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Thanks for previous help ~ New list for week in Sydney and Week in Melbourne

Minamashima is excellent, but it is expensive. It is a proper sushi experience - more Tokyo than Melbourne. You do get some Australian fish in there, such as Tasmanian Uni, King George Whiting from SA and Scampi from NZ.

For dumplings I like Shandong Mama .. cheap and good.

Aug 25, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Thanks for previous help ~ New list for week in Sydney and Week in Melbourne

Seven Seeds (http://sevenseeds.com.au/) is definitely worth hitting for coffee if you want to take photos for your barista friend. Do remember that coffee in Melbourne is a religion, I'm not kidding either. The bonus is it is really close to Queen Vic Market.

Aug 21, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Thanks for previous help ~ New list for week in Sydney and Week in Melbourne

Bistro Vue? Meh, I'd miss it - but why is this on your list?

Town Mouse should be a definite.

If you like Thai and I assume you do as you have Cookie and Chin Chin on there, I'd also check out Magic Mountain Saloon for breakfast. These are all good lunch options too. Chin Chin is still wildly popular and can mean a 2 hour line up. Is it worth a 2hr line up... maybe not.

Aug 19, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

American foodie at large in Queensland and Victoria October

Cairns to Brisbane is a MASSIVE drive.

In Victoria on the way back from Brae, I'd take the ferry from Queenscliff to Sorrento and explore the Mornington for food. Lots of great places to eat there, including a favourite of mine Ten by Tractor.

Aug 18, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

20 & 6 [North Melbourne]

My beloved favourite Cafe (and I believe Melbourne's best) 20 & 6 is going through a big change. The owners are selling up and moving on. If you haven't been, get there soon and enjoy Ned's coffee. I hope the new owners will continue what has been a fabulous cafe for the past 3.5 years.

In a huge positive though, Ned and Majda are setting up a new restaurant called Host Dining in Brunswick to open in November.

Jul 09, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Guzman Y Gomez in Harajuku -- highly recommended.

As an Australian, THIS! It's mexican fast food. Why bother?!

Jul 02, 2015
kersizm in Japan

Brae [Birregurra, about 90 mins west of melbourne]

Provenance is excellent - was there a couple of weeks ago. One of the best meals I've had in Victoria. Very Japanese influenced.

Jun 16, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

4 nights in Melbourne September - restaurant recommendations

I really like magic mountain saloon. From the Cookie/Revolver/Boney empire. Karen really knows her Thai food. I've had good lunch and breakfast there.

I had such a poor meal at Maha that I try not to talk about it because I'll only be nasty. Pleased to hear you had a solid meal there.

May 24, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Wagashi in Tokyo?

The only one I've been to on my trips in Tokyo is Higashiya in Ginza. Lovely place from a tourist point of view.

May 22, 2015
kersizm in Japan

Melbourne in June - What I was thinking and any other Recs

Cumulus for oysters and the lamb shoulder. Can't go wrong.

Loads of good bars near Cookie. What are you looking for?

Apr 22, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne in June - What I was thinking and any other Recs

The railway in yarraville is excelent for steak but not that easy to get to from the city, without a car.

Apr 22, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne in June - What I was thinking and any other Recs

Cookie is good if you want to drink beer and have good thai. I mean I love the place, but it is a fairly unique Melbourne place. Half Belgian beer hall, half thai restaurant... just be prepared for that.

As I'm not a big fan of Movida, I'd head to Bar Lourinha instead. It's cheaper and more fun. They also often have good seafood selections.

Marron is difficult to get in Melbourne at the best of times. More likely to get bugs from New South Wales. Garfish, King George Whiting, Snapper, Flathead are some of the better known fish here. I'd also try pippies or cockles. Queen Victoria Markets head to Prossers.

Truly Australian/Melbourne is tough call... but for me you can't go wrong with a really good piece of Roast Lamb (different to a British roast because of our migrant communities) and maybe freshly shucked oysters.

Apr 21, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Ok... Minamishima is the best sushi I've had in Australia. We ended up with a seat at the bar, rather than at the tables which I was thankful for - you always want to sit at the bar. There is lots to like about this place. Environment, staff, drink selection... But it's all about the sushi.

It's good, easily the best in Australia. I've seen stuff that I've not seen elsewhere in australia. For example; Osakan style box sushi with mackerel and konbu, anago (japanese sea eel), three different cuts of tuna and not a piece of salmon in sight. The care and dedication towards the fish is obvious. Scampi from NZ was my favourite piece for the evening.

Before I'd even eaten a piece I said to my girlfriend, let's come back for my birthday. That view hasn't changed, and I'd still go back in a heartbeat. In fact as a Japanophile it gives me the "I'm back in Japan" feeling.

However...

But...

If you've ever eaten sushi in Japan, you will feel that hit to your wallet. Sushi at this price in Japan is a couple of steps up. It must be difficult to ensure the quality of the fish without the price tag, in Australia and I get that. If you've never eaten sushi in Japan, this place is likely to be a revelation for you and you won't bat an eyelid at the cost, of close to $400 (with drinks) for two.

I'll be back, as it is that proper Edo style sushi experience but at that price, not as often as I'd like or could justify.

Apr 20, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Recommendations for a Sicilian cookbook?

I haven't seen this, but his Locatelli book is brilliant and I have cooked so much out of it. Locatelli's Made in Sicily might be right up your alley. Also he did a series on Sicily with art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon called Sicily Unpacked which is wonderful.

Apr 05, 2015
kersizm in Home Cooking

Tokyo restaurants while traveling with Dad who does not eat raw fish?

Grilled fish or sushi (with a 2-6hour line up)? Grilled fish every time.

