Monday, October 5, 2020

Butter Mafia

It has been a good 6 months since I last posted here. Looking back, I realized how unproductive I was during the lockdown period. Gyms were closed so no more rushing out to attend classes; I have stopped working on weekends, I hardly spend any time looking at properties as house inspections are almost nil existence and most importantly, holiday plans are on hold until international travel resumes.

 Indirectly, this could be a sign for me to slow down and reflect on what matters most to me; quality time spent with family and with myself. Too often I push my limits in an attempt to attain what I presume to be "achievement" financially and physically, consequently, losing patience and self-worth when targets are not reached.

This year had been a lesson on it's own and one that I will remember whenever I take things for granted. Butter Mafia treats came in a timely manner during my reflection period, possibly God sent? :) 

I was kindly sent a package from Butter Mafia that included 6 decadent brownie logs and 3 cookies. I will go into more detail but for now, can we please appreciate that these treats are 100% gluten free and are handcrafted to taste delicious, nil compromise on flavour whatsoever.
Henchmen cookies - Peanut butter cookie fully loaded with hand cut chocolate chunks. A chewy, crunchy, sweet and salty little number and one that I could easily finish off at least 3 pieces of (despite my mind disagreeing). I am not a huge fan of thin chocolate chip cookies because it isn't satisfying enough for me but this fella proved me wrong.

And now, let's meet the 6 brownie logs aka the mob log. On the front row lies The Mistress surrounded by the Bad Boy brownie on the left and the Don on the right.

The mistress - lemon and passionfruit curd on vanilla biscuit. The perfect marriage of tangy, sweet and creamy on the palate, lightly dusted with fine coconut for added aroma. This would be the perfect little contrast to the other bolder brownie flavours.

Bad boy brownie - the ultimate brownie aka rich, decadent and loaded with roasted almonds and hand cut milk chocolate chunks.  What more can one ask of a brownie.

Don - a remake of the classic caramel slice but made better with the addition of roasted hazelnuts in the rich caramel layer and a chewy chocolate biscuit base. Caramel slice redefined luxuriously.

To the left lies the Mafia Darling and to the right, the Black Widow. 

Mafia Darling - decadent white chocolate salted caramel on a buttery vanilla biscuit, topped with tempered white chocolate with a lovely pink hue swirled into it. I was anticipating sweetness overload for this one but found it rather pleasant and easy to appreciate.

The Black Widow - When you think the Bad Boy brownie takes the cake (haha), the Black Widow is akin it's relative minus the nuts but filled with a layer of coffee caramel and dark chocolate. Ohh now this is one for the really hardcore chocoholics out there.

 Last but not least, the Mob wife; a rich and moist chocolate mud piece layered with raspberry pate. For those who love both chocolate and fruit, this is one not to miss. Would have loved more raspberry pate to balance off the chocolate flavour but then again, I have been overdosed on chocolate so...

Overall a really enjoyable afternoon for myself as I work my way through the various treats. One can easily order online from their website as delivery is available Melbourne wide (free delivery for those lucky peeps living within 5km of Northcote). 

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Yu Kitchen, Chadstone MELB

As the situation of COVID-19 worsens day by day, be it from panic buying to travel bans in place, it is only imperative to keep supporting each other and the local economy (not by panic buying tho!).

Many Asian establishments have been alienated in the process and unfortunately, this resulted in job losses and restaurant closures which makes it all the more important to reconsider avoiding places unnecessarily.

Located above Calia, this restaurant is currently offering a lobster banquet for 4, of which, the sister was extremely keen to try. Priced at $198, we thought the it was reasonably priced albeit portion wise, it is probably more suited for 3 individuals.

 Double boiled winter melon pork rib soup - flavourful and well seasoned.

 Lobster wok tossed with ginger and onion noodle - the highlight of the entire menu. Well presented and adequately prepared.

 Special fried rice - am a big fan of fried rice and loved this dish. Who knew the addition of tiny tobiko eggs would make the dish more flavourful.

 Wok tossed chicken with wild mushrooms and water chestnuts in black truffle - sceptical about the addition of black truffle but was impressed at how fragrant the dish was. Am a big fan of mushroom dishes and this was no exception. Chicken bits were well marinated, juicy and perfectly coated with the black truffle sauce.

 Wok tossed seasonal vegetables - nothing wrong with a bit of fibre in the diet!

Mango and chia seed pudding - not sure if this was a pudding as it tasted more like a sweet dessert soup, popular among Chinese restaurants. Having said that, kudos to the extra effort taken with cubing the honeydew(?). Not overly sweet and very refreshing.

Yu Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Piggery Cafe, Kallista MELB

Seeing as a long weekend was ahead of us, we decided on walking along the 1000 steps pathway located in Dandenong. On the way there, we found out that JB isn't quite ready yet to exit his house and so, the two of us, being hungry as always, decided to drop by a nearby cafe.

Piggery has been quite highly rated thus far and I can see why. The cafe is surrounded by lush greeny and ample of room for both kids and adult to roam around.

Coffee - I found it a tad weak and would recommend a cappuccino or espresso for those wanting a stronger kick of caffeine to kick start their day.

