Takumi

32 Bourke St, Melbourne 9650 7020

 

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 Edamame and Sake

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Takumi’s Special Wagyu Beef

(thinly sliced wagyu eye fillet grilled on the outside topped with finely diced onion and lightly dressed in refreshing citrus seasoning)

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Tsukune

(grilled chicken meatball skewers)

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Salmon Carpaccio

(salmon sashimi infused in tangy carrot, onion and soy sauce seasoning)

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Jo-hire eye fillet steak and Karubi wagyu beef bolar blade

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Mixed salad, Squid, Salmon

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Sweet red bean ice cream and Green tea ice cream

 

Overall:

The quality of the food here was fantastic. Everything tasted fresh and the flavours were superb. I found the usage of lard/fat to coat the grill plate quite interesting. No wonder the meat here tasted so good. We came with a Groupon voucher and definitely felt that we had snapped up a terrific deal. The staff were efficient and the “smokeless” grills that they use here are great as it meant that you could leave without having that strong grill smell attached to your clothes and hair.

 

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Shizuku Ramen (revisited)

309 Victoria Street, Abbotsford 9995 8180

 

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Tan Tan Men

Free range pork mince, egg, chilli oil, preserved vegetables, rich sesame sauce

= Good

 

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Hokkaido Miso Ramen

Original hokkaido organic red & white coarse miso, cha shu, corn, butter, sprouts, egg

= Good

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Almond Tofu

Chilled sweet annin tofu (almond jelly) with berries

= Not bad

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Espresso Pudding

Coffee carnation milk gelee curd

= Not bad

 

Overall:

Although I am not the biggest fan of their Ramen Burgers, I am a fan of their ramen! The noodles were good, the toppings were generous and the broths were simply delicious. I didn’t enjoy the desserts as much as the Almond Tofu contained berries that came straight from the freezer (beware those with sensitive teeth!) and the Espresso Pudding became overwhelmingly creamy after a few mouthfuls. Service was friendly and the strikingly dark decor combined with the curious lights created a very non traditional Japanese dining atmosphere. So take advantage of this cold weather and try a bowl of the terrific ramen that is available here.

 

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*Disclaimer: Janet dined as a guest of Shizuku Ramen. All food ratings & review are purely based on my own experiences and how I felt about the service, food and quality at the time of visit

 

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Pizza Religion

493 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn East 9882 2555

 

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Pork Pizza (pork sausage, chilli, fennel, apple and cabbage salad)

Quite enjoyable but there wasn’t enough pork sausage (many mouthfuls of this pizza were purely of cabbage salad)

= Good

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Beef Cheek Pizza (braised beef cheek, celeriac puree, caramelised onions and gremolta)

The pungent beef cheek tasted marvellous with the sweet caramelised onions.

= Good

Overall:

There is a wide range of fresh gourmet pizza toppings available and they are all served on crispy thin crusts. The staff here are helpful and the atmosphere is truly family friendly.

 

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Trunk Diner

275 Exhibition St, Melbourne 9663 7994

 

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Golden Gaytime Milkshake

I liked this creamy toffee/honeycomb/vanilla milkshake. But then again I find the Golden Gaytime Krushers available at KFC to be equally as likeable.

= Good

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The Wagyu Burger
175 gram freshly ground Wagyu beef served medium-rare, grilled brioche, baby cos lettuce, purple onion, tomato and house-made pickles

A tiny ordinary tasting burger that needed self assembling? No thanks.

= Not bad

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“Huevos Rancheros”

Two fried eggs, chorizo, Mexican mixed beans, goats fetta, salsa, avocado, jalapenos and toasted tortilla

 = Not bad

 

Overall:

Average food, good variety of milkshakes (eg. Tim Tam, Lamington, Golden Gaytime), quick service, buzzing atmosphere.

