Donnini’s

320 Lygon St, Carlton 9347 3128

 

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Capricciosa pizza

(Fior di latte, tomato, leg ham, mushroom, marinated Ligurian olives)

I liked the thin and crispy base however I didn’t like how the olives came with pits.

= ★★

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Ravioli Con Salmone E Burrata

(salmon, burrata and smoked ricotta ravioli, butter, dill, asparagus)

A light ravioli served in a delicious sauce.

= ★★★

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Tris Di Pasta Donnini

(Tagliatelle Al Ragu Nostro, Tortelli Di Ricotta, Gnocchi Al Pomodoro)

Hand made pasta cooked in fresh sauces.

= ★★★

Overall:

Although somewhat pricier than your typical Lygon St restaurant, what you get here at Donnini’s is quality Italian fare, good service and a great atmosphere.

 

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Pistol Pete’s Food N Blues

93a Little Malop St, Geelong 5221 0287

 

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Southern Style Fried Chicken

Crispy fried chicken covered in tasty spices. Be sure to try this with hot sauce for a deliciously spicy kick.

= ★★★

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N’awlins Taster Plate

A surprisingly filling tasting plate that consisted of grilled andouille sausage, cajun fries, okra, fried shrimp and gumbo. Each dish was terrific but the stand out item for me was the gumbo. The rich stew was a thick blend of aromatic spices and flavours, and contained shrimp, chicken and sausage.

= ★★★

 

Overall:

Who would have thought that such a great place existed in Geelong? Pistol Pete’s serves up delicious Southern American food in a casual setting where fantastic Blues music is played non-stop, and live Blues acts perform regularly.

Note that orders are taken at the counter and that this place is closed on Mondays.

 

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Olympic Doughnuts

51 Irving St, Footscray 9689 4819

 

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The hot jam doughnuts at Olympic Doughnuts are seriously INCREDIBLE! Each freshly fried doughnut is filled with marvellously sweet jam (from the iconic dolphin jam dispenser) and is coated with sugar right before your eyes as soon as you order them. Biting into one of these doughnuts was simply amazing! The outside was perfectly crispy and sugary while the inside was deliciously soft and light, with a hidden explosion of delicious jam. These were so addictive and are a bargain at only 80 cents each!

I’m having a Homer Simpson drooling moment thinking about these right now. Mmm…doughnuts.

 

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The Jolimont

73 Jolimont Rd, Forest Hill 0438 333 595 

 

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Iced Chai

Sweet with a distinctive chai flavour

= ★★

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Banana Milkshake

This brought to mind childhood memories of banana Nesquik

= ★★

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Smashed avocado

(avocado, dill, lemon and feta cheese on seven grain sourdough, served with a fried egg)

= ★★

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The Jolimont Platter

(antipasto platter with Chef’s selection of marinated vegetables, deli meats, cheese and bread)

= ★★

 

Overall:

This cosy suburban cafe serves up the usual breakfast/brunch items. Although nothing particularly stood out in terms of the food, service was great as the staff here were attentive, friendly and up for a chat.

 

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Shesh Besh

365 North Rd, Caulfield South 9578 8350

 

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Chebureki

Thick deep fried pastry with a succulent lamb and onion filling, served with sweet chilli sauce

= ★★

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Marinated chicken shashlik

Chicken skewers served with small roast potatoes and a salad

Portions were small considering that this dish was from their mains menu. I initially enjoyed these skewers but once they cooled down, an odd ‘leftover’ taste was noticeable.

= ★

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Vegetarian Manti

Pumpkin, onions and spices wrapped in a homemade pastry, served with yogurt sauce

 The pastry was enjoyable (soft and delicate) however the vegetable filling left an unpleasantly bitter aftertaste. I had to pile on the yogurt sauce in order to get through one of these dumplings, and even our waitress wasn’t a fan saying that we should have ordered the lamb manti instead.

= ★

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Baklava

Crispy sheets of phyllo pastry with honey and chopped nuts

= ★★★

 

Overall:

Friendly staff, simple decor, mediocre food. Thank goodness we used a Groupon voucher and didn’t have to pay full price.

Note that this place is closed on Mondays.

 

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DakDak Cafe

Unit 2, 1-3 Bignell Rd, Moorabbin 9532 2749

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Bartholomew’s Baked Eggs

Lamb, spinach and pine nut sausage, free range eggs, sautéed spinach, kalamata olives and feta cheese in a tomato and herb sauce, served with buttered sourdough toast

= ★★

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Vegorama

Poached free range eggs, homemade hash brown, avocado, sautéed mushrooms, over roasted tomato and truffle hollandaise served with buttered multigrain toast

= ★★

Overall:

I loved the retro vibe that this garage-turned-cafe had going on! A small powder blue caravan served as a kitchen, industrial shelves and recycled furniture filled up the place, bright green artificial grass covered the floor, and there was Volkswagen memorabilia everywhere (which was expected as this place is named after the signature stuttering of the Volkswagen engines). Service was friendly although it took a while before our orders were taken, and then much longer for our food to arrive. This unexpected cafe (as is it located within Moorabbin’s industrial area) is a comfortable and quirky place to hang out, but they need to up their game a tad when it comes to service times.

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Sushi “Cake”

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How time flies! It’s been a whole year since I made a Fruit “Cake” for my mum’s birthday and I needed another cake alternative for this year. I saw a savoury sushi “cake” at a work lunch a few years ago and I remember thinking to myself: THIS IS GENIUS!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sushi rice
  • 8 tbsp sushi vinegar
  • 425g canned tuna
  • 4 eggs
  • Smoked salmon
  • Cucumber
  • Avocado

Method:

1. Rinse rice under cold running water (stirring occasionally with your hand to remove any excess starch) until water runs clear. Drain well.

2. Place rice and water in a rice cooker to cook (easy option), or in a large pot to cook. If cooking in a pot, have the pot covered and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook (covered) for 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. (If rice is still not soft, add more water) Remove from heat. Set the rice aside and allow it to cool slightly.

3. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold in sushi vinegar.

4. In a loose base cake pan, place half the sushi rice on the base of the pan. Layer on the tuna and then layer on the remaining sushi rice.

5. Make an omelette from the eggs (I added a splash of soy sauce to my omelette), and place the omelette on top of the sushi rice.

6. Arrange the smoked salmon, cucumber and avocado on top of the “cake”.

7. Remove pan from around the “cake” and serve.

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