Doot Doot Doot, Merricks North

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When the sis-in-law suggested Doot Doot Doot, we didn’t hesitate to say yes. After all we all deserve a bit of fancy Nanci-ness in our lives! A beautiful fit-out sets the tone for the day with a grand 10,000 lamp chandelier that creates the perfect first impression for the five course tasting menu. The menu draws on the seasonal produce from Mornington’s local producers and Jackalope hotel’s kitchen garden.

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Service was good. Little hiccups in our bookings as they initially said it our table was not ready yet at around 12.20pm – our booking was for 12.30pm. So we got a drink at the bar near the reception which was over the top with marble, gold and glasses. However 15min later we were still waiting for them to call for us unfortunately they seemed to have forgotten about us so back to the front we go to get some foods in our belly…

Mayo Asparagus – a perfect snack to start the courses, light and tasty with a great crunchy texture.

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Avacado Umeboshi – A well balanced starter. The crumbed avocado though very simple holds a great amount of flavours. The light ice-cream was a bit of a good surprise but slightly too sweet.

Beetroot, Leek & Pil Pil – Pretty to look at but the soaked beetroot leek was too chewy and stringy for me. Sorry to say, I personally didn’t enjoy this dish.

Wallaby, Yoghurt and Cabbage – a delicious dish. The wallaby was perfectly slow-cooked that melted in the mouth. So fresh and light. Again the cabbage was beautifully presented on the plate, but I’m not sure why it was so chewy?

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Palette cleanser – frozen rock-melon with rock salt or sugar? wasn’t too sure which one it was but the melon was overly sweet.

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The main we had a choice between the Snapper with carrots & Lado or the Beef with Clams in XO sauce. Lucky for me I was able to eat both! I definitely preferred the beef dish which was cooked to med-rare. The sauce complemented both the sweet beef and salted clams really well.

Unfortunately the snapper dish was a bit of a let-down for me. The snapper itself was perfectly cooked! But that skin… I’m sure it was meant to be crispy skin but all I got was chewy and salty skin which I unfortunately I had to leave to the side.

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Lemon Praline – Loved how the waiters presented us with the lemon cake freshly cooked out of the pan! Mmm and it smelt soo good. Great to see that such a simple home dish can be presented in such a nice way on a plate.The cake was delicious, sweet, sour and moist. The salty hazelnut cream was perfect to cut off the sourness and complemented very well with the cake. Could have gone without the sorbet as it had a few too many lemons in them, so I only had a small spoonful.

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Overall a pleasant experience with great company. Yes a bit underwhelming for the $$$$. It did get really busy and loud which can be hard to converse with your table partners. Expect 3.5hrs for lunch also.. No consistent service from one waiter so was a bit hard to know who to flag down for questions and service.

But I did spot a few lovely spaces to return to like the winery outside that can cater for a bit more of a casual outing =)

“There is a difference between dining and eating. Dining is an art. When you eat to get most out of your meal, to please the palate, just as well as to satiate the appetite, that,my friend, is dining.” ― Yuan Mei

SueyLuey xx

Doot Doot Doot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Pho Hung Vuong Saigon, Footscray

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It’s been a while since I’ve been to Footscray! Boy has it changed… Ghosting the most popular restaurant on the block we found Pho Hung Vuong with a line outside the door. Lucky we only had to wait for about 15min for a table for 6. With a menu that has been downgraded to about 23 dishes – this is a new change that I definitely welcome – because it definitely doesn’t make it easier when there’s like 99 dishes on the menu! Less is more I’d say!

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Between us we ordered the combination Beef Pho, Chicken Pho and Broken rice with grilled pork, egg and shredded pork. Great to be able to choose different bowl size from Small to Large. And the Large was pretty big….. hehe..

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The Pho were all good. Good clear broth with plenty of meats. The soup could do with perhaps another hour or two of simmering as we did had to add the extra hoi sin and sriracha sauce to complete the noodle soup but still good.

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The broken rice dish was good also. The grilled pork could have been a bit more tenderised and the chicken soup was a bit plain. And it was also a  little bit more expensive then the usual viet restaurant at $13. Normally this dish would set you back at about $11?

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Overall a nice lunch experience. Modern, clean with efficient services.

“Pho is a great way to start the day..” – Tom Douglas

SueyLuey xx

 

Pho Hung Vuong Saigon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Tako, Hamilton Island

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We finally arrived in Hamilton Island after a 3 hour flight from Melbourne! First joint we tried was this fun fusion Mexican joint at the Marina on Front Street. OK I have to admit the Japanese and Korean fusion bit confused me as I couldn’t really see it on the menu or in the food itself. The view however was amazing from the top floor! Aim for sunset and you’ve got a romantic date on the agenda! .

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As it was only the two of us we decided to try one of the share platter. The GRANDE PLATTER one looked too much so we went with the EL GRINGO PLATTER. We started with the  two mini crab and avocado tostadas and two mini octopus tostadas. They are pretty much just different fillings on little crispy tortillas. The crab and avocado had a very beautiful tropical flavor but the octopus one with the corn I did not get.. very hard to eat as half the corn fell off the tortillas. Lucky it did look very instaworthy!

TAKO

Then came the nopal salad which was a very fresh side with sweet and sour sliced ripe mangoes, fresh lettuce and sour pickles.

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The next dish was a major disappointment. Unfortunately the classic quesadilla didn’t have enough cheese and/or herb and it did looked rather sad on the plate also.

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The last dish, the main was the pork pibil. Serving was very generous. The pork was a bit dry for me, felt like I needed a lot of the sour cream to add in my wrapped soft tortillas. Waitress promised my husband that the spicy habanero would give him a kick but he was eating it like he was eating chocolate… haha..so overall an average dish.. we only finished half.

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Service was great. Book online or just pop early like we did around 5.45pm and we easily got a seat!

“Anytime there is Mexican food around, you can bet I’ll be eating it” – Eva Longoria

Bye for now – come back and see see what else SueyLuey ate in Hamilton Island!

XOX

Tako Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Seared Steak & Seafood, Maribyrnong

My review for Seared needed a bit of an update so here it is!!!

Seared is a lovely family cafe/restaurant outside the Level 1 urban dining area of Highpoint Shopping Centre. A great large space for couples to come for coffee or drinks and/or family to share in a good meal. The relaxed alfresco area outside is great in summer (with a kid play area outside too!) or you can choose to sit inside where the fixtures are contemporary with great modern furniture.

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Service is always friendly and efficient whether you’re regulars or new customers. They truly take pride in serving some of the most modern and affordable cuisine like their selection of rice dishes to the usual char grilled steaks or just choose from their range of fresh seafood dishes.

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GARLIC PRAWNS ON RICE TIGER PRAWNS $23 – This dish was very big. So big I had a lil helper dining with me haha… I loved how the rich creamy garlic sauce sauce covered the sweet prawns and enough to just cover the jasmine rice.

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BEEF ‘N’ REEF $37.5 – Hubby had the steak which was perfectly cooked to Medium Rare. He upgraded his steak to include king prawns sautéed in tomato and onion. The Serving is rather generous but he polished the whole plate. I tried a bit of his prawns and they were nicely charred with great flavors. Leave it to the simple meals to taste the best!

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STICKY DATE PUDDING $9.0 – I love a good old traditional date pudding. Very easy to make but it always taste better when someone else cooks it! The butterscotch I always find is a bit too sweet for me but a large scoop or two of Vanilla ice-cream is a must especially when you gotta quick dig in before it melts around the moist warm pudding!

It’s very unfortunate about the strictly no smoking in food area law however least now anyone can sit outside and not be affected by the smokes! YAY!

P.S please excuse the shaky photos – I was too busy conversing haha!!!!

“Life is too short not to have pasta, steak, and butter”. Iman

Later-Days!

XxX

|Seared are friends of SueyLuey|

Seared Steak & Seafood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Au79, Abbotsford

I finally made it to this massive, modern and beautiful greenery joint. Long gone the day where a cafe is a cafe… Au79 is not just a cafe but a bakery/pattiserie and a boutique roastery shop. True to it’s saying… it is definitely ‘Good as Au79’.

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First impression.. love all these fiddle leaf trees!! yes I’m a sucker for this designer plants. But there’s just something about plants that makes me happy. Service was efficient and friendly. Of-course this was during lunchtime on a weekday so I’m sure it’s not as busy as it would be on the weekends.

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Menu wise.. slightly confusing. The menu is filled with classic dishes like the Big Breakfast and the smashed avacado etc. however each dishes has a touch of Asian-influenced- e.g. Miso Scrambled Eggs or the korean benedicts or the Okonomiyaki pancake. Prices slightly higher then usual from $5-$8 for a croissant or small cake, to $18-$25 main dish.

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We decided to stick with the basic and hubby got the Big Breakfast which had the usual suspect –  sausage, bacon,mushrooms, poached eggs etc. Tasty but slightly awkward on the small plate. The tomatoes could do with a few more min of grilling and add a touch more of salt and pepper. And the bacon could do with a bit more of a crispiness.

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I ordered the Truffled Croque Madame – the toast was nicely grilled with plenty of gruyere cheese, a touch of mushroom, a fried egg on top and purple pickled cabbage on the side.  I would hope for more mushroom compared to the amount of cheese on the toast and a slightly bigger egg on top. I managed to get through 2/3 of the toasty but overall still good and very instaworthy!

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Coffees – Hubby said his latte was just OK, he would have preferred a stronger shot of espresso but I thoroughly enjoyed my matcha latte which had a good amount of bitterness and sweetness.. Mm…

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“I’m so spoiled, I must have a Starbucks vanilla latte everyday” – Katie Holmes

Seeya!!! XOX

Au79 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Southside Central, Windsor

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We were fortunate to be invited by Southside Central to dine at their Windsor location which recently opened up in April. To be honest I didn’t need much convincing to take up the offer as they simply sold me at “we have perfected the art of spiked milkshakes and mouth watering burgers”…

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LOCATION:
It’s located on Chapel street directly opposite Windsor station. Note there’s always heaps of traffic on Chapel so do give yourself extra traveling time!! (we were about 20min late for our booking…) ~

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FIRST IMPRESSION:
What a great two-storey burger joint with beautiful graffiti artwork along all the walls. The venue is much bigger than it looks from outside. The fit out is simple and attractive especially with the 90’s retro style; the black vinyl seating and the pink neon signs. Not a big fan of these small seating, especially those 2 seater attached to the wall – there’s simply not enough space for the amount of foods you would want to order!! – And the pink neon lights did not do much justice for the photos of the foods I took.. sorry in advance.

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Food wise – DELICIOUS!!! We were happy to have Audrey bring us a selection of their top menu items so it was a  great surprise when a variety of great looking goodies came out.

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BITES:
*Mac’n’cheese nuggets – these were lovely. They were crunchy on the outside and cheesy on the inside. The mayo itself was creamy but I couldn’t really taste the with spicy tomato ~ lucky the nugget itself was good to taste on its own!

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*Jalapeno poppers – not a big fan of jalapeno but my partner absolutely loved this side. And they were huge!! I thought it would be majorly spicy but lucky it wasn’t. The sour cream was def the best dip to go with the poppers.

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BURGERS:
*Harlem Burger – This chicken and waffle reminded me of NYC especially since we were there only 6 months ago! The whole dish definitely provided the great southern vibe. The fried chicken was moist and serving was generous. I loved how the cheese melted along the side, and the white bbq sauce & maple mayonaise served in between the deliciously soft and crunchy buttery milk waffle mMmmM…. sweet, and salty all in the one dish! I’m a messy eater so the parchment paper with the small busket was presented nicely with the theme of the restaurant however wasnt too practical for me who likes to eat my burgers et. all with a fork and knife.

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*The Southside Meat Market – Hubby thoroughly enjoyed this burger. The Beef pattie was juicy, southern fried chicken added another level of texture to the burger and the bacon relish was like an additional sauce for the rest of the burger.

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SPIKED SHAKES:
*Snickers spiked – OMG one of the best shake I’ve ever had! The shake itself is full of flavour, not too sweet and the hint of Frangelico liqueur is just perfect to complement the rest of the choc goodness. Not a big fan of the milk bottle that it came with, and it wasnt too practical with the whipped cream and bit of snicker on top.. give me the old traditional milkshake cup please!!

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So overall a fantastic meal! Service was efficient and friendly. Great pumping hip hop tunes to go along with my meal.  I’m sure this joint will def be the next new destination for the burgers + spiked drinks+ beats!!

Till next time

XOX

| Courtesy invite by Southside Central, Windsor. Opinions are my own. |

Southside Central Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Out of Sundaland, Thornbury

Out for a little celebration, managed to tomato-ed this great new Pan-Asian kitchen in Thornbury! A local restaurant woohoo! Initially we wanted to do Longrain but Melbourne’s cold weather did not what so ever encouraged me to drive into the city again. Thank god this restaurant’s menu provided all i had asked for with items fuses with influences from all across Asia mixed with Australian ingredients.

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The limited menu contains a selection of share plates from a few small ones to large ones. Sometimes it great not too have too many options however i would be slightly happier to have at least another meat option on each menu category.
Duck ribs with a chilli, tamarind and orange sauce – My least fav dish of the night which i could have done without, would have been great unfortunately the duck meat was too tough which then made it really chewy. Had to use my hands which was fine but wasn’t pleasant when it was stuck in my teeth. Flavour wise it was tangy and sweet as suggested but not chilli.

DUCK RIBS

Garlic pepper mussels – hot and sour steamed mussels – what a bargain this was! $9 was perfect to share between two. The broth was delicious, definitely soaked in all the seafood goodness which in turn produced an amazing dish. We were suggested to add fries to soak up the broth, but we chose to soak up the juicy broth instead with some rice. Definitely on the spicier side but too delicious to complain!

GARLIC PEPPER MUSSELS 1

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Massaman beef curry- slow braised beef cheeks with roti – the dish looked small but it was definitely enough for two. The curry was rich and creamy. Add some of the extra spices for a kick. The beef was soft and tender. Roti went well with the curry to soak up all those goodness but definitely need a bowl of rice to complete the dish.

MASSAMAN BEEF CURRY

Crispy pork hock – twice cooked pork hock with soy caramel – mmm can’t go wrong with a pork hock. The pork was so tender and literally ripped apart when you put a fork into it. It had with a side of rice which was perfect with the pickled cucumber salad and sweet soy sauce.

CRISPY PORK HOCK

So overall a very satisfied night! 2 small and 2 large dishes was plenty for two. Service was lovely from front to back. Venue was cheerful with a rustic Asian/Australian feel. Not too busy yet but I’m sure they will be when words get out. And please have a dessert menu!!! Can’t finish a meal without some sweets

“The name “Out of Sundaland” refers to theory that the now submerged area known as Sundaland or the Sundaic region, is the possible cradle from which the world’s Asian population originated from” – OOS Website

Till next time!!

XOX

Out of Sundaland Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato