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.

Melbourne: Beautiful Eastland

Yesterday I visited Eastland Shopping Centre for the first time. It’s a fair distance out from the city and I only wanted to go because I had heard of their recent installation in The Beauty Garden, The Canopy by Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 150,000 preserved flowers hung from the ceiling. While it was unsuccessful in terms of shopping, I did discover that Eastland is pretty darn beautiful. Apart from The Canopy, there is still a lot of redevelopment going on, and many store fronts featured some gorgeous wall art while they were still being worked on. Can this be a thing, please?

Photos are taken from my instagram.

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Food lately: June 2016

It’s time for another round of iPhone photos featuring my favourite dishes from the past month!

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Spanner Crab, Konbu & Smoked Eel (Estelle by Scott Pickett, Northcote)

This was definitely not an ordinary meal! It was a very special occasion and I still plan on sharing the whole experience on the blog, but gosh I’m no food blogger and I don’t know what to write, so I’ve been procrastinating! Anyway, one of my favourite dishes from the night at ESP was this beauty. My goodness, the spanner crab was so delicate and flavoursome. There was incredible umami in this… big plate of little food (hehe), having the perfect marriage of three distinct seafood flavours that play really smoothly on each other.

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Nihon Nemesis – Delicate chocolate cake, raspberry kanten, matcha, raspberry sorbet, honeycomb (Sake, Southbank)

I don’t think I’m that easily impressed by dessert. But this adorable plate stole my heart! I thought this had everything I could want in a well-crafted dessert – sweetness, acidity, creaminess, crunch, even cooling sorbet! The balance of the main flavours (raspberry and chocolate) was spot on. Plus it looked spot on.

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Pad thai prawn (Sumalee, Bentleigh)

I’ve visited this little Thai place out in the ‘burbs a few times. I always get the pad thai here, because (apart from the fact that I always get pad thai from Thai restaurants) it’s super tasty, generous in ingredients and pretty darn good looking. Now that I’ve learnt that “not all pad thai is good pad thai” after tasting some subpar ones, I’m more appreciative of the really good ones.

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Zangi senbei – Crispy chicken cracker with spicy Kewpie mayo (Ponshu Kiroro, CBD)

Obviously I haven’t tried enough Hokkaido food because I was expecting something more like a senbei. What came out was much softer. It was definitely deep fried, but the inside was quite chewy, almost a halfway towards mochi. So it was like a chewy-crispy cracker… does that even make sense?! It was strangely addictive though, and I would absolutely order this again when I return. But it’s also quite heavy just to eat half of this…

Food lately: May 2016

Time to highlight my favourite dishes while dining out in May!

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Brandade Doughnuts (Hell Of The North, Fitzroy)

While these aren’t meant to be restaurant reviews, I have to mention that Hell of the North is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in Melbourne. I didn’t know what brandade was (salted cod and olive oil, apparently) but ordered it since the much loved pulled pork and gruyere doughnut is apparently taking a break from the menu. This didn’t let me down one bit! Wonderfully crispy on the outside and smooth on the inside, it was more like a croquette rather than the previous doughnut. But the flavours were excellent, full bodied but not overly fishy. Loved it!

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Creme Brulee (Hell Of The North, Fitzroy)

It’s so hard to not pick all the dishes from my latest visit, but another stand out dish had to be their creme brulee. This isn’t the first time ordering it, and I knew I wanted it again. Maybe this is the perfect creme brulee of all creme brulees? The top has a wonderful hard caramel to poke through, and the custard beneath is just heavenly. It’s just creamy, rich and sweet enough without being too sweet and heavy. I cannot find a single fault in this!

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Eggs in hell – Grilled polenta, spicy chorizo ragu, two poached eggs, fior de latte & basil (Three Bags Full, Abbotsford)

This was an incredibly filling and hearty dish. The smooth polenta was so delicious. The rich, saucy goodness on top with spicy chorizo worked really well with the polenta (where one would usually expect bread). Topped off with perfectly poached eggs, this was a great brunch dish.

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(I forgot to note the name down, but from memory it was something like…) Scallops with pancetta and blue cheese sauce (?) (Eau de Vie, CBD)

(I’m aware this is the worst photo ever, but really the place couldn’t be any darker!) Eau de Vie may be known as a whiskey and cocktail bar, but their bar snacks absolutely hold their own. This little scallops dish (while too expensive), was divine. The scallops were cooked to silky perfection, melting in your mouth, and the creamy sauce and crispy pancetta were perfect with the scappots. Together it was one super tasty mouthful of food. This was a highly memorable dish, and I’m still salivating thinking about it…