Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rustica Sourdough Bakery, Fitzroy MELB

Brunch dates are starting to pick up from my end, enabling me to try out various brunch spots that I have not even thought about. Small cafe with an impressive front counter filled with delectable pastry goodies ranging from caramelized doughnuts, miniature savoury tarts to glistening fruit danishes. Also worth taking note of the sandwiches neatly arranged, ready to be toasted upon order.

Chai latte - a pleasant way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

 Scrambled chilli eggs with spring onion, coriander, bacon and shaved manchego on sourdough - Would have liked the eggs to be a little more creamy but aside from that, the sharpness from the cheese, saltiness from the bacon and the aromatic herbs jazzed up this ordinary scrambled egg dish immensely.

 Chorizo - small bits for $5, questionable deal this was.

 Croissant stuffed with fruit, sprinkled with popping candy and nuts - a fun dish to have albeit not the healthiest hehe. Croissant was buttery, flaky and extremely fragrant upon presentation on our table.

Rustica Sourdough Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bean sprout and Cucumber salad recipe

The sister and I were in the mood for sprucing up a Japanese feast a few months ago and being the vegetarian wannabe/ health nut that I am, I happily signed up for preparing the vegetarian side dishes.

Bean sprout salad:
A bag of bean sprouts
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 clove garlic

1. Cook bean sprouts for 1-2 minutes.
2. Incorporate the rest of the ingredients with the cooked bean sprouts before refrigerating for at least 30 minutes.
3. Serve cold.

Cucumber salad:
1 tbsp seaweed, finely sliced
1 cucumber, sliced
1/4 tsp salt

Sesame dressing:
3 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds, finely grounded
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar

1. Allow the cucumber and seaweed mix to sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before draining any excess fluid absorbed by the salt away.
2. Mix the cucumber salad with the sesame dressing and serve chilled.

Hellenic Republic, Brunswick MELB

Close to a month ago WL brought me here after seeing how excited I get whenever I gushed about George Colambaris's restaurants. I love the idea of hearty meals shared around the table and we all know the Greeks and Italians do this best.

Semi-casual atmosphere, efficient service and friendly staff - next thing to do is to pick our meal, of which, is no simple task for first timers and so, the sharing menu became our next best bet. Feed me more, please :p

Mezzethakia - selection of small tastes including pickled vegetables, pita bread, taramosalata, kefalograviera saganaki, pastourma and kingfish. Sadly, our table was not big enough to accommodate the many little dishes presented to us and I felt a little rushed to finish off each plate in order to make way for the others. Portion wise, was a little small albeit being well presented.

Grain salad - always a big fan of grains and salads and thought this was one of the yummiest versions I have had. Slightly sweet and packed full of flavour.

The next course was the main which compromised of slow roasted lamb shoulder, chicken from the spit, lahanosalata (cabbage salad) and tzatziki. One of my favourite courses as we all know how well the Greeks are with turning their protein into succulent, drool worthy morsels. A meal combo that I won't mind ordering again at subsequent visits.

Dessert came in the form of loukoumades and risogalo. Loukoumades was polished off in less than a minute. Crunchy, fluffy and sprinkled with a good dose of sugar, followed by a generous drizzle of syrup or honey. The risogalo was a milder version in contrast as it was not as sweet although secretly sinful from the addition of a salted caramel layer.

Hellenic Republic Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Murasaki Tanuki, Wantirna MELB

Met up with a friend for Japanese a couple of weeks ago at a restaurant near her place. Small cafe, friendly staff and a simple menu consisting of the usual options available. Place was quite packed when we arrived there slightly after 7pm and I would recommend bookings for larger groups.

Una-ju bento - I like how there were so many different types of bento options to choose from. Bento boxes are excellent for portion control as it allows users/ diners to moderate their intake of protein, carbohydrates or fiber. At Murasaki, each bento box had a small serve of fresh sashimi as appetizers followed by a small serve of fruit and vegetables, preceding the main course and steamed rice.

Chicken karaage bento - 

Murasaki Chirashi - I have been quite fond of chirashi bowls which are usually filled with rice and topped with a fresh assortment of sashimi pieces, neatly layered over one another. A small serve of pickled ginger is provided for cleansing one's palate after consuming different cuts of fish. A favourite and a must have for me.

