Tuesday, April 20, 2010


On Friday March 19th after much anticipation I met some friends at the Dancing Dog cafe for the beginning of the Footscray Progressive Dinner. The Cost $65 a head - wine not included! Our Mayor was present and gave us a little speech, I have to say that he looked very young to be the mayor and a great impression was not made.
We were divided into 3 groups. At the dancing dog we were entitled to one free alcoholic drink and there were nibbles, nothing innovative, just your standard dips, turkish bread, cheese, etc.

My group then moved on to Masters Restaurant in Hopkins street. I was glad we came here because it got a good write up last year so it had been on my list for a visit. Here it was bedlam! Very difficult to get a drink, in fact they didn't even offer us any wine. As we did not know this would be the case, it was again disappointing. There was plenty of food here, in fact far too much considering we still had two more stops. There were spring rolls, sesame prawn toasts, chicken and sweet corn soup (a little too cool for my liking), san choi bao, I mean really that was a meal in itself. I sat there looking across the road at Huy Huy wishing I was there with my family.

At some point we were told it was time to move on and up we got and walked around to Lalibela, the African restaurant. This would be my 3rd time visiting this restaurant. The first time I liked it and second time I hated it. I was disappointed that we got this African restaurant as the other groups got different African restaurants, which I would have preferred to try.
Anyway -  I thought it was disgusting! A few curries, the lamb (mutton) tough with no flavor what so ever and the chicken, (sorry I meant one chicken wing between four peopleP), also disappointing. Only one beer available although 7 advertised on the menu. The beer available, African! It was embarrassing really, is that why they fed us so much at Masters, they must have known we'd need it. How this restaurant is in the cheap eats guide, I don't know. I'm starting to wonder whether they have actually been there in the last two years or whether they just do reprints from the previous years.

The final destination was back to the Dancing Dog Cafe for Dessert and coffee. HHMMMM! What's for Dessert?  Nothing much, really! Slices- you know the ones. You can buy these slices anywhere, even coles(ooops maybe that's who the supplier was). Peppermint Slice, Lemon Slice and so on. How unimpressed was I considering I'm normally a desserts girl. Not only though were these slices generic they were cut
so big it put you off attempting any. No fear I thought, I'll just have a hot chocolate. Previously I have told you how high I rate the Dancing Dog Cafe's hot chocolate. Unfortunately once again, and the last time for
the evening, I was unimpressed. I won't go on any further but needless to say I thought the whole night was a complete rip off. I could have been eating a lovely fulfilling meal at Huy Huy with my family and for the cost of less than one ticket to the Footscray Progressive Dinner.

There is a lesson in that!

Seddon is also hosting a Progressive Dinner, with Le Chien, Touks and Sabrosso's participating. It is on the 28th April and costs $70 - wine included! Need I say more!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cafe Urbano

43 Anderson St, Yarraville 3013.
Ph: (03) 9687 1198

So it has changed hands! OMG, that wonderful cabinet of food, Gone, Gone Gone. It bothers me when something good, ceases to exist. But that's life, constantly changing. However the changes aren't that big (yet), at Cafe Urbano.

The menu remains the same and obviously the name hasn't changed. The new owners have introduced some Thai dishes on the specials blackboard and I look forward to trying something for lunch one of these days. I just wonder how long before their natural instincts will take over and the whole menu will be Thai. Not a bad thing in my books, however is there room for another Thai restaurant in SKY.

Rachael and I had the discussion over breakfast about the chef's authenticity in any restaurant. If the chef is from Thailand should he/she just be cooking Thai food and so on with Italian and Greek and Lebanese. There are a few Australian Chef's cooking food from different cultures and a perfect example of this is David Thompson who is famous for cooking for the Thai Government in Thailand and promoting their food and culture. So can just anyone do this? In my opinion NO! A perfect example of this is Pub food. More often than not a pub menu can represent 3 to 4 different nationalities. Does this mean that the chef is an expert in each of these cuisines? I don't think so! I know I've digressed a little but my point is that your origins and your experiences make up what you are good at so if you have grown up in Thailand and then come to Australia to cook, I would say that your Thai food would be authentic and successful but if you tried cooking unfamiliar cuisines, would you have the knowledge and experience to make it just as successful? Mmmmmm.

Nevertheless the food was quite good. I ordered the untoasted muesli with yoghurt and compote of fruit (on my heath kick again) . It was okay however there could have been twice as much compote and considering all the beautiful fruits that are in season at the moment the compote could have had more than prunes and figs in it. Rachaels' omelette looked nice, perhaps a little oily from where I was sitting and she seemed to enjoy it. The coffee is $3.00 for a small and $4.00 for a large and tea is $3.50 ( I did not see which brand they used). I had peppermint tea which was nice. As said earlier I really look forward to trying some of their Thai food(perhaps some Thai influences on the breakfast menu would be interesting) but I wonder how the rest will go.