kersizm's Profile

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Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

It's not insulting at all... I think you are on the money. It starts with the quality of the product. All the chefs I have spoken to in Japan who have visited Australia lament our fish handling and storage. 1* Kanesaka-san who opened up a branch in Singapore was horrified by what he saw at Sydney fish markets - that said (like many Japanese chefs) love the fishing here.

Jul 02, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Being a regular traveller to Japan, except for Tempura Hajime, I am always disappointed by the quality and price of Japanese food in Melbourne. IzakayaDen is fun but extremely pricy for the same food in Tokyo.
Don't even get me started on sushi in Melbourne.

Really glad you enjoyed Brae and I'm disappointed to hear about your experience at VdM - I've always had great meals there. Maybe Bennett has been damaged by his constant expansion.

Jul 02, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne - 7 Days

Yeah I did like it. They had only been open a week and the floor staff needed a little work but I really enjoyed the food.

Been to Pope Joan for dinner when it was the Bishop of Osteia. I'm not sure I'd bother too much if you miss it.

Sorry that's not so helpful is it?!?

I think Nieuw is one of the better new restaurants in Melbourne.

Mar 26, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne - 7 Days

I've only dined at Nieuw once and didn't really feel it was "American". It definitely references a few American classics but it's a modern smart restaurant/bar. Have you had a look at the menu?

Mar 26, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Brae [Victoria]

Brae is great. It meets all the hype. My view for tourists is forget cutler and vue and spend that money on car hire and bed and breakfast in Birregurra.

The cooking is spot on. From the burnt pretzel with pork to the apple and parsnip dessert, everything is plated and cooked perfectly. Highlights for me included wagyu with shiitake, pickled samphire and salted radish, lobster with carrots and sea butter, and the apple and parsnip was an elegant, fun and gentle finisher. There were surprises but no trickery.

The staff are knowledgable, accommodating and fun. You can see them enjoying the work, food and environment. The staff were able to give you the finer details of the dishes from ingredients to techniques.

My wine pairing was fun and unusual. A mixture of locals and old world.

Melbourne locals should make the drive. Visitors should do what they can to get there.

My favourite meal in Australia.

Mar 15, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne - 7 Days

While not so new I had a great meal at Hell of the North in Fitzroy. Good French cooking, nice environment and smart staff. Won't break the bank either.

Huxtaburger is massively over-rated.

Mar 15, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Tokyo Sushi Recommendations for a Family?

I haven't been there but I read this review of Iroha sushi in nakameguro.

http://tokyofamilyguy.blogspot.com.au...

Mar 11, 2014
kersizm in Japan
1

"Serious" Coffee Shops in Japan

To start up this thread again, I hit Streamer, Omotesando
Koffee and Sarutahiko on my most recent trip.

Omotesando is a lovely spot, not so sure on the coffee.

Streamer was really poor. The place looked and smelled right, unfortunately the coffee wasn't. The shots were burnt and bitter.

Sarutahiko will now be my go to spot. Great coffee; not to the heights of BPE but unlike BPE the staff are friendly, helpful and without attitude.

Mar 05, 2014
kersizm in Japan

Short Trip Report (Tokyo)

Butcher Brothers (Kanda) - What a great place! 4 of us ate like kings for Y12,000; that included loads of beer and a bottle of house red. Potato salad comes draped with a massive piece of bacon; bacon comes out more like a glowing bacon steak; smoked camembert with vegetables contains few vegetables and more bread to spread the gooey goodness on; skirt steak (comes with fries and a slice of tomato) was some great grill cooking. We had other dishes but I was in such a meat coma by that stage I could barely think straight. This place is sensational if you like to eat meat.

Sushi Kanesaka (Ginza) - In a word, disappointing. At Y12,000 including a couple of beers, I expected a lot more. The quality of the fish was fine and Kanesaka-san was a lovely and attentive host; however, it felt very much like a production line. My biggest gripe was the quality of the rice for my first few pieces. I found the rice too warm and almost gluey and mealy; it reminded me of sticky rice. The rice definitely improved as my meal progressed, however, that first piece really coloured my view. Highlights were the Ika and the Anago.

Sushi Iwa (Ginza) - I had a great 13 piece lunch here for roughly Y9,000. The fish was the next step above from Kanesaka, for me. The rice was probably a bit too heavily vinegared for me, however, the texture of the rice was superb. The icefish cured in cherry leaves, while not necessarily to my taste was an interesting piece and I was very pleased to try it. The Ika, Maguro, Anago and especially the Tomago were highlights. All the staff were attentive and spoke very good English .

Okame Zushi (Mita) - Every time that I am in Tokyo, I go to Okame and always have an excellent meal. While I don’t believe it is on any list of any sort; Okame in Mita is repeatedly a highlight for me. Owner, Nagatani-san, prepares interesting things for me to try including shirako in nori and then deep-fried in tempura, pressed sea cucumber stomach (sorry I have forgotten what it is called) and pieces of anago rolled in cucumber. The fish is fine and this for me was a much superior meal to Kanesaka and came out to roughly Y11,000 a head with lashings of beer.

The standing sushi bar (Shibuya) - Sorry, I forgot to write down it's name, but everyone knows what I am talking about. I love this place simply because it is so cheap and the sushi is better than anything you get in Australia. Our best sushi in Australia is roughly Y16,000 and then it's not very interesting or well executed. This place has greater variety and probably better executed pieces for a slap up meal for Y2,500. English menu for those of us who don't have enough language. Always fun!

Saru (Shibuya) - I had a friend drag me to this little European seafood place in Shibuya. It was a completely nice meal with no bad dishes or surprises. Squid in caper and garlic butter and tuna head steak with lotus root were all simply executed but delicious. They seem to sell a lot of applewood smoked pork for a seafood restaurant and I can understand why as it is quite tasty with mashed potato. They do carafes of wine at reasonable prices too. I think it was around Y16,000 for 3 of us. Would you go out of your way to eat there no… but if you stumble upon it, totally worth eating there.

Blacows (Ebisu) - I know there are a lot of arguments about burgers in Tokyo, but I love Blacows in Ebisu for burgers. I've been there a couple of times now and I rate it as the best burger I've had. I've tried a number of variations and they are all excellent. Just follow your heart and order what feels right on a burger for you. Y2-3,000 a head with a beer or two.

Tonki (Meguro) - Tonki is one of those places I've always meant to go to but failed on previous trips. This time I finally got there and I am so glad I did. For Y2,500 I had one of my favourite Japan experiences. Watching the (I assume) family work together to turn out fantastic tonkatsu was a highlight. The care, precision and consistency given to the tokatsu shows. A must go Tokyo eat for me.

Devilcraft (Kanda) - Pizza was pretty boring and flavourless for me but you're there for the beer and the beer selection was fantastic and unique. If you like your beer go.

Craftheads (Shibuya) - What a great bar. Amazing beer selection, including Hair of the Dog beers. In terms of food I ate some good sizzling oysters with mushrooms and their burger called a Juicy Lucy (a patty filled with blue vein cheese) which I am not sure worked except to burn my mouth but you can't complain about a burger. As above, of yu like beer go but with better food!

Mar 04, 2014
kersizm in Japan
2

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Wow we have really divergent views here Sneedy. :) I'd go to dukes over anywhere else in Australia.

Feb 24, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I disagree with lots in this post. However, Sneedy is right about Cookie and its sibling upstairs; Toff is always an interesting place for visitors. Great thai food and an extensive wine list.

One thing I do have to address is the coffee at Con C's places. The coffee at Dukes (three doors down) from Journal is orders of magnitude above. The European, CWS, Siglo - while I love them dearly aren't places for coffee.

Feb 16, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Yeah, I believe the experience of VDM is Australian - more so than Melbourne's other high ends. I'd definitely be encouraging visitors to go.

Feb 04, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I disagree with Mr G here. I love VDM and I think it's a great idea if you have the $. It is an Australian high end with our attitude. I prefer it to Jacques, Cutler, etc.

Feb 04, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

There is also a Dukes on Flinders Lane. Highly recommended.

Feb 04, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

And don't forget Baker D. Chirico next door to Market Lane.

Feb 04, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I have noticed in the Sydney thread you've mentioned coffee. If you want to explore coffee; it is better in Melbourne.

As much as it pains me to say this as a Northside boy; the best coffee in Australia is at Dukes in Prahran.

But...
7 Seeds
Industry Beans
De Clieu
20&6
Are all excellent.

Feb 03, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Sydney - 13 Days

Biota is definitely worth getting to if you can get out to Bowral.

Cumulus normally have 6-8 varieties of oyster on the menu, including angasi. They also have a fantastic local wine list - Curly Flat Pinot is a must try Victorian wine.

Jan 30, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Sydney - 13 Days

Not to get my Japanese food nerd on too much. It's an absolute myth that fish for sushi/sashimi is better fresh. Most (if not all) tuna that passes through Tsukiji is frozen and then can be aged for a number of weeks.

Jan 30, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Huxtaburger is just expensive Hungry Jacks (Burger King). I'll probably be shot for saying that. ;)

I'd give di Stasio a go over DOC (even though I'm a massive fan) simply because it gets you to the south side of the city.

KZM

Jan 28, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I haven't been but you may find Brutale for Croatian interesting. It's in the same lane way as Sichuan House.

Jan 24, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

I like Cumulus Up the bar upstairs from Cumulus Inc. similar food but quieter and not so difficult to get into. I was at Cumulus this morning for breakfast at 7:45 didn't get a seat until 8:00. It was busy.

His brother's places Bar Lourinha and Casa Cuccio are solid too. Bar L is great for tapas style and a very Melbourne dining experience.

Jan 23, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Oh... I'd throw Moon Under Water into the mix.

Jan 22, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne Advice - 5 Days

Brae is at least a 90 minute drive. That'll be a whole day adventure and won't be accessible by public transport.

Looks like a fun list. I'd skip Hellenic Republic. Plenty of other interesting places to go, Bar Lourinha, Epocha, Nieuw Amsterdam, Cookie, The Commoner. (EDIT: these places aren't Greek just more my thang. If you eat the lamb shoulder at cumulus that's Greek enough;)

I like Black Pearl because I'm a local... However a lot of their staff have recently moved interstate or are setting up their own bars.

Personally, I think Dainty has gone down hill. Go to Hu Tong for dumplings instead.

DOC is my favorite for pizza - it is Italian style pizza. May not compete with some NYC places.

My 2c - will have more as the discussion goes.

Jan 22, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

The Stokehouse and Josie Bones [Melbourne]

Seems like Touché Hombre has closed too.

Jan 21, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

The Stokehouse and Josie Bones [Melbourne]

Oh I like N2 on Brunswick Street for ice-cream too.. while it is a bit of bluster with the liquid nitrogen, I've had some really lovely ice-cream from there.

Jan 17, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

The Stokehouse and Josie Bones [Melbourne]

Hang on, what?! What happened with PM24?

In terms of nieuw (get it;) things... I went to Nieuw Amsterdam on Monday. While they are still getting things together, as they have only been open 3 weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal.

The Jerk Chicken, Pork Nuggets and Cheviche were sensational.

Jan 17, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

The Stokehouse and Josie Bones [Melbourne]

Hi all,

Sad news this week.

The Stokehouse had a fire in the kitchen and is now a blackened pile of rubble.

Josie Bones will close at the end of Feb. To be replaced with a Meatball and Wine.

KZM

Jan 17, 2014
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Good everyday restaurant picks in Melbourne for a newcomer

Oh yeah, I've heard very good things about Horn Please.

For lunch you could always go to Babka (Brunswick St) for perogis and then a slice of cake or a danish. Just avoid their horrible coffee.

KZM

Nov 12, 2013
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Good everyday restaurant picks in Melbourne for a newcomer

If you are avoiding meat don't forget Yong Green Food on Brunswick Street. It's on the cheaper end of things too.

Nov 11, 2013
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand

Good everyday restaurant picks in Melbourne for a newcomer

Oh and while they are more expensive in Carlton I like Epocha and La Luna.

Nov 06, 2013
kersizm in Australia/New Zealand