Matcha roll cake and millefeuille cake - the friend mentioned that cakes available at the front counter are usually sold out pretty quickly and its best to order them while they are still within sight.Millefeuille cake was worth every calorie and is balanced in terms of sweetness. Matcha cake was spongy, light and packed with a good dose of matcha goodness. Both equally satisfying and worthy of a second trip:)

Murasaki Tanuki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Don't Tell Mama Shh.., Doncaster, MELB

WL dragged me to revisit my doctor for a better analysis of my blood test results and after much coaxing, I obliged. Surely one cannot deny bribery in the form of hearty food to fill my soul regardless of the blood test results.

Korean food is synonymous with bubbling, spicy stews but I find that Melbourne has it's own twist to the usual suspects with the incorporation of interesting salads and fried chicken. Yes, the Korean fried chicken trend is still going strong.

Ox tongue - seasoned and pan fried ox tongue with salad. One of the yummiest and freshest ox tongue dishes I have tasted.

Spicy sausage stew - we chose the pork based broth and ordered the combo which includes ramen noodles, sliced cheese, dumplings and vegetables. One of the neatest laid out stews, filled with an assortment of meat and vegetables. Always a bonus when staff members offer to top up the broth which often times, would dry out from the cooking.

Seafood and spring onion pancake - verging on the greasier side of the scale and could do with a bit more seafood.

Don't Tell Mama Shh... Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Indochine, Box Hill MELB

Box Hill would not cross my mind when I think of Vietnamese food. Due to my hectic work schedule coupled by the need to hit the gym as much as possible, dinner time is usually a bit later for me and so, very rarely do I get the opportunity to head to Springvale for good Vietnamese food.

Vaguely remembering a decent Vietnamese restaurant visit in Box Hill with a few friends last year, I suggested this place to WL and now, it seems to be one of my favourite places to go, much to his displease :p

Quail, marinated in five spice and fried - not bad although a little steep in price.

Spring rolls - so many different types to choose from and after much contemplating, we opted for Hanoi, a pork, prawn and mushroom deep fried version. Delicious but can be a bit messy to eat, that is, if you want to enjoy it the traditional way by somehow juggling all the ingredients on a thin, crisp piece of lettuce leaf.

Pad Thai - truthfully, one of the better versions I have tried in Melbourne. Each strand of noodle was well coated with the tamarind sauce and given a good dose of peanuts and beansprouts. Would happily reorder this on my next visit.

Beef pho - a standard bowl of noodles and as a general rule of thumb, always better value at Springvale but for convenience and ambience, it's a decent feed.

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hodori Korean Garden, Clayton MELB

Just like every other year, the Korean fever kicks in when the temperature drops even a slight bit. Judging by the number of Korean restaurants scattered around Clayton, I daresay my tummy would be well entertained throughout this season.

Army stew - a mash of easily sought ingredients in a spicy broth. Minus the processed meat, it is pretty healthy :p

Nothing beats the thrill of having an assortment of side dishes served at Korean restaurants. Always something different be it on a different day or at another restaurant.

Seafood pancake - loaded with seafood pieces and enticing in appearance. I have always been fond of doughy textured food and this was no exception. Delicious.

Fried chicken - still trending this year is the Korean fried chicken, much loved to be shared around the table and when it comes with an assortment of sauces to choose from, these finger licking good chicken bites are not going anywhere anytime soon. Not too greasy for my liking and personally, goes well with a sweet/spicy sauce.

Bulgogi - what is Korean food without a serve of marinated beef pieces. Well seasoned and still succulent to bite.

  Hodori Korean Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Archie's All Day, Fitzroy MELB

Fitzroy seems to be the lunch venue most of the time for both WL and mine, partly because of convenient car parking as compared to somewhere in the heart of the CBD. After close to two months, I feel pretty confident with hovering myself around this brunch laden suburb.

Juice and chai latte - one of us likes sipping on sour liquids whilst the other prefers hot, mildly caffeinated beverages.

Crumbled rockling fillet burger, seasoning, iceberg and tartare - delishh and fresh with the fluffiest, toasted sesame buns:)

Crispy poached eggs, daikon kimchi, edamame, enoki mushroom, sesame dressing and sourdough toast - an Asian inspired brekkie with a myriad of veggies for the healthiest gut. Reiterated my love for kimchi and now that it's close to winter, something to look for in the Asian department.

Archie's All Day Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato