Thursday, February 28, 2013

Redfire - Karingal Cinema Complex, Karingal

After a night at the cinema a meal or coffee and cake is a nice way to finish off the night. We dropped into Refire which is right beside the cinema complex in Karingal. This restaurant has changed names and hands three times that I know of. This generally says something about the place.  I have eaten here a few times in the past and neither of them have been a good experience. Just read some of the negative comments already posted by others, it’s not just me.

On being seated we were told that some of the food was off service. We asked for beer, pizza and coffee and told that they were still serving that. This is 9pm but a busy and warm Saturday night. Where we sat we were pounded with annoying heavy metal music. This does nothing for digesting food. In fact the music was so bad, though we had ordered, my wife wanted to leave right then. Service was pleasant and before long I had my beer and my wife her coffee. The coffee was undrinkable being bitter with a burnt taste and my beer poured dead flat in the glass. No head and no bubbles??

After not too long, about a dozen heavy metal tunes later, the pizza arrived. It was totally tasteless with slabs of tomatoes on top. My wife couldn’t eat it after just one piece. I was hungry so forced down a few more pieces.  I quickly finished off my flat beer and we paid, complained and left.  Try Nandos or one of the other eateries. Redfire should be called Redface. If I was the owner that’s what I would have after reading all the negative remarks on the link. Time to change hands again?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

La Petanque - Main Ridge, Mornington Peninsula

When looking for some where new to lunch or dine on the Mornington Peninsula you never have to look too far. There are so many very good and even high quality feeding stations, almost choking this long stretch of land, choosing is a chore. Once you chore is completed you should be able to enjoy your spoils of choice.

So the wife and I set out on a sojourn to Main Ridge to partake of the culinary pleasures at La Petanque. And yes there is a game of Petanque already setup for you to play should you so desire. Not for me I’m here for the food. On reflection the game may have been more satisfying. La Petanque tout their food as “contemporary French cuisine”. This is all very fine and where price for lunch is not an issues we should indulge from time to time.  Satisfaction and disappointment are two sides of the fine dinning coin. You never know which side is going to come up on a $69 toss.

For our credit card swipe we were served two courses. For me entree and main and the wife main and desert. We shared entree and dessert.  Three “punched-out” scallops (no foot) with a smear of source is a tolerable entree. My main was Lamb which I found just a little chewy but a reasonable portion. Side vegetables were delicious. When the coin landed at the end of the toss disappointment glared. My wife’s “fish” was two tiny strips of whiting.  If the fisheries officers had been present they would have thrown it back in. It was just too smaller serve. Four strips would have made the coin toss unnecessary. Two is gouging.

The wine list is 3” thick, looks like a wedding album and contains what appears to be hundreds of wines. I enjoyed a Stumpy Gully sav. blanc. Lovely florals and a nice full bodied flavour. Dessert of the day was fig. Four small pieces of fig on a biscuit base. The ice cream was French Earl Grey and was delicious. Dessert would be fine for one but we shared.

Service was exquisite and the surroundings delightful though the grounds are crude. None of these you can eat and eating you feel like when strolling back to your car. I glanced at the Petanque balls all ready for a game. I thought “no” I lost at one game today by drawing tails of the pleasure coin. You maybe more luckier in the toss than I. Good luck if you play the game.

Revisit: On a re-visit to La Petanque I was very pleasantly surprised. We had an excellent three course dinner with friends. The food was absolutely delicious and the evening was thoroughly enjoyable. I would recommend you try it for yourself. If you had an experience like ours you are in for a real treat. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Brown Rice - Edithvale, Victoria

My first memories of Asian food were Chinese. This experience came as a child, can’t remembered what was ordered for me but I’m sure it was nice. Now we can enjoy a variety of Asian foods and cuisine from many different countries. Australia would have to lead the world in the variety, styles of food and countries represent at the table.

Thai restaurants have sprung up everywhere. On the Mornington Peninsula there are plenty to choose from.  In Frankston, on Nepean Highway, Kon Thai would have to be one of the better. To celebrate a family member’s birthday eleven of us visited Brown Rice Thai Restaurant  in Edithvale. For a Monday night it certainly got packed. Either the locals are Thai fanatics, this restaurants serves the best Thai food around or there are no other Thai restaurants nearby. Most at our table elected the banquet. Though the courses were served on large plates each plate was to feed seven.  Lots of vegies and coconut flavoured sources but sadly not a lot of fish, meat, squid or whatever.

Where Thai food should be rich and flavorsome most of the sources were bland. This is westernised Thai.  Food served this way will satisfy most but those seeking a “real” Thai meal will feel letdown. Service was prompt and staff friendly. Street parking is available and the restaurant is BYO. When I visited a restaurant I like to feel that I’m in a foreign country and the eatery has decor to match. Unfortunately I felt I was still in Edithvale. And waiters serving in green T-shirts with big yellow bear’s heads or Nike ticks on the front degrade the whole atmosphere.  Price is reasonable but better value would be had at the local pub.

How to improve on what could be a very nice Thai food house: Improve the quality and the genuineness of foods, waiters appropriately dressed and enhance the decor and surroundings to better represent a Thai restaurant. For all my negativity this is still a very popular restaurant. They must be doing something right. Maybe it’s just me?