Restaurant Review

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Restaurant Review – Rifo’s cafe

Published July 8, 2012 by Mary Jane

Hello guys,

Hope this post finds you all well anyways, I’m still down with a bad cold. Over the weekend, I managed to bake an almond cake will do a post soon 🙂 So I haven’t done a restaurant review for a while. Rifo’s cafe is a nice Italian joint that sells lovely pizzas and pastas and their to die for chilli mussels. So since my cousin was over in Perth for a short holiday it was time to pay Rifo’s cafe a visit again… Rifo’s cafe is situated in East Vic Park and it’s a casual joint. We made sure we get there on time around 6.30pm to make sure we get our food on time since our last experience from previous Italian joint. Especially this time we have kids with us and you know what happens when kids get hungry they get restless and chuck a tantrum!!

So I made sure I placed an order straight away – 3 pizzas and 3 pastas and a chilli mussels. Pastas – carbonara, penne vodka and duck ravioli. Pizzas were Rifo’s cafe special, Hawaiian and a vegetarian pumpkin and cheese. Ofcourse we had to order their special Chilli mussels.

The restaurant decor was quite casual, nice bold red colours with specials written on the wall and the kitchen is situated on the side of the restaurant with a head chef (yup there’s only one chef), a pizza chef and I believe a kitchen hand..that’s it!! I couldn’t believe it and I was thinking to myself no!! We’re going to be waiting for a while..Anyways, I had my orders in and slowly customers were roaming in. The waitress were quite friendly except I had to grab their attention to order…

We waited for at least 30 minutes and they started giving us bread and butter and then our pizza started to arrive hooray!! The presentation was excellent – generous, fresh, beautiful colours and you can actually see the ingredients..here are the food photos..

Overall, we were quite happy with our meals – sorry left the pumpkin pizza photo out..the chilli mussels were a winner – very saucy has a bit of a chilli kick to it…the duck ravioli was a little disappointing the ravioli was a little tad rubbery for my liking but the rest of the pastas were all gone so we still had some duck ravioli left.

here’s my overall rating:
Dining experience: 3.5 star
Food experience: 4 star
Would I recommend it? Yes! A lovely casual joint for pizzas and pastas 🙂

Restuarant Review – Grill’d (Hillarys)

Published June 6, 2012 by Mary Jane

On monday for lunch we decided to head to Hillarys for lunch. I haven’t been to Hillarys for a long time, it’s a lovely place to be with loads of little shops, restaurants and cafes and boats and amusement parks. It was a public holiday on monday so we were sure the place is going to be fully packed. We went with Pandabear’s family and since the siblings haven’t had Grill’d before, we decided to head to Grill’d for some nice lean burgers..

The Grill’d at Hillarys has a nice big seating area both indoors and outdoors. We manged to find a table indoors and it was pay and order your food at the counter. It was so hard deciding which burgers to get. There were six of us, I opt for the Wild Wild West burger – which had the lean beef pattie, beetroot, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, cheese, relish and lettuce. We decided to order their home made chips with three different dips – Chilli mayo, herb mayo and relish. It was on the entertainment voucher – buy one burger and get one free. I’m sure this joint is making loads of $$ it was packed with people and I’m pretty sure they pumped out at least a few hundred burgers that day. Here are the food photos, after you order your food they give you some beer tokens to donate to the charity of your choice – what a clever and thoughtful idea..

The size of the burger was humongers! It’s so huge that you have to cut it in half in order to bite into your burger. The chips was great, nice and crispy with rosemary herbs on it…and it goes really well with the dips as well. My favourite is the chilli mayo. Pandabear went for the boring Simply Grilld burger it’s basically same burger as mine minus the beetroot – he hates beetroot. I love my beetroot it gives that extra sweetness to your burger…The service was pretty good, even though it was packed I think we waited for about 15 minutes and most of our burgers arrived together..here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 3.5 star
Food experience: 4 star
would I recommend it? Yes, it’s a little pricey for a burger around $15 and if you order chips our bill came to ($85 and that’s with entertainment voucher as well!)

