La Porchetta

La Porchetta:

What is a visit to the movies without a quick meal at your local La Porchetta? I have reviewed a few places now, but have neglected one of my favourite places to dine when my pocket book is feeling a little light. So when I went to see Harry Potter at the cinema I thought I would visit this old friend, the La Porchetta Restaurant.

Now, I am a creature of habit. And I am not kidding, I usually find one meal I love and stick to it like a limpet to a beach rock. Well in La Porchetta there’s two mains that I eat non stop. Admittedly they are essentially one variation on the same main… but hey, I’m trying.

 

Pollo E Avocado

 

The first of my eating splendors, is Pollo E Avocado Gnocchi. Now, as a lactose intolerant I realise that this minor addiction may kill me, but it is so worth it! Chicken and avocado in a creamy, cheesy sauce on my favourite pasta of all time… YUM!

This meal is delicious! The sauce is mildly flavoured, but in a way that compliments the large chicken pieces and the avocado and add this to the soft, delicate gnocchi balls… heaven! And for $14 for an entree sized meal (which still leaves me full) you cannot go wrong!

pollo e funghi

 

The second dish I am known to favour is the Pollo e Funghi Gnocchi. That’s right, The only difference that is obviously apparent is the substitution of mushrooms for avocado. However, looks can be and oftentimes are deceiving. The sauce in this dish is a fair bit richer than my other favorite, and for once, I can say that the mushrooms add to the dish rather than detract from it. And again, $14 for the entree size you cannot go wrong.

So, now that you are thinking that there is a pattern to my eating habits, allow me to amaze and shock you! There is another thing I have been known to eat, though admittedly nowhere near as often as I eat my signature dishes.

I am speaking, of course, about the seafood basket. Unfortunately, on my trip to see Harry Potter, I did not order this. However, my dad did and being the wonderful daughter that I am I ate half of it anyway.

Scallops, fish sticks, calamari, prawns, chips, tartaire sauce…can you go wrong? Well apparently you can. Crumbed… the travesty! I am a firm advocate for deep fried, battered and oily (you know, all healthy food groups). So having all of my seafood basket crumbed threw me for a loop. Admittedly, once I was over the shock I was able to enjoy my (dad’s) meal.

The calamari wasn’t too chewy, the fish was fish like and who doesn’t love a crabstick or two? And I love scallops no matter how they are presented so in the long run, It was a winner with me. (But if you haven’t noticed I’ve yet to give a really bad review…)

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Tasty
  • Located near the cinema (usually)
  • Quick, so you get to the movies on time

Cons:

  • Bread crumbs on their seafood basket… I mean… It just goes against nature!
  • The irritating jingle on their television advertisements
  • They make some strong cocktails (I’m really scraping the barrel for negatives here

Conclusion:

So if you are looking for a place to eat at quickly that doesn’t come in a wrapper with golden arches on it, go to La Porchetta and try the pasta selections. Oh, and the pizza is good too! 4.5/5 glasses of water.


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Kohinoor Indian Restaurant Geelong

Kohinoor Indian Restaurant.

A work function held down in Geelong brought me to this little Indian restaurant nestled opposite the Office Works far down the main road. I have to admit, although I have an unfortunate coriander allergy, I really do have a soft spot for Indian cuisine.

Now, due to the nature of a work function, I was one of many in a group. We all ordered individual meals and entrees, however I was able to sample a few different things from the plates of friends.

While we waited for the staff to all fully arrive, we were brought freshly fried papadams with a fluorescent green (no, really) dipping sauce. The Papadams were tasty and the dipping sauce seemed to be made from mint, yoghurt and possibly cloves to produce a numbing sensation. Whilst some ate their papadams and the sauce with vigor, it was not a flavour that I found particularly enticing so my bowl of sauce went untouched for the most part. That said, it did come in handy later on when the heat (chili wise) became too hot to handle.

Tandoori Lamb Cutlets - Yum!

For entree I had tandoori lamb cutlets which had a slight yoghurt aroma to them that fully complimented the spicey lamb. I highly recommend this entree, it was delicious although a little hands on. A word to the wise, take some hand towelettes unless you enjoy orange fingertips.

Next, I ordered Chicken Butter Cream (you guessed it, Butter Chicken) with a small plain rice and garlic naan bread. The garlic naan bread was simply divine! I could have easily had about four serves of just the naan bread and for $2.70 I think it is well worth the cost. However, again take moist towelettes to reduce the garlic smell on your orange fingers.

The small rice, it turned out, fed three of us quite happily. Perhaps before we ordered we should have asked for the sizes as some others on the table ordered large servings of rice for an individual meal. Gee Whiz!

The butter chicken came in a small metal cauldron (for lack of a better descriptor) and I was feeling brave so I ordered a medium in the spice scale. I subsequently went through six glasses of diet coke. I am not kidding! So needless to say, I began to appreciate the green dipping sauce that was left on the table. However, I am rather weak when it comes to chili and hot spices.

The butter chicken was delicious, truly delicious and the garlic naan was delicious, and the rice was delicious, and my entree was delicious, and I was so overwhelmed by the overall deliciousness of the meal that I didn’t notice those in our party who had not yet gotten their main.

Kohinoor is a small restaurant, and as such could not cope with a large party of 25-30 hungry staff demanding a different type of curry each. So whilst my meals came out rather quickly there were some on the table who sat looking rather forlorn whilst their meal was cooked from scratch.

The next dish I tried (since my friend ordered it and couldn’t finish and what sort of friend would I be if I didn’t scoff their food too?) was Chicken Achar Ghost. Yes, that is what the menu said, Achar Ghost. However I think it referred to Achar Gosht, a curry with a kick.

Don't judge a book by its cover: Achar Gosht

Now for me, truly great meals look as good as they taste. This particular curry does not follow that standard. In fact, it can look rather unappetizing. But, I set aside my food prejudices, and was rewarded with one of the most delicious, succulent, spicy and did I mention delicious curries I have ever tasted. If you visit Kohinoor, try this curry, but order plenty of the green dipping sauce and bring a pitcher of milk along, or be prepared to breath fire. This is easily one of the best curries I have tasted, ever.

Pros:

  • Delicious Curries
  • Friendly service
  • Delicious Naan
  • Delicious entrees
  • Something on the menu for everyone
  • Not too pricey

Cons:

  • The Bollywood films constantly playing in the background, I love me the odd bollywood, but watching several in a row can be grating on the soul…
  • The kitchen is not equipped for large groups, so this might be the place to go for a romantic one on one with that special someone.
  • Take milk, lots of milk, and cucumber, and cloves for the numbing effect… seriously!

Conclusion:

So if you are looking for a nice place to get your Indian on, and can stand various different bollywood remakes on repeat, then come on down to Kohinoor, you won’t be disappointed. Great food, decent company, and a reasonable bill to boot. I give it 4/5 glasses of water (my mouth is still burning).



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Apologies

I am sorry for all 3 of my readers who have missed the updates. The truth is between working, working and then working I haven’t really had the chance to eat out as much as I would like to. However, the end of year fast approaches and as such I have been to many a Christmas Function and so now I have a whole new list of places to review.

Enjoy,

Kir

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Bon Apetit – Highton

Bon Apetit

To continue on with the trip to Geelong for the UCI Cycling World Championships, Mum and I stopped off at Highton, where the first leg of the cycling takes place. I snapped a picture of one of the cyclists (possibly German or Bulgarian or none of the above) racing past me and then we decided to do another review (In other words we got hungry).

A rider in the UCI Cycling World Championships

We stopped at a small corner cafe that was full of people drinking coffee and eating some rather glorious looking focaccias and cakes. This place was named Bon Apetit. It was rather small and cramped, but had a fuller clientele than some of the other larger cafes nearby.

