Other than breakfast and three home cooked meals, we ate out all the time we were in Melbourne and I would agree with LW that in Australia, more precisely Melbourne, it’s difficult to eat a bad meal eating out.
I would also add that given average prices per meal were equivalent to what’s charged at Les Petit Salut or Marmalade Pantry in Singapore, I don’t expect to eat bad food!
I shall divide the meals we ate out into a few categories, starting with the most expensive meal — which was taken on the night we arrived at the much written and touted about “fine dining” restaurant called Da Noi on Toorak Road, South Yarra.
Our bill came to AUD333 for three and out of “enormous” generosity, we rounded that up to AUD340 because in Aussie restaurants, there is usually no service charge, making it AUD113 or S$148 per head.
Was the meal worth that money? I guess to be able to say that one’s eaten at Da Noi may elicit some open mouth wonder from your regular yuppie Melbourne dweller. So yes for bragging rights.
But value for money? Let the following pictures do the talking. (They come from LW’s camera as I had 4gotten to bring my trusty Nokia to the dinner).
First the wine. It was AUD55 which was reasonable enough considering we were so reckless (we could have been slaughtered — but we weren’t) as to ask the waitress to select one for us, on the ground that none of us were au fait with Sardinian food and also because the chef’s rather parsimous with information about what’s on the menu, other than to ascertain what the guests don’t eat — because of food preferences, allergy or diet.
Following are some of the dishes that were served up, not in any particular order, except for the dessert and I think the eel (!!!) sashimi, which ended and began our meal. There was also a portion of a roast suckling pig for which strangely I couldn’t find any pix. No matter, we didn’t finish that and had what’s left “da pao” (and subsequently reappeared as part of a delightful dish that TK tossed up when we couldn’t go out to eat because of the pissing rain — more that in a later post).
For me, Da Noi was pleasant enough in a trattoria or taverna sort of way: noisy, cheerful, brash and crowded. The ceiling was high, the room was long and narrow; the lights a little short of dark. But fine dining it wasn’t!
Perhaps I wasn’t able to appreciate the finer points of the place because I was jet lagged, having arrived in Melbourne at 8.30am Aussie time (or 5.30am Spore time) and we had been on the go in the 37 degree heat from then, with only 2 very short breaks in between.
Hence by the time dinner was over, I was lucky not to have collasped from sheer fatigue ! Let alone do justice to the Sardinian cooking that so many other diners had orgased about! In print n in cyber space.