Friday, 27 January 2012

Beach Burrito Company

Beach Burrito Company Newtown, the fourth and newest of Beach Burrito Company's eateries, is located near the busy intersection of King St and Enmore Rd. Being new in the neighbourhood, many locals seemed keen to try it out and my sister was no exception.

Managing to grab four seats on a large share table inside, we quickly absorbed the decorations and signs around us. Cheap deals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A picture of two moustached men surrounded by bikini-babes. Vodka and Tequila Margaritas. Wait what? Vodka Margaritas... my suspicions were aroused. Being an avid fan of Mexican food and tequila, I proceeded with caution.

An extremely relaxed, practically catatonic waiter - whom you could barely tell was a waiter - told us "this place is really chill, just order at the bar".

I was a little disappointed that the menu seemed to reflect Taco Bills or Montezuma's rather than the more varied Mexican cuisine that Australians seem to have embraced in the past few years (e.g., Mamasita, Fonda Mexican). Eventually I went with my fail-safe option - Beef Tacos.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Having never been to Sydney in my relatively short and sheltered life, Dani decided it was time for my eyes to be opened to the world (or at least more of Australia). 

We found ourselves rolling into Manly at around 10 o’clock on a Saturday morning and the popular little town was well and truly awake. After a short stroll down the main beach strip we spotted a quaint little café nestled amongst the shops and generic marquee-style cafes - Hemingway’s.

As we propped ourselves onto stools looking out onto the street and beach front, we were met by a waiter with a bottle of Hendrick's Gin. "It’s a bit early for a drop" I thought, but then realise its only chilled water - a nice touch. Hemingway was apparently fond of a nip from time to time.

Friday, 20 January 2012


A recent weekend in Sydney gave us the opportunity to try a few new restaurants/cafes. Most of our dining experiences were great successes - brilliant food, great atmosphere - but the absolute winner was Bloodwood. A small, relatively new (so we were told) restaurant in the Newtown area.

Located amongst various shops, restaurants and cafes on King St, it would have been easy to walk by and miss it completely. Luckily, we had a local who was leading the way. (Thanks Michelle!)

Entering into a dark - this will become very obvious in the photos - area with small tables and stools, behind which was a bar, it was immediately apparent that we should have gotten there earlier. We were politely greeted and told it would be a 1.5 hour wait for a table in the restaurant (Dani's jaw dropped) but that we were likely to get a seat in the bar area in 5-10 minutes. Yes, as seems customary in popular Melbourne and Sydney restaurants these days, there was a wait for the waiting area and no you cannot book (unless there are 8 or more of you). So we must confess that we never actually saw the main restaurant.

As it turned out, the bar area was more than able to cater to our needs. Granted the small bar tables aren't great for sharing plates of food, but we managed. And for the experience that followed - it was worth it.

We ordered a bottle of Heathcote Shiraz (the name escapes us but it cost $55). It was smooth, very smooth for a Shiraz, but still had enough body to ensure your tastebuds know they're alive.

There were so many appealing items on the menu it was hard deciding which ones we should order. Rather than getting carried away and ordering everything, we settled on a few dishes knowing we could order more later.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Shanghai Village Dumpling

Shanghai Village Dumpling divides many Melburnians and just like the Collingwood football team, people tend to love it or hate it.

Note: Dani has been to Shanghai Village Dumpling many, many times. This was, however, Dan's first dumpling experience - ever! Not just at SVD but at all.

After visiting the bottle shop - an absolute must before heading to SVD - we managed to grab a table upstairs (also referred to as Siberia).

As you enter Shanghai Village Dumpling the fuchsia walls and split dining area can be a little confronting. The seating area upstairs is quite a stark contrast as most of the walls are pale and there are no decorations, very little ambience at all really. But both areas accommodate a huge number of patrons and thus the entire restaurant can be loud and bustling. On this particular night, the upstairs area seemed a little less chaotic.

Most of the group were seasoned SVD diners and as such, wine glasses, chopsticks and bowls were quickly acquired for the table. SVD is not known for its quality service, so a proactive approach means that you won't leave disappointed.

Throughout the evening we ordered Steamed chicken dumplings, Fried pork dumplings, Asian greens with oyster sauce, Vegetarian dumplings, Shanghai noodles and Fried rice.