Westie eats goss




This unremarkable building, on the corner of Whitehall and Hopkins streets, is in the process of becoming something exciting for Footscray and the western suburbs.

Under the auspices of the same crew that brought us 8bit, it is being transformed into an establishment named Up In Smoke 3011.

Honestly, when I was thinking about writing this story, I blithely assumed I’d be going with something along the lines of “Footscray to get barbecue joint”.

But since then, I’ve had a talk with one of the partners, Shayne, so now know that would not be accurate.

Yes, there will be smoking and barbecue techniques … but what’ll be happening here is something different, innovative and sexy.

“We didn’t want to do traditional American barbecue, as we are in Footscray, Melbourne!,” Shayne says. “And we didn’t want to conform to certain ‘rules’.”

More details – and updates – as they come to hand.

But I can tell you that as well as eat-in there will also be some retail and classy booze going on.

Opening some time in November.




Up in Avondale Heights, Impasto Forno Antico is expanding to take over the old takeaway premises next door.

This is great news, as while the products of this Italian bakery are pure class there hasn’t been much room for customers, including those who want to linger over a coffee.

As co-proprietor Alessio tells me: “On Saturdays, we have queues going out on to the street!”

It’s quite a big space they’re moving into and the wall will be coming down.

They’ll be serving panini, soups and salads.

But the main use for the new and expanded space will be for a gelateria!

When I ask Alessio how much the gelati machinery is costing, he answers: “I’d tell you but you’d want to be sitting down …”

Opening in mid to late November.




Sunshine has a Japanese place.

I hesitate to use the word restaurant or even the word eatery, as Soko is a tiny business in what was the equally tiny Dial A Mr Wong on Hampshire Road.

There is no seating and no eating in unless you want to stand at the window bench.

In the meantime at least, there are some rudimentary tables and chairs outside on artificial grass that I suspect are in place as a temporary measure to compensate for the heavy duty road works going.

So Soko’s main game is undoubtedly takeaway or home deliveries.

I have read some good online reviews.

And, intriguingly, friends speak highly of the lobster sliders they had.

But my $15 tonkotsu ramen (which I confuse with the crumbed tonkatsu – see Art’s comment below) was a bit of a dud – because ramen and takeaway containers don’t really work together and because the noodles and broth were dull.

Could be a hot spot for Sunshine and Albion and locals but I’d advise care.

CTS Feast No.12: The Wrap

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CTS Feast No.12: Curry Leaves, 463 Ballarat Road, Sunshine. Phone: 8528 3876. Tuesday, August 11.

Many, many thanks to Upeksha, Dillon and the rest of Curry Leaves crew for working so hard to make the latest Consider The Sauce Feast enjoyable!

As always, it was a delight to see so many familiar faces.

And just as enjoyable to meet so many CTS readers for the first time – and swap war stories and tips and faves about the Fabulous Foodie West.




The food ranged from this unannounced yet wonderfully delicious simple chicken and vegetable soup through to …




… biryanis …




… superb string hoppers and …




… equally great rotis and on to …




… hoppers and …




… lampraris before ending up with …




… a range of rather succulent desserts.




Thanks to everyone for supporting this CTS event!

The next one has yet to be devised or locked in any way at all, but wherever and whenever it is, we’d love to see you again.





Meal of the week No.18: Walia Ibex




A lively FB discussion – inspired by a fellow blogger’s story about a Seddon institution and concerning the pros and cons of various Footscray African eateries – has me very much in the mood for injera and the stuff that goes with it.

But I’m not in Footscray.

I’m in Sunshine.

So I very happily hit Walia Ibex (197 Hampshire Road, 9312 3090).

This is a sister enterprise to the one a few blocks away.

That one is, I’m told, dedicated entirely these days to coffee and billiards.

If you want Ethiopian food, it’s to the Hampshire Road one you should head.

And you should.

While I continue to find it surprising that AFAIK this is the sole African eatery hereabouts, based on my profoundly enjoyable lunch, it’s at least a fine thing to know it’s a good one!




It’s a cosy place with an upstairs dining room.

Upon my arrival, the vapid nonsense of commercial TV is blaring forth.

Soon after, the audio is extinguished – leaving me and the other customers happily with just the familiar sounds of low-key, funky Ethiopian jazz.

The longish Walia Ibex menu has all the usual Ethiopian staples, and while I don’t check too closely, there may even be a few unusual items in there.

The standard vegetarian combo of yetesom beyayneto costs $12.




But I’ve a hankering for something lighter, healthier, cheaper – so foul it is.

