400 Gradi East

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The Eastland renovation seemed to have happened a lifetime ago, but really, it’s only been a couple of years. One of the welcome edition to the Town Square was 400 Gradi East, known for having the best margherita pizza in town.

This is an extremely backlogged post, in fact, I visited 400 Gradi East during a special event over a year ago, on National Cheese Pizza Day.

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Melzane alla Parmigiana – $17.00

The eggplant parmigiana came in a dish that was smaller than I expected, but after tasting it, all my doubt vanished. Think eggplant baked with napoli sauce, ricotta and mozzarella, are you salivating yet? The punchy napoli sauce was miles better than the bottled ones I’m used to, and the quality of the cheeses guaranteed that the sauce was intensely rich in flavour. The size of this was actually perfect, as this was a very indulgent dish.

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99 Cheese Piza

Onto the special guest of the night that appears once in a blue moon, the 99 cheese pizza. The name and idea of this pizza may seem gimmicky, but let me tell you, it tasted phenomenal. 95 types of cheese were made into a sauce, with the 4 remaining one – also what are usually present on a four cheese pizza – sprinkled on top. The cheese sauce was sinfully good, literally sending me to cheese heaven. The crust was also perfectly airy and had enough integrity to hold all the cheese on top, certainly not an easy feat.

IMG_5328I know I’m being a bit of a tease here, blogging about a pizza that no longer exist, but that just means we gotta petition for 400 Gradi to bring it back right? I mean, it worked last time.

400 Gradi has been a long time player in the authentic Italian pizza game, and although it’s not my favourite, it certainly is capable of delivering some knock-out pizzas. With its expansion into the suburbs, 400 Gradi continues providing diners with pizzas that might not transport one back to the streets of Italy, but works for a satisfying meal that doesn’t leave you feeling too bad about yourself, and that’s enough for me on most nights.

How to get there:
400 Gradi East is located in the Town Square of Eastland, right opposite Ringwood Station, which is on the Belgrave/Lilydale line.

400 Gradi East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mister Fox

1Mister Fox is located off Ringwood Golf course, which means that there is a gorgeous view of the lush green field through its window. The cafe makes good use of its location by incorporating ceiling to floor windows around the back of the restaurant, allowing the interior to be bathed in sunlight when the weather plays in its favour.

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BLT – $8.00

My friend went for the classic BLT, because she was after a simple pick-me-up after a gym session. The bacon was crispy, and the lettuce came in the form of rocket, which added some bitterness, and the baguette had a nice crusty exterior.

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A Breakfast Salad, For Fox Sake – $16.00

Not gonna lie, part of the reason I ordered the breakfast salad (shocking, I know) was due to its name. The salad was definitely very healthy, with a mix of quinoa, avocado, corn, spinach, chia, and feta and maple glazed bacon to add some balance to the dish.4Because there was no dressing, the salad was a bit bland, although I added a ton of salt and pepper myself, it was still lacking in the flavour department. I wish there was a simple vinaigrette of some sort to tie the salad together.
5Although the view was beautiful in Mister Fox, the food was average at best. It’s clearly found itself some loyal customers though, but maybe that’s because it doesn’t have to necessarily stand out given its location? Regardless, I don’t see myself returning to Mister Fox in the near future.

How to get there:
Mister Fox is located on Canterbury Road, get on bus #901, and get off at Canterbury Road/Wantirna Road, and the restaurant is around five minutes walk away.

Mister Fox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jimmy Grants

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The Med Diet: 150g Lamb  w/ Tzatziki and Grain Salad – $16.50

My love affair with Jimmy Grants continues, and today, we’re at one of its newer locations at Eastland. Instead of the souva, I went for the Med Diet, because I wanted to finally try the grain salad, but couldn’t commit to just the salad, I know I know, #firstworldproblems.

Anyway, onto the food. The lamb was tender and fell apart at the light prick of my fork, and compared to the souva, it is a lot more simple in flavour, since there is little embellishment. Being a lamb lover, this was right up my alley. If you do find the meatiness of the lamb on the heavy side, then the cooling tzatziki on the side will be your best friend. I can completely understand why people rave about the grain salad, although deceptively uncomplicated, the amount of grains, nuts and herbs meant that the salad was full of both flavour and texture. Although I can’t see myself having this as a full meal, it was the perfect side in this case.

Jimmy Grants always offer up some delicious Greek dishes, and this time it was no different. I’m so glad that there’s finally one that’s sort of close to me!

How to get there:
Jimmy Grants is located in Town Square of Eastland, right opposite Ringwood Station.

Jimmy Grants Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ang Ang

My adventure around Town Square of Eastland continues, and today, we chose to have dinner at Ang Ang, an Asian eatery opened by the people behind Chinta Ria Soul. 
Beef Rendang w/ Roti – $13.00

I felt like something hearty, and picked the beef rendang. The rendang sauce was quite thick, and the flavour was pretty standard. The beef was braised until it was tender. The roti was a bit cold and hard on the other hand, and that was kind of a let down.

Curry Laksa – $12.00

My friend chose the curry laksa, and unfortunately, this soup was too oily for her liking, and lacked a depth in flavour that good laksa has. There was a generous serving of chicken and seafood in the big bowl though, and she was content with the meal overall.

Salt and Pepper Prawns – $22.00

Another friend ordered the salt and pepper prawns, and she really enjoyed it. The prawn were fried in a light batter, and the scattering of chillies, onions and spring onions added some flavour to the prawns. Some sort of vegetable or salad with dish would have been nice, to balance out the fried prawns.

Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with Ang Ang, the food was pretty much the same standard as what you would get at a food court, and the price was pretty steep considering the quality.

How to get there:
Ang Ang is located in Town Square of Eastland, which is right opposite Ringwood station.

Ang Ang by Chinta Ria Soul Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hunky Dory

Hunky Dory is another new addition in Eastland’s Town Square, and it’s actually a franchise restaurant. I’m pretty sure I’ve been to their other stores before the blogger days, but it’s essentially a fish and chips shop, providing some healthier alternatives too.

The Bay – $12.00

The Bay is pretty much your standard fish and chips pack, with a fillet of flake, two calamari rings, potato cake and chips, with some tartare sauce on the side. All the elements were okay on the plate, although there were nothing special at the same time. The chips could’ve done with some more salt, the batter on the seafood wasn’t exactly the crunchiest. All in all, it’s what you would expect from a mediocre fish and chips store.

Salt n’ Pepper Calamari w/ Black Rice Salad – $18.20

The salt and pepper calamari fared quite a bit better, the seasoning was on point, and the light batter gave just enough crunch to the tender calamari strips. The black rice salad, on the other hand, was quite bland, and we left most of on the plate.

If you’re after fish and chips served in a proper restaurant, where the food is brought to your table with some friendly service, then Hunky Dory might be where you want to visit. However, if quality traditional fish and chips is more of a priority on your list, then I suggest you look else where.

How to get there:
Huxtaburger is located in Eastland’s Town Square, which is right opposite Ringwood Station.

Hunky Dory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Huxtaburger

Everyone’s pretty smitten with the newly renovated Eastland, and the Town Square is its main drawcard for me, with numerous new places and old favourites closer to home.

Huxtaburger was the first place I decided to try out, because, hello, burgers!

Huxtaburger – $9.50

My friend went for the classic Huxtaburger, and she loved the bun! It was nice and crunchy, and because it was a brioche, buttery and rich. The patty itself is on the smaller side of things, but was cooked very well. The accompanying sauce and salad stopped the burger from getting too rich, and all in all, it was a satisfying burger, but considerably smaller than most other places.

Denise – $12.50 in a Small Meal – $5.50

Feeling like something fiery, I went for the Denise, essentially the same as the Huxtaburger, but with the addition of jalapeño and sriracha mayo. There was a substantial amount of jalapeño, which gave the burger the heat that I was looking for, the sriracha mayo was also flavourful, however, the amount of sauce made the bun pretty much collapse on itself, making it rather messy to eat.

The chips were good, super crispy on the outside, and potatoey on the inside.

Clair – $14.00 in a Small Meal – $5.50

One of my friend felt like a chicken burger, which meant her only option was the Clair. Although the chicken looks quite dark, it’s actually perfectly fried, and the slaw did lighten up the burger a little. The jalapeño mayo however, was not particularly jalapeño-y. She did also think that $14 was a bit excessive for this burger.

Huxtaburger was one of the first to join the Melbourne burger scene, and it is where I, and many others, had our first gourmet burger experience. For that reason, it will forever have a special place in my heart, nonetheless, it is hard to ignore the noticeably smaller size of their burgers, along with the price tag.

How to get there:
Huxtaburger is located in Eastland’s Town Square, which is right opposite Ringwood Station.

Huxtaburger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato