Posts Tagged Restaurant

Curry Vault, Melbourne, Australia

It had been a little while since I’d been to the Curry Vault in Bank Place but having seen an episode of the Travel Channel show Food Paradise International (episode Hot & Spicy Paradise 2) that featured the Curry Vault’s Lamb Vindaloo I decided that I had to visit again.

The publicity must have worked as at dinner time on this Monday public holiday there were a fair few people already enjoying their meals when we arrived.

I mentioned the TV show when I ordered our beers and soon the owner was at our table talking with us about the show and the lamb vindaloo that was the topic of the show.

While I like spicy food, it can’t be over the top stupidly spicy. Luckily the lamb vindaloo can be ordered in a number of intensities. There was no way I was going to try what they had cooked on the show, so we went for a mild version.

Along with the vindaloo we ordered onion bhaji for starters and a chilli chicken for a 2nd main. We also got a couple of servings of rice and garlic naan.

The onion bhaji, and complimentary poppadoms, were dispatched is record time and then out came the mains. The smells of the spices were sublime and it was with trepidation that I tasted the vindaloo expecting my tongue to recoil in horror. I was pleasantly surprised by the mild spiciness and overall great taste.

The chilli chicken was mild as well which made for a great meal that you could actually taste rather than just assaulting your taste buds.

One starter, two mains, two naans and rice were just the perfect size for the 2 of us.

Curry Vault would have to be one of the better Indian Restaurants in Melbourne. If you are in the CBD then you should have a meal.

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Ji Biru, Singapore

A search for Craft Beer in Singapore bought up Ji Biru, a Japanese craft beer bar down at [email protected] at 313 Orchard Road.

After my trip to Japan I became partial to Japanese craft beers, so I decided to jump on the train to Somerset station, do a bit of last minute shopping and have a couple of beers.

Ji Biru opens at noon and I think I was the first person in the door.

The beer list is impressive, and bought back memories of my evening in Nagano at James Nagano Beer Market.

While I had a couple of servings of yakitori I tried 3 of the Hitachino beers. I first tried the Hitachino Nest Pale Ale followed by a Hitachino Nest 3C’s Fresh Hop Bitter and finally a Hitachino Nest White Ale.

All of the beers were great tasting and were a great accompaniment for the yakitori.

Prices for both the food and the beers were good – pints of beer being SGD$10.50.

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Fremantle Seafood Market, Singapore

Fremantle Seafood Market is a restaurant at Clarke Quay on the Singapore River, pretty much across the river from SQUE Rottisserie & Alehouse.

It was mid afternoon, it was hot, it was humid and the rain was on and off. I was thirsty, and it was happy “hour”.

Walking past the restaurants and bar that face onto the river while trying not to get drenched I decided that I’d just have to wait this rain out.

Fremantle Seafood Market has an inside area and also a large covered outside area right on the river. There were a couple of tables occupied but I had no problems getting a seat right on the river looking over towards Marina Bay Sands.

I didn’t bother ordering food, but the menu certainly looks reasonable and is probably worth a further look on my next Singapore trip.

Being happy hour beers were 2 for 1, so I ended up with 4 pints of ice cold Tiger for SGD$9 each which wasn’t too bad.

There was only one server looking after the outside area so as more people came in it was hard to get their attention of them to order beers, and to finally pay the bill.

Certainly worth another visit.

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Little Island Brewing, Singapore

Out by the northern end of the western runway for Singapore’s Changi Airport is Changi Village. A nice area with a hotel, heaps of restaurants and a hawker center all a short walk from the beach.

There’s also a microbrewery called Little Island Brewing.

From City Hall I’d jumped on the train all the way to the end of the line, Pasir Ris. From Pasir Ris you can jump on a bus, or take a taxi, to Changi Village. I chose the taxi option and the ride was around 10 minutes.

I’d originally thought about grabbing a bite to eat at the hawker center before heading for a drink but a number of stalls were closed, as this was the week between Christmas and New Year, and those that were open were packed. I decided to head to the brewery for a drink and then I found that they also serve food.

Before I get onto the beer I need to talk about the food. One of the options was a wagyu beef brisket burger with chips for $18. I’m a bit of a sucker for BBQed meat so I was interested in what this would be like.

Well… all I can say was that this was an exquisite burger. Fresh, perfectly cooked and juicy. The bun was firm (though it did fall to pieces before I finished) and the fried chips were perfectly cooked and not overly salty.

Foodwise lunch was a 10 out of 10.

You can get your first pint for $5 with your meal. For your subsequent beers you need to purchase a pre-paid card that you then use on some really modern beer taps.

When you want a beer you grab a clean glass out of the fridge. Once you’ve chosen which beer you want you swipe your card, press the yes button and pour your own beer. You pay for the beer by the milliliter, and each beer has it’s own per milliliter cost. A really cool system! It looks like beers cost about $10/pint on average.

The beer’s that are available on tap constantly change so you could keep coming back here and not be bored.

Definitely worth the train trip.

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Pier One Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia

This is a little out of the way gem of a hotel on Sydney Harbour. This hotel is built on one of Sydney’s old piers and uses the rustic form of the pier in the design of the building.

The rooms are on the largish side and with soaring ceilings. My room had a huge beam as a central feaure that supported the upper floor of the original pier along with the intricate metal work that connected the beams together. It looked pretty impressive I must say.

Outside the front door of the hotel is the south supporting column of the Sydney Hardbour Bridge along with the extensive stone work that supports the approach road of the bridge.

Foodwise I couldn’t be bothered leaving the hotel and I had 4 meals at the hotel restaurant, The Gantry.

The dinner menu was small but had quality.

On my first evening I had the pheasant, and on the second the wagyu steak – both cooked to perfection. I would eat these dishes any day!

I also had breakfast at the hotel each morning as there was a special on that gave me free breakfast with the corporate rate.

My only beef with the restaurant is the consistent errors they made on the bills! When eating in the hotel I always have the total put on my hotel bill, makes it easier for me as I only have one bill to worry about at the end.

What were the problems?

Even though I charged my dinners to my room account I found out that they had added a credit card surcharge to the dinner bills before they added it to my room account. I noticed something was wrong when I was checking out as the restaurant bills weren’t round numbers. If I hadn’t noticed I would have been paying a credit charge surcharge twice for my dinners, and also paying a credit card surcharge on the credit card surcharge.

Secondly, even though I showed the discount card for the free breakfast to the wait staff they didn’t record it and still charged me for breakfast. I also bought this up at checkout and the charges were removed.

So a great hotel, a splendid restaurant menu…. just make sure you check your bill before you checkout so you don’t pay more than you should.

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