HOT: Hellenic Hotel, 28 Ferguson St, Williamstown

Hellenic Hotel, 28 Ferguson St, Williamstown

Williamstown, you’re in a for a treat! George Calombaris‘ newest restaurant Hellenic Hotel is opening this Friday 17 June and it is AMAZING.

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I got a sneak peek at a soft launch and was very impressed with our dinner. Anticipation is high and I’m sure it’ll be a hit as soon as the doors open.

Hellenic Hotel Williamstown - 4

The former Hobsons Bay Hotel has been transformed by March Studios into a light and airy restaurant befitting a metropolitan beachside suburb while retaining a typically Greek colour palette of blues and whites. The effect is bold and beautiful.

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Even the kitchen’s heat lamps are works of art.

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Hellenic Hotel is split into two areas. The ground floor dining room offers modern Greek dining with Hellenic wines.

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Hellenic Hotel Williamstown - 14

The second level is the Public Bar with a bar menu, $15 daily pub specials, Greek and Australian beers on tap, cocktails  and a balcony with sea breezes and city views.

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Hellenic Hotel Williamstown - 10

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The modern Greek menu at Hellenic Hotel contains many of the favourites at Hellenic Republic Kew and Brunswick. The kitchen is headed by Josh Pelham, who was Young Chef of the Year 2015 and head chef at London’s acclaimed The Square before returning to Melbourne to work at Estelle.

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If you don’t know where to start with the menu then the best way is go say ‘Feed Me’ which contains seven courses of the signature dishes for $49 per head. The dishes are at the whim of the chef and they’re able to cater to dietary requirements.

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It starts with olives, pita and their famous white cod roe taramasalata which is creamy and salty at the same time.

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Next is an oozy saganaki with apple puree with hints of clove and black sesame and green apple shards.

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From the ‘large’ dishes on the menu is a kritharaki (otherwise known as orzo or risoni pasta) tossed with squid ink, tiny mussels and shaved fennel.


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For the mains there is unbelievably tender rotisserie chicken, a grain salad with pulses, herbs, pomegranate and smoked yoghurt and heirloom carrots with fenugreek and almonds.

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Dessert is two small jars of creamy risogalo (rice pudding) layered with a rhubarb compote and sprinkled with candied pistachios.

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If you have room don’t miss the stunning pavlova for two (or really four!). It is presented with a flourish on a white cake platter, dripping with fresh fruit and cream. The fruit changes regularly and in our instance it is sweet quince and freeze dried mandarin which has the tanginess of the fruit without the juicy mouthfeel. The meringue is jaw-droppingly good, with a lightest of crunchy crusts around the edges and a gooey sugary centre at its base.

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Hellenic Hotel is a seven-day dining and drinking destination and I imagine they will be very busy, so it’s good to know that they offer a takeaway menu too. It hits the mark with the stylish fit out, the varied menu and waitstaff mostly made up of locals who all seem to be very excited to be there. I reckon it’s just the boost that Williamstown needs!


 

Hellenic Hotel, 28 Ferguson St, Williamstown (03) 9393 1000

RESTAURANT (downstairs)

7 days | Mon – Sun

12:00pm until late

BAR (upstairs) 7 days | Mon – Sun

12:00pm until late

 

 

HOT: Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

The Night Market at Queen Victoria Market is one of Melbourne’s wintery highlights and this year the season has been extended for 14 weeks, every Wednesday from 1 June to 31 August.

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

I love the Winter Night Market because it’s a fun way to get out and about in Melbourne when the weather is actually calling you to stay home in your ugg boots.

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

The smell of hot mulled wine, roasting nuts and energetic buzz of people reminds me of the Christmas markets of Europe – and there’s so much street food to explore!

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Pizza by 400 Gradi is a sure-fire favourite as each authentic Neapolitan style pizza only takes 60 seconds to cook ($12).

