Tag Archives: restaurant

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – my best and worst ever lunches

Peter Gilmore's salad of yellowfin tuna. Those things that look like baby tomatoes are made of fish.

Peter Gilmore’s salad of yellowfin tuna. Those things that look like baby tomatoes are made of fish.

This WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE has the title ‘Lunchtime’. I’m sure I’m not alone in having a computer clogged with never-to-be-looked-at-again food shots.

Let’s start with the good news. The most memorable lunch I will ever have in my life was at Peter Gilmore’s Quay, regularly named by those more expert in the field as Australia’s best restaurant. The food included the dish pictured above, though the fine dining was overshadowed by Mevrouw T and I being surprise parents of the bride. For a full report on the event (and more food shots), CLICK HERE.

Unfortunately there are many contenders for my worst lunch ever, though one in Friesland, Netherlands, was a standout.

We did a hard morning’s cycling to reach a small village where a kaatsen tournament was in full swing. It’s an intriguing local Friesian sport, so we stopped to watch. And ate the following…

The fries on the right weren't bad, but were more than cancelled out by the sheer nastiness of that 'gehaktbal' - a meatball.

The fries on the right weren’t bad, but were more than cancelled out by the sheer nastiness of that ‘gehaktbal’ – a meatball.

For the full story, including news of how we repaired the internal damage with an excellent Friesian dinner, CLICK HERE.

As you would expect, there was a price differential between the two lunches. The meatball wasted a couple of my hard-earned euros. The meal at Quay, including wine, was paid for by somebody else. Thanks!

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SERIOUSLY FOODIE – Ten Minutes by Tractor

A Ten Minutes by Tractor creation. Photo: Kate Nulty

A Ten Minutes by Tractor creation. Photo: Kate Nulty


‘What’s all this about calling yourself a foodie?’ says my down-to-earth brother, ‘I mean, it’s not like eating is hard.’

Eating used to be so easy during family holidays when we were kids. After a day on the beach we’d drop into Somers General Store for an icy pole. We’d collect a pack of white sliced bread and a bottle of Rosella tomato sauce to splash on our BBQ chops and sausages.

Now the Mornington Peninsula has gone foodie. The paddocks have been replaced by boutique wineries with trendy tasting rooms. Local shops have become epicurean delis stocking ‘gourmet’ everything. The bakeries sell olive/mustard seed/wholegrain/honey/ciabatta/sourdough at yeast-inflated prices.

Dine by the vines.

Dine by the vines.

The Peninsula, an hour or so outside Melbourne, is now liberally sprinkled with some of Australia’s best restaurants. And younger, more knowledgeable members of our family drag their oldies to a fine dining experience.

It’s pointless to mutter that we could enjoy a week of decent meals for the kind of money they’ll be charging. We’re going to eat at Ten Minutes by Tractor and that’s that. Continue reading

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KANGAROO ON THE MENU – Gardener’s Lodge Cafe

Gardener's Lodge - too good to be a toilet, now even more convenient.

Gardener’s Lodge – once a toilet block, and a seedy one at that.


It’s been a while since I ate kangaroo. It’s lean, full-flavoured, healthy meat, and it’s a shame we don’t see much of it around these days.

A laudable enterprise has recently opened in Sydney; the Gardener’s Lodge Cafe, where Beryl Van-Oploo has remodelled a beautiful, historic building and trains and employs Aboriginal Australians in hospitality. The publicity said it serves ‘bush tucker’ – food native to Australia.

Mevrouw T and I have cut down on meat-eating in general and kangaroo is seldom on our menu, but we saw this article on the Fairfax website and went to try lunch at Auntie Beryl’s. Continue reading

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WALDORF ASTORIA – five stars in sensible shoes

Please wipe your feet before entering.

Do other people worry that they will feel awkward and inadequate in high class hotels? Or is it just me?

Mevrouw T and I generally travel on a tight budget, so we rarely see how the 1% live when on the road.  Is it a treat or an ordeal to join them for a day or two?

Here’s my report on our recent five star Chicago experience… Continue reading

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PETER GILMORE’S QUAY – Australia’s best restaurant

We had no idea of what was in store for us...

To be selected as the 27th best restaurant in the world by some very hard markers means you need to be pretty damn special. Only one Australian establishment made the 2011 S.Pellegrino list of the World’s Top 50 restaurants.

For what turned out to be a very special occasion, we were invited to eat there by our daughter, herself a cook of considerable repute. Continue reading

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