 

Restaurant Review – Eat Greek

Published May 22, 2012 by Mary Jane

Hi Guys, hope this post finds you all well…I haven’t done a restaurant review for ages not because I haven’t been dining out but because I haven’t had the motivation or inspiration to write one….so here it is just for you guys. Last Saturday night I’ve planned a get together with my uni friends to hang out at this buffet place that does Greek Food in East Freo. Now this is a few days after my braces so my mates were like “are you sure you’re going to be able to eat?”. Look, I have no problems with eating food – I’ll just gobble it down without much chewing…if there’s a will there’s a way. Anyways, my good mate Shirls have been there before and she recommended it. So here we are excited about a Greek buffet, I did a quick review online and most of the comments were quite positive.

They had 2 seatings – 5.30pm and 7.30pm so I decided to go for the 5.30pm to get the most of fresh food, when we arrived there were already some people around. The restaurant was quite big, very family orientated. They had three buffet section – one with hot food, one with cold food and a dessert bar. They sneakily hide the icecream machine at the back – we didn’t even though there was a soft serve machine until one of friends spotted it and the whole table went for soft serve!

Here are some of the nice food we had that night…

They had a great variety of food – from your usual Greek food – Moussaka, Hummus, Soulavki, calamaris, mussels and sorry I forgot to take the photos for the desserts – but they had their usual Creme Caramel, panacotta, Baklava, chocolate mouse, bread pudding, custard and nougat slice and others. The salads were amazing except I couldn’t have any cos the thought of having spinach hang over your braces puts me off. Overall, everyone enjoyed their meal and we thought we might get kicked out by 7.30pm on the dot but nothing happened and we stayed till around 9pm and decided it was time to go – we had our second rounds plus dessert and we all nearly couldn’t get up…:-)The buffet was $40 per head not too bad and we found out they were in the entertainment book so we had two vouchers which was a bonus…

Here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 4 star

Restaurant experience: 4 star

Would I recommend it? Yes

Restaurant Review – Nasi Lemak House (Melbourne)

Published January 17, 2011 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, sorry I haven’t been posting lately – just recently had my early 30th birthday celebration so been quite busy lately…I’m slowly recovering from it but I’m glad everything went well and the weather was fantastic – really thank God…I will post some pictures later on. Also another special note this year 2011, there will be more human photos in my post! Okies, back to restaurant review post. This particular restaurant was recommended by our friend Justin. It’s on one of his food list to try. Anyways, I’ve never been a great fan of Nasi Lemak. I would occasionally eat it but wouldn’t crave for it. We went with two of our friends one week night and apparently you don’t have to book just rock up and hope there’s a table available.

When you arrive into the shop, it’s tiny – only a handful of tables and it’s quite a casual or should I say a budget “student” area. They have a huge menu board on their wall and you order at the front counter and pay first.

Then infront of the tables there’s a shelf where you can help yourself to water, cutlery and napkins – yup you know it’s a casual/budget place when you have to help yourself to some water and cutlery hehehehe.

So I decided to have Nasi Lemak ofcourse you must try one at Nasi Lemak House that’s their specialty and a friend of ours had that too. Pandabear isn’t into Nasi Lemak as the sambal is generally spicy so he opt for their shanghanese Ban Mein (flat white noodle soup) and my other friend had Randan Beef Curry. So within minutes our dishes arrived at our table!

Randan Beef Curry

Randan Beef Curry

To be honest, when the Randan Beef Curry arrived – we were a little shock as the curry kinda reminds us of something yucky like poo poo yucky! Ewe…gross…anyways, poor friend had to endure us staring at his plate of yucky poo poo like curry. The taste of the dish according to my friend was pretty average. Then Pandabear’s dish arrived shortly…

Shanghanese Ban Mein

Shanghanese Ban Mein

Well, the Shanghanese Ban Mein’s presentation was alot better than the Randan beef curry but according to Pandabear it was average too, nothing special. We were thinking to ourselves, maybe the Nasi Lemak will make up for the other average dishes. So finally both of our nasi lemak dishes arrived!

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak

Well, the Nasi Lemak’s presentation seemed ok – it had all the right ingredients – anchovies, sambal, fried egg, cucumbers, peanuts, papa dams and fried chicken. But seriously, I was really shocked they only gave us a drum stick..it should come with at least two pieces of chicken. So I think it was alittle on the stingy side for servings. Also the fried chicken was really really dry – the meat is not juicy and tender anymore which made it worse!!

So overall, our meals were pretty disappointing. I mean, yeah it’s cheap but you would think a Nasi Lemak House would make an awesome Nasi Lemak. So here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 2 star
Food experience: 2 star
Would I recommend it? No!

Restaurant Review – Casalingo Italian Restaurant (Apollo Bay)

Published January 7, 2011 by Mary Jane

Anyways, so it was time for dinner after we’ve had checked into our hotel. We roam around the streets of Apollo Bay to decide what we should eat for dinner. We saw a pub and walked in and checked out their menu – not much there and it’s mainly snacks, so we decided to walk out and continue checking out shops and restaurants. We came across this little restaurant quite isolated from other shops and restaurants and read their menu. Italian food, mmm…yup we feel like some Italian food.

The friendly waitress greeted us with a warm smile and sat us down on the table…by about 7pm I was starting to feel alittle worried as we were the only table there. Either it’s just a quiet night or the restaurant food isn’t too crash hot. The restaurant ambiance was warm, it had pink walls and some nice paintings on the wall – which I found out they had a price tag on, so they were actually artist who place their art work there to sell. The place was a little dark, but I guess it kinda set that romantic mood – which is suitable for couples :-). Then we realised there were lots of people rocking up to order takeaway. So I guess the locals here prefer grabbing takeaways than dining in the restaurant. Phew…

We weren’t terribly hungry and when we asked the waitress how large are the main servings she replied they are not very huge. We decided to try 3 main dishes and some dessert, the waitress recommended us to try out some gelati icecream down the street – it’s a famous icecream place in Apollo Bay. With that in mind we decided not to over order in the restaurant…

Seafood Pizza

Seafood Pizza

The woodfired seafood pizza was divine, you can clearly see the prawns and mussels with some anchovies poking out and it’s generously covered by lots of yummy stringy cheese 🙂 delicious!

The next dish was panfried salmon served with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and capers salad and it comes with some olive oil dippings. I must admit the serving was quite small, but that’s ok it tasted quite nice we all had some mouthful…

Our last dish was mushroom and bacon white cream sauce penne. It was really yummy, not overly creamy and quite flavoursome 🙂 so overall, we were really happy with our main course. There was still room for some desserts!

We decided to try out some fruity desserts, so the orange trio caught our attention – it has a brulee, orange flourless cake and semi-alfredo :-). The semi-alfredo was the winner of this dish, it was very tasty – however it melted quite quickly you’ve got to be quick otherwise it’ll be a pool of semi-alfredo soon!

The waitress recommended their famous tiramisu it’s to die for. So we decided to follow the waitress’s recommendation and to our surprise the tiramisu wasn’t what we expected, it was served in a glass along with a huge piece of almond biscotti. The taste was quite nice, but it’s not the best one I’ve had. I think Ciao Italia’s Restaurant in Perth serves better tiramisu. Still we were happy with our dessert! And it was time to check out the icecream place 🙂

Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 3.5 star
Would I recommend? Yes!

Restaurant Review – Ocean King Chinese Restaurant (Melbourne)

Published November 6, 2010 by Mary Jane

Okies, it’s back to restaurant review posts I haven’t been blogging about them lately so now I’ve got the Masterchef & holiday posts out of the way it’s now for some yummy food. This restaurant is recommended by my brother in law as it’s one of the regular Chinese restaurants they would go. It’s good for its roast meats and they are quite affordable too.

When you walked into the restaurant the first thing you see is the tanks and rows of ducks, roast pork and bbq pork dangling at the glass show case. You know this restaurant specialises in roast meats and seafood..

