Monday, September 29, 2014

Jalan Alor and Waffee, CBD MELB

Strolling in the city can be both a good or bad thing. Good in a sense that I can explore every nook and corner of the city but equally bad that I will be drawn to temptations. This time round, I walked past what seems to be a Malaysian restaurant and instantly decided to head in.

Pan mee with minced pork ~ good textured noodles and minced pork was well marinated. Always good to order something on the menu when there are so many variations of it.

Fried rice ~ fried rice had a lovely charred taste to it and was seasoned well. Would have liked a bit of spice in it but oh wells, can't complain:)

After strolling further around the CBD area, a quick stop at this popular waffle/coffee hub seemed like a good idea. Sure I can do a waffle takeaway (which costs around $3.80?) but being the tourist that I am, I had to sit in and dine. No regrets though.

Chocolate galore ~ the waffles here are definitely different from the ones I am used to but somehow, they reminded me of a particular waffle that a French colleague of mine made. The waffles were slightly denser in terms of texture and still has the same bread-ish taste to it. I am probably bad at describing it so you'll have to try it out and give me your interpretation.

Tiramisu waffle ~ the friendly cashier recommended this to me and I loved it. The waffle had been soaked with a strong coffee concoction before it got layered with mascarpone cheese, cream and a dollop of coffee ice cream. It is divine and a must try!

Jalan Alor on Urbanspoon Waffee Waffles+Coffee on Urbanspoon

Bourke Street Bakery Ginger Brulee Tart hints

Having previously attempted this fragile recipe in the past, I was not too keen on having another go at it because...let's just say I do not have enough patience to withstand the entire process. My brulee turned out overcooked at lumpy which was a shame because the flavours were pretty good.

That was about a year ago. Moving on, I've decided to incorporate a lot more patience whilst trialling out the recipe and to my surprise it turned out alright. I've noticed a lot of bloggers sharing this recipe so rather than repost the same thing, I'll share some tips I've picked along the way.

The more the merrier. You want to extract as much flavour as you can from the cardamon, cinnamon and ginger. The overnight process helped tremendously but you can also double or triple the spice quantities or dry roast them to bring out their stronger characters.I broke my spices into smaller pieces (smaller surface area, higher dispersion rate?). That's just my theory.

The cream. Yes, you need to watch over it whilst it's cooking over a pot of boiling water. And keep stirring too while you're at it. A higher flame is not going to do much nor is stirring vigorously going to help either. It will thicken up after 13 minutes but be careful of not turning it into a curdle. I found a bit of curdle at the bottom of my bowl and quickly strained the cream. We want that smooth consistency, right?

Last but not least, I would suggest leaving the tart alone after filling the tart shell with the cream. It will further solidify and so, please make sure you don't overcook it otherwise your entire hour is thrown down the drain. Have fun with it and you will be rewarded:)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Grand Tofu and Mocha Jo's, Glen Waverley MELB

There are so many perks of living near a food street that is filled with restaurants/ cafes which suits my palate. Firstly, prices are decent which means that excessive splurging (except for special events!) is eliminated and taste wise, worth every penny spent.

I have ventured out to Kingsway for more than a couple of dinners and am never disappointed with what it has to offer. One can choose for Asian cuisine that further categorizes into Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese and Indochina whilst if you prefer something not as traditional, there are a handful of fancier restaurants to go for. My first *cheapskate* pick will always have to be something close to my heart because it leaves a particular satisfaction that is irreplaceable.

I particularly like Grand Tofu as you do get a good range of Malaysian food at around $10/ dish and portion is definitely generous. Having been here at least three times, I constantly find myself ordering something different on every visit to surprise myself:)

Salted fish beehoon noodles ~ I have not had this before but was recommended to give it a go. Noodles had a good tinge of saltiness from the salted fish which then mellows off as it mixes with the vermicelli noodles.

Char kuey teow ~ I prefer this version over the others that I have tried in Melbourne purely because it has that "wet" consistency, making it not extremely dry for the palate but rather, allows for ease of slurping. Has a tiny kick of spiciness for that added zest in life:)

Yong tau foo ~ this is a popular cuisine in Malaysia being a dish that can be shared among many people. An entire bowl of soup will be filled with an array of vegetables that are stuffed with fish paste which then gets cooked in the broth. At Grand Tofu, you have the option of having tom yum, curry or clear broth.

Now, for those of you keen on having something a bit more fancier for a date or for a girls' night out, I would recommend Mocha Jo's. Brilliant atmosphere, friendly staff and everything that came out from the kitchen looked amazing.

Chips with aioli and ketchup ~ chips arrived at our table piping hot and best of all, not soaking in oil. The aioli had a good kick of acidity to it whilst the ketchup brought along a somewhat mild sweetness. Could easily have this whilst chatting with a couple of friends and a cocktail on hand!:)

Sliders ~ mini sliders that are Asian inspired. Too yummy and adorable:)

Sticky date pudding ~ this is the popular dessert choice on the menu. Very decadent and surely not stinging on vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce. Loved every single bite of it and wished it wouldn't stay on my hips.

The Grand Tofu on Urbanspoon Mocha Jo's on Urbanspoon

Fa-Fah, Chadstone MELB

Quick shopping trip to Chadstone aka my new found favourite outlet that is conveniently close to home and with 70% of my favourite stores under one roof, this is the too good to be true option. Being both a shopaholic and foodie at the same time can be tiring, physically and mentally.

We stumbled upon this place out of curiousity and the scent of roasted meat was enough to draw us into the premises. No idea what to order? How about ordering the plate that has a bit of everything on it? We got a plate of roasted pork, barbequed pork and roasted chicken. Meat was very tender, juicy and flavoursome. For a non-franchised or publicity deprived outlet, I was very pleased to have popped by here because that means I can recommend new places to my peeps;)

We had the assorted meat dish with noodles that were coated in some sort of sweet-ish/ savoury-ish sauce that compliments the meat really well. Highly recommended:)

Fa-fah on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chokolait Emporium, Lonsdale Street MELB

Chocoholics reunite! I am no chocolatier myself (I usually go for supermarket brands like cadbury, kit kat or even lindt whenever I feel the need for chocolate however....I can't say no to visiting a chocolate cafe when the opportunity arises:) A bit of dark chocolate every now and then is good for you and tastes even better when shared:)

This little place is conveniently located in the Emporium mall which makes it a good spot to chill out after a long day of walking around Bourke Street. We did not sample any of their chocolate pieces but instead, opted for a couple of drinks and a pavlova to share. Pavlova was recommended to us by the cashier. We were extremely surprised as we were expecting a chocolate mud cake or pudding to be shoved at us!

Iced chocolate was very decadent despite it costing slightly more compared to other places. However, worth every penny and had no problems slurping it down.

Hot dark chocolate ~ this is purely for diehard chocolate fans out there. I felt as tho I was literally gulping down melted chocolate! It was very rich, creamy and being a dark chocolate drink, it was not overly sweet for my liking. Such a wonderful treat!

Pavlova ~ very rarely do I have pavlovas because 1) I have never met a good one in my entire life before and 2) they are usually overloaded with spoonfuls of sugar. I like my sugar but at times, too much is a no no. This slice of cake was made well aka fluffy light and not overly sweet or cracked and when topped with some cream and strawberries, it was too good to resist. Wouldn't mind more if I could fit it into me:9

Chokolait Emporium on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sushi Hon, Lonsdale St MELB

I have always shun away from eating in shopping mall food courts because most of them tend to be exorbitantly priced and very rarely taste good. Don't really mind if the food tastes meh if I am paying more than necessary, this won't be a happy foodie that's for sure.

However, upon noting that a foodie friend dined here and left a happy diner, curiousity struck me and I had to pop by. It is akin to sushi train in Adelaide but everything is priced at $4.50 per plate except for the gold plates, to which, costs about $7 (correct me if I am wrong here).

