Monday, February 29, 2016

Vapiano, CBD MELB

I have been using the Entertainment Book's iphone app a lot lately and am loving everything about it. Instantly updates, environmental friendly and easily accessible - forget having to collect all those random restaurant/ cafe vouchers in your wallet! And there's even a tool for recording how much savings made or how many vouchers have been used already:)

I have favourite-d a few places that I am keen on visiting which helped narrow down my options. Some restaurants offer a buy 1 free 1 meal whilst others provide discounts off the total bill. Regardless of which path you take, it is a win-win solution for everyone.

Having been to Vapiano before, and subsequently falling in love with this place, I wanted to revive that memory and decided to pop by for dinner. Simply obtain a card upon entry and use this card for ordering and payment purposes. Pretty easy, ey?;)

Crema di Funghi ~ all the pasta is housemade here and cooked al dente. Creamy mushroom sauce with generous chunks of mushroom pieces topped with some shaved cheese. Highly recommended.

Pollo Amatriciana ~ chicken breast, onions, mushroom and bacon. A little dry for my liking but delicious nonetheless.

Tropicale pizza aka hawaiian pizza ~ the dough was not too heavy to my liking and ingredients wise, my pizza had a nice balance of juicy-ness and freshness that is hard to find in some pizzerias these days.

Tiramisu ~ would have liked a little more caffeine kick here and perhaps a little more drenched sponge cake layer. Still a decent treat for $7 though.

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

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dumpling Empire, Glen Waverley MELB

Dumplings and more dumplings! Yet another newly refurbished restaurant on Kingsway and clearly my tummy cannot say no to a dumpling feast.

Prices here are cheap considering the number of dumplings that you get on a plate. Albeit not over the top fantastic, it is still a pretty decent feed.

Shanghai fried noodles ~ again, a decent feed for the price.

Dumpling Empire Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Krimper Cafe, CBD MELB

Strange how life does not always turn out the way we plan it to be but rather, one filled with unexpected surprises that often enough, evolves into a positive experience. The friend and I were turned down by a brunch cafe when we appeared at their doorsteps a few minutes before their kitchen closes.

Thankfully, Melbourne CBD is blessed with a good selection of other cafes and so, it was not long until we arrived here for a late lunch. Service was quick and compared to other places, I enjoyed the serene ambiance here.

Chai latte ~ my second cup of caffeine for the day.

Bao-nedict ~ Eggs benedict with stout braised pork, spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise. Eggs were poached to perfection and would have really stood out with a good serve of hollandaise sauce. The kitchen had unfortunately ran out of hollandaise sauce and we were offered aioli as a substitute. The braised pork was extremely flavourful and moist. Wouldn't mind having it just by itself!:)

French toast ~ pavlova, caramelised peach, vanilla honey mascarpone, dulce de leche and candied pecans. My absolute favourite french toast dish in Melbourne thus far. The brioche bread was still moist and had an even caramelisation coating it. The entire dish was not overly sweet and everything went well together. A must have if you love sweets as much as I do.

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

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Sushi Hub, CBD MELB

The period between lunch and dinner is always a strange one that I struggle with. I have no problems with late brekkies/ brunch/ lunch but for anything pre-dinner, that may be classified as a snack or an over the top meal that renders the need to skip dinner.

Having a busy schedule means lunch time can be either at 2pm or 3pm. Whilst I am usually good at managing myself during the week, it is a completely different story on weekends or when I am out with friends. Hence, I have resolved to having lighter pre-dinner snacks and a great example would be sushi.

Sushi hub is a fairly new establishment but it is slowly gaining popularity among the city dwellers. The train is at least three meters long and runs around the open air kitchen. Not many fancy items to choose from although you will see a handful of familiar favourites passing by as you tuck into your meal.

Overall, there is a lot of potential for this restaurant to grow, mostly in terms of what they put on the menu. Pricing is reasonable and service is efficient. However, if you are limited for time, the quickest thing to do would be to grab a takeaway at the front counter where there's a lot more items to choose from.

Sushi Hub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, February 15, 2016

Ping's Dumpling Kitchen, Clayton MELB

I am such a sucker for dumplings. Despite it not being an item that I have regularly (in fact, I loathe the thought of it previously), strangely enough, I crave for it constantly whilst in Melbourne. And what better way to indulge in this new found addiction than to know someone who shares the same quirky taste as I do.

Price wise, the food here is cheap considering the portion size. Be spoilt by the variety of dumplings available on the menu. Same can be said about the variety of noodles and rice dishes listed.

Pan fried pork dumplings ~ $9 for 15 pieces is ridiculously cheap albeit the slightly thick and chewy skin layer that tests your chewing skills.

Chilli oil dumplings in soup ~ $8.50 for 15 dumplings. If I have to choose between the fried or soup version, the soup version wins hands down. Soft and still juicy to bite, I found it a lot easier to gulp down. If you are wondering about the filling, it is pretty standard aka not uber fantastic but still a decent feed.

Ping's Dumpling Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Niko Niko, Chadstone MELB

Nothing beats the feeling of having discovered a hidden (food) gem that serves delicious food at affordable prices. I am obsessed with Cantonese cuisine and to find a Hong Kong restaurant that is not too far away from where I live is the cherry on the cake.

Opened throughout the day and located not too far from the Holmesglen train station, this is probably the place to bring a group of friends who have different taste buds. The menu is very extensive and I am sure you will find a dish that suites your needs.

Shredded duck stir fry with vermicelli noodles ~ To be honest, I tend to enjoy clear broths more than thickened curry type of broths because I find it hydrating in a way. The broth had a desirable scent, possibly from the hours spent in the pot. Duck meat was evenly shredded to the right size aka not unbearably chunky nor stick thin.

Fried pastry rolls with meat sauce ~ this dish only came in an appetizer size but I found it more than enough for lunch as the pastry rolls can be quite filling. I found the sauce a little salty although I suppose that the idea behind pairing it with the pastry rolls that lacked seasoning. I secretly did enjoy nibbling on the crispy side of the pastry rolls which provided some textural contrast to the dish.

Porridge ~ this is one of the few places I know in Melbourne that serves a diverse range of porridge dishes for less than $10. Choose from chicken, pork, seafood or even the more exotic innards. In terms of taste and texture, it is very similar to the ones I have had in Hong Kong.

One cannot have porridge without youtiao aka fried Chinese curlers. I seldom have this as a child, purely because it's not the healthiest item to snack on but when I do, it escalated the meal to a whole different level. This porridge topper is prepared to order in the kitchen and tastes as good as the ones I had in the past. At $3.50, it does cost about 8x what I would pay in Malaysia but hey, its a rare treat;)

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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Omah's Malaysian Cuisine, Hawthorn MELB

In spirit of the Lunar New Year, this week's blog posts will be all about those chopstick licking Chinese meals that usually gets consumed during this festive period. A last minute decision brought us to Omah's whereby a seafood loaded dinner is a good excuse to usher in prosperity and happiness.

Depending on the number of patrons in the restaurant, be prepared to wait for a bit after placing your order. On the bright side, this fancy Malaysian restaurant does have a little bar located close to the entrance so if you are in need of treats in the form of Asian inspired beverages, you know to go.

Crab omelette ~ we were fortunate to be able to nab the mud crab meal package which comes with a serve of crab omelette as a start, followed by the mud crab itself and a serve of dessert afterwards.. all for the price of $49.50. Crab omelette was decent although would have liked a little more crab meat in it.

Salted egg prawns ~ The prawns were evenly coated with a serve of salted egg yolks prior to being deep fried. Juicy and bursting with flavour, prawns are a must have for Chinese New Year because they signify laughter aka happiness. Surely you want to start the year off right, ey?

Belacan beans ~ belacan is a traditional fermented paste that is often associated with the addition of chilli. I found this dish a little salty to my liking but overall, the beans were cooked well.

Singapore noodles ~ noodles signify longevity in life and whilst this is definitely not the traditional one that you get at Chinese restaurants, it is close enough for us. A touch of curry paste was incorporated here which gave it a lovely aroma. Generous portions of chicken, prawns and eggs in this dish, definitely one of my favourites.

Chilli crab ~ seafood or poultry has to be served whole during the New Year as it symbolizes wholeness in life aka nobody wants an incomplete life/job, right? The crab was the star dish of the night. The sauce that comes with it had bits and pieces of the crab's essence added into it and boy, was it such a treat to lap it off with bread. Be warned that there may be pieces of crab shell in the sauce so don't be in a hurry to clean your plate.

For dessert, we had a pandan sago that sits on a bed of gula Melaka syrup and coconut milk sauce. Not too sweet and certainly a light end to the meal.

Omah's Malaysian Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 4, 2016

No Name, Oakleigh MELB

Lately I have not been diligently bringing my camera out with me, especially on days whereby I have been to before on numerous events. I still do love my DSLR camera but somehow, I have not been inspired into my photographer-wannabe mode. Which might explain the rare blog posts which sees me relying heavily on my iphone to create magic.

And this has to be one of them. We had a change of plans at the very last minute and so, I had nothing on me but my iphone. I will let you be the judge on whether I have done justice to the food served here;)

Oakleigh is my new found favourite place to escape to whenever I am in the mode for non-Asian cuisines. Also proves that I am still "living the life" by hanging out at places that are still buzzing late at night:p

Hawaiian pizza ~ I like how the crust is not too chewy and thick but rather, thin and fluffy..The pieces of ham were carefully layered over each other and the addition of pineapple cubes served as a moisture medium. Oozing with cheesy goodness and arrived on our table straight from the oven. Thumbs up.

Seafood tower ~ the bunch of us were not overly hungry and decided to order this dish as well, the Greeks are known for their attachment to protein from the sea. Bottom layer consisted of mussels cooked with smoked salmon and accompanied by a fragrant broth. Mussels were fresh albeit slightly on the smaller size.

The middle layer of this seafood tower consisted of seared scallops cooked in parsley butter, battered fish and calamari rings ~ the battered fish was the favourite among the table. Why you ask? Well, we liked the bread like crust texture that is crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Top tiered is home to a decent serve of chips and deep fried prawns. Plus points for chips that are not soaking in oil and for prawns that are not overcooked:)

No Name Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Anshumann Da Dhaba, Clayton MELB

Summer is not the best time to have a fiery hot or spicy meal - there's no need for it else one might be overheating on the outside and inside as well, if you know what I mean. However, granted our strange weather in Melbourne, we have had a few cool days which warrants the need for warm comfort food.

Which lead me here. Located about 13 minutes away from my suburb, it was worth an adventure, for a change in scenery. Packed full of people and heavily perfumed with various spices, this is the place for cheap and good eats.

Mango lassi ~ not overly sweet or bland, with the right amount of viscosity.

This was one of their curries that was on the specials board (unfortunately, I can't recall the name!) Boness pieces of chicken drenched in a creamy coconut based curry sauce that is not too spicy for my liking. Only downside is the lack of protein bits in this dish but can't really complain considering that I would have paid a lot more for something similar elsewhere.

Naan bread ~ at 90cents per piece, this was too cheap to believe. Best part was that it did not disappoint - fluffy, light and nicely toasted all round, this was the ideal sponge for soaking up all the curry sauce.

Kadai paneer ~ cottage cheese cooked in tomato, ginger and spices. This was spicier than I have expected but thankfully, we were provided with a serve of yoghurt just in case we needed it to cool off the spicy effects. More tomato-y taste than curry and probably a good option to have if you want something different.

Anshumann Da Dhaba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato