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 :)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Three One 2 One, Richmond MELB

Just like any other "normal" foodie, I tend to scroll through a restaurant/ cafe's instagram feed in an attempt to find an item that I want to order when I get there - time is money after all! The latest trend in the food scene would be those insanely sinful milkshakes that started in Canberra and slowly made its way onto Melbourne grounds.

Little did I know that one day, I would encounter this beast after restaurant owner, Krishna, invited me to try out the restaurant's newly launched menu. Companion and I shared a table with another fellow food blogger and her other half, of which, meant we managed to sneak pictures of each other's meals!

Wake me up thick shake - roundd one of this crazy journey started with a strong hint of caffeine paired with hazelnut syrup and generously laced with fairy floss, ferrero rocher and a large piece of roasted marshmallow. This, my friend, is not for the faint hearted.

Neverland - cookies and cream met tim tam, maltesers, gummy bears, fairy floss and snickers. This is a dream come true for the 10 year old in me and truthfully, all the individual sweets somehow complimented each other pretty well. Verging on the sweeter side of the scale and has made all those strenuous hours in the gym worthwhile.

Kick Ass Mac and Cheese - this was two meals bundled into one burger. Fellow blogger Ming enjoyed this thoroughly although she did struggle with the remaining few bites;)

The Ghetto 2.0 - fellow companion is a fan of cheeseburgers and this would be something I can see him indulge in whenever he's having a miserable day. Burger patty was flavourful and secret sauce gave it a little spicy kick. Were we glad the chef exercised restraint with the cheese because it allowed for the other ingredients to shine through.

The Italian - Ming's partner enjoyed his burger although it got a little messy when the bolognese started to ooze out of the burger. Pretty interesting burger and probably something I would happily dig into with a spoon;)

Soft shell crab burger - I love soft shell crabs and this gets the thumbs up from me. Was a little smaller compared to the other burgers but it fits into my hands and mouth perfectly so no qualms at all.
Krishna recommended us to try his favourite which is this waffle meets mac and cheese meets fried chicken combo. I love how well prepared the chicken pieces were and when drenched in the mac and cheese's sauce, it was like a match made in heaven. Kinda overtakes my obsession with soft shell crabs.

This blog post is made possible thanks to owner Krishna's hospitality. Delicious burgers and shakes and remember to come here hungry!;)

  Three One 2 One Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rasa Malaya, Doncaster East MELB

Malaysian food will always have a special place in my tummy no matter where my feet bring me. I have recently been more engrossed in exploring the eastern suburbs for good feeds than venturing into the city as this enables me to get my fix quicker.

Service here is friendly and nothing makes me happier than seeing staff members getting along well, something not commonly seen in most Asian restaurants.

Fried kuey teow - seasoning was on point and had a lovely charred fragrance to it.

Spinach with garlic – can’t go wrong with this combination and spinach was cooked perfectly.

I can’t say that I am familiar with this dish albeit spending most of my childhood culinary experiences at home. It was heavily laced with pickles with the addition of tomatoes to give it some freshness and all of this was paired with crunchy, deep fried fish bits. Not too bad but be mindful that a serve could suffice for two adults.

Overall, I had an enjoyable meal here and wouldn’t mind revisiting this place and sampling their other dishes. Feel free to drop me some recommendations J

Rasa Malaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Axil Coffee Roasters, Malvern East MELB

Back in March, I have visited Axil in Hawthorn and have raved about it since then. Despite having a strong affection for that café, I am often discouraged by the thought of having to travel for an extra 25 minutes just to get my fix, especially on Sunday aka my only day off.

Upon realizing that Axil has started to operate in Chadstone, I was beyond thrilled but also feared that it may be another expanding business plan turned rotten due to overzealous expansion. Varied quality standards are the norm in this situation.

After testing the waters by purchasing a little takeaway cuppa, I relaxed a bit knowing that it still oozed a familiar roasted coffee bean aroma that is strong enough to motivate any limp soul out there. Which eventually led to a brunch moment as I was passing the area.

Latte – I tend to have lattes on Sundays due to their milder caffeine content. This cuppa had cappuccino characteristics that have been slightly toned down with the addition of full cream milk. No complains whatsoever.

Croissant – their strawberry and matcha cruffin looked too tempting to pass and boy, was it worth the extra time spent at the gym. The croissant layers were not excessively heavy on the butter component which allowed it to be quite fluffy, especially after being reheated for us. 

Potato hash with pulled pork, poached eggs, red cabbage, apple. mint and cider hollandaise - There was a generous amount of apple salad on this plate and every single ingredient married well. Hollandaise had the right balance of acidity, creaminess and provided sinful play to an otherwise healthy looking plate of food. Not that I am whining about it.

Zucchini, corn and haloumi fritters with poached eggs, avocado, spinach and relish - I was tossing between this and the lamb ragu gnocchi. Wished I had the latter but hey, this is a pretty good feed for any vegetarians out there. Flavour was evident although would have liked a little more crunch from the fritter for that added textural dimension.

  Axil Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Chong Qing Hot Pot, Glen Waverley MELB

Call me crazy for heading here when I should be safely bundled up in my blanket during a heavy Melbourne downpour. I have been quite a famished eater lately and the thought of having a good feed to warm myself up seemed too appealing to forgo.

Service is decent and probably a little better as compared to other Chinese restaurants. Diners get the option of having ala carte or having a hot pot meal - ala carte for me that day as I am not a hot pot person.

Brinjal - I feared this may be unnecessarily drenched in oil and although it was well coated in it, it was not as bad I had initially thought. A little spicy and sweet at the same time, brinjal pieces had been given a quite deep fry treatment to prevent them from getting soggy.

Fish fillets in chilli oil - Abundant of fish fillets swimming in this bowl of Szechuan pepper infused oil bath. Has a good kick of chilli and is quite well priced for the amount of fish that you get. Highly recommended for the hungry consumer out there:)

Chong Qing Hot Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Grand Hotel, Richmond MELB

When friends from interstate and overseas drop by, a celebratory dinner has to be on the table. Its been awhile since I last had Italian and explored Richmond so why not kill two birds with one stone?;)

Service is a little slow as this restaurant was quite busy when we arrived for dinner but when we were served, we did receive topnotch attention. After placing our orders, we slowly picked at the complimentary bread and olives served whilst continuing with our catch up chatter.

Calamari alla griglia - chargrilled baby calamari with anchovy, parsley and caper dressing. A very simple dish that utilized fresh ingredients, resulting in a phenomenal tasting appetizer that is light on the palate.

Kingfish carpaccio, beetroot, pickled radish, walnuts and salmoriglio dressing - a pretty plate dressed with vibrant coloured ingredients. Yet another refreshing dish that is not overly bold with flavour, complimenting the subtle sweetness of the raw fish.

Roast scallops, chestnut and pine mushrooms - am a big fan of scallops and loved this dish. Scallops seared to perfection and generously topped with a chestnut/butter foam.

Tagliatelle with oxtail and porcini mushroom ragu - a fellow member of the table mentioned that this dish was a little too salty to his liking but aside from that, the pasta was prepared al dente and tasted much better than the store bought version. Oxtail and mushroom ragu was flavourful and worth a try if you love ragu dishes.

Fish of the day - mackerel prepared well and in terms of portion, it was better sized than what you may find at other restaurants. Served with a salad medley.

Pea risotto with pancetta and asparagus - Aside from gnocchi, I do enjoy a good plate of risotto which was what I had that day. Creamy, flavourful and topped with an assortment of textures ranging from the soft cheese to the crunchy pancetta bits, I would highly recommend this dish if you love risottos as much as I do.

Italian donuts served with a honeycomb ice cream - took a little while for the bombolinis to appear as it has to be cooked upon order. We finished this in a couple of mouthfuls and it was the perfect way to end an enjoyable meal.

For those not keen on having a sweet ending to the meal, do try out their affogato with a side of hazelnut liquor. Being a little sneaky won't hurt eh;)

Grand Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato