Thursday, May 12, 2016

May Day

A while back a few of the girls and I decided to catch up and try a new brunch spot. It is not often I get to see other foodies outside events, so it was a great excuse to try out a new place and take heaps of  photos without making someone wait (since we usually are the ones with our cameras out). We decided on May Day (a new additon to the Axil family) located on Bridge Road in Richmond.  We got there around 11 on a Sunday and it was pumping. Luckily for us, the wait was only around 15 minutes which wasn't bad considering how busy it looked.

Once we were seated they were quick to come around with our menus but not so quick to take our orders. It was pretty clear at the time that they were still a very new operation, and were ironing out the kinks for a smooth service time.

Once our drinks were on the way we quickly got our food order in too, as it was busy and we didn't want to wait too long for the food to arrive.

Hungry Cookie went with the S'more Chocolate Waffles. Torched marshmallows, cookie parfait and topped with salted caramel and chocolate fudge. This was more of a dessert than breakfast meal. The chocolate was heavy but I am very sure that a kid will happily smash this down as breakfast.

Confessions of a Piggy and I both went with the Chargrilled Cauliflower. This came with feta, smoked almonds, a poached egg, cauliflower puree and finished with truffle oil. I quite enjoyed the flavour combinations, it was a nice savoury dish without being too heavy. I would have liked some bread to soak up the egg, but other than that it hit the brunch spot for me.

MG went with the Citrus Cured Ocean Trout. It came with a poached egg, potato and fennel croquettes finished with beetroot puree on top. The fish was light with a tang and the croquette gave it that bit more of a brunch feel without being too heavy.

Overall the menu was good but not great. Having said that, I will be going back a bit later when hopefully they ironed out the small things and to try the next edition of their menu. I felt it was very new and things could go more smoothly and there is definitely room for improvement to take it to the next level.

  Mayday Coffee and Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

White Mojo

As of late there have been a fair few new additions to the Melbourne CBD brunch scene with White Mojo being one those that recently opened. It is located on Hardware Street, which you could call the brunch centre as there quite a few cafes around this part of the CBD.

D and I went late on a Sunday afternoon so we had no problems getting a table. We were whisked in and seated straight away. Rather than getting a coffee, we decided to get a smoothie bowl to share. We ordered the Green Matcha Super Power. This was a heavy smoothie made up of coconut water, avocado, spinach, kale, matcha, green apple and honey topped off with goji berries, dried coconut and almonds. There is a generous dose of matcha in here, and even with all the other things in it, this is the standout flavour of the bowl (a good thing). It is not too sweet but very heavy, and it is almost a meal in itself. Be prepared to wait as well. It was the first thing we ordered but the last thing we got. The bar/drink area was very busy, so be prepared to wait.

For the main, D really wanted the Cauliflower Pannacotta but they had sold out for the day (the downside of going late to avoid the queues). Instead D opted for the Pork Benedict. This was crispy pork belly, kale, two poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and chorizo dust. This is a heavy meal as the pork belly is quite fatty, but the pork is done very well. The apple and the hollandaise sauce helps to cut through the fattiness nicely. A good dish overall.

As usual I went for something sweet, to balance out the usual savoury dish that D orders. I had a hard time deciding between the Chia Pudding and the Eton Mess, and in the end I decided on the Chia Pudding because I saw someone have it next to me and it looked pretty (yes I am a total sucker for ordering what others have ordered). The chia pudding was made with white chocolate, freeze dried berries, white chocolate gel and fresh berries. I had to say I was disappointed with this dish - a week before I had an amazing chia pudding at The Kettle Black so I was somewhat expecting something similar. However, it was nothing like the one at The Ketlle Black as it was a completely different flavour base. The white chocolate felt a bit too sweet for my liking as a brunch option. Also, whilst I might be bias here, I didn't enjoy the freeze dried fruit. I would have preferred more fresh fruit to cut through the white chocolate sweetness. Overall a let down.

The doughnuts that I keep seeing on Instagram were sold out so I didn't get to try it. (insert sad face)

Overall I liked the creativity in the menu and I would go back to try other things on the menu.

  White Mojo  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 29, 2016

Kitty Burns

Kitty Burns is a new addition in the Abbotsford neighborhood and already it is an Instagram sensation. For weeks I have been seeing heaps of Kitty Burns photos appear on my feed. I made an attempt to go there for a friend's birthday a fortnight ago but due to our group size of 8, the wait was just too long. However I didn't give up and went back again with D the following weekend to try again.

D and I got there around 12.30 on a Sunday, and waited about 30 minutes before we got a table. The staff were friendly and make sure to thank us for waiting and stated they appreciated our patience. This was a small gesture but a nice gesture. We were presented with our tables and our drink orders were taken swiftly.

