Thursday, November 29, 2018

San Telmo, CBD MELB

I have been wanting to dine here since last year but never did find time to initiate an outing here. I do appreciate a good piece of steak and coupled by the fact that it's part of my post birthday celebration, it was the perfect excuse to brave Melbourne's downpour on a Thursday evening.

Service was not very attentive as the restaurant was fairly busy and overall, the atmosphere could have been better if not for the loud music.

Lamb and mushroom empanada - Akin Malaysia's version of curry puff. Filling was yummy but at $6, it was a little too dear to have ordered more.

Calamar - char grilled cuttlefish with tomatoes, almond hummus and watercress. Light and refreshing best describes this dish, a perfect entree before we commence on the heartier plates.

Mejilla de Cerdo - braised Berkshire pork jowl with crackling. Again, another delicious number that had been well seasoned and marinated, paired well with crispy crackling. I would happily order this dish if it came in a main size. It was that good.

For our mains, I opted to try the juicier cuts of steak such as the hanger and flank parts as it would truly reflect how well a chef can perform with the un-premium cuts of meat. And yes, I was very impressed with both dishes. Seasoned perfectly, with a slight caramelised, salty exterior made all the more tempting by a char grilled aroma. No sauce needed at all.

Tarta de chocolate - what appears to be a seemingly ordinary chocolate tart was actually one of the better ones that I have tasted. The tart's filling was warm and gooey whilst the shell enclosing it was rich and firm, providing good coverage for it. Ice cream was equally delicious but could not out match the delicious filling.

Flan: dulce de leche creme caramel with salted peanut praline. I absolutely loved this piece as well. The small but potent scoop of dulce de leche on top of the creme caramel was incredibly yummy and I was begging for more after each bite. Salted peanut praline was generous in terms of the amount of nuts used but again, there can only be one star of the dish and this was sitting on top of the creme caramel. 

  San Telmo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Baba Sus, Glen Iris MELB

Caught up with a college friend over the weekend and albeit said friend arriving a little late, we still managed to have a meaningful conversation over a couple of hours.

Parking was not difficult as street parking was easily available and there's even a train station nearby for those wanting to park at the station.

Matcha latte - with a teddy bear staring back at me. Would have liked a little more matcha oomph here but otherwise, it was a treat on a cool day.

The baba sus - crispy pork belly with carrot miso puree, paw paw salad in nam jim dressing. The vibrant colours from the dish was enough to catch anyone's attention and flavour wise, it was indeed flavourful.

Mixed Japanese mushroom with ponzu butter sauce, proscuitto, poached egg and toast. Overall a very light dish with a good array of mushrooms in it. Rather than concentrating on our conversation, I was more interested in wiping off every bit of that ponzu butter sauce with bread.

Baba Sus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, November 23, 2018

Bistro Morgan, Chadstone MELB

Of late, I have been moderately inactive in going out to eat as it can be a financial constraint at times and also, may possibly slow my fitness training process. I have been, for the longest time, aiming to reach my desired peak stamina and alas, am more determined now then ever to attain it before summer ends next year.

I can never say no to cheat meals/ snacks and am constantly striving to reach a balance with moderation. A single treat would not jeopardise my efforts but rather, fuel me to push harder in subsequent sets. Am super pleased that my friend had also encouraged me to incorporate weight training else I would never have considered it.

With the donut trend on the rise here in Melbourne, it was only natural to sample them from various establishments. Having heard of Bistro Morgan and with the opening of its new outlet in Chadstone, it seemed only reasonable for me to get a few as post-workout treats;)

Priced at $5 or $5.50 for one, it isn't the cheapest version in the market. That being said, I do admit that this is a good example of quality vs quantity whereby quality wins hands down.

Bought the gaytime crunch, sneaky snickers and vanilla custard for sharing. The actual donut dough itself was fluffy and light. The exterior, covered in lashes of chocolate sauce and nuts, may look intimidating but I did not think of it as being overly sweet. A donut a day would suffice, anymore would make my pancreas work overtime.

Verdict? Definitely worth the hype and am on the lookout for new flavours in next month's menu :p

  Bistro Morgan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Louis, Fitzroy MELB

A few days ago, I was graciously invited for a meal at his newly established cafe. Amidst the hustle and bustle often associated with Fitzroy, be it when driving on the otherwise congested roads or when entering crammed eateries, it's nice to know that there is a quaint cafe off Moor Street that offers one serenity away from the chaos.

Whilst the menu consists of mostly traditional fares such as scrambled eggs, smashed avocado and eggs on toast, there are a few dishes, fused with Asian elements, for those wanting something different for the day.

Soy flat white with hot chocolate - Nothing beats having a freshly brewed cup of coffee even in the middle of the day. My day started out pretty meh due to lack of sleep and to have missed the train as well as not getting on the city loop train...well, that sums out my distress at that time. Henceforth, I needed this fella to jump start my day again.

Korean fried chicken burger with Asian slaw, Korean chilli mayo, cheddar on milk buns and potato crisps. I like how the burger did not turn out greasy but instead, every single ingredient held its integrity well.

Benny - pulled pork with pickled cabbage, poached eggs and sriracha bernaise on croquettes. Albeit seemingly heavy for a brunch/lunch dish, I found it surprisingly the opposite. Pulled pork was very flavourful and croquettes were well made and cooked. Would have liked a little more fire in the bernaise sauce but aside from that, no qualms whatsoever.

