French kiss me, Mr Croque.

. . .

[Bibo, 205 Sturt Street Ballarat 3350]

That below is an sneaky shot of the menu front cover…. it is also pretty much what I look like in the face of great food lending to the embarrassing “Homer Simpson drool” moments I often experience. The longer the wait, the longer the drool, and the harder the food needs to work to satisfy… if you get my drift?

Basically, we waited for quite a L-O-OOOOOONG time for the food to arrive, and as I was a hungry little hippo, I thought I was going to eat my ARM before the breaky beauties arrived. Luckily for lil Mr Bibo, his breakfast arrived, and it delivered! *Homer Simpson drool* (due to foodporn in the shape of fried, cheesy, melty yummies)

Menu, voi la!:

Eggs Florentine:

Just LOOK at the gorgeous fatty deliciousness. mmmmm

Croque Monsieur:

Oui monsieur, tres bien!

The food was pretty tasty, but the service lacked immensely. Which leads me to a question I often ask : Would you prefer good food/Bad service, or vice versa?

At the end of the day, its how the food tastes and looks etc… however the service and overall vibe of the venue plays part too. But we’ve all been to an eatery where the service is a real treat for the senses, and that all adds to the perfect breakfast experience.

ps. the place could do with a bit of a scrub and re-arranging, there seemed to be some very excellent booth areas that Mr and Mrs Cardboard box and his kids were occupying.

Next time you’re in “the rat”, be sure to at least pop by for a real treat. Just make sure you bring your patient hat, and hopefully it will be worth the wait!

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Bibo on Urbanspoon

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There was a party on the hill, did you want to come?

[Red Hill Brewery, 88 Shoreham Road RED HILL SOUTH 3937 ]


We all love a bit of fresh and new, and already this new year is gearing up to be filled with adventures and explorations of the culinary and epicurean kind.

As we get ready for a brand to fresh start, I will be playing catch up with a few of my favourite (edible) things from 2011… So bear with me as we run through some of the finest that never made it onto the pages of 2011….

Somewhere, well into the thrust of 2011, The Lovliness and I ventured out into the wilderness (Mornington Peninsula…hardly the wild) for the start of many road-trips to come.

First stop: Mornington Hot Springs for a proper relaxing soak
Second stop : Red Hill Brewery, just down the road for some ice cold bevs and a share platter.

* If you’re one little indecisive bunny like me, then its best to opt for a beer paddle (to sample a selection) and a share platter (ploughman’s platter as below).

T’was a truly wonderful day, and was just the very start of some serious road tripping.

Hope y’all had a wonderful start to 2012, and may this year be prosperous, joyous and filled with many lasting memories.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Red Hill Brewery on Urbanspoon

Weihnachtsmarkt [Christmas Markets] in Germany

[Trier, Germany]

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas… 🙂 [I’m totally singing to myself right now]

A lot of people seem dislike this time of year, for various reasons. But for me, I reaaaaaaaaaaally really love it!. Its energetic, frantic, emotional and usually a sign that schools, uni, work and WINTER is coming to a halt…however in the northern hemisphere, winter is FULL STEAM AHEAD… but less steam, MORE SNOW!

Being my first German Christmas/winter, everything is wonderful, and new and awe-inspiring. It truly is  a winter wonderland. Everything makes little more sense celebrating the holiday season when its ‘brain-freezingly’ cold. Like, singing ‘baby its cold outside’ when its ACTUALLY cold outside…

However, I crave the sun, the heat and wearing floaty shimmery dresses to christmas lunch/dinner and all December long.

For me, there is something very odd, but beautiful about rugging up to head outdoors this time of year… making sure you’re layered up like an onion and putting on your hats and scarves. But I think, as much as I adore it and admire it, I would take slipping on a floaty number, popping on my haviannas and wearing SUNSCREEN over a scarf any day…

Yes, I may sound a tad homesick, and maybe thats b/c in a few days I’ll be in Melbourne and sweating like a ‘p***’ eating my words :)…ahh *sigh* the grass is always greener…

Anywho, whilst being in the most random place in Europe, we discovered the joys of European Christmas – the Weihnachtsmart [Christmas markets]. But especially the on in our town – Trier Weihnachtsmarkt. And the sheer joy of Christmas market food!

