Birthday at the Brooks of Melbourne

I had my birthday recently and my dear husband wanted to surprise me with a tasty dining experience. As we do not have a babysitter organised yet we had to do a lunch rather than a dinner to celebrate my birthday.

My husband took me to The Brooks of Melbourne. We opted for the city lunch instead of the degustation as my husband could not take a long enough lunch break for the long fine dining lunch.

I started with a bit of sparkling, Tasmanian Arras, in fact Arras ’Cuvee Brut Elite’, NV . A great sparkling, like a champagne.

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I have probably mentioned many times but my all time favourite champagne is Pol Roger and the second in the top three is Billecart-Salmon rose champagne. Third place I am not quite sure for which one it goes to there are couple of options competing with each other.

I chose trout for my starter, I love trout and this one was salted and served fresh.

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My husband chose a creamy onion soup which was delightful.

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For the main I went for a light vegetarian dish.

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My husband chose John Dory for his main.

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I had a lovely birthday. So relaxing. My daughter was in the daycare and I was just wandering in the city and enjoying my life here, doing a bit of shopping… After the crazy three months I felt like I deserved it. I am living in such a great city and am so glad I have finally time to appreciate it!

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PS. Sorry about the dark photos from the Brooks we were in the cellar and it was very difficult to get the light right as I did not have my DSLR with me…

South Melbourne Restaurant Jewel

A little while ago my dear husband took me for a weekend lunch. Like usually we got our baby to sleep in her pram and strolled for a late 2pm lunch to a local restaurant. I had hardly noticed this place before as it is in the quiet area of South Melbourne almost in the Albert Park. It was fantastic. The place is called Lamaro’s.

I could not believe what a fine dining experience it was just on my door step. To start with I went for a fig, chevre and walnut salad. A very classic combination which can be really boring if not done well but this one was beautifully prepared and presented.

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My husband went for something a bit meatier!

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For my main I chose trout. I have not been eating meat much lately, I am somehow a bit tired of meat and prefer vegetarian or seafood at the moment.

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The crunchy corn with beetroot was different but amazing!

My husband went for a pork belly as expected.

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The dining experience was great, the wine selection was fantastic and service great! If you are looking for a great little place to eat in South Melbourne this is it!

L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon -Fine dining at its best

Last Saturday my husband and I went to L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon which is one Michelin star restaurant in Covent Garden. A true jewel of West End. We were both so excited about our date night. With the small toddler and being away from your home country you don’t really get much time off as a couple as there are no grandparents to help you out. Luckily our nanny does baby sitting for us occasionally which is great.  It is so relieving to leave our daughter to her hands as we know she know her inside out plus has done such an amazing job with her so far! It was a beautiful day in London and was lovely to walk hand in hand in the Central London.

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Like I said in my previous post London Restaurant Festival was still on so we got an amazing deal of full three course menu with matching wines in this fantastic restaurant.

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My husband and I chose different courses from the menu so that we could taste as many as possible.

We got an amuse-bouche from the kitchen to start with. It was some kind of chevre foam with port wine. Absolutely heavenly. So unusual but tasty.

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Sorry about the dark photos.The restaurant had a very dark interior, black and red so photographing was challenging!  The seating was Japanese teppanyaki style -super cool and modern, high bar stools around the kitchen. I loved it as we were able to watch chefs working and decorating each meal to their finest detail.

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My starter was this gorgeous foie gras with green beans. It was amazing. The wine with it was strong oaky chardonnay. I have to tell you a secret. I had the most horrible cold the day before and I was terrified that I could not taste anything the day after. I had a snotty nose but luckily I tasted most of it, maybe some super fine flavours I could not capture. Such a bad luck isn’t it!?

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My husband took the eschabeche of kipper with potatoes. Super good too! He got a crispy Sauvignon Blanc with it.

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My husband went for 4 course instead of 3 so we got an extra starter which was this phenomenally poached egg with Comte cheese sauce. The poach egg was a piece of art, it was cooked into perfection!

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My main course was salmon. I was suprised that the restaurant chose to serve it with rose wine. I was a bit doubtful of this combination as for me rose is more of a socialising summer wine but it went together with the salmon so well that I will definitely try this combination again, maybe serve it even for my guests!

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My husband chose pork belly with beans. Obviously he got a strong Spanish red with it. It was delicious although I am not a big pork belly fan. in fact I don’t eat pork at all…

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For dessert I went for chocolate macaroon with hazelnut cream filling and convinced my husband to take the strawberry cheesecake so that I could taste both…I got some red dessert wine with it, it was almost like a port wine. My husband got some super tasty Riesling dessert wine from Germany.  The combinations of flavours were just fantastic.

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How beautiful are these desserts!!!?

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I ordered black coffee with my dessert too. It was an amazingly tasty coffee, I guess Michelin star restaurants need to choose their coffees carefully too. They brought more cakes with it…luckily my husband had some room in his tummy.. I could not fit anything in…

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The food was so tasty, beautifully presented, each ingredient on the plate had its purpose. My husband was so fascinated about this eating experience that told me we needed to go again as it was so amazing. We have been fine dining a fair bit. Unfortunately I so often get disappointed not only due to the food but usually just the setting, I don’t like pretentious restaurants with white table cloths and dry waiters. This place was great. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, teppanyaki setting and music being rather loud which gave the restaurant an edgy club vibe.

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I warmly recommend this place. They do now the same menu as their pre-theatre menu. If you have a chance to go to L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon go, don’t miss your chance!