Scrambled eggs - nicely scrambled altho a little too salty. Good amount of chilli folded into it but nonetheless, a tasty afternoon treat for us.

Half chicken - Chicken is my staple at home and one that I would not order at a restaurant nor cafe because I am secretly sick of it haha. Having said that, we thoroughly enjoyed this dish thanks to its smoky, grilled aroma. Very tender and juicy chicken too it was!

Piggery Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Shanghai Red, Chadstone MELB

A very late Chinese New Year dinner with the potato pal and rather impromptu too. I vaguely recalled having weak arms post weight lifting at the gym and was in need of some sugar asap else my arms will be the root of my grief over the coming days.

After a change of initial plans, we dropped by a new-ish Chinese restaurant in Chadstone and as usual, went amok ordering whatever caught our eyes.

Crab roe and soft tofu stew - an interesting dish that undoubtedly has to go with a steaming bowl of jasmine rice. Tasty it was although at times, the dish had a gloopy texture to it, usually from the addition of cornstarch.

Xiao long bao - no strange to the dumpling scene, this is something that I would like to sample at every dumpling restaurant, if conditions permit :p Well seasoned and filled with delicious broth. A must eat when served hot.

Crispy king prawns tossed in salted egg yolk glace - a really yummy dish despite having a thick outer coating. As per usual, goes well with rice to subdue the saltiness from the salted egg yolk.

Shanghai Red Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Anada, Fitzroy MELB

At one of the casual pharmacy stints that I have worked at, I stumbled upon a fellow foodie who recommended this restaurant to me. Curiousity got the better of me and it did not take long before we made our way here.

Service was top notch in every aspect and ambience wise, I found it soothing and easy to communicate with my partner at the table.

Mushroom croqueta, queso Urgelia and truffle - a little disappointed with the portion size here as it was rather small for $5 per piece. The sister ate at this restaurant a few weeks before and upon comparing photos, the difference was far from marginal. Delicious nonetheless but would reconsider before reordering.

Grilled sardines, shallots, preserved lemon, olive and aioli - I like grilled sardine dishes and was quite fond of this dish. Flavours were balanced and the saltiness from the fish complemented the aioli's creaminess.

Seafood paella, octopus, calamari, mussels and blue grenadier - A yummy dish and one that I would have liked more of. There is something magical about the contrasting textures of warm, soft grains of rice against a thin bed of crunchy fried rice.

Stuffed lamb cutlet, smoky eggplant and seeds - another dish that I thoroughly enjoyed and one that I would have liked more of. Meat was juicy and well marinated, pairing well with the smokiness of the eggplant puree.

Can't recall the name of this dish but it was akin a solid form of pudding. Tasty and not overly sweet.

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

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Lupino, CBD MELB.

After visiting Italy back in 2018, I was blown away by the stark difference between authentic Italian pasta vs what we get in restaurants or commercially from supermarkets. I am no pasta connoisseur but I will try to avoid pasta related dishes for fear of disappointment.

Now Lupino was one of those restaurants on my radar prior to visiting the pasta motherland and admittedly, I am guilty of procrastinating a visit despite the many possible opportunities. Seeing as I would be in the CBD area on my day off, I decided to pick up the phone and book a table for the sister and myself.

Bread and butter - a staple in most restaurants although I was surprised that butter was served as opposed to olive oil. Just an observation.

Cauliflower fritto, aioli and white anchovy - the sister was keen on ordering this despite not knowing that was a fritto. Gamble well paid off as I found myself repeatedly dipping pieces of golden, crunchy fritto in the creamy aioli. Not entirely sure about the addition of thin slivers of white anchovies came with the dish but I gather it may be to reduce the overly oily sensation on one's palate?

Baked polpette in sugo - Sugo had a strong aroma of pureed tomatoes and was almost paste like in texture which worked well for coating each piece of meatball.

Cavatelli, Italian sausage, zucchini and saffron - I loved the aroma oozing from this dish and until this day, cannot find a better way to describe it. Floral like with a tinge of savoury and aromatic from what went into the making of the sausage mince. Pasta was delicious although can't say it reminded me of Italy. Close tho!

Ricotta gnocchi, pomodoro and buffalo mozzarella - I am a big fan gnocchi dishes although I tend to lean towards more potatoes in the gnocchi as opposed to a blend. Dish was tasty and portion wise, perfect. Would have liked this dish to come with meat tho but nevertheless, I knew what I was getting myself into:)

Tiramisu - not overly sweet nor alcoholic/ over caffeinated.  Loved every bite of this and even the sister who hardly sticks her fork into desserts was coming back for seconds.

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Food Republic Cafe, Blackburn

Impromptu lunch outing with the siblings before we partake in the mad afternoon rush at the grocery store. Ample space at the cafe and one that welcomes pets into the cafe itself.

Soy latte - thoroughly enjoyed this cuppa.

Eggs benedict - the boring sister's choice of brunch/lunch.

Duck fusilli pasta - a little bland in my opinion. Shredded duck meat tossed with pasta and topped with thin slices of cheese and a handful of spinach. Could do with some seasoning.

The Food Republic Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato