Sunday, March 11, 2012

Recent Eats- March

Sam's Boatshed, Williamstown

Whilst Sam's Boatshed didn't 'blow my mind', it was an enjoyable and ambient restaurant well worth visiting if you are in the Williamstown area. Specializing in fresh seafood and wood-fired pizza's, the restaurant has a rustic feel to it with lovely wooden furnishings and a wide menu.

We loved the potato and rosemary flat-bread so much that we couldn't wait for a photo to be taken. A very yummy way to start a meal- pizza bread topped with sliced potatoes, rosemary, rocket, sour cream and parmesan cheese. It would be the perfect decadent comfort food for a cold night on the beach.

One of my dining partners adored her creamy garlic prawns with saffron rice. It was very impressively served and contained big juicy prawns!

I, in true character, ordered salmon. A crispy skin fillet served with delicate potato and a sweet fig salad was thoroughly enjoyable.

My third dining partner enjoyed her pesto and pumpkin penne but commented that it was a little over pesto-y! Sometimes that oiliness can be difficult to handle.

Overall, a pleasant dining experience. Some improvements could be made but definitely a nice little family friendly option at Williamstown beach.

Aura Cafe, Templestowe Lower

I found this nice little cafe on Urban Spoon and was drawn to it by the exotic options on the breakfast menu. Sometimes a Big Breakfast and Eggs Benedict gets boring, so its always nice to see cafes getting a little creative with breakfasts. Aura is case in point. If you are sick of the same old breakfast menu, give it a try! And those who like the regular will be happy to know that it also caters for you with 'normal' breakfasts such as the Big Breakfast and Vegetarian Breakfast.

I really enjoyed my truffled eggs with asparagus and feta on rye. The beetrot jus drizzled on the plate was really tasty, and the feta and asparagus combination really complimented the poached eggs.

The boyfriend loved his breakfast burger, chocka full of 'boyish' goodness- egg, bacon, avocado, rocket and tomato salsa in a massive brioche style bun. Just what a man needs to start the day!

Another impressive looking breakfast on the table was fried black mushrooms with poached eggs and relish served on a bagel.

Staff were also extremely friendly and helpful at this little cafe. We had our little nephew with us who is allergic to staying still, and they were very understanding of him treating the cafe like a playground and made our family feel very welcome.

Namaste Indian, Bundoora

Since I have been calorie counting, I have not touched Indian food for about four or five months. I had forgotten how amazing it is! My fellow teacher girlfriend and I, both feeling very rundown and overwhelmed by our jobs this term, felt so comforted by our meal at Namaste. Forget greasy comfort food that some people turn to, give me the heady fragrances of spicy Indian food and I feel awake and alive. Just beautiful.
We adored the lamb rogan josh and butter chicken, accompanied with saffron rice and garlicky naan bread. Obviously Indian is not the kind of food you can eat every day but it is definitely something I am happy to save up my calories for! Service was wonderful as it normally is at Indian establishments, and food some of the best I have had in our area (other than Bhoj in Templestowe!)

Spaghetti Marinara (using marinara mix from the new fish place at St Helena Shopping Village)

I love a simple spaghetti marinara! So easy to make and very hard to stuff up. The key is to use a good quality marinara mix that gives you quality seafood, not just the off-cuts. It can really make or break the dish. Another tip is to let the seafood be the star of the dish... I only use a few other simple ingredients to accompany it.

For two people, I used half a kilo of marinara mix.

Set your spaghetti or linguine up to boil. Meanwhile in a frypan heat some olive oil. Add a chopped onion, two teaspoons of garlic, one chopped chilli. Fry until onion is soft. Add your marinara mix, a generous dash of white wine (about 1//4 cup) and a large handful of chopped fresh basil. Simmer for about seven weeks or until fish has turned white and prawns have turned pink.

Toss through your pasta with a dash of olive oil and serve with a pinch of fresh parmesan. Easy, yummy and impressive- even though it takes very little effort!

Check out my other two blog posts on my experience at Mamasita, the 'it' restaurant from last year and a cooking class at the Queen Vic Market.

L xx

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