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…

Melbourne: NYE fireworks up close

I don’t think I’ve gone out on New Years’ Eve to watch the fireworks in Melbourne (except maybe once when I was really little). I really don’t enjoyed crowded and loud places. In recent years we’ve gone to my uncle’s apartment where we can see a the fireworks, since he lives very close to the city. Since moving into my own apartment, which is located close to The Yarra River, I’ve been watching the fireworks from my balcony! Because the fireworks are set off from various tall points across the city and I’m fairly central, I don’t get a view of the all the fireworks though, just close ups of the few from nearby buildings.




Melbourne: Gingerbread Village by Epicure

On Saturday I visited the annual Gingerbread Village by Epicure, which this year is raising money for The Royal Children’s Hospital. I’ve been wanting to go for a few years now, but the lines are always long after work and on weekends, especially the closer it gets to Christmas. I arrived at 10am, which is precisely when the line grew to some thirty people, even though T said there was no line just five minutes before. Whoops.


It’s a small-ish room of people moving in a circle and they let in as many people as the number that leaves. Because the lighting was really dim and I had to keep moving along, my photos unfortunately ended up blurry.

Docklands and The Melbourne Star:



The Melbourne Zoo:


Albert Park and The Grand Prix:


St Kilda Beach:

Luna Park:


Flemington Racecourse:

MCG:

Melbourne Town Hall:

Arts Centre Melbourne:


And of course The Royal Children’s Hospital… the inside is so adorable! They even have the famous meerkats!





The Gingerbread Village by Epicure is located at The Melbourne Town Hall and opens 9am – 8:45pm daily from December 1 to December 24.