July was an overwhelmingly delicious month of food!
Prawn Cracker, Chopped Prawn, Bottarga, Seaweed Mayonnaise (Honcho Noodle, CBD)
I mentioned this meal in my money diary. Without harping on too much again, Adam Liston is one of my favourite chefs, and this was our first visit to his new pop-up restaurant while the new permanent restaurant is built (after closing down Northern Light, one of my favourite restaurants). This bite size prawn cracker dish has undergone small changes but remained from the previous restaurant. I’ve ordered it every single time and I still love it! This is such a delicious and perfect bite size dish.
Spanner Crab Udon, Smoked Crab Butter, Yuzu, Kizami Nori (Honcho Noodle, CBD)
I had to pick another dish! I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a more delicious noodle dish. The juicy and wonderfully chewy udon noodles had absorbed so much flavour from the smoked crab butter and yuzu, which were two incredible and unique flavours when together. The crab and yuzu flavours were just incredible.
Lemon Meringue Doughnut (Tivoli Road Bakery, South Yarra)
That’s the doughnut at the top. I’m really into lemon curd and seem to be trying to get any lemon curd pastry I see (I should learn how to make it!). I loved the texture of this fluffy doughnut and the strong tang of the lemon curd.
Soft Shell Crab Taco with Blue Corn Tortilla, Sriracha Mayo & Cabbage Slaw (The Black Toro, Glen Waverley)
On the menu, it sounded pretty standard, but I always think the tiny parcel of a taco is actually quite difficult to get perfect. You need the perfect combination of textures and flavours in the right proportions. These tacos were pretty much right there – the crispy and fluffy soft shell crab, the creamy mayo, the kick from the sriracha, the slight tanginess and crunch from the slaw. As soon as we put the taco in our mouths, T and I looked at each other with a “wow” expression.
Tako Rice Crisps; House smoked octopus on puffed rice (Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya, Fitzroy)
I visited Ichi Ni Nana (the third in the “Ichi” family, which I’m a huge fan of) for the first time halfway through July and ended up returning at the end of July because I enjoyed it so much! One thing I ordered both times was this (I seem to love these kind of bite size dishes, huh). The octopus had a wonderful smokey flavour, which I loved.
Tori Soboro; Charcoal grilled rice cake skewers with ground chicken and Teriyaki sauce (Ichi Ni Nana Izakaya, Fitzroy)
The other thing I ordered both times were these skewers. I had actually had them before at the first “Ichi” restaurant (Ichi Ni Izakaya) and adored it then, and was thus excited to see it on the menu here. I’m obsessed with rice cakes, and I love the sweet and spicy ground chicken concoction they pour over the top. It’s so addictive!
Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with tomato chutney, poached egg, goats curd, cucumber, herb oil, spring onion, tomato and corn salsa (Operator25, CBD)
Operator25 is one of my favourite brunch restaurants! This was one of the best corn fritter brunch dishes I’ve ever had. I love corn fritters for brunch but have become rather fussy because I used to order it from pretty much every second brunch restaurant (and many dishes are subpar). Every element on this plate was delicious and worked so well together, and it also has pretty much everything I love. The fritters were really tasty with the sweet potato and I especially loved the chutney and goats curd for the contrasting flavours, and the tomato and corn salsa because as a corn lover I can never have enough corn.
Bastourma & Egg; Armenian air dried beef, quail egg, toasted brioche & garlic jam (Sezar, CBD)
Oh dear why do I love bite size dishes so much?! The brioche and egg were ridiculously soft and light and literally melted in your mouth. Delicious!
New Style Baklava; Crispy filo, walnut toffee ice cream & salted caramel (Sezar, CBD)
I suppose it had the flavour profile of a baklava, but even without that resemblance this was a mouthwatering dessert. The walnut toffee and salted caramel flavours were done so well and the dessert was satisfying without being too sweet.