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.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Casa de PLAYA - Main Street, Mornington

After experiencing an awful meal at Koy in South Melbourne and putting up with loud and screaming female soul music at The Little French Deli recently, it was a culinary epiphany to eat at Casa de PLAYA in Mornington. We just walked the main street and on a whim drooped in here for a bite. We were in for a treat we really didn't expect. Opting for three different Tapas (I would suggest go for the Tapas unless you are after a big feed), we were not only delight in the food quality, preparation and presentation but the overall taste. The Tapas were good, even great. Here's a tip; order the Cigar.

We had a window seat (inside for a cold but sunning day) looking out at the promenaders.  Service was prompted and friendly and the Tapas brought out one at a time to allow us to enjoy one before the other came. The décor could fool you that you were dining in Spain and even the music had Spanish themes (thank God). There is just something wrong with eating out at a French, Italian or Spanish restaurant with Electro, Dance or Trance or even the most boring, hits of the 60s, 70s, and 80s music playing. Do you really want to ingest food to AC/DC's screaming guitar? The music should be firstly quiet, relaxing and secondly themed with the food style. At Casa de PLAYA it was all of that; quiet and themed. Not only good food and rustic décor but pleasant non-boring music to make for an excellent Tapas experience. JUST DO IT!

Koy Restaurant - South Melbourne Market

Having been to Turkey (about thirty years ago) I was keen for some authentic Turkish food, Turkish beer and Raki. Koy, at South Melbourne market claims to server authentic Turkish food. Well they may but the cooking of the food was so poor that there was no flavour left to prove it. I had the five meats (which included fish) and I think all of it had been frozen, cooked once and re-cooked or re-heated before severing. All the protein was totally dried-out, tough and almost inedible. I couldn't tell the fish from the other meats. One word would describe the "meat" - AWFULL! The rice salad and other greens were only acceptable but really you purchase this meal for the meat.

The beer was good but the Raki (I ordered the cheapest) was bad too. The décor is Ok and the service warm and friendly. But you can get this service anywhere and you could combine it with edible food. Koy is not where you want to eat. Hard to believe that food this poor can be the result of a big, well equiped kitchen and copious support staff. For Gods sake they are in the South Melbourne Market where fresh food is sold by the ton. There is no excuse for food this bad. Stay away.

Friday, May 5, 2017

La Cucina - Concourse, Beaumaris

Loud, loud, really loud. Not the place for a romantic dinner. In fact not the place I would ever return to at a time when know there is going to a lot of other diners. Find the quiet times for La Cucina and go. You are in for some excellent and very inexpensive Italian cuisine. Its all just so yum! No other way to say it. This is good food, good quality food, lovingly prepared and there is a lot of it.

It really didn't matter what we tried here it was fabulously delicious. Also there is plenty of variety so go nuts. Don't order too big you will not fit it all in. Serves are generous. This is not BYO but there is an extended wine and beer selection. Also the price per glass was reasonable. The staff are jovial, professional and very helpful. There is stacks of parking both out-front and in the larger car parks near by.

Let me sum it up. Go when it's a quiet time, go hungry, expect sumptuous food and good wines and spend some time here. Finding a quiet time may be hard because this is a good restaurant in a restaurant glutted area. BUT GO!

Monday, April 24, 2017

The New Atriurm - Safety Beach, Mornington Peninsula

Definitely the 19th hole this "Club House" feeling café\restaurant is no fine dinning spot. If driving by or live on the estate it might just be convenient to drop in for a drink or feed with friends or alone. Not a romantic hangout and is very, very family friendly (get my drift) with a play room for kids.

The New Atrium is not trying to be much more than a feed and watering hole spot. Meals are "pub" meals or less in quality. After saying that I was very impressed with the steak meal one of our friends was served. Big meal and the steak was excellent. Other meals were just OK. Beer and other drinks at about pub prices with a good selection. Staff are friendly and helpful. Décor is basic and purposeful, sit down, have a meal or drink and move on. Expect little from this place and you will not be disappointed.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Ladro TAP - restaurant, wine and beer bar, Greville St, Prahran

If you are going to eat, drink and be merry in Prahran expect to pay well for it. Probably no different than Chapel St. Doesn't mean the food is better or worse it is usually just a little more expensive, for what you get. After that very negative intro to Ladro TAP we did enjoy or meal and wine.

You are sat right on Greville street with cars and walkers going past. Pleasant but can't match an ocean mountain valley view. Stopped in here for a meal or a rink. They have a number of beers on tap, good wine selection etc. Staff are friendly and relaxed and service was quick and timely. No complaints.

Not far from the restaurant is the Prahran market itself worth a stroll through. You will be impressed with the variety and number of butchers shops, fish shops and chicken shops. Not sure it will be the cheapest market you will visit but a great place to have stroll and try and buy different foods.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Montalto - Winery and Olive Grove, Red Hil, Victoria

On a few occasions we have snacked in the garden of the Montalto grounds. Sitting amongst the lavender and veggies consuming wine, olives and delicious foods while the sun blazes down upon you is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. On any sunny day it is always a busy place to be. Wine and olive oil sampling and purchases can be made. Tourists love it, we love it.

I had looked longing at the fine dinning restaurant situated at the top of the Moltalto expansive winery. We did try to get in once but it was fully booked. With our 28th wedding anniversary, on the Easter Saturday, this time we booked. Glad we did.

The menu did not contain any selections which had our mouth watering but we both found three courses which took our interest. Of the three courses only the dessert was disappointing. The other two courses were very good but not stunning. Meal size was appropriate and combined with the bread and side we were quite content. Wines were excellent, both the red and the white and coffee strong and rich. Choose from the menu wisely as the table beside us ate little of their meal.

Service was warm and friendly and the staff knowledgeable. We wanted to purchase oil and dukkha but the shop was closed. Our helpfully waiter managed to fill our order with little effort. Parking is free and at the door and the drive to Montalto is delightful. Fine dinning it is but not very fine. No reason not to go though. Nothing to see at night so go for lunch.