Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Hands down one of the best dining experience I have had in Melbourne so far. Food was topnotch, service was attention and friendly, and excellent value for money.

Bookings are quintessential here to avoid disappointment but nevertheless, available if you choose to book at least 2 weeks in advance, depending on the size of your party. Maha does have an extensive wine menu (and cellar!) as well as a good range of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages to choose from, something I would consider if I had more people in the group who wouldn't mind sharing a bottle or two with me:)

Diners are given three set menus to choose from and being first timers here, WL and I opted for the 4 course meal. Partly because their dessert menu sounded very appealing.

First up was the mezze which consisted of:

Chemen cured hiramasa kingfish, kewpie mayo, urfa biber, preserved lemon and sorrel - drenched in a slightly spicy chilli infused oil, this felt like a very moreish dish and two bites sufficed for me. Each piece of ingredient used here was fresh and lent the dish an overall pleasant aroma.

Local olives poached in olive oil and fel fel - one of the best locally sourced olives I have tasted. Still had a pleasant crunch to it and was seasoned to perfection.

Summer tomatoes, St. David's yoghurt, candied olive and spiced oil - tomatoes had the right acidity to sweetness ratio and were plump and juicy. I would have liked to steal WL's share of this plate if he was not looking.

Hummus, sesame and preserved lemon butter and flat bread - again, one of the best hummus I have tried in terms of taste, texture and most importantly aroma. Not shown in the picture is a bowl of flat bread that I was obsessed about. Possibly pan fried and seasoned to perfection, it matched the hummus's subtle flavours well.

Not pictured is also a plate of salmon kibbeh neya, fermented black garlic, sesame, pickled onions and mint. I was giddy with excitement and impatiently snapped my pictures, completely forgetting to scroll through the pictures to make sure I have a photograph of each dish. Salmon kibbeh neya was a mildly flavoured dish that had been paired with a stronger flavoured garlic concoction and mint leaves which again, worked out well.

Small dishes:

Harissa moghrabieh, victorian calamari, scallops and herb - Despite being a subtle flavoured dish, I personally felt that each individual ingredient had been prepared with utmost care and meticulously cooked. Calamari and scallops were both finely sliced, almost akin strands of linguine, and placed atop a bed of chickpeas and cous cous that had been cooked in (what I think) a seafood broth.

Heirloom white zucchini, St. David's yoghurt, sujuk and almonds - I cannot recall the name of the sausage used in this dish but damn, it was delicious. Heavily spiced with paprika, it paired well with the subtle sweetness of the zucchini, and was further toned down with a dash of yoghurt.

Large dish:

Market fish, St. David's yoghurt, green chermoula dressing and pine nuts - fish was soft, fragile to the touch and again, well cooked. Another delicious dish that I would happily order if it came in a bigger version.

Aged rice, Turkish capsicum, parsley and almonds - we wanted a bigger bowl of this. Enough said ;)

Slow roasted lamb shoulder, garlic and cumin, pomegranate and smoked almonds - WL agreed that this is one of the better lamb shoulder dishes we had in Melbourne and one that I am secretly certain we would fight for. Again, extremely well seasoned and slow roasted to perfection.

Summer fattoush, heirloom tomatoes, cucumber, roasted garlic and toasted flat bread - I am now inspired to use bigger cuts of cucumbers in a salad.


Lemon and labneh cheesecake and sumac roasted strawberries - Strawberries puree had the right amount of sweetness to it and as for the strawberry ice cream served alongside the cheesecake, it was subtle enough to be compatible to it. I happily polished this off when WL offered me his share.

Olive oil and spiced syrup soaked semolina cake, summer peaches and saffron, chickpea ice cream - another winner in my books and even WL polished this off without regretting the amount of calories in it. Perfectly sized portion too!

Turkish delight doughnuts, rosewater honey and roasted walnuts - I love how the chef clearly incorporated a small piece of turkish delight in each doughnut before dressing it in some rosewater honey. A fluffy, warm little piece, perfect to sum up the meal.

Wonderful dining experience at Maha, each dish brilliantly prepared and composed, incorporating a vivid array of ingredients that worked harmoniously together. Kudos to our ever attentive waiter as well for being patient with our queries and made us feel at home.

Maha Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Mamasita, CBD MELB

One of the highlights from my gruelling experience undertaking the South Australian Matriculation (SAM) in Taylor's College 10 years ago would be the friends I have met there. From day 1 until the very last days of college, everyone in my class were absolute gems be it with helping cover each other's class absence to celebrating birthdays at nearby cafes/ restaurants to studying together after classes.

Moving forth, I hardly communicate with most of them but still have a handful that are currently residing in Melbourne, to which, I can never replace their time and advice throughout the years. And so, here we are at Mamasita's celebrating a decade of friendship with a night full of laughter and lame jokes.

Food was delish here but service could be improved as the bunch of us felt that staff were trying to rush us throughout our meal. Not sure why as the restaurant is not really busy and there were empty seats around us?

Opted for the feed me option at $49pp.

Nachos with dips - would have liked the nachos to be crispier but kudos for the yummy dip and guacamole that it came with.

A tad spicy from the chillis added but tasty nonetheless.

Shellfish tostadita - can't exactly taste the shellfish but aside from that, everything else was well seasoned.

Pork carnitas taco - again, well seasoned but the meat was a little bland and had a strange mushy texture to it.

Shared main of pork jowl, salad and tomato rice? As aforementioned, staff were not exactly the friendliest bunch that I have seen and so, we were merely guessing what we had that day. Pork meat was a little dry tho.

Sweetcorn ice cream and caramel popcorn. Not a big fan of corn but this was a good exception.

Apologies for the poor quality photos as I did not bring my DSLR with me but I shall in future trips, knowing that the bunch of us are prefer to feed our cameras first before we tuck in;)

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

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Beatrix, North Melbourne MELB

Quick catch up with a college friend over afternoon tea. First time I have set foot in North Melbourne, a foreign, industrial like suburb with possibly, only one row of shops to service the entire neighbourhood.

Easily noticeable due to a long queue outside this corner cafe, mostly patrons eagerly waiting to get takeaways. Silly me went into a nearby cafe for a quick drink and to use the washroom as I was unsure whether this cafe had washroom facilities.

Waited for about 15 minutes before the both of us were seated outdoors. Table service is available and yes, cakes/ tarts were available on a first come first served basis.

Wagon wheel and orange syrup cake - both equally yummy, the formal tasting much better compared to it's commercially available version as it was fresher. Orange syrup cake was not overly sweet and was something that I could have easily finished off myself had I not been sharing with this friend :p

Would certainly pop by again in the future, hopefully a tad earlier to avoid missing out on other treats.

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

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Europe: Florence, ITALY

Unlike metropolitan Milan and Rome, Florence has a more toned down charm and serene atmosphere, especially as the sun rises and sets over the city. A very easy city to navigate around and one that is filled with hidden gems in every corner, be it a traditional bottega housing a small collection of wines or a copy of Michelangelo's famous work, the David, casually posing for passerby outside a government building.

Known for the birth of Renaissance art and home to the Demedici's, Florence is no stranger to international attention and upon entry to this city, it's almost difficult to distinguish the city's lavish history by it's laidback nature.

Two nights here was far from enough to soak in everything about this city but perhaps, a later visit may be in the books. For now, snippets of the past will have to do.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Europe: Osteria Dai Zemei, Venice ITALY

Overcrowded, expensive and stinky. As what most people would say about this northern Italian city that is composed of islands and canals dating back to the glorious Venetian merchant days.

Whilst I cannot disagree about the sinister perfume wafting the city, more so when one gets closer to an old, crumbling building, nor can I argue about the number of gondolas and boats ferrying excited, tourists on a photo frenzy; I do disagree on expenses in the city as a visitor.

Accommodation may be expensive but food wise, I had no trouble finding a decent feed for less than 10euros. Sitting at restaurants located by a canal would cost an arm and leg but for those seeking a bite of local fare, I highly recommend checking out chicetti bars.

These bars offer quick meals that are filling and delicious, provided that one is happy to squeeze in with the locals or sacrifice the need for that celebrity inspired Instagram shot. We visited Osteria Dai Zemei after finishing our quick tour of the city to refuel ourselves before continuing our journey.

Chicetti bars offer small snacks or bar food to accompany drinks, mostly seafood type of dishes as topped onto pieces of bruschetta. The sister and I asked the friendly bar lady for her recommendations to which, she happily gathered a little feast for us.

We had two seafood and meat variations, the former being a codfish and sardine version, the latter, in the form of prosciutto. The codfish version was a pleasant blend of creaminess and saltiness whilst the fishy sardine version was toned down by a refreshing bed of salad underneath it. Both types of prosciutto bruschettas were paired with slightly more robust tasting flavours like capsicum.

A must try whilst in Venice for a reasonably priced good feed, minus the crowd 

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Europe: Pompi, Rome ITALY

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Am not entirely sure what this is about but hey, at least I can get my fix of tiramisu in the land that originated it, right? As per usual, Google guided me to Pompi, notably one of the better outlets serving this renowned Italian dessert, in a few varieties that is.

Located in the ever busy Piazza di Spagna, it was not difficult to find this shop although one has to be mindful of pickpockets lurking among the crowd of tourists and locals alike.

There was a small queue ahead of us when we arrived although it did move fairly quickly. Patrons would firstly pay for their order at the cashier and given a receipt listing the items that they have paid for to which, is presented to the fella behind the cake/ gelato cabinet.

The sister is not a big fan of sweets and so, we stuck to the good ol'fashioned coffee loaded tiramisu and ordered a pistachio flavoured version just for comparison sake. The sponge and cream combination was refreshing and light on the palate, not overly sweet nor over zealously infused with liquor.

On the other hand, pistachio version could have done better with a bit more pistachio flavour. Both were yummy although I wouldn't say they are a must try in Rome. Keep following to find more yummy posts to come over the next few weeks.

Europe: Chocolates BELGIUM

Belgium was a mini stopover for the sister and I prior to commencing our tour around Greece and Italy. We stayed in Brussels over four nights to which, every day was an opportunity for me to jog around until the sun rose, in an attempt to stay fit by burning extra calories from my meals.

My main agenda in Belgium was to be acquainted with their chocolates, in a similar fashion to what was done in Switzerland a few years before aka step into all the shops and try both the exclusive and classics. The sister was more than willing to go along in exchange for a justified amount of time spent roaming other parts of Belgium.

There were 5 main chocolatiers that were already familiar to me via extensive research and that would be Neuhaus, Galler, Leonidas, Godiva and Pierre Marcolini. I won't bore anyone with the history of each chocolatier which can be easily found on their website. These chocolatiers can be easily found at every corner of Brussels, making it all the more easier to get your chocolate fix sorted.

Neuhaus and Galler are quite comparable in terms of price and quality, the latter can be found in supermarkets although prices wise, there is not much of a difference. I love Neuhaus's fruity flavoured individual pralines and found them quite innovative in this aspect. Galler on the other hand, had a better selection of chocolate bars that are more portable and less susceptible to breakage in the suitcase.

Moving on to the slightly more expensive chocolatiers, Godiva and Pierre Marcolini are no stranger to giving chocolate fans a whiff of indulgence. Godiva does have a cafe in Brussels for patrons wanting to satisfy their chocolate fix in the form of cakes, waffles or in a drink.

Pierre Marcolini's range of chocolates are very detail orientated in terms of their origin and flavour profile. Yes, they do have a classic range but surely one would be better off trying something different whilst in a foreign country? Albeit pricier, they do make an impressive gift if the need to please someone arises.

After much research and study, my favourite chocolatier would have to be Godiva. Their chocolates had the perfect ratio of cocoa and milk, leaving a somewhat memorable aftertaste on the palate. Heading here for a satisfying piece of chocolate in its purest form wouldn't be such a bad idea. They do have a good variety of packaged gifts which survived my travels over the next month around Europe. Kudos to having good packaging as well.