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Showing posts from 2014

Lazerpig Pizza Parlour

It sounded cool. Pizza - which, as everyone knows, can be amazing when done properly - in a favourite old haunt of mine in Collingwood, just one block down from Smith St, with fluoro lights and even a disco ball, to boot. But there were a few things about Lazerpig Pizza Parlour (9-11 Peel St, Collingwood) that just didn't sit right with me.

Occupying the site that used to house a great (albeit quiet) little pub, the Star, halfway down the notorious Peel St, Lazerpig is in a fairly accessible Collingwood spot. Its corner entrance is clearly marked by a fluorescent flying pig overhead. I'm yet to find a good explanation of the restaurant name (possibly something to do with gaming?!) - but it's certainly memorable.

Lazerpig is the newest venture of the Grace Darling crew, which I found surprising, because I thought the Grace Darling was a fairly classic operation, and I didn't get the impression Lazerpig was being run very well, when I was there. Service was haphazard, ve…

Jinda Thai Restaurant

Cheap Asian food is something I grew up with in Sydney. Melbourne is often touted as having a better dining scene than Sydney (medium-range and fine dining -- absolutely! -- well, in my experience), but even after nearly six years here, I still find Melbourne lacking in the cheap-but-great-quality-Asian-food category. And I'm not talking pan-Asian: I'm talking specific to one cuisine only, (Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, Malaysian, etc). I still find it upsetting when I go to a Japanese restaurant and find Pad Thai on the menu, or something similar. I feel a restaurant should do one cuisine well, rather than try to pander to the tastes of patrons who may not yet be familiar with that cuisine. Use it as an opportunity to educate! Let your customers experience one of the last genuine representations of culture: food!

Happily, Jinda Thai (1-7 Fergus St, Abbotsford) is genuine, great-quality Thai food (only) at quite reasonable prices. It was opened in July 2013 by the owners of…

Hardware Societe

Good cafes are few and far between in Melbourne's CBD, so it is unsurprising that The Hardware Societe (120 Hardware Street, Melbourne) has created such a loyal following. Its name is regularly mentioned in foodie circles and it is often recommended to visitors. Having never set foot in the joint, I tried it for the first time this September, when my Dad and a business associate of his were in town. Perhaps it was the effect of all the hype - or I've been spoilt for choice by the hordes of excellent cafes in Melbourne - but although I found The Hardware Societe good, it wasn't amazing.

Its location has obviously contributed to The Hardware Societe's success - halfway down a traffic-free laneway, bang in the middle of town, allowing for its regular queues to spill onto the street. I arrived at 9.45am on a Saturday to put our name on the list. The others arrived at 10am and we were seated by about 10.10am. Twenty-five minutes' wait... not too bad for such a revered v…

Steak Night and Pub Meal Specials

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I am a sucker for a good steak, and lately, what with moving house and all the extra expenses that incurs, I've been on the lookout for great pub specials such as steak nights. I've been keeping a list on my phone of some of the deals I've found at venues around my home and work (mostly in the CBD, Fitzroy/Collingwood, Richmond/Abbotsford, South Yarra/Prahran/Windsor, South Melbourne) - and there are lots, so please note I haven't tried them all. Several of my friends have asked me to send them a copy of the list - so I figure this way, I can share it with everybody who might be interested!

PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the pub specials in Melbourne (there are many websites for that already!), nor is it necessarily current. I will do my best to keep it up-to-date - if…

Tesselaar Tulip Festival

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (OK - just in the Dandenong Ranges of Melbourne, but still), there were fields of beautiful tulips, in all different colours. The colours were so bright, you could see them from miles away. People flocked from far and wide to see the beautiful tulips, exclaim over them, and take lots of selfies to share on social media.

One day, a little Dutch girl decided she wanted to go and see the tulips. Her family were visiting from the kingdom of the north, so they all went together. They hired a motor carriage and travelled the long distance, arriving at the tulip fields along with hundreds of other people, who parked their carriages in long rows in a neighbouring field.

The day was grey and a little bit rainy, but the gay colours of the tulips still stood out brightly. You could take a ride around the fields, or pick your own tulips, but the little girl and her family were happy to wander between the rows of flowers, admiring them, taking photos and g…