Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mornington Peninsula Chocolate - Flinders, Mornington Peninsula

We are in the lucky country. Not only do we have an extended and plentiful range of the best natural produce but we also have a wide selection of manufactured products. When those manufactured delights are made from wholesome local produce, carefully crafted to delight even the most discerning, you have  Mornington Peninsula Chocolates. This store must be the best kept secret on the Peninsula. Well I didn't know it was there and I'll bet you didn't either.

Sleepy old Flinders. The deep south of the Mornington Peninsula maybe not be the place many would venture to for a Sunday afternoons drive. Mornington 'tends to get most of the  glory when it comes to towns to visit on the Peninsula but how about Hastings, Red Hill and Balnaring? The Flinders pub (much extended and modernised over the years) is well known and in the past has served up some great meals. After a belly full of pub food and beer a chocolate and latte may well be what you need.

 Do yourself a favour and take a look at the mesmerising display of milk fat and cocoa in this absolutely glorious store. Chocolate individuals, hand crafted like art pieces, just waiting for the genuine collector with an eye for individuality and a hunger for the best sweet delights. To sweeten the deal this store is art in itself. Light, airy, quiet and pristine. A Chesterfield for two? Scoop up your taste buds new best friend from a highly polished huge marble table top while you sip a well made coffee and gaze at the vaulted ceiling structure above. Now you are prepared for heaven because this is what it will be like.

Easy parking, good service, shockingly good melting delights, all hand cradled in a beautiful sleepy town. Flinders is keeping to itself God's own chocolate shop. Don't wait for the Grim Reaper, head down to Flinders, stroll to the Mornington Peninsula Chocolates store and experience the lucky country and all it has to give. Just take me with you, please.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dundee, not a crock but chasing the White Rabbit, Hammer 'N' Tongs (beer).

OH MY GOD! Have you seen how many awesome beers are available these days. It's amazing. And don't even start thinking about how many different ciders on the shelves. Some beers are good, some beers are OK and some beers are just plain awful. Let's get the awful one out of the way first. Like Tasmanian Bitter, Hammer 'N' Tongs is an awful beer. When poured you get a nice creamy head for about one minute. Come back for a second sip and the heads dead, just like the beer. After two minutes the beer is completely flat. There is nothing really "beer" about Hammer 'N' Tongs. It's soft and soapy and also mostly tasteless. I'd rather drink Carlton before forced to drink this stuff. Stay away.

I have been enjoying the occasional White Rabbit for some years now. Like hammer 'N' Tongs it is made in Australia (or is it, maybe more like San Miguel - James Boag and Sons - and a Thailand Brewing company. Could explain why it tastes like SHIT!) Unlike Hammer 'N' Tongs it is an exceptionally good drink. This is a dark ale with a dry finish. Think stout (what some call Guinness) dark, rich flavoured, bitter and full flavoured. I love this Beer for its sheer depth of flavour it's dark creamy texture and satisfying pleasures. Dundee may not be chasing a crock but he would be chasing after this beer because, like White Rabbit, Dundee is a full bodied lushes drop.

Dundee is brewed on New York. Generally I don't like American beers. I think it's the water, seriously. I have only ever liked a few. Budweiser, though not a big favourite of mine, is good for something different, now and then. Dundee Indian Pale Ale is not only a stunning tasting bitter beer but looks a million Dollars straight out of the bottle. It's dark treacle in colour with a rich creamy fine bubbled head. It has a bitter-sweet taste which sits at the back of the pallet and stays there for ages.

I drink it icy cold (typical Ozzie) but I'll bet this beer would taste even better just cool. There is so much flavour it has to give and the depth of flavour just keeps unfolding. A shockingly good beer. A really well crafted American ale. I didn't know they could do it. You must try this beer even if you are not a big beer drinker, you may turn for this one.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

the rocks - Mornington, Mornington Peninsula

There are many restaurant gems on the Mornington Peninsula, Southern Victoria and the rocks is just one of them. The restaurant is on the second floor with open and closed in dining areas. For us we were there for a mid-morning breakfast. A warm sunny day, looking out over a beautiful bay of dead calm, crystal clear water, what could be nicer? This whole restaurant has a relaxed feel and ambiance about it. It says; “sit, eat and enjoy”. Our orders were taken promptly but there was quite a wait for the food with a table of eight getting in ahead of us.

Staff were pleasant and friendly and the outdoor alfresco area is family friendly.  Parking shouldn’t be a problem but watch out some areas are metered. Menu choices are plentiful and I got the impression the kitchen 'knows its stuff'. Though neither of us were overly impressed with the food served it was well presented and of reasonable quality.  I have had better Eggs Benedict in a small Franskton cafe. A main meal may be a better way of really ascertaining just how good this restaurant is. Try it for yourself, the view is stunning and I have heard only good reports about this well positioned eatery. Now it’s your turn.