Maybe I was being prophetic in July 2009. Nah, maybe I was just having a laugh.
I heard a rumour recently that DeeJay was maybe getting a little tired of the punting scene and was looking to expand in a new direction. Apparently there is going to be a new FIA, but this time it is going to be a forum run by gourmands, for gourmands.
The new website, www.FoodInAustralia.com.au doesn't have much on it at the moment. The forum will be moderated with any bunfights quickly jumped on (Custard Pies are definitely out).
In addition to the main forums, there will be a Chef's only area, restricted to those with professional qualifications where issues such as 'the best way to sharpen knives', and 'customers are just a bunch of gross slobs when they eat' can be discussed.
There is also going to be a 'Private Dining Room' (invitation only). Disgusting reprobates such as Mr Creosote and the like will be in here, hopefully so that the main forum can be shielded somewhat from their excesses. Qualification for the Private Dining Room will be the ability to drink a crate of brown ale at one sitting, and to be able to vomit at will.
I wonder if we can expect to see this type of review there in the future....
Heavenly Dining - XX/07/09 - Unspecified Meal
Review by BodyBuilder
I was feeling quite hungry one night after work, and I thought I would try an established place called Heavenly Dining. It is nicely situated not far from Federation Square and has a frontage on the Yarra, hence the locals refer to it as Dining On The Y. Phone number is 03 6969 6969. Cuisine is modern Australian, with an occasional Asian influenced dish. You can get a light snack here or go for the full 3 course menu.
I arrived and was shown to my dining room. I went for the full dining experience and picked out what I was going to have. I was invited to wash my hands while the waitress went off to do whatever waitresses do. I left an hour later, after slurping my way through a great dish, quite satisfied with what I'd received. Now YMMV, and as you will probably have a different dining experience to me, and out of respect to the Chef, I'm not going to go into the intimate details of the meal. Besides, there are a lot of weirdos out there who trawl through this forum just to get some vicarious kick out of reading about other people's dining experience to get their gastric juices flowing, and I don't want to encourage them. I'll leave you to read between the lines to discover what dishes I ate and what sort of wine I had with the meal. Let me just say that at the end of the meal I'd used 3 forks.
Service here is good and the meal I had was beautifully presented and quite a stunning experience. Standard service here is paper plates and cups, plastic knives and forks, and paper napkins. If you want proper cutlery, china, glass and linen, you have to pay extra. How much extra depends on who is serving you.
If you are not into Australian cuisine, there's a Japanese place not far away (review is coming). Don't be fooled by the advertising though. There are rarely any Japanese dishes on the menu. It's mainly Chinese with a few Korean Hot Pot dishes, and an occasional Thai dish. Some of the Chinese dishes look like they've been hanging around in the kitchen too long. It's quite a bit cheaper than DOTY, and there are no extras for proper tableware here. With the Chinese dishes you often have the option of adding a few extra ingredients into your dish at no extra charge (a bit of spice or chilli maybe). The Korean dishes are laid out in a very particular order, and changes to the recipe are not allowed. You also have to eat these in a set way. Variation is frowned on. The Thai dishes are quite spicy and fragrant, can often contain a real surprise, and are usually pretty good value. You pick out what you want from this place from numbers on the menu.
I've also heard of a place near here which is a one on one dining experience, with one Chef totally devoted to your meal. The full degustation here is 3 or 4 times more expensive than a typical restaurant, but you do get a great dining experience with the finest wines and a meal tailored to your individual tastes. I'll try it one day when I win the lottery and report back.
I think my next review is going to cover the take away scene, otherwise known as the Pot Luck Scene, where almost any other meal, other than the one you've ordered, can turn up at the door.
Safe dining and don't get food poisoning.