Surprise surprise, food was actually good and ingredient wise, everything was fresh. I'll let the pictures do the talking, shall I?;)

Conclusion? Very impressed with Sushi Hon (located in the Emporium mall. A win for shopaholics needing food) and I would recommend popping by for a quick bite. I believe the menu varies on a daily basis, based on the type of ingredients that the kitchen is able to obtain for the day. Will head over for a second visit next time and shall update this post then!

Sushi Hon on Urbanspoon

Mamak, Lonsdale St MELB

Did someone say Malaysian food? Yes sireee, I can easily be spotted in a Malaysian restaurant whenever I am in the cbd area, mostly because I know that I will get satisfying food at affordable prices:) Having been to the mamak in Sydney, I was curious to know whether the Melbourne version could live up to expectations and true enough, they did not disappoint. Keep reading to find out more!:)

Roti telur ~ always good to have a friend working in a restaurant/ cafe as they would know what's best to recommend to you. To dear friend of mine, if you are reading this, this is a shout out to you and your awesome tastebuds haha. Fluffy soft roti with spicy curry sauce to drench every spoonful of roti with!

Mee goreng ~ this is one of the few things that I usually order whilst mamak-ing. Very good replica of the one back home:)

Sambal belacan kangkung ~ we all need a bit of veggies in our diet, ya know;)

Roti canai with kaya ~ favourite dessert from the menu. Not too much kaya and not overly sweet for a dessert, especially after a heavy meal.

Ais kacang aka shaved ice drizzled with rose syrup, coconut milk and served with an assortment of jellies and sweet corn puree ~ this is the malaysian version of ice cream, perfect for a hot summer day or after a spicy meal:)

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 15, 2014

LuxBite, South Yarra MELB

I cannot believe how fast time flew since I last visited Luxbite (as seen here aka blog post dated back in 2011!). Luxbite has obviously expanded itself heaps since then and I can see a lot of new additions to the cake display and on their Instagram account:)

Bread pudding with pandan anglaise ~ yummm..The warmth from the pandan flavoured cream turned this non-Asian treat into something that I am familiar with. If I am stick thin, drinking this may be an option. However, I did drown every piece of bread pudding with it:p

Lollipop bag cake ~ as seen on Masterchef, this was something I had to try out. True enough, each and every layer is prepared separately and somehow harmonizes well. I can taste the mint, popping candy, banana essence and redskin layers. A very fun piece of cake but definitely not a piece of cake to make!

Green tea cheesecake ~ I have been meaning to make green tea cheesecake for some time but never knew what how to incorporate it with the cheesy ingredient. And having this, I might have an idea although I am not sure how I'm going to pull it off haha. Not overly bitter nor too sweet for my liking. If only it was a bit bigger (more for me!)

Macarons ~ I have had these before in the past and was wowed by it. Am still blown away by them but this time round, I have the luxury of dropping by every weekend to grab a few pieces as opposed to doing takeaways! These little things are packed full of flavour!:)

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 13, 2014

NL House, Carlton MELB

A very small post dedicated to a cafe that serves a really good nasi lemak. For those unfamiliar with nasi lemak, it is actually rice that had been prepared with coconut milk (and some use pandan leaves as well) for that added rich aroma and this rice is best served with a fried/ boiled egg, sambal, fried anchovies, roasted peanuts and slices of cucumber.

Having said that, do bear in mind that different establishments serve their own interpretation of the dish so its always good to know what's on the plate before ordering it (be a foodie like me!). NL house's nasi lemak is simplicity done well and I am uber happy to know that there's so many finger licking good Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne *claps hands*

NL House (Nasi Lemak House) on Urbanspoon

Norsiah's Kitchen, Carlton MELB

It's hard to capture a picture perfect image of curries but doing my best is all I could do:/ The pictures included in this blog post obviously does not do the food justice but mind you, for less than $10 for a satisfying meal, this place is a must go regardless of whether you;re a student or working Melbournian:) Tiny eatery but friendly staff and quick meals!

Had the sambal egg with vegetables and beef curry and it was yummy. Tender meat and good use of spices in the different individual types of curries.

Norsiah's Kitchen on Urbanspoon