Dorayaki pancakes - filled with banana butter, bruleed banana, coconut pandan whipped cream, toasted coconut flakes and pistachio gelato. This fella caught my eye on the menu and was I glad to have tried it. Definitely not sickeningly sweet and pancakes were fluffy light, just how I like my pancakes to be. Lots of textural elements on this dish but all paired well together.

Overall, I had thoroughly enjoyed my lunch here. Yummy food complimented by a serene atmosphere and attentive staff members.

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

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Europe: La Maree, Brussels BELGIUM

Belgium oh easy town to wander around and one that is full of delicious treats or delicacies lurking at every corner. Just like the Spaniards, the Belgians halt restaurant or cafe operations until approximately 7pm where business recommences as per usual. Well, at least for the traditional restaurants..waffle shops in touristy locations do not really account for this population.

Being the foodie that I am, I dragged the sister to La Maree, reputably one of the better moules et frites joints within our vicinity and albeit coming back here early on day 3 (we were too peckish on day 1), the restaurant was still fully booked.

Outdoor seating it was for the both of us and lady lucky was shining brightly at us in the weather department. Service was prompt and friendly initially although their pace slowed down once the restaurant starts to get busy.

Fish with veggies - please excuse me for the once again, inadequate dish description. My phone had sneakily deleted an entire day's worth of photos and one the photos included was of the menu. Fish was soft, buttery and paired well with the mildly seasoned steamed vegetables.

Moules et frites - mussels cooked in white wine, served with chips. The epitome of my visit here and true enough, La Maree exceeded expectations. Mussels were plump, juicy and well cooked in a milky, alcohol infused broth, seasoned cautiously. Going overboard in flavour here would certainly destroy the mussels' overall taste and I am glad the chef took great care with them.

Chips were nothing short of a good chip. They were crunchy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bao House, Glen Waverley MELB

Kingsway in Glen Waverley is one of the few places that I constantly revisit from time to time due to convenience and I daresay that I have been to each restaurant/ cafe at least twice in my life. When owner Oskar invited me for a meal at his newly opened restaurant, I eagerly jumped at that opportunity.

The restaurant serves Chinese dishes and one can choose from rice or noodle dishes to heartier sharing plates. Ample of seating area if one can find parking on the streets as it can get quite chaotic during meal times.

Carrot, water chestnut and sugarcane drink - very refreshing and served us well after a rather hot day in Melbourne.

Ginseng chicken soup - Ironically, the hot weather did not stop us from having hot soup for dinner. Light consistency, boosting a mildly pleasant chicken aroma to it.

Prawn dumplings - I am a big fan of dumplings and this was right up my alley. Generous filling and comes served in a soup or dry version.

Black pepper beef fillet claypot rice - Claypot rice is one of those dishes that I rarely have in Asia because the idea of having a scorching hot meal in an already hot country was not appealing. Oskar convinced us to try his claypot dishes and boy, did we not regret it at all.

The crispy rice texture complimented the soft pieces of gravy covered beef fillet well, giving it a coincidental contrast in textures and flavour. One of my favourite dishes for the night and one that I would highly recommend to anyone coming here.

Gai lan with oyster sauce - we all need some roughage, yes?

Coconut jelly - Oskar surprised us with this for dessert and it was a good way to end our meal. Light, refreshing and full of coconut essence, this may be a popular item during the hot summer months. The sister happily scrapped the coconut for the extra bits of coconut flesh.

Bao House 煲宫 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Europe: Vanilla Gelati Italiani and sushi, Milan ITALY

From Lake Como, an hour's drive brought us to Milan where we spent half a day there. After visiting the Duomo, we had time for a quick lunch and a visit to a gelateria.

Vanilla Gelati Italiani is located just behind the Duomo and as per usual, the array of choices is enough to make one forget about counting calories.  Payment is taken at the cash register first before proceeding to choosing your flavours. The sister chose a fruity flavoured gelato whilst I stood by my pistachio.

I was using pistachio flavour as a marker for every gelateria I visit. Deliciously creamy and flavourful it was, a taste of Milan conveniently located too.

Now for lunch...we did not have many options being that we are in the heart of Milan. Most places are overpriced and probably a little stingy in terms of portions sizes and so...we headed to a sushi restaurant located in La Renascente's top level food court.

In terms of price, it was more expensive compared to what we get in Australia but they do have an interesting variety of dishes, a few quite ingenious in creation, almost like a fusion of Chinese and Japanese flavours.

I absolutely love how clean and tidy the counter is and I get my own corner for pickled ginger and wasabi.

Overall, I did enjoy lunch despite it costing me almost twice of what I can get in Australia. Would I drop by again? Well, if I do get a craving for Asian food, definitely yes!

Europe: Milan's Duomo, ITALY

Italy's one of the few countries that I often wonder if it's worth the hype. I'll be brutally honest in saying that it is one of the few countries that one has to see at least once in a lifetime. Unlike the other more European cities, Italy still retains its unique charm, possibly carried forth by the local culture - a strong sense of passion in everything they do.

This is the first instalment of my Italian blog posts and whilst not in chronological order, I do hope to perk your interest in the country's rich, diverse background, glorified further by it's beautiful monuments and sights.

If I were to describe Milan in one word it would be metropolitan. Commercial buildings in every corner of this once heavily bombed city, and sometimes, a few interesting artsy, colourful sculptures reflecting the city's acceptance towards creativity. 

Right in the middle lies the Duomo, Italy's biggest Gothic cathedral, visited by thousands of people each passing day. Getting tickets would be a nightmare for late visitors and albeit crowded, there is a sense of serenity in the cathedral itself. One cannot help but awe at the magnificient alfresco. sculptures and paintings adorning the walkway.