Saturday, 30 April 2011

MART 130

Brunching is one of our favourite things to do (so expect to see a few posts about brunch spots)...and MART130 is personally one of MY favourite spots. I've heard/read a lot about MART 130 it's a play on the word 'tram' spelled backwards, and how it's located at stop 130. It always sounded really interesting but it wasn't until my first visit (late last year) that I fell in love with the place.

a seat overlooking albert park on a warm, sunny day...perfect :)
the food : mart eggs (top L), corn fritters (top R), chai latte (bottom L), french toast (bottom R)
I've eaten all the above after 3 visits to MART 130. They were all yummy and the portions were incredibly generous (in my opinion). The mart eggs included eggs with chives, mushrooms and truffle oil - I love every ingredient separately, I love them together :) The corn fritters layered with crispy bacon, went really well with the salsa. Finally, french toast made from brioche with maple syrup topped with bacon...slurp! I have a rule with food - never mix sweet and salty together (e.g. no sweet drinks in the middle of my meal)...bacon with maple syrup is the only exception :)

strolling in Albert park and squealing over doggies :)
And after a hearty brunch, one can walk off some calories in the park...and if one is as fortunate as we were, one may run into a friendly dog-walker walking more than half a dozen of beautiful beautiful doggies!! So happy :)

The food is certainly of standard, the staff friendly...the location, I would give it 101% if I could. Not sure if I would still feel the same on a cold winter day...but you can be sure I will think of brunch at MART130 when the sun is out!

MART 130
107 Canterbury Rd
Middle Park, 3206
(03)9690 8831


Mart 130 on Urbanspoon

Cutler & Co.

Previous attempts to dine at Cutler & Co. were foiled by too huge a party (the restaurant requires a party of 8 people and more to go for the degustation menu and with various dietary requirements, we were not keen to do so). This time round, with a smaller party, we finally managed to reserve a table for four on thursday night (after forgoing friday night as it was fully booked). The occasion - celebration of mouse's special day.

I had been waiting for this! Being a fan of Cumulus Inc. - its more casual sister restaurant on flinders lane :)

The restaurant is bigger than I anticipated...spacious, which is not all that common for a fine dining restaurant (or any restaurants in melbourne for that matter). It was quite quiet when myself, mouse, sister & mum walked in at 7pm, but gradually filled up.

This is embarrassing...despite lugging along a SLR, the photos did not turn out so well. I better start learning to use that thing properly :(

Anyway...the food!!

very pretty lamps, and 2 types of bread - sourdough (L), rye (R)
I always look forward to the bread + accompaniments. A couple I sometimes day dream about - maze's (crown metropol) branch like bread with seaweed butter, yummy sweet potato dip at Number8 (crown).

Back to this post...the sourdough was yummy (crunchy on the outside, soft of the inside - the way I like it), but I unfortunately chose the latter which was too sour-y for my taste. I like their unusual butter knife :)

entrees : cured kingfish (top), poached chicken (L), oysters (R)
Fresh oysters, one of my weaknesses. 5 varieties were on offer hence we ordered one each to share among 3 of us. Can't go wrong :)

The cured kingfish  with octopus, avocado & pickled cucumber(a favourite for many) was a hit with mum and sisters. For me, it was certainly a very pretty dish which tasted nice...but somehow reminded me of sushi with the fish and avocado...hence not too exciting. The octopus was the best bit. I would like the cucumber more pickled. Maybe it's just me :P

The poached chicken (with foie gras parfait, quinoa & prune) was my favourite dish of the night even though it did not look as pretty with a huge pile of green covering most of the plate. The chicken was tasty, foie gras is always good, and there were crunchy bits which added a nice texture (sister thought they could be fried onion). Prune is not one of my favourite things but the combination worked.

mains : duck (top), wild barramundi (mid), john dory (bottom)

Mine was the slow roasted duck breast with confit of duck leg - duck breast was a little bit on the rare side for me, but the confit of leg was definitely yummy (sister ate a chunk of it).

Sister had the john dory which was cooked just right (from the small piece I tasted). 

Mouse and mum both had the wild barramundi with mushrooms, potato, fat hen & salsify. They both loved it, especially the super crunchy skin.

desserts : black sesame & apricot sorbet (top), chocolate ice cream sandwich (L), & petit fours (R)
Our desserts to share were plated separately for us, which was really nice of them. 

Mum and mouse shared the black sesame, apricot sorbet, yoghurt, thyme butter cream. I of course sneaked a taste and it was definitely my kind of dessert - the sorbet was refreshing (what I look for in a dessert after a huge meal), black sesame crisp was so fragrant, & I really like the thyme butter cream too! 

I opted to share the chocolate ice cream sandwich, vanilla parfait, salted caramel with sister because I've read some really good things about it. It did fall below expectations for me. Don't get me wrong, it's a great dessert but I guess it was not 'wow!!'...and as I said, chocolate is not what I would usually pick. 

Over coffee, we were served very dense chocolate (I want to say...truffle?) topped with black salt. I did like it, but we were all too stuffed and left with one of them still on the table. 

My verdict - lived up to all the hype for sure :) Great ambience, attentive staff, yummy food. Would I go back? In a heartbeat (but I do need to earn some moolah first *sob*).

Cutler & Co.
55-57 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9419 4888


Cutler & Co on Urbanspoon

IronEaters is back!

Hi all! It has been a long long while...

We have been busy with studying and now work...but myself - MM, is currently on sabbatical and do have a little bit of free time on my hands. I decided to start talking about my favourite past-time (one of them, the other being shopping), i.e. eating again. I changed the look of IronEaters a little, armed with very limited know-how...and am keen to keep experimenting :)

We stopped blogging but certainly did not stop eating, so the plan is to work from the more recent adventures and go from there!

If you happen to stumble upon IronEaters again, I hope you'll enjoy reading the entries, as much as I did writing them (and eating the food prior to that).