As the countdown to Christmas is on I’ve been trying to think back on the year while frantically buying presents, winding up work and starting the turkey preparation. I’ve loved exploring new places this year whether they are cafes that I can bring a two year old along to or Melbourne’s best new restaurants. I’ve also been lucky enough to do a bit of travelling and discover some new places around Australia and the rest of the world. Thanks for reading along the way. These are my favourite eats, places and recipes of the year:
Best meal in Melbourne in 2015
It’s simple and unpretentious but Tipo 00 is serving up the best pasta in Melbourne right now and I loved my meal there. There are burnished juicy pan fried scallops braised with warm lettuce and slivers of paper thin pancetta all in a light sauce and soft balls of buttery gnocchi topped with a rich slow cooked duck ragu and shards of parmesan. Do one thing and do it well I say and on that front Tipo 00 delivers.
Best meal travelling in 2015
I’ve been lucky enough to visit foodie paradise San Francisco twice this year for work and each time I’ve eaten like a King (or Queen!). On my most recent trip I discovered The Liholiho Yacht Club which opened this year in the Tenderloin district serving up Hawaiian food. After one meal here I am keen to book a trip to Hawaii. I loved the beef tongue buns but the must order dish here is the Baked Hawaii which is Liholiho’s take on a Baked Alaska.
Worst meal in Melbourne in 2015
In a case of life not living up to Instagram (why am I not surprised?) I was disappointed by my brunch at Providence in Carlton. A delicious sounding dish of mushroom Scotch eggs was poorly executed. The eggs were surrounded by so much dry stuffing they were the size of a small boulders throwing out the great ratio of egg to sausage meat which is the hallmark of a traditional Scotch egg. Simple scones, jam and cream were also poorly done. It’s a shame as everything looked so good through a Lo-Fi filter.
Worst meal travelling in 2015
All the guides to Ubud in Bali recommend Casa Luna but unfortunately the restaurant may be a victim of its own success as it feels like a tourist trap. It’s huge, set over multiple levels and has one of those menus which features everything from donuts to pasta to spring rolls. The cooking school at Casa Luna is reportedly excellent and focuses more on Balinese food so perhaps it’s best to head there instead of just to the restaurant.
Recipe of the year
I loved making (and eating) this rhubarb and strawberry pie. Given strawberries are absolutely at their peak right now it’s a perfect pie for this time of year.
Cookbook of the year
My favourite this year was a local Melbourne cookbook called Tasting Puglia. Hearty, rustic recipes and the cheapest way to transport yourself to the heel of Italy. Take me back! You can check out my list of my favourite cookbooks for 2016 here.
Total number of posts for 2015
107. Wow that’s a lot of eating. No wonder I am preferring elasticated clothes at the moment.
Most far flung reader in 2015
Hello Oman. I’ve never been there but it’s on my wish list!
Weirdest search term used to get to Gourmet-Chick in 2015
“What do snails taste like?”. My answer is delicious! Check out my guide to eating snails in France.
10. My 2016 wish list.
- Noma in Sydney. Sadly I didn’t manage to get a booking in the one minute the booking line was open so that one’s just a pipe dream.
- Ipsos in Lorne. The Kosta family return to Lorne. I love a bit of Greek food by the sea.
- Dinner in Melbourne. I loved the original Dinner in London so it would be fun to compare.
- Tahina in Northcote. This cheap and cheerful Middle Eastern restaurant sounds very Ottolenghi-esque to me. Would love to check it out.
- Marion in Fitzroy. I love everything Andrew McConnell does so I am sure this newly opened wine bar will be superb.
- Ezard at Levantine Hill. Ultra glamorous Yarra Valley winery with fabulous food. Yes please.