..... Enjoying life, one bite and plane ride at a time

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fukuryu Ramen

Another addition to the choice of ramen bars in Melbourne. Fukuryu is located upstairs in the dingy Corrs Laneway off Chinatown.

When you walk in, the decor is actually very crisp warehouse. Lots of open style seating and you order at the counter. The menu is quite minimal and mainly offers... well ramen.

I got the signature tonkotsu. This came with charsui, black fungus, bamboo shoots and thick tonkotsu broth. There was a generous amount of charsui and noodles. It wasn't a bad ramen but the soup was just a tad too sweet for my liking. Tasted slightly MSG as well (or it could be my mind playing tricks on me).

Between D and I, we also got the tam tam ramen which had a spicy broth and mince meat. I preferred this over the signature as it wasn't as sweet and I like having that extra kick. The noodles were perfectly al dente.

To share, there was chicken karage, nice batter but nothing exceptional. However, if you had a few beers in your hand, you won't be complaining.

Fukuryu had a promotion at the time,  if you post a selfie of you with the ramen, they will give you a free green tea soft serve. This sent all of us into selfie frenzy. I guess, you can never say "no" to free ice cream.

Overall 13.5/20, besides the broth, I did like other aspects of this place. Most of all the staff were friendly and when D dropped his free soft serve, they came up and offered him a replacement. Little things like that, really make a difference in the dining experience. I do hope they come up with a larger menu soon.

Fukuryu Ramen on Urbanspoon

Friday, May 23, 2014

Bistro Guillaume

With it's bright green entrance, Bistro Guillaume has been in Crown for a number of years now. It is also one of D's dad's and my sister's favourite places. Think it was only fair that I finally reviewed it.

I always love coming in here around sunset, the view out to the Yarra together with the beautiful light fixtures in the restaurant. If you ever just want a quiet meal, come around 4-5pm for an early dinner, you will get a peaceful and quiet experience and get to do a bit of people watching too.

To start I got the onion soup. This was a rich, intense soup with cheesy croutons. There was a good amount of onion bits in it to give it that extra texture. However the winning part of the soup were those cheesy croutons. I never knew I could like onion soup that much until this one.

D got the King salmon tartare with the cucumber gazpacho. This was light and refreshing, huge slices of salmon went beautifully with the puree. If you are sharing with someone I would recommend to pick a light salad with one of the heavier entrees, so you don't ruin your appetite for the mains.

As my main I had the rack of lamb with ratatouille, tapenade and zucchini flower. The lamb was soft and juicy but a little too red for my liking. I would have preferred another 2 minutes on the heat. Not a big fan of the onions on the plate but I would've appreciated a little bit more ratatouille. The lamb was bursting with juices and flavour. Quite a delight.

D got steak with Bearnaise sauce. This was a succulent cut of meat that was cooked beautifully. It came with a bed crisp, fluffy chips

Sadly the gratin was not available and we opted for mash. Silky and creamy.

Dessert did not take place as we were just too full.

Overall 16/20, beautiful setting, wonderful service, good food.

Bistro Guillaume on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rue & Co

Rue &Co is located on the Paris end of Collins Street. It is a small area that has been converted into an outdoor eating space with 3 pop up stores. You get the choice of Kong, Jimmy Grants and St Ali.

The Jimmy Grants and St Ali might be quite familiar to most and you might be wondering who is Kong? Kong is Asian inspired fusion eatery created by the team behind Chin Chin.

Since my friends and I were here for dinner, we gave St Ali a miss and went straight for Jimmy Grants and Kong.

At Jimmy Grants we got the grain salad, dim sims, souva, and chips to share. The chips and souva here never fail me. It was the first time I got the grain salad and sadly it didn't do anything for me. Given the other things that we ordered, it felt too heavy for a salad. The lamb souva we divided by 3 but I would've happily chow down and entire one on my own. 

