Hi folks, you get three for the price of one today!
This post contains quick reviews of three places I have eaten at recently. I decided to combine them as they were a bit light on for one post each.
We’ll start in Box Hill, at DC Dumplings, the self-proclaimed dumpling specialists.
One of many places to enjoy dumplings on Station street, DC was quiet when we wandered in around 11:30am one Saturday.
A flask of hot tea was quickly provided, along with an extensive menu.
J had been here before and only wanted the Shang Hai Xiao Longs Bao, so two serves of these soupy dumplings were ordered.
I wanted to try at least one other dish, so ordered the spring onion pancake.
It was a tad dry but had decent flavour and dipping it into the provided soy or chilli sauces livened it up.
Our Xiao Long Bao came out hot in layered steamers (eight per serve).
They were perfectly formed and had an excellent amount of soup in them. And the soup had a lovely subtle flavour and wasn’t watery. Superb dumplings.
Let’s move into the city for the next restaurant.
“That place is always busy”
Either J or I would always say the above whenever we drove or walked past Tazio on Flinders Lane, so when Miss SoCal suggested it for a Friday night catch up I readily agreed.
We were seated at a table down the back in the lower section so I couldn’t really get a shot of the restaurant.
The staff were all friendly and efficient.
We shared two Margarita pizzas (tomato, fior di latte, oregano and sea salt).
Excellent, but one was a bit blonder than the other.
J had the cotoletta (crumbed veal with a wholegrain mustard potato salad and mixed greens).
He devoured it but thought it was a tad undercooked.
And I had the Polpette di nonna (pork and veal meatballs with fresh young basil and parmesan)
I did not eat, or need, the bread, so left that, but I thought the meatballs were superb. They were super moist and the tomato sauce complimented the mild flavour beautifully.
While it does not get the same level of attention as its neighbours, Tazio does simple Italian food at a reasonable price (and it takes bookings!). I would go back for a quick pizza and a vino, but the chefs do need to make sure everything is cooked properly.
The night after Tazio, we were back in the Eastern suburbs, this time at Ambrosia in Camberwell.
This smallish family-run restaurant is opposite the Rivioli theatre and offers Mediterranean cuisine.
We were dining with The Kiwi and KD and ordered the Mediterranean dip platter to start with (caviar, garlic and yogurt, eggplant, feta cheese and chilli, peppers, beetroot, lima beans and olives).
J had the lamb fillets skewered (marinated in mixed herbs and lemon oil).
The Kiwi had the chicken fillets skewered (marinated in mustard, herbs and lemon oil). She thought they were a tad too salty.
KD (my gorgeous hand model) had the fish of the day.
We all liked the potatoes on our dishes and the protein was rated as good for the fish, and OK for the lamb skewers.
I had the stuffed quails with baby spinach, ricotta cheese and baked in the oven.
Far from the best quail dish I have had, the meat was dry and serving them whole made them hard to eat. And the stuffing seemed to be sitting between the two birds, not actually inside. I should have stuck to a grilled dish like the others.
There was also a salad to share…
The service started off really great but went downhill when it got busier. We had to ask for water to get topped up, and it eventually did, after we asked again. My second glass of wine never turned up and we did not get offered any desserts. We had to ask about dessert when the waiter asked if we wanted any coffee. They don’t have a dessert menu, you just get told what is on offer on the day. We had seen both desserts come out at the table next to us and they looked good, but we decided the better option would be to go back to The Kiwi and KD’s place and eat caramel Lindt balls!