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

Monday, November 23, 2015

From On High

Another weekend, means another brunch date with K. This time R joined us as well, where we ventured toward Prahran to pay From On High a visit. K draw my attention to this one as she was loves to hunt for new brunch places, as much as I do.

It's located on High Street with a very cute cottage like exterior, great little cafe for local to visit. The atmosphere and the decor brings out it's rustic charm and the mode of operation also matches

We all ordered our usual, latte, flat white and soy latte. Coffee was quick to come and great on the lips.

K was very disappointed that the Waffins were sold out, as we specifically came for that. However it didn't take her long to spot another sweet dish on the menu. She chose the Pikelet Stack instead. This came as a thick fluffy stack, with vanilla mascarpone cream, fresh berries, honey comb, chocolate soil and finished with a dusting of icing sugar. I particularly like the vanilla mascarpone on this. The creaminess tied all the elements together nicely.

I picked the Vodka and Beetroot Cured Ocean Trout. The Vodka got me curious, it is not a common cured ingredient to cure fish and especially not on a brunch menu. It came with crispy chat potatoes, poached egg and beetroot relish. The vodka flavour was not as strong as I'd imagine, it was mostly the beetroot that I tasted. It went well with the poached egg and potatoes. This was a nice breadless option for me. The potatoes was just enough carbs without the heavy feeling.

R picked the Crisp Polenta. This came with big portobello mushrooms, harissa, kale, crumbed eggs and parmesan tuille. Normally I am not a fan of polenta but I do like mushrooms. This dish strikes a nice balance of something I don't and do like. The mushrooms were full of flavor and the parmesan provided that strong punch to balance out the mildness in the fried polenta. K and I preferred our dish but R happily enjoyed the polenta, I think it's more suited for someone wants to eat well but without all the naughty factors.

Over 15.5/20 it was a cute little cafe and offered an interesting menu. The service was attentive and it ticks all the boxes of a good place to catch up with friends.

From On High Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


While I was away overseas I started seeing articles and lots of instagram pictures from a place called Mammoth, this got me curious. So after a bit of researching and google stalking I found out that the brains behind Touchwood and Barry is the owners of Mammoth. I didn't need much more convincing, it's located in Armadale in a leafy location close to the train station, so it was the perfect Saturday brunch spot for me.

D and I got there around 2pm and waited for about 5 minutes to get a table. We shared a table with another couple but we didn't mind and neither did the other couple. The place has sunshine penetrating through all it's windows and buzzing with people. I loved the upbeat atmosphere with the clean cut french provincial decor.

To begin we got the usual normal latte for D and soy latte for me. Our coffees didn't take long to come and it was a great blend too. Smooth and full bodied, perfect way to kick start our brunch.

D got The Benedict. Unlike the traditional Benedict that typically comes with ham, this came with duck sausage, fried egg, picked onion and hollandaise sauce on a corn blini. I liked the duck sausage change, found it different and very tasty. It was rich in flavour and together with the maple hollandaise it was the perfect cheat meal. The orange and corn blini was different, I like the crumbly texture of it. It didn't feel as heavy as bread but was that good carb component of the dish.

I picked the Coconut Yoghurt Custard. This was a fine layer of coconut yoghurt custard, topped with fresh strawberries, freeze dried strawberries, buckwheat and wattle seed granola and grapeseed oil. This was a light and refreshing option, I was a bit sad to see how small it was, as I love coconut yoghurt and anytime I see if on a brunch menu, I must order it. The fresh and freeze dried strawberry combination was quite interesting, the different textures of a similar flavour. The custard was just the right consistency of creamy without being too sweet. I really enjoyed this dish, just wish there was more of it. I love it so much I could have easily eaten two!

D and I normally don't get dessert for lunch but we say the couple next to us get the Gaytime Panna Cotta and it caught my eye on the menu earlier. This had all the elements of what I would call a fun dessert; honeycomb, popping candy, sable biscuit. It hit all the right notes in my book. It was just a heavenly finish to a great brunch.

Overall 17/20 this is definitely up there in terms of all the brunch places I have visited around Melbourne. The menu is creative with sophistication and the service was great. I loved every part of my meal and is already looking forward to coming back and hopefully trying the whole menu (eventually). Only downside is the price, for the portion sizes they provide you, I would say it's more on the higher end of the brunch scale. Though it's not an 'arm and a leg', I would still come back, maybe not weekly but every once in awhile. Highly recommend you visit if you are in the area or just want a drive to the lovely Armadale.

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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Peko Peko

D loves Taiwanese food and one of his favourite place to get it from is Peko Peko in South Melbourne. So on a Friday when we were just after a simple date night, we headed towards South Melbourne so D could get his fix.

To start we got some small eats. I picked the Fomosa Soup, this is one of my favorite things to order when we get Taiwanese food. Peko Peko had theirs thick with meat balls and cubes of winter melon. It wasn't too salty and the thickness was just right. There was also crispy won ton skins on top which was a nice addition.

The other small eat we got was the 5 spice tofu. This came as small cubes of tofu, deep fried with a 5 spice batter. A spicy, sweet sauce came with it. This was a refined version of the popular street version, strong garlic flavors, crispy and not too dry.

For our mains D got the Singapore Noodles. Strands of perfectly cooked noodles with carrots, chicken and lettuce. This dish had a kick, even after mixing in the lettuce, the hotness factor didn't wear down. I happily took the heat but this dish didn't quite feel Taiwanese to me.

I got the Pop Chicken, cubes of deep fried batter chicken with a dusting of salt and pepper. It was drizzled with a sweet chili mayo. I would have prefer the mayo on the side as it made the chicken on the top slightly soggy, if you didn't get to it in time. The chicken was succulent and juicy, definitely one good cube of fried chicken.

To balance things out and to feel less guilty, we got a side of Sesame Broccoli Salad. This was a simple dish of broccoli with sesame dressing and almond flakes. I loved the simplicity of it, I loved it so much I went home and made it a few times (it's now a regular in my household).

For dessert we got the Salted Caramel Yoyo pancake to share. This was a small pancake, paired with salted caramel sauce with vanilla ice cream and caramel popcorn. It was simple and not the most creative dessert out there but it did hit the spot. It was the perfect sweetness to finish the meal.

Overall 17/20 I always enjoy eating at Peko Peko, there is a great range of selection on the menu. It does a good slight modern twist to a lot of the typical foo you will find at night markets in Taiwan. Don't come here for fancy out of this world food, come here for a good feed that leaves you satisfied.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015


After being away in Europe for a full month, I was very eager to brunch. I was fortunate that the second day I was back, was Cup Day, so it gave me the perfect excuse to find my favourite brunch buddy.

It felt that being away for a month, the brunch scene in Melbourne had changed a bit and there are heaps of new cafes to try. K took me to Bawa located on Burwood rd in Hawthorn. It was a slick modern cafe, it had a chilled and neat atmosphere, perfect for K and I to catch up

To overcome my jetlag I was quick to order a almond milk latte and K got her usual flat white. I normally go with soy but they ran out, so almond milk was the best alternative. The coffee was good but it didn't have a strong aroma, it was light roast. They also offered options for cold coffee, think I will try it next time I am visit.

As we can both never decide on 1 thing, we got 2 things to share. As our usual routine, we opted for 1 sweet, 1 savory.

For the sweet we got the chia pudding, this was served with blueberries, mango, passionfruit, coconut and pistachio. It was finished with rosewater to give it a beautiful fragrant. A very light breakfast, good for those to want a sweet, light start to their day.

For the savory I picked the avocado, feta with creamed corn on toast. This was finished with hazelnut crumbs and lime. I added in a poach egg for a bit of extra protein. I really enjoyed this, this is one of the best feta avocado toast I have eaten in awhile. The addition of creamed corn added just a tad of sweetness and the hazelnut and lime finish was brilliant. I absolutely loved this dish.

Over 16/20 a strong contender and a great addition to the Hawthorn choice of eateries. Staff gave excellent service and was highly attentive. The menu has a great selection does a nice spin on a lot of classic brunch dishes. Since the brains of Three Bags Full, Pillar of Salt, Dukes are behind this, I can't wait to see the next version of the menu. I get the feeling that great things are about to come out of this place.

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

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Panama Dining Room

Dad had Saturday night off which was quite rare so I took up the opportunity to take mum and dad out. Normally when dad is off we eat at home because my mum is a fabulous cook but it means it's always Asian food. So to be different, I took mum and dad to Panama Dining room and followed up with a trip to Messina (dad loves ice cream.... think that's where I inherited that passion).

Located in Brunswick, it's not area that mum and dad venture to much. So it was an eye opener for them to see people know about restaurants not located with a street front. After climbing 3 flights of stairs, we were greeted with the lovely staff of Panama Dining Room who showed us to our table. We had 2 minutes before the oyster happy hour (6pm-7pm) finished so we got 12 as soon as the waiter got here. Dad and I both love oysters so there was no way we would say no to $1 oysters.

The oysters were the first to come out. Fresh shacked oysters served natural with wedges of lemon. These were not as creamy as your your Coffin Bay oysters but for $1 each, we were very happy.

On to the starters, since mum and dad wasn't very hungry we opted for 3 light starters to share. First one was the marinated prawns with roe and potato crisp. Mum really liked this one, the prawns were fresh and light and the crisp gave it that nice crunch.

Next was the Cured Ocean Trout with cucumber sorbet. Another light and tangy flavored starter. The cucumber added a light crisp bite.

Dad and I love parfait, so we got chicken liver parfait on toast to share. This was paired with truffle and marmalade . I love the taste in texture but didn't like how it was served in a box with a napkin underneath. It was hard to share and all the filling from the brioche bun toast, stuck to the napkin. There was a lot wasted by being stuck on the napkin in the end.

For mains we shared the John Dory with risotto with lobster sauce. The fish itself was a bit bland so it heavily relied on the lobster sauce and the dash of mustard. There was also slices of cucumber on the plate to add that fresh element.

Our other main was the roast chicken. The chicken was roasted with rosemary scent and lied on a bed of mash. The meat was tender and succulent however it lack a punch, it felt like it needed something else on the plate to complete it. This was a substantial size and we struggled to finish it between the three of us

For the sides we got the ricotta, mint pea salad. Loved the creamy, fresh combination of flavours.

The chips were thick cut. Fluffy, starchy goodness.

We decided to skip dessert, since Messina was downstairs.

Overall 15/20 I enjoyed most parts of the meal. Mains were a tad disappointing but the starters made up for it. This is a place that I won't mind trying again with D. Especially if there is $1 oysters. I know their menu changes quite regularly, so they do keep regulars entertained.

The Panama Dining Room and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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