Best’s Great Western Review
Best’s Great Western Winery is one of Australia’s standout cellar doors. As one of Australia’s oldest wineries dating back to 1869 and with its first vines planted in 1867, it holds a tradition of great wine.
Their cellar door is one of the best. It’s a true step back in time and they let guests wonder through the old underground cellar to observe wine ageing in barrels, old wine caves and a perfectly set environment for cellaring. Wine bottles line the dimly lit rooms dating back decades. It’s wonderful and so much more authentic than any other cellar door I’ve been to. They are truly transparent in the whole wine making process and it’s a testament to their fantastic drops.
Best’s are known for their Bin 1 Shiraz and Chardonnay, yet their Riesling is one of the finest whites that Australia produces and at their cellar door you can try them all. They also offer cheese plates to compliment wine tastings with a range of hard and soft cheeses, spreads, fruit and crackers. It’s a perfect accompaniment to the wine offered for tasting.
Best’s is one Australia’s truly enjoyable and authentic cellar doors. Their wine is among the best and they do have small nibbles to enjoy. A trip to Best’s is like stepping back in time, so the next time you’re in the Grampians Region, be sure to stop by for a taste.
Best’s Wines Pty Ltd
111 Bests Road
Telephone (03) 5356 2250
Fax (03) 5356 2430
For more wine reviews by Seasoned Plate read:
Rochford Winery – Yarra Valley, Australia
City Wine Shop – Melbourne, Australia
Cup of Truth Review
Behind the façade of concrete buildings and bustling street goers lies a hidden gem that is truly Melbourne. It is there that one can find hidden bars, out of sight eateries and underground cafes. One such place is Cup of Truth, a café serving up proper single origin coffee from some of Melbourne’s top baristas.
The ‘café’ is located in the Campbell Arcade underneath Flinders Street and below the subway station. It’s a walk up, hole in the wall type of establishment that is serving up hot, premium coffee in a variety of forms from 6:45am all week long. It’s the perfect coffee joint for early morning commuters who want a coffee on the go, but it’s also a good place to go for somewhere different that happens to serve great coffee.
Cup of Truth doesn’t really have proper seating, lacks food of substance, but they do have some of the best coffee in town. They always have a couple of beans to choose from – usually single origin, and can serve coffee in a range of ways from your flat whites, to espressos to cold drips if that’s what you desire.
In addition to great coffee, the baristas are entertaining and damn good at what they do. Prices are comparable to any notable coffee shop in the CBD, but their product surpasses many.
Cup of Truth
12 Campbell Arcade,
Degraves Street Subway (below Flinders St)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Luxembourg Bistro – St. Kilda – Australia
On Thursday, May 30th Zomato along with The Luxombourg Bistro in St. Kilda teamed up to host a group of Melbourne Food Bloggers to an offal feast of epic proportions. For the evening, we were at the hand of Chef Chris Watson and his interpretation of offal in a true nose to tail approach to cooking and dining.
We met at the beautiful Luxembourg Bistro to dine on 4 courses of offal. We started with oysters natural, potatoe skins with cod roe and stuffed olives. Secondly we were enticed with an interpretation of mouth melting bone marrow and rich foie gras. For our third course we dined on tripe and sows ears. To finish we had a range of sweets which including rhubarb, ice-cream and poached pears. Each course was paired with a well matched wine that complimented our fare.
Chris Watson and his team prepared and presented the offal beautifully. Their decisions made sense and the food had purpose. The well chosen ingredients complemented each other in a way that rose the offal to a fine dining standard. Even the tripe, that I previously found difficult to eat, melted in my mouth and took on the flavours of the dish – rich spice and sausage. It was delicious.
This is the way offal should be eaten. The ingredients were respected and each dish showcased the main component without hiding its true taste or complexity. Chris Watson and his team should be commended for a stand out performance.
On this night we ate a special experimental menu, but some of the dishes can be regularly found on the Luxembourg Bistros daily offerings. With their complex flavour profiles and stand out performance, I’m hoping that some of these offal dishes can make a more regular appearance. If the public can get past the idea of the ingredients used they’d be in for a real treat and a richness that just isn’t found in regular cuts.
2/157 Fitzroy St. St Kilda
Victoria 3182 Australia
All enquiries or bookings
P. +61 3 9525 4488
Food Quality 8/10
Urban Burger Review
Urban Burger is one of the wave of new gourmet burger joints that have plagued Melbourne recently. This is a good trend in my opinion, who doesn’t enjoy a solid burger that isn’t MacDonald’s? Burgers are great, if done well.
The issue with a lot of these new era burger joints is that they’re trying to make a beautifully simple thing too complicated and it’s been the ruination of what is a hell of a good thing. It’s simple to make a good burger – high quality beef, sharp cheddar cheese, toasted buns, lettuce, tomato and pickles dressed as you like it. That’s it and that’s all. Urban Burger in my opinion is trying too hard. They offer a range of beef, chicken and veggie options in addition to sides, dips and drinks. The burgers are all dressed up in a range of unnatural ingredients and it results in sub-par burgers. In addition they lack real flavor and are on a less than great bun.
The thing that I didn’t realise when I ate there was that Urban Burger is a chain located throughout Victoria and Queensland. The food is alright in a pinch, but I wouldn’t go out of my way for their burgers. You can expect to pay around $15 – $20 for a sub-par, overcooked burger combo.
47 Errol St North Melbourne, VIC
Food Quality 5/10
Ut Si Cafe Review
Ut Si Café, Pearth, Tasmania is a beautiful little café that has been created out of an old restored church originally built in 1838. The building is beautiful and rich in character. In addition to a culturally rich exterior, Ut Si Café also has a focus on local ingredients, free-range produce and organic influence. The Ut Si Café is also a haven for local artists and good coffee.
The café is a great stopping point to or from the populated north of Launceston. Coffees to go and freshly baked goods are on hand, but there is also the option to eat in. With their local focus on food, the café is a sustainably aware restaurant to grab a quick meal.
Ut Si Cafe
86 Main Rd, Perth, Tasmania
0363 981 125
Food Quality 8/10
For more cafe reviews by Seasoned Plate go to:
Penny House Cafe – Melbourne, Australia
Indian Coffee House – Jaipur, India
Lakeside Restaurant Review
The Lakeside Restaurant is located on the manmade Sanctuary Lakes Resort. The restaurant overlooks the lake and is the one of the only dining options within the community. The Lakeside Restaurant is attempting to be an upper-class dining establishment, but have significantly missed the mark.
The night I went I started with the garlic break and followed with the steak special consisting of a beef medallion with peppercorn sauce, a side of roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli and tomatoes. The steak was overcooked and incredibly tough, suggesting a poor cut of meat. The veggies also lacked freshness and it was evident that the food was of low quality and tasted as if they were mass-produced.
In addition to low quality products, the food was poorly prepare and overpriced. The restaurant is trying to be a find dining establishment, but are catering to a pub going crowd. It seems as if they are in a state of confusion and could use an overhaul for their menu and food production.
Greg Norman Drive
Sanctuary Lakes, Victoria
Food Quality 2/10
For more reviews by Seasoned Plate go to:
Rochford Wines Review
Rochford Wines is a winery located in the picturesque Yarra Valley in Eastern Victoria. They produce an extensive range of wine, have cellar door tastings and sales, and also have a restaurant on site. With its proximity to Melbourne, the Yarra Valley is a great place to go for an escape from the city.
My wife and I were at Rochford wines for the hot air balloon experience accompanied with a champagne breakfast to follow. The hot air ballooning was extraordinary and we had developed a hearty appetite after our voyage. We were welcomed with Rochfords sparkling rosé that continued to flow throughout our entire breakfast.
I opted for the smoked trout, poached egg and fish roe on sourdough. The dish contained a hot smoked fish that has a more cooked consistency to traditional smoked fish, but as a result it’s heartier. The fish roe was also surprisingly large and lacked the true refinement that one may find when eating good caviar. The breakfast wasn’t bad overall, but due to the nature of the fish and the bread, it was a bit on the dry side and would have benefited from the addition of a sauce.
The meal was tasty and the bread was fresh. The wine also flowed freely, so it was a good way to top off a memorable morning.
878-880 Maroondah Hwy
Coldstream VIC 3770
Melways: 277 D9
Food Quality 6/10
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Marroo Korean Charcoal BBQ and Bar Review
Marroo Korean Charcoal BBQ is one of the many Korean BBQ joints located in Melbourne’s CBD, and like the others, is full of those rich smoky grilled meat aromatics that sticks to ones clothes for days on end. Like the others, Marrow offers a range of BBQ options for clients in addition to a more traditional menu for diners who are not in the mood for the BBQ experience. The restaurant is located on Little Collins St. in the basement level but has an entrance on street level for convenience.
The night we went, we decided to share a BBQ set with beef, chicken and pork. We also ordered a couple of Korean beer (Hite) to wash it all down. Korean beer is developed to pair perfectly with the rich smoky and salty flavours that fill Korean fare. The beer is typically served ice cold and is always super smooth and easy to drink. It must be a coincidence that the food matches so perfectly.
The other joy about going to a Korean BBQ joint, is that the food is always cooked in front of you at the table where patrons have input in the outcome of their meal and the BBQ sets usually come with rice, lettuce, garlic, chilli peppers, pickled onions, cabbage, multiple sauces and Kimchi. Marrow delivered on all of these expectations. The protein portion of our meal was ample to fill our party and both the meats and sides were of decent quality. We all ate lots and left full and happy. The one plus about Marrow was the price – it was one of the more affordable Korean BBQ restaurants that I’ve been to in Melbourne and they did provide a decent meal.
Morroo Korean Charcoal BBQ and Bar
Address: 392 Little Collins Street,
Melbourne, Vic 3000
Phone : 03 96708800
Food Quality 7/10
For more Korean Reviews by Seasoned Plate check out:
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack Review
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack is a revamped trendy restaurant located in The Public Bar on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD, right across from the renowned Queen Victoria Market. This place is an old backpacker bar that has been transformed, with the introduction of Miss Katie and her crabs. What was a cheap local drinking joint for weary travellers has been hipsterized, like so many other fallen hangouts, for young foodies and after work drinkers. American Chef Katie Marron previously worked at Movida and Eue du Vie before branching out and taking on her own food project to replicate food from her youth.
Miss Katie’s still has some of the remnants of old with the backpackers still located upstairs, the old furniture and the weathered bar that seems as if they have seen many a defiant night. Drinks still flow at Katie’s, but the food options and strategically placed shark head monuments are something new. The place still has a relaxed feel – walk in and order at the bar and drinks still flow from Coopers taps.
The difference is that the Crab Shack now offers a menu that replicates an American styled port town with fresh seafood and southern cooking. The menu includes Crispy Fried Clarence Organic School Prawns, Katie’s Fried Chicken, French Fries with seasoning, Blue Swimmer Crab, House Baked Corn Bread, Fried Green Tomatoes and Fresh Corn on the Cob in addition to sides and daily specials. For $25 you can get Katie’s Low Country Boil consisting of one portioned blue swimmer crab, boiled corn, kranski and garlic butter. All the food is served on paper plates or in disposable containers to further rid this joint of any pretentiousness that would have not ever existed.
The food is good here. All meals are cooked to order and with the Queen Victoria Market across the street; one can be assured that ingredients are brought in on a daily basis. I had the chance to try an array of dishes and was happy with everything that came out. This is a fun place to be – food is good and fresh, beer is cold and people are relaxed.
Miss Katie’s Crab Shack
Monday- Thursday 5-9pm
Friday – Saturday 12-9pm
238 Victoria St North Melbourne 3051
Food Quality 7/10
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Heirloom Review – Melbourne, Australia
Heirloom is a Japanese Izakaya and Sake Bar, serving modern Japanese cuisine with a decent range of sake to match. They are located in Melbourne’s CBD and host breakfast, lunch, bar and dinner menus with the option of even sitting in their sake bar and eating sushi based on the chef’s recommendations. In addition to an up-scale dinner and sushi menu, Heirloom offers a very competitive lunch menu at $14.50 for a daily set menu. At this price point they have been able to offer upscale cuisine at everyday prices.
The restaurant itself is modern and definitely has a trendy feel to it. The serving staff are professional and they seem to have a regular lunch clientele that frequent for their daily offerings. I couldn’t pass up this eating opportunity so I decided to opt for their Monday offering – Ooebi Ten-Don (king prawn & vegetable tempura, salad and miso soup).
The wait wasn’t too long and as soon as my dish arrived I was immediately impressed. I expected a sort of haute cuisine and to leave hungry for that price, but was pleasantly surprised. I was presented with two large tempura king prawns with salad and miso soup. This is the sort of portion that I’d expect from a cheap noodle joint in Chinatown, but not in a reputable joint like Heirloom. In addition to the sheer size of the portion, the food was good. The prawns were hot out of the oil and fresh, the miso was satisfyingly salty but not overpowering and the salad helped balance out the meal by presenting a fresh component to the dish. I thought it was a damn good meal, especially for the price and I’d definitely go again.
131 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia
(+61) 3 9639 1296
Food Quality 8.5/10
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