Thursday, June 29, 2017


Playing a little catch up here. 

Brad and I went to Dexter towards the end of last year, but since our visit, I longingly look at the Google location for Dexter starred on my Google Maps on my phone every time I open it. I’m just not really ever in Preston that often - although we have looked at apartments in the area once or twice (Dexter’s just not open at 10:30am in the morning…)

The bright and light filled space, is not what you expect a BBQ restaurant to look at - but being a self proclaimed ‘Non-traditional American BBQ’ restaurant that would make sense. Brick laid bar, handsome ocean blue tiles accented by light ply and black steel framing. It’s contemporary, fresh and incredibly inviting. 

Dexter’s KFC - Kentucky Fried Cauliflower - was definitely my kind of KFC. Golden and crisp on the outside, but sweet and tender cauliflower on the inside. With a bit of hot sauce on the side? Best picked up and stuffed into your face with fingers. 

But the main show of course, was the cured beef brisket, served with bone marrow mash, pickles, and a charred marrow rubbed sourdough trencher. Um. Drool. Drool. And drool some more. I haven’t done a lot of BBQ in Melbourne - but definitely was one of the best briskets I’d had. It melted in the mouth, and I loved the moistness of it (can you say that about meat?). And that bone marrow mash? Divine, purely divine. So smooth and so rich! 

To offset the richness of our smoked brisket goodness, we got some green chilli slaw on the side which hit the spot just right.

With news that these guys are opening a second shop in the CBD, you can only imagine how excited I am!

456 High Street

Dexter Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Monday, June 26, 2017


Where on earth has 2017 disappeared to? I’m not sure what’s happened. Although I did post in February, saying it was my intent to get back into writing on the blog, I just feel like I’ve been consumed by life! However, a couple of weeks ago my dad informed me that the wife of one his friends, who I have never met, apparently asked why I hadn’t been writing recently and sometimes that’s all you need as a little kick in the butt to get back on it. I never like to disappoint! 

Lots of things have happened in my personal life. Brad and I got engaged (which I still intend to write a blog post about), we’ve had some unexpected losses, and I’ve turned 29 - how terrifying! 

For the latter, my actual birthday fell on a weekday, so decided to postpone Brad’s dinner treat for me until Friday, where I booked us in for Ramblr on Chapel Street. 

Ramble, since it’s opening, and a couple of glowing reviews from foodie friends, had been stuck in my mind so although I could’ve made Brad spend much more on me…sometimes the heart (and tastebuds) just want what the heart wants. 

Having had visited Leonard’s House of Love a couple of months earlier, you would never guess by first look that it was owned by the same people. The space is almost painfully cool, almost blending in on the street, dimly lit with clean stripped back finishes offset with touches of warm material and finishes. It’s very Melbourne chic. 

We’re so lucky in Melbourne to have a great range of restaurants from the high end, to the cheap eats, to the not too expensive - but definitely very nice - sweet spot, which is where, in my opinion Ramblr sits beautifully.

I love that the menu reads simply, just feature ingredients, and not too much fluff. Best to leave some anticipation after all!

Since it was my birthday celebration, my usual aversion to gluten was on hiatus for the night. The house made bread was gorgeously warm, with delightfully crunchy crust and just lightly herbed, salted, perfectly seasoned. 

Warm cocktails? That involve figs? And bourbon? (I think)? Tick, tick, tick.

Crispy pigs head fritters with sauce ravigote also ticks all the things I like. The golden, crisp, brown batter on the outside is just to die for. It wasn’t quite as moist and juicy as I thought it might be on the inside, but it was just right.

Calamari noodles with smoked bone marrow and kim chi sounds like it comes from another planet, and kind of looks like it too. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s an abstract art piece, with the vibrantly coloured, and flavoured (hello spicy kick!) kimchi a stark contrast to the incredibly textural calamari curls. I absolutely adored this dish - a real palate awakener!

In continuing my disregard for gluten for the evening, I ordered the crab linguine with lemon, dill, chilli, garlic butter and bottarga for my main (although Brad and I swapped plates half way through, as we always do). Brad’s been going on recently on how good just simple pasta is - without being drowned in sauce and this really was just a beautiful example of that. The pasta it self was beautiful in texture, gorgeously al dente, and so wonderfully complimented with simple ingredients and sweet crab meat. I don’t do pasta often, but when I do, it’s gotta be like this.

While the linguine was light and zesty, the slow cooked beef cheek, BBQ onion and horseradish sat on the other end of the spectrum. A small but densely packed luscious lot of protein. A little sticky, the beef still had some structure to it, but fell apart beautifully and was so tender - and although little, filled you up very quickly!

Dessert options are limited to two, and feeling pretty full, just opted for the baked muscatel custard with cinnamon poached quince. I’d had mixed responses to quince desserts in the past, but this creation from Ramblr was a hit for me. Perhaps because it was more custard than quince and I was kind of delighted that it was executed like a creme brûlée (not sure what I was expecting otherwise though…). I actually did like the quince a lot too though, maybe it was the texture that made it seem sweeter, and lighter than I’d had before, but I enjoyed it greatly. 

In all, I was greatly impressed by Ramblr. I love the modern Australian dining experience that is a good balance of experimental and boundary pushing, but with a lack of pretentiousness about it. The setting was relaxed and intimate, but professional. For a nice meal out, I also found the price point to be very reasonable - in fact I think there might’ve even been a first (or perhaps second date?) going on at the table next to us…! 

(Also, shit, how I am 29 already?)

363 Chapel Street
South Yarra

Ramblr Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato