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Rude Boy Burger in Brunswick West

Rude Boy Burger in Brunswick West

Rude Boy Burger is a vibrant and top notch burger joint couched in the burbs in Brunswick West, owned by wife and husband team Karen Ascui-Rodriguez and Franco Caruso, (also a history with cafe Lolo & Wren next door). We've visited many burger joints over the years but some stand out for their innovation and ability to understand the scene and give burger lovers what they want. Rude Boy Burger is not driven by some formula but is a hands on burger house with burgers made with love, constantly evolving and the owners exploring new tastes and combinations. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience the burgers, shakes, fries and joy of Rude Boy Burger.

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Good Beer Week 2018 Set To Be Massive

Good Beer Week 2018 Set To Be Massive

Good Beer Week launches from 11-20 May so it's time to get on board! Not just for foodies and beer connoisseurs, Good Beer Week has ensured there’s action aplenty with their Good Times stream. Marrying local and international brewers with live music and activities, these fun-loving events are perfect for a night out with your mates. This is one of the highlights of the year for The World Loves Melbourne.

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Zac Nicholson Shines at Angliss Great Chefs Lunch

Zac Nicholson Shines at Angliss Great Chefs Lunch

Rockpool Head Chef Zac Nicholson was on hand at an epic Great Chefs Series lunch at Angliss Restaurant to impart his skills to the talented Angliss students. Great Chefs lunches are a popular event at Angliss Restaurant and give the hospitality students an opportunity to work with several top chefs of Melbourne. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to experience the efforts of Zac as well as the Angliss student team.

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Epic Bomba and Bibi Ji NYC Dinner

Epic Bomba and Bibi Ji NYC Dinner

One of the highlights of the culinary year for us was the exciting collaboration with Jessi Singh & Rajat Parr of Babu Ji and Bibi Ji in New York City & Santa Barbara popping up in the kitchen of Melbourne’s Bomba restaurant for a one night only event!

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Flavours of the West: A Spice Journey at Highpoint

Flavours of the West: A Spice Journey at Highpoint

Highpoint Shopping Centre has once again partnered with not-for-profit social enterprise Free to Feed to deliver the second instalment of its food event series, Flavours of the West: A Spice Journey.

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Cumulus Up City Cellar Door

Cumulus Up City Cellar Door

Cumulus Up Wine Bar is bringing Australia’s wine regions to Melbourne’s CBD with monthly pop-up tasting parties Wine lovers, have your diaries at the ready. Cumulus Up Wine Bar on Flinders Lane in Melbourne, is inviting you to join them in sampling some of Australia’s most exciting and interesting varietals and vintages. The City Cellar Door season runs from April to October 2018. One Saturday each month will see Cumulus Up Wine Bar brimming with winemakers and wine tasters.

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Best Bespoke Victorian Winery Experiences

Best Bespoke Victorian Winery Experiences

Many wine enthusiasts and foodies are looking for bespoke winery experiences for that leisure weekend option. We've picked out some of our best bespoke Victorian winery experiences.

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Cutler & Co. Restaurant A Melbourne Icon

Cutler & Co. Restaurant A Melbourne Icon

Cutler & Co is one of the premier dining experiences in Melbourne with its chic vibe, top notch service, food and wine excellence and ability to stay on top of its game. With a major renovation last year it has only added to the iconic experience it has always been. The World Loves Melbourne was privileged to visit with friends for dinner.

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Exclusive La Sirène Two Penny Farmhouse Ale at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal

Exclusive La Sirène Two Penny Farmhouse Ale at Dinner By Heston Blumenthal

The Dinner team has joined forces with Melbourne microbrewery La Sirène to produce Two Penny, an exclusive Farmhouse Ale that marries old-world British flavours with Australian methods. This is an exciting development in the beer world and for The World Loves Melbourne who rates La Sirène as one of its favourite microbrewers and a local favourite of distinction.

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Lunch at Messer Restaurant in Fitzroy

Lunch at Messer Restaurant in Fitzroy

Messer restaurant has launched in Gertrude St Fitzroy as a unique offering in terms of Melbourne dining, with The World Loves Melbourne catching up with co-owner and chef Ashley Davis. Fine dining at affordable prices is a hot topic and Ashley Davis delivers in spades. He draws inspiration from his trips to Europe and in particular Spain. The concept of a restaurant for the people resonates; you can come for a simple grazing experience with house wine or go big with an 8 course degustation, the choice is yours!

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Yarra Valley Meets Sagra with Innocent Bystander

Yarra Valley Meets Sagra with Innocent Bystander

Yarra Valley Meets Sagra was a top notch event for Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Innocent Bystander created a unique experience with Circus Oz, Yarra Valley Dairy, and Four Pillars Gin, all on the Sagra's restaurant rooftop for an amazing night.

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Farming Feast With Matthew Evans for MFWF

Farming Feast With Matthew Evans for MFWF

Angliss Restaurant was the perfect venue for an exciting Farming Feast event for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Fat Pig Farm owner and chef Matthew Evans and his wife Sadie shared their experience of setting up the Fat Pig Farm within a small farming community. They also hosted a farming feast at Angliss Restaurant with a shared plate dinner for an epic evening.

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Food

Town Mouse Not Quiet on Culinary Brilliance

The Town Mouse in Carlton has made a striking impact since it opened and is a stellar performer in a sea of fine dining options. Christian McCabe had conquered every summit on the New Zealand culinary scene (The Matterhorn is oft raved about) and has thankfully brought his culinary skills to Melbourne. Interestingly, he speaks highly of Melbourne weather. We enjoyed one of our best culinary experiences of the year thanks to Town Mouse and Andrew and Pam, who we dined with. 

 

Town Mouse is located in Drummond Street where once Embrasse thrilled punters with its fine dining. Christian has captured the imagination with unpretentious food full of technique and flair, and at excellent value. There's larger cornerstone dishes that can be shared and some smaller dishes of great finesse that "wow". Here at Town Mouse its about a culinary journey to be savoured. Chef Dave Verheu also ex-Mattehorn, shines in the kitchen, with consistency and bold cooking. In my opinion this is a "crack" team here at Town Mouse, including the wait staff.

 

The evening began on a high with Coffin Bay Oysters that were plump and fresh - but the coup de gras was the chardonnay vinegar sorbet and lemon to match. A brilliant flavour combination with the piquant sorbet sitting perfectly against the fresh juicy oysters. Who thinks of chardonnay vinegar sorbet? 

 

Another delicate and impressive dish was the Goat’s cheese profiterole, caraway, thyme, & Town Mouse own honey. The goat's cheese wasn't plainly presented but had a "kick", and was encased in crunchy choux pastry. This baby gets you up and going, as a starter should.

All the while Christian was engaging us, passionate and hospitable. This is not an aloof restaurant but a world of friends enjoying amazing food and wine together. 

 

Town Mouse also served up some decent bread with high grade butter.

 

The Trout starter could have been entered in fashion week, it was so visually appealing. It could equally be at home on the runway as on the table. Smoked brook trout, pickled clams, radish, verbena, & wild onion. The flavour combination was expertly balanced. The trout itself perfectly cooked, with a plethora of textures coming from the clams, radish and wild onion.

 

We were disarmed by seemingly humble dishes that provided punch and resulted in enthusiastic approval by our dining posse. Heirloom kales, slow cooked egg, rye, comté, & mustard stole the show. The Town Mouse can creep up on you and take you by surprise. Through the seeming innocuous kales comes a slow cooked runny egg which connects with an indulgent sauce to accompany... Behind the simplicity are nuances that excite.

 

Lately I've chosen the pork jowl over pork belly as a general rule. I've been becoming a Melbourne pork belly addict and junkie - and I'm now looking for pork variations. This jowl is a standout, but its more about the experience of the whole dish - Pork jowl, charred octopus, ink, turnip, kohlrabi, & chickweed. Paring pork jowl with charred octopus is a masterstroke, with vegetables to cut through the indulgence. 

 

Then arrived our "mains" centrepiece - Slow roasted saltgrass lamb shoulder (900g), chargrilled cos, lemon, & tahini. Firstly, this is one of the better presented lamb dishes in Melbourne. Rather than just a pile of lamb on a plate (which is fine) Town Mouse brings out this wonderfully shaped encased huge portion of golden lamb, then cut according to requirements. The tahini is compelling to accompany.

The saltgrass lamb is first class to boot, juicy and tender with the saltgrass nuance shing through. We enjoyed this dish with a range of accompaniments and some choice Sangiovese from the impressive wine menu.

 

I was compelled to take another photo of this alluring lamb dish...

Anyone for cabbage? We were gobsmacked by the Town Mouse cabbage dish - it was arguably the dish of the night - and who would have thought cabbage could be such an exciting proposition? Christian tells us that vegetarians flock to this dish. Slow roast red cabbage, prune, parmesan, & red apple. Red cabbage filled with these refreshing and slightly rich ingredients is again a masterstroke. You may be reading this and wondering if I'm high and waxing lyrical over the trivial - you need to try this dish.

 

And the cabbage dish looked a treat as a red/purple tower with parmesan flecks...

 

Again a seemingly humble dish is brought to heights with this New season asparagus, pecorino custard, sesame, green olive, & lemon number. If you were going to show off your new season asparagus why not pair it with a delectable pecorino custard? And add extra crunch and flavour with sesame.

A brilliant harmony and signature note runs through the culinary experience at Town Mouse - everything comes together. As surprising as some dishes are they never are at odds with each other. This is a dining experience with an unfolding story.

 

A bowl of Shaved courgette & cos, parmesan, lemon, tarragon, & mint also hit the mark as something you want more of.

Christian does wonders with humble vegetables. Is there any other restaurant that celebrates vegetables to the extent Town Mouse does?

 

The next dish was also worthy of a fashion show or art exhibition - Kipflers cooked in toasted hay, buttermilk, crisp sage, & almond brown butter. Most establishments would serve a bowl of kipflers as just a random pile with not much else.

Town Mouse does everything with flair and can make kipflers a work of art. Kipflers at Town Mouse is a dish to be enjoyed in itself, not just an accompaniment, having been prepared in decadent toasted hay, buttermilk, crisp sage and almond brown butter. 

 

Town Mouse is a smallish restaurant with a classic convivial ambience. Check out the mood lighting, fine tiles on the walls and attractive use of timber. A courtyard was opened the night we visited as another dining space.

I personally enjoy the set up with modern bar in the centre of the room and high tables with stools. It lends itself to interaction and conversation. And its a trend right now to imbibe fine dining experiences with casual expressions. 

It's also a trend to bring together bar and dining space... And feature the best of both worlds in the one experience. Bars are generally becoming more sophisticated and food at bars is becoming more accessible and of increased quality - I can think of several exciting venues right now that are going this way...

Staff at Town Mouse are professional and engaging. Our waitress ran 600m down Drummond St to catch us after we left a package at the restaurant. Out of breath we should have paid for her taxi back to the restaurant.

 

Town Mouse has a secret dessert - just don't tell anyone. We ordered this Cigar like dessert - Lemon and yuzu curd, white chocolate, burnt coconut, spiced rum and coconut sorbet. One of Melbourne's best desserts but no longer on the menu as such.  A hidden treasure for those in the know. And it tastes every bit as good as it looks. Town Mouse adds another dimension to "a cigar at the end of the meal".

 

Apart from Sangiovese we enjoyed these dessert wines...

 

And we enjoyed this White chocolate & lavender curd, strawberry, shortbread, & violet ice cream. Another attractive delicate dessert with finesse, giving special kudos to the curd and strawberry.

 

The final dessert looked like a deep sea creature bedazzling and curious. Buttermilk poached pear, walnut, caramel, roast chocolate, & pear sorbet. The bevvy of textures was amazing, and the taste of the sorbet was sumptuous. 

We were satiated beyond satisfaction by now. Fennel, chocolate, goat’s milk, & candied olive vienetta was playful and exciting. Reliving our childhood with this vienetta variation.

Town Mouse is a standout restaurant in Melbourne and the enthusiasm has been consistent and growing. Having personally visited over 500 restaurants in Melbourne I place Town Mouse at the top of the tree in rarefied air with a few others. Christian is affable, not showy, and a culinary genius whose food does the talking.

I respect the hat assessments from luminaries, however my personal view (and I'm not alone) is that Town Mouse should be awarded at least one hat if not more...

In the meantime I plan to return to this stellar establishment that is now open 7 nights a week. 

The Town Mouse on Urbanspoon

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