*Gluhwein [mulled wine]
*Hot chocolate with baileys
*Eggnog

*Poffetjes [dutch pancakes]
*waffles
*crepes

*Schocofruecte [delicious chocolate covered fresh fruit]
*Mushrooms/panfried potatoes
*Potato cakes with apple sauce

and SO MUCH MORE!!!!

If you’re on a diet – forget about it. Indulge in deep-fried, sugar-coated salty numbers and pile on the christmas weight to keep you cosy for this jolly season.

Heres a Christmas mishmash of delicious yummies and the magical backdrop that was my home for the greater part of this year….Trier

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If you don’t celebrate christmas, I hope you enjoy your holiday season and for those who do, wherever you are I hope you’re enjoying some good food and taking time to reflect on the year that has been…2010.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

Angels in London [part 1]

[Delhi Grill, Angel]

Being in London again was a strange feeling – like awaking from a really vivid dream. I visited my old place of work, and caught up with my dearest ex-boss and it was like I’d never left. Except so much had changed, including myself.

It’s an amazing buzz just to be surrounded by the assorted energies London has to offer. Coming from the somewhat quiet ‘town’ of approx 100, 000 populated Trier [or 120,000, depending on who’s talking] it was a shell shock for approximately 1/2 hour, then the ‘city’ me kicked in…I walked a little faster and was  a little bit more aware of my surroundings. I whipped out my Oyster, as I whipped my hair back and forth…[hehe!]

I was getting the feeling that I could absolutely MURDER SOME INDIAN & ASIAN FOOD!!!! and pretty much as soon as I walked through customs, I was on my hunt for a) Amazing LDN Indian food & b) Salt pepper squid!!

We went to this amazing Indian place round the corner from Roy/zel’s on Chapel Market in Angel by the name of ‘Delhi Grill’

[I had an excess of images, so I bunged them all into a sweet package for your viewing pleasure….]

We feasted on Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Lentils, Samosas, Naan and Papadams. For dessert Kulfi was on the menu!! – I’ve never tried this before, but it was amazingly creamy and decadent.

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I think this is where I totally need to apologise for comments re: LDN food/customer service… I take it back. I really do, I have to give LDN credit for some perrrty good Indian, and Delhi Grill is, as they pride themselves on ‘Indian food as it should be…freshly ground spices, slow cooked and not swimming in oil. It was a delicious guilt free meal that was easy on the hip pocket.

If you like a bit of Indian to warm up a ‘brain-freeze’ worthy evening and NOT feel like you went for a curry swim – head to Delhi Grill, satisfaction guaranteed.

. . .

Tastefully yours,

Joanna

Birthday Breakfast Bonanza!!

[Eden Crown, Eindhoven]

The restaurant, ‘Simply Bread’, where we indulged in some serious breakfast action is also open to the public and it only open until 11.ooam. Therefore, it was incentive for us to awake bright and early to enjoy some Rooibos tea, hot or cold breakfast, and internet whilst discussing the night before.

Did I mention it was a BUFFET?? oh yum!!! oh sweet sweet yum!

[Images on the placemats]

I started off with what became my breakfast ritual:

* Fresh croissant
* Fresh tomatoes
* Brie
* Cumin seed cheese & swiss cheese
* Amazing bacon. [Seriously amazing lightly crunchy and the right amount of oil]
* Some kind of cold meat… still don’t know 😦
* Fresh fruit + yoghurt + honey

and for the bevvies, I always had a glass of water, freshly squeezed OJ and a delicious cup of South Africa’s finest Rooibos tea. YUM!!!

I fell in love with Rooibos tea a few years back when I was living in LDN, and a really good friend of mind [Shyam] had a Saffa roommate [who was so awesome!!] and he just LOVED the stuff, consequently got me hooked. I then moved back to Melbourne and couldn’t find it anyway, or rather…. my love of hot and iced Chai Lattes took over. It wasn’t until Eindhoven that Rooibos and I were once again reunited. Bless you Eindhoven :), so lovely in so many ways!!. 🙂

I write this as I reminisce one of the most relaxing holidays I’ve had in a while…and as I write, the snow in Trier has just started to fall. For a Melbourne girl living in Germany… this is truly magical. *sigh* Its like tiny pieces of fairy floss floating down from the heavens. At least if its going to be this cold, please let the roads be sugar-coated…

The Christmas markets/Weinachtsmarkt have begun, and the joyous spirit is all around…the snow just makes it that much more beautiful.

🙂

Hope you’re warm and cosy wherever you are…

. . .

Tastefully yours,

. . .

Gauchos = Grouchos…

[Gauchos, Eindhoven]

There are few words to describe this place…

The food-it was ok.

The service-was truly the most terrible I have ever experienced.

There were tables around us that hadn’t been cleared for almost an hour, or more even! and our food kept being served even though the last course hadn’t been cleared. At one point we had to actually stack the dished up high in the middle of the table….

As you can see below, our dessert [of Icecream and sauce] was served whilst our main course was still alive and breathing… awkward.

It didn’t make sense. The staff were physically there, but not in any mental or serving capacity.

It looked like a restaurant, smelt like a restaurant…but it didn’t ‘taste’ like one.

Although the photos don’t look so bad, I must tell you sitting around for approximately 45minutes [felt like 10 hours] between courses… is well so NOT ok!..

Anyway, we ordered, we waited, we ate…we almost didn’t pay. Then we left to ‘coffee shop’ our bad experience away. 🙂

Menus are beautiful to look at… but buyer beware!!

Entree: Mushroom soup.
Tasted pretty good, but we WERE starving, and had waited for a billion years for it to arrive, it wasn’t until we politely inquired where oh where our dishes were a couple of times did they arrive.

Entree: Calabrese Salad. With olives and iceberg lettuce…. hmm ok! [tasted pretty harmless though]

Main: Steak… I heard it was good.

My sad and lonely Salmon with some green and 2 yellows was also just ok. All they really needed to do was SEASON the crap out of it and fluff around with some presentation, and it would’ve been ok. ahh sigh… 😐

Service, ambience, presentation… all the things that really have nothing to do with the taste [directly], all heavily impact on the satisfaction result.
All these very simple things.

Look, I dunno, maybe there was an accident in the kitchen and thats why all the staff were being so strange….We’ll never know, but I tell you what, I’ll never be going back there again. I hate to say, I’d be so much more satisfied with fish ‘n’ chips or Maccas, at least I know what I’m in for.

Maybe thats just it, maybe our expectations were too high?

They were ‘talking the talking’ of being a restaurant, but not the walk…

They lured us in with great decor and well presented waiting staff, then trapped us in for one of the top 10 worst meals I’ve ever had. Sucks to be me. ;)FML

. . .

Tastefully yours,

. . .

The ‘grass’ is always greener…

[pink, Eindhoven]

Eindhoven, Holland… what a pleasant surprise.

Having booked tickets purely on curiously/great price alone, the birthday weekend group really didn’t know what we were in for. The weather forecast looked gloomy, google searches brought a whole lot of ‘not much’, but a fair bit of info on Fritz Philips

Almost as soon as we set foot in the country [Paul and I via train from Germany and the Londeners via Plane] we all sensed ‘a little something else’ in the air.

The air was fresh and the energy of the city was vibing and relaxed all at the same time!

We grabbed some quick but late dinner and wondered the streets of Eindhoven….seriously what a beautiful city.
Unknowingly, we had arrived during the final w/e of a Light installation in the city. It was cold, raining and grey, but the city was alive with bubbling friendly energy with truly magical lights to pave the way.

There was something about the place that reminded me of Melbourne, there was an energy… and ofcourse the cafes and restaurants. Eindhoven has a few over Melbs though…like the benefits of being in the Netherlands…two words: ‘coffee shop’

We went to a couple of places, Grasshopper and Pink. Pink was by far our favourite as it was a whole lot more friendlier and roomier.

We played cards and enjoyed the beauty of being in Eindhoven. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side…. 🙂

Ps. they have delicious cookies here 😉

. . .

Tastefully yours,

. . .