great great


Good Good Burgers, 128 Mitchell Street, Maidstone. Phone: 9318 2566

We have attended 128 Mutchell Street, Maidstone, quite a few times.

Several when it was inhabited by Los Latinos.

Sadly just once when it was On The Bone – but it was fabulous.

Sadly, too, we missed out on its giros carnation – by all accounts it was real fine.

Now it’s back as a nfity burger joint.

And run, we are led to understand, by pretty much the same teams responsible for the bone/giros operations.

TBH, we’d not have known of this last development had not a friend whose food pronouncements I trust posted on FB, including a good-looking pic and giving a hearty endorsement.

I opined that the burger in question looked very nice indeed – and had the look of a project that was a mix of American and Aussie burgers styles.

“Very much so,” she enthused.

So, when we try for ourselves, is that how it shapes up?

Well, yes – to some extent.

More importantly, the burgers we are served are tip-top in every way.

Myself, Veronica and Bennie all go for the beef deluxe – regular ($14) for her, double ($17) for dad and son.

The menu description reads thusly: “Milk bun, beef, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cheese, garlic aioli, ketchip.”

Not much to say really – these are just plain good and tasty and we will happily inhale them again.

Chips and sauce cost an extra $4. The chips are fine and the sauce provided a lovely mustardy mayo concoction.

We also order a serve of fried chicken wings ($6 for three, $11 for eight).

These are sensational – crispy crisp, ungreasy, super yum.

Good Good Burgers is already a popular destination, so it’s worth giving some consideration to the day and time of your visit to avoid rush hours!

Masterfully delicious

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Master Parotta, 218/220 Ballarat Road, Maidstone. Phone: 0403 687 339

Master Parotta is a sooper dooper Ballarat Road food truck.

It serves Malaysian food.

Malaysian food that is also, in many ways, Indian food – something along the lines of Panjali in Sunshine and Orange Hat in Altona.

Unsurprisingly, there are also similarities with Parotta Station in Brooklyn – though that is more your straight-up Indian eatery.

We love musing upon and enjoying the overlapping commonalities between these sorts of places – though really, referring to Indian food” or “Malaysian food” can seem a little silly when the lines are so blurred.

Same dynamic applies, more broadly, from the north Africa and the eastern Mediterranean right through to Japan.

The red lines drawn in colonial times – and sometimes redrawn since then – are meaningless to countless generations of cooks.

What fun!

Master Parotta, where the food is halal, has some seating and parking available, though I’m led to believe things can pick up here later at night, so both may then become scarce.

Don’t let that put you off!

We – myself, Bennie, Juz – eat very, very well.

With just one unknowing mis-step that will be rectified next visit – and that’ll be soon.

Lamb murtabak ($16) is wonderful in every way, a key ingredient being the slightly under-cooked onion that provides crunchy texture.

The parotta here come flatbread style – as opposed to the escargot/scroll versions at Parotta station.

Two egg parotta ($6.50 each) are excellent.

Important to note: The gravy/sauce that is served with both our murtabak and egg parottas is very good.

A sort of mix of veg and dal, it has more substance than the runny gravies we know from elsewhere.

As such, two egg parottas – or two of the other varieties (see menu below) – can constitute a light and affordable meal all on their own.

Mee goreng ($12) is fine, mildly spiced, nice and moist and with shredded/cubed chicken throughout.

Parotta Cobra is the most expensive dish on the Master Parotta menu at $20.

It’s described as “2pcs parotta, half boil egg, and come with chicken varuval”.

We enjoy it muchly, but rather wish the curry and egg (fried, not boiled) were not placed atop the parotta in a tub.

The curry has a heap of bones but is very tasty; and wetter than varuval we’ve enjoyed elsewhere.

Next time, we’ll order plain parottas ($8 for two) and a serve of one of the curries ($10-$12) so we can do the combining/mixing ourselves.

Sunday roast feast – magical



On The Bone, 128 Mitchell Street, Maidstone.

On The Bone has been going for just on a year.

In that time, every social media comment, all utterances and several reviews I have seen have been, without exception, very glowing in their assessments.

That’s one of the reasons Consider The Sauce has taken so long in checking the place out, we being naturally inclined to seek out those places unfairly standing in the shadows.

Another reason is On The Bone’s general vibe and pricing has suggested to us special occasion rather than a mere meal.

But now the CTS stars have aligned.

They’re throwing a lamb lunch.

Nat Stockley and I are up for another catch-up – and it’s a Sunday roast.

And we both love Sunday roasts.



The former home of Los Latinos has been done out in simple, elegant style.

We subsequently learn the restaurant’s endeavours to introduce its Sunday lunches have been delayed a couple of weeks because of private function bookings – so we are partaking of the very first.

There’ll be one more this year – on Sunday, December 22 – with the concept to be carried on into the new year.

The going rate is $35.


We enjoy (understatement) a superb lunch in which the surprises and delights keep on coming.

They start with the menu (see below).

What I had expected to be a three-course list offering a choice of entree or dessert turns out to be a locked-in, straightahead menu – what you read is what you get.

(BTW, On The Bone is a very meaty establishment, but the service is so obliging and cheerful and the talents of the multicultural kitchen so rareified, I suspect those of non-carnivore inclinations could easily be embraced and welcomed through a quick conversation upon booking.)



We start with a simple appetiser of two chunks of crusty bread with beef bone marrow butter.

It’s very good and very flavoursome.

This reminds of the Kiwi habit of my childhood of pouring bacon fat into an egg cup for use later on as a butter substitute, spread sparingly on toast with a very little salt.

Did or does anyone else ever do this?

Next up are chicken herbed croquettes with onion soubise, aioli and herb salad (to photo).

The dainty orbs are crunchy, with mildly tasting innards that look like the sort of thing offered at Sri Lankan eateries, utilising canned tuna. Or East African sambusas of the same ilk.



Next up – a righteous antipasto spread.

Chargrilled zucchini is a lacking in char character, but still good – as is the similarly prepared eggplant.

Two kinds of mushroom are nicely vinegary.

Romesco sauce is mirrored on the other side by a chunky raita that is more like coleslaw.

Neat trick that, one I may try at home.

But a little oddly, it is the chargrilled bread that most takes my fancy – a great ingredient done just right.



All of the above is mere undercard limbering-up, however, for the main event.

How majestically awesome does this spread look?

It eats and tastes every bit as good as it looks.

And then some.

I am on a giddy food high.



Shoestring fries …



… jewel-like honeyed carrots residing in a minty sauce and …



… and a flawless green salad are all wonderful, especially the latter two.

We enjoy them, though fail to consume all of each.



The final piece of this perfect feed is the lamb leg.

That such a big hunk of meat is beautifully tasty and so tender reeks to me kitchen perfection.

Or maybe some kind of voodoo alchemy.

But most likely just plain hard work and talent.

It falls from the bone with the merest prod of cutlery.

And there is plenty of it.

The various bits and pieces take the lamb into gloryland.

Hommus, pinenuts, fatoush, jus, mint herb salad – all just so right and delicious.

This has been a sensational lunch; it’s one that will feature for sure in the CTS wrap-up of our 2019 highlights that will be published some time between Christmas and New Year.


Meal of the week No.44: Smokehouse 101

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As it’s always in a state of constant prowl, food-wise, CTS doesn’t drop into Smokehouse 101 (101 Rosamond Road, Maidstone) as often as we’d like.

Because we like it lots that the place keeps on going about its happy neighbourhood joint business away from the often fickle, hipsterish glare that attends other establishments that specialise in barbecue across Melbourne.

But we are in the house this Thursday to check out one Smokehouse 101’s regular specials – the Thursday night $5 burgers.

Bennie had taken them for a run the previous week with a pal and has been most adamant that CTS pays an official visit.

Oh, well … OK, if you insist.



So what’s the deal?

And is it any good?

The answer: Yes.

The Thursday burgers are available in beef, southern fried chicken, pulled pork and brisket.

Extra patties are available for the first two named for $3 a pop.

But we go a different route, ordering one each of the burgers on offer.

All are dressed the same – with coleslaw and good, sliced, crunchy pickled cucumbers.

I make that point because in the same week CTS bought a jar of pickled cucumbers – as recommended by the salesperson at the deli in which I was shopping – and they turned out to be soggy and tasteless.

Straight into the rubbish bin they went.

The little things count!



Likewise, two thumbs heartily hoisted for the most excellent house-made and toasted buns served by Smokehouse 101.

The meat in our four burgers?

Just fine in all cases.

Though Bennie and I agree that the straight-up beef burger is the best of the bunch.

It is, of course, possible to buy burgers elsewhere for $5 or less if you want to go mega-franchise.

But those aren’t burgers like these are real burgers.

Though here it will pay to keep things in perspective and real – these ARE $5 burgers, so you won’t be getting a two-fisted hunka chunka meal, or not by ordering a single burger anyway.

Early on our Thursday, there are only a couple of other tables taking advantage of the $5 burger deal.

But we’re told it can get busy later on in the night, with queues out the door not uncommon.


Vegan cafe shines



One For The Crow, 9 Commercial Street, Maidstone. Phone: 0420 275 747

One For The Crow is located in a rather sleepy strip of shops – other than a cafe, there’s dance and martial arts operations and a few others more anonymous.

Its neighbourhood – in and around Dobson reserve – is itself rather sleepy.

And certainly not known for commercial activity of any kind.

But the west – inner, outer, inbetweener – is all changing so fast, so why not residential Maidstone for a cafe?

One For The Crow is vegan – though we are very happy to see regular milk available for coffee purposes.

And it is very, very kid-friendly.

It’s a lovely place, with a modest plant nursery going at the front and a handful of outdoor tables.

For all its vegan-ness, our menu (see below) choices are the sort of thing found in cafes all over.



My friends chooses the Thai curry veg pie ($6).

It is, of course, a Ka Pie – and it goes down a treat.

She likes the pasta-pesto-spinach salad ($5), too.

Though she is firmly of the opinion a sprinkling of crumbled feta would make it even better.



My waffle dish ($16) is good.

It comes with house-made nutella, maple syrup, caramelised banana and soy ice-cream.



A most excellent soba noodle bowl ($16) – enjoyed on a previous, reconnaissance visit – rather more reflects One For The Crow’s vegan credentials.

It’s packed with marinated tofu, broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts, spinach, pickled daikon and kimchi, and dressed with a tahini-miso concoction.

Every mouthful is a delight.



Our coffees are fine, too.

One For The Crow appears to have quickly made itself an indispensable and treasured part of its community.

The locals have every reason to be stoked.


Meal of the week No.27: Smokehouse 101

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Since we first wrote about Smokehouse 101, there has been something of barbecue explosion in the west – see here and here.

In the meantime, Smokehouse 101 (101 Rosamond Road, Maidstone) has quietly gone about its business, not perturbed by any perceived lack of any inner-city vibe or a trendy list of craft beers.

On the Saturday night I visit for indulgence, the place is doing a roaring trade and I like the ambience that is a friendly place without graces and airs, and where walk-up trade is normal.

As ever here, the chips ($5) are a little on the average side but go good with the chilli mayo and a splendidly boozy BBQ sauce.

The coleslaw ($5) is better this time out than we’ve received on previous occasions – more finely chopped, nicely dressed and with slices of red chilli and cubes of mandarin.


The meat?

Geeezuz …

Half a rack of beef ribs ($35) is amazing, superb, wonderful.

There’s a LOT of meat surrounding those two brontosaurus-style ribs, much of it underneath them.

The meat is tender, smoky, delicious – and there’s not much fat.

I alternate mouthfuls with and without that boozy sauce and love every lip-smacking minute of my feast.

Though I do struggle to finish …

All of which begs the question: Why, when beef ribs are available, do people persist in ordering those of the pig and sheep variety?

The latter two, it seems to me, are often over-priced, ungenerous and way too polite.

BBQ blast in the west




Smokehouse 101, 101 Rosamond Road, Maidstone. Phone: 9972 2622

The shopping strip on Rosamond Rd near the bowling club and approaching Highpoint has never particularly drawn the attention of Consider The Sauce – even when a couple of cafes opened up there about a year ago.

That all changes upon us learning that one of those joints is now operating as a BBQ place – we’re there within hours.

Mind you, as always with American-style food in Melbourne we keep our hopes and expectations in check.

Our optimism is hardly given a boost upon entering, perusing the menu and ordering.

Smokehouse 101 may be operating as a BBQ purveyor but to a significant degree it still looks and feel like a cafe, with only a single person – the boss – on the job.

Is this for real, we wonder?

Will the meat be any good?

Will the sides?

Are we on a fools’ errand?




Bennie is impressed that the walls are widely plastered with covers and pages from vintage Phantom comics.

His dad hears on the sound system, among others, the Memphis Jug Band and Howlin’ Wolf.

As ever, we are a little wary of high prices for ribs (three kinds ranging in price from $28 to $35), so go for the brisket and pulled pork, $25 each with chips and salad.

When our meals arrive – and we have our first taste of the Smokehouse 101 goodies – we relax, enjoy and realise we’ve done real good.




The plentiful chips are fine.

The meat is way better – as good as any we’ve had around town.

The brisket has its share of fat but is beaut – smoky and a mix a fall-apart tender and chewy.

The serve size is generous and good for the price.

The housemade sauce is not particularly spicy but has a nice tang to it that has a citrus feel and maybe even an Asian touch.




Pulled pork is such a cliched part of the BBQ tradition, but we’ve found quite a few versions we’ve tried in Melbourne to be insipid and tasteless.

This one has porky flavour aplenty, though it does benefit from the addition of that same sauce.

It, too, is a good-sized serve – something the above photograph disguises somewhat.




“Baked chilli beans” ($2.50, from the breakfast menu) do suitable duty as an accompaniment even if we’re pretty sure they come from a can, while two extra large commercial pickles ($2) are excellent.

We’ve been surprised and delighted by our dinner.

Smokehouse 101 is still in the transition from cafe to BBQ joint.

We’re told the menus we photograph (see below) will within days be replaced by new versions offering more depth and diversity of BBQ choices.

We like that this place has a casual vibe a long way removed from some of the trendier, ostensibly hipper BBQ places around town.

Ironically, in some ways that makes it more like the regular blue-collar BBQ places you might find in burgs throughout the US south.

We would, however, suggest replacing the non-memorable salad with coleslaw.




As we very happily depart, we spy one of the only other two customers in the place getting to grips with a serve of ribs – though we don’t know what kind they are.

Oh boy, there’s a LOT of ribs on his plate!

And the gentleman concerned confesses he’ll be struggling to finish the job at hand.




As we walk to the car, Bennie opines that the ribs deal we’ve just seen looks like it could do for two.

How about that?

That’s for us next time … which we suspect will be soonish.

Smokehouse 101 is still finding its feet, but we totally dig the idea of having a friendly, casual BBQ place right in our own neighbourhood.

This is one of those very rare times we are tempted to keep our mouths shut and not post on CTS in case the word gets out too quickly.






Sang’s Takeaway Food Restaurant

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Sang’s Takeaway Food Restaurant, 136 Mitchell St, Maidstone. Phone: 9318 8188

Sang’s is situated on the Mitchell St strip that houses Los Latinos and in a premises that once accommodated an Asian eatery of an entirely different kind.

The space has undergone a cheerful transformation to become a pretty nifty Vietnamese joint with a cleverly constructed menu and chefs-in-white all a-bustle.

Open just a few weeks, Sang’s is celebrating its arrival by running a hefty 20 per cent discount until May 25.

That’s code for, “Get your skates on!”

Sang’s has six kinds of rice paper rolls at $4 for a pair; there’s seven kinds of beef pho, all for $10.

A similar number of rice and broken rice meals cost the same.

I love Vietnamese chicken curry – especially the one I score in St Albans, though we sometimes grab takeaway when the dish is available at Minh Hy.


So scanning the Sang’s list of bun/vermicelli, my attention is grabbed by the chook curry variety – also $10. This is a twist on a dish usually served with rice or – even better – a crusty bread roll.

In this case, the usually runny curry gravy/soup is subsumed by the softish mound of vermicelli, which in no way diminishes my enjoyment.

Nor does the fact the chicken pieces are small and on the bony side.

The chilli heat is quite high for Vietnamese chicken curry and the tender spud and carrot bits are happily joined by a plentiful amount of basil and coriander. I love it when coriander becomes more than a mere garnish!

Anther non-standard dish that leaps out at me from the menu is Vietnamese pancake, while I’m betting the Singapore noodle and pad Thai will be worthy of exploration, too.

Sang’s seems ideally positioned to be successful – I reckon the locals in the immediate neighbourhood must be delighted.

If eating in, I suggest grabbing one of tables to the rear to avoid the nasty gusts that gallop through the wide gap between door and floor at the front.



Los Latinos


Los Latinos, 128 Mitchell St, Maidstone. Phone: 9318 5289

We were random but regular visitors to Los Latinos in the months after our write-up of the Maidstone Latin American eatery, early in its life.

But it’s been a while, so it feels nice settling in for lunch.

I’ve done what is almost unthinkable for me – leaving home without a book – but am satisfied enough with a house copy of one of the weekend rags.

It’s the wrong one and the wrong size, but I enjoy reading the foodie bits and the sports section anyway.

