As the temperature progressively rises in Melbourne, it's time to turn our eyes to the hot-weather saviour that is gelato.
My current favourites are as follows: Il Dolce Freddo for the best damn Roche-flavoured gelato (they do a really authentic Durian and a punchy Pandan, too), Gelato Messina for rich and creamy options, and Spring St Grocer for all-round, can't-go-wrong icy treats. Spring St Grocer is my absolute favourite, because they do the most incredible and interesting flavour combinations. Everything across the board is good. So, during a recent weekend in Northcote, I decided to see how Il Melograno measures up, in comparison to the big boys of the gelato game.
The flavours change, and are based on seasonal ingredients, so there's always something new to come back to. We were mostly attracted to the richer, creamier gelatos than the fruity sorbets, and on the whole I'd say it was a bit of a hit or miss situation. Now, the flavours you will find here aren't quite as innovative as the ones you'll find at Messina, for instance, and when we visited we sampled some gelati that really fell flat. That said, there are a few odd flavours that do hit the mark, like the ones we ordered - hazelnut, pistachio and coconut. All three were delicious.
These melted pretty quickly, in comparison to other gelatos I've had, but I was happy to see that they had the type of ice cream cones that I liked. Are you a waffle-cone fan, or a wafer-cone fan? I am all about the wafer-cone, for sure!
Nothing beats the light and slightly chewy wafer, and these were perfect - strong enough to hold up the gelato, without going soggy in your hands.
We couldn't resist ordering a slice of the apple cake, too, and were sorely disappointed with the size of it. The slice more or less registered the width of three fingers, and it was a dinky, deflated looking cake. While it was small in size, it was big on satisfaction, and quite possibly the lightest, fluffiest cake I've had. It was almost like a chiffon cake, with bits of apple filling here and there, which was such a treat to bite into. I was thoroughly impressed with it, but I couldn't help but wish there was more of it to go around.
76 High St, Northcote
Tel: 03 9482 4971
Hey guys! My friends and I drove down to the Peninsula over the weekend, and for this I wore the no-fail, ever comfortable t-shirt and jeans combo. Lately I've been into basics with a twist - think plain tees with unexpected cutouts, stitching or fabrics...and knotting every thing I own. Shirts, skirts...I want knots on it all. It's freakin' Britney, circa 1999 all over again, folks. (Who remembers what I'm talking about??) We spent the day driving by the coastline and strolling around Sorrento, a seaside town at the Southernmost tip of Victoria, before tucking into a seafood feast at sundown. I'll be sharing more pictures from our trip sometime this week, so make sure to look out for that!
Hope everyone has had a kickass start to the week. x
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Attentive service, a sexy fit out and rounds of exotic food - Sezar sure knows a thing or two about showing its guests a good time. From the moment we stepped in to the moment we got the bill, the staff made sure we were well taken care of and checked in every now and then to make sure we were satisfied. Hidden in an obscure alleyway off Collins St, this tapas restaurant has the mysterious quality of the kohl-rimmed eyes of a Middle Eastern woman.
From the outside, nothing would suggest that there lies an eatery nearby; but step in past the door, and you'll find yourself amongst others, ready for a night of mouth-watering Armenian cuisine. We didn't quite know what to order, so we allowed the staff to guide us and ordered based on their recommendations.
We had the Bastourma spiced beef cheek (AUD$29) that came with eggplant and a side of aromatic steamed rice. The beef cheek was perfectly seasoned, tender and bursting with flavour. For those who have a low tolerance for spice, this is wonderful. It's spicy without being too spicy, and so don't worry, you won't be sweating buckets eating this.
Next, the triple-cooked chips (AUD$9, as seen above) were STELLAR. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do chips!
Three rounds of deep frying is apparently the magical number for extra-crispy potato nibbles (or so says Heston). Here, the crew at Sezar dust their thick-cut fries in aleppo pepper, which is a unique Mediterranean spice that has a slightly punchy, almost cumin-like taste. We had two servings of this, and even though we were struggling to finish the food at the end, we couldn't resist eating all of the chips. It was far too good to leave behind :-)
The chicken wings with pomegranate glaze and crushed pistachios (AUD$17) were even better. It was as sweet as it was savoury. Imagine pulling the juicy meat off the bone and licking the sticky glaze off your fingers. What a dish!
The pulled lamb neck (AUD$16) was yummy. It came with a small dish of tabbouleh, some tahini to dip and a few buns to wrap the meat in. The few buns provided were buttery soft and thoughtfully warmed before being served, but it was not sufficient and we had to order extra bread to have the meat with.
We also ordered the cured ocean trout (AUD$17) which was a small starter-sized dish that came with a zingy apple and fennel salad, creme fraiche and fish roe. It was fresh and light on the palate, and set the stage for stronger, more intense flavours to follow. I'd say it was good, but not fantastic, so you can give this one a miss! Same goes for the seared Hervey Bay scallops (AUD$11). The creamy sauce and light drizzle of chilli oil was decent enough, but not worth trying.
Two small starters aside, the dishes we had at Sezar was simple and delicious. Price-point-wise, it's typical of that of most mid-range tapas restaurants in Melbourne; so while I wouldn't exactly call it dirt cheap, it isn't shockingly expensive, either. If you're willing to shell out a bit more for dinner, Sezar is definitely a nice place to take your date, before getting your groove on at bars that are just a hop away on Flinders Lane. Un-fussy food with great vibes -- lovely evening indeed.
6 Melbourne Place
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Tel: 03 9663 9882
Some days all I want to do is bring the drama. Feminine layers, light fabrics and unexpected colour combinations keep it playful and sensual; while a soft, snug t-shirt makes it super comfortable for all the twirling that I will do in this skirt. Love! I want to live in an outfit like this forever.
Follow me on Instagram: @paintingrachelred for more updates.