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Pop in for Brunch at Claire’s Kitchen and really brighten your Sunday!

  • Written by Colleen Windsor
  • Category: Food & Wine


Last Sunday a couple of friends and I went to say ‘Bonjour’ to our friend, the oh so very french, Claire de Lune who has recently opened the very fabulous Le Salon at the lower end of Oxford Street in what was the Gotham small bar. 

Claire, or as I should say Marc Kuzma, as we all know has for the last six years been behind the successful Slide just a few doors up, giving the strip an excellent cabaret / restaurant / nightspot experience. Well he’s dusted himself down and created this splendid French style brassiere and cocktail bar Claire’s Kitchen at Le Salon.   

He’s there steering dinner and drinks each evening between Tuesday and Saturdays but I want to share that he also serves Brunch on Sundays and from my experience I can predict it will soon be the new must-do spot to be. It’s not to be saved for a special occasion oh no – it’s a little chic treat guaranteed to make your Sunday sparkle. 

Marc has designed and chosen the décor and furnishings and it’s a gorgeous Parisian back and white themed room with a really astonishing sense of detail. Primarily being a dinner restaurant the table and chairs are comfy and spacious. The front, which faces Oxford Street, is floor to ceiling glass so the vibe is sunny and bright with just that lovely little touch of occasion. 

We began with a shared basket of baked bit’s and piece’s, Le Panier ($16), which included croissant, brioche and baguette with stunning jam and conserves whist our main dishes were being prepared. Two of us opted for the Croque Madame ($16.50) which was a very french 2 slices of organic multigrain filled with leg ham, béchamel sauce and gruyere cheese, baked and topped with a fried egg. It’s very opulent and quite filling. Our friend had the Egg Benedict ($16) which came served on rosti potato and he said it was one of the nicest hollandaise he has ever tried.   

The coffee is divine and strong, try the Le Grand Bol de Café au Lait ($6) and I guarantee you’ll think you were at one of those unforgettable Paris sidewalk cafes’. Because we were having a long overdue catch up and had so much gossip to exchange we indulged, at Claire’s insistence, in one of the smart Mimosa’s: french champagne topped with freshly squeezed orange juice, which everyone seemed to have – ooh la la! Marc is constantly back and forth from the kitchen, greeting everyone with air-kisses and his trademark ‘Joie de vivre – its contagious the whole place is full of life, laughter and joy.

You can review Claire's Kitchen on's City Guide! Either on the website or via our smart phone/tabley app!

Dare - The Rocks

  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Food & Wine
Dare is a little hidden gem, right in the heart of the extended rocks markets, where any gluten intolerant being can stop off and indulge in the naughtier side of life without killing themselves.
Gluten free food is a hard thing to find in Sydney  and those of you that don't know what it is, it is food that does not contain gluten (der) but no flour, wheat, oats, barley etc… all these grains contain a protein called gluten which can cause some major damage!

So that means pastries, breads, cakes, and all the other treats most folk take for granted are off limits, unless made with other flours like rice, etc… and Dare has a gourmet experience to not only make the no gluten folk happy - but anyone that wants to eat healthier!

Caramel and Walnut Slice, Raspberry and Cocnut Slice and Chocolate Brownies - all gluten free are soooo tasty. Little slices of heaven, and they may go straight to your thighs but its well worth the flavour hit!

Other standouts are the GF Pide, Gluten Free Beer and the yummy tuna bake.

check it out next time your taking some visitors down for the sightseeing - or if you want to check out the rocks market, its a great place for lunch!

Shop 22/The Rocks Centre Playfair Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000


  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Food & Wine
291 Auburn Road
Hawthorn East, Melbourne
Victoria Australia

Reviewed on 4th May 2009.

Going on a gastronomic tour of Melbourne was inevitable when our party was staying at Jen's place in Hawthorn East... we trekked all over the city the day before building a huge appetite, but filling ourselves with chocolates and other Melbourne delights... but on the Monday we were due at David Hiscock's funeral - definitely a somber occasion and one that would be very emotional for all of us, so I asked Jen if there was somewhere we could fuel up for the day (and that would also cater for the variety of tastes and restrictions our traveling party had).