Apr 05, 2015
kersizm in Japan

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

10xTractor is an excellent restaurant. I think you'll enjoy going up to the MP and checking out the wineries more so than the Bellarine.

Cumulus and Cumulus Up have some excellent local wines, btw. For example, you can have various vintages of Curly Flat Pinot.

Apr 04, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

While I appreciate the ballsiness of driving from Brae to 10xTractor and back to the city, that's a lot of driving. I wouldn't recommend it, unless you decide to spend the night on the Mornington Peninsula.

Paringa Estate is one of the best Pinots in Victoria, if not Australia. I'd be going there. Shiraz on the other hand while there are some vines and a few wineries produce a good product (such as Port Philip) we are not talking the world class Shiraz of South Australia's Barossa.

Coffee - Staggerlee, De clieu, Seven Seeds, Dukes (the one on Flinders lane) and 20&6. 7 Seeds and Dukes are probably your best bets to get your heads around melbourne coffee.

Apr 03, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

I think C&C is too expensive for the product. I've been 3 times and found the dishes lacking. It's still good but there are other places I prefer on Gertrude.

Casa Ciuccio is a great little place, tapas and pintxos and a smart wine list. Owned by the same team that run Bar Lourinha.

If Moon Under Water feels a bit limited, the Bistro at the Builder's Arms is a good choice to replace Cumulus. Same chef, same team, similar style but takes more cues from australian pub food.

To give you a sense, Andrew McConnell has established:
- Golden Fields
- Supernormal
- Cutler&Co
- Cumulus Up
- Cumulus
- Moon Under Water
- Builders Arms

His brother Matt:
- Casa Ciuccio
- Bar Lourinha

You can't go wrong with any of these to be honest. It's all about what you are looking for.

Apr 01, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

We are getting waaay off topic here, but even the newer greek places such as Elyros in Camberwell I found to be a real disappointment and that is from the same team that established Epocha. Elyros was expensive and bland, however with good service and wine, much like Press Club.

Mar 31, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

Moon Under Water is a great idea and then a 30 second walk to The Everleigh for cocktails.

Mar 31, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Australia Honeymoon - Sydney

This is a pretty slow board, let's get stuck into Melbourne.

- Excellent that you have a booking at Brae. It is a bit of a drive, just be prepared for this. Don't fill up on the delicious bread and butter. Brilliant restaurant.

- Ezard is very dated now, think pre-GFC suits entertaining clients. I had a good meal there but nothing to write home about. I'd skip it.

- Press Club.... meh! Been three times, been bored three times. Skip it.

- St Crispin and Estelle are the same team. You could do both or either, but you might find them a bit similar.

- Flower Drum I have never been to, I've been too scared about what the final bill might look like.

- Cumulus is great for oysters and while it is not known for desserts, I've had some of my favourite Melbourne desserts here (the sorrel sorbet is excellent). If you are hankering for greek flavours (Press Club etc) you can definitely get away with going to cumulus and ordering the lamb shoulder. Great casual spot.

I'd throw in The Town Mouse (Carlton) to your list of possibilities - it's my current Melbourne go to restaurant. I think it is a great example of Melbourne dining and is in an important space dining wise in Melbourne. The beef intercostals with chilli are sensational as is this 1/4 of a roasted cabbage. And if you are into desserts, I'd get the peaches with the jasmine rice sorbet and white chocolate.

In terms of cafes, 20&6 (North Melbourne) and Staggerlee (Fitzroy). Best coffee and breakfasts in Melbourne. I'll fight these two selections to the death! :)

Bakeries - Dench (North Fitzroy) and Baker D Chirico (Carlton).

KZM

EDIT:
Forgot Cocktails...
Bar Americano (!!!!!!) - Hidden standing room only bar with a focus on prohibition cocktails.
Whisky and Alement - 450 Whiskies, nuff said!
Gin Palace - Excellent cocktails, a Gin and Tonic menu(!) and 200+ gins
Black Pearl - Great cocktail bar with very knowledgeable staff but can get very rowdy. Some of their long term staff left recently and it wasnt as good as it was, however, the attic upstairs is cool.
The Everleigh - The head bartender and owner worked at Milk and Honey in NYC and the bars share a strpng relationship.

Mar 31, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Brae [Birregurra, about 90 mins west of melbourne]

Brae is easily the best meal I've had in Australia, even with the 90+ min drive up and back.

This is going to sound like unadulterated food wankery but the sense of place is so strong with Brae. Everything feels like it belongs.

Mar 25, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Brae [Birregurra, about 90 mins west of melbourne]

Brae is outstanding. I need to go back. I'm pleased you enjoyed it Mr G.

Mar 24, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Hey Mr G? Did you ever get my email? I'm heading here in midApril.

It's 6 weeks to get a slot at a table, it would be even worse to try and get the bar.

Will report back.

Mar 22, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Tokyo bars - reservations needed?

Bar Gen Yamamoto, beautiful cocktails. http://www.genyamamoto.jp/bar_tokyo/E...
You will need a reservation here.

For beer I liked CraftHeads and Devil Craft... no reservations needed here.

I'm a whisky drinker, so Shot Bar Zoetrope.

Mar 18, 2015
kersizm in Japan

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Nothing is available on those dates for 4! :/

Do you want me to book something in March and that way we make sure we'll get a booking?!?

Jan 29, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

After years of posts it wouldn't be the same without you.

I'll book for 4 on the 7,12, 13 as weekends are terrible for me.

Jan 26, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Sorry all. Was in the country with patchy mobile phone coverage. I doubt we'll get in tomorrow.

I'll try for the 4,5,6 next week, today. Are these dates ok?

KZM

Jan 26, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Shall we do this? Maybe the 28th?

Jan 21, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Minamishima, Richmond, Melbourne

Anything except the 22nd.

Jan 05, 2015
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand