Thursday, March 5, 2009

Belated Valentine's dinner

I tend to avoid doing restaurant reviews in this blog for a couple of reasons. One, there are soooo many others doing that, and they are much better at it than I am. Two, coming here as a student with a student budget & student friends didn't really equal to dining in interesting restaurants, mostly the usual cheap eats, chinatown or budget pasta restaurants where all the students seem to go to. Only now, with a steady income, I started trying new stuff.. plus, all my friends are generally working now, so we start to move pass that budget living and start enjoying life, still nothing too fancy I'm afraid. Something slightly better to satisfy my foodie appetite. Unless, in my case, when the parents come to visit. Or what I like to refer as "my walking ATM machine". Especially when my dad visits, he always love trying new restaurants, and what makes him my favourite is because he always said "let's go eat at some place that you normally can't afford, while i'm here", ahh, those words to me are magic. Extensive research through The Age Good Food Guide always in order before he arrives. He's the reason I ever set foot inside Vue de Monde. Finally, the biggest reason why I'm reluctant to do reviews is because I still feel awkward pulling my camera and snapping away everytime the food arrives at the table. Especially in fancy restaurants!!However, I felt I owe my restaurant knowledge to these blogs that do restaurant reviews. I felt that I should pay my contribution to pass on my experience, eventhough it's only my personal opinion.

Last Friday night, M and I had our belated Valentine's dinner. Not because we were too busy that we put it of almost a month later, we just like to avoid the Valentine's rush. This is how we normally celebrate Valentine's day, a flower for me, and a nice quiet dinner a week after. We always try to look for something new that we never tried before. Well, this would mostly be on my part, he is not fuss about the type of restaurants, as long as it's not gonna cost him and arm and a leg. After much consultation hours in various blogs and my trusty little foodie bible The Age Good Food Guide, I condures up a little list of restaurants I find interesting and worth trying. Amongst them are The Italian, The French Brasserie, Panama Dining Room and Matteo's. The French & Italians are quite pricey, and considering my budget this month, I decided to put it aside. I'm leaning towards Matteo the minute I read their menu and see "Oysters in six ways". My favourite!!

You can imagine my rage when I look at the menu on the day, and that appetizer is none existence!! What a way to ruin my mood! But I was already hypnotize from the ambience of the restaurant. From the outside, it's nothing to be impressed about, Matteo's is located in the middle of residential area in Fitzroy North where it's habitant is more quirky than posh. So to have a sleek decor with warm purple tone throughout is quite a nice surprise. Their food was fantastic too! I read in the book, Matteo's take pride in serving modern Western dishes with a slight Asian edge. Even the bread basket had an asian touch to it. Instead of the usual olive oil dip, there's a sprinkling of what it appears to be some dried wakame with toasted sesame seed. Sprinkle that on top of your butter on a crusty artisan bread and your tongue is happily dancing around in seaweed heaven.

We ordered the fish plate for appetizer served three ways (no photos of this I'm afraid, I was too busy eating). all three of them had a very unique and tasty dressing one is more thai oriented, one Japanese with a definite hit of wasabi, and one is chinese. yum yum yum.. For the main course I ordered the wagyu beef with pea mash and wagyu croquette and M had the sesame glazed Balmain bug tails, seared scallops & veal sweetbreads in a Yakitori sauce, Asian coleslaw with shredded pork & jellyfish (minus the pork of course). He didn't feel like ordering dessert, but being the sweet tooth, I ordered the warm, dark chocolate fondant pudding, coconut milk gelato. I had doubts of the coconut milk gelato, but boy was I mistaken.. It was DELISH! very creamy and light, a perfect compliment for the rich, sultry, gooey chocolatey goodness of the fondant. To wrap things up, M had a glass of latte and he said it was really good coffee. I can only sniff it's aroma since I'm giving up coffee as one of my things to sacrifice during lent.

533 Brunswick St
Ph: (03) 9481 1177

1 comment:

  1. Hi Asti, this is a great post! Would you be interested in seeing your work about local places syndicated on local news blogs? See Fitzroy and Brunswick for examples. Many local bloggers are contributing. There's no advertising and no exploitation of your content - just a convenient way for local people to read local news. To contribute please add suburb categories, tags or labels to your posts, such as 'Fitzroy', 'Brunswick', etc and let me know you've done this. RSS feeds for these tags are created and added to the local news sites. You may find that syndication brings more traffic to your blog and more comments from readers!