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

I try the curious sounding ‘pancake on a chopstick’ by Ok-Nomi which is actually a Japanese okonomiyaki wrapped around wooden chopsticks for ease of eating! A delicious and filling street snack with a variety of savoury toppings.

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Then we dive headlong into sweets. I especially love the Butterlake pancakes (or Japanese ‘imagawayaki’) filled with chocolate, nutella, peanut butter and coconut instead of the traditional red bean…

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

…Extravagant ice cream sundaes by The Sundae Market.

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

The Queen Victoria Market’s Winter Night Market is a great mid-week winter ritual – come straight from the office and you’ll even look forward to hump day!

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Winter Night Market, Queen Victoria Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne


Queen Victoria Market’s Winter Night Market, Corner of Elizabeth & Victoria Streets, Melbourne

Every Wednesday 5-10pm

1 June – 31 August 2016

HOT: Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

Martin Scorsese is one of cinema’s most influential directors ever and an exhibition exploring to his life and career has opened at ACMI for an exclusive Australian season from Die Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen, Berlin.

Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

The exhibition starts chronologically with information about his childhood in Little Italy, New York and early training at New York University’s Film School before dividing into themes. You can discover more about topics such as cinematography, his relationship to New York, his key collaborations and musical influences.

Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

The exhibition is mostly drawn from Scorsese’s personal collection and isn’t particularly hands-on or interactive. As you’d expect there is lots of video and film footage, with excerpts from his work and interviews. There are also many artefacts such as photographs and correspondence and large plaques explain each of the exhibition themes.

Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

If you look at the majority of the items in detail it will take approx 1.5-2 hours to complete the exhibition. I highly recommend downloading the free audio guide over ACMI’s free wifi so remember to bring along your own device and headphones (you can purchase headphones for $10 at the ACMI pop up shop inside the exhibition).

Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

Scorsese is a must-do for cinephiles and even those who have just a passing interest in Scorsese’s films. His catalogue of work is so extensive, so iconic and so embedded in popular culture, that you’ll be sure to discover something new about his life and his films. Note that Scorsese’s films, and thus the exhibition, often deal with mature themes and violence, so I don’t recommend it for children.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive program of talks, workshops and screenings at ACMI. I also like the exhibition Tshirt!


Scorsese, ACMI Australian Centre for Moving Image, Federation Square, Melbourne

Thu 26 May – Sun 18 Sep 2016

Sat – Thurs 10am – 5pm

Fri 10am – 9pm

FULL $25 CONCESSION $18 MEMBER $17

 

HOT: Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

Flour Market is a super popular pop up market that showcases Melbourne’s small, artisan and emerging bakers. Since its inception in 2013 it’s been the launching pad for new businesses such as Waffles Jolie and Agathe Patisserie.

Despite numerous attempts I’ve never managed to make it to Flour Market. Even though it’s generally held early on a Saturday or Sunday morning the lines have always been immense, even as the venues have become bigger and bigger.

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

If, like me, you’ve also been deprived of Flour Market goodies until now, head to Melbourne Central every Thursday afternoon in June for ‘Afternoon Delight’.

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

On the Level 2 connecting bridge Flour Market are setting up a rotating calendar of Flour Market’s favourite stallholders every Thursday 3-7pm. There’s no queues, no elbowing and a varied selection of baked goods (mostly sweet) from doughnuts to cake to pastries to bread.

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

It was so hard to choose but on my visit I bought sweet treats from Luxbite and Shortstop Donuts – the first because I can never resist their sweets, the second because I’ve never made it into their CBD store and only ever drooled over their Instagram feed. 

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

The light-filled corridor also has a few bench seats where you can enjoy your treats on the spot, as well as panoramic views of Melbourne’s CBD streets and alleys.

