Carmine’s Bistro

Carmines Bistro - Street view

Carmine’s Bistro – Street view

Lygon street in Carlton is the heart of Italian dining in Melbourne. And Carmine’s Bistro is one that stands out for creating authentic Italian dishes with a modern twist. The meals are exciting and innovative and most of all they are damn tasty.

Carmine's Bistro - Venue

Carmine’s Bistro – Venue

As you walk in there are beautifully set tables with big posters on the wall, quirky lamps and book shelves. It has a warm inviting atmosphere with lots of character.

Carmine's Bistro - Horse lamp

Carmine’s Bistro – Horse lamp

Loving this horse lamp. I love lamp.

Carmines Bistro - Carlton

Carmine’s Bistro – Carlton

They have an a la cart menu or you can select the ‘feed me’ option which is where they serve you a banquet of their favourite dishes. And believe me when they say they’ll feed you, they absolutely mean it. We had the ‘feed me’ option and I was literally feeling full until dinner time the next day. As the food comes out it’s exciting because you don’t know what’s next, and the food is fab so you can trust the chef will look after you.

Carmine's Bistro - Mozarella mousse

Carmine’s Bistro – Mozarella mousse

First up we had the mozerella mousse, which was delicious. The mousse was smooth and cheesy, topped with tomato and house made green olive oil. The Italian colours and flavours presented in a modern style starter was a great first impression.

Carmine's Bistro - Bruchetta

Carmine’s Bistro – Bruchetta

Next an array of assorted bruschetta served on a wooden board. There was anchiovy, capsicum and goats cheese, roasted zuchinni and eggplant, procuitto and bococcini and tomato with oregano and olive oil all on thick slices of ciabatta bread. They were nice flavour combos and a great accompaniment to a glass of wine or two. We had a really yummy pinot grigio.

Carmine's Bistro - Mushroom capaccino w onion donut

Carmine’s Bistro – Mushroom capaccino w onion donut

The mushroom cappuccino and onion donut was was like wow creative. The cappuccino was a shot of mushroom puree, which had a nice bitter taste (like coffee) with foam on top. The onion donut was a cheesey onion filling shaped like a donut, covered in bread crumbs and deep fried. They were a good pair.

Carmines Bistro - Lamb lollipops

Carmine’s Bistro – Lamb lollipops

The lamb lollipops were fun to eat. It was a lamb and pistachio meatball on a stick sitting on top of a shot of sambucca cream.

Carmines Bistro - Lamb lollipops w sambucca cream shots

Carmine’s Bistro – Lamb lollipops w sambucca cream shots

The sambucca cream was a beautiful creamy shot (not at all like an actual sambucca shot) with a very subtle sambucca flavour that complimented the meatball perfectly. The pistachio in the meatball was a great addition especially for textural value.

Carmine's Bistro - Scallops w lemon sauce

Carmine’s Bistro – Scallops w lemon sauce

The scallops were amazing. Perfectly seared and drizzled with a creamy lemon sauce and their house made green olive oil. Those scallops! Simple and stunning. It was served with some cubes of bread, which is just what you need to soak up every drop of that wonderful sauce.

Carmine's Bistro - Beef carpaccio

Carmine’s Bistro – Beef carpaccio

The beef carpaccio looked like a little garden, pretty like a picture. The beef was thinly sliced and had a soft smooth texture (sort of like sliced salmon). The beef was covered with an arrangement of sliced olives, fresh tomato and little lettuce leaves, with spots of creamy aioli, sharp parmesan, crushed almonds and rounded off with the zest of grated lime rind. It was magnificent. A beautiful balance of flavours and textures. Spring on a plate I call it.

Carmine's Bistro - Celeriac lasagne

Carmine’s Bistro – Celeriac lasagne

Celeriac lasagna was the next dish and was a fantastic idea executed well. The lasagna sheets were crispy layers of fried celeriac with a smooth celeriac puree in between each layer. It was served with tiny cubes of sautéed celeriac and had deep-fried celeriac strands placed on top. If you’re a celeriac fan (and I am), it’s safe to assume you will love this dish (and I did). It was served with a tasty mushroom consommé.

Carmine's Bistro - Chicken ravioli

Carmine’s Bistro – Chicken ravioli

The handmade ravioli was filled with chicken and had flavours of port. It was served with parsnip puree, charred cherry tomatoes and crispy fried basil. Yum!

Carmine's Bistro - Chicken cacciatore

Carmine’s Bistro – Chicken cacciatore

The chicken cacciatore was packed with flavour. It was cooked like a chicken roulade with a lovely nutty herb stuffing and the chicken skin was golden brown. It was served with a light buffalo mozzerella mousse and a tomato based sauce with potatoes and spring onions.

Carmine's Bistro - Nutella pizza

Carmine’s Bistro – Nutella pizza

And just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore we had one more dish. A sweet one, a nutella pizza. It was a thin sweet pizza base covered in a thick layer of nutella topped with strawberries, a donut and vanilla icecream. It was decadent.

Carmine's Bistro - Coffee

Carmine’s Bistro – Coffee

And lastly coffee.

At Carmine’s they embrace all the flavour and heartiness of Italian homestyle cooking and present it in an exciting and inspiring way. The staff were friendly and made us feel right at home. I loved the ‘feed me’ option, it was an absolute feast. They delivered exciting renditions on authentic Italian classics.

I heart Carmine’s Bistro!

Olives x

Carmine’s Bistro
Address: 234 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Website: http://www.carminesbistro.com.au/
Phone: 03 9663 3151
Trading Hours: Mon-Sun: 12pm-10pm everyday

Carmine's Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to Carmine’s Bistro.

 

Sezar Restaurant

Sezar restaurant - Melbourne

Sezar restaurant – Melbourne

Sezar is a modern-style Armenian restaurant hidden down a Melbourne lane-way. They take the traditional flavours and techniques of Armenian cuisine and create delicious contemporary dishes that are great for sharing.

Sezar restaurant - Sezar express - Raspberry cocktail

Sezar restaurant – Sezar express – Raspberry cocktail

 

We had these delicious cocktails that went down a treat. The sezar express, they had gin, raspberry puree, fresh lime and freeze-dried berries sprinkled on top. Deelicious!

Sezar restaurant - Oysters w compressed apple & anise

Sezar restaurant – Oysters w compressed apple & anise

The oysters were a perfect starter, the compressed apple and anise liven your palette but in a subtle way so the fresh oyster taste is not lost.

Sezar restaurant - Air-dried beef and quail egg on toasted brioche

Sezar restaurant – Air-dried beef and quail egg on toasted brioche

The bastourma (air dried beef) & egg was so yum I could have eaten a whole plate to myself. They were mini rounds of toasted buttery brioche w garlic jam. Then there was a fried quail egg (sunny side up) and a rolled piece of air-dried beef (mmm salty). The oozing yolk was creamy and rich and decadent.

Sezar restaurant - Spinach and feta boreg w Aleppo mayo

Sezar restaurant – Spinach and feta boreg w Aleppo mayo

The spinach & feta boreg are a good veg option. They were like little spring rolls filled with spinach and feta, served with Aleppo mayo (spicy capsicum mayo).

Sezar restaurant - Chicken wings w pomegranate glaze

Sezar restaurant – Chicken wings w pomegranate glaze

The twice-cooked chicken wings were a hit. They had a sweet sticky pomegranate glaze with some scattered pomegranate seeds about the plate with crushed pistachios and fresh coriander sprinkled on top. Chicken wings are always a crowd pleaser.

Sezar restaurant - Spanner crab manti (Armenian dumplings)

Sezar restaurant – Spanner crab manti (Armenian dumplings)

The spanner crab manti were these Armenian dumplings covered with a creamy sumac yoghurt & chilli oil. They were very creamy and the crab flavour was prominent.

Sezar restaurant - Cured ocean trout w apple and fennel salad

Sezar restaurant – Cured ocean trout w apple and fennel salad

The cured ocean trout was divine, it was thinly sliced and melted in your mouth. The apple & fennel salad complemented the oily trout and the crème fraiche & roe added richness to the meal. This dish was really lovely.

