Mediterranean Ristorante

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We experience “outside” dining inside, thanks to the flies that insisted on joining us,
This place has oil and they ain’t afraid to use it!
Overall great food, great service and some enticing menu items beg us to revisit.

MediteranneancafeBrighton3-3-1024x768.jpgDiners today we were at Meditteranean Ristorante, a cute little place on the corner of  Broadway and Partridge Street in Glenelg.

Our day had been messed up again and we hadn’t had lunch. Although it was before 5pm, they said they were serving dinner which was a huge plus for us.

The staff greeted us as soon as they saw us and were friendly and inviting.
We chose to sit indoors as the sun was a little warm and there were flies everywhere!
Unfortunately, because the doors are open, there were flies all through the inside of the restaurant too and this would have been my biggest negative of the whole experience.
It’s just not comfortable when you have to keep swatting flies away before they land on your food.

The restaurant itself has a really comfortable feel with wood and maroon tones throughout. Some of the furniture looked a little worn but it just added to the comfort feel of the place.


We were given some menus and it was one of those menu’s where the more you read, the more you change your mind on what you’re going to order. There were so many things I could have had on there and in the end, went for a boring option (But one I enjoy) I really want to go back and try some of the other yummy things I saw.

Hubby decided to get an entree and salad. He chose and entree from the specials board.
Char-grilled haloumi pieces topped with fresh prosciutto, rocket, pistachios. Served with warm pita bread. Being an haloumi and prosciutto fan, he just couldn’t go past this dish!

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This was the first dish that came out and look how pretty that looks on the plate! You almost don’t want to eat it for fear of messing it up!

He said it had a wonderful sweetness to it and loved the pistachio’s that were mixed throughout. What you see on the plate there alongside the balsamic glaze is honey! At least that’s what it tasted like and hubby said the flavour combinations of all the elements together were just divine.  This was definitely his favourite.

He also had the Mediterranean Salad – House Special Chicken; Char-grilled marinated chicken served with mixed lettuce, tomato, cucumber, roasted capsicum, olives and feta with a white balsamic dressing, topped with tzatziki and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

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We both thought there was a good amount of chicken on there when the dish came out. The chicken was tender and seasoned well. The salad was dressed really well too and the tzatziki put a Mediterranean flair on the whole thing! His only complaint was that it was a salad and would have liked more lettuce leaves as a filler to make it look a little more substantial.

Boring me went for an old favourite, Fettuccine Ragu – Slow cooked tender braised chunks of beef with onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a rich red wine and tomato sauce.

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They brought out the Parmesan cheese so I was able to sprinkle that on myself. This was a real comforting dish. The pasta was cooked al-dente and the sauce was thick and rich. The beef was braised nice and was tender and flavourful.
My only complaint was that the sauce had a lot of oil in it which had pooled around the bottom of my plate. By the end of the meal I could taste it. It wasn’t overly unpleasant but I just kept thinking about my arteries clogging up.

Throughout our meal different servers came to check that everything was good and asked if we needed anything. They were attentive without being overbearing.
I should also add that the menu had fantastic wine choices too!

I’m really glad we finally got to visit this place as it’s been on our radar for quite some time and I’m eager to go back… maybe on a day where there aren’t too many flies around!
If you do visit, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed and it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from Jetty Rd, Glenelg and the beach so you’ll have plenty to do once your meal is done!

Have you been to Mediterranean Ristorante?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

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Rob Roy Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Great atmosphere,
Great food and
Great music!

Short and sweet introduction today!
rob-roy-hotel-pda-20140331172210809_lrgDiners today’s review is for the Rob Roy Hotel on Halifax St.

This building is rich in history! It is thought that the original building was built between 1842 and 1850.

Hubby and I have been quite keen to get here and see what the hotel has to offer as we’ve always heard good things about it.

Walking down Halifax St you immediately notice the Al-Fresco eating area and how lovely and serene it looks. I could easily imagine wasting a few hours of the afternoon here on a nice Summer day.

Another great thing about the Rob  Roy is that they have all day dining on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which is perfect for hubby and I who tend to have schedules that mean we eat at strange times of the day.

We got there on a Sunday afternoon about 3.45pm and there were lots of people enjoying the sunshine outside, and quite a few inside too, waiting for the band to start.

The décor inside is pretty simple and clean. Lots of wood, black and copper colours which probably doesn’t show up too much in the photos I took.


There’s definitely a friendly vibe to this place.

The menu was pretty enticing! Lots of good choices and of course, pub favourites.

We decided to start with Prawn Beurre BlancPrawns, chorizo, garlic, onion, smoked paprika, dried chilli beurre blanc & bread

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While this wouldn’t have been my first choice for an entrée, it was a perfect way to start a meal. I was a bit worried that the chilli would make it too hot but they added just enough to give the dish a kick. I loved the pizza style bread the most and used that to mop up that absolutely delicious sauce. I even told hubby he could have all the prawns (although I did taste one and they were perfectly tender and flavourful)  and chorizo if I could have the rest of that bread.

For main I chose the Mexican Bean Burger Mexican chilli bean with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, chipotle mayo & coriander

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I just loved every bite of this burger! The bean patty was so delicious I think I want all my future burgers to like this! The sour cream and guacamole had been added to the perfect proportions and honestly there was nothing I could fault. I would probably have preferred a different style bun but that’s a personal preference..

Hubby chose the 350gram Scotch Fillet cooked medium rare however a waiter came out a little while after I ordered and said they had run out and would he mind if they cooked him the rib eye instead?
He tried not to show his elation and said “Well if I have no choice….” but was beside himself when the waiter walked away…

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When the meal came out, the waiter added that the chef was worried the size of the meat was smaller than expected so he added another piece. This was turning out to be hubby’s lucky day!!!!!
He was absolutely elated with everything on his plate. The meat was beautifully tender, the mash was seasoned beautifully, in fact, he added some of the garlic butter that was on top of his meat to the mash…

We’ve had some really good dining experiences lately and this was no exception.

We even lingered longer than we normally do because the band was playing songs from our era and we enjoyed an extra drink or two while listening to them.

It really was a great afternoon and I’d really encourage people do come on down and visit the Rob Roy Hotel and experience it for themselves.

Have you been to the Rob Roy?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

 

 

 

East of Norman

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Fat fries rule
Friendly wait staff rule more and
Good food and atmosphere rulest the most!

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Diners today we were at East of Norman, a funky little newish establishment on Sturt St in the city.

I was wondering how this place got its name and then noticed the street a few metres away was indeed called Norman.

Nothing like calling it as it is.

We walked into a room with a great feel. Already there were groups of people enjoying lunch. Modern jazz music was playing and staff greeted us at the door.

I love the industrial look decor. I was told East of Norman has been around for about a year now but this was the first I’d heard of it and I was glad we’d decided to stop in today.

The menu was ok. There were a nice selection of pizzas on there, plus a few share platters and some mains.  I was hoping for a bit more of a selection but if they cook everything they have on the menu as well as what we had today, they’re doing ok!

We started off with our staple…. some fries to share.

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Look at those fat fries!!! There was something really different about them. It was almost like they’d been roasted. They were full and fat and had such a delicious flavour to them. The aioli was creamy and a perfect accompaniment.
I should also add that this was a very generous serve!

While we ate the tables filled with what I presumed to be work groups and it made it seem like we were dining in a very popular place.

For main hubby chose the Wagyu Cheese Burger with chips, aioli, tomato chutney, pickles and smoked cheddar.

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Yes there are more of those gorgeous fat fries on that plate!! He was in heaven!
The first thing hubby said though was although the bread was toasted, it actually seemed cold, but that was his only complaint. He said the burger itself was really delicious. It was like a home made burger that had been barbecued. Everything married up really well including the chutney which surprised him a little. I kept asking if he could taste cheese because I couldn’t see any but he said it was in there!

My first choice was the burger as well but I didn’t want to get the same as him so I decided to go for the Tajine on a whim! Chickpea and Vegetable Tajine with Pizza Bread

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This dish would be a perfect Winter warmer and even though we are in Summer, I just loved every spoonful!!! It had just enough heat to keep things interesting and that sauce was delicious and flavoursome. I kept dipping my Pizza Bread in there to mop it up, not wanting any to go to waste!

By the time we left the place was full. The waitress answered a few questions I had and I gave her some feedback, telling her we really loved everything – especially the fries!
She said a lot of people give the same feedback and it was great to hear.

I would have loved to have tried on of their pizzas. I saw a few on different tables and they looked really good!! I guess that will have to wait for next time.

I’m not really sure who they market themselves too. There are quite a few residential apartments around there so maybe to the residents? And while they are still classified as CBD, there aren’t a huge amount of businesses out there.

Whatever their marketing strategy is, it seems to be working and with their cooking and hosting skills, I’d have no hesitation in recommending East of Norman for your casual work function!

Have you been to East of Norman?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

St Francis Winery

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Potential elegance awaits,
Pretty food wows diners and
The specials boards entices us to eat things we wouldn’t normally….

898718-st-francis-wineryDiners today we made a trip to St Francis Winery which is on Old South Rd at Reynella.
The website says the Winery was established around 1852 and if you’d like to know more about the history of the property I’d encourage you to have a look through their website.

As for us, we were just having lunch today although it is a perfectly picturesque place to have a wedding or other function. In fact, I must mention I remember coming here a few years ago when I was part of a female barberhop quartet and singing at one of those functions!

As you walk into the main dining area you get a feeling that you’re walking into an elegant room. On closer inspection you notice that perhaps it could do with a complete refurbishment. The furniture and carpets look a little dated but what this room does have going for it are the pretty green views from the large windows.

The staff were very courteous and guided us to a table. The menu had some really interesting things on there, including a share plate as part of their “specials” board, that had crocodile on there! Well we just had to try that!

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From left we had Peking Duck shanks, Tempura soft shell crab, Salt and Pepper Crocodile and a Crispy Asian Salad. I guess the salad was under the Tempura soft shell crab.

What I loved about this share plate was that we got to try things we wouldn’t have normally eaten. Now I have had crocodile once before, and that was in Cairns. The crocodile on this dish was a much “chunkier” piece and I got to have a good taste. I remembered what I’d said about it the first time I’d eaten it. It seems to have a taste that’s in between seafood and meat. It’s not a tender meat, but it does have a slight seafood taste. It can be tough and stringy and yet there’s something pleasing about it also – That could have something to do with the way it was cooked and flavours that came with it but I really liked it.
The next thing I tried was the Peking Duck. I’m not sure what the “Peking” part actually means but these were cold slices. They tasted ok and as expected were very similar to chicken. It was just a little strange having a cold meat on a dish that had two other hot meats.
The Tempura soft shell crab was also interesting. I must admit it was a lot “mooshier” on the inside than I was expecting. I have no idea what it’s supposed to taste like, I can only comment on what I ate. It was cooked in a very crispy and tasty batter so I enjoyed it, but I can’t say I got to taste a lot of the crab.
The share plate came presented really nicely and again, I’m glad we ordered this and got to try a few things we normally wouldn’t have.

While we waited for our mains I saw other plates coming out, including a few dishes I’d been tossing up between and they looked really good!!! Everything coming out looked so pretty on the plate! I like that they place a lot of importance on presentation, without skimping on the size of the meal.

For main, hubby ordered from the specials board also. He picked the Beef Brisket.
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I noticed this on the specials board too but couldn’t get past a bad experience we had with Beef Brisket at another establishment….
But look at how good it looks! Those vegetables especially!
I offered to trade one of my potatoes for one of those onions on hubby’s plate but he said no way.
He said the meat was tender and had a nice smoky flavour. The vegetables were a great accompaniment and the mash had a nice, subtle, garlic flavour.
I’d probably be more inclined to have this on a cold Winter’s night than a humid Summer day but still, he enjoyed what he had.

For main I chose the Atlantic Salmon
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This Salmon had the best and most crispiest skin I’ve had since I started reviewing. It was really beautiful to eat. If it had been cooked any longer, the Salmon would have been in danger of being too dry but as it was, it was cooked well and had a beautiful colour and taste to it.
I’m not too sure what was on top of the salad but that was nice and fresh. The vegetables were crispy and gave the dish a nice colour variation!

I really liked the way we were treated by the wait staff too. They were present but not so much that it ruined your dining experience.

The one little negative, probably not worth mentioning but I will, was I tried the wine they recommended, and I can’t say I liked it – That’s kind of disappointing when you’re dining at a Winery however it was a minor thing.

Have you been to St Francis Winery?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!

Till next we chow…

Darwin – Day 2

I slept like a baby last night! Of course it helped that the hotel’s air conditioning was on at full blast.

gum.jpgDarwin doesn’t have daylight saving so it was still quite early when I woke. I remembered the hotel gym opened at 6am so I decided to go down there early and get in some k’s on the treadmill before hubby woke up.

At 6.01am the gym still wasn’t open so I went down to reception to see if perhaps I’d gotten the time wrong.
I wonder if a guest has ever chased the staff about opening the gym before??

Hubby ended up coming down ninety minutes later and after a quick shower, we hopped into the pool to cool down.

We wanted to stay active and looked for a few things to do. We had wanted to go to the Aviation Museum but didn’t want to use a taxi or the bus. It was probably too far to walk with this humidity, so we decided to go to the “Qantas Hangar” instead.

The Hangar was about four kilometres from where we were staying and off we trotted on foot. I think hubby perspired at least ten buckets worth only to find when we got there, that we hadn’t really researched what the Hangar was….
I was more than a little disappointed but oh well, we got to talk to a few locals at the Parap shops and that’s always nice.

We saw a man waiting at a bus stop and asked him how soon the bus was coming. Lucky for us, there was one just about due and while we waited he pretty much told us his life story. Everyone has a story here! It was really interesting talking to him and it made the trip worthwhile.

fullsizerender15The bus took us right back to the Waterfront so we hopped off there to get some lunch. This time we were NOT going to go to the Hot Tamale.

Instead we ended up at Fiddlers Green.

The staff here were fairly friendly. They work hard to entice you in.

Hubby went for a couple of entree’s. SMOKED SALMON BLINIS- Salmon on potato pancakes with dill, Sour cream, capers & red onion jam and a BASKET OF WEDGES – Served with sweet chilli sauce & sour cream


He absolutely loved the potato pancakes. “Why can’t you make them like that?” he asked. Hmmm, I’ll have to try harder. They were really delicious and I know because I was allowed a taste test! I think he allowed it so that I know how to make them….

I went for the THE BOOKIE’S SANDWICH – 150g scotch fillet steak, with onion, tomato Lettuce, mustard mayo & fries

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You just can’t go by a good honest steak sandwich. It was just what I felt like.
The steak was cooked well and the onions and mayo… just yum!
The dining room could do with a bit of refurbishment as a lot of it was looking a bit old and dated.
It was also just a little disappointing that they were so friendly when trying to get us in, but less so when we were actually in there. But, again, you get what you pay for and we couldn’t fault the food.

fullsizerender10After lunch we continued walking and found ourselves walking past Northern Territory’s Living Marine Educational Discovery Centre where outside the building it’s advertised as being Darwin’s most interesting attraction with a quality coffee shop.

I didn’t take a picture of the Quality Coffee shop sign OR the Coffee shop itself… which is really too bad. I can vouch for it though because I saw a percolator on the counter.

Eventually we walked back to our room, changed into our bathers and spent a good hour in the hotel pool along with a couple of other guests.What a nice way to cool down!

We decided to visit Sky City Casino for dinner so after a bit of a nap  refreshing ourselves in our room, we walked to the Casino.


There are a few restaurants to choose from but hubby couldn’t go past the buffet.
We walked in and asked if we could look at the food before deciding if we’d eat here. Is that weird? The server kind of looked at us strangely so I guess she hasn’t been asked that question before!


We saw SO MUCH seafood! We don’t even really eat seafood but we saw enough to know that this was the place for us.

What we did eat was so very tasty! It was really hard to slow down and enjoy but we forced ourselves because we wanted to try a little bit of everything.
My favourite was probably the special fried rice.
They topped up the food regularly and ensured everything we were having was fresh.
The views from the restaurant were quite pretty too!

Unfortunately, where our table was located, we were not able to enjoy the view with our dinner.

What we did have however, was a birds eye view of the dessert table, complete with a chocolate fountain!

It definitely was a hit with the children!
What I loved about the desserts was that they were all small serves so we got a few things between us to share.
They also had a bread and butter pudding. One diner lamented the absence of custard to go with it “How can they have a bread and butter pudding without custard???” she exclaimed to me.
I just shrugged. There was cream and ice cream so that was good enough for me.

We finished off the night with a bit of luck at the Black Jack table. Hubby doesn’t do that often and I’m always nervous when he does but it usually works in his favour.

I don’t have a full day’s worth to make a “Day Three” post but it was pretty funny to see our taxi driver flirt shamelessly  with hubby on the way to the airport. It was like I wasn’t in the car at all!! I’m half expecting a facebook friend request to come through for hubby from the taxi driver… I mean there’s friendly and friendly….

I also have lots to tell you about the Qantas Club lounge that we were lucky enough to use. Qantas club, Business class tickets… I could get used to this life!!

So we survived a couple of days in Darwin during the wet season.
Have you been there?
What your experience been like? I’d love to know!!

Spoon You Fork Me/The Dining Diaries will be returning in the regular format from Monday the 16th of January.

Thanks for reading!