Passionfruit cheesecake

Mum had a cappuccino (too strong for her tastes) and a small passion-fruit cheesecake.  The cheesecake was presented a little poorly, in my taste, and according to Mum, the passion-fruit sauce on the cheesecake was nice, but the cake itself was a little bland.

She rates it at 3 out of 5 glasses of water.

I had a hot chocolate and a slice of their splendid looking black forest cake. My slice was again lacking in plate presentation, having been dropped sideways onto the plate (don’t get me wrong that’s how I serve it at home).

The hot chocolate was not very strong in the taste department, but was not too creamy which is how I like it (due to my lactose intolerance). The cake was nice, if not a little bit dry, and the slice wasn’t too huge (I hate when I am forced to pay $6 for a slice the length and width of my arm.)

The Bon Apetit Black Forest Cake

Bon Apetit had a good range of items on their menu, however I was sadly denied some of my choices with the staff saying “We don’t have any”. My recommendation would be stick with items you can see in front of you, and don’t go in expecting the most beautiful of gastronomic delights (or you will be sadly disappointed).

I found Bon Apetit to be fairly regularly priced for a cafe, however the serving sizes were for the most part somewhat smaller (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing after our breakfast in Lara).

Pros:

  • Smaller serving sizes
  • Hot chocolate wasn’t too creamy
  • Good selection on the menu
  • average cafe pricing

Cons:

  • Somewhat cramped
  • Cakes weren’t as tasty as their appearance indicated
  • Not everything on the menu was available

The Final Word:

If you are looking for a not too pricey cafe with small serving sizes and that small town bakery feel to it, then look no further! Bon Apetit is the place for you! However, if you expect $6 worth of cake when you spend $6 on a piece of cake, try an actual bakery.

Rating:

2.5 glasses of water

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Espresso Blu – Lara

Espresso Blu!

The Espresso Blu famous Eggs Benedict

My mother and I decided to take a drive down to Geelong. If you haven’t been to Geelong I recommend it, although there are a lot of road closures at the moment due to the 2010 UCI Road Cycling World Championships.

Anyway, we decided to stop off for a late breakfast in Lara, a small town about 25 minutes out of Geelong. There were a few options but we went with the small Espresso Blu as it had plenty of people eating there so we decided it was a good sign.

Espresso Blu is a small cafe nestled near the Commonwealth Bank and the liquor store. I wouldn’t be suprised if you overlooked it, as not much about it screamed cafe. The interior is rather cold, being done in cool blues and whites with a large mirror along one wall. The other wall has local artwork hanging on it and there is a huge window showing you the street outside. Whilst I prefer my cafes to be warm and inviting, the decor somehow works for Espresso Blue, as it gives the tiny room a feeling of more space.

Mum and I decided to order a very similar breakfast as the Eggs Benedict came highly recommended (and I am a bit of an Eggs Benedict fiend). Mum had Eggs Benedict with a chipolata and a cappuccino , I had it with two hashbrowns and a hot chocolate. The base meal is $11 and any additions are $2, although the staff usually give you two for the price of one.

My hot chocolate was a little lackluster as I found it too creamy (I am lactose intolerant) and a little lacking in the strength department and Mum said her coffee was not really strong, but this is a good thing because oftentimes coffee is too much for us here at Degustation. Mum rated her coffee as 4 star, I rate the hot chocolate as 2.5 (out of five!).

The meal, however, well and truly made up for anything lacking in the drinks department! Delicious creamy hollandaise¬† sauce, beautifully cooked spinach, fresh cut ham, real poached eggs (yes they were a little misshapen but that’s what you get when they are real and not the poacher cup kind) and two golden, crisp hashbrowns! Mum, who is rather fond of chipolatas, said hers was well cooked and tasty and is currently researching how to make hollandaise sauce. A beautiful meal!

