Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Nuptials - a distraction

Ok ... so we have a Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and while the better part of the world has its sights firmly fixed on the dress and that ... what are we calling it ... "kiss", the better part of the gay community are wondering ... well is he or isn't he?


This morning my walk to the station was ...

Ok ... this morning my walk to the station was soundtracked by:

Twin Shadow's Slow



Let you in on a secret, Twin Shadow's Forget is an amazing album!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Press Execute

Ok ... press execute

Down in the Park today ... An Autumn's day in Edinburgh Gardens

Ok ... at the tail end of the long weekend, an impulsive walk in the park ...


turned into an impromptu picnic, with fish and chips from Hooked and a couple of bevvies ...


 
Beautiful Autumn day ... nothing quite finer ... and then a few vinos at Tramway ... nice way to round it all off.


I love Melbourne.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Mondrian Cabinet Pt 2

Ok ... we actually spent most of the long weekend unravelling the puzzle of the Mondrian Cabinet, aka how to paint on plastic surfaces designed to keep unwanted dirt at bay.

The prep was great! M's steady hands and technical eye were a godsend.


Our first test with cheapo spray paint, wonderfully called Fiddly Bits passed the colour test with ... erm ... flying colours!!




But the damn paint would not stick! You could rub away with your fingers and the layers simply slid off. So after a little research on the interhole, we discovered Vinyl Dye ... and so far so good. The paint seems to be holding ... fingers crossed. The only downsise is that primary colours are generally not what people want sprayed all over their car seats ... unless you are the feathers in your hair dye your pubes pink kinda guy/gal!! So we will have to order the yellow, blue and red ones in.


Mind you this is potent stuff. I think we're still on a bit of a butane high! I should have asked my friendly neighbourhood chromer for advice when we first started. I'm sure he would have pointed us straight to Vinyl Dyes. But he would have probably spat at me at the end of that conversation, so perhaps it was worth spending money on some fiddly bits first.

We are itching to get this finished and displayed, so while we wait ...


The weekend's is at end and I am almost Temasek

Ok ... I was hardly Temasek, now I am almost Temasek ... and hopefully someday soon someone is going to say Temasek, at last!!

But until then, I hope you had a wonderful long weekend. We certainly pottered ... and did nothing much else, apart from the odd woodland walk at Heide.



There is something magically Blyton-esque about the surrounds of the Heide Gallery. You almost feel like you could find a fairy ring and befriend a wiley Pixie or discover some water babies playing in the rushes ... or perhaps that is all in my head. If that is so, I mourn the loss of playful imagination. I am not wealthy enough to wish all of that away.



Anyhoo, we eschewed the dull matt tones of Albert Tucker and wandered amongst the young families enjoying the beautiful Autumn's day, gestalting ever so often (that would be you, Frau Ginger!), and carrying the tell tale brown paper bag of Cafe Vue's hamper.


We finished off our brisk walk with a Cafe Vue lunch box that was decidedly underwhelming, average coffee and a yummy chicken sandwhich led down by crumbly, almost stale, bread. This is what happens with expansion! It is an economic tennet that has yet to be disproven.

Cafe Vue Lunch box comprising goats cheese and croutons, hot dog, salt cod and barley salad and flourless chocolate cake
 

Back to the grind, mes ami!!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Supermaxi

Ok ... Finally! Dinner at Supermaxi!


All that hype and hoopla, but this is simply Ladro's mark II but in a bigger space and offering chic surroundings and service that are child friendly! A big plus for many including our intrepid fellow gourmands both with young children of their own.

As we were the first to arrive, we were served a bowl of lupini to whet the appetite. Curiously moreish, we bypassed the delicate practice of removing the skin of this attractively yellow pulse and ate the little morsels in one go.


We're a hard table to serve, loud, garrulous, focused on everything but the task at hand, but if you are patient, we know how to coax the best out of any given menu. Leaving MdM to choose the wine (he always comes up trumps), he opted for a drop from his father's hometown - Lamia Primitivo from Puglia. And it was the best red I have tasted in ages. Take the nicest of communion wines and ferment the shit out of it and you will have this cheeky grape.


We decided to order a few smalls and share 3 Pizzas (thin crust like the best of them, and large ... be warned).

We started with the special of Fried Zucchinni Flowers and the Arrancini.


The Flowers were tender and had just the right amount of crunch and they were not overpowered by the cheese filling. The Arrancini were heaven. Someone made proper creamy risotto and then made these crunchy succulent balls of delight. An absolute must as a starter when you go.

This was followed by a plate of Battered Beetroot. I don't touch the stuff, but my fellow diners waxed poetic.


Then came the pizzas.

We ordered a Maguerita, ostensibly for the kids, but they took their kids portion and we wolfed down the rest.


We also had the Badabing (and badaboom ... snap!) - pork sausage, probolone, oregano & chilli - mainly I think because MN is on some kind of pork fennel sausage trip, but this was scrumptious. The Pork sausage was just the right balance of flavours, not overly salty or fatty ... perfect. The tomato sauce used for the base is Supermaxi's secret weapon. There must be crack in it somewhere because it is trully addictive.


But that is not to discount the Bianchis! Our choice for a white based pizza was the Strada Nova (gorgonzola dolce, pancetta, mozarella & basil). Perhaps a little stingy on the basil, but the gorgonzola ... mate ... what can I say. We loved it so much, we ordered another one to see the night out with.


If you can get in (they do the whole 2 seating bullcrap - I wish they would stop), its well worth a visit.

PS - there's always room for sweets ... thanks Jax!


Supermaxi on Urbanspoon

In the interest of Science

Ok ... purely for research purposes, I honed into:


Some Mantime!!


Double the fun!


And double the runs!


Those Crafty Scandinavians

Ok ... our quest for a funky TV stand continues ... after traipsing through Knifepoint's homemaker centre (an exercise in futility if ever there was one), and scowering the greater gertrude-smith area of Fitzroy, we ended up on PO's recommendation at Grandfathers Axe in Northcote.


This place is an absolute hive of retro danish and 20th Century modern furniture!!! If you are partial to a bit of scandinavian wood then this is the place for you. And being relatively unworked on, most of the pieces sold are going for a relatively cheaper rate than those found in the more polished design based furniture boutiques like Three Quarters et al.

We found inspiration in this 40s serving tray which has just enough quirk to fit in comfortably with the other appurtenances in our ramshackle living room. But at $450 (for those in the know this isn't too shabby a price) we had to do the whole "walk around the store again twice before leaving empty handed" thing.

So feeling the old retail hunger pang, we drove to Ikea and got lost in a swirl of flatpacked, modulated madness, covered in a sheen of that odd and slightly vinegary smell that Ikea has and with a soupcon of pram rage thrown into the mix.

We were inspired by this simple modular style blue crate intriguingly called PS Bintje - it was basically a stack of crates in varying sizes that could be bolted to whatever permutation you like ... all painted in a cheery blue ... this started us thinking of other possibilities.

The next thing that caught our eye was the chunky Lack Wall shelving in these brilliant colours, black, red, pastely blue, and butter yellow, and that started us thinking of colour combinations.



Then we found the simple frames of the Besta storage unit ... just the right height with 2 shelves and not looking too poxy at all. We tried thinking of a way we could incorporate the chunky coloured Lack shelving into the Bestra Storage unit frame, but the proportions were all wrong, and there wasn't an already pre-cut length to suit.



Then it hit me ... buy the cheapo Besta storage unit, get some spray paint and voila ... we could create our own little panegyric to Mondrian ... and that would sit very nicely under the Primary Colours of our Arkely print.


So I will endeavour to document this transformation of ugly flatpack duckling into funky (and slightly pretensious) Mondrian Swan in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

CBA Friday Night at Tramway Hotel

Ok ... so I have mentioned our friends' pub Tramway Hotel in a previous post which led to a flurry of activity on this site, some of which has hopefully stuck.

The kitchen has now been opened for a couple of weeks and we had our first sample of its delights on Friday night.

Firstly, for a local pub, it has a small but amazing wine list ... Jess has a fine oenological palate! We started the evening with a glass of Blackbilly 2009 Temparanillo from McLaren Vale. Hunt it down forthwith!

Then it was onto the Burgers. In terms of a menu, it is pretty much standard Pub fare of the Gastro prefix variety with a few creative touches. Prices are standard, no surprises here. There are 7 burgers to choose from with 2 vegetarian offerings (Quinoa and Humus / Portobello Mushroom) and a seafood option if you aren't entirely fundamental. These are not burgers of the Babylonian stack variety. Although not super small, you can pick these up and eat them with your hands, which suits me fine. I hate having to separate Meat from the bread, because it kinda defeats the purpose of a burger.

