Saturday, January 4, 2020

Welcome to Dine, Wine and Meet

Though we have dined and wined away around many countries throughout the world we do find some of the best eating places in our own backyard. The Mornington Peninsula and Southern Victoria region holds the best restaurants, cafes, wineries and meeting places we have ever come across. We are critical where we eat and are only loyal to those places which satisfy us on a number of levels.
Some areas we are “fussy” about are: food quality, ambiance, service, choice in both food and beverage, differentiation and verve. We still look for other new and exciting eateries to add to our list. Some of these places will be in other regions, not just Southern Victoria.

It is our intent to Blog the better places we frequent and the new places we find so that you may also try something new (or stay away from) the restaurants we visit. If we say it is good it is because we eat there and frequent that place. If you follow us to the restaurants we recommend, you too should come away pleased, and content and want to go back for more. Let us guide your craving for fine food, good wine/beer and sensational meeting places.

NOTE: Click on the highlighted text like this-> The Mornington Peninsula to go to the Web site.
Revisit: This is a short follow-up report about a revisit to the resturuant under comment.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Gabah Restaurant - Bali Island, Indonesia

Sick of Italian food and burgers in Bali and really would like to find some good Indonesian food. If you like pizza, pasta and burgers and chips come to Bali. Even then it is not good pizza and pasta (not sure about the burgers). What happen to Indonesian food. Is there that many westerners and Europeans coming to Bali that Indonesian food is off the menu. How sad.

Even when we found a good Italian restaurant near where we were staying the ambiance and eventually the food slipped. We tried a few other restaurant near where we stayed in Legian. You have to like loud dance\trance music to eat there and then the food was lousy. Most eateries were empty. Try playing some background Balinese music and serve better food and see what happens. What most restaurants are doing right now is not working. Bring back Bali!

Have faith because at the back of Matahari is a fine Indonesian restaurant which is part of a hotel complex. Gabah is a beautiful open air restaurant with a rich menu of fine Indonesian food, good beer and wine list and cocktails-a-plenty. I stuck with the beer and the wife smoothies and mocktails. We dined twice here and enjoyed it both times.

He is a little tip; get yourself a table near the pool, away from the main street and you'll sit in the cool. There is a strong cool breeze which blows through here all the time and helps with the Bali heat and humidity. Add to that a cool drink and you are well on your way to a fine authentic Indonesian eating experience. Table service is excellent and as usual the Balinese just want to please. If it is one thing the Balinese are very, very good at is hospitality. No one does it better.

On both a visits to this great and relaxed eat house we stuck with local cuisine. We sat near the pool and looked down on the pond with its massive urn drizzling water into it. Fish fill the pond. There is an open bar you can sit at and lots of table space. Good food at a reasonable price, great service and a very pleasant ambiance make for a REAL Bali experience. Not pizza and burgers, not in Bali.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bella Italia Legian - Bali

Staying at the Pullman Hotel (five star and all) is very nice but you should get out and eat around. Lucky for us there was a really excellent Italian restaurant directly down stairs. Even better in hot, hot Bali they have a sealed conditioned room. And even better again we had it all to ourselves. One small complaint is no matter how many times the music was turned down it would turn itself back up to the point of being uncomfortable.

The food was really top class and very fresh. Wines on the menu are limited but the Chianti went down a treat. Bella Italia   is run by an Italian and you could feel his presence coming right through the food. Add to a delicious main and starter was a selection of great desserts. Does it get any better? Yes it does. Our waitress was excellent company and excelled in satisfying our every request and we showed our appreciation at the end of the night.

We headed off very satisfied, cool and pleased with our easy find. I want to return but we must stretch ourselves to try other places. Still hoping to go back for one more meal. If you are around this end of town this little restaurant has be on your list. Dine inside or out you are in for an Italian Bella treat.

Revisit: We went back for another meal. Once more we were confronted with the same awful music, up loud, we experienced at our first sitting. In the end I spoke to the manger and as best I could keep control, complained bitterly about the loud inappropriate music. Finally she turned it off for our room. The food though was not as good as our first visit. Apart from having dessert there late one night we did not return for another meal.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Grossi Florentino Grill - Bourke Street Melbourne

Finding myself once more in the city of Melbourne right on lunch I had to track down yet another fine dinner experience. Call me crazy but spending $100 on lunch for one , to me, is money well spent. I had eaten next door at Omara Bar only recently but this time took the Grossi plunge.

Décor is simple, subdued, modern and screams "good food here". Music was quiet and tasteful. Once more I planted my grumbling stomach right in the window for the promenade and gestation experience. Foods good, view is good and wines OK. Smartly dressed table staff take your order, make suggestions and rattle off the specials. Sardines aren't for everyone but each time I've had them I've been happy. Next veal poached in milk. Delicious.

Eating downstairs (Grill) is less expensive than upstairs but you are guaranteed the same very high quality of food and service. This was only lunch and I did notice a number of business lunches going down (pun intended). Would I recommend Grossi, yes, definitely.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Ombar Salumi Bar - Melbourne

We are surely blessed living in Melbourne. So many fine restaurants, diners and eateries, almost too many to choose from. On a recent visit to the big smoke I had gone with the intent to dine out, try somewhere new and enjoy the diversity.  I train in on these days because I expect to have more than few drinks. I go for not only the food but the enjoyment of being able to soak in the atmosphere without the fear of Mr. Plod tapping on the window of my car with breathalyzer to the ready.

I headed straight to the east side of Melbourne up Burke Street. I have eaten up this way on a few occasions. In fact I realised, while seated in the window of Ombar, I had eaten next door just a few years back. That experience was excellent but what of this one? Food - Italian, how bad can it be? As it turns out not bad at all, in fact, quite good.

Staff are friendly and will linger for a short chat of service allows. This restaurant is long and thin with subdued lighting with stools and chest high tables. Not for everyone but for me it was the window seat to watch the human traffic go past. Always amusing!  I went for the trout and if you go you should too. A good portion, boned and delicious. Rarely I do desert but this time I did, also excellent.

Pricing is about right but it isn't McDonalds or the local pub. If only the local served trout like this I'd be there weekly. Drinks list is sufficient and drinks can be ordered by the ml??? Have you ever heard of this one before. Designed to maximize the profit on drinks as if it isn't already a big rip-off.

You never know ordering your drink by the "ml" might become trendy. Now for my beef. The BLOODY music was absolute shite! A modern, almost trendy, inner Melbourne Italian restaurant playing 60 back soul and R&B music. Pathetic. When I made mention of the fine food and crap music I was told they were giving the restaurant a modern feel. That's right, Ray Charles and Little Richard screaming black music in your ear, over lunch, is a modern feel. Hard to believe. Who told these guys this is how to wow your paying customers. Too bad food was really delicious. Sorry guys its a deal breaker for me. Last time you'll see my $100.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Shed Cafe - Seaford, Victoria

When you find your better restaurant closed on a Saturday morn. you then search locally for another. The one we wanted as our substitute breakfast Café was packed. Get it, it was packed? Why? Because it is good. Yes it has good food. Service is a bit "how's your father" but food is better than average. We headed down the road. We found The Shed Café.  Let's cut to the chase. Food is ordinary to poor. Décor is a half ass attempt at something, not sure what. Sit outside, in the front or out the back. The food will not get better but here is dog bowls of water out front.

Staff were friendly, parking is available. Food for both my wife and self didn't "WOW" us. What of the coffee? According to some comments posted for this café coffee is good, Not according to my senor coffee expert I had along for the day (mind you we came in her car so I had to be nice). No, not even the coffee was good.

What to do? Eat house competition is huge anywhere and every where you go in the hospitality industry. Eating out was always popular now it is an epidemic! There are dozens of restaurants and cafes everywhere. Great I say. Hunt them out, don't put up with poor food or service whether you are having breakfast, lunch or dinner. No more rubbery omelettes or under cooked mushrooms. We are going to vote with our legs and walk. Improve the food quality and cooking "The Shed Café" or you will be dining with us, just down the road.

il Solito Posto - Melbourne,Vic

Boy you would have to go a long way to find an Italian restaurant that looks more out of the 60s or 70s than this one. Its subterranean, its in the cool\trendy part of Melbourne, it has real "eating house" savvy. And just a little quirky and setting you up for an genuine I-t-a-l-i-a-n meal you will tell your friends about.

Tell your friends to stay away. Tell them not to go to il Solito Posto. Food was bloody ordinary. If ever there was a place that said, no SCREAMED Italy, it was this one. Why, why. why. Yes they have their dailies who "have a table" and eat there - I say "look around". The grass and food is greener else where. Service was attentive and professional but I feel that it was so to get cover two  in ASAP. I have eaten there some years back and felt back then the whole experience was better.

What a disappointment for a place that has all the potential to be "the spot" for a lunch. Bring the client and sign the deal! A lot of clients may not be all that fussy with what they are eating and to printout that the food wasn't full of Italian flavours and the salad, as a side, was drowning in far too much oil may not work in your favour. Please don't highlight that the six sprinkles of parmesan was to offset the poor oily, sparse and almost insulting side.

Not for me.