Melbourne Yacht Club Hotel, Docklands, Melbourne, Australia

It was a public holiday in Melbourne, and the weather wasn’t too bad, so had lunch with a friend down at Docklands in Melbourne.

Not having been to the restaurant area of Docklands before, we walked the length of the food strip and finally came to Melbourne Yacht Club Hotel. It wasn’t too busy (maybe this was an omen), and the menu looked OKish.

We ordered a couple of Chargrilled Steak Sandwich  on a toasted baguette, cheese, tomato, caramelised onion and served with fries, to be cooked medium rare, and a bottle of 2006 Riposte The Sabre Pinot Noir to wash it down.

Out came the steak sandwich, over cooked unfortunately, but it still tasted OK, probably not worth the $20.

Then came the pinot, probably not the best pinot I’d ever had, but it was refreshing, and went down fine. Definitely not worth the $47.

Thank god I had some decent company.

Would I be going to MYCH again… probably not…

Wolfie’s Grill, Sydney, Australia

I’ve been to Wolfie’s a couple of times before, maybe even half a dozen, it’s not cheap, but the food is good and the views are to die for.

Wolfie’s is on the waterfront at West Circular Quay with views of the Harbour, Opera House and Harbour Bridge. A great place to bring out of towners for a meal.

Wolfie’s is a meat eaters wet dream… if its not steak you want, you could go the ribs, or you could try some of the local fauna (kangaroo & crocodile).

Today I chose an old favorite, sticky pork ribs with barbaque sauce. Not just one or two ribs, but a full set of ribs and boy were they good. Accompanied by a little coleslaw and some chips which complimented the ribs quite well.

The wine list is rather good also. Can’t remember what wine we had though, but I did finish off with a glass of port.

Find wolfie’s on the internet here.

The Westin, Auckland, New Zealand

First time at the Westin in Auckland…

Asked the cabbie on the way from the airport what the goss was and he said, that according to other travelers, it was a decent hotel.

Arrive Sunday evening, its warmish and humid out there, and it was just on twilight, as we arrived… and driving upto the hotel you could tell that it was going to be an expensive week.

The Westin down by the harbour, on Viaduct Harbour Avenue, a short walk to the CBD and office. There are also heaps of restaurants, albeit relatively expensive, close by.

Some rooms would have a nice harbour view. I, however, had a view, across the road, into Microsoft, HP and Vodafone.

Viaduct Harbour Avenue can get busy at times, and since the hotel is only 5 stories high, you will get the occasional noise from passing traffic (and I was on the top floor).

The room itself was well appointed, a huge flat screen TV, which you would expect  in a new hotel, that rotated to allow you to view it from the couch or from bed, but on an angle, not straight on.

The bed was firm, but the pillows were a little too soft for my liking.

The bathroom was large, with a shower and a bath.

I did have room service a couple of times, and I would recommend the beef burger, though they did manage to bugger up one of the orders, but they fixed their error pretty quick smart.

A word of warning for people though… the bar is expensive! You expect hotels to charge a premium, but when you are getting slugged $15 or $16 for a stubbie of beer, that’s just price gouging. We ended up heading off to drink at local bars rather than the hotel.

A good hotel that I would stay at again… I just hope they review the price of the food and drink.

It’s been a day of eating and drinking, across and between two countries

I’m off to New Zealand for a training course for a week, Auckland to be exact. So this morning started off in Melbourne, where I got up at an uncivilized 8am (for a Sunday) and ended up in my hotel in Auckland… and along the way I’ve had a heap of pretty good food.

The day started off bright and early, the day, not me… I just started off early with a couple of coffees to try to get the senses turned on… finished my packing, got a hire car to the airport and half way there I had a sneaking suspicion in my mind that I’d left the air conditioning on, so back home we go… thank God we did as it would have been a fridge in my apartment when I got home next week. Anyway, make it to the airport, a little later than I should have, and join the queue to check in, and then it’s off to the first class lounge.

Feed #1 – Melbourne

The first feed for the day was at the Qantas first class lounge. It was brunch for me and consisted of a rather decent BLT (made with sun dried tomatoes, which was a nice touch) and a couple of coffees, topped off with an OK strawberry doughnut and a pineapple juice… I’m officially awake by the time we board the plane.

Feed #2 – in flight

On our way to Auckland from the big west island, I’d upgraded myself on points so I got a better seat, better grog and a decent feed. A champagne before take-off and a bourbon and coke after was getting me right in the mood. A choice of two meals was offered chicken and pork. Chose the pork with braised red cabbage and a garlic potato mash (guess I won’t be getting a kiss today!) accompanied by a couple of glasses of a pretty good 2007 Spy Valley Pinot Noir from the NZ South Island city of Marlborough. Followed up by vanilla ice cream and biscotti, and a Baileys of Glenrowan Founder Liqueur Muscat. A small glass of Cointreau polished me off.

After feeling the effects of my over indulgence, a hot chocolate got me back in track just as we started our descent into Auckland.

Feed #3 – Auckland

Surprisingly, I was feeling peckish when I arrived at my hotel. Couldn’t be bothered venturing too far, so decided on room service. A fairly decent beef burger with added egg and bacon arrived soon, along with a glass of Kim Crawford Merlot from Hawkes Bay in New Zealand.

Suffice to say, I’m full and its now time to sleep this all off!

The Meat and Wine Co, Melbourne, Australia

In case you hadn’t quite worked it out yet, I’m a sucker for a good slab of dead cow, medium rare.

Earlier this week I turned the big “4 oh-no”, yep, I’m officially a dirty old man. To celebrate, or is that to commiserate, a mate who I’ve know for about 20 years, since Uni days in fact, decided that I needed a decent feed and it was decided that steak was the choice of the day, and The Meat and Wine Co down at Southbank was the place to get it.

Since we’d already had a couple of brews at the Mitre Tavern in Bank Place before heading off across the river, we decided that we’d better stay with the beers, or it could get messy, so a Little Creatures was ordered and delivered while we chose our steaks.

The selection of steaks available is huge, I think I counted 13 different steaks, I chose a 600g Rib-Eye medium rare, my mate went the measly 350g.

Fast forward about 30 minutes and a slab of dead cow, chips and garlic sauce is placed before me, and for the next 15 or 20 minutes I am in steak heaven. Great taste, superbly cooked. This steak just melted in my mouth. It was right up there with the steak yo uget a Cha Cha Char’s in Brisbane.

Cost was also about the same as Cha Cha Char’s in Brisbane.

If you want a good steak… this is the place in Melbourne.