Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nine Taiwanese Dessert House, CBD MELB

In comparison to my siblings and close friends, I am often pointed out as the "oriental" kid of the pack. Not because of my Asian heritage but more so because I tend to listen to Asian songs a lot and at times, can come across as someone who's been brought up from a Chinese orientated school.

No Chinese schools for me, hence I doubt I can ever pull off a decent conversation in Mandarin. As for the Chinese songs, I find it soothing and comforting, strangely.

Despite taking a fancy for westernized types of cakes, I do enjoy traditional Chinese desserts such as silken, sweetened tofu or sweet soup aka tong sui. Nine Taiwanese Dessert House has been around since my first visit to Melbourne back in 2011 and serves quite an impressive array of Asian types of sweets.

Bubble tea - one of my favourite weekend treats.

Grass jelly no. 4 - grass jelly, sago, mashed taro, taro and sweet potato balls. Not too sure about the addition of cream/ milk but I did enjoy the cooling aftereffects from taking this combination. Not sure how to explain this sensation as its probably a saying coined by Chinese medicinal doctors in the past and rarely expressed these days. Try eating something spicy followed by a grass jelly or chilled barley drink afterwards and maybe that might paint a better picture.

Soy tofu no. 5 - tofu was a little grainy to my liking but still satisfying nonetheless.

Nine Taiwanese Dessert House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Hills BBQ Noodle Shop, Box Hill MELB

Dropped by Box Hill after checking out the suburb and decided on having a quick bite around 9pm that night. Problem is there are not many options to choose from considering that it is a weekday night and most restaurants would have sold out on popular dishes - which is what I tend to inconveniently crave for.

Was recommended to visit this restaurant as food here is decent at extremely reasonable prices. Service can be a tad questionable but then again, its no stranger at unfortunately, many Asian restaurants.

Roast duck and roast pork - juicy and succulent were each piece of meat on the plate. Would have liked the duck skin to be a bit more crisp and less oily though.

Sweet and sour pork - decent fare. Each piece of meat may have been heavily dunked into a flour coating and so, I suspect the meat to flour ratio may not be balanced accordingly.

Hills BBQ Noodle Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Oct-Nov mobile uploads: Breakfast bars, more salad bowls and selfie moments

Hello hello, I have been quite behind with posting on monthly updates via my iphone camera and so, this blog post is a compilation of what I have been up to in the last couple of months.

First up, I have been trying out various types of breakfast bars, emphasizing heavily on its protein and sugar content.  I love how tasty Carman's gourmet protein bars are and they are not overloaded with sugar. My personal favourite would be the dark chocolate version because it makes me feel excited when I get up in the morning:D

I have tested this out of curiousity and found it quite hard as in rock solid hard. Not overly sweet just like Carman's although would really prefer a softer version.

Again, Carman's did not disappoint and although I would still prefer the protein bars over this one, it does have a nice coffee aroma lingering afterwards which can be good in the morning.

Ho ho ho, here lies one of my favourite gifts, a Breville Teamaker. Has a setting for different types of brews be it mild, moderate or strong depending on the type of tea used. Easy to clean and very straightforward to use.

Meetings and more meetings, cest la vie.

And just like every month, here is a mini collection of what I have been eating on most weekdays for lunch or dinner.

Trying to be healthy with a serve of carrots, steak, kale and brown rice.

Bought some salad whilst at the shopping mall as I did not have a fridge for the time being and was craving some fresh veggies.

Rice with roasted chicken breast. The sister made such a sensational soy sauce flavoured roast chicken that I couldn't believe the chicken breast was not hard and dry. Such a treat it was and one that I happily went back for seconds.

Had leftover chicken and pasta in the fridge and so, voila, into the salad lunch bowl it went. Ps, I bought my pyrex bowl a couple of months ago and me thinks it true is an amazing investment. No more worrying about microwaving plastic and having such a decent sized bowl to carry around soupy items is a bonus!

And now, drum rolls please for the following vain shots of myself. Because I can.

Checked shirt, Topshop high waisted skirt, Karen Millen mini bag and Nine west shoes.

Zara navy jumper, Esprit puffed vest, Zara denim, Adidas shoes. The best sleeveless puffed jacket.

Sequined Zara dress and denim jacket

How to be lazy and still pull it together. Pyjamas t-shirt, Zara denim jacket and Zara shorts. Yea, a good jacket does go a long way.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Roule Galette, Carnegie MELB

After having some drool-worthy crepes whilst in France, I no longer crave for it upon returning to Melbourne. Crepes are one of those food items that most people can easily reproduce but whether it stands out from being a plain thin piece of pancake is another story.

We stumbled upon this place by chance and was lured in by the promising scent of warm butter travelling onto the pedestrian walk. The restaurant can comfortably sit around 20 to 30 diners and yes, there are savoury food options available if sweet crepes don't click your senses.

Crepe suzette - to me, crepes are best enjoyed uninterrupted and uncomplicated. The first bite allows one to appreciate the subtle, buttery flavour of the warmed crepe and the second bite enables one to fully engage your senses with the marriage between the crepe and other ingredients. I have always been a fan of citrus and loved how the grand marnier brought on a fragrant aftertaste once the buttery aroma has subsided.

The tiger - salted caramel, chocolate and almonds. Salted caramel is religiously churned out from the kitchen every morning and probably one of the best ones I have tasted so far. Am not a far of uber rich and sickeningly sweet types and found this light enough to my liking. Almonds had a lovely roasted aroma and the addition of chocolate tied the caramel and almonds together well.

Bon appetit!

Roule Galette Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, November 28, 2016

Saint James Cafe, Malvern MELB

Sundays are my absolute favourite days to head out for a meal despite any sightings of gloomy weather. As I was feeling under the weather that day and doubting the accuracy of my taste buds then, I beckoned the sister and a friend to tag along with me as I visit this cafe.

Owner Craig was very accommodating to the bunch of us (despite my feeble attempts at trying to be audible) and in terms of service, very friendly and efficient - could not ask for anything more comforting especially after working 6 days a week.

Latte - I love a good latte and brownie points for good latte art.

Classic OJ - nothing beats a glass of freshly squeezed juice packed full of vitamin C. Just what the doctor ordered to get rid of nasty colds quicker!

Saint Benedict - Being egg-cited about egg benedict and having had more than 10 plates of it since I first came to Australia (call me an expert if you may haha!) , I loved every single bite of this. The pulled pork shoulder was soft and generously topped on a crusty, thick slice of sourdough which had to be the perfect companion for lapping all those flavourful juices up. The addition of dollops of sour apple compote slightly softened the meaty pork taste, making it feel not as heavy on the palate. The sister had this and was happily filled to the brim - I on the other hand, managed to sneak little bites when she's not looking haha.

Rob's black pudding - I am not usually adventurous with my choice of food but strangely enough, this was on my "to eat" list after hearing a lot of rave about it. And it's pretty good too! Ok, Craig probably got his hands on some of the best ones made in Melbourne after putting on his Sherlock Holmes hat and it sure has paid off. I was pleasantly surprised by the spiciness of this dish as it is uncommon to see it boldly incorporated into a dish as opposed to being sprinkled on top. And true enough, the Brits are no stranger to spices and chilli from overseas imports in the earlier days, as pointed out by Craig.

So I do have a penchant for yolk porn.

Pikelet stack - easily one of the most picturesque items on the menu (I still love their other dishes tho!). Creme fraiche, strawberries, meringue and fluffy pikelets. Made my day looking and indulging in it. Could not have asked for a more refreshing way to end the meal.

What to have next time? Quite possibly one of their many types of sarnies along with a good cuppa and a good novel to laze the afternoon away. Or perhaps a cup of tea too;)

Once again, a big shout out to owner Craig Tate and his lovely staff for their hospitality and excellent food.

  Saint James Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Shyun ramen bar, Carnegie MELB

As an Asian, I am often associated with rice for every meal which is ironic because I am more of a noodle person. Sure, I will crave for rice for variety although not to the same degree as what most people would think.

The sister suggested for the bunch of us to have Japanese on a Friday night and being on a conservative budget, I searched the web for a decent place that wouldn't be too exorbitantly priced to back good quality food. So much one can learn from the web.

Carnegie was the destination and yes, there were so many people flocking the suburb's dining precinct that night. Boasting a vast variety of cuisines, I couldn't disagree with these hungry diners.  As Shyun ramen bar could only accommodate a small crowd, the bunch of us patiently waited for our turn whilst deciding on what to stuff ourselves silly with.

Matcha with soft serve - Good hint of matcha in the drink and not overly sweet to my liking. Definitely something to have :)

Pork signature ramen with miso soup - diners can opt for miso or shoyu for this dish although I would vouch for the creamier miso version. Not a lot of pork meat in the bowl and so, doubt this would be your go to if you're hungry.

Tokyo ramen - I wanted a lighter broth based and this answered my prayers. Whilst there were copious amounts of corn and bean sprouts in it, it was again lacking protein. Ramen noodles had a good bite to them and were perfectly cooked.

Cold ramen - one of the weekly specials listed on the menu and probably one that I wouldn't mind having on a hot summer day. The ramen's dressing had a reasonable amount of sweetness that pairs well with the salty soy sauce.

Overall, I would definitely revisit this restaurant again as it does serve good quality food at reasonable prices. Will be on the lookout for rice dishes next time too!:)

Shyun Ramen Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Kahlua fudgy brownies recipe

Having bought a block of chocolate early this year in preparation for a chocoholic moment, I had stashed it away in the kitchen pantry and upon moving homes recently, the sister stumbled upon it. And seeing as she has a birthday event at work whereby staff members are encouraged to each bring treats, I jumped at the prospect of being able to bake once more.

Only thing was I no longer wanted to play safe and bake things I am familiar with so I searched high and low for a fudgy chocolate brownie recipe. Eventually I was led to recipe girl's page and the rest was history.

Loved how the brownies had a fudgy, moist bottom and a fluffy cake top with a thin layer of crispness on top. The addition of kahlua or coffee liqueur could only be mildly detected but some sensitive tasters had easily picked that out.

2/ 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
227g butter
2 cups dark chocolate
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup Kahlua or another coffee liqueur

1. Melt butter in the microwave for 1 minute before mixing in the chocolate. Slowly amalgamate the chocolate into the butter, heating in the microwave as needed.
2. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
3. Whisk sugar with eggs and gradually incorporate the coffee liqueur.
4. Fold butter and chocolate mix into the egg mix before folding into the flour concoction.
5. Bake at 160C for 40 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting into it.

Verdict? Possibly one of the best brownies I have made and one that I can see myself baking over and over again. Have omitted the icing the addition of extra kahlua as I didn't think it was necessary :)