Flour Market Afternoon Delight, Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge, Melbourne

You can keep an eye out for the list of stallholders every week on the Melbourne Central website or Facebook page – tomorrow you can expect treats from Agathe Patisserie, Citizen Cacao, Cobb Lane, Moonbeam Kitchen, LuxBite, The Honey Thief, Vickiee Yo x Ray Ray and gelato from Billy Van CreamyEvery Thursday morning 9-1pm they also have a $50 Flour Market giveaway on Instagram.


 

Flour Market Afternoon Delight Melbourne Central Level 2 Link Bridge

Every Thursday 2 Jun – Thu 30 Jun 3-7pm

 

HOT: Doyle and Sons, 101 Hudsons Rd, Spotswood


doyle and sons spotswood

Doyle and Sons is the first time venture for former chef Steven Doyle and is on the site of the previously rather down-at-heel Jace’s 101 Cafe. 

doyle and sons spotswood

The two-room space has been spruced up with an aqua colour scheme and a grey buttoned banquette, though the white walls are looking a bit bare at the moment. The fireplace is a welcome beacon on cold days.

The menu name-checks lots of on-trend ingredients – chia pudding, sriracha aioli, truffled mushrooms and the ubiquitous smashed avocado.

doyle and sons spotswood

I try the warm roasted sweet pumpkin salad with baby beets, greens, toasted seeds and large hunks of marinated goats cheese ($18). It is fresh and filling and sufficiently nutritious for me to dive into a second course, a fabulous ricotta and blueberry hotcake ($17). Be warned that it does take a while to cook as it’s made fresh in the pan every time, but it’s worth the wait.

doyle and sons spotswood

On the plate is a single thick, fluffy hotcake studded with chunks of cheese and berries, topped with a mound of zesty citrus, more berries and a scoop of mascarpone flecked with vanilla beans. I particularly like the honey orange cardamom syrup (though the spice notes could be amped up) and given the overall sweetness the too-hard shards of pistachio praline are unnecessary.

doyle and sons spotswood

The coffee is made with South Melbourne’s Cottle Coffee and Fitzroy’s St David Dairy milk and if you need a caffeine hit early they’re open at 6am! The breads and pastries come from Noisette in Port Melbourne though the eye-catching stacked muffins are made in house.  

doyle and sons spotswood

doyle and sons spotswood

Doyle and Sons gives Spotswood locals another great breakfast and lunch option  – and that hotcake is worth waking up for in the morning!


Doyle and Sons, 101 Hudsons Rd Spotswood, 93995999

Tuesday – Friday 6am – 3:30pm

Saturday – Sunday 6am – 3pm

Doyle & Sons Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

HOT: Westie Women Food Rides – Bookings now open!

Ovest West Footscray

A very wet day on Saturday didn’t deter a group of intrepid women joining me for another Westie Women Food Ride with The Squeaky Wheel.

The series of food tours are all about encouraging women to ride their bikes, be confident on the roads and to explore their local streets and eateries through a different theme every month.

In the 1950s Footscray was a centre for Italian migrants and ‘Boun appetito by bike’  celebrated everything Italian in the inner west.

Ovest West Footscray

First stop was Ovest for warming hot chocolates and potato doughnuts with chocolate mousse. Ovest  were even kind enough to open up especially for us as they don’t usually trade during Saturday lunch times.

Ovest West Footscray

Second stop was Fox in the Corn for plates of steaming hot pasta. They even have bikes hung up as wall decoration so it’s the perfect stop for a bike tour! We made a mental note to return to sample their 300+ types of craft beer.

Fox in the Corn Footscray

Westie Women Food Rides - Buon Appetito by Bike - 4 (1)

Last stop was T Cavallaro and Sons for an Italian (or technically Sicilian) sweet. Always a crowd favourite, their cannoli are the best in Melbourne.

T Cavallaro and Sons Footscray

The June rides are now open for bookings! If you’re a woman who lives, works or plays in Melbourne’s inner west join me for a 1.5 hour cycling tour of the best food in the area for only $15 (including tour and tastings).

Westie Women Food Rides are a Maribyrnong City Council Gender Equity Initiative. 

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