La Rustica, Canberra, Australia

Another week, another trip, another fine feed.

I’ve been to La Rustica several times before, and I think from memory I’ve always had the pizza, as the pizzas are good. And for the blokes around us, there’s always a bit of eye candy to help the evening along.

I was in Canberra to teach a course, that’s hungry and thirsty work. To solve that problem, I was catching up with a colleague who I’d worked with in a previous job who has also moved to work with IBM. I was staying in Kingston, so that’s where we decided to meet so we had plenty of scope to choose from.

After a beer an Filthy’s to wet our whistle it was off to La Rustica for our feast.

The wine list is quite good, and the prices aren’t over the top, so we decided to start off with a Pirie ‘South’ Pinot Noir… a good selection.

A pizza was ordered that would be shared, half Dom’s Special (no anchovies, you can keep those salty little buggers to yourself!) and half Salsicce. A very good choice in hindsight.

The pizza was excellent, and on the largish side, but when the dessert menu was proffered, and accepted, it was a magnificant (and I mean the best I have ever had) Tiramisu and a pretty good dessert wine (who’s name escapes me) that rounded out a great evening.

Oh, and Pat’s, the Hyatt dessert eating record holder, company was good too.

You can find La Rustica on the internet here.

Korean Seoul Restaurant, Melbourne, Australia

A mate of mine had a night off from his missus and daughter, so we decided that we’d have a couple of brews and a bite to eat.

Discussions were had over a couple of pints of Carlsburg to decide just where to eat. Rose Garden, Chili Padi, Supper Inn, Papa Gino’s… but then I remembered a Korean restaurant that I’d eaten at many, many years ago. And luckily, it was just a block away, it was still there and there were tables free.

Seoul Restaurant is on Little Bourke Street between Queen and Elizabeth Streets.

A quick look at the menu to determine that we could get a decent beer and, before we knew it, we were at our table and ordering a Cass beer.

Since there were only two of us, we decided to go for the smallest Korean style barbecue banquet consisting of marinated beef, pork and chicken. Accompanied by the usual side dishes of lettuce, cucumber, cabbage etc. and rice.

The consensus was that we made a good choice. The meal was extremely tasty and very reasonably priced. The banquet was $50 for two people, very good value for the food that was provided. The Cass beers were $7 each.

If you have the time, take a wander through some of the little laneways around this area. It’s a part of Melbourne people don’t usually look at, but its so intriguing and historic.

Address is

Korean Seoul Restaurant, 369 Little Bourke Street

I’ll be back 🙂

Sofitel, Brisbane, Australia

I’ve stayed at this particular hotel probably around 5 years ago when it was the Sheraton (I think it was). Down at reception nothing much had changed in the intervening years and is was much as I had remembered it.

My room was ready when I checked in just before midday which allowed me the chance to qucikly get refreshed before my lunchtime meeting.

One major beef was the lack of somewhere to have an a la carte lunch. There was the option for a $59 buffet, but you couldn’t get a lite lunch at the hotel and we just couldn’t justify that much on a quick lunch. And don’t get me started on the price of bottled water in hotels!

The room itself was good, and the bed and pillows were great and I had a really good sleep. I was 20 floors up, and even though I was near the lift well, the room was very quiet.

Good hotel, in a good central location in sunny Brisbane.

Cookie, Melbourne, Australia

Cookie is a bar / restaurant on Swanston Street in the Melbourne CBD. You never know it was there unless someone told you as its actually on the first floor.

I’ve been to Cookie many times before, but had never stopped to have a meal. I usually just have a couple of beers or cocktails on my way home. But today some friends had decided that we should eat here as we’d all heard good things about the food.

We’d tried to book but many phone calls during the day went unanswered, so we had to just front up and see what tables were available. Unfortunately the wait for tables in the restaurant proper was a couple of hours, so we had to make do with a table in the sit down bar area. But that was fine, once a table opened up. Cookie is very popular and extremely busy, so don’t expect to walk in and get a table right away.

The menu is asian fusion (isn’t everywhere these days!) and we chose a couple of meat dishes and a couple of vegos as well.

Between the 5 of us we chose

  • pad thai – rice noodles with egg, bean curd and sprouts
  • green curry with taro and mushroom dumplings
  • penang lamb and eggplant curry
  • deep fried five spice 1/2 chicken with sweet chili sauce
  • accompanied by rice and roti

I didn’t try the pad thai, but the other three dishes were quite delish.

The price was quite decent also at around $20 a head.

The food was all washed down with a couple of Matilda Bay Bohemian Pilsner’s.

All round good company, good beer, great food.

Cookie can be found on the internet at

Chilli padi, Melbourne, Australia

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.