Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kebabs on Bell - Heidelberg, Victoria

Souvlaki and Kebabs are something you may eat at 2am after a night out at a club or pub. At that time of the morning you are probably not too fussy just how good they are. You need to eat and these tasty take-aways are filling and easy to handle. Do a spot of shopping through the day and not feel like a big sit down high priced meal, a Kebab for lunch or dinner is a no brainer.

I had to take a drive to Heidelberg to test drive a new car. Before leaving I Googled where to eat nearby and timed the test drive to finish right on lunch. After ready a number of really bad reviews about some the cafes and take-aways in the area I settled on Kebabs on Bell. Not one bad review graced the page of this Urpanspoon entry, in fact, the reviews were gushing. Good enough for me. In fact I was a little excited to give this place a try.

I’m not sure whether you would call them a Kebab in a roll or a Souvlaki but my freshly made Kebab was huge and delicious. Turks were eating here which is always a good sign. Not only was the bread smoky flavoured with just a hint of burnt bitterness but unbelievably fresh, cooked to absolute perfection. I questioned the staff if the made the bread on premises, “of course” was the answer. I could have eaten the huge flat roll with nothing in it. The onions and greens tasted fresh and snappy and the meat moist and full of flavour. I had the lamb. Most cafes use sausage meat and not 100% lamb, not here. Chicken was the other selection. To add to the flavour a garlic sauce was added.

I may have experienced the world’s greatest Kebab\Souvlaki, a huge fresh roll, fresh greens and onion and well cooked tasty lamb. The cafe is clean and neat and plenty of room for a few tables of friends, service is fast and courteous with lots of parking out front. If I had one minor quibble is a little more meat may have been nice but this is a very minor quibble.  Best Kebabs ever? I think so.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bottega - Melbourne City, Victoria

I don’t need an excuse to go into Melbourne City but when I have one I always chase-down a meal. Any reason to go into Melbourne is even a better excuse to “fine dine” at a new to me restaurant.  I had a watch repaired and it was high time I took the long train ride and picked it up. I visited Madam Fangs many years ago on two occasions and loved the food and dining experience. Coming into Melbourne was a great opportunity to visit Fangs again. But I couldn't find the restaurant.

 While searching for Fangs I stumbled across Bottega on Burke Street near Exhibition Street. Though an Italian restaurant there is little in the decor to show this. Decor is modern, simple and clean in light and bright tones. Big front windows allow the lucky dinners with a window seats to people watch and what better place than on Bourke Street.  In summer the windows can be slid open.

Wait staff, on my visit, were Italian and were very professional and chatty. The restaurant was quiet and service was prompt. The wine list is extensive with half bottles also listed. All wines are quite expensive with local, Italian and French wines listed. I selected a whole bottle of WA wine and though absurdly pricy, it was well aged (2012) and very nice drinking. I took the two course lunch offer and after washing it down with the vino, was more than enough for lunch. Music was just a little too funky for me but at least it wasn’t techno, dance or trance as in some other dining establishments.

Would I go back, hell yes! I dined alone but would jump at the opportunity to return with others and once more enjoy fine Italian\European quisene. Cured anchovies on a bread with capers and 13 hour cooked Waygue  lamb  and onion is only the start of it. Fine food, clean, simple decor, good service and in the heart of Melbourne, multi grazie.