Kong was interesting, I was quite attracted to the menu as their Asian fusion plays on a
combination of popular textures and flavours. We got the Korean fried wings, these sweet honey garlic wings had a bit of a kick in it.

For the Kong Bo Sam we got the roast pork belly with apple slaw option. This came with kim chi, lettuce and chilli jam. The concept is that you put a little bit of each thing on the lettuce and eat it together. It's really just a Korean version of a sang choi bao.

The steamed buns with the brisket and wombok kimchi was my favourite dish of the night. Personally I really like to eat steamed buns so that was already a win for me. The kimchi with the heaviness of the brisket was a very good combination and together with a sweet steamed bun, I could have easily smashed a few of these down by myself.

Overall, 13/20 for Kong, as a new comer and working out of a semi food truck, I was impressed enough, that I would go and visit their store. Jimmy Grant was consistent with what you expect in the store.

Kong on Urbanspoon

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Auction Rooms

D always seems to hype about this place and says whenever he has his slumber parties' at MN's house, he loves to wake up and have breakfast here before he heads to work. So thought it was time I finally tried this place.

Stumbling in around 1.30ish on the weekend I was greeted with a urban and environmentally friendly layout. The waiters looked hipster to match the setting and there were plenty of people around happily having a lazy brunch with the company of friends. So this was a good sign for me. A good brunch place should always be filled with people chatting and having a lazy lunch on the weekend!

When I saw the menu I was greeted with a lot of choice but sadly the first the things that caught my attention, was sold out. After a few tries I finally decided on the Chilaquiles and the thick gammon steak with spinach pancakes.

Chiliaquiles came with pulled pork shoulders, black beans, fried eggs and corn tortilla. This came as a bit of a disappointment, I was expecting a variety of textures and flavours but it just tasted like a mess on the plate. I found that the runny egg and the pork didn't go together at all. 

The gammon steak came with small spinach pancakes which I found very interesting. The gravy and poached egg was an interesting but not quite right combination with this dish. I understand the need for the gravy with the steak and possibly the poached egg with the spinach pancakes but like the previous dish, it didn't belong together on the single dish. All components on their own were excellent, just not together.

Overall 11.5/20 I found auction rooms to be very disappointing. The poor demand management of popular menu choices on a weekend, highlights low level of customer satisfaction understanding. Of the two dishes I tried, nothing was poorly done but I personally did not find the combinations enticing. I am very sure that other people such as D may consider this place amazing but sadly I do not agree with that view. 
Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Masak Masak

I found a scoopon for laksa hot pot at Masak Masak and given the very cold weather in Melbourne of late, I didn't need much convincing.

If you are unfamiliar, hot pot is an Asian style of eating where a group of friends/family cook out of a pot of broth. It is a very popular style of gathering in Asia once the weather gets cold.

For the hot pot in Masak Masak, they offered a traditional hot pot with laksa broth, heated on charcoal. It came with an assortment including dried wontons, prawns, crab, enoki mushrooms, bok choy, noodles, fish cake. I love the flavour of the laksa base, it wasn't too creamy or watery. 

As a side there was also the buffalo wings with onion sambal, saucy, succulent meat with just the right hint of spice for those who can't take the heat. We could smell the satay as they were cooked on charcoal but regrettably we didn't order any.

We also go the chicken rice to share. This came with a generous serve of half a chicken and a bowl of rice. Underneath the chicken there was a lot of beanshoots and sweet chicken soy sauce. It was a real shame, when this came to the table, the chicken was a bit cold. The rice had a beautiful fragrant and flavour to it, but the grains were still quite hard. Personally I would consider that rice under cooked.

For dessert we got the coconut kaffir lime sorbet, this was a good way to finish off the meal

Overall 12.5/20. We used the scoopon deal which gave us the hot pot, wings and sorbet for $19. The hot pot is normally $33 and that would serve 2 people. I was very happy with the hot pot so I would go back.

Masak Masak on Urbanspoon
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