The menu seems to have grown quite a bit – featuring more seafood, more main courses and dishes listed by nationality – than found on the menu at the restaurant’s website.

The first thing I am told by a staff member is that tamales – one of several dishes on the menu marked with “not available” stickers – are in fact very much available.

I order them and end up very glad I have done so.

Isn’t there something totally magical and mysterious about food that comes in packages?

Think of dumplings, for instance.

In this case, the banana leaf wrapping on my two tamales unfolds to reveal two good-sized slabs of cornmeal masa (south-of-the-border polenta?), each one filled with some tender chicken on the bone, a couple of green olives, a long and well-cooked green bean and a big chunk of super potato.

It’s all delicious and filling – and a pretty good bargain, too, at $10 for the lot.

The benign seasoning levels and smooth pastiness of the corn mash are the perfect foil for the salsa/tomato sauce on the side. Drizzled across both tamales, it has a nice slow burn that eventually has a sheen of perspiration breaking out on my forehead.

Since Los Latinos opened, Melbourne seems to have contracted some form of Latin American fever, with quite a broad range of eateries generating a lot of talk and blogging and reviews.

And queues.

My lunch is a timely reminder that there’s a fine place just up the road doing lovely work along such lines – without the trendoid brouhaha.

Los Latinos


More recent review here.

128 Mitchell St, Maidstone. Phone: 9318 5289

Bugger it – I hate getting beat by The Age, especially by just a day or so.

But that’s just the way it worked out.

The end of a rugged week of work and school, a Friday full of crap weather, the run home from Sunshine, after-school care and a white-knuckle drive to and from Geelong.

Approaching Ashley St, we pondered our options – home, Cartoon Network and A-League with Chinese delivered; home and then out again to eat (not really an option at given the weather); and then – inspiration! – why, heck, a slight detour and … we could check out the new Latino place we’d heard about.

And failing that, we could opt for the funky Chinese place in Mitchell St that had long been on our “to do” list.

Pulling up outside Los Latinos, we appraised once again the retail strip we had last checked out very early in the year.

The Chinese place was still there, looking just as enigmatic as ever.

So, too, was the Latin American bakery where we’d had empanadas and coffee.

As well, there a cool-looking antique/odds’n’sods shop that seemed well worth a look – on another day.

And right there in the middle was Los Latinos – even early in the evening open and inviting.

Nina Rousseau nailed it good – Los Latinos is, indeed, “a grand addition to the west”.

We left an hour later rete, replete and smiling after a meal of lip-smacking joy.

The menu is not long, but we opted for the dips and corn chips ($6), followed by a serve of pupusas ($10), not wanting to put to big a dent in our wallet.

And then we wrecked that plan by ordering a $3.50 bottle Jarritos guava fizz from Mexico. Oh well …

The corn chips were good and blessedly free of excess salt and ghastly chemicals. The dips – cheese, guacamole and what was described on the menu as “green tomatillo” but was actually, unmistakably red  – looked a touch on the meager side. But they went the distance just fine, and all were tasty.

Despite some familiarity with South and Latin American food, we were unfamiliar with pupusas. They are, it was explained, a righteously popular and ubiquitous staple of El Salvador. The same flour as used in tortilla is made into a dough, then small balls. Into a hole in each ball is inserted the filling – in our case, a combo of cheese, beans and pork. The pupusas are then gently flattened and pan fried.

The results were mucho delicious, amply filling yet light as well. They were served with a tiny jug of salsa and curtido, which turned out to be a spicy, tangy, pickled salad of cabbage and more (I suspect).

At $10 for a serve of four, these constitute a superb and cheap meal for one. But as we were sharing, we were still a little light on.

So we ordered another entree – chorizo and salsa ($6). It was another winner, though we could have used about double the number of small, if very fine, tortillas that were provided to mop up the hot salsa.

One thing this dish did do for me, however, is confirm that my ingrained habit of merely grabbing any old chorizo from the supermarket has got to go. This one had quite distinctive and oh-so-tasty seasoning and flavour. Not all chorizos are created equal, it seems.

The menu also features fajitas ($18.50), tacos ($10.50), tamales ($10), porcion de pollo (fried chicken with onions, coriander and lemon juice, served with rice and tortilla; $12.50), as well as the completo (Latin Hot Dog; $6.50) and nachos ($10).

God bless Los Latinos – it’s helping make what was one a rather bleak backwater into yet another western suburbs foodie hot spot!

You can read Nina Rousseau’s Age review here.

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