M had the Lamb & Haloumi burger which is a "Char-grilled lamb and burghul pattie topped with grilled haloumi, almondnaise, lemon and mint yoghurt, tomato, cos lettuce, Spanish onion and chips" ($17). Although I found the yoghurt a little overpowering (but then again I would even if there was a tiny pipetteful of the stuff), the pattie itself was absolutely delicious. It could have done with more haloumi and perhaps a stronger hint of the almondnaise (I was looking forward to that bit), but there are certainly worse burgers to be had round the traps.



I ordered (inadvertantly a popular choice as Chris informed us) the Salmon & Trevally which is a "Char-grilled salmon and trevally pattie with dill and fresh basil crusted in semolina, topped with lemon and mint yoghurt, smoky paprika aioli, tomato, cos lettuce, Spanish lettuce and chips" ($15). This was absolutely stunning! And I could have had another even though I was pretty much full up and on the verge of a stomach pump. Lets ignore the fact that Trevally stocks have virtually been fished out, the combination of flavours was pretty much spot on. Exactly what you want from a fish burger. If I had any reservations about this it would be that the semolina crust could have been a little, well, crustier.


In fact that goes for the chips as well. Full in flavour, but could have been a little crunchier. But perhaps this is a matter of taste, and its certainly not a deal breaker by any means. Also, we could have had a little more of the coleslawy salad, with perhaps a little more of an accent in the dressing, but all in all, for a first time effort, this is highly recommendable.

And to take us through the meal, we sipped on Punt Road 2010 Pinot Grigios. Another fine choice on the winelist.

What a way to start a weekend!! Oh and this joint is fast becoming a good place for a bout of celebrity (ok subjective!) spottage! Ok, well a couple of Masterchefs, a handful of footie players, the odd CEO ... who knows, next time Pink tours the country she may very well drop by. Someone better tell me!!

PS - I forgot to mention the buns (from a bakery in Geelong) ... scrumptious!! Oh and PT if you're reading this, I think there are nuts in the buns, so you may have to query this when you go.

PPS - I snuck a photo of Daniel and Peter from last year's Masterchef - pathetic!


Tramway Hotel on Urbanspoon

Happy Socks!

Ok ... my Happy Socks have arrived ... and guess what ... they really are happy socks! (oh and this beautiful Autumn morning is helping!)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

A Meal and a Tile

Ok ... the weekend was all about a Meal and a Tile:

Betel Wrapped Beef and Vermicelli @ Thanh Ha - Vic Street Richmond

Late Nouveau/Early Deco (?) tile at The Junk Company - Elizabeth Street Melbourne

Can I still pull this off?

Ok ... you be the judge!!




ed - 29/4/2011 - these were included in a 15% off sale ... so I've bought them!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Aldi!

Ok ... clear the decks ... I have one thing to say to you - ALDI CAFE BISTRO JAFFA CAKES!!! Oh My god ... so yummy. Get them now!!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

CBA Friday at Gusto!

Ok ... after an emotional roller coaster ride of a week, we needed some pampering on our CBA Friday night. But we didn't feel like travelling far, so dishing the laminex and soft palates of Hopkins street, we veered right along Barkly and ended up at Gusto.


This is the tail end of the Little India of the West, but it does command a sizeable corner and on a faux-Spring night like last night, it was wonderful to sit outside despite the fact that seating consisted of stools, and the roaring traffic on busy Barkly Street.

Our Scottish waitress reminded us a bit of Zoey from Nurse Jackie, both in looks and demeanour. Maybe because we were all cheeky chatter, she thought that we could cope with her quirky humming everytime she served something at the table ... well lass, you thought wrong!! Aah but she was lovely. And the food wasn't that bad at all. The shoe string fries were suitably crunchy and the aoili was competent, although M wanted a bit more mustard ... surprise surprise!


We opted for the Pizza Bianchi options, mainly because of the toppings. We had 2 mediums  - 9" (there are no smalls) - The Smilng Assasin which consisted of Broccoli, Italian Pork Sausage, mozarella, garlic with a hint of chilli and lemon:



And the Teddy, which is Mozzarella, gorgonzola, prosciutto crudo di Parma, porcini mushrom & rocket:


We also had the Caponata as a side which is basically a ragout of seasonal vegetables with thyme and red wine vinegar:


The Smiling Assasin could have done with a bit more heat, but the hint of lemon was delightful. We both love broccoli so that was a no-brainer, but the sausage was nigh on perfect.

There wasn't much of a gorgonzola hit with the Teddy, but this pizza repaid in flavour with each successive slice consumed.


So its not the most obvious of settings, but its a welcome addition to an area that is fast becoming the Fitzroy of the West ... now if we could only convince someone to open up a Malaysian in Footscray, I don't think we would ever leave!
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