Horn Please

Address:167 St Georges Road North Fitzroy | Price: $15-25 | Vegetarian: some options | Rating: 8/10 | Value for money: 8/10

Decor: Spacious when you walk in, there is usually a black and white movie being projected onto one of the walls and a few other oddities that make the place just feel cool. Immediately we were served water in metal cups, which at first felt a bit “dentisty” but its nice to do things differently sometimes.

Service: Very friendly when you walk and when you walk out, although in between the service can sometimes be a tad sparse, but overall its fine.

Menu: The menu wasn’t ridiculously big like some curry places yet still had a bit of variety. I had the curried Goat which was excellent and I head the butter chicken the same. The usual rice, Naan, Dahl you’d expect at an Indian restaurant are all nice. Papadums and chutney to be honest are a bit underwhelming. There was an coldish spinach dish that was the only vegetarian option which was a bit different. There are also a number of wines to choose from, as well as beer from Sri Lanka.

Experience: If you want to go out for a nice curry with your partner or friends, this is an ideal spot. Its Reasonably spacious, clean and has excellent food. It’s Maybe a little more pricey than your average Indian, but the food is of an excellent quality so its still well worth it.

Horn Please on Urbanspoon

Posted in Melbourne Restaurant | Leave a comment

Mixed Business Clifton Hill

Address: 486 Queens Parade Clifton Hill Victoria 3068 | Food: Modern Breakfast and Brunch |  Price: $15 | Vegetarian Option: Plenty | Rating: 9/10 | Value for Money: 8/10

Decor: Walking towards Mixed Business one can only think that you are walking into an old servo, but once inside its clean and roomy. There are also spots outside in the courtyard and out the front to sit down.

Service: Nearly always pretty good. Personally I prefer to have one person serve me rather than multiple asking whether I am ready to order, but at least you get sat and asked if you want a coffee as soon as you sit down. There is always water on the tables which is a must for any Melbourne breakfast cafe.

Menu: The standard breakfast options appear, including a porridge that looks tasty, but I went for the poached eggs on rye with greek beans and a lamb sausage.

If you’ve been out the night before, they also have fresh soda with mint that is refreshingly good.

Experience:

The beans are so good, especially with the cheese shaving over the top and the lamb sausage. Eggs are always perfect too. The coffees are top notch and the service is good. Overall, this is one of the top breakfast places in Melbourne and because it’s in Clifton Hill, doesn’t always get accompanied by the long queues you get at other popular spots like Proud Mary. I will continue going there every couple of weeks because its so reliably good and value for money.

Mixed Business on Urbanspoon

Posted in Melbourne Restaurant | Leave a comment

Ladro Fitzroy

Address:224 Gertrude St Fitzroy | Price: $20-35 | Vegetarian: heaps of options | Rating: 8/10 | Value for money: 6/10

Decor: Ladro looks and feels like the middle class pizza parlour that it is. It’s slate floor and the number of people they cram in to a small space means it can get a little noisy, but its all part of the ambience and the fact its always busy means it feels like your in amongst it.

Service: Despite the fact the staff are often confined in how they can get to you with the crammed nature of the layout, the service is excellent. Whether asking questions about the specials or what’s on the wine list, the waiting staff are very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. I love a waitress who recommends something because she’s tasted it and loves it. It gives that element of confidence.

Menu: If you like paying more than $20 for a thin crust pizza with not much on it, then Ladro is the place for you. Having said that, the pizzas are delicious and they use such fresh ingredients. The only issue is that 1 is not enough because they are a bit on the small and slim side.

There are always a couple of specials, including normally a pasta one and on this evening a  dish of young lamb.

Experience: Every time I go to Ladro because a  pizza would be nice, I end up spending $100 for the two of us and then wonder how it happened.

We got there and immediately felt like a wine. I had a nice Pinot that had just come onto the menu and my partner for the evening had a white she liked.

We ordered one of each of the specials, the pasta a spaghetti with seafood and the slow cooked lamb. To start we ordered $9 olives. Not sure when that whole thing started, but maybe they got the idea from Huxtable down the road that people will pay whatever price is on the menu even for food that is scooped out of a jar or tin and put in a bowl. The mains were delicious. Fresh pasta and fresh seafood was a great combination. The lamb was also what I felt like on a cold winter’s night.

I felt like I wanted to be there as soon as I walked in the door. It’s got a good vibe even though a lot of people are crammed in.

Its the perfect kind of Italian – simple fresh food done well – and as a result they can charge what they like.

 
Ladro Gertrude on Urbanspoon

Posted in Melbourne Restaurant | Leave a comment

Chianti Clifton Hill

Address: 376 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

Food: Italian

Price: around $20 a main

Vegetarian Option: On request with most dishes.

Rating: 5/10

Value for money: 5/10

Decor: The wood fire is nice, however the rest of the decor is a little confusing with paper table cloth and random artifacts adorning the room. It does not feel like a nice Italian restaurant but more like a food hall as a result.

Service: The lady who served us was very pleasant but not over-the-top! Just the way I like it. We didn’t have to wait all night for a thing and all questions were answered with a smile.

Menu: The menu is about 10 items on a blackboard. These could be amended on request to be vegetarian and included a mix of veal, bolognaise, seafood and chicken dishes. We asked for the antipasta in vegetarian form and then had the veal scallopini and spaghetti marinara for main.

Experience:

We requested the Antipasta in vegetarian form and got 10 Savoy crackers, about 5 olives, a small number of pickled mushrooms and a few slices of roasted capsicum. It was small, a bit cheap and underwhelming. On to the main.

When somebody has “fresh seafood” on the menu you’d expect all of the seafood to be fresh, not a couple of fresh mussels with frozen little prawns and overcooked fish in your spaghetti. It’s a blatant lie to use fresh in this context  and one that shouldn’t be allowed at restaurants like it isn’t at supermarkets or markets.

The veal with mushrooms and vegetables was nice without being superb. The spaghetti didn’t taste like it was freshly made, had no flavour (some chilli or other herbs would have been nice) and had so much oil through it that both of us felt bloated for a few hours after.

The desserts looked good but I didn’t order after the marinara.

I was hoping for a less crowded version of Pellegrini’s in Collins St – simple Italian with lots of flavour, but it was more expensive without being overpriced, had a confusing ambience and food that lacked flavour. I’d probably not come here again.

Chianti Bistro on Urbanspoon

Posted in Melbourne Restaurant | 1 Comment