We decided to skip on coffee since we have multiple a day when we are at work Mon-Fri and got the Blue Steel Smoothie to share instead. The smoothie was very heavy and fruity. It was made up of acai, coconut water, coconut flesh, blueberries, raspberries and protein powder. Normally I don't like the taste of smoothie with protein in them but I didn't mind this one and would order it again.

D ordered Meet Mr Burns. This had a cured bacon, black pudding, poached eggs(poached at 63 degrees), bacon jam, spiced bon bons, mushrooms and spinach on toast. The eggs on this were perfection. They were spreadable on the toast, the bacon jam and spice bon bons was that surprise you don't expect to get at brunch. This is obviously not a dish for vegetarians but if you are one to like some pate and black pudding, you should definitely try this one out.

Being the sweet lover than I am, I couldn't pass up on the opportunity to order the French Toast. This was a brioche base with coffee ganache, poached freeze dried peaches, maple syrup, berry sauce and freeze dried berries. I love how the brioche wasn't soaking in oil but just right. My pet hate with french toast is when it's too oily. The peach was my least favorite part of the dish, I would have preferred it fresh. The freeze dried flavor was just something I preferred less of rather than more of. It was still enjoyable but I would have enjoyed it more with a fresh peach. The coffee ganache was not as strong as I had imagine when I read the menu but it work well as it didn't over power the rest of the dish.

Overall  the service was great, food was interesting and appealing. I will definitely be coming back here, as there is a lot more on the menu that I want to try

Kitty Burns Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 22, 2016

Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel

A lot of my friends are getting married lately which means A LOT of hens and bucks night. For some strange reason bucks tend to go all weekend and hens just for a single day. This meant that D was ditching me for a lot of my Fridays or Saturdays.

Vet is my recent food buddy since Miss P has moved to Sydney. She suggested Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel for a parma and I wasn't one to turn down a good parma.

I got there around 6.30pm and the place was already buzzing. Vet was running a little late, so I grabbed a schooner of cider and starting looking through the menu. Vet got there around 6.45pm and the pub was packed at that point.

Vet went with her gut and ordered the Parma. This was a very generous serving of crumbed chicken with ham, napoli and a cheesy finish. Paired with chips and salad, it was a massive meal. The chicken texture was soft and succulent, there was just the right amount of cheese before it got too oily.

Before I ordered I saw a Parma walk pass me. The size made me chicken out, I opted for the Steak. I ordered it medium rare, it came more medium but it wasn't to a the point I would complain. I got red wine jus for the sauce. A side of greens and chips. It wasn't anything spectacular but it also wasn't too bad. I found it to be a bit expensive for bar food but the serving portions made up for it.

Overall  staff was friendly and the food hits the spot if you are after simple pub feed.

  Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hawker Hall

Hawker Hall is the newest addition to the Chris Lucas' family of Asian fusion restaurant. This is Lucas' take on Malaysian and Singaporean street food. I saw it pop up at the night noodle market a few months ago and ever since it's been sitting on my "to visit" list for awhile...... and I finally reached it!

I decided to ditch D and instead have a girls night out with my long time friend P.  She is full of energy and loves a good time, and I love good food, so Hawker Hall was the perfect placefor us. P got there around 6pm on a Friday and managed to get a table at the kitchen bench, I arrived later ataround 6.30pm, and as I was entering I could hear people being told of a 1-2 hour wait before they could get a seat. So my advice? Go there early or be prepared to wait a long time!

To start we ordered the Prawn and Ginger Dumpling. This was served with soy and black vinegar caramel. It's the Lucas version of the classic Har Gow. I was surprised with the texture of the prawn filling, it wasn't mushy as I expected. It was soft but not too soft, and had some bounce.

Second was the Gado Gado. This is a classic in my mind, each time I visit a Malaysian restaurant with mum, she is guaranteed to order it. Bean sprouts, fried tofu, coriander, egg and sweet potato served with a satay peanut sauce. The sweet potato is not something I see in Gado Gado often, but I quite enjoyed it. It did make the flavour more modern compared to the classic potato you normally get.

Third was Mee Goreng. Besides Indomee, I seldom eat/order Mee Goreng; it's one of those dishes that just never really grew on me. However P wanted to try it and I was prepared to step out of my comfort zone. This came with a generous amount of prawns, pork, squid, cherry tomato and bok choy. Served with hokkien noodles and sambal sauce, it had a nice kick to it. It was not as oily as I expected. Based on the other dishes we ordered I found that it worked quite well. I found myself putting more on my plate than I expected. Good choice P!

Finally we got to dessert. P told me she had decided to quit sugar so I decided to soldier on without her. I ordered the Many Treasure Jelly to cap off my meal. It came as colourful layers of red and green. The layers contained coconut, pineapple, lychee and hibiscus. It was quite sweet, but given the spiciness in the Mee Goreng previously, I didn't mind it too much. Any other time and it would have been too sweet for my liking.

