‘Rescued’ food in a Carlton pub

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Wendy Hargreaves with FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho and The Lincoln publican Iain Ling.

Fairshare “Rescued” Dinner, The Lincoln, 91 Cardigan Street, Carlton.

FairShare is a very worthy organisation that “rescues” food that would otherwise go to waste and feeds it to hungry people to the tune of about 25,000 meals a week that are distributed to charities.

Its “Rescued” dinner was one of those special events in which I like to indulge every now and then.

Why not?

It ticked all the boxes.

Very good cause, (hopefully) great food and the chance to meet some fine and interesting people.




I confess to having some doubts about the food.

How good can a meal be when it is produced solely from food that is about to be chucked out?

A conversation with FareShare CEO Marcus Godinho soon set me right.

Of course!

There are, it turns out, very many ways in which food falls through the gaps, particularly when it comes to logistics and bureaucracy.

So the food we eat, particularly with the likes of Frank Camora helping out in the kitchen, is excellent and enjoyed by a sell-out crowd that appeared to have taken over all the dining spaces at the Lincoln.




People-wise, the highlight for me is sitting down and chewing the fat – so to speak – with Wendy Hargreaves.

Wendy, a FairShare ambassador, is a fellow foodie about town – check out her website here.

In many ways, she and I are poles apart in our approaches and tastes – but the story of our overlapping interests is a bit more delightfully messy than that.




You see, Wendy and I actually shared office time in my final days at the Sunday Herald Sun.

So awful was that time, for me anyway, that I have no recollection of meeting or talking with Wendy back than – at all.

For several years, however, we have been chatting, sparring, gossiping and laughing courtesy of Facebook.




So this was a lovely chance for the pair of us to compare notes face to face- and lo, unsurprisingly, we found we have a rather complex array of connections and stories in common.

Ears could – or should – have been burning!

Sharing our table were another Fairshare ambassador and foodie/media personage of note, Dani Valent, along with Karen, Carl and David – they were fine company.

The food?

Oh, it was grand!

(See small menu below.)

The highlight?

The slow-roasted Flinders Island lamb shoulder with asadillo, cauliflower/grain salad and an (unadvertised) stew of chickpeas and spinach.




A Taste of Poland in Sunshine

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A Taste of Poland, 3/1B Bell Street, Sunshine West.

By Erika Jonsson

I’m a compulsive list-maker.

When I was in year 12 someone stole my study diary and wrote, “breathe in, breathe out” on every page, clearly amused by the idea I might not do it unless it was written on a list.

They weren’t far off the mark, really.

Most days I find myself creating a new list, from birthday present ideas a year out to playgrounds and cafes I’d like to visit.

Travel and lists go hand in hand for me – I have lists of places I’ve visited, countries I’d like to visit, cities I might otherwise forget to consider next time we are planning a holiday.

Travel and food also go well together in the western suburbs, where it’s possible to circumnavigate the globe without venturing far from home.

My family loves trying foods from previously unexplored cuisines, ticking off countries at every opportunity.

We’re racking up a pretty good tally – and we haven’t even made it to the Jamaican place in Yarraville yet.

So when my husband told me he was adding a new country to the list I was intrigued.

When he turned off Glengala Road in Sunshine West I was beyond curious.




Consider The Sauce has already documented my love of dumplings, so when we pulled up outside A Taste of Poland it’s fair to say I was thrilled.

It’s an unassuming café attached to a small Polish grocery stocking everything from large jars of dried porcini mushrooms and pickled vegetables to chocolates and sweets.

The menu is small and exceptionally well priced – the most expensive meal on the board is $13.

We ordered a plate of potato and cheese dumplings (which I felt certain would be a winner with my two sons), pork with salad and chips and Polish sausages with cabbage and bread.

The lovely lady at the helm asked me which salads I wanted from the array of jars – I chose red cabbage salad and also ended up with a mix of cabbage, carrot and capsicum.





The pork was tender and tasty, though nothing I couldn’t make at home.

The preserved salads were delicious and I added the cost of a couple of jars to our bill so I could enjoy them at home, too.

Five-year-old Joe and my husband both enjoyed the sausages, but the hands-down dish of the day was the dumplings.

No surprises there.




One-year-old Hugh especially loved the creamy, smooth filling.

The dough was easy to eat and not the slightest bit tough.




The dumplings are made fresh then frozen – you can buy them to take away from the freezer along with items such as croquettes and white borscht.

My coffee afterwards was quite satisfactory and my boys loved their jelly-centred chocolates as a treat.

Our three dishes plus a coffee, a juice and a soft drink came to about $35 and I also grabbed my jars of salad, pasta and dark chocolate to take home.

There is nothing fancy about A Taste of Poland but there doesn’t need to be, especially when you can feed four for less than $10 each.

I’ll certainly be returning for another dumpling fix soon.

