Garden State Hotel – Melbourne, Vic, AU

Garden State Hotel
Melbourne, Vic, Aus

How to describe Garden state; It’s the epitome hit and miss.

I was super impressed by the pictures of the food, the fit out and organised to meet a few friends there for drinks and various plates off their menu.

Arriving I was taken aback how nice the atmosphere and ambience was, I was impressed and looking forward to both my meal and my time here.
I settled into a table in the “beer garden” and grabbed a beer while perusing the menu. Now, everything seemed good so I went all out and ordered a bunch of small things that would be followed by two of their larger plates.

To start I ordered the spice roasted sweet potato with honey and coriander with the smoked pork croquettes served with pepper mayo.
The sweet potato was spiced well and had the right amount of honey and coriander to lend just the right amount of each flavour to create a good balance but was undone by the potato itself being undercooked. The croquettes on the other hand were great, the right amount of crispiness and meatiness that went really well with the pepper mayo.

The next thing out was the Sher wagyu hot dog. It was sensational, everything you could want in a hotdog and more, a great bun; good quality condiments and quality meat. From here, there was nothing good to report. I ordered the lamb shanks and the Chicken Parma to finish and both were less than ordinary.

The Parma was essentially a bland piece of schnitzel in a bed of bland Napoli sauce covered in a mozzarella cheese sauce that was nothing short of awful. To top it off they added some crumbled black olives to go with the miss-match of the rest of the plate.
Lastly, the lame shank (see what I did there); a single lamb shank, braised but far too firm and what I would have thought was a frozen portion reheated. The jus was basic, the polenta was bland mush and the firm and tasteless lamb shank was definitely not worth the $19 price tag it came with.

If you’re going to the Garden State hotel and need to eat, stick to the stuff from the kiosk.

Garden State Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Oh My Lard – Kensington-Chinatown, TO

Oh My Lard
Kensington-Chinatown, Toronto

Last month through some miracle I finally won something, and lord and behold it was a serving of these ribs from Oh My Lard. It was meant to be, and one Saturday I journeyed there to get these delicious things.


Unfortunately my timing was all sorts of wrong and they’d sold out, this led to me trying their slow cooked pork knuckle. They roasted it for 16 hours then finished it in the deep fryer and smothered it with a Thai sweet chilli sauce.
Along with that hunk of meat was one of the best potato salads I’ve ever had to which I’ve since learned the recipe but can’t divulge the glorious secret.


On my second visit they were out again. I don’t know how but it’s like the universe didn’t want me to get those ribs.
This time round I had a serve of their fried chicken with slaw. Now if you know me I love fried chicken and I’ve done the leg work to know my shit, this was some of the best chicken I’ve had in a while; up there with the best in the city. Crispy, juicy and super flavorful, I implore you to get the sauce on the side to really enjoy the experience.


I went back a third time to try my luck and wouldn’t you know third time lucky is a thing.

I got a half rack smoked, grilled and glazed in their secret glaze. I was speechless, the smokiness was great and that glaze, I would bathe in it, FYI also goes great on their smoked corn, another must get.

Oh My Lard is putting out some great no nonsense eats with a really relaxed vibe.

Oh My Lard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato