Ben

Ben Tucker

Ben's Latest reviews: Ben's Top 10 restaurants:

Ban Ban Famous Restaurant

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 20th Jul 2019 (8)

Spam fries & umami fries are unique & fun. Recommend you go the half or whole chicken options they're moist and delicious. The boneless chicken pieces are too dry. Salads are super basic & a waste of money, so just go for the chicken & chips. Friendly staff. Quick in and out joint.

The Dolphin Hotel

Surry Hills

Ben dined on Wed, 10th Jul 2019 (9)

Was looking forward to going here for some time and it didn't disappoint. My fettuccine with porcini hazelnut butter emulsion was one of the best meals I had in a week of restaurants in Sydney. Great vibe we'll be back next visit to Sydney town.

Firedoor

Surry Hills

Ben dined on Tue, 9th Jul 2019 (9)

Had wanted to go here for a few years and wasn't disappointed. Great food unique use of smoke and flame. A little stuck up but otherwise great. Expensive enough to avoid the degustation as we are a family but would do that as a couple. Great experience.

Stefano's Restaurant

Mildura

Ben dined on Tue, 25th Jun 2019 (7)

Very old school but still beautiful cooking. All going well until I was served a very basic roast lamb main which was below my expectations in presentation and creativity. Considering where the restaurant is in a large country town it was a good meal. But the cellar atmosphere with no music or action to overlook, I resorted to reading old cookbooks, somewhat bored. Had wanted to tick this off my list for many years and now I've done it, but can't say I'll hurry back.

Acacia

Henley Beach

Ben dined on Sun, 2nd Jun 2019 (8)

Our fave local cafe. Food is better than cafe quality. Staff are great. Best food in the Henley Square. Please when you re-fit the place one day consider that a couple of hours on those stools is again on the back! See you again soon

Pure South Kitchen

Southbank

Ben dined on Fri, 5th Apr 2019 (6)

Great location is the best thing I can say. Tourist trap on Southbank serving Tasmanian food, but sadly its all precooked and just a plating restaurant. Same short rib on menu from 18mths ago. I got tricked into going by social media seeing the chef had changed and a new menu, but should've looked into it further. A good spot for a pre-football meal maybe, but as a destination restaurant for an experienced diner, you'll be disappointed.

Ban Ban Famous Restaurant

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 30th Mar 2019 (7)

Fried Korean style chicken. Fried everything. Spam fries are worthy of a go. Umami fries not so much. Fun wash-down style place for 20-somethings and kids but not a salad leaf in sight. Fast game's a good game.

Rare Midtown (Goldie Pl)

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Wed, 6th Mar 2019 (7)

Just a steak. It was pretty good but for $65 you'd hope so. No other love on the plate. I was curious what they serve at these steakhouses, now I know. The type of place I'd take a client but not my wife.

Africola

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 2nd Mar 2019 (7)

Having definitively found its groove and settled in it, this place delivers a list of favourites including the since-day-one peri peri chicken boom chakalaka, and the quaint crispy chicken tea sandwiches, with an air of fun and the ambience of a frustrated artists man cave. Its great at being Africola which after all is what people come for, but it feels like something is missing as you're rushed thru the set and its certainly not food of which there's plenty. A great spot for the untamed, perhaps not a favourite to revisit again and again tho.

Bistro Blackwood

Adelaide

Ben dined on Thu, 27th Dec 2018 (4)

We have dined at Blackwood a few times now and each time has been completely different in terms of quality and experience. Unfortunately this time we were disappointed. The food was underwhelming and my daughters $40 pork was overcooked and dry- when we mentioned this nobody cared or listened to us. Service while attentive and professional, had a degree of arrogance and disdain not befitting the quality of the offerings. Also, rare to complain about this, but portions are smaller than I've seen in other similar restaurant (I ate in 120+ restaurants in 2018) and presentation of the food less than exciting. We came for a special occasion and left flat and $180 poorer. It may not seem like a lot of money but for a days wages I was at least hoping for a warm glow inside. This experience did not provide it. We made a last minute decision to have dessert elsewhere and subsequently discovered a little French restaurant down the lane way we will now try for a meal. So something good comes out of something not so good.

Acacia

Henley Beach

Ben dined on Sun, 9th Dec 2018 (8)

Brunch here is great not what you'd expect from such a small cafe backing onto the road. Try the confit duck crumpets with spiced honey. Has a big coffee schtick going. Been here 3 times for a meal and always been impressed with my meal.

Midnight Spaghetti

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 8th Dec 2018 (8)

Bit of casual fun on the beautiful big balcony of the old Crown & Sceptre pub, get in early for families before the younger crew roll in after 8. Pretty solid pasta dishes and dessert the service started out great but a few minor issues as things got busier, but overall a good experience. Bunch of fresh young faces having a go on a low budget get along and support them its a breath of fresh air for the city.

Taxi Kitchen

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Fri, 30th Nov 2018 (9)

A big restaurant that runs like a smaller one. Great service and very tidy menu worthy of foodie status. Shout out to front of house who remembered me after only one previous visit months prior and made me feel very welcome. I think this place is much underrated and should be enjoyed without the formalities. Fun place to be and great food to enjoy in the heart of the city.

The Duke

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Tue, 27th Nov 2018 (9)

Tick all the boxes for what a great city pub should be and you'll find The Duke. Keeps it simple and does it well. Bar on ground level for a drink, great light filled dining on 1 (excellent steaks and an interesting "parmigiana"local specialty) then a cool ooftop bar for the suits and skirts, or the late crowd. Pulls no punches and doesn't pretend to be too fancy. I wish there were more pubs like this one. Check it out for whatever reason you can find.

Mrs Q

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 24th Nov 2018 (7)

Our third dinner at Q it has a great vibe and the service is excellent but its not easy to keep the food at a standard in such a big busy venue and that was obvious this time round. The food has tapered down but still well presented and the flavours are there if not that extra pizazz. A good spot for families and a big bonus is you do get to choose a variety of dishes to satisfy everyones tastes. We will be back but at the same time we do hope the food returns to its former glory.

Automata

Chippendale

Ben dined on Sat, 17th Nov 2018 (9)

Deserves its top20 ranking fantastic modern Australian cuisine well paced never felt hurried worth waiting for. If you’re seriously into food this is a must visit in Sydney.

Antica Pizzeria e Cucina (City)

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 10th Nov 2018 (9)

Hidden in plain sight this is a style-leading moody den for dinner with a mix of families and cool young groups enjoying the absolutely stellar service from this beautiful kitchen (thats on full display thru the glass). Our pizzas were generous and delicious hot from the wood oven in only a few minutes. Glasses stayed full and the desserts were nicely presented and exceeded our expectations. These guys have a well earned reputation for quality food and sit amongst Adelaide's pizza scene as a must go and enjoy. A value night our I'd rate highly.

Saxe

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Fri, 19th Oct 2018 (9)

From the luxurious white truffle day-old egg linguine to the playful mango & brillat savarin cheesecake this is what I enjoy about Australian food with classic technique & a modern plating and feel. No pretentiousness friendly staff and accessible food. A comfortable Friday nighter ideal to indulge a little and relax for a couple of hours over a beautiful meal. This restaurant delivered and exceeded my expectations.

South Wharf Meat Market

South Wharf

Ben dined on Thu, 18th Oct 2018 (7)

Came for a good steak and sauce. It fulfilled but didn't excite. This is a good straight up and down kind of restaurant in a great location. Was busy with groups of mostly men enjoying meaty dinners. Has a large oyster menu also but I didn't partake. Was left to myself most of the night which was fine. Better than average.

Herringbone

Adelaide

Ben dined on Sat, 13th Oct 2018 (7)

First impressions a busy happening room (formerley Panacea) on Halifax Street amongst a growing food scene. Very attentive staff but the menu was a bit of a let down heavy on seafood starters and an odd small list of mains. Enthused into the ubiquitous share (ho hum) dishes we chose a skordalia with new season broad beans which were proudly displayed on the counter then served still in their grey blankets on the dip. Were we supposed to peel them or eat them as is? Poor waitress was very embarrassed. Lamb shoulder main was good, albeit a bit too heavy for a warm spring evening with no acid relief. The falafel salad type dish was a bit Peel Street and lost us as we're not as in awe of radicchio as an ingredient as some in the room seemed to be. While the menu generally felt a bit disjointed, a nice finish with fennel seed ice cream and a brilliant candied fennel. Reminds me of Stones Throw at Norwood and we felt the same way there. Not an A-list food destination but pleasant enough as a local bistro. In fairness, its fairly new, so maybe it will get its legs soon. Restaurants of this ilk in Melbourne often blow us away with reasonably priced brilliance, we are waiting for something like them to appear in our home town but as yet this isn't it.

Pier 11 Restaurant

Tewantin

Ben dined on Tue, 2nd Oct 2018 (7)

Good alternative to a pub meal. Very freindly staff and good value meals. Honest home style cooking. Good deals on a Tuesday night; not the reason we booked but a nice bonus. If you came during the daylight the river views would be great.

Pastuso

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Thu, 6th Sep 2018 (8)

South American with finesse in a classic lane way location. Attentive staff. A range of food choices depending on your mood for one or to share. If not already probably destined to be an icon of the scene. Peruano ceviche to die for.

Meatmaiden

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Wed, 5th Sep 2018 (8)

Steak night! Excellent meat as you'd expect with good friendly service and a buzzing underground room. Real mixed crowd from tourists to business execs and families on this night gave it a great feel. Dining with the cool kids here.

Red October

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 25th Aug 2018 (8)

Eastern euro fun. Great drinks list and cool take on Ruski food. The kangaroo fusion dish was interesting, it did work. Definitely the hidden entrance to the underground bar is a highlight. A place to go as a couple to join in the atmosphere or a group to create it. Was a loud happy and enjoyable night.

Africola

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 11th Aug 2018 (8)

We were devastated that our guests were 15min late and the staff told us we weren't able to fit in the tasting menu and in the end, we couldn't fit in dessert either. So we only had half the experience we had hoped for (no fault of the staff of course). That said the atmosphere and food lived up to expectations and Duncan's food is delicious especially the kingfish tail yellow curry. There's an eclectic slightly eccentric feel to the food and the room and the chef that makes this place unique. Just make sure you and your friends arrive on time to enjoy all that Africola has to offer!

Fino Seppeltsfield

Seppeltsfield

Ben dined on Sun, 15th Jul 2018 (9)

Much anticipated long lunch that delivered a locavore degustation worthy of a few hours relaxing by the fire in the light filled old barrel hall. Highlight was the chickpeas but all the food was delicious and the service outstanding. Upmarket modern South Australian regional dining at its best. Worthy of any international tourist visit.

Terroir Auburn

Auburn

Ben dined on Wed, 11th Jul 2018 (8)

Good value tasting menu on a Wednesday. Ask for a table by the fire

Seed Winehouse & Kitchen

Clare

Ben dined on Tue, 10th Jul 2018 (8)

Probably the best restaurant in Clare creative locavore huge wine list family friendly

Ramblr

South Yarra

Ben dined on Fri, 29th Jun 2018 (7)

Cool bunker dimly lit wine bar-centric diner with Asian fusion cuisine. Creative dishes. Increasingly boozy vibe as 10pm came round time to leave for the club or back to the hotel. Great location virtually no signage on Chapel St.

Taxi Kitchen

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Thu, 28th Jun 2018 (9)

Something of an underappreciated beauty. The glazed pork belly in particular was one of the best small plates I've had all year. The experience memorable both in food & service quality. Location is perfect stroll down from my CBD hotel. It may not top the charts but this is well worth your time and money.

Hotel Longtime

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 16th Jun 2018 (8)

Fun Asian fusion doesn't take itself too seriously an enjoyable evening. Purists need to just relax and go with the flow. Cheeseburger spring rolls aren't for everyone but you'll talk about them for a long time. Some dishes are texturally different but a very interesting menu and evening awaits. Quick service is worth commending. Drinks stay full also a credit to them.

Acacia

Henley Beach

Ben dined on Sun, 3rd Jun 2018 (8)

As a local this is my current top pick for a lunch at Henley. So nice to eat at a cafe where the food is freshly prepared and of great quality, with friendly staff and no attitude. And of course the coffee is amazing, as are the mixer drinks. Generally much nicer than the ordinary pizza with inflated egos and prices nearby.

Our Table by Jacob's Creek

Rowland Flat

Ben dined on Sun, 20th May 2018 (7)

The only winery we've been to where you struggle to get a drink. Service was virtually non existent. We were sat ordered a drink then food came but nobody else. We would've gladly had a few glasses and bought some wine t take home but it was a non event. Lots of noisy children running amok jumping all over bean bags immediately outside the window hardly the environment for a Sunday day out. Pity because the food was nice and the room still holds up well. Note: excuses like we had someone call in sick today are 1. not our problem and 2. hardly relevant when the restaurant is about 1/3 full. Need to do better.

Bocca di Lupo - Mitolo Wines McLaren Vale

Mclaren Vale

Ben dined on Fri, 18th May 2018 (8)

Dark moody sleek modern. At the head of the new wave in McLaren Vale of international standard winery restaurants. Crisp winter night spent in the black containers and rich wooden tones has a feel of city luxury in the regions. Excellent food with about a 90% polish at this early stage. Service is on point albeit a bit unnecessarily suit & tie stuffy. But on current trajectory greatness will come.

Stones Throw

Norwood

Ben dined on Sat, 12th May 2018 (7)

More a wine bar than a restaurant. Service was great but the food was a bit meh compared to other similar priced restaurants. Maybe we are spoiled after a week in Melbourne this seemed like a step back.

Mayflower Restaurant

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Thu, 28th Dec 2017 (6)

Our second dining experience here about a year apart, more of the same retro fine diner the highlight being the service and the novelty value. Does this concept still work tho? Not sure. If you like old school you're in, but if you're after modern exciting dishes go elsewhere. The kick is in the price, this is very expensive food to eat sitting in a basement off Hindley Street.

Au Pear

Willunga

Ben dined on Wed, 27th Dec 2017 (8)

Yes nice food friendly team but very quiet zero atmosphere but we were there on a Wednesday lunch service. Would've preferred a single serve choice as we didn't need two courses at lunch. I wonder how it goes as there are other solid options nearby that have excellent food and seemed really busy on this same day.

The Currant Shed

Mclaren Flat

Ben dined on Sun, 17th Dec 2017 (6)

Lovely setting and pretty plates of food but where's the flavour? Sous vide chicken was very bland. Oysters so so. The acid in the tartare had cooked the meat to a grey unappealing colour. And in my opinion way too expensive for what you get - $70pp for 2 course lunch and we don't even drink. I ate 7 course degustation at one of Melbourne's top restuarants 2 days earlier for less. Look its a nice spot for Sunday lunch but theres no reason for the food to be bland and cost so much. Ticked the box probably won't be back.

Mimasu

Adelaide CBD

Ben dined on Sat, 16th Dec 2017 (8)

Second time here and the menu is still enjoyable. A few plates to share as is fashionable, must have the kara'age chicken and lotus root chips. Simple fusion nicely plated something for everyone.

Osteria Ilaria

Melbourne CBD

Ben dined on Thu, 14th Dec 2017 (9)

Wonderful dining experience thank you. Coming along solo I was delighted at the treatment I received by your staff and the chefs menu was outstanding. I can understand why this restaurants is so highly rated, which was the reason I came, and it exceeded my expectations. A modern treasure.

Bacchus Bar

Henley Beach

Ben dined on Fri, 6th Oct 2017 (1)

My partner got food poisoning from the fish. The whole place is dirty. The wine glasses weren't clean. There was some weird old DJ playing annoying music. Avoid this place!

The Bridgewater Mill

Bridgewater

Ben dined on Sat, 19th Aug 2017 (8)

The Mill is still a good place for an occasional visit, the food is very well presented albeit the menu a bit lacking inspiration. That said the venison is worth the trip and a noteworthy signature dish on the winter menu as its locally sourced and perfectly cooked. This is our 3rd visit each a year apart which seems about right. We will travel from the coast to this place in winter, but for us there are a lot of other options where the food is a bit more up-spec and interesting that are nearby. Like an old faithful friend who lives a day trip away, we will continue to visit the old girl for the reliable quality and good service.

Parisi's

Hyde Park

Ben dined on Sat, 1st Jul 2017 (6)

The menu and the room are dated. No tablecloths and paper napkins for the supposed fine diner are an indicator of lack of attention to detail. There were a lot of staff but the service was only ordinary. Very loud table of drunk baby boomers disturbed the whole restaurant at times to loud to hear ourselves talk at all. The food is ok but nothing special. There are better restaurants nearby, especially for a 3 course meal, The Chicche bambino zeppole dessert was awful and looked like something from 30yrs ago.

Skyline Restaurant

Adelaide

Ben dined on Sat, 18th Feb 2017 (2)

This place is masquerading as a fine dining restaurant and it doesn't take long to find the truth. The staff were rude and argumentative. The food was slow and the portion, particularly of the fish (160g) main course was laughably small. We were told the children's fish and chips was frozen and thats why it was 3 times the serving size of the (adult) main fish? Staff wanted to challenge our questioning the portion size in front of our children. Who needs small serves, ordinary food poor value and an argument in front of the whole restaurant for a Saturday night out? Not us. This venue is tired with lifting carpet and smelly lift, we felt like we'd washed up at the wrong end of town (literally true). The view over the cemetery probably sums up this place best.

Ben hasn't selected a top 10 yet.