Sezar restaurant - Grain salad w labne

Sezar restaurant – Grain salad w labne

The grain salad had a combination of grains with toasted pumpkin seeds, almonds, and sour cherries. It had a creamy labne to bring it all together.

Sezar restaurant - Kataifi wrapped braised lamb w sesame mayo

Sezar restaurant – Kataifi wrapped braised lamb w sesame mayo

The kataifi wrapped braised lamb was delicious. The fried kataifi had crispy wispy bits that were awesome with the soft braised lamb neck centre. The spots of sesame mayo went perfectly with this dish. Yumness!

Sezar restaurant - BBQ wagyu w garlic yoghurt and lavash

Sezar restaurant – BBQ wagyu w garlic yoghurt and lavash

The BBQ wagyu beef tenderloin was rare and pink in the middle. It was marinated in aromatic spices and was so so tender. It went so well with the garlic yoghurt & lavash a soft Armenian flatbread.

Sezar restaurant - BBQ king brown mushrooms w Isreali cous cous

Sezar restaurant – BBQ king brown mushrooms w Isreali cous cous

The BBQ king browns mushrooms were really tasty and they were paired with toasted Israeli cous cous, sujuk & sweet potato puree. It had a nice earthy flavour.

Sezar restaurant - Almond milk panna cotta w slow-cooked pear and honeycomb

Sezar restaurant – Almond milk panna cotta w slow-cooked pear and honeycomb

The almond milk panna cotta was a beautiful texture and was a nice subtle flavour to go with the slow cooked pear and honeycomb. It was topped with toasted almonds & persian fairy floss. Very pretty.

Sezar restaurant - Vanilla parfait rolled in pistachio and sugar syrup

Sezar restaurant – Vanilla parfait rolled in pistachio and sugar syrup

The vanilla parfait was rolled in nuts and drizzled with sweet rosewater syrup. It was nice. Then there were pistachio cakes, which were really moist (like a syrup cake) and had a strong pistachio flavour.

Sezar restaurant - Chocolate Marquis w cherry sorbet

Sezar restaurant – Chocolate Marquis w cherry sorbet

The chocolate Marquis was like a rich and dense chocolate mousse with chocolate crumb. The sour cherry sorbet had a really subtle cherry flavour.

Sezar restaurant - New style baklava

Sezar restaurant – New style baklava

The new style baklava was an ice-cream sandwich twist on the traditional middle-eastern sweet baklava. It was my fave dessert. Quenelles of walnut toffee ice-cream between two layers of filo pastry drizzled with a salted caramel sauce with crushed nuts on top. It had all the flavours of baklava but in different form, very clever.

Sezar restaurant creates contemporary style dishes but has maintained the flavours and the essence of traditional Armenian cuisine. A great place to down some tasty cocktails and share some fabulous food.

I heart Sezar restaurant!

Olives x

Sezar Restaurant
Address: 6 Melbourne Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Website: http://sezar.com.au/
Phone: 03 9663 9882
Trading Hours: Mon-Thur: 12.30-3pm (lunch), 5.30pm-10.30 (dinner)
Fri:12.30-3pm (lunch), 5.30pm-11.30 (dinner), Sat: 5.30-11.30pm, Closed Sunday.

Sezar on Urbanspoon

Note: Olive Sundays was invited as a guest to Sezar restaurant.

 

Patee Thai

Patee Thai - Massaman curry, coconut rice & roti w satay sauce.

Patee Thai – Massaman curry, coconut rice & roti w satay sauce.

I remember the first time I went to Patee Thai. My friend and I stumbled upon the Brunswick street store and were taken to a world of Thai culture that we were not then familiar with. Years later, after multiple visits to Thailand, I realised why this particular restaurant stood out. It was authentic and gave us a peek into Thailand’s beautiful culture by exhibiting humble food made with care which was affordably priced. After the great success of the Fitzroy restaurant, one was also opened on Chapel street in Prahran. It has the same vibe as the first venue and the same awesome food, the only difference for me is that it’s a little closer to home (same same, but different). This is one of my favourite Thai restaurants and everything I’ve tried on the menu is mouth-wateringly delicious (literally salivating as I write this).

Patee Thai - Floor seated area.

Patee Thai – Floor Seated Area.

You can choose to be seated at a table with boring chairs or you can get right in, take your shoes off and sit on the floor. If you choose the floor option, there are cute cushions to sit on with triangular backrests to ensure a comfy stay. The only issue is that if you are like my bf (taller than the average bear) you may need to sit opposite a shorter person like me so you can stretch your legs out. Also, it’s probably not a good idea to wear your favourite shoes because you don’t want to spend your night entertaining the idea that someone might accidentally leave with them (negative thoughts clouding your subconscious can ruin your meal).

Patee Thai - Roti and Satay Sauce.

Patee Thai – Roti and Satay Sauce.

If you’re wondering what to order for the entrée you can always go the easy route and get the ‘mixed entrée’ where you get to try a variety of entrees. I adore the little ‘veg green curry puffs’ the pastry is really light and the filling is really tasty. Great starter. My friends think the vegetarian spring rolls are pretty awesome. The ‘garlic chive dumpling’ is yum, it’s sort of like a glutinous pancake with garlic chives served with a dark soy chili sauce. Yumm! And the satay skewers are good, partly because the satay sauce is amazing. The satay sauce goes with everything, with the skewers, with roti, with plain rice or even just by itself sluurrp. The roti is soft and subtly oily (which is part of its charm). It tastes even more delicious when eaten with copious amounts of the satay sauce.

Patee Thai - Thai green curry w chicken.

Patee Thai – Thai green curry w chicken.

Patee Thai make a good curry. The ‘chicken green curry’ and ‘lamb massaman’ are my favourites. The green curry has an incredible balance of flavour and is the perfect consistency not too thick, not too runny, it’s just right. The massaman is thick and moreish. It has an intense depth of flavour. The authentic flavours take you straight to Thailand with each mouthful.

The coconut rice is exactly the way I like it. It’s similar to plain steamed rice, just a little stickier with a sweet subtle taste of coconut. It taste delicious in its own right and it doesn’t take the spotlight off the main dishes. I always have to eat some just by itself om-nom-nom. It’s not milky or gooey like some coconut rice. It is a brilliant accompaniment to the flavoursome curries.

Patee Thai - Pad Thai Noodles w prawn.

Patee Thai – Pad Thai Noodles w Prawn.

Patee Thai’s ‘pad thai noodles’ are the best and jam packed with flavour. I get the prawn pad thai noodles which have a few big juicy prawns, firm tofu pieces and crunchy peanuts with a squeeze of lemon to balance the flavours. It is absolutely delicious and completely authentic (except for when I get some cheeky broccoli added).  Can’t go wrong with this dish, it’s remarkable every time.

Some of the other yummy menu options are the ‘grilled marinated chicken’ with turmeric, coriander and peanuts. It’s like bbq chicken pieces with the skin on. It has a delicious smoky barbequed flame-grilled flavour. The ‘fish fillet with kaffir lime leaf sauce’ is boneless lightly battered fish fillet bites drizzled with a sticky palm sugar sauce. The mango chicken is always a crowd pleaser. It’s battered chicken pieces with a sweet mango sauce. The ‘cashew prawns’ are big and juicy with a kick of chilli, served on a sizzling plate and the fried rice is a tasty accompaniment to any of the dishes. Patee Thai is one of those restaurants where everything on the menu is delicious.

If you’re a fan of the green leafies, the fresh ‘Asian greens with garlic and oyster sauce’ will be a hit. It’s fresh and full of flavour. It’s a good dish to share as a side or if you want to make this dish more substantial, ask them to add a protein like chicken or tofu.

My favourite dessert is the ‘Thai baked custard tart.’ The pastry is buttery and melts in your mouth and the custard is not too sweet. The Thai custard has a roasted coconut and palm sugar flavour, which is interesting and delectable.  I appreciate the unpretentious plating, a simple slice of tart served with a scoop of ice-cream. Just like you’d serve it at home. And then sometimes you get a yummy after dinner chocolate mint with your bill.

