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Ballarat Food Reviews

    Turret Cafe Ballarat Revisited

    It was celebration time for us, and by now as you may have figured from the last few months of posts, our go-to place to treat ourselves to a sumptuous lunch after achieving a big win was the Turret Cafe Ballarat on Sturt Street.

    Hopefully readers aren't getting bored of this! I assure you, they don't pay us for these- we just like going there! Why? probably the relaxed atmosphere.

    It's a bustling, slightly noisy space, but it has a great look, feel and smell to it. That, and it's on the right part of strut street, where free parking can be found only half a block away, rather than have to worry about overstaying a ripoff voucher meter further into town.

    Treat # was the grilled Saganaki cheese on turkish bread with onion, basil and tomato.

    Yeah, it looks small, doesn't it? But good things come in satisfying sized packages, and this is no exception.

    For a small price of $16.50... its pretty decent value for a deceptively simple, but very well prepared and balanced treat.

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    Treat #2 consisted of the Prawn, Chorizo & Chilli Linguine.

    Don't be fooled by the picture- it's a LOT bigger than it looks and is a very generous serve that left more than enough for both myself, and the lass who stole quite a bit off my plate at every opportunity. I should also mention that the prawns in this are BIG and numerous too!

    For a restaurant that is best described as modern Australian or fusion and not an Italian specialist.. they got the pasta just right! fresh cooked, and not soggy or sloppy.

    WP_20171004_14_02_40_ProThere isn't much left on the menu we have not tried yet which isn't a breakfast item.

    Just the lamb back strap, and some of the more exotic salads. Till next time!

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    I love burgers and Kebabs wendouree ballarat - Bird is the word chicken burger - amazing Ballarat fried chicken

    WP_20170921_22_23_18_ProStarving hungry after a long shift at work, I was driving down Howitt street Wendouree when I saw the familiar and tastebud friendly lights of the I love burgers and kebabs burger van, glowing in the distance.

    Normally, I go the HSP with these guys, pretty much because it's the BEST HSP in Ballarat, but tonight, such glottony by myself seemd unjustfyable, even if it was incredibly tempting.

    The idea of the chicken burger- "bird is the word" had been catching my attention a lot, the last couple of trips here mostly because of the mention of the fact that the recipe for the fried chicken inside was stolen from the proprietor's father... suggesting a long standing, tried and true crowd pleasing recipe...

    But in this case, the sheer fact that it advertised "raw slaw" content was enough for me to make a weak justification for my guilty purchase to the lass when i came home smelling of delicious burgers later in the night. I could at least say I'd had some salad/greens/whatever a cabbage counts as.

    I guess i'd conveniently NOT mention that I'd up sized to the drink and chippies option. (It's a mandatory, not optional thing, right? I mean, it's beer battered crisp, golden chips and kirks's pasito! not negotiable complementary goods to a satisfying burger meal!)

    MmmmMmmm! check out that thick, crispy, juicy DOUBLE HIT of fried chicken in that there burger, and a good squirt of tangy sauce!!

    Undoubtedly ballarat's best chicken burger!

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    Turret Cafe Ballarat Revisited- Lunch treat- Sliders, Lamb Tagine, coffee & cake!

    After our first trip to the turret, and watching all the mouth watering looking meals float effortlessly past our noses, propelled by the light footed and very suave staff at the turret cafe, we vowed to come back again next time we were in the area to try out the sumptuous and tempting lunchtime menu.

    After agonizing over the menu for a while, and craning our necks to catch a glimpse of the day's popular meals, we finally ordered.

    It can be a little difficult to catch the eye of the staff when it's busy, but that's perfectly understandable. Wrestling with the cash register, and what looked like cantankerous old ladies pushing for a split bill on their table can take some time and patience.

    Staff are polite and efficient, and the meals came out pretty quickly.

    I wenWP_20170809_13_16_51_Pro (1)t with the lime, slaw and pulled pork slider burger special, as depicted alongside.

    The brioche buns are really, really good- probably made fresh on site, and the burgers as a set, make up a pretty substantial meal, as one would expect, for around $25! I certainly didn't feel hungry afterward.

    What was saddening was that while the first slider burger bun was great.. the second and third seemed a bit bland and boring afterward- just a lack of variety I'm afraid. That, and I'd forgotten why I have not ordered a pulled pork bun for ages-

    I've never been super-duper impressed by pulled pork. Bit of a gimmicky hipster Melbourne thing, and I was all porked out a few years ago as a result in the CBD. :(

    That said, with 3 buns, 3 different sauces or variations would have been a nice touch.

    Quite an ordering mistake on my behalf... what caught my eye immediately was the Moroccan lamb Tagine with almonds, but the lass wanted that, so I deferred to her and chose something else.

    Yum! the Moroccan Lamb Tagine was absolutely delicious! great mix of spices, nice slow cooked lamb, and crispy almonds on top.WP_20170809_13_16_46_Pro (1)

    We actually fought over the dish a little bit- fork for fork it was that good!

    Spicy, delicious, hearty! underneath was a very nice cous cous, with little raisins and suchlike mixed in.

    Either way, it was a great dish both of us woudl order again anytime!

     

     

     

    WP_20170809_13_46_02_Pro (1)Despite feeling full, I still wanted the full experience, because the cake was that good last time!

    This time around, I went with the macadamia lemon pie!

    Ohyesss! delicious!

    The cake was that tempting, we demolished half of it before the photo was taken (sorry folks!)

    Probably not as special as the croissant raspberry chocolate cake sampled last visit... but totally up there as a very special treat!

     

    There were still cakes to try, and menu items to sample, so we made another decree we would return again the following month!

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    Burger Brothers & chookas charcoal chicken Howitt street wendouree ballarat + gellato

    I droppWP_20170824_14_20_27_Proed into burger brothers & chookas charcoal chicken at Howitt street wendouree for a quick, and hopefully good value lunchtime feed.  The food I ordered was competent, fresh, and tasty enough, but I wasn't blown away- for the price I expected a bit more- Sadly, the "big brother" burger turned out to be more like a bland accountant or conservative public servant type, not a bad boy that plays in a band, rides motorbikes, and hoons about in his terminally unregistered commodore, outrunning police on a regular basis.

    The shop is a tidy looking place, but to be honest, the decor needs some creative flair- with a bit of effort, it could be made to look a bot more interesting than what appears to be a bog standard retail shop with a few counters, tables and a kitchen plonked in round the back- sadly, its got a a bit of a sterile, generic aWP_20170824_14_20_30_Prond impersonal feel.

    The owners & staff appear to be Mediterranean, probably Greek, with what looks like multiple generations of the family working the counters and kitchens, and milling in and out of the shop at various points. A few more family photos of years gone by and other more personal touches would go a long way in brightening the place up and  giving it some soul. - You see that sort of thing in ethnic foodshops almost universally around Australia, and it gives a homely air to the establishment.

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    The "big brother" burger I ordered came out quickly, was tasty, with a nice big bun, and decent salad, fresh tomato... perfect bacon & egg... overall a very competent burger, but it wasn't mindblowingly awesome, or unique in any real way.- for the price of $11, plus extra for the chips, I kind of expected a bit more than boring. Maybe some special sauce to zing it up a bit at least?

    WP_20170824_14_29_33_ProThe big let down was the fact that the meat pattie was bland as cardboard- typical Aussie or maccas american style, when at other Greek shops, they usually do something interesting with it, adding spices, bacon, onions or other vegetables to make it juicier and more interesting, similar to my own burger recipe , which I unashamedly nicked the core of from Nshry in port melbourne.

    Possibly my fault for choosing the menu item at the very top, but I did expect that it would be a flagship burger that would have some sort of wow factor.

    Other favourite places in town, such as I lover burgers & kebabs and round the way really have the formula down pat- instant MMMMM! factor, and they both offer something a bit uniquely different.

    Burger Brothers & chooks's charcoal chicken also stocks famous Triano's Gelato- I'm yet to give it a go, but it certainly looks pretty good! The charcoal chicken offering or other burgers on the menu may also be worth a raz.

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    The Turret Cafe Sturt Street Ballarat Victoria

    WP_20170712_14_23_16_ProDropped in for a coffee and cake at the Turret Cafe ballarat on Sturt street, just down from the base hospital.

    As usual, there was a lot of activity, with people both staff and customers scurrying about everywhere, and nomming into delicious looking lunches.

    The atmosphere in the cafe is absolutely beautiful, refurbished in a sympathetic style that highlights the history and charm of the building the turret his housed in - "linden"- upstairs is accommodation that can be booked out on air B&B under the name No.1 Errard boutique accommodation.

    As we waited patiently for service, mouthwatering fragrances wafted from the sorely tempting looking lunch options as the waitresses rushed about, but sadly we just didn't have time to stop long enough to enjoy the offerings properly.

    The refrigerated cake cabinet was what we were here for though- numerous sumptuous and some rather unique treats, baked in house beckoned!

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    We went with one of the more unusual and exotic offerings- a "Croissant" and raspberry cake...

    And that was what it was- literally.. but they failed to mention in the description the best part- the fact the Croissants were drowned decadently in dark chocolate fudge sauce, cocoa and the layers of raspberries were interlaced with huge chunks of high quality chocolate. Its quite a creation worth experiencing, and it truly is an absolutely exceptional triumph for the patisserie staff behind the scenes.

    Coffee was great too, staff are wonderful. Needless to say, we plan to come back, and try out those meals as soon as possible too.

    http://www.turretcafe.com.au/menu.html

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    802 Sturt Street
    Ballarat, Victoria 3350

    Tel: 03 53344744
    Fax: 03 53344722

     

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