Icebergs

4 Aug

A trip to Bondi wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the iconic Icebergs.

And with that view – it’s not hard to see why.

I was thrilled when the waiter presented me with a vegetarian menu with vegan options, brilliant!

I wasn’t starving (okay, whilst waiting at the bar for our table I snacked on polenta chips with aioli and mixed olives but shhh) so I just ordered the spaghetti with olive oil, chilli, garlic and basil.

Spaghetti

It was lucky I wasn’t starving because the food took quite a while to come out.

That being said I enjoyed my spaghetti.

I also shared the special with Mum which was a truffle, mushroom and bocconcini (I think…I can’t remember exactly which cheese it was!) frittata which was really delicious.

Frittata

I also want to point out how exceptional the service was.

Our waiter went to extra efforts to make sure we were always happy and at the end called our taxi, walked us out to the cab, opened the door from us and sent us off with a wave and a smile – now that’s customer service.

Great for a long, boozy lunch or an elegant dinner. Just make sure you book!

Vegetarian options: 10/10
Food: 7.5/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 9/10

Icebergs Dining Room and Bar on Urbanspoon

Bill’s

4 Aug

Bills is a breakfast institution in Sydney and it’s not hard to see why.

There was a wait for breakfast at 10.30 in the morning! Okay, it was a Saturday, but still, being told to wait 20 minutes just to get a table with about 30 other people waiting for breakfast is crazy!

Once we were in and the food was served all was forgotten.

The pancakes were to die for. Not exaggerating when I say they were probably the best pancakes I have ever had.

For $17.50 the ricotta hotcakes were served with with fresh banana and honeycomb butter and I asked for some strawberries on the side.

Ricotta Hotcakes w/ strawberries

Rumour has it the pancake mix is made and thrown out 3 times with the next batch used as the mix to be served.

Again, crazy. But that’s Sydney dining for you.

I also had the Sunrise Drink: orange juice, banana, yoghurt and berries, very tasty.

My sister ordered the sweet corn fritters with roast tomato and spinach – minus the bacon with a side of scrambled eggs.

Fritters

The fritters were tasty but the scrambled eggs – oh my god. Soft, fluffy and creamy. Beautiful.

It is pricey for breakfast – but as you can tell by my review, if you are looking to indulge in the most important meal of the day look no further.

Looking forward to my next visit to Sydney just so I can have some of those amazing hotcakes again!

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 7/10

Bills on Urbanspoon

Quay

25 Jul

So I headed to Sydney the other weekend and boy oh boy, the food sure is good up north!

I managed to visit some pretty awesome restaurants whilst I was there, including the best restaurant in Australia according to the San Pellegrino 100 Best Restaurants in the World list.

When a restaurant receives such an honour, I’m not going to lie, you go into the meal with a helmet on your head to protect it from being blown away.

Lame pun, I know, but you know what I mean.

Anyway so as I’ve said before, you can never expect too many vegetarian options when eating fine dining. But usually there are a few entrees, sides and maybe a main if you’re lucky.

At Quay, you can either pick from the degustation menu (which can be done vegetarian, but at $220 a head felt a tad excessive) or you select the 3 course or 4 course menu option, which involves picking a dish from each course.

One of the three choices of bread available

3 course didn’t include dessert so naturally I went for the 4 course delight.

There was a vegetarian option in each course which made it handy to order.

We were all given a gorgeous tasting at the start. I can’t remember what mine had in it (sorry!) but I do remember it being delicious…

Taster

For my starter I had the “Salad of pickled rhubarb, endive, beetroot, purple carrot, rosa radish, kohlrabi, sheeps milk curd, pomegranate molasses, violets” phew! Don’t feel alone if you don’t know what half of the ingredients are I am listing, just trust me that they taste damn good!

First Course

Tangy, mild, sweet and creamy – it was just gorgeous!

For the next course I was given the “Organic heirloom carrots, cumin, fennel & celery seeds, comté-infused curd, almonds, amaranth.”

Second Course

The carrot puree was to die for. It was lighter than air and complimented every flavour alongside it whilst melting in my mouth.

My main was the “Roasted new season chestnuts, grain, nut & seed risotto, truffle cream.”

Main Course

It wasn’t exactly what I expected as I was preparing for a creamy, heavy risotto a la Tutto Benne in Melbourne.

Instead the flavour was extremely nutty, obviously due to the chestnuts, and it was gritty.

This, let me make it clear, does not mean I didn’t enjoy it any less! I had never had such a risotto and I really enjoyed it.

Now for dessert. I ordered the famous “Guava & custard apple snow egg.”

Dessert!

My mouth salivates just thinking of it! It was unlike any dessert I’d ever had. I enjoyed it immensely. I have to stop talking about it. I want it now!

Dessert

So all in all, I didn’t need my helmet (afterall, it’s impossible for your mind to ACTUALLY be blown from eating food) but this doesn’t mean I didn’t absolutely love everything I was served.

The staff were attentive and friendly and the views of the harbour were phenomenal.

It is costly. So casually heading to Quay for lunch might be a stretch.

It is well worth a special birthday or event!

Vegetarian options: 4/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 8/10

Quay on Urbanspoon

The Italian

19 Jul

My boyfriend and I headed to the famous Melbourne eatery “The Italian” for his birthday lunch.

I had heard great things about this place so was excited to give it a try.

Not surprisingly given it’s a fine dining restaurant, there were few vegetarian options.

For my entree I ordered the caprese salad –> tomato, basil and buffalo mozzarella

Caprese Salad

And for my main I selected the “roast butternut pumpkin ravioli with sage cream and ameretti”

Ravioli

My boyfriend and I shared sides of chips with aioli and the rocket, fennel and parmesan salad.

Chips

Rocket salad

I underestimated how generous the servings would be (I usually find fine dining portion sizes are quite small) and we committed the sin of over ordering and being unable to finish all of our food.

With this being said, everything I ordered was gorgeous and tantalising.

I loved every meal that emerged, including the bread with olive oil and olives at the start.

A meal like this isn’t complete without dessert.

So we shared the Vanilla panna cotta with strawberries, blueberries and mint and the Crème brûlée – needless to say they were both creamy, indulgent and melted in my mouth.

Crème brûlée

Vanilla Panna Cotta

 

The Italian is an institution and it’s not hard to see why.

The service was attentive and friendly (without being pretentious) and the atmosphere was relaxing.

I will definitely be back when I can!

Vegetarian options: 4/10
Food: 8.5/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 8/10
The Italian on Urbanspoon

Orange

19 Jul

I heard about Orange through the trusted Broadsheet restaurant directory (download the app if you have an iPhone/Pad – it’s perfect on the run when you are in an unfamiliar suburb and you’re hungry!).

I dined at Orange after returning from Europe and I must say, it simply felt like I had walked into another gorgeous, old world Parisian cafe!

The wooden furniture, the dark and moody atmosphere and the jazz music gave me de ja vu.

Anyway on to the food.

There weren’t many vegetarian options in the mains section of the lunch menu, however there were a few options in the entrees and most of the starters/grazing options are vegetarian and would make a great tapas lunch.

I had freshly squeezed orange juice with the potato gnocchi –> tomato, basil, basil, balsamic reduction

Potato Gnocchi

and a side of truffled mash potato.

Truffled Mash

The food was nice and satisfying.

The meals I picked contained all of the ingredients I love, however there was something missing that I can’t quite put my finger on.

It missed that certain je ne se quoi that gives food its wow factor.

If I head back I will be keen to try some of the grazing options which look great but I didn’t get a chance to try. Also they had an all day breakfast menu which admittedly looked like it had some great food on it.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 6.5/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 8/10

Orange on Urbanspoon

Cafe Advieh

19 Jul

Apologies for the delay in adding new posts – I have been overseas for the past month. Rest assured I have a tonne (well, not a tonne) of eateries to review from Melbourne and, for something different, Sydney!

When I found out there was a place nearby serving Middle Eastern breakfast, I was intrigued and promptly headed down to give it a try.

I had high hopes, given it was located in Gamon Street, Seddon which is home to some great restaurants and cafes.

Also, Middle Eastern cuisine tends to have lots of vegetarian options so I didn’t bother trying to find a menu beforehand.

I was definitely not disappointed – Cafe Advieh is a hidden gem!

Everything produced in the family run restaurant is home cooked by the Mum with the children working the floor.

The Middle Eastern decor and the fresh mint tea really sealed the deal!

Mint Tea

The breakfast was delicious and the servings were generous.

On my first visit I ordered the Advieh Breakfast –> fried eggs, turkish bread, haloumi, roast tomatoes, olives, cucumber and lemon – delicious!!!!

Advieh Breakfast

My mum ordered the Open Avocado –> turkish bread, avocado, feta, tomato & basil leaves (not very Middle Eastern, but yummy none the less!)

Open Avocado

On my second visit I was enticed by the falafal plate (falafels with a choice of 3 salads in the salad bar + tzatziki + hummus)

Falafal Plate

Fair to say each time I loved my meal and left feeling satisfied and healthy as the dishes are so light and full of vegetables and legumes!

If you’re on the run they also have a take out bar with many Middle Eastern freshly made delights such as: salads, falafels, tzatziki, hommes and much more.

If you are in the area I HIGHLY recommend giving this place a go. I’ll probably see you there!

Vegetarian options: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Cafe Advieh on Urbanspoon

Oriental Tea House

2 Jun

Today was one of those days where I was dying for Chinese food and dumplings.

So off to Oriental Tea House at Chadstone Shopping Centre I headed! (O.T.H has a few locations all over Melbourne)

What I love about this place is the large range of vegetarian options. Also, it’s pretty hard to find vegetarian dumplings so this place is perfect, they have a few different veg dumplings to choose from.

We even have our own section in the menu!

I ordered (and shared) one serve of the Buck Wheat Vegetable Chilli Dumplings

Buckwheat Dumplings

Vegetarian Fried Rice

Veg Fried Rice (can be done without egg)

Salt & Spicy Soy Bean Tofu

Salt & Spicy Tofu

Vegetable Buns

Veg Buns

I loved every dish! It’s hard to pick a favourite, but right now I am loving the buns, you must try them if you check this place out!

This is a great place for vegetarians to head to for their chinese/yum cha fix. It perfectly caters for us and the food is really good.

People have said it’s a bit pricey for yum cha, but as I said above it’s hard to find (good) veg dumplings so for me – it’s worth it.

Vegetarian options: 9/10
Food: 7.5/10
Decor/interior: 7/10
Service: 7/10

Oriental Tea House on Urbanspoon