Sonley Stonegrill & Bar // Blackburn

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Recently I had a really nice meal at Sonley Stonegrill & Bar. The presentation is quite simplistic, clean and neat. They have a pretty quirky ceiling around the inner corner and some small posters of information about the company like the one below.

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This above explains what stonegrill is all about at Sonley’s; cooking meat on 400 degree heated natural volcanic stones!Sonely TangerTalks (3)
Sonley’s have plenty of options in their drinks menu which can all be found on their website.Sonely TangerTalks (5)
Basket of wedges // $9 with tomato sauce 
They were addictive and seasoned nicely with herbs
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Rocket Salad – Goat Cheese, Beetroot, Candied Walnut // $16
The dressing was really nice, sweet yet tangy which fit well with the rocket. I’m not a huge fan of goats cheese so I ate around that but we shared the salad so it was fine.Sonely TangerTalks (1)
The above feature the following mains: Marinated Skewers ($28) Porter House M5 ($48) and the Seafood combinations ($44)  
It was a very cool experience being able to cook meat the way you like but I wasn’t the best at cooking it! I think next time I’ll be much better at it because I’ll know what I’m in for. My advice is to leave some of your meat on a plate provided, and to then cook/cut what you can/will eat bits at a time instead of the whole thing at once. That way it makes it easier to control how well your meat is cooked. Each main comes with one sauce of your choice and complimentary house side. I chose herb garlic French butter and we all received nice seasonable vegetables. I loved the veggies!
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Apple Crumble, Butterscotch Sauce, Ice Cream // $12
Looks great but it wasn’t mine!
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Tiramisu // $12
The tiramisu was really delicious. I’ve been really liking tiramisu lately actually. I just love the layers of sponge cake that are soaked in coffee and liqueur. It’s a very interesting texture. I also like coffee flavoured sweets and for some reason I don’t seem to get sick on them (I usually get sick from drinking any type of coffee).

Verdict: I had a really great time at Sonley’s. The service was terrific and all the staff were quick, attentive, patient and friendly. They had conversations with us, laughed and acted interested in what we had to say (lol not sure if they actually were – but they seemed genuine and easy going). The food is quite expensive but it really depends on what cut of meat you buy (they definitely have quality meat available). It’s not somewhere I would have dinner normally but it’s definitely a suitable place in the suburbs for a more classy dinner experience. Parking is easy to find and for free too.

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The Tea Salon // Melbourne Emporium

There has been much hype about ‘The Tea Salon‘ and it’s almost jam packed everytime I walk past (sometimes even queues from the outside)- so I was very surprised to learn that it is only rated 47%  on Urbanspoon (curently).  The overall decor (wallpaper, table setting etc) is very fancy, delicate and elegant. The colour scheme is quite femine and the overall concept of tea and scones (or high tea) really does invite the idea of a good quality time of catching up.

It is quite crowded (therefore also quite loud) and there are a lot of tables in a small amount of space. The cushioned seats are nice as there are pretty pillows lying about and there is also a take a way option which is near the very front of the store.

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Before you even order the teacups are already set out for you (it’s like they assume you’ll definitely order a pot of tea!) – but there are other drink choices on the menu. It’s also not JUST high tea style of food – they also have meals such as  sandwiches, salad, fritters and polenta. Their complete menu is on their website (if you want to check it out for yourself), and prices are generally about $15 on average.teasalon (4)
Scottish Breakfast Tea // 5.5
My friend and I were only here for some afternoon tea so we decided to order a pot of tea (Scottish Breakfast – which was nice – a stronger version of black tea) and two scones to share.  Each scone is $6.50 eat in and comes with either jam + cream, or herbed butter.teasalon (3)
White Chocolate & Cranberry
with jam and cream // 6.50
This was the sweet choice and it was quite flavoursome – definitely not bland and the flavours of chocolate went really well with the cranberry. The scones also come out warm which is nice – a bit hard to cut though.

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Rosemary Leek & Parmesan with whipped herbed butter //6.50
Out of the two, I definitely enjoyed this scone a lot more. It’s the savoury option and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all! Packed with flavour – I could eat a lot of these. I really liked the flavour of their whipped herbed butter as well.

We didn’t order any to-be-made items so the service was really quick. We didn’t need to wait long to be seated (approximately 5-10 minutes) and after we ordered the food arrived promptly.  The staff were friendly on this occasion (although looking at other reviews apparently the staff aren’t always great?).

I had a good time, but personally I wouldn’t make it a habit coming by. It’s quite expensive in terms of ‘value for money’ (not specifically the Tea Salon,  but in general any time of high tea style cafe is generally not cheap) however it’s nice for a special occasion. If you have a friend who is a tea lover and loves to catch up then this would definitely be a nice present to shout a friend.

The Tea Salon on Urbanspoon