The Ludlow Formation

Melbourne likes to consider itself the food and fashion capital of Australia. Melbourne food & wine festival, LMFF, yadda yadda yadda. So, it would seem, every once in a while, these two cultural show cards merge, and Melbourne foodies adhere to the current cuisine craze, that becomes what I like to call a “foodie zeitgeist” or “food in fashion”. Whether it be popular culture, social media or television, something ignites a passion for different flavours in people, and suddenly melbournites are rushing to eat tacos and burgers like they are going out of fashion. It’s kind of like when skinny jeans or ugg boots came in, but people are running with their knives and forks instead of their bad taste. If you do not understand my current ranting, I shall explain in more detail…

So it all happened around the time of Masterchef last year, suddenly the Macaron bomb dropped and Zumbo turned Melbourne in to a wannabe Parisian paradise. They were everywhere! Predating this came the red velvet cupcake revolution- the whole “high tea” thing, circa mid 2011. Soon after, came the increasing popularity in the belly of pork, most likely, the contributing factor- yep, Masterchef. Infact, Google reported that these three items where the “most googled foods of 2011″… Interesting. Later on, came the greater popularity in street food, particularly Mexican cuisine. Melbourne’s infatuation with the Taco causing Taco joints to pop up all over the place. And furthermore, more currently, came the fast food revolution, and the latest holy craze to encapsulate Melbournites is…The Burger. I don’t know about you, but it seems everywhere I turn, the next joint is serving Wagyu burgers, or at least some kind of burger situation and pictures of people’s greasy, dripping surprises are popping up more and more in my Facebook newsfeed. It’s funny to think actually, that this fast food favorite is now appearing on the menus of restaurants and bars everywhere. And, to cater for the flourishing hunger of this “street food revolution” comes all these food trucks bringing the almighty stuff to us. On another note, as mentioned in a rant by co-blogger Jack, it seems the current favorite, Cider, is the drink of choice to serve with all these fast food favourites. But, I’ll leave those remarks to him. Although, let it be known… Rekorderlig is revolting. And is the new “passion pop” of the bottled beverage world. Rant over.

So, the uprising of the current “food fashions” brings me to write my next post. The Ludlow Formation is one of the newest additions to the drinking holes of Riverside Quay. But not so fast, do not let the location of this place scare you, as, I know, there is a trap you fall in to when dining upon Riverside Quay. Let me paint the picture…The bogans and tourists filter off from their mindless stroll around the tacky opulence of the Crown Casino and later move on to pay top dollar for some shit expensive food because you’re seated by our beautiful Yarra river. Not pointing any fingers… Il Primo Posto. Right? This doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to The Ludlow Formation. I was pleasantly surprised. This place is sufficiently decked out. Seated bar-side, after a couple of drinks, I order some eggplant chips with avocado dip. A usual favourite. Nice big bowl… I’m happy. Saltiness- tick. Texture- tick. Dip- tick. Mind you, once shared, it didn’t really cure my hunger. So once it reaches dinner time… I’m ready to order the proper stuff. Wagyu burgers appear on their menu. Check. Bowl of fries for the table. Check. Burger is good… the thickness of Wagyu pattie is enjoyable and it is smothered in an appropriately thick piece of bacon. It hits the spot. Fries are really good too. Aioli is satisfying. I am happy with this place. It’s filled with a leisurely crowd, not too quiet and not too busy.

So, in discussing this, I support the fact that dining destinations have to adhere to the current cuisine craze, but some place’s should just stick to what they know. And not start serving burgers because that’s what the indies are eating. 2nd rant over.

All in all, not a lot bad to say about this place. It’s good for any occasion.

Adam

3/6 Riverside Quay
Southbank VIC 3006

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Misschu

For some, lunching in Melbourne’s CBD gets about as good as a baguette from Degraves or a salad from the David Jones Foodhall. If you are thinking overpriced and overrated, then you would be right. Congratulations… As for the rest of you, happily eating your manky baguettes and soggy salads, this will undoubtedly be a revelation to you. It’s time to break free from the indie kids and tourists of Melbourne laneways… Misschu offers lunchtime reprieve- if you just know where to look.

It’s no denying that to get to Misschu, there is slightly more leg work involved. But if you want to be apart of the cool group – you will make the effort. Otherwise, I’m sure Laurent is more than happy to accommodate you…

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Misschu is it’s own little brand of cool. It is just as much of a take-away joint as it is a restaurant. The menus are just like the forms you used to fill out for your lunch order from the school tuckshop; Nostalgic and cute. Tick off what you want from the menu and take it up to the counter, rather straight forward really.

Food comes out fast! But “fast food” this is not. It would be worth-your-while to kick off with some rice paper rolls, considering Misschu does claim to be the rice paper roll queen! We opt for Roast Duck and Banana Flower.

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They don’t just arrive on a plate… how fucking cliché! They arrive packaged of course!

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And yes, they do taste as good as they look. Juicy, fresh, crunchy, tasty. You can’t really go wrong here. Whilst we’re doing the ‘duck’ thing, we decide to go with a serve of the Peking Duck Pancakes. Again, they are yum, but tiny. We’re talking gone-in-a-mouthful.

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Next up, we order some deep fried Pork Hanoi spring rolls. Can you really go wrong with spring rolls? Probably… But not at Misschu! Five bucks will get you a small bowl of these deep fried babies. They are crunchy, salty, porky (is that even an adjective?), and beyond moreish.

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Even if you are “full” by now, you will have to find room for the most crucial of all dishes. If BBQ Pork Char Sui bun, doesn’t make you salivate, then you might as well not bother coming at all. This is the kind of thing that should make vegetarians to reconsider meat. They are THAT good. Amazing stringy pork is encased in a sweet fluffy bun. The fact that they are only $2.20 a pop, just makes it that much better!

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To finish, we devour some pork croquettes, which was the special of the day. They were good. But nothing more than that. Crunchy outer; juicy inner. Big whoop… Order another pork bun instead.

All in all, I don’t think you can really go wrong with Misschu. They have something on the menu for every kind of weather, offering a quick bite over lunch or something more substantial for dinner. I feel it is noteworthy that Misschu is licensed too, so you can wash it all down with a beer, wine or get hammered on their frozen young coconut crushes on a hot day.

Don’t waste another cent in Degraves, Misschu’s cheap and cheerful fare is where it’s at!

Jack

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Trunk Diner

Every year, there comes a time when there is only two things for one to do. Stay inside. And eat. This was one of those times.

I’m equally frustrated when it’s hot and when I’m hungry. So at this point I’m pretty shitty. Trekking around the high end of the city- in the fucking steamy weather- with a growling stomach. So, at this point, Trunk Diner could of been the solution to my furthering frustration. In some ways it was. In some ways it wasn’t.

To look at- this place is kind of quirky… It’s sort of like a shed/ shipping container- filled with paraphernalia. I’m not in the mood for any of this shit… I’m just after some good food. This set aside, the menu looks pretty good at first glance. Eyes dance around the baguettes on offer- we are later informed that they are out of all the baguettes except one. This pisses me off. It’s annoying when places run out of shit. Anyway, issue set aside…after all, I’m a burger man… Little did I know, it would cost me. The most basic burger starts at $10 then $1.5 for additions like cheese or caramelized onions and then $2 for bacon or avocado, etc, etc…Ehhh. If I was to pay almost $20 for the burger I was about to have, then I’d be sufficiently pissed off. So I decide to be quite tame and just add cheese. And of course order fries. It comes out in due course. It’s pretty shit. Small dry bun… Dry piece of wagyu… Bit of limp salad… Some shitty pickles…Skimpy cheese… No sauce. If you want a good burger here, you have to get off your ass and construct it your self. And order all the extras. So the burger’s not terrible, but it’s not great either. What I’m more excited about is the fries… They’re morish.

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Trunk Diner isn’t the only hotspot in Melbourne to adopt the American fast food style eating side of things. So our hopes are set high, burger wise. Huxtaburger, for example, is sufficiently better…. And you don’t have to pay through the teeth for additions.

With the burger at Trunk Diner not exactly hitting the spot, we decide to head for the sweet side of the menu. They’re out of brownies too. What does this place actually have? I go for a ‘peanut buttercup’ ice-cream sandwich. It’s enjoyable but not all that ‘peanut-buttery’. There doesn’t seem a lot to rave about here.

So, I leave Trunk Diner, half satisfied, and $20 poorer. Might head back here in the near future, to try the butter milk fried chicken…although, I wouldn’t rush back, they may have run out of it.

Trunk Diner
275 Exhibition St.
Melbourne 3000

Adam

Trunk Diner on Urbanspoon

Now on TWITTER

Hello readers, we have finally decided that it is time to join the Twitter revolution! We are still trying to wrap our heads around everything, but will keep you updated on where’s hot and not, in and around Melbourne! FOLLOW US HERE!

Love, EOTF

Eating Out In Melbourne: A Rant

Recently, a friend reminded me that ‘nice guys come last’, and for some reason her words have continued to eminate with me. Sadly, I feel that Eyes on the Fries has become just that; the ‘nice guy’, and as I sit here and scroll through the past posts, as entertaining as they may be, I can’t help but feel that something is missing from the blog. Everything seems to be just a little too ‘friendly’ and ‘obliging’, which I have since decided that I am not okay with.

I feel as though this blog should be like that boyfriend or girlfriend that you dont want to bring home to meet your parents. We ought to be the one who rides a motorcycle, has facial piercings, and listens to some serious rock and roll. Yes people, it is very much a “lock up your daughters” situation. I have put on the leather for this post, and I certainly don’t plan on holding back on anyone with the nerve to serve up anything that looks like shit, tastes like shit, and is served by someone who doesn’t wear shoes (I’m looking at you Hairy Canary)… Yes bitches, your day of reckoning has arrived!

ARCADIA

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Let’s kick off with Arcadia. My experience with Arcadia is that of shit food and even shittier service. My first encounter with this cafe was for a quick coffee and cake, the only issue being that neither my “coffee” and “cake” were quick. I place “coffee” and “cake” within inverted commas as my coffee could very well be mistaken for dirty dish water and my cake for some kind of inedible rock. But let’s just back track a bit to the ordering part… Unless I missed something, I was under the distinct impression that the staff (who literally look worse than a homeless person) actually came to take your order, instead of you doing all the leg work for your god damn coffee and cake.

Being the forgiving individual that I am, I later returned to Arcadia for a quick lunch… Sorry, did I say ‘quick’ again? There seemed to be no improvement on their lunch either. Some dry chicken sandwich eventually found it’s way to my table- fortunately this time without the leg work. However this didn’t change much, the food was still totally unsatisfactory…

I am still asking myself how this place is surviving on Gertrude Street with neighbors like De Clieu and Birdman Eating? At least you now know better than to waste ya pennies here…

Arcadia on Urbanspoon

COLONEL TAN’S

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Do you know what is really starting to get old? Eclectic furniture. History shows, that the whole “deck your restaurant out in furniture from your gran’s house” movement coincided with the “indie” movement, neither of which are altogether acceptable… It seems, that for some reason, if your restaurant doesn’t include one article of furniture from a Salvo’s store, it is simply not ‘Melbourne’ enough…

Whilst we are on the topic of “second best”, we may as well talk about the overly kitsch Colonel Tan’s. I mean, I can kind of understand how it thrives, being situated down the “grungy end” of Chapel Street and all, but surely its saving grace should be its cheap and cheerful Thai street food not its fucking op shop decor. Well no, even the food doesn’t seem on par with it’s culinary counterparts: Cookie and Choo Choo’s at The Toff In Town…

During my visit, I was seated and told I had only an hour and a half before the table became reserved for a booking. This is not usually an issue, but due to incredibly slow service, I could only nibble on some pork spare ribs (and I mean literally ‘nibble’… These things were practically all bone!) and throw back a beer before we had to vacate the table! Perhaps the other items on the menu which I had thought I might have ordered as later courses are worth your while, but with service as slow as it was, one would need to set aside a good five fucking hours, in order to get a proper feed!

Colonel Tan's on Urbanspoon

NAKED FOR SATAN

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Not altogether sure why this place is hot on the lips of every second Melbournian at the moment… Well, yeah it’s fucking cheap. Actually, probably the cheapest feed you can find in this city. But cheap doesn’t always constitute palatable. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Perhaps it was the time of day which we chose to dine, but the pintos on offer ranged from some cold green puréed shit, to a slice of tomato and a leaf of basil on a piece of dry baguette. No points for ingenuity awarded…

Can’t really complain about the service here, as it’s kinda up to you to have your cake and eat it too… Or pintos in such a situation.

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CAFE VUE

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I feel especially cheated by Cafe Vue. I’ve given it a few chances to redeem itself, but there is always something or someone which manages to totally fuck it up.

The first time I went to Cafe Vue was for breakfast. And, let me just add that I was properly stoked for it too. Right from the get go, things were just… Lacking. I’m definitely one of those people who isn’t quite themselves without my morning coffee… Volatile is probably the best given adjective for my pre-caffeine self. So, as you can imagine, some lukewarm cup of crap by 11AM is hardly going to avail. Breakfast was hardly as delicious as it was cracked up to be. The ‘Spanish eggs’ are better described as some baked eggs in a flavourless tomato purée…

I returned, reluctantly, for lunch. No surprises, the burger and fries ordered were soggy and bland. However, this time I didn’t bother wasting my money on their coffee…

Café Vue at 401 on Urbanspoon

HAIRY CANARY

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Yes, I know I have already gone to town about how shit this place is, but I feel it is my duty to inform you of the following… For some reason I ended up back at this hell hole not long ago, and in all honesty I can’t actually recall why that was..? Anyway, we all ordered some pizza and drinks, from the foreign waitress who initially seemed almost obliging.

When the food arrived, the issue did not seem to be a question of ingredient or flavour, the issue was again one of service… I’ll just be blunt. The waitress didn’t have any shoes on…

I find it quite abnormal to not wear any shoes for any line of work. But, I find it actually disgusting for this girl to have her dirty toes out around my food… Unsure if it’s a cultural thing or if she is a few crayons short of a box, but I question her own sanity along with the whole food hygiene of Hairy Canary…

Hairy Canary on Urbanspoon

Jack

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Huxtaburger

You grasp the glossy sesame seed topped bun, admiring it’s enticing contents, you bite, and the juicy wagyu beef pattie, mustard, mayo, tomato sauce, tomato, cheese, lettuce & pickles hit your taste-buds… well… in want of a better metaphor, it’s like the Titanic in to the iceberg. Yes, it’s that good. Enough to make the old Big Mac seem like a VCR…and your Grill’d burger seem like a Walkman.

A barely-bearble Summer’s day is what brought us to make the holy dream of the Huxtaburger a reality. Seeking somewhere to fill our stomachs but not empty our wallets, Huxtaburger could have been a mirage. But no, it was not a delusion.

If you haven’t already been filled in, let me enlighten you. Huxtaburger is a new addition from the creators of modern-Korean Huxtable, across the road. The top notes at Huxtaburger being, “cheap and cheerful”, “cold beer”, “hot beef” and low and behold “American- style burgers”. If your brain is not going *DING DING DING*, then you should probably click the X on the top right, (or the top left for mac users).

For those that are reading on, I will continue with my vivid recreation. So, you bite- the juicy beef pattie is perfectly pinkish and sufficiently salty… it definitely makes the burger as glorious as it is. The cheese that is sprawled across has turned molten and dewy and the glissening bread that the meat sits atop is sweet and soft, covered in mustard & tomato sauce which makes it perfectly sweet and salty, and touches on the American- style of things. If you are a lover of pickles, like I am, you will also be pleased with the addition of them. And finally, the salad, it is crisp and fresh, and there is just the right amount of it. If I may borrow a word from Heston Blumenthal, i’ll say this burger is packed full of “Umami”. Meaning, it’s enough to make a foodie weak at the knees. Not to worry though, the chips are in reach. They are delish, and salty enough, but I cannot help but feel they could have done with another minute or so in the deep frier. Ah well, I suppose that’s just how I like them.

I think I need not say anymore, because you’re probably already in the car/ tram/ bus or even getting your ass down there by foot. Because let’s be honest, Huxtaburger is pretty damn good. Huxtaburger is $8, and you can add egg, beetroot, jalapenos for only a little more. That’s practically Maccas pricing!

Anyway, there is chips in the oven, so for now, I bid you all Good-bye.

Get to Huxtaburger for an American fatty adventure,

Adam.

Huxtaburger Restaurant

106 Smith Street Collingwood.

Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

CODA

I sometimes indulge in the idea of it surprising you readers that the fried food connoisseurs who write this blog are only the tender age of 18… And with a new Internet sensation surfacing practically daily, we could be the next flavour of the month! I’m thinking a Justin Bieber fan base, with a Matt Preston reading demographic. One can dare to dream…

Of course, you aren’t here to read about my overambitious, borderline conceited literary dreams… You are here to read about my latest venture for fried finery…

My trip to CODA took place after from what I can only recall as a big night. Waking on Sunday morning both hungover yet still drunk, my pounding headache was only slightly subsided by the sobering thoughts of what I would get to eat at lunch… And two double espresso’s…

Any-who, I walk into CODA and meet with the rest of my company. Our table lies right under the windows looking onto Flinders Lane… Or rather the people in Flinders Lane looking onto our table… I consider it to be almost voyeuristic looking in on intimate moments with me and my food… Moving on!

I think to myself, “What better way to sober up than with more alcohol!”, so I order a beer, and opt for some chips… sorry, “pomme frites”… to nibble on… Which I later realized was my breakfast. I digress…

The chips are good. Of the shoestring variety. But not salty… Boo. After asking for some kind of dipping sauce, the lovely waitress exclaims “hmm, well we have a Japanese mayonnaise”. Sold! Yes friends, it is Kewpie mayonnaise, which I have already proclaimed my intense love of here… Onward…

Time for some real food. The menu is made up of small things, big things, side things, and sweet things, and all made to share… We order the quail lettuce delight, herb crumbed lamb chop, blackened quail, and the zucchini fritters. The quail lettuce delight, which is basically quail san choi bao, is yum, kinda messy, but yum. The herb crumbed lamb chop, is so much more than “just a lamb chop” it’s crispy, oily, herby, say no more. The blackened quail is also worth checking out, however if you are by any means hungry, the meat to bone ratio is not nearly big or meaty enough to fill your hungry spot…! Oh, and the zucchini fritters are like these yummy fried balls with this amazing salad of buffalo cheese, mint and peas.

Moving on to something bigger and we all opt to go with the roasted yellow duck curry with the heart of palm, honeydew melon, mint and cucumber salad. The curry is full of flavour and carries nice hunks of duck, but is kind of spicy. Not like a chili spicy, more of a pepper spicy. So the cool salad with the sweet chunks of honeydew melon will somewhat save your mouth from the spice!

Funnily, I am not yet full. Or maybe it is just one of those times where your body unconsciously makes room for desert once you have seen what’s on offer. I break a mini-sweat during my deliberation, there are just too many good things on offer! I decide to go with the ‘chocolate bar’, a fairly nondescript, yet ‘says-it-all’ name really. However, once it has arrived I know I have made no mistake…

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It really is one of those fancy deserts… Like something that they would chose to do in a pressure test on MasterChef. It is this chocolate case, filled firstly with a layer of grainy dark chocolate ‘dirt’ -if you will- then has some kind of creamy, white chocolate mouse-come-custard like filling topped with a very thin shard of of what I think was a bitter toffee, though I could be very wrong… Served with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and a few cherries in tow, this desert was a perfect end to a memorable meal. Justifiably so, as it has been well over 2 months since I actually visited Coda…

Anyway, not many negatives about this place at all. Amazing fit out and location, great menu, good music, and a waitress who won me over at the start with an above average serving of Kewpie! Woman after my own heart…

CODA
141 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Jack

Coda on Urbanspoon

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