The waitress was friendly and sat us down to our table and offered the usual chinese tea and some prawn crackers. The decor of the restaurant is pretty boring, nothing fancy it’s your usual casual looking Chinese restaurants with some menus written on the wall…

So comes to dish ordering time. We decided to have a stir fried prawns and vegies dish in a bird’s nest, roast meats – roast pork and roast duck (we’re not a fan of bbq pork), seafood with vegies clay pot and chilli pepper spare ribs (one of my favourite chinese dishes)

stir fried prawns with vegies in a bird's nest

stir fried prawns with vegies in a bird's nest

roast duck

roast duck

seafood claypot with vegies

seafood claypot with vegies

roast pork

roast pork

chilli pepper spare ribs

chilli pepper spare ribs

Overall, we were very happy with our meals. The dishes arrived one after another within 10 minutes and the restaurant was quite busy that night. Through out the night the waitress would come and check on our tea and refill our tea pot. The roast meats were delicious. The ducks were nicely done, not too fatty or oiling quite tender and flavoursome. I especially loved the roast pork, it’s evenly cut unlike some Chinese restaurants which cuts the roast pork in huge uneven size. It’s actually quite lean, not too salty and since it’s served with some roasted peanuts – it gave it an extra texture of that peanut crunch! Delicious! As for stir fried prawns and vegies, the qualities of the ingredients were lovely and fresh, the seafood claypot was nicely done. Now it comes to one of my favourite chinese dishes – chilli pepper spare ribs – delicious, not too oily and fatty. Once again the meats are quite tender and lean and well seasoned.

Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 4 star
Would I recommend it? Yes!

Restaurant Review – Caffe Moretti (Melbourne)

Published September 22, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, well I have survived my first day of Jenny Craig food. Yay 🙂 I’m very proud of myself even though I was tempted by some yummy spanish and chinese food when I met up with my friend. I resisted the temptation and it worked! Yay 🙂

Anyways, this particular restaurant was recommended by my sister in law. They have been there a few times and have had quite good food over there. We decided to try out dinner there one night. I was curious to find out whether the restaurant was owned by Italian or whether the chef was Italian. Then, I took a peek inside the kitchen and to my surprise it was all Asians. I was a little disappointed as I was expecting some Italian chefs. Nevermind, let’s hope their Italian version of food is good…

It was rather packed that night, this restaurant seemed really popular. Anyways, we decided to share a few of yummy mains. There was pizza, gnocchi, calamari, and slow cooked pork belly with vegies.

Pizza

Pizza

The pizza was fantastic, generous in the filling and very tasty – they have certainly done well for the pizza – good on you Italian trained Asians…

gnocchi

gnocchi

The gnocchi was also nicely done, very soft and it melts in your mouth. I really liked the gnocchi and the sauce was really creamy and lovely – yum…

Calamari

Calamari

The Calamari was a little disappointing as you can tell straight away the calamari was a little white and it wasn’t deep fried to golden brown. When I tasted the calamari it didn’t have much flavour into it.

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly

Slow cooked pork belly was disappointing too, it was tender and soft but it had that strong porky taste which puts me off. The crackling wasn’t crispy – I prefer crispy crackling rather than soft and tender fatty crackling. It had enough gravy but the porky taste was just too strong for my liking.

Then it was dessert time…

Bread & butter pudding

Bread & butter pudding

The bread and butter pudding looked really nice, and as I’ve never had one before I was hoping to try it. I was picturing the bread and butter pudding melts in your mouth but it seemed a little hard in texture, compact and quite dense. I’m not sure whether it’s suppose to taste this way. But the flavour is quite nice.

Panacotta

Panacotta

The panacotta was ok, wasn’t fantastic – it was a little grainy to my liking and it didn’t have that wobbly texture…and it didn’t taste that nice with that raspberry jelly.

then there was coffee with a nice “M” pattern on top…that’s nice…

The other time we decided to take away some desserts – and they were fantastic..a variety of small desserts – lemon tart, profiterole, chocolate eclairs and little meringue tart.

Overall, the mains were quite nice and the dessert wasn’t crash hot but our previous take away desserts were divine 🙂 The Asian chefs have done well, just need to improve on the Calamari and pork belly and it’s all good. Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 4 star
Would I recommend? Yes!