Take me to foodie heaven

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food" – George Bernard Shaw


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Francoforte Spaghetti Bar

On a Friday evening, I decided to catch up with one of my uni friends, Clara as it has been a while since we last saw each other. As both of us are foodies, we eventually came to a decision to catch up over dinner at Francoforte Spaghetti Bar while also knowing that there’s dessert at Superstar Waffles which is located directly opposite Francoforte. We arrived early at 6pm and were able to find a table to ourselves. I have walked past Francoforte once late on a Friday evening and it was packed to the rafters! Having our dinner early was definitely a great idea.

To start off, we were offered two slices of complementary bread and olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip. The bread was soft and fluffy and had a lovely crisp crust on the outside, marrying well with the flavours of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip.

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 Complimentary bread

I had the Porco Rosso ($14 for Piccolo, $18 for Grande) which comprises of Italian tomato sugo, traditional pork sausage and Grana Padamo parmesan. The pasta was cooked perfectly to al dente. One bite of the traditional pork sausage and it was well seasoned, juicy and flavoursome. Overall, I thought that the Porco Rosso was delicious and has a lovely balance of flavours and is also well textured.

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Porco Rosso

 Clara had the Squid in Vino ($14 for Piccolo, $19 for Grande) which consisted of al dente spaghetti in a white wine sauce topped with tender pieces of baby squid and chickpeas. This dish was beautifully presented, healthy and I loved every bite of this dish. Needless to say, I can’t wait to return to try the other mouth-watering spaghetti options that they have to offer. On another note, I had the small serving size of this dish, which was perfect because this meant that I would have room for dessert! (aka superstar waffles).

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Squid in Vino

Overall, Clara and I enjoyed our dining experience at Francoforte. The service was also excellent and our food did not take too long to arrive. Francoforte is perfect for a catch up with friend over dinner or a casual date together with value for money and delicious food. I am already looking forward to my next visit to Francoforte to try the other pasta dishes!

Mel’s Rating : mmmm (excellent)

Francoforte Spaghetti Bar on Urbanspoon


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Beer 101 at The Brisbane Hotel

A few weeks ago, I was invited to enrol in Beer School by local brewers, Little Creatures at The Brisbane Hotel. I was excited to see what The Brisbane has to offer for this round at Beer School after attending their popular Roast and Red Night in winter.

Beer School took place at the beer garden and it was such a lovely day to sit outside and learn a bit or two about beer. It was actually a perfect day for a beer! While learning about the history of beer and tasting some of the essential ingredients used to make beer, we were also offered cold glasses of pale ale from their current batch to start. It was light and bubbly which made it easy to drink and a great thirst quencher (I have actually never managed to finish a whole glass of beer to myself but I actually did at The Brisbane just because it was so easy to drink!) Oh and we also got to do a hands on session after the fun theory component! (We had a very enthusiastic speaker!)

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After beer school, it was time for dinner! As we were seated in the long table with other bloggers, we had the opportunity to try a variety of food from The Brisbane’s spring menu. It was a feast!

I sat together with fellow bloggers, iMasticate and Queen of Bad Timing and their partners, chatting the night away and sharing our foodie experiences with each other. To start, we had the Chicken Liver Parfait, fig and pear chutney and baguette ($17). The chicken liver parfait was smooth and fresh, complementing well with the baguette and tangy and sweet textures from the fig and pear chutney.

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Chicken Liver Parfait, fig and pear chutney, baguette

We were presented with a board consisting of Veal meatballs, chorizo, mixed olives and polenta chips ($23). I enjoyed the Veal Meatballs and thought that it was flavoursome and well seasoned. The chorizo was perfect – it was chewy but not too hard and definitely not overcooked. But what stood out from this share plate was definitely the golden polenta chips. It was deliciously crisp and fluffy. The olives were also a fresh addition to the board.

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Veal meatballs, chorizo, mixed olives and polenta chips

The Pizza Bianca also came with a trio of dips which were capsicum, hummus and beetroot ($21). The bread had a lovely flavour from the rosemary and salt. I’m a fan of rosemary and I think adding rosemary to a dish is like a cherry on top – adding a punch of flavour and fragrance to a dish. I tried all three of the dips and they were all fresh and flavourful.

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Pizza bianca and house made trio of dips

Last but not least, was the Salt and Pepper squid with Lemon Aioli ($17). The last time I was here for the Roast and Red Night, I also had the Salt and Pepper Squid to share. Compared to my last visit, it was consistent. The salt and pepper squid at The Brisbane is not crunchy, but it’s light and fluffy with a nice hint of salt and pepper on top. Put together with the creamy lemon aioli and you will have the perfect snack!

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Salt and pepper squid and lemon aioli

Not long after finishing Round 1 of our starters to share, here’s Round 2 – the Mains! I had the 300gm Eye Fillet, Italian coleslaw, fries and bearnaise ($40).  It was tender, succulent and juicy from the lovely pink colour in the middle. The Italian Coleslaw was fresh and crispy. Oh and not forgetting the crunchy textures of the chips with the thick and creamy bearnaise sauce. It was heavenly.

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Eye Fillet 300gm, Italian coleslaw, fries and bearnaise

A few of us had pretty similar dishes to what we ordered. Looking at my neighbour, Queen of Bad Timing, she had the Asparagus, lemon, baby pea and feta risotto ($26) which looked lovely and creamy. iMasticate ordered the Homemade prawn and barramundi tortellini, grilled tiger prawns, saffron bisque ($32). I had a taste of one of the tortellinis which I was offered by iMasticate. It was huge, cooked perfectly to al dente and was filled with flavoursome seafood. The saffron bisque was rich and marries well with the flavours of the tortellini. To complement our mains, we decided to share a side of Brocollini, green beans, toasted almonds, lemon and herb crumb ($14).

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Asparagus, lemon, baby pea and feta risotto

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Homemade prawn and barramundi tortellini, grilled tiger prawns, saffron bisque

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Brocollini, green beans, toasted almonds, lemon and herb crumb

I was so full after my finishing my Eye Fillet steak but luckily, I still have some room left for dessert. To finish off, I shared a Pavlova, mango, strawberry and double cream ($15). The pavlova was huge – it was definitely worth sharing it with someone! It was melt in your mouth amazing and the mango and strawberry gave a fruity flavour to the pavlova. With each spoonful, I could not stop digging into the pavlova – Yes, I was addicted and in just a few minutes, we managed to finish the pavlova! HURRAH for teamwork!

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Pavlova, passionfruit, mango and double cream

Queen of Bad Timing and her partner shared the Raspberry and Panna Cotta trifle, almond praline ($15). Like the pavlova, it was generous in serving and definitely a must share dessert! It looks smooth from the top and the almond praline also looks crunchy. iMasticate had a Cheese Selection (50 grams for $10) which comes with wafer thin crackers, thin crisp bread and chutney. I could not remember if I had a taste of the cheese or not but I know that my fellow bloggers and their partners enjoyed the soft and hard cheese.

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Raspberry and Panna Cotta trifle, almond praline

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Cheese Selection

This was my second visit to The Brisbane and I left feeling very satisfied once again from the food and of course, beer. I would like to thank David Gardiner PR, Little Creatures and The Brisbane Hotel for hosting and having us for Beer School and for the delicious feast after!

The Brisbane Hotel on Urbanspoon


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P’tite Ardoise Bistro

Every year, we celebrate that special day whether it is a milestone or just another year older and wiser. To celebrate my birthday, my family and I went to P’tite Ardoise Bistro for my birthday dinner. I was lucky to call up a day before to make a booking as I found out from the manager on that day that the restaurant was fully booked! Yep, and it’s a Thursday night too!

One step inside P’tite Ardoise and I am instantly transported into a French Bistro in Paris. The atmosphere and ambience was cosy and romantic with soft French music playing in the background. We started off with some Red wines while taking our time to peruse our menu. Luckily, it turns out that I knew the manager there as we did BodyAttack in the gym together! How awesome is that! It definitely made our decision-making process of what-to-order so much more easier and all he did was recommend the food to us and we gave our thumbs up to his recommendation. We were also offered a choice of bread to choose from mini baguettes, seeded to herbed dinner rolls with accompaniments to the bread from olive oil, butter spread and a salty olive tapenade.

To start off, mum had the Terrine du Chef ($21), dad had the Seared Scallops ($21) and I had the Escargot a ma facon ($19). I tried mum’s Terrine and it was fresh, seasoned well and bursting with flavour.

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Terrine

Whenever I am in a French Restaurant, snails is a must order for me. The snails at P’tite Ardoise is different and definitely not your usual garlic butter snails. Under the toasted circle of crisp buttery bread of each ramekin, lies around four to five snails swimming in the thick and creamy sauce. It was so delicious and the flavours worked very well with each other.

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Escargot a ma facon

The scallops also came with white and green asparagus, celeriac puree and carrot cream sauce. I had a taste of dad’s scallops and it was fresh and cooked to perfection which also complements the celeriac puree and carrot cream sauce well. It was executed with attention to detail.

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Scallops

For our mains, mum had the Casserole of the Day ($42) which is a Bouillabaisse, dad had the Fillet Mignon ($43) and I had the Sauteed Beef Fillet Flambee ($39). I had a taste of mum’s Bouillabaisse and it was full of flavour. There were also a generous amount and variety of seafood and the tomato based broth was rich and flavoursome from the fresh seafood.

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Casserole of the day

The Sauteed Beef Fillet Flambee Cognac also comes with Potato Tartiflette, Cherry Tomato and Jus. My dish arrived in a hot cast iron Le Creuset pot, the same as mum’s Bouillabaisse. The little beef fillet pieces were so succulent and juicy. If you love your cheese you will love this dish too. The melted blue cheese on the potato tartiflette was delicious and the cherry tomato is an explosion in your mouth. This was definitely one hearty and satisfying dish – I loved it.

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Beef Flambee

Dad’s Fillet Mignon consisted of a WA Beef Tenderloin wrapped in Streaky Bacon, Fondant Potato, Shiraz Jus and Bearnaise. Dad enjoyed his Fillet Mignon and thought that it was cooked perfectly to medium, tender and seasoned well. The beef tenderloin also complements well with the jus and the thick and creamy bearnaise – one of the best bearnaise around Perth! YUM!

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Fillet Mignon

Always leave space for desserts at a French restaurant as we all know French desserts and pastries are to die for. I decided to go for the Lemon Vacherin ($15) which consists of meringue, lemon sorbet and curd, strawberry and rhubarb. Because mum told the manager that it was my birthday, he surprised me with a  candle on top of the Lemon Vacherin dessert accompanied by a Happy Birthday song from him and another waitress. I must say that the Lemon Vacherin looks and tastes amazing. The sweet and sour flavours marries each other well. It was such a lovely dessert – not too sweet or sour, it was just perfect.

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Lemon Vacherin ($15)

Dad and mum shared the Ile Flottante ($12) Ile Flottante is also known as Floating Island and usually consists of meringue floating on the Anglaise sauce. I had a taste of the Ile Flottante and it was light, soft and smooth in texture, complementing well with the thick and creamy Anglaise sauce.

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Ile Flottante ($12)

I really had a great night at P’tite Ardoise and everything was executed well from the start to finish and also, food and service. Now I know why P’tite Ardoise Bistro is so popular and has such a good rating among Urbanspoon too. After our first visit to P’tite Ardoise, I decided that I have to make a second visit again one day! I highly recommended P’tite Ardoise for authentic French food with a nice, charming atmosphere perfect for dates, that special occasion, birthdays or maybe a nice catch up with friends over fine food.

Mel’s Rating : mmmmm (take me to foodie heaven)

P'tite Ardoise Bistro on Urbanspoon


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Lenny the Ox

Located along Wray Avenue, Lenny the Ox is one upcoming cafe that is currently gaining its popularity in Fremantle. Oh, and I just found out that Lenny the Ox is also partly owned by the same people who operates Ootong and Lincoln, another local Freo institution. At Lenny the Ox, everything is made fresh from the start including their salads to sandwiches and even cakes.

Mum had the Grilled Salmon ($12.50) with basmati rice, cherry tomato, salsa verde and brussel sprouts. I had a taste test of the salmon and it was grilled to perfection. The salsa verde gave the salmon its freshness and with one bite, the cherry tomato explodes in your mouth. Overall, it was one tasty dish and we were lucky to be able to grab the last one available on that day.

IMG_6161 Grilled Salmon with basmati rice

I had the Salmon Omelette ($21.50) with smoked curd, beets and avocado. When the dish arrived, it was bursting with colour. Does the taste burst with colour too? It sure does! The omelette was fluffy and the salmon was cooked well, leaving a hint of pink in the middle. The avocado, smoked curd and beets also gave the omelette its fresh flavours and complements well with the salmon too! It was a lovely dish.

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Salmon Omelette

Dad had the Baked Beans ($20) with chorizo, labneh and fried egg. I had a taste of it and it was hearty and delicious. With a combination of black beans, lentils and chickpeas, it was full of flavour. The chorizo was tasty and marries well with the baked beans. It’s definitely a good dish to start the day with!

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Baked Beans

Overall, we enjoyed our dining experience at Lenny the Ox and thought that the service was also friendly and down to earth. It is no wonder that Lenny the Ox is popular among locals in Freo or in Perth, just because of their quality food and coffee that makes people coming back for more!

Mel’s Rating : mmmm (excellent)

Lenny the Ox on Urbanspoon


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Tamarind Cafe

Tucked away from Gugeri Street is Claremont’s latest secret eatery, Tamarind Cafe. Tamarind Cafe is new to the Claremont dining scene as it has just recently opened 2 months ago offering a fusion of Australian and Malaysian dishes. Surrounded by residential apartments, the casual ambience and atmosphere at Tamarind Cafe with an alfresco dining area is suitable for customers to eat, relax and catch up over food. Tamarind Cafe is one hidden gem.

As we were there on a Saturday night, we had no bookings and managed to get ourselves a table. For the mains, mum had the Seafood Laksa ($19). The Seafood Laksa broth was thick, creamy and flavoursome. The noodles were also cooked well and there was a generous amount of seafood which adds a lovely punch of flavour to the Seafood Laksa broth.

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Seafood Laksa ($19)

I had the Beef Rendang ($29) which was served with biryani rice, stuffed chicken wing, papadum and mixed steamed greens. The beef rendang was delicious with a hint of sweetness and the beef pieces were cooked perfectly to tender. Together with the fluffy biryani rice, it was full of flavour.

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Beef Rendang

Dad had the Tamarind Nasi Goreng ($19) which consists of fried rice, stuffed chicken wing, beef satay and papadum. I had a taste test of the beef satay and it was marinated well, flavoursome and tender. It was authentic. Now I know where to get my satay if I am craving for it!

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Tamarind Nasi Goreng

To finish, we had a Pavlova ($12) to share. The Pavlova was melt in your mouth delicious. It was crunchy on the outside with its soft, mallow texture on the inside. It was definitely a winner for us. The strawberries and blueberries also gave a hint of freshness and sweetness to the Pavlova.

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Pavlova

I enjoyed and had a great dining experience at Tamarind Cafe. It definitely had a relaxing and casual atmosphere and the staff are very friendly too. Parking is also not a hassle as you can park at Claremont Quarter for the first three hours. Come on the first Sunday of the month for some Malaysian specials and stay updated with Tamarind Cafe’s Facebook page.

Mel’s Rating : mmmm (excellent)

Tamarind Cafe on Urbanspoon


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The Raw Kitchen

Yes you heard it right, raw food is currently trending and is increasingly popular among health and fitness enthusiasts.

Located in the heart of Fremantle along High Street, is The Raw Kitchen. One step into The Raw Kitchen and you will find yourself in an original 1920s warehouse with an ethos on healthy, sustainable living. The Raw Kitchen is not only home to the popular plant-based restaurant but is also a home to a lifestyle store, yoga and studio space. A few weekends back, my Tough Mudder training group and I decided to hold  a surprise birthday dinner at The Raw Kitchen for a very special person for dinner.

We started off with a Roasted Beetroot dip and House made Hommus with cold-smoked almonds, black and white sesame, micro herbs and bread ($16) and Rubi-lou wedges ($14). The beetroot dip and hommus complements the bread well with its fresh flavours. The Rubi-lou wedges consists of paprika, fennel and caraway seasoned hand-cut potatoes with raw cashew macadamia aioli, sumac and thyme. It was so tasty together with the creamy raw cashew macadamia aioli. Wished that I could have more!

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 Roasted Beetroot dip and House made Hommus ($16)

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Bread

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Rubi-lou wedges with raw cashew macadamia aioli, sumac and thyme

I had the Live zucchini pasta with tomato pasta sauce, avocado, mushroom, kalamata olives, basil, parmesan & cracked black pepper  ($23). This was my first time having zucchini pasta and I thought that this was a very interesting dish which also didn’t take me long to get used to it. When it first arrived, I couldn’t even tell that it was a zucchini pasta because it looks like normal pasta! The zucchini pasta was fresh, moist and delicious with a nice hint of flavour from the olives.

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Live Zucchini Pasta

A few others on the table had the Yellow coconut curry with margaret river tempeh, broccoli, sweet potato, sugar snap peas, crispy shallots, lime, fresh chilli & coriander with a side of quinoa ($25) and Lentil dahl with mint oil, sesame seeds and shaved green apple ($20). I only had a taste test of the yellow coconut curry and it was very fragrant with a hint of spicy-ness to it. The curry was not too thick or watery and it was full of flavour. I didn’t think that quinoa can actually blend well with the yellow coconut curry, but it sure did!

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Yellow coconut curry with quinoa

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Lentil dahl with mint oil, sesame seeds and shaved green apple

As this was my first time having raw food and dining at The Raw Kitchen, I actually enjoyed the raw food experience and this has definitely opened up my eyes more on raw food and healthy eating. However, I must say that it does feel good to eat clean once in a while. Will definitely be back to try their cakes and to-die-for smoothies too! :)

Mel’s Rating : mmmm (excellent)

The Raw Kitchen on Urbanspoon


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Chesters Restaurant

One fine Saturday mid morning, the family and I decided to take a drive down to Swan Valley for a good lunch. One of the places that we were keen to go back to was Elmar’s. Unfortunately, Elmar’s was closed for a function on the day and it will be re-opened to the public at 1.30 pm. As we were quite hungry, we decided to head next door to give Chesters Restaurant a try, since we could also use our Entertainment Gold Card there too!

Take a step down memory lane and Chesters Restaurant was once a fruit drying shed which was used later as a functioning stable quarters for a local riding academy. During the early 1900′s, the Marri columns in the restaurant which sustains the roof were originally set into clay. All of the tables, cabinets and walls at Chesters were also handcrafted using original timbers. At Chesters, diners will be able experience a rustic, relaxed, warm and inviting atmosphere.

We started off with a Turkish Bread ($11.50) with a choice of house infused rosemary and garlic oil from Dandaragan Estate EVOO and House Made Dukkah. The Turkish Bread arrived warm and crisp around the sides, complementing the Dukkah and aromatic fragrance of the rosemary and garlic oil.

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Turkish Bread and Oil ($11.50)

We shared a Lamb Braise ($25) from the specials menu. The Lamb Braise comprised of  special Katanning lamb and chickpea braise, Israeli cous cous and coriander yoghurt. It was so hearty and full of flavour. The lamb pieces and couscous had a soft and tender texture. The coriander yoghurt also gave a bit of acidity and a hint of freshness to the dish. I think that this dish would actually make a perfect winter’s dish too!

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Lamb Braise ($25)

I had the Venison ($40) which consists of round of venison served medium rare, sheep’s milk curd, wilted kale, broad beans, buckwheat, black pudding and Heafod Glen tawny reduction. The venison was cooked perfectly to medium rare – juicy and tender. It was a nice complement to the sweet Heafod Glen tawny reduction sauce. The flavours and the elements on the dish also marries well together, making it delicious. Overall, the dish was executed well with attention to detail.

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Venison ($40)

For dessert, we had a Banoffee Pie ($14.50) which consists of a banana & peanut banoffee pie, salted caramel sauce and chocolate peanut crumb. Oh my the Banoffee Pie was out-of-this-world amazing in terms of taste and presentation. It was sensational, sweet and melt in your mouth. You will be taken to dessert heaven for sure!

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Banoffee Pie ($14.50)

Although we didn’t end up at Elmar’s for lunch, I thought that we still did have a pretty good lunch at Chesters. We were all so full after and the food was very satisfying. The service was down to earth – friendly and efficient. Although I must say that it did took a while for the food to be brought to our table just because it was quite busy when we were there, which is understandable. Overall, it was still a good experience. :)

Mel’s rating : mmmm (excellent)

Chesters Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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