Food lately: May & June 2017

Caballa Ahumada: House cold smoked Spanish mackerel with pine nut gazpacho sorbet (Movida Bar de Tapas, Melbourne CBD)

This was entirely not something I would have ordered. I can’t put my finger on it but in one mouthful, it was a beautiful combination of flavour, texture and contrasting temperature. The sorbet was definitely an inventive and unexpected twist. So yum!

Eggs and Waffle Benedict: Smoked ham and cheddar waffle, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise (Seven Seeds, Carlton)

Sounds simple and homely on paper, but the amount of flavour packed into those waffles and hollandaise made it incredible. One of my favourite brunch dishes!




Regular and deluxe sushi boxes from Omakase menu (Kisume, Melbourne CBD)

A glorious amount of sushi for six people. The seafood was really fresh and the variety of preparations was wonderful.

Food lately: March & April 2017

Long time no blog! I knew it would be difficult, but full time Masters and work is kicking my butt. I’m staying afloat better than I thought, though.

Actually I didn’t have any outstanding food dishes from March, so these are all really from April.

KFC: Kentucky Fried Cauliflower (Dexter, Preston)

The first time we naively rocked up to this establishment, we were told the next table was available at 9pm. We left, of course. For the next visit, I had to book three weeks ahead (because I also wanted a table, not bar seating). We rarely go to places that need booking far in advance, and if it’s that popular, we’re more used to having to line up/go early since “cool Melbourne” is all about “no bookings”. I was expecting great things, but also prepared for disappointment, because well… case in point: Chin Chin. I was blown away though, especially by our starters. The batter was so addictive and perfectly fried (I could eat it all day…). I especially loved that the cauliflowers (one of my favourite foods, btw) were in large chunks and not at all disguised or hidden by the batter.

Hot meat doughnut (Dexter, Preston)

For the sake of this post, I actually decided the KFC was my favourite dish of the night. But these meat doughnuts still deserve mention. The only thing we both hated was the sugar. I thought it was perfect enough (especially the dough) without having to be so overtly “doughnut-y” with all the sugar. The meat inside was so moist and packed with flavour. I can see these being a real signature menu item.

(I can’t find the name of this anywhere, but I think it was) Beef short ribs tacos with corn, chilli and pineapple salsa, pomegranate, yoghurt and lime (Left Field, Carnegie)

These were the best brunch tacos I’ve ever had! They were great sizes and had the perfect ratio of tortilla to filling. The filling was also quite delicate with a lot of elements. It had everything I love about a balanced dish – contrasting textural elements (smooth yoghurt and crunch from the pomegranate) and flavours (acidity, sweetness, richness, smokiness). I was quite impressed.

Bulgogi K-quesadilla (Chimac Plus, Abbotsford)

I’ve visited the original Chimac before and the menu is the same, I think. They do very good Korean fried chicken and Korean-Mexican fusion. I don’t think I’ve had the K-quesadilla before. The quesadilla was really well toasted and nothing fell out or came apart (I loved that, haha). It had a nice crunch too. Something about this fusion worked really well. The cheese was not too strong but complemented the subtle flavours of the bulgogi, and gosh those jalapenos were spicy.

Food Lately: February 2017

Cheesy Puds: Piped with prosciutto goats cheese & black olive goats cheese (Hercules Morse Kitchen + Bar, South Melbourne)

It was my first time ordering the cheesy puds from Hercules Morse. They were, once again, perfect little morsels. I loved the flavour combinations with the creamy and tangy goats cheese. I couldn’t decide on a favourite!

Mac ‘n’ cheese croquette (Kitty Burns, Abbotsford)

This was just a side I wanted to order. But it was pretty epic and delicious. Look at how perfect the shape is! It was wonderfully crispy, and the mac n cheese inside had a great consistency and flavour. The inside kept its integrity really well. How can you say no to this croquette? Yum.

Matcha soft serve (Yokozuna, Chadstone)

Perhaps unexpectedly, I still think that the best matcha soft serve in Melbourne is from all the restaurants that have this one particular machine. The soft serve texture and flavour is spot on, and it’s a fraction of the cost of the fancy places (that don’t even taste better). You just can’t beat this soft serve.

Chives dumplings (Paradai II Thai, Carnegie)

These were sooo good! They came out piping hot, and the skin was super crispy while the filling of chives was very flavoursome. I was pleasantly surprised that it was all chives (without excessive binding agents and fillers). These were winning starters!

Food Lately: January 2017

Autumn Brekky bagel with ham, egg, beetroot relish & cheese (Huff Bagelry, Carnegie)

This used to be a seasonal special but they’ve kept it for years and years. Did you know that every time I go I get the same bagel – this one. It’s so perfect I don’t think any other bagel could surpass it, so what else is there to try? This is one of my favourite food items in Melbourne!

Tostados: Cauliflower with beetroot, smoked cheese & spices | Crab & prawn with celery, cucumber & apple guac, lime-habanero mayo & luxury walnut (Mamasita, CBD)

Mamasita is another favourite restaurant of mine. They always get the flavours and textures spot on. These tostados were amazing!

Mejillones: Mussels with garlic chilli & tomato (Portello Rosso, CBD)

These are the best mussels I’ve ever had! They were so fresh and meaty. The incredibly flavoursome sauce also had wonderful depth. Mussels aren’t really my pick but I was more than happy to tuck in to this dish.

Croissants, ham & gruyere croissant, danish, lemon curd cruffin (Lune Croissanterie, Fitrzoy)

I wrote in depth about my experience at Lune during the peak of their popularity. These days you can often walk in mid-late morning without lining up and almost have your pick (I took the last two plain croissants). This box was for my family, although the lemon curd cruffin was for me. It’s just as delicious as I remember it being back when it took a combined five/six hours to get. It’s so fluffy yet crispy and the curd is amazingly tangy. I’m already dreaming of the next one…

Food Lately: October & November 2016

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Croquetas: Sweet Corn & Pickled Jalapeno & Chipotle Aioli (Pacos Tacos, Melbourne CBD)

These were perfectly fried, incredibly smooth and creamy on the inside with a great kick of of jalapenos, making it the perfect fried snack.

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Pad Thai: Thin rice noodles stir-fried with homemade Pad Thai sauce with vegetables (Chinese chives, dried shrimp, tofu and minced peanuts) and crispy pork (Nine Elephants, Docklands)

Apparently some people say this is one of the best Pad Thai in Melbourne. I can’t really argue with that. The sauce was so fragrant and balanced, but it also had body from the sweet, sour and (surprisingly) spice. I loved how well everything was coated. The crispy pork was a bit dry and felt like it had been re-fried.

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New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao/Steamed Pork Dumplings (New Shanghai, Melbourne CBD)

This is one of my favourite places for dumpling-style Chinese dishes. It helps that it’s not the hole-in-the-wall kind of place that is my other favourite dumpling place. Being Shanghai-nese, I’m proud of these xiao long bao. The thin, springy, almost-translucent skin houses piping hot meat soup (and meat). Delicious and perfect every time.

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Beef burger: Beef pattie, smoked bacon, beetroot relish, cheese, tomato, lettuce, American mustard, tomato sauce and aioli (The Beer and Burger Bar, Richmond)

I have a small list of my favourite burgers in Melbourne, and I didn’t expect to find this new contender. The size and construction was just right, the patty was delicious, and I loved the addition of the beetroot relish for some extra acidity and sweetness. Unfortunately the generous sauce was spilling everywhere around the halfway point of eating this thing and I was looking like a right mess. (The chips had great seasoning but were too fat for my liking).

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Dragon roll: Iside out roll with seared tuna, cucumber, avocado, tobiko, Japanese mayo, chilli sauce and spring onion (Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya, Fitzroy)

Yes I returned again! Three times in five months is literally unheard of for me as I rarely tend to revisit restaurants. This is one of my favourite rolls they make, especially because the chilli sauce packs a punch and it has all the right textural elements.