I know there’s folks who would consider $10 a bit too much to pay for such a humble dish.

But so good is the Walia Ibex rendition that I consider it a bargain.

The creamy beans are hot and plentiful, anointed with onion, tomato, capsicum, egg, cheese and just enough chilli to make things even more interesting.

I’m provided, by request, injera instead of bread.

It’s a magical lunch.

Sometimes, often, that’s how it goes with the simplest of dishes.



CTS Feast No.12: Curry Leaves




To book for this event, click here.

Right from our first meal at Curry Leaves in Sunshine – there have been several since – I knew this was the sort of place and the sort of people I would love to feature in a Consider The Sauce Feast.

And so CTS Feast No.12 is up and running!

Here are the details:

CTS Feast No.12: Curry Leaves,
463 Ballarat Road, Sunshine. Phone: 8528 3876.
Date: Tuesday, August 11.Time: 7pm.

Cost: $20.


Entree platter
Pan roll
Stuffed roti
Fish cutlet
Fish pattie
(The above can be made vegetarian but I will need to give the restaurant 24 hours notice.)

Gotu kola (herbal soup of greens coconut milk).

Mains – choice of one.
Roti meal
String hoppers meal
Hoppers meal
String hoppers pilau
(All the above can be prepared as vegetarian.)

Dessert platter
Curd and honey
Wattalappam (steamed coconut custard)
Caramel pudding
Choc biscuit pudding

Bennie and I are looking forward to seeing you there!

To book for this event, click here.

(Ticket income from this event is being split 50/50 between CTS and Curry Leaves.)

West Welcome Wagon party – auction goodies

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The Brother Nancy team gives a cheery thumbs-up to being part of the fun!


There’s about a week and half until the West Welcome Wagon/Santorini/CTS Greek fundraising feast in Williamstown.

We have about 10 tickets left – if you’re thinking about attending, and we really, really want you to, I suggest you get your skates on.

For booking information, go here.

In the meantime, a couple of generous businesses have donated goodies for a simple, two-pronged auction on the night I hope will raise even more moolah for West Welcome Wagon.

Brother Nancy in West Footscray – see Erika’s story here and mine here – has donated lunch for two to the value of $50.

We reckon that should see a pair of you right for a cool drink, a main meal and a hot drink.




As well, Maria and Marco of La Morenita/Latin Foods & Wines have donated a lovely half-dozen bottle of primo South American wine.

Meal of the week No.14: Curry Leaves

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Headed for St Albans with no particular joint or genre in mind for Sunday lunch, I pass a Curry Leaves (463 Ballarat Road, Sunshine) that is full of happy activity so I double back, park and proceed.

It’s busy – a heap of people in the kitchen and even more in the dining room, including one big party of about 30.

I’m told that, among other things, they’ll all be getting lamprais.

I’ve aborted my further west travel plans with just one plan in mind – to have the same kind of biryani I spied another customer having when I dropped in for a mid-week dinner earlier in the week.

This is the first Sri Lankan biryani I’ve had – and I simply love the fact that it’s recognisably the same dish I’ve had countless times at Indian restaurants in the west yet also one that displays marked differences.

The rice is a deeper yellow-going-brown that is studded with onion slices and curry leaves.

The lamb – unlike the on-the-bone version I’ve had almost without exception in Indian eateries – is boneless and cubed.

It is, however, very, very well done – though not to such an extent it affects my enjoyment.

The raita is much creamier than I am used to and packed with finely diced vege (I’m guessing – capsicum, onion, cucumber and, maybe, tomato).

The eggplant moju is a sweet alternative to the usual tart pickle.

The whole boiled egg has been given a grizzled exterior.

This a ripper dish for $12.95.

See earlier story here.

Sunshine eats goss




Regular readers will readily understand that as part of the Consider The Sauce ethos, one of the reasons for our deep love for La Morenita/Latins Foods & Wines in Sunshine – apart from the food and the people! – is that it is in a setting about as far removed from a hipster cafe/food “precinct” as it is possible to get.

Still, we’ve often felt the Berkshire shopping strip of which it is part could do with a bit more livelieness and food.

Well, that will soon be happening.

To the left of La Morenita, Whad (that’s him on the right in the above photograph) and his pals are busy preparing their Afghan joint, which will be known as Berkshire Cafe.

They’ll be doing skewered meats over a charcoal grill, other kebabs and “tandoori chips”.




To right of La Morenita, the premises that housed the short-lived El Parron restaurant has been leased to the people behind Roti Ria, currently situated in Sunshine Plaza.

They expect to be installed and up and running a bit more than a month.