Overall great ambiance and service. P mentioned to me that while she was waiting for me, the wait staff made sure she was looked after and made recommendations to her. The food also stuck to its roots but also that touch of modern Melbourne in it. Another Chris Lucas success!

Hawker Hall Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, April 15, 2016


If you love ice cream like me, especially soft serve, then hearing Milkcow has landed in Australia will be music to your ears. Milkcow originated in Korea, home of PSY and Bibimbap. Located in the not so new Emporium as a temporary pop up (they move to Melbourne Central in May), it's a central location and easy to find for anyone heading to the CBD.

I was so excited about their opening I have visited twice already; the first time I went with my Vet. Vet ordered the Milky Cube which is the original soft serve with a a chunk of honeycomb. It's a very natural tasting (obviously) flavour and the honeycomb texture works well with the creamy soft serve.

On my first visit I got the Santorini. I was a sucker for the fairy floss (it comes as a big cloud of floss) and it comes served with oreo crumbs, pistachio, tropical syrup and a wafer stick. I like my ice cream action packed so this ticked the box for me as it met my expectations.

On my second visit I tried the Green Light. This was a simple and straight forward soft serve with almond flakes and mint syrup. I initially though not having chocolate was a bit weird (mint and chocolate combo is a winning one)but it actually worked out really well. It made it refreshing and the almond flakes added a nice bite to complement the mint flavour.

Overall  I loved the creaminess of the soft serve, the staff were nice and the pop up store is definitely worth visiting. I hope they bring out more flavours soon so I have reason to go back again.

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

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tim Ho Wan

So the wait is finally over and Tim Ho Wan is in Melbourne, after months of delay with their opening.  Yum Cha is a common meal in Hong Kong and to have a Michelin star one in Melbourne was really exciting. Located on Bourke St, it's a central location and easy to get to. However be prepared to wait. I went on a Friday night with O, A and D (yes I thought yum cha on a Friday night was a good way to avoid crowds... I was wrong) and after 1.5 hours of waiting we were finally seated.

It was straight into business and we got ordering. First was the chicken, sausage mushroom pot rice. It was a single serve with pieces of chicken, Chinese sausage, shiitake mushroom on soy sauce flavoured rice. It is quite heavy, so would recommend to share it as you normally do at yum cha anyway.

Second was the Pan Fried Turnip Cake. Turnip cake is one of my favourite dishes to have at yum cha, Tim Ho Wan's turnip cake was more on the soft side, not as firm as other places. Full of flavour but not enough diced Chinese sausage for my liking.

Third was Chicken Feet. This came braised in abalone sauce. You can tell it has been braised for hours, as the abalone sauce penetrates into the chicken feet. A and D both liked this dish (I'm not a fan of chicken feet myself).

Fourth was Har Gow. Balls of prawn filling in a crystal skin. Standard yum cha and they do it well here.

Fifth was Black Bean Sauce Pork Ribs. The meat was marinated and soft and the sauce not too oily. Similar to the Har Gow, it was done well but nothing too special.

Sixth was Spinach Prawn dumplings. This was my favourite out of all the dumplings; the f;avour of the spinach was delicate and balanced out the prawn well. As you can tell from the picture, it was a generous filling and full of flavour like the other dumplings.

Seventh was Century Egg Congee. I am a big congee (rice porriage) fan, so it's one of those things I just love to order at yum cha. THW's version of the yum cha classic was generous with century egg and the pork was well salted. Congee consistency was very smooth too.

Eighth was Fish Maw. This is definitely for the fish lover. I would consider it silky however my counterparts called it slimy. This dish divided the table's opinion - the conclusion being that if you like fish then you will like this dish.

Ninth was the famous Baked Pork Buns. Crispy external bun, filled with BBQ pork. I can easily eat 3 of these myself. Definitely a Michelin dish here and something you should order from THW.

Tenth was Lo Mai Gai. Steamed sticky rice with mushroom, Chinese sausage, pork, dried scrimp, salted egg wrapped in lotus leaf. I didn't mind this dish and it was quite a generous serving.

Eleventh was Beefball with Beancurd skin. Marinated beef was a big meaty bite (strong flavours) and on the heavy side.

Twelfth was Vermicelli Rolls with Sesame Sauce. This came lightly pan fried, with hoisin and sesame sauce drizzled on top. The sweet hoisin and sesame worked perfectly together.

Overall a very satisfying yum cha. Those pork buns were an absolute delight as was the vermicelli rolls. They don't have as much variety as other yum cha restaurants, but that didn't bother me too much. Service was average but I didn't really expect any different from a busy Chinese restaurant.

Tim Ho Wan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato