to going back.
Continuing along the beer trail, have had a meal and a drink at the Empress Hotel. I know many locals love the Empress, and thats fair enough, but I just don't like eating here. Have had a few meals here over the years and I'll pretty much do anyting to avoid eating here again. Fish and chips were greasy and the chicken burger was dry. I don't want to overly critique pub food, but there are better pub meals around. Bulmers on tap is a winner though!
Had a totally different kind of pub experience at the North Fitzroy Star. Nuzzled in the quiet end of St Georges Road, the Star caters to a quieter, more middle aged crowd, and its seasonal menu reflects this. I had a beautiful pasta with a glass of pinot and a salmon salad with baby herbs. Its not cheap here, but the food is really well thought out, and the quality is easy to see. I like the warm cozy feeling of this place, and despite not being middle aged, I will be back!
Further down the road, I stopped in at the Commercial Hotel for a pre xmas drink and a bite to eat with friends. I'm not sure if this place has changed hands, but it seems a bit different to a few years ago. Different vibe? I don't know. But I like it here. The menu is pretty standard pub grub, but pub grub done well. I really liked the fish and chips here, and the porterhouse was done just right. I was very embarassed to ask for my medium steak to be done a little more (I never do this), and the guy who I suspect was the owner was so nice about it. I even got new chips. I really appreciated not being made to feel like I was troubling them. Two thumbs up to the Commercail.
The pub tour continues to the Fitzroy Pinnacle. I'm going to say: good place to drink, poor place to eat. I had an eggplant parma, and it was honestly the most horrid thing I have had the displeasure of paying to eat. It was undercooked, chewy, and greasy. HOWEVER, I love the beer garden here, its small, cozy and the music is good.
Changing the flavour, I sat down at Mezza Lebansese Bar and Grill for a falafel. MY god this place is busy! The lamb is amazing, and the salads were fresh. Great balance of vegetarian and meet dishes. I get the impression that a lot of people make this a regular dining spot along Lygon.
The work Christmas lunch was held at the Langham Hotel in South Bank. It was AMAZING. This place is the ultimate buffet. You can pretty much eat anything you feel like, and as much as you can handel. I treated myself to half a dozen oysters, half a dozen + prawns, crayfish and yabby. And thats juat to start. The cheese was phenominal. Cheddar, french brie, fetta, quince paste. Then there is a carvery and a curry bar. The highlight is without doubt the dessert fridge. Small portion of tiramisu, chocolate fountain or pudding.
I can't pass up an evening at The Old Kingdom on Smith Street. A festive duck dinner with family was a great way to wish eachother a happy christmas. 1 duck, 4 people. It was epic. I am never happier than when I have a pecking duck pancake in my hands. This little gem is also BYO, so you can pick the finest pinot your budget can stretch too. More food was consumed than would be medically remommended, all at $25 a head.
The most tradgic place I've eaten at, possibly ever, was Soul Mamma, in St Kilda. NEVER GO THERE. Dam, it was bad. Got there early, close to 6, and was told that without a booking, we roughly had 45 minutes to eat and vacate. I can respect that other people may have booked our table, but the place was empty. It was rude, and unncessary and over priced. The food was sub par, and there are better veggie places to ear. By miles. *REPEAT* Do not go there.
In addition to the festive food and pubs, I have payed a visit to cafe Fig. I'm not sure if its north Fitzoy or north Carlton, but its not bad. Its the only cafe in walking distance of my house, and the breakfast was pretty good. They serve fair trade coffee and are reasonably priced. Nothing stand out, but a good place to read the paper and ease into a weekend.
Had a coffee or two at Julios on Miller street in North Fitzroy. I believe that they serve