Chilli padi, Melbourne

It’s been a while since I’ve written about a Melbourne restaurant… probably a testament to the amount of travel I’ve been doing lately, but since I’m on leave from work for a couple of weeks I thought I might as well share my local haunts.

Chilli padi in the CBD is at the base of Melbourne Central building at the corner of LaTrobe and Elizabeth Streets. Probably better put as the corner of Little Lonsdale and Elizabeth Streets, but I’m sure you know where I’m talking about!

Chilli padi’s website say that its cuisine is “pan asia” from India to South East Asia, China & Japan.

I must admit that I’ve been to Chilli Padi probably half a dozen times, and whenever I’ve been there I’ve always picked a curry dish of some type that’s been quite good. So, if you are into curries then you will not be disappointed in what Chilli Padi has to offer. This evening I had the Red Duck Curry with Roti which was delicious washed down with a couple of Little Creature’s pilsners… heaven…

Their webite can be found here.

Update 12 December: Went to Chilli padi for the second time this week and had the Nasi Lemak which was spicy but oh so tasty.

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Shed 5, Wellington, New Zealand

Shed 5 is a pretty decent restaurant at Queens Wharf on the Wellington waterfront. Be warned, this restaurant is on the slightly pricey side, but its well worth the money if you are looking for a great feed.

We each chose our own starter, but decided to share. I ordered Beet tartin with Tarago River chevre, cipollini onion, watercress & fig saba and it was very tasty. The others ordered Pappardelle scallops with red pepper caviar, pea shoots & parsley pesto and West coast whitebait & blond asparagus fritter with smoked chipotle aioli. By all accounts, the starters were good.

For the mains, two of us ordered Merino cross lamb rack with lamb rillettes, kasundi tomato jus, onion rings & mint prelibato flakes, and Black angus sirloin with balsamic & wild mushroom lentils, foie gras parfait, crispy Serrano ham & roasted beet jus. It was a hard choice as there were a number of dishes that appealed.

We again decided that a local pinot noir was the only way to wash down this delicious food.

One thing that struck was just how friendly and helpful the staff were. They bent over backwards to make us feel at home. Well done!

You can find Shed 5’s website here.

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Mai Thai, Auckland, New Zealand

I’d been to Mai Thai once before, but had forgotten to write a blog entry.

I was in Auckland again during the week, so took the opportunity to stop by this restaurant again.

My memory of my prior visit was that the food was quite yummy and reasonably well priced.

Mai Thai is only a block away from Auckland’s Sky City casino. It is upstairs at the corner of Victoria & Albert Streets in the Auckland CBD.

We got to the restaurant around 7pm and were able to secure a table quite quickly in the outside area behind the main reception desk.

We were famished after a long day of meetings, and the fact that I had forgotten to eat lunch didn’t help either so a feast was in the offing. We ordered two entrees, a soup each and two mains to share.

The entrees were Ban Krib Thord which is finely diced chicken cooked with toasted peanut wrapped in puff
pastry and lightly fried, and four mixed entrees.

This was followed by a quite decent Tom kha Gai soup for myself.

For mains we ordered were Gaeng Phed ped Yang which is roast duck with red curry paste and coconut milk, and Moo Pad Char which is country style tender slices pork with krachai, lime leaves and capsicums. These were both beautiful and tasty dishes which we washed down with a bottle of New Zealand pinot noir.

A highly recommended restaurant and you can find more info on Mai Thai a their website.

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Rice, Auckland, New Zealand

In this case Rice is a restaurant in the Auckland CBD, not the cereal 🙂

Rice is a really modern, Asian fusion restaurant on Federal Street in the Auckland CBD.

When we arrived only one of the tables was taken, but we were advised that we could have the only table that was not reserved. By the time we left around 90 minutes later all of the tables were full. This is a very well patronised restaurant.

To start off a good selection of beer, wine and cocktails were available. I decided on a Becks and my dinner partner decided to try a cocktail.

The food selection was impressive, and it was extremely hard to choose. Luckily, Rice have a tasting plate that allows you to try four of Rice’s dishes chosen daily by the chef. Today the tasting plate consisted of Gyoza, Salt and Pepper Squid, Rice Paper Rolls & Fish (sorry, I’m not a fish fan, so I didn’t take note of what type of fish it was).

Onto the main course, we chose two from around a choice of 15 and decided to share.

I chose a Red Thai duck breast curry, tomato berry, bok choi, pickled pineapple and it was simply superb. The duck was crispy and extremely tasty, and the sauce wasn’t overly spicy. One of the better duck curries I’ve had over the years.

The other main was a Braised Wagyu beef cheeks, orange kumara, snake beans, fresh coconut. This was another absolutely scrumptious dish, though it did come across as just a little too salty, but really nice nonetheless.

If you are in Auckland, make sure you visit Rice.

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Man! Have I flown a lot this year…

I’ve just managed to clock up over 100,000 kms of flying for the year. No wonder my arms are tired!

That does include a couple of overseas trips, to San Francisco, Singapore/Jakarta and NZ, but a majority of the flights have been Australian domestic (around 60).

How do I know all this, well a colleague put me onto a website called FlightMemory that allows you to chronicle your flights and then you end up with the statistics and a very nice map of your travels. Here’re my flights.

I’ve only entered the last years worth of flights, but given the number of flights, and the distances I’ve flown, over the past 4 years I would conservatively guess that I’ve made it to the moon and would be well on the way home.

These maps just go to show why I do not have a life 🙂

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