 

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Champions Bistro

37 Springs Rd, Clayton South 9544 9929

 

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Smoked oyster, apple, horseradish

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Beef tendon, salted macadamia praline

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Duck liver, rye crisp, mountain pepper

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Charcoal chicken wing, celeriac, scallop, lemon pith, miso foam

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House baked sourdough with butter

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Hapuka, nettle broth, broccoli leaf, pork fat

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Kangaroo, native plum, sorrel, dried berry

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Pynegana cheddar, mustard sheet, muntries

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Tangelo, black garlic, brioche, fromage blanc sorbet

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Jerusalem artichoke ice cream, dehydrated chocolate mousse, fragrant tea jelly

 

Overall:

Things I knew before dining here:

1. former Vue de Monde chef Clinton McIver heads the kitchen

2. reviews have been very complimentary and at one point this place was booked out for months in advance

With this in mind, I walked in with fingers crossed hoping that this place would live up to its expectations. Unfortunately for me it did not. Although I enjoyed everything that was offered on their tasting menu, nothing in particular sent my tastebuds into a frenzy. However the menu here is constantly changing depending on seasonality and other aspects so perhaps it was just the current menu that failed to impress me. I also found each course to be quite small and left still feeling hungry.

On a more positive note the service was terrific and I loved the simple unpretentious atmosphere (this place is unexpectedly located at the Clayton Bowls Club and the dining area offers a nice view of the bowling green).

I am still undecided as to whether or not I want to venture here again. Perhaps so once the menu has completely changed.

 

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The Panama Dining Room and Bar

Level 3/231 Smith St,  Fitzroy 9417 7663

 

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Salmon rillettes served with herb salad and toast

= Not bad

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Spiced wagyu beef and prosciutto meatballs

Full of flavour, great balance of meat and breadcrumb, lovely rich sauce

= Good

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Fried cauliflower with ras el hanout (spice mix from North Africa), golden raisins, fromage frais and argan oil

Deep frying pretty much anything will make it taste better

= Good

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Slow cooked Western Plains pork scotch fillet with Jerusalem artichokes, grilled pine mushrooms, parsley puree and buttermilk

Tantalisingly tender pork with a wonderful combination of ingredients

= Good

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Steamed broccoli with Mt Zero black lentils and pecorino (left), Green salad with buttermilk, tarragon and shallot dressing (right)

= Not bad

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Yellowtail kingfish fillet with confit fennel, grilled saffron calamari, fennel puree and saltfish croquette

The Yellowtail kingfish fillet was extremely salty, while the calamari and croquette were unmemorable

= Not bad

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Chestnut gnocchi, pumpkin and parmesan puree, morel mushrooms, spinach and salted ricotta

Delicately light gnocchi that had a mild chestnut flavour, complementing the other ingredients of this dish fantastically. If only the portion size was bigger!

= Good

 

Overall:

If you manage to survive the arduous journey up two very steep flights of stairs, you will encounter an unobtrusive grey fire exit door with a small blue ‘Panama Dining Room and Bar’ sign above it. Enter these doors and you will find a funky bar, a pool table, lots of casual seating and a formal dining area. We went on a busy Saturday night and the bustling atmosphere made it very difficult to talk (I found myself yelling throughout the whole night and left with a sore throat). Service was friendly however the food took a little while to come out. I think I would prefer coming here for drinks as opposed to dining here in the future.

 

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Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill

80 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin 95550909

 

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Hummer burger (180g grass-fed beef pattie, tomato, jalapeño, spanish onion, cucumber, tasty cheese and Fat Bob’s “Hummer” spicy mayo) with fries and tomato relish

Jackie O burger (180g grass-fed beef pattie, tomato, spanish onion, fontina cheese, cos lettuce, mustard, tomato sauce and Fat Bob’s special sauce)

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Popcorn chicken with sweet chilli mayo

 

Overall:

Fat Bob’s had been on my places to eat list for awhile and I was very excited to finally get my hands one of their burgers. The verdict? Solid burgers that will satisfy any burger craving. Although the beef patties were bland, it didn’t matter as the other ingredients (especially the tasty sauces) made up for this lack of flavour. I fancied the Jackie O burger more so than the Hummer burger as the ingredients in the Hummer burger reminded me of the ingredients you get in a Subway sandwich. Similar to the beef patties I found the popcorn chicken and the chips to also be bland, requiring the sauces to provide flavour. Service was friendly (note that you place your order at the counter) and the decor was perfect for a burger joint (plenty of signs, posters and glowing neon lights). Definitely give this place a go if you are in the area and have a hankering for a good burger.

 

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