Thursday, September 18, 2014

Calling out for a LIKES

Hello my readers!

I am calling out for your help. I am currently in a competition for likes for a particularly picture that I have posted. Asking for you to help by clicking like on this photo on my instagram!

Also, you can check out my other food pictures too!

Love you all!!


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rare Steakhouse

As date night, D took me to Rare on a Monday because he managed to get hold of their 50% off whole menu special from Dimmi. Located on the corner of Flinders Lane and King Street, it is the more adult part of the city.

Rare has a great atmosphere with the low lighting and slight business feel to it. I could imagine a number of business lunches and dates taking place in this venue.

For starters I ordered the Coffin Bay oysters tasting plate. This done 4 ways: Kilpatrick, natural, vinegarette and mornay. The oysters were creamy and the mornay further enhanced that. The Kilpatrick had good worchester sauce and bacon ratio. The vinegarette was a nice compliment to the mornay flavour, it got my palette ready for the next entree.

The other starter was the 500g pork ribs. Ribs are always a favourite of D's but sadly this one didn't make the cut. The ribs were not as saucy as we had hoped (I was expecting something a very big rack meaty ribs, dripping in sauce). The meat was well cooked, it was soft and tender but I found it a slightly dry and underwhelming.

For mains, I got the wagyu porterhouse with chips on the side, for sauce I selected blue cheee. That steak was devine, it was a perfect medium rare and just melted away in my mouth. The basting was nice but I prefer the one at Meat Wine & co, but the cut was so good I would happily overlook it. The chips were the perfect side, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. The blue cheese sauce was too thick and strong. I like a good blue cheese but this was overpowered the steak too much.

D got scotch fillet, this was also perfectly the medium rare. The meat was tender, his creamy garlic was also a great chip dip.

As sides coleslaw and cauliflower gratin. The cauliflower was creamy with a good amount of cheese. Coleslaw was just disappointing, for a restaurant of this calibre it was lacking. Felt like KFC coleslaw was better tasting.

After all that we had no room for dessert.

Overall 13.5/20 the staff was attentive and the wagyu was unforgettably good. The major let downs were the ribs and sides. Come here to expect good steak and nothing else, if I was to rate purely on the steaks alone it would have scored a 17/20

  Rare Steakhouse King St on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Shyun Ramen Bar

Shyun is my usual go to place when I'm after good, local Japanese food. So naturally when I learnt they opened a sister raman bar on the same stripe in Koornang road, I was excited and keen to try it. The place had a modern rustic decor and fitted out to be a casual eatery. When we arrived it was buzzing already and shortly after we were seated (on a communual share table) a line formed outside.

Bobo, K and I decided to give it a visit for one of our girls night. We got 2 ramen, 1 udon and a few sides to share.

First up was the takoyaki octopus balls. These were small and came with a generous pieces of octopus inside. The outside was crunchy with just the right bite.

Adegashi tofu was lightly fried and simply disappointing. It was deep fried enough, you can see the outer coating being very light yellow in colour. The starch coating was all gelatin like and not crispy.

Gyoza, was again pan fried with a gelatin like coating on top. The base wasn't crispy enough and the filling was salty.

As mains we got the tori gara udon. This came with a tasty soup base and the udon were perfectly al dente.

The next was the tonkontsu kenkigara which was  spicy pork broth ramen with mince meat. This was packed a punch and the soup base was very salty.

Their signature ramen was tonkotsu charsiu. This was a rich broth with a shoyou base. Sadly it failed to hit the mark. It tasted like it was full on MSG, I felt very thirty after a few mouthfuls.

Overall 11/20 I found it extremely disappointing. Most of the food was too salty. I am hoping that this is purely because it's newly opened and they will iron out the problems later.

Shyun Ramen Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 1, 2014

Dukes Coffee Roasters

On a wet, wet Saturday, D, F and I ventured out here since none of us have tried Dukes before, and wanted something different (TK kept telling me, how him and his awkward boss loves this place). It's located on a busy part of Chapel St towards the Windsor end. Despite it being 2.30 when we arrived, there was still a 30 minute wait for a table.

Once we sat down we were greeted with a friendly waiter who was quick to grab our drinks order and return with warm coffee quickly. They acknowledge our wait and was fast to get our orders in, and food to stop our rambling stomachs. The coffees also arrived very quickly. My latte had a beautifully blend smooth taste with great aroma and just the right temperature soy (there is nothing worst than burnt soy milk).

F got poached eggs, crispy pork croquette with hollandise, apple and spinach on English muffin. The eggs were perfectly runny and the croquette was crispy without being too oily. Along with the apple crunchy and spinach to make you feel less guilty, this was exceptional menu item. Only wish there was more on the plate. For $17 it would have been good to see one more on the plate.

D got avocado hummus toast with dukkah, poached eggs and candied bacon. There is no denying, it was candied bacon which got our attention on the menu. The avocado hummus was a good way to jazz up traditional avo toast. The candied bacon was sweetened with honey. I was hoping for something more crispy, instead they were little oblong cubes of crisp outer/soft inner bacon and bacon fat. It was fun but it did not live up to my expectations. The dukkah added another texture element to the dish, I really liked this addition.

When I got the menu, the first thing I noticed was the crumpets with salted caramel, blueberries and hazelnut. The crumpets came drenched in blueberry and coated with a salted caramel/hazelnut sauce. This was the first time I had crumpets this way. The sourness of the blueberries matched the sweet and slightly saltiness of the sauce perfectly.  The airpockets within the crumpets caught all the sauce, making every mouthful a deliciously guilty taste.

Overall 15/20. Dukes was a delight, the staff was friendly and the coffee was fantastic. D, F and I all agreed that the food was good with great creative twist to classics.

NB:Only thing that hampered my experience was my umbrella getting stolen and we had to walk back to the car in pouring rain. So be careful of theives in this area.

Dukes Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 25, 2014

Eastern Dumpling House

After I posted the New Shanghai review last time, a few of my Shanghai friends suggested a few more places to try for pan fried pork buns. One of the few suggestions were Eastern Dumpling House located in Carnegie.

As a local store on the busy Koornang road, it is easy to find and not too much of a wait.

D and I only came here to grab a quick dinner. D was in the mood for some XLB so what the hell, might as well. This came steaming hot with 8 delicate soupy dumplings. I was quite surprise, I wasn't expecting much but it was soupy and tasty for the filling. Skin wasn't too thick and just right to pick it up by the tip with chopsticks and it won't collapse. Thumbs up here.

To make my give a bit of balance we also got oyster sauce broccoli. These didn't come out oily and wet like most other dumpling places. They tasted like they were steam and the veges retained the natural sweetness.

Lastly, the pan fried pork buns. These looked like any other pan fried pork buns on the plate but when I flipped them slightly I noticed sesame on the base. The buns has soft, crisp and slightly sweet casing. The filling had just the right amount of soup and the meat stuffing was cooked perfectly. They were really delicious and weren't too heavy. The sesame on the based gave it the extra texture which I really enjoyed.

Overall 14.5/20 I found all 3 dishes to be impressive and I think they set the standard high for pan fried pork buns!

Eastern Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 18, 2014

Grossi Florentino - The Cellar Bar

This place, is an iconic Melbourne establishment's little sister. The Cellar Bar is the no frills, simple sister eatery of the famous Grossi Florentino. You walk in and you feel like you are in a little bistro in Italy. You are greeted with a friendly waiter, ready to escort you to a table or hustle you to the bar to wait.

To start we got some small tapas to share. My favourite cheese, percorino  was drizzled with a bit of honey. I'm normally not a hard cheese person but I have a soft spot for percorino, especially when there is added sweetness to it. 

As a bit of a balance we got the ricotta peas to feel less guilty. Sweet, buttery peas with ricotta on top.

As a entree, we got the minestrone soup to share. This came with lots of vegetables. It was nice and hearty. If you plan on getting this alone, it does not have much (if any) pasta in it, so it's not very filling.

We also got the mussels to share. This came with a tomato based broth with a bit of kick to it. It wasn't too overpowering, so the natural taste of the mussels were still in place.

I had the bolognese, and I this is one of my favourite places to get this classic. It's always so rich and meaty. I could eat this everyday.

D decided to be adventurous and get the pizzoccheri della valtellina with asiago. This was a cheese, potato, sage and cabbage pasta. Since it was baked and not too saucy, it had a much lighter taste compared to the bolognese. 
 D got food envy after he had a taste of my bolognese.

Having skipped lunch we also go the gargenelle with spiced ragu. The ragu was slightly spicy veal sauce with strong tomato elements. It's the perfect winter dish for a hungry stomach.

For sides we got the chips to share. These are thick cut and will fill you up fast, if you are having pasta as well. 

For dessert we got the bread and butter pudding. This was very heavy, so I won't recommend it after getting 3 pastas to share between 2.

The second dessert was the tiramisu, generous layers of coffee dipped sponge fingers and mascarpone. This reminded me of my time in Florence.

Overall 16/20 Cellar Bar never fails me when I'm after a no-frills, homey, traditional Italian feed. The pricing is very reasonable too, most mains/pasta are under $20. The service is attentive and always friendly.

Grossi Florentino Cellar Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Kettle Black

When I discovered that Top Paddock had a sister store I was really excited and ventured my way to South Melbourne on one of the coldest days in the year. I got there around 2pm on a Saturday to find a very busy rush. I was told the wait was over 45 minutes for a table but I was determine to get that brunch into my belly.

After over an hour wait, D, K and I finally sat down. The staff were lovely and very appreciative that we waited in the cold. They got us our coffees promptly and even let us move from the bench to the table so we could take photos more easily. For a busy venue the staff were still friendly and ready to assist.

The coffees were 5 senses blend and was just right in terms of aroma and bitterness. My soy latte was perfect way to start my feast brunch

After waiting for so long we were quite famished and decided on four things to share; two sweet and two savory.

Our first savory was the mixed beans with home made tomato sauce served with bread. I also took up the pork sausage option to get a bit of protein on the plate. The sauce came in a beer bottle that was opened on the table. The tasted of ripe and juicy tomatoes and with just the right amount of seasoning. It went great with the beans on toast. The slightly spice from the sausage was also a delight with an added note to the senses. This was a good dish but in comparison to the others we ordered, this felt slightly average. It's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but if I ordered this alone and say someone else get the hotcakes or tataki trout, I would have food envy.

 The other savory option we picked was the tataki ocean trout with seaweed salad and poached egg. This was the most interesting dish and we all agreed it something we kept going back for more. The trout had a crispy skin and a delicate sweet seasoning. The kale/seaweed salad was a beautiful balance of texture. The egg just completed it, to be the perfect brunch dish.

For the sweets, I had to pick the ricotta hotcake. I love the one at Top Paddock so I just couldn't resist. The hotcake was fluffy and the amount of velvety double made it a heaven match. The berries gave it that sweet yet slight acidic element to break up the sweetness. This is a never fail option to order for brunch in my eyes.

To make myself feel less guilty and because it looked so pretty, we also ordered the coconut yogurt. This had a delightful coconut milkiness to it while maintaining the yogurt tanginess. It is a light breakfast but it's paired with grains, poached prickly pear, rhubarb and berries to keep you full. I really liked this one and would recommend it to people who want an alternative to burcher muesli. However if you are famished, maybe order something else.

There were also platters of brownies, muffins, slices and pies at the counter. My mouth was watering just looking at it, but sadly I was too full.

Overall 17.5/20 I really liked it and despite waiting over an hour it still felt like it was worth the wait. Good coffee and innovation at brunch matched with great flavours that make you want more. It is more on the pricy side but given it's location it's understandable.

The Kettle Black on Urbanspoon