Jen immediately jumped at the chance to take us to her local favorite breakfast spot - just up the road.

Porgie + Mr Jones, Hawthorn was a small shop front near an intersection that look "trendy cool" an industrial minimalist fitout, without looking cheap and nasty (Melbourne seems to love this style - and i must admit i now do too.)

Not knowing anything about it - we all sat down and looked over the menu - I nearly squealed in delight - right at the bottom of the first page, was "Homemade Gluten Free Bread only $1.0 Xtra! - i was heaven! FINALLY for the first time in years i could have a full breakfast with toast and all without having to cook it for myself - i was giddy with excitement, not to mention the options... we all perused the menu, and whilst I steered totally towards eggs, bacon mushrooms and tomato, JP and Marky had smashed Avocado, poached eggs, mushrooms and with the optional extras, there was hints of smoked salmon and more! We all were blown away by the simplicity of the menu - but the opportunity it brought for good taste - but the proof was in the eating - as we noticed Jen had partook in the toasted banana bread with maple syrup marscapone, fresh banana, berry compote and crushed pistachios ... forever the sweet tooth though, we sat and waited.

Coffees arrived first, and I traditionally added sweetener to mine and stirred... oh crap, grains of coffee floated around... screw it - I took a swig and died. Was this the best coffee I had ever had taste wise? Its certainly in my top two... i can still taste it now - even typing about it. I don't know what the magic was, which beans or whatever - but I just ordered a normal latte...  try you luck is my advice - its well worth it.

Then along came the meals. OMG! What a pleasure - totally presented beautifully, whilst still retaining the heartiness of the original ingredients. And the taste could not be beat. The Gluten Free home made bread was to die for, and the mushrooms- although plentiful and black were not the scary kind of fried mushies you get with these types of breakfasts... but deliciously sliced and prepared - funnily enough I thought there was too many on the plate, but the other guys happily ate my excess ones for me.

The eggs were cooked to perfection, and if our time wasn't restricted, I am sure we all would have happily sat there all day sampling everything on the menu.

Not to put too much pressure on the team at Porgie + Mr Jones (or P+MG to the locals) - it would have to be one of the best breakfast experiences I have had, and probably Melbourne's best cafe.

Next time Jen comes in for her regular breakfasts, you should totally comp her meal for introducing us to you - she certainly knows the best places in Melbourne to eat, and she found a corker with you guys.

RATING: 10/10
Don't forget to leave your impressions, reviews and more below.

Vegie Bar :: Fitzroy

  • Written by Rob Manser
  • Category: Food & Wine

Vegie Bar

380 Brunswick Street

Fitzroy, Melbourne 

Victoria 3065 Australia

Reviewed: 3rd May 2009


Vegie Bar, located on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy was a nice find. The atmosphere was fresh, funky, yet rustic without being dirty... a bit like the entire street. It was a brilliant find for me in particular as the menu offered up litterally every option as Gluten Free, which makes dining out rather difficult. Being a Vegie restaurant, that does not use any meat products what so ever, it was a real pleasure to find that they also managed to keep the intense flavours in the foods.

Our party of 5 managed to all try something unique and different and also had starters, mains, drinks (yes a nice house white, which was a Melbourne blend, and actually VERY tasty), all for under $120 for all of us.

The relaxed atmosphere may not be right for some as it really isnt an uptight restaurant vibe... at times its loud, brash and busy, but that just added to the appeal for me. Even the lovely single seated lass at the end of our massive table offered up her Pizza to Pete so he could taste it before ordering - now that was brilliant!

Vegie Bar was a nice expereience, and considering we walked in off the street at about 11pm on a Sunday night, a=made it even more impressive... the staff her honest, fun and although not dedicated to particular tables or sections, seemed to know what was going where with no stuff ups whatsoever.

Vegie Bar is a great option for anyone in the area, or definitely worth the trek to Fitzroy for any visitor. 


RATING:  8/10


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