Eggs Benedict, Hash browns and Hot Chocolate

Espresso Blu is a little pricey, we spent about $36.50 on our breakfast for two, which is a far cry from McDonalds’ prices, but when you consider the quality, it is well worth the price hike. The menu is a touch limited, with only a small selection of breakfasts and lunches available. However, they are open to alterations and judging from their loyal clientele, I would say the menu is not that much of a draw back when all things are considered.

Pros:

  • Meal is delicious, fresh, and visually stunning
  • Real poached eggs people! REAL ONES! Fluffy non-shaped non-machine-made ones! Yum!
  • Feels very open to the outside world.
  • Coffee is not too strong (Mum made me add it!)

Cons:

  • Cold feeling building with the whites and blues.
  • Weak, too creamy hot chocolate (that’s personal preference though.)
  • $$$Pricey!!!
  • Out of the way (Hard to spot!)

The Final Word:

If you are looking for a tasty meal and you don’t mind waiting 15 minutes or so while they cook it from scratch for you, this is the place to go! I would recommend this for a brunch with family or friends, not for breakfast on the fly. The food, there is no doubt, is extremely delicious! The service is friendly and the staff are more than happy to throw in the odd freebie to satisfy you. I would HIGHLY recommend the Eggs Benedict, and so does the staff so clearly they know what they are doing.

Rating:

4 out of 5 glasses!

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Burger Edge Review

Burger Edge's Aussie Burger

Burger Edge!

Burger Edge is a relatively new franchise offering delicious burgers made with fresh organic ingredients.

On the menu there is something for nearly everyone. Nex and I favour the Chicken and Cranberry burger, as well as the crunchy beer battered fries with garlic aoli.

The burgers are delicious, and are cooked in front of you so you know they are fresh! Most of the burgers feature Burger Edge’s own garlic aoli sauce (possibly the best garlic aoli i have ever tried) and their tomato relish. You can choose between Chicken burgers, beef burgers and vegetarian burgers and there is a decent range on the menu.

The cranberry chicken burger has to be my personal favourite with the creamy brie and tangy cranberry perfectly offsetting one another. However, this burger is but one of many great combinations. I recommend trying the Colossal burger in both beef and chicken, as well as the bombay bash in chicken.

The beer battered fries come with your choice of seasoning and dipping sauces for a small extra cost. They are absolutely delicious, crisp and golden. I highly recommend paying the $6 to upgrade to a combo (although keep in mind the serving sizes are not for the faint hearted).

The burger edge website contains allergen information and I recommend taking a look before you go if you are looking for some dairy free of gluten free options.  Burger edge also uses only halal beef and chicken, however you will need to inform the staff if you have requirements in this regard as it is not a halal environment.

Pros:

  • Burger Edge burgers use organic and delicious ingredients that are tastier and healthier than other burger options.
  • There is something for nearly everyone
  • Their fries are cooked in canola oil, and are thick cut so that they absorb less fat.
  • They have quick and friendly service.

Cons:

  • The burgers and burger combos are not cheap like McDonalds or Burger King.
  • There are only a few stores Australia wide.
  • The decor can oftentimes be wanting in the store, so why not take away and enjoy your meal by the beach?

The final word:

Burger Edge offers tasty burger options for all the family, with possibly the best fries I have ever tasted. They represent themselves as a fast food joint, however their pricing is more along the lines of Pub-Meal.

I give them 4.5 glasses.


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Degustation!

I have come to realise something about myself. I am a creature of habit. It is true! If I go to a fast food joint I order the same thing, I reread all the same books, I watch the same films and I go to the same websites.

Well I have decided to do something about this! I am going to create a food blog. This blog will be dedicated to reviewing restaurants, recipes and all things food! Once a month I will eat somewhere new and will write a full review.

If you would like to suggest places (In Australia) for me to review then please email me on kirfoodie@yahoo.com.au

Thanks,

Kiralira
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