I recommend to eat-in or pick up your take-away order especially on a busy Saturday night, because in the past I have had a few unhappy delivery moments. But the food has never disappointed. It always hits the mark. The food is reliable and always tastes the same. Delicious!

The theme of the restaurant is traditional Thai, which is represented through not only the food but also the décor and the staff’s attire. I totally dig their gold puffy pants. The dim lights provide a calming atmosphere and when that is coupled with a full tummy it can make you feel very sleepy zzzzz. Patee Thai comprises the essence of what Thailand is to me. Good food, polite people and a calm atmosphere.

I heart Patee Thai!

Olives x

Addres: 135 Chapel street, Prahran
Website: http://www.pateethai.com.au
Phone: 03 9510 3060
Trading Hours: Monday-Sunday(Everyday)-6pm-10.30pm

Patee Thai on Urbanspoon

Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger - insides.

Zombie Burger – insides.

I love zombies, that is, until they emerge from the ground in real life and try to eat my brains. But no I feel for them, they are just dead hungry and are doing what they have to, to satisfy their innate hunger for ‘brains’.  After a week of trying to diet by excluding carbs entirely, I adopted similar characteristics that of a zombie. I was weak, miserable and walked around lifeless muttering “Mrgh Grains”.  I completely understand the distraught desperation for food. But then who doesn’t love zombies and who doesn’t love grains burgers? Put these two things together and out pops a great restaurant.

Zombie Burger - Zombie wall.

Zombie Burger – Zombie Wall.

Zombie burger is a zombie themed burger joint that opened a few weeks ago. They support local produce and source their ingredients from Australian farmers. In celebration of Melbourne’s first ZomCon (zombie convention) held today, the recent announcement of Marvel and George A. Romero (dawn of the dead) teaming up to make a new comic ‘Empire of the dead,’ and season 4 of The Walking Dead starting next week, I thought it apt to blog about Zombie Burger.

Zombie Burger - street view

Zombie Burger – Street View.

It’s a little place off Ackland Street with zombies hand painted on the walls. The tables are dark green metal barrels, the kind of barrel you shoot in a video game and it blows up, leading multiple zombies to their demise.  It gave the place a cool military feel, sticking to the zombie theme. The rubbish bin had hand prints of blood smeared down the side, which I hoped was part of the atmosphere and not an indication of a recent brawl the night before (relax it wasn’t real blood).

Zombie Burger

Zombie Burger – Zombie Burger.

The burgers were delicious. I got the Zombie Burger. The brioche bun seems to be all the rage with burgers these days and it makes sense, it definitely works. The sweetness of the toasted brioche compliments the fire-grilled grass-fed beef. The beer caramelized onions were to DIE for (super sweet, really tasty and melt in your mouth).  Then there was American cheese, dill pickle, vine-ripened tomatoes, oakleaf lettuce with American mustard, ZB ketchup, and ZB signature mayo. It was a little messy, but delicious none the less.

Zombie Burger - Potato chips and cauliflower fritts.

Zombie Burger – Potato chips and cauliflower fritts.

The crunchy golden deep fried cauliflower fritts were yummy. They were an awesome substitute for fries and they sort of look like brains. The fries are good too. I got the garlic aioli to dip them in, which was super creamy but overly salty.

They have some really delicious vegie options too. ‘Shroom of the dead’ is basically the zombie burger (without the beef of course) instead featuring a porcini-infused whole fire-grilled Portobello mushroom. Yum! And the ‘Don Zombie’ burger has a parmesan-crusted pan-fried eggplant stack with melted provolone cheese, fresh basil, ZB roasted capsicum salsa and crisp iceberg lettuce on a toasted brioche bun. Double yum! I hear the Boomstick burger is a favourite.

If zombies are coming to make delicious burgers then bring on the zombie apocalypse!

Olives x

Zombie Burger
Address: 5 Shakespeare Grove, St Kilda. VIC
Website: www.zombieburger.com.au
Phone: 03 9537 1118
Trading Hours: Tues-Wed & Sun: 11.30am-9.30pm Thurs-Sat: 11.30-late (closed Mondays)

Zombie Burger on Urbanspoon