Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Naked for Satan

After Sarah and I had lunch at Mandalay Bay we dropped into the studio of the mad millinery genius Richard Nylon, viewed the Tutankhamum Exhibition (which I might add was beautifully curated as there were a number of signage points and you could travel the entire circumference of each display. However I was a tad disappointed that there wasn't the opportunity to view the death mask, sarcophagus or board a fun park ride. Seriously, hear me out. As the initial entry started with a short film and a verbal introduction in a fully enclosed room, I was expecting to be startled by a faux crisis and shuffled into a little red cart ... but alas I was wrong.) and made the decision to board a tram back to the hotel and freshen up. But we made a minor miscalculation, so we spent the next hour cruising the inner city streets of Melbourne on a City Circle Tram, until we were back at Brunswick Street and entering the coppery light of Naked for Satan.

As your eyes adjust, one of the first thing you will spot is the main bar's steam punk inspired copper drums. These drums are infusing a number of flavoured vodka's onsite and fit into the bar's back story of a Russian immigrant bootlegging in the nude. Though Naked for Satan appears to be quite small, continue walk up the stairs to an expanse of tables, hidden nooks and wait staff serving you drinks and gorgeous pintxos. Pintxos cost no more than $2 each and it's the perfect concept or a bar as the bread fills you up and as you pay per tooth pick, it means no squabbling over the bill! I'm not sure how much Naked for Satan loses on dishonesty but each guest gets their own little shot glass to place their tooth picks and all you have to do is take them to the counter when you are done.

Though there are a number of vegetarian options, the Naked for Satan pintxos bar concept really suits those who like meat, cheese and carbs. As I like all of these things, drinkies and a touch of naughty, I'd be more than happy to return there. Hope you get naked soon!

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Address: 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065,
Open: Sunday - Tuesday: 12pm - 12am. Wednesday - Saturday: 12pm - 1am.
Phone: (03) 9416 2238
Price: Pintxos: $2 each.

Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

Mandalay Bay

The funny about Australian capital cities is no matter which one you are in, there are always similar elements. For example the style of Brisbane Arcade is remarkably similar to the Strand (Sydney), Adelaide Arcade and Royal Arcade (Melbourne) and Brunswick Street in Melbourne has striking similar to Brisbane with its eclectic mixture of boutique fashion, bars and dining options. As Sarah and I ambled the full stretch of Brunswick Street, we decided it would be prudent to stop for lunch at Mandalay Bay.

The restaurant was basic but clean and we both quickly settled on bowls of steaming Pho. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup which comprises of rice noodles, flavoursome clear stock, topped with a choice of beef or chicken and dish of mint, bean sprouts, chili etc. The photograph featured above is my bowl of Beef Pho and it came out piping hot and perfectly seasoned. The tender beef was sliced thinly and I enjoyed every mouthful of this ample dish, sprinkled liberally with bean sprouts. They were just gorgeous as they quickly absorbed the flavoursome soup.

This is Sarah's Chicken Pho and the meal are worth above and beyond the $10 a bowl, price point. I really enjoyed the experience and wished this little restaurant was located back in Brisbane's Brunswick Street.

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Address: 183 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC 3065,
Open: Monday - Sunday. 11:30am - 3pm. 5pm - 11pm.
Phone: (03) 9486 0880
Price: Entree: $4 - $9. Main: $9 - 19.

Pho 54 Mandalay Bay on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cumulus Inc

Miss Sarah and I recently completed a jam packed tour of Melbourne which included seeing Ganesh Versus the Third Reich, NGV Winter Masters: Vienna Art & Design, Tutankhamun, dropping into the studio of the mad but brilliant Milliner: Richard Nylon, exploring the Victoria Markets and of course visiting Cumulus Inc. Located on Flinders Lane, Cumulus Inc is a gorgeous, hive of activity offering patron's Andrew McConnell stylish cuisine.

We were lucky enough to be escorted to a seat over looking the kitchen and though I was thrilled with my bird's eye view. I was a little concerned that this might be a dead zone for service. But how wrong I was, as I was soon offered this gorgeous creamy mocha, all my menu questions were explained and when I was starting to look thirsty again, a waitress appeared and an order for green tea was placed.

This is a photograph of Miss Sarah's Cumulus Inc Breakfast which features a boiled egg, toast, a selection of preserves just bursting with fruit, yoghurt, organic orange juice and includes a tea or coffee. It was just brilliant stuff.

However I decided that I needed to order this gorgeous Smoked Salmon, Asparagus dish topped with a luxurious 65/65 egg. What's a 65/65 egg you ask? Well I had the same question and the waitress politely informed me that this was an egg slow poached in its shell. It was just an amazing result, much like the warm Madeleine's filled with Lemon Curd. Much to my delight Cumulus Inc will be releasing a cookbook on October 31 and you can order a signed one from the restaurant. So if you are in Melbourne, visit the gorgeous place, collect a biscuit and pick up a copy of the cook book so you too can relive all the magic! Oh come back Melbourne! You're so arty, your people are well dressed and CBD is full of attractive men in suits!

Rating: 4.5 out 5.
Address: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000.
Open: Monday - Friday: 7am - 11pm. Saturday - Sunday 8am - 11pm.
Phone: (03) 9650 1445.
Price: Breakfast: $7 - $18. Entree: $6 - $26. Mains: $26 - $36. Dessert: $2.50 - $17.

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mullet and Co.

Renee of The Pantry Review always comments how how consistent I am with my blogging. But alas, I've lately been missing in action and I would like to extend the fluffy chick of apology (Nous) to my faithful readers. I have so much to tell you but I've been distracted by The Off the Cuff Festival, a Melbourne Sojourn, How to be a Man and the Oceania Tobacco Control Conference. I vow to get back to writing and I would like to start by giving you a poultry update.

Harriett, Rouge, Minuetto and Largo have now become gorgeous pullets and we expect to be setting the first eggs before Christmas. Though I was sad to see Souffle and Gertie go, I was really lucky to find a hobby farm home for my boys and they will now have a harem of gorgeous hens to attend to.

It's now spring time and another gorgeous batch of chicks have arrived. These chicks are a range of breeds that include Gold Laced Wyandotte (Churchill is pictured above left), Silkie (Mullet is pictured above right), Plymouth Rock and Light Sussex.

When we were deciding on breeds of chicken, my brother floated the idea of having a Silkie. I raised an eyebrow and said to him, "Dweeb, you know how everything can be mapped to circle theory? Far left and far right are the same. Elderly drivers attending the Caravan Camping and Touring Expo and teenage drivers attending Supanova are the same, shite drivers who drive the wrong way down, one way streets. However your chicken, doesn't fit on it. It's so stupid that you can't even tell the back from the front." "I've already named it," my brother replied. "What's that?" I asked. "Dandelion." I groaned as this request was coming from a 24 year old man. But still humoured him and Dandelion arrived. Sadly Dandelion didn't make it but for the brief time he was there, he made an impression and thus Mullet arrived. Mullet was actually named by a coworker, who jokingly referred to him as Moo-lay and thus the name stuck. It's hard not to love him, so for your viewing pleasure, here are some more photos for Mullet and Co.

The little chick to the left is a Light Sussex named Blanca and ever noisy Churchill in the background. Churchill is actually quite anti-social and rarely quiet. In fact this bird, even peeps in its sleep!

A final photo of Mullet and Co. Though you can't see him the other Light Sussex chick's name is Pippin.