Showing posts from March, 2014

Kokoro Ramen

Located in Lonsdale street, it's a bit of a walk if you work on the office side of Collins St. As the name suggest, this place specialises in Ramen. They offer a wide range of flavours and variety of ramen. Their broth ranges from miso, shio to shoyu and of course with everyone's favorite tonkotsu base.

You have a choice of what type of thickness in noodles you like as well.

My favourite is the Sapporo miso with Soft Shell Crab. The broth was very full of pork and miso flavours, I love the slight spiciness in the soup. The egg was cooked beautifully, still marginally runny. The soft shell crab was a bit on the small size but the robust flavours made up for it. The noodles were cooked perfectly not too chewy or too soft.

Also there was the Tokotsu Shio with soft shell crab. Don't ask me why but everyone on the table got either one of these. This was the salt based tokontsu option, I added extra corn into mine. The soup was thick and the noodles were al dente. Shame they downsi…

Jimmy Grants

On a lazy Sunday afternoon with a hungry tummy, I found myself in front of Jimmy Grants. This is a place that has been on my "must visit" list for a long time. Jimmy Grants is similar to Gazi but much more informal, with a less spacious venue (think side lane, funky music and pumping out lots of soulvas) and a smaller menu offering.

To start we got the famous Jimmy's Dimmy. I was quite interested to see George's version of dim sims. I'm normally not a very big dim sim fan. My parents operated a catering/take away store for most of my childhood. Hence in my eyes, my dad's dim sims were always the best. A lot of people claim that South Melbourne dim sims are delicious but I still find them too heavy handed in MSG and pepper. I was expecting to be disappointed but surprisingly I found myself reaching for a second dim sim. The skin was thin and the filling was juicy with good cabbage/meat ratio.

D and I each got a souvla each. D went with the patris soulva which ha…

Mrs Kim's Grill

Based on Ktown (Koonang Rd) in Carnegie, Mrs Kim's BBQ is as the name suggest, it's a Korean BBQ restaurant. With a bright yellow sign and big open spaces, this one where you walk out slightly less stinky/smoky.

We got a few sets to share. The Moo set came with galbi beef ribs and skirt steak. The ribs had a beautiful marinate and when it was cooked it fell off the bone. This was my favorite set of the night.
The Oink set came with a choice of chilli/soy pork belly and pork neck fillet. The soy pork belly had a sweet marinate and wasn't too fatty.

The Cluck Cluck set came with chilli/soy marinated chicken. Given it's chicken, it's quite easily overcooked. Chilli marinate wasn't too spicy. Chicken just wasn't very exciting so the one set was more than enough.

We also got salads with the sets and ordered a few extra beef ribs and ox tongue. They have 3 salads to choose from: tomato and avocado salsa; smoked salmon and onion; Ssam greens. Nothing exciting there bu…

HuTong Dumpling Bar

If you live in Melbourne, enjoy eating dumplings and have not heard of HuTong then you are in for a nice treat. HuTong is considered by many as one of the best dumpling bars of Melbourne. Located on Market Lane, opposite Flower Drum, it's a small 3 story restaurant with a strong emphasis on oriental decor and a big dumpling making area at the front of the restaurant.

I took my grandparents here on the weekend as a bit of a treat for them. To start off we got the hot and sour soup. This was quite spicy, so I would not recommend it for individuals who cannot handle their spicy dishes. It was a thick soup with lots of black fungus and mushroom bits. I would've liked another element in the soup, such as a stronger pork or duck broth base. But it's not bad, I am just being picky.

Spring onion pancake, done in the more articulate manner. Fluffy centre and generous amounts of spring onions and chives. Glad to see they don't just serve the frozen variety like a lot of other dump…

Date Night Resturants

So you have a date night coming up but no clue on where to go? Maybe this can help!
If you are after afun, casualnight: Gami is great for a first date. It’s casual and if your date hasn’t tried Korean fried chicken before you'll introduce them to something deliciously new. If they already know about it, then even better! Who doesn't like fried chicken (if your date really doesn't like fried chicken.... what are you doing with him/her?? jk)Sushi Hotaru is a small and cozy kinda place. The big plus here, is you get to sit pretty close to your date and have a  train of food go right past before your very eyes! No need to fuss over a menu or wait for your food because it's all before your eyes. With the price set for most plates, you won't have to worry about a nasty shock when the bill comes either!Hutong is the place to go if you want to impress your date with good dumplings. Their Xiao Long Bao are famous and for a good reason too. It's a fast paced restaurant so …

Tuck Shop Take Away

OK I think I have found my new burger favourite burger place! Fitted like a school tuckshop (or some may like to call it, a canteen),chalkboard menu; Tuckshop Take Away is a small corner shop located in Caulfield. But don't be fooled, this isn't just some burger place headed up by Joe Blogs. The owners are not newbies to the world of food. From my research, I found out that between the husband and wife team, they have worked at Attica, Vue De Monde and Fat Duck. So to say they have a pretty damn impressive CV is an understatement.

Enough background, onto the most important thing.... the food and milkshake.

The burgers come in 2 options, beef or vego. So beef it was, and in a meal option for me! The meal comes with a burger, triple cooked chips, tart and a drink. Sounds average? Don't be fooled, let's start with the chips; crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and with just the right amount of salt (definitely a big WIN in my eyes). I actually can't decide if th…

The Grain Store

Located towards the shady side of town (near the corner of King St and Flinders’ Lane), this is not something you would normally walk past, when you are in the CBD. Grain Store is more known for its coffee and brunch menu but with a couple of friends, we decided to be adventurous and try the dinner menu instead. When you walk in, the place has a beautiful mood to it, you walk into a light room filled with flowers and soft decor.
We were given bread to start; it was fresh focaccia bread. The bread was lovely and soft, a tad sweet and a bit too oily for my liking (it reminded me of the round Chinese doughnut).
We got 2 entrees to share. The smoked duck fillets and quail with black garlic; and the scallops. On first impressions when the scallops came there were only 3 on the plate, we had 4 people and we told the waitress that we were sharing. I found it disappointing that she didn't advise us there were only 3 per serving. If told, we could have ordered another one or something else. …

Andrew's hamburgers

I have heard heaps about this place, and it always pops up whenever there is an article about burgers in The Age. I've driven past it a few times and thought it was time, I finally gave it a go. Located on a row of shops in the residential side of Albert Park, it's a small local shop and nothing fancy to it.

You should be able to spot it quite easily, as there are a few seats outside and generally a small bunch of people waiting for their burgers. When you walk in, you are greeted with the smell of patties cooking and freshly cut onions. You look up and you will see an old school menu with burgers, dim sims, potato cakes and chips. Look to your right, and you'll see photos of the famous people that have visited.

Their special menu has their most popular items. D got "The Lot" with a steak patty.  Wrapped in butcher paper and brimming with sauce, it is one massive burger. With egg, bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and onion on a bread roll... it is not stingy at all. …

Gypsy and Pig

It was D's birthday, and what better way of celebrating it than with lots of pork belly! I read about this place a few times in the paper, and my friend K highly recommended it. It is a tiny little shop decorated with lots of pigs. With a centre bench where you can sit and watch the chef cook and 2 tables of 4. This place defines the word cosy!

To start we one of the specials, the Kurobuta handroll. This was fried pork cutlet sushi with cucumber. Nice way to start a Japanese meal, generous amounts of sesame on the outside for that added texture. 

Also, we got the fresh waygu tataki with garlic soy vinegar. We weren't really expecting too much, (I might be a bit of a snob, as I'm use to the Nobu's beef tataki with ponzu) but the taste really grows on you. The waygu was cut paper thin and the sauce went really well with it. At first the sauce felt too strong and overpowered the waygu flavour, but with each piece I liked the sauce more.

For mains we got the crispy kurobuta b…

Old Kingdom - Surrey Hills

In the world of Peking Duck in Melbourne, Old Kingdom is a famous name. Don't come here expecting anything fancy, this place is far from a kingdom. The tables are covered in butcher paper (we were told it's easier to clean off the duck oil splatter that way) and lot of tables with not enough waiters.

With the Peking duck you can have it with 3 styles of eating (ie, Peking duck pancake, noodles/bean shoots and soup) for $55. Each duck comes with about 14-16 wraps, and the duck is normally carved on your table. For those of you who don't know this, the duck used in Peking duck should not be the same duck as you would normally get as a roast duck in the Chinese BBQ variety. A Peking duck is normally more dried out to allow the skin to crisp up. Anyway, it as good too see that Old Kingdom followed the traditional route and served a duck with nice crispy skin on thin warm pancakes. 

For the second style, instead of just bean shoots we opted for noodles for an extra $8. We got bot…

Maru Meru

I found this little surprise one lunch time. Located near Hawthorn station, it's a little Japanese shop (by a mother/daughter team) that specialises in Japanese street food.
As I was there by myself I had to visit it twice for this review to get a better notion of what they offer. On the first visit, I got their okonomiyaki. Unlike other Japanese restaurants and take away stores, Maru Meru offered a wide range of flavours for your okonomiyaki. They also do it in a lunch special option where it's drink + okonomiyaki for $10. I opted for the pork with a calpico (just to channel that inner fob). The actual dish is quite large in size. I did struggle to finish it, after half way in I was already really full. The exterior was nice and crispy and the inside was still moist. I found it a tad too sweet at times due to the amount of sauce, but I think that's more a personal preference. I would have preferred more vegetable and less batter but overall the flavours were great and enou…