CTS Feast No.13: Xuan Banh Cuon



Ang, Xuan and Carson.


To book for this event, click here.

Xuan Bang Cuon is a fabulous eatery.

Now look, I’m guessing a bit here – but I reckon it must rank among the top handful of Vietnamese restaurants in the southern hemisphere.

I have no way of knowing for sure, of course, as I don’t plan on trying them ALL!

But still … it’s high time Xuan Banh Cuon and CTS got together for a feast.

And so it shall be!

It’s not just about the food, as terrific and distinctive as it is, with a strong north Vietnamese bent.

(Yes, you can order pho here but …)

It’s also about Xuan and her family and the joy they derive from serving Vietnamese food their way come what may.

Here are the details:

CTS Feast No.23: Xuan Banh Cuon,
232 Hampshire Road, Sunshine. Phone: 0422 810 075
Tuesday, December 8, from 7pm

Cost: $25


Appestiser sampler plate for each guest consisting of:
Pho cuon thit bo – sautee beef wrap in fresh pho noodle
Banh goi – Vietnamese puff
Cha mrc hai phong – northern squid cake

A choice of ONE of the following for each guest:
Bun rieu cua ca – slightly tangy vermicelli soup with tofu, crab paste and fish cakes
Banh da do tom thi cha – prawn, pork and homemade fish cake soup noodles
Goi du du kho ba – papaya salad
Banh cuon nhan (co cha) – pork and prawn steamed rice paper roll

Rhach dua rau cau – homemade coconut jelly

To book for this event, click here.

Westie eats goss




Manok is sub-titled “for the love of chicken”.

It takes over the location of the formerly long-running charcoal chicken shop at 351 Somerville Road.

Google tells me this address, part of a small shopping strip at the intersection of the Geelong road, is officially in West Footscray – but most of us will more sensibly think of it as being in upper Yarraville.

I visit on opening day and find Phillip very busy.

He tells me he’s been a chef all his life, having done his cooking stuff at numerous Asian restaurants around Melbourne.




At Manok – Tagalog for chicken – there’s an accent on Philippine chook.




The marinated chicken (Bannockburn free range) is joined by regular charcoal chicken as well as wings marinated in brine and Philippine herbs.

Other than that, Phillips is mostly offering fast food – including hamburgers – that aims for classier, fresher and healthier than offered by your average takeaway joint.




The salads, for instance, look like they’d be right at home in a swish cafe.

As well, Phillips tells me roasts and grind the peanuts for his peanut sauce and makes his own sweet chilli sauce.

We’ll do a double-banger chook/burger review in due course.




The food/entertainment space on the ground floor of the St George Theatre apartment complex in Yarraville has a short-term tenant.

The Far Fetched Designs crew has moved in for the summer after having already enjoyed locations in Anderson and Gamon streets, as well as Brunswick, for their lovely pop-up crafts operation.

I’m told, however, that the space is under long-term lease to the same outfit that handles The Pint of Milk in Newport and Mezmez and The Pickle Barrel in Williamstown and that some time earlyish in the new year will see some action.




Meanwhile, Patrick and Jill of Spice Bazaar Cooking School in Seddon have bought the Victoria Street premises that houses their operation.

Jill tells me that they’re re-organising their spice storage and moving things around a bit but that class capacity will increase.



Meal of the week No.24: Woven

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Can a shake be a meal?

A case for the affirmative can certainly be with the Green Tea Mega Shake made with pride at Woven.

It’s not on the menu at the Yarraville establishment (175b Stephen Street) so you need to ask.

One of these babies costs $15.

The ingredients?

Hello Gello vanilla ice cream
Green tea KitKat
Kenko matcha tea
A doughnut
Double matcha cream
House matcha soil
Matcha shortbread biscuit

The verdict?

Hmmm, not bad.

I like that it’s not cloyingly sweet.

The green tea thing is definitely interesting.

Definitely an experience worth pursuing by westside foodies.

At least once.

We were tipped to this mega project by Consider The Sauce reader and friend Bazoo.

His supposed partner in crime failed to make it so he “did” the whole thing himself, bringing on a bout of self-flagellating self-loathing that almost tipped him over the edge.

The Green Tea Mega Shake?

It’s a sharing thing.



Best Indonesian




The Uleg, 312 Sydney Road, Brunswick. Phone: 9388 8606

Our friends Nick and Marketa have asked us to join them on a Friday night at an Indonesian joint they’re keen on.

After long weeks of work and school, we’re not exactly bursting with enthusiasm as we hit the road, anticipating – and finding – a handful of bottlenecks along the way from Yarraville to Brunswick.

Our energy levels have hardly been boosted by the Facbook message I’d received from Marketa the previous night: “The portions are small and take a bit of time to arrive so have a little something before dinner!


But make the trek we do.

And end up being oh-so-glad we’ve done so.

The Uleg is the bomb.

It serves the best Indonesian food I’ve ever had.

Now, that may not be saying all that much at all.

But … the food here has high levels of homemade personality and soul, downhome refinement and distinctiveness I’ve never before encountered in an Indonesian eatery – and that we rarely encounter in eateries of any Asian persuasion.

It earns the top-shelf Consider The Sauce accolade – we wish it was in the west!




The Uleg is located on a portion of Sydney Road that is these days heavily hipsterised, though as with almost the entire length of the road there are many good and/or interesting eating options around.

Uleg’s longish dining room is lovely in wood and has the feel of a place that has been around for a while.

The service we find to be as warm and personable as the food.

The menu (see below) has about a dozen entrees in the $4 to $9 range.

Mains number about 50 and average about $13.

Save for a handful of snapper and barramundi dishes for around $17 and $24 respectively, they’re all configured as single-person dishes though that doesn’t deter all of us from tasting everything on our table.




Long wait times?

Our entrees turn up smartly.

But it’s true that our four mains arrive in a procession with up to about five minutes between them.

I’m led to believe there’s minimal staff in the kitchen and, besides, the wait times are no problem whatsoever considering the quality of the food.

Small portions?

Well, no, not really – though I know what Marketa means.

The serves aren’t food-court, cheap-eats ginormous – but they’re more than adequate.

But that quality’s the thing, right down to the hand-made condiments.

Besides, we order freely, eat very well and end up paying a most excellent fee of about $25 each.




First up – freshly squeezed lime juice over ice ($4).

So very, very good!

Bennie and I do two of these apiece.

There’s probably enough sugar involved to rival the canned soft drinks we habitually slurp with spicy food but this stuff nevertheless rocks our world as a tart, lip-smacking alternative.




Fried calamari is the most expensive entree at $8.50.

It’s fresh, tender, very lightly battered and good without being spectacular.




Tahu isi ($5.90) is two very enjoyable big cubes of fried tofu stuffed with beans sprouts, carrot and so on, and served with a very sticky soy sauce.




Nasi goreng ($9.90) we share.

It’s excellent, with fine wok-charred flavour and good-size chunks of chicken.

On to our mains!

Iga goreng ($11.90, top photograph) is beef ribs served with Balado sambal.

Oh my, this is wonderful!

The meat is tender and comes from the bones easily; there’s fat but it’s easily discarded.

The flavour-packed meat harmonises beaut with the chilli mash.




Chicken “Crunch” A.K.A ayam penyet ($11.90) is good, too, though it turns out to be the most mundane of our dishes so stiff is the compeition it faces.

The chook maryland is fine enough and is adorned with fried garlic flakes.




Beef rendang with roti ($10.90) is another trumph.

We often find restaurant rendang to be OK but dull.

This one is not like that – it sings with hand-mixed spices and deft cooking.




Finally, ox tail soup ($11.90) – bit of an odd man out that nevertheless fits just with our other selections.

It’s bigger than it photographs.

It’s salty in a good way.

It’s like a cross between two Vietnamese dishes – beef pho and on-the-bone beef stew.

Just without the star anise.

It has a heap of fat but also a heap of fall-apart-tender meat.

And submerged in there is a plump, deep-fried “potato cake” – no, most definitely not your typical Aussie F&C shop potato cake.

This one has spud cubes encased in a rich batter, the whole flavoursome and disintegrating at just the right pace as the soup eating progresses.

How I feel as we happily skip into the night, having had our weekend kickstarted in the most wonderful way: “Sorry for ever doubting you, Marketa – you’re a gun and a pal!”



Meal of the week No.23: Shri Annapoorna




A new Sri Lankan eatery on Ballarat Road?

That makes three.

And never mind the new or newish Sri Lankan arrivals in Werribee – see here and here.

What’s going on?

Well, in the case of Shri Annapoorna (290 Ballarat Road), not that much.

Customers, so far as I can ascertain, don’t get freshly made rotis, hoppers, string hoppers or lamprais here.

Instead, the choice is restricted to the dozen or so offerings in the bain marie.

Such humble, basic eateries are fewer in number these days but I reckon still have a place.




I eat well at Shri Annapoorna.

As I do so, I see a number of food-laden trays depart out the entrance, so I figure catering is where this place is mainly at.

But it’s not that I want for fellow customers – I think there’s fairly hefty Sri Lankan population in and around this Braybrook neighbourhood.

My mixed plate is very Sri Lankan, very nice.

Good beef curry.

The familiar and spicy dry-cooked potatoes – a true Sri Lankan staple.

A mildly seasoned mushroom concoction – like many such mushie dishes, it looks black/ugly/unappealing but tastes good.

What looks like a typical dry coconut chutney I’m told has jackfruit in it – and, I think, fennel and/or fenugreek.

Not bad for $8.