Archive | February 2013

Views of and from Fenix Restaurant

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In between our main meal and dessert we decided to go for a walk outside to take in the views. We walked down the steps to the river and took these photos. It’s such a peaceful area, and very Australian.

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A photo of the interior. There were nice splashes of red throughout the restaurant. Another reason for me to love it lol.
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Fenix: A feast fit for a birthday

Saturday 16th February is my birthday. Unlike other family members I love celebrating my birthday. One of my friends and I have decided to celebrate by going to a 5 star restaurant to celebrate our birthdays. This year I chose Fenix, owned by Australian Masterchef judge, Gary Mehigan. The restaurant is set beside a lovely shaded bend in the Yarra River in Richmond, just a few kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD.

When we arrived we were allowed to choose our own table either inside or out. As it was quite a hot day we chose to sit inside but next to the window so we could enjoy the view. You wouldn’t know that you were just near the city. Being Satuday lunchtime meant the restaurant was quiet so the staff had more time to spend with us. They created a wonderful atmosphere for my birthday.

Our lovely waitress, Anastasia, came over to tell us the Rotisserie ‘du jour’ and other specials. She mentioned that they have three options for diners. One is an express lunch where you have two courses for a set price, the second option was a la carte and the third was a ‘Sharer’s Feast’ which would take 2-3 hours depending on how long it took us to eat. For just $69 we could have three courses. Three choices from the entree, two from the mains and two from the dessert as well as one side option. This sounded like it was excellent value so we chose that option.

The food was very simple and extremely delicious. Everything tasted so fresh. It was great to have a form of salad accompanying each dish which made each dish quite light. I’d always thought of Fenix as as a special occasion restaurant but that’s not the case as the prices are very reasonable. The only disappointment was there wasn’t a huge selection of ‘wines by the glass’ to choose from.

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Cured Atlantic salmon, pickled fennel & watercress salad, radishes & crème fraiche

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Sweet corn & gruyere `sticks’, tomato relish

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Pressed pork belly, roasted cauliflower puree, Japanese scallops

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300g full blood Wagyu rump, heirloom beetroots, whip goat’s curd

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Heirloom tomato, “Giorgio’s” mini boccincini, pesto, black olive oil

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Baby snapper

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Mango & macadamia “Bombe Alaska” with a passionfruit syrup.

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Coconut crème caramel, caramelized pineapple, piña colada sorbet

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A Word a Week Photo Challenge: Garden

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I love gardens. When I look back at the many thousands of photos I’ve taken, so many of them are of gardens.

These photos were taken at the Springvale Crematorium in Melbourne’s south east. I wanted to practice with my new camera in November so went there because it’s not far from where I work. I knew I could make it there and back in my lunch break. I’ve heard that some people even have their wedding photos taken in the gardens where there are no graves or plaques.

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Details of the challenge and many more beautiful gardens can be found at http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/02/11/a-word-a-week-challenge-garden/

Ash Wednesday

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Today is Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday falls in the hottest part of summer in Australia. Unfortunately much of the country is prone to bushfires. In fact there is still one big one in Gippsland which has been out of control now for around three weeks. If it was burning in Melbourne, it would cover more than half of the metropolitan area.

Flashback to Ash Wednesday 1983. February 16th. My 11th birthday.

Due to the bushfires that took hold of south east Australia, this is one of my most memorable birthdays. Victoria is one of the world’s most fire prone areas. We have high temps and low rainfall which is the perfect recipe for starting fires. In 1983 we were coming out of a drought. We’d had 75% less rain than normal during that period of time. This meant there was plenty of fuel to feed the fire; dry leaves, twigs and other vegetation.

It was a very scary time for an 11 year old who didn’t have much understanding of what the conditions meant. I only knew that I loved the hot weather. And still do today. Eight days before the fires Melbourne was covered in a huge dust storm.

Seventy five people died in those fires. One of the major fires was in the Dandenong Ranges, near where we lived. They were only 20-30kms away. So close that I couldn’t sleep that night; too scared in case the fires came near our house. I didn’t have much concept of distance at that age.

A photo of the dust storm that hit Melbourne.
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Reference:
http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/fire-and-other-emergencies/major-bushfires-in-victoria/ash-wednesday-1983

Lemon, zucchini and chicken pasta

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This was another quick and easy recipe found on http://www.taste.com.au. I had some zucchinis and lemons in the fridge so searched for, and came up with, this recipe. I tend not to follow recipes but use them as inspiration.

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Grate 2 zucchini and cook them in 50g butter until soft. Add garlic and cook for 5 mins. Add the chicken and cook until browned.

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Add pasta (recipe calls for bow-tie pasta but I used macaroni) and another 50g of butter.

Mix everything through and add the juice of one lemon and the rind.

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To serve, grate some parmesan cheese over the top while still warm so it slightly melts into the pasta. I didn’t have any parsley to provide that little hit of colour.

Barcode Fountain, Geelong

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The fountain was commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong to incorporate a barcode from an original and surviving Geelong iconic product: Noddy’s Soft Drink. The barcode is produced on many stainless steel panels that terrace toward the road which gives it a waterfall effect.

I read about it in a brochure so wanted to see it. I was looking for a tall fountain but Mum saw it and asked me to go over and look at it. Not realising that it was what I was searching for. It was very clever but also peaceful to watch the water gently falling towards the road.

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Poppykettle Playground, Geelong foreshore

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These cute little bronze Peruvian creatures were made by Jenda Bucek and are based on Robert Ingpen’s book Voyage of the Poppykettle, a Geelong-based fable about sea-faring Hairy Peruvians who landed at Limeburner’s Point.

The last photo shows how small the little creatures actually are.

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