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bjrocky's Profile

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Embrasse - Closed [Melbourne]

Nicolas is now the head chef at:
Brooks of Melbourne
Basement 115 Collins St, Melbourne
03 9001 8755
It is where the old Fifteen was, actually in George Parade (which is ACTUALLY a lane!)

Nov 17, 2012
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Seychelles eating

Off to the Seychelles soon - we have 4 nights on La Digue, 7 on Praslin and 3 on Mahe.
Any eating tips? There are a few on Trip Advisor but I have had numerous disappointments following tips from there. Many thanks for any assistance.

Nov 28, 2010
bjrocky in Middle East & Africa

Singapore Delis

Off to Singapore next week armed with many good feeding tips - thank you to those who helped.
However I am wondering if there are any upmarket delis in Singapore offering product such as wild caviar, Iberico jamon and prosciutto. Also wine bars similar to Henri IV and Willy's in Paris ie bars offering interesting wine with complementary food.
Any tips will be greatly appreciated.

Maurice Naughton [moved from the France board]

To my of thinking he was the ultimate Chowhound - keen on all types of food, open to new experiences and always keen to share his vast knowledge, particularly of Parisian restaurants. Since seeing this sad news I went back and re-read all of his 200 odd posts. There are some real gems here.
Has anyone written an obituary as I would like to know more of the man's life?

Jul 03, 2007
bjrocky in Site Talk

Once again,"El Bulli"-Best restaurant of the world '2007

How in the hell can a committee spread around the globe draw up a list of the Top 100 restaurants? It beggars belief and, to me, is simply a brilliant promotional tool for Pellegrino or whoever! I cannot imagine that these characters would be able to duplicate that list if the original was destroyed. It's certainly handy, however, if one is planning a world grazing tour without access to Chowhound!

Apr 26, 2007
bjrocky in Spain/Portugal

mornington Peninsula, melb... Who's in the know??

First place to start is buy the 2007 Age Good Food Guide, where you will find many recommendations for the whole of the peninsula, including the Red Hill wine area.

Mar 27, 2007
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

New Michelin Starred Restaurants, 2007

British restaurants win 14 new Michelin stars
Blog: Matthew Fort on the might of Michelin
Liane Katz, Guardian Unlimited Wednesday January 24 2007
Britain’s culinary conversion is continuing apace, according to the latest edition of restaurant industry gold standard-bearer the Michelin guide, which has awarded 15 new stars in its 2007 edition.

This year’s Great Britain & Ireland guide, published on Friday, awards a total of 122 kitchens with the industry’s top honour.

London saw four restaurants awarded a star each - La Noisette, Benares, Arbutus and L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon. Meanwhile, the Gordon Ramsay-backed Pétrus restaurant was upgraded with the addition of a second star under chef patron Marcus Wareing.

The Channel Islands also had a particularly strong showing, with Guernsey hosting a Michelin-starred restaurant for only the second time, and Jersey gaining a second restaurant boasting a single star.

The guide, which is guaranteed to give chefs sleepless nights ahead of its publication each January, is based on multiple inspections by dedicated reviewers who pay for their meals and dine unannounced. Before awarding a star, inspectors may eat at a restaurant as many as 10 times.

According to the guide, a rating of one star indicates “a very good restaurant in its category”. Two stars mean that a diner can expect “excellent cooking, worth a detour”, and the rare third star is a marker of “exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey”.

A non-starred eatery with a “bib gourmand” can be expected to serve a high quality, three-course meal, excluding drinks, for £28 or under (€40 in Ireland).

“London has done well this year. More and more chefs are opening in London, so there are more listed than ever,” said guide editor Derek Bulmer.

”The Channel Islands have also done well. The area is able to support these sort of restaurants, it's been very successful.”

For the second year running, the guide has identified “rising stars” that are likely to be awarded a star the following year. The Vineyard at Stockcross near Newbury, Berkshire, was a rising star last year and has just been awarded two-star status.

Single Michelin stars were newly awarded to 13 establishments, including one in Wales, two in Scotland and one in the Republic of Ireland.

But the guide also brought bad news for some kitchens. A total of 12 establishments were stripped of their single stars. One of these was Orestone Manor in Torquay, which has seen the departure of its chef since the last issue of the guide.

Just last year, Torquay boasted two Michelin-starred restaurants for the first time in the guide's history, with Orestone Manor and The Elephant listed in the one-star category.

Mr Bulmer said: “It is a pity they [Orestone Manor] have lost the star. The chef moved on so we had no choice but to take it away for now.”

The Waterside Inn and the Fat Duck, both in Bray, Berkshire, and Gordon Ramsay in London's Chelsea remain the UK's only holders of three Michelin stars.

This year’s guide lists 4,839 establishments, including 3,052 hotels and guesthouses and 1,787 restaurants and pubs.

A new-look Michelin Guide London is also being launched on Friday, listing 428 restaurants and pubs. The new format aims to be more user-friendly, incorporating more information on each restaurant and a pull-out map.

The new single-star additions in this year's Michelin guide are:

In England:
Seaham Hall, Seaham, Durham; The Abbey, Penzance, Cornwall; The Harrow, Marlborough, Wiltshire: Atlantic, Jersey; Christophe, Guernsey.

La Noisette, Chelsea; Benares, Mayfair; Arbutus, Soho; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Strand & Covent Garden.

Glenapp Castle, Ballantrae, South Ayrshire; The Kitchin, Edinburgh.

The Crown at Whitebook, Monmouth, Monmouthshire.

Republic of Ireland:
Chapter One, Dublin

Jan 24, 2007
bjrocky in U.K./Ireland

Melbourne Restaurant Suggestions during the Australian Open?

60 seconds walk from The Langham you have 3 excellent Melbourne restaurants - Scusa Mi (Italian, 1 Hat Good Food Guide, main course in the $30s), Pure South (Contemporary, main course in the 30s)and Tutto Bene (Italian, 1 Hat GFG, mains around $30). Another 5 minutes walk gets you to Rockpool, dearer than the above three, but very good as well.

Jan 20, 2007
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand


Many thanks for both replies and I have passed them on.

Nov 22, 2006
bjrocky in France


Friends are into their last week of a 3 month tour of Italy, Spain and France. He is looking to take his wife to a fun restaurant with good food and sensibly priced wine this Thursday November 23.
I'm thinking Train Bleu - am I on the wrong "track"? Any good suggestions?
Many thanks in advance.

Nov 21, 2006
bjrocky in France

Best Cheap Eats In Melbourne

It's easy - buy a Cheap Eats Guide to solve all of your problems. See this online address for Melbourne details.
Also have a look at this recent discussion.
Food can be very cheap in Melbourne and there is no reason to spend more than A$20/ head at night.

Nov 14, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Going up the Murray River!

The Murray has some length to it! You are going from where to where? In South Australia or Victoria? Makes some difference when it comes to recommendations.

Nov 08, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Leaving in 2 wks for Honeymoon in Australia - need restaurant advice!

Fenix, 680 Victoria St, Richmond, perched on top of the Yarra River with lovely bushy views (yet 10 minutes drive from the CBD)is serving incredibly innovative food in newly renovated premises. Costing roughly A$70/ head for 3 courses with other little taste sensations, it has 1 Hat in the Good Food Guide.

Oct 14, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Cinque Terre & Portovenere; suggestions please

I know what you mean about their pesto being superior, and I found, after a lot of anguish, that their basil is different to what we grow in Australia (and probably the States). I understand that they use in that region basilica di pra (spelling?). Here we use common old basil and it's just not as sweet. Also super olive oil and parmesan sure helps as well.

Oct 13, 2006
bjrocky in Italy

Best brasserie in Paris?

Friends have just returned from Paris and, with trepidation, searched out La Coupole. The food was excellent, good value without being cheap, and, as expected, a buzzy atmosphere.
Our last experience was only average and these people ate with us then, so there was a benchmark. Give it a try.

Oct 10, 2006
bjrocky in France


Here are some notes from 12 months ago.
POMPEI - Now surely a tourist magnet like Pompei would offer dodgy eating. Well, be prepared for a big surprise. Nowhere in Italy did we eat poorly (and we did not splurge) - but that statement, sad to say, does not hold for France!
Directly opposite the front door of Pompei lies Camping Pompei and what a pleasant lunch our family of 4 had for not many euros. Wood-fired oven pizzas of variety and quality, fine pastas and inexpensive wines. From memory,like most restaurants in the smaller cities pizzas around 6-8 E, pastas 5-7 E and mains 10-12 E. Another big recommendation, plus you can park inexpensively there before entering the ruins.
CAMPING POMPEI, Via Plinio 113, Pompei Scavi (and do not bother heading to Pompei (the modern city) when you arrive by car - look for Pompei Scavi)
081 862 6910.

Oct 03, 2006
bjrocky in Italy

Venice: A question...

See the following recommendations by Michael Winner,in today's Sunday Times, England.
Any new ones there?

Oct 01, 2006
bjrocky in Italy

Locanda Cipriani on Torcello in Venice-Good?

See the following review by Michael Winner,in today's Sunday Times, England.
Sounds great!

Oct 01, 2006
bjrocky in Italy

Melbourne, Sydney - good, cheap eats

Where will you be staying?

Sep 11, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

In the "Village of the Grape:" The "French Laundry" of Germany, Schwarzwald Stube

A minor correction in that Mr Wolhfart would certainly not have been the first 3 Star Michelin chef in Germany. I have fond memories of brilliant food at both Tantris and Aubergine in Munich in the early to mid 80s and both had 3 Stars then.
Perhaps a Michelin authority could advise us when they received their 3 Stars. There was also a restaurant in Koln that had 3 Stars as well around that time. See for more information on Michelin 3 Star restaurants

Sep 09, 2006
bjrocky in International Archive

Melbourne, Sydney - good, cheap eats

It's easy - both cities run a Cheap Eats Guide to solve all of your problems. See this online address for Melbourne details.

Sep 04, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Review of Flower Drum in Melbourne

Interestingly, the Melbourne food bible, The Age Good Food Guide, has lopped one hat off Flower Drum in the latest 2007 release.
They write that the kitchen appears to now lack innovation, simply serving Cantonese classics and the "class", once everpresent with the original owner, Gilbert Lau, is not there any more.
They are, however, one of only two Chinese restaurants with 2 Hats. The other being Red Emperor at Southgate.

Aug 31, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Eating along the Great Ocean Road

The 2007 Good Food Guide launched August 28 lists the following along the Great Ocean Road. If no mark, then considered slightly inferior.
Dublin House Inn 14/20
Portofino on Bank 16/20, 2 Hats, a very high rating. 'Modern Mediterranean'.
Simply Seafood
The Stag Inn 14/20
Time & Tide
Nonna Casalinga
Pippies by the Bay 14/20
Chris's Beacon Point
La Bimba
ba ba Lu
The Lorne Oven House
A la Grecque 14/20

Please let me know if you would like more information, either in this area or elsewhere in Victoria. Where are you staying in Melbourne?

Aug 30, 2006
bjrocky in Australia/New Zealand

Pousada restaurants to avoid & Three restaurants to try

We are off to that part of the world soon. It would help if you can repost advising which towns these restaurants and pousadas are near. Many thanks.

Aug 17, 2006
bjrocky in Spain/Portugal

Need recommendations for the Genoa Coast

These are notes from our trip last October. Avoid eating in Portofino unless your wallet is thick - shocking value, particularly when you have Santa Magherita and Rapallo so close.
Trattoria Baicin, Via Algeria, 5 0185 286 763
Inexpensive, almost a water view near the square in the harbour. All had pasta for lunch along with a salad. Excellent pasta, particularly their pesto.Pasta 5-6 E.
A Chowhound rec - Trattoria Genovese, Via Roma, 19, 0185 61 111. A great recommendation and worth every penny. 6 E pasta, 10 E mains and all super. Cannot recommend more highly. Incredibly friendly staff (particularly Alga) as we had no booking and just landed on a busy evening but they quickly found a table for two.
Sapore di Mare, Lungomare Vittorio Veneto 19, 0185 52 603. Another excellent find, in fact we ate here twice. Owners very friendly and generous. Pastas 5-7 E, mains 10-11 E. Highly recommended.
Ristorante Nettuno, Lungomare Vittorio Veneto 28, 0185 50 270. Good value. Pasta 6-7 E, mains around 10-11 E (excluding seafood of course!).
Do yourself a big favour and spend a few days in either of these towns. Both have lovely settings and offer good value eating.

Aug 01, 2006
bjrocky in Italy

Pays Basque

This is a posting from earlier in the year - we were in Bidart October 2005.
BIDART - now almost a suburb of Biarritz and close to the Spanish border. Lovely surf views are had at La Tantina de la Playa on the beach at Bidart. Food from the Basque region and inexpensive with mains costing 12-15 E. Top location if the sun shines and I would imagine very busy in the height of summer.
LA TANTINA DE LA PLAYA, Plage du Centre, 64210 Bidart.
05 59 26 53 56.

Jul 31, 2006
bjrocky in France

Where are my old posts?

Great, that explains it - I think! I'll go browsing there.

Jul 29, 2006
bjrocky in Site Talk

Where are my old posts?

Next question - when I enter say "Dinard" in the French Board, once again, no response, even though I have posted information on Dinard in the past. Try it and see.
What arcane code do I need now?

Jul 24, 2006
bjrocky in Site Talk

Where are my old posts?

How are we supposed to know that? Have I missed something somewhere along the line?

Jul 24, 2006
bjrocky in Site Talk

Good eats in Brittany?

From an old posting - if you're in this area, try this.
DINARD - Eastern part of Brittany and close to St Malo, Mont St Michel and Dinan, all fascinating places to visit. Try...Dinard Golf! (The second oldest golf club in France after GC de Pau.) Yes, terrific food and open to the public for lunch, and a substantial lunch was offered for 17 E comprising main and dessert with very reasonably priced wine. Our group sampled steak bearnaise, duck and fish (on separate plates!)and the only disappointment was a stringy old duck - the steak was wonderful and even now my 11yo still asks me if I remember the bearnaise and steak at Dinard.
Sea views along with the mandatory links views from the top floor of the golf club. Finish off with a fine walk around the coast back to the carpark.
DINARD GOLF, Bd de la Houle, 35800 St Briac Sur Mer
Restaurant: 02 99 88 30 55.

Jul 24, 2006
bjrocky in France