Review: Places not worth a separate blog post

by April@MyFoodTrail on January 6, 2010

in Dining Out

Like many food bloggers, I eat out at a rate faster than I can post, so I always seem to have a backlog of photos and places I have visited. Some of these places are very average and do not entice me to want to spend my time writing a separate blog post about them. I do think though, that it is worth noting that I have visited these places and show you some of the food there.

Poppy’s Thai
762 Burke Road, Camberwell
(03) 9882 7277

Hubby and I had last gone to Poppy’s many years ago and couldn’t really remember what the food was like so we decided to make another visit. The food was just okay, though we probably ordered the wrong thing with our entrée and dessert being very similar and the two mains being basically the same. It would have been nice if the waiter who took our order pointed out the two mains we ordered were cooked the same way!

There was a complimentary bowl of prawn crackers before the meal.

Complimentary prawn crackers

The entrée of the spring roll tasting platter sounded interesting and actually didn’t taste too bad.

Spring roll tasting platter – Vegetable spring roll, chicken spring roll, prawn & avocado spring roll, prawn & peach spring roll, tuna & sweet corn spring roll $15

We ordered two mains, the Poppy’s Chicken and the crispy beef with the Cantonese sauce. They were both coated in batter and the sauces tasted quite similar, though the chicken was served in a rice cracker type basket. The chicken was quite dry and the beef was chewy.

Poppy’s Chicken – Crispy chicken in exclusive sweet & sour ginger sauce $21

Crispy beef with Cantonese sauce $21

For dessert, I thought the Poppy’s ice cream spring roll sounded interesting, though it was probably a bad idea since we already had spring rolls for entrée! The ice cream spring roll was covered in breadcrumbs and deep fried, which meant that the actual spring roll skin was soggy and chewy, and dominated the ice cream. The chocolate sauce was not real chocolate sauce – more like Cottee’s topping.

Poppy’s ice cream spring roll – Ice cream inside crispy spring roll shell with choice of chocolate, strawberry, caramel or honey (I chose chocolate) $9

Inside the roll

Italy 1
823 Burke Road, Camberwell
(03) 9804 0944

I recently bought a copy of the Age Good Food Guide 2010 and out of the 277 Melbourne metropolitan restaurants, hubby and I have only been to 25! While the AGFG is not the definitive be all and end all of where to dine, it is a good start.

Italy 1 is one of the restaurants in the AFGF in our area that we have never tried so we made a booking. When I made the booking, I was advised that for the earlier sitting, I had to vacate the table by 8pm. Having two sittings seems to be a common practice for high end restaurants to maximise table turnover. I am fine with this so long as the food can be delivered promptly so I don’t feel as I am being rushed. At Italy 1, I never felt rushed.

The first thing that struck me about Italy 1 was the size of the entry door. It is so narrow, around 2/3 of a normal doorway, I wonder how larger people are able to fit through.

The food at Italy 1 was pretty average and in my opinion not worth the price. I was rather appalled at the $5.50 charge for a glass of coke.

For entrée, we shared the arancini (risotto balls filled with cheese, then crumbed and deep fried). There was a good amount of cheese inside but I felt the risotto needed more seasoning.

Arancini $16

Inside arancini

For my main, I ordered the house made tortellini. It was 4 small tortellini parcels with a very light, mousse-y filling but not much of a scallop taste. I expected more for $8 per tortellini.

House made tortellini filled with a scallop mousse, crab bisque sauce $32

Hubby ordered the oven roasted snapper. The fish was cooked well and the whole dish tasted good.

Oven roasted fillet of snapper with a carrot, onion & saffron escabeche & green olive tapenade $35

We also got a side of chat potatoes. Some of the potatoes were very dry and hard, almost like they had been cooked twice or too long.

Side of chat potatoes $8

Shark Fin Keysborough
328 Cheltenham Road, Keysborough
(03) 9798 8788

My in-laws have recently moved to the outer south east and the nearest Chinese restaurant to them is now Shark Fin Keysborough. The food is okay, though if I had other choices in the area, I might not return. I didn’t do the ordering so I’m not sure of the proper names or the prices.

Pork ribs in peking sauce

Seafood combination in bird’s nest (potato basket)

Whole prawns in a sweet sauce

Snow pea shoot with garlic

Whole crispy skinned chicken

Sizzling beef with vegetables

Mushroom & vegetable with glass noodle hot pot

Deep fried flounder with spicy salt

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Iron Chef Shellie January 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

ah yes, I have a few sub-par restaurants like this I can't be bothered reviewing.

Nice to know Poppy's Thai isn't really worth a trek down to Camberwell. The owner gave me the shits when I was dealing with him in my last job!


Trisha January 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Mmmmm the seafood in bird's nest looks delish!!! And crispy beef is one of my most favourite dishes to order – it's so moreish I can just munch on it the whole night!!


mademoiselle délicieuse January 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I have a massive backlog which I feel is only going to be exacerbated by the new job >< LOL at the ice-cream spring roll which looks a bit like a Chiko roll!


Conor @ HoldtheBeef January 7, 2010 at 12:48 am

Good idea for a post. I fear there are many I have that just won't be written about.

Nice garnish of chopped kiwifruit with bits of skin still stuck on, haha.

How funny about the tiny door!


Esz January 7, 2010 at 8:42 am

Wow that Italy 1 is quite expensive isn't it? Maybe its just me but paying $35 for a main you expect something pretty amazing.

Thanks for the heads up about all these – its definitely worth knowing about all the average places out there!


imasugarjunkie January 7, 2010 at 9:20 am

Have you tried Little Thai Princess in Glen Iris, next to the train station? We used to live round the corner and they make great thai food – the menu is seasonal so I found it pretty different to most thai restaurants. and Sukhumvit Thai also make a great curry! yummmm!


Ellie January 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

I know which places to avoid next trip to Melbourne 🙂


Rilsta January 7, 2010 at 11:25 am

Hi Shellie: LOL! There are definitely other better restaurants you should make the trek for!

Hi Trisha: I love crispy beef too, but this one was sub-par! The best one I have had was at Seafood BBQ house. If you love crispy beef (though it's called shredded beef), do try the one there! Now I have a craving for it!!

Hi mademoiselle délicieuse: I think backlogs are a natural part of being a blogger! Hehe, it does look like a chiko roll!

Hi Conor: Haha, you amaze me with your attention to detail in looking at photos (like how you spotted me in the window!!) 😛 I didn't even notice the left on bits of skin on the kiwi!

Hi Esz: It's not just you! While I don't expect to be blown away by a $35 main, I expect to still think "Yummm"! 🙂

Hi imasugarjunkie: Thanks for the recommendations. I will have to check those places out!

Hi Ellie: Yes, especially if you are just visiting, you want your meals to be amazing!


Aviendha February 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Hi there
Ah I went to Poppys Thai in Burwood and it was HORRID. The experience was terrible and I ended up with food poisioning. I wrote a blog entry about it and sent it to them via email – no responce. Very dissapointed.

All – please read!


Rilsta February 9, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Hi Aviendha: Yikes! Sorry to hear about your food poisoning! No response from the restaurant is poor form! I guess all you can do is not return and tell others.


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