Category Reviews

An Interview with Natalie Pizzini of Pizzini Wines

PIZZINI WINESNatalie’s Pizzini’s family’s business, Pizzini Wines, is renowned as a one of the best cellar doors in the region, and a pioneering producer of Italian wine varieties. Natalie started working in the family business in her early twenties, and now manages events and marketing for the Pizzini brand.  I recently spoke with Natalie about life on the winery, the business, the industry and what makes the Valley so special…


Let me count the ways to spend the 14th of February 2014

vdayValentine’s Day – whether you’ve been counting down by circling love-hearts around the days on your calendar, consider it a Hallmark cash-grab, deem it discriminatory to the single folk, or simply see it as a good excuse to holler at your loved ones, there are some very decent events on offer to mark the occasion.  Besides, it’s Friday and that’s reason enough to celebrate.  Below is an assortment of my prime picks for ways to spend the 14th of February 2014.

Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant, Apollo Bay

IMG_1199In what has become somewhat of a ritual, my brother and a few of his mates are working at the Wye River General Store over the summer (although the fantasy teen-movie-esque summer of bonfires, beers and lifelong friendships has apparently been stymied by the greasy reality of two months working on the deep-fryer). This period also coincided with my mum’s 60th birthday, and so we packed-up and spiraled down the Great Ocean Road to Wye River for a rare family sojourn. We needed a special venue for the big birthday lunch. Resolving that we might as well progress even further into the wilderness, we decided on the hatted Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant, in Apollo Bay…

Ashkelon Food Store – Nourishment for the Silly Season

IMG_1780 As summer peeks its head over the horizon and delivers long, sparkling days, Melbournians have emerged from hibernation, ready to shake off their moon-tans. Energised by the impending year-close, December is a month-long festa laden with cocktail food, booze and frivolity. Consequently, sleep has become a luxury, I’m getting by jamming anything sugared and/or caffeinated into my face, and my gym bag is a throbbing sack of guilt gathering dust in the corner of my office…

Teta Mona – Brunswick East welcomes Lebanese Soulfood

photoThe few times I’ve passed Teta Mona during the last few weeks, curious East Brunswickians have stopped to take a look – peering through the shopfront enticingly stamped with the words ‘Lebanese Soulfood’.  Teta Mona opened its doors for business on Thursday and is already drawing quite the crowd…

Lee Ho Fook conquers the neglected middle-market of new-style Chinese cuisine

image On paper, Lee Ho Fook sports a flawless formula for success. Here’s the maths:

(Chef Victor Liong of two-hatted Marque + two-hatted Mr Wong) + backed by David Mackintosh (Pei Modern) + Peter Bartholemew (MoVida) + (clever concept x location) = 1 x eagerly anticipated restaurant.

Lee Ho Fook talks the talk but, I was desperate to discover, could it walk the walk?