Sunday, April 29, 2012

Seamstress

Seamstress
113 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Dearest Shou Sumiyaki, I've finally found another companion to join you in my list of favoured restaurants! On the same Wednesday K, L, T and I lunched at the humble establishment, eating our way through 4 courses and leaving with stuffed stomachs.
Long strips of material hung overhead, dulling the fluorescent lights to a dim, but comfortable glow. As the majority of the dishes came in S, M and L, the waiter was helpful in organising the serving sizes and order of the dishes. He was very attentive and regularly topped up our glasses of water so that was a tick already :P
The journey began with a plate of  pan seared scallops. Forgive me for not remembering the more delicate details, but two days is long enough for my memories to decompose into eventual exclamations of 'When did this happen..?' A distant voice within me whispers of a slight gingery taste that was just enough for flavour. I'm not big on cooked lettuce though, so I gave it a miss.
Barramundi with soba and vegetable broth. The fish was firm yet tender and the soba a wonderful component when paired with the flavoursome broth (Alas the waiter stumbled in the final moments and splashed a spot of broth onto the side of the plate).
Roast duck in plum sauce. Didn't like the presentation of spinach draped over the rice - it reminded me of a dehydrated caterpillar who tried to climb over a hill which became its final resting place.

After many years of condemning duck, I finally gave in to the sweet, succulent pieces. I found the skin too chewy, however, and left it in a neat pile on the corner of the plate instead (my table manners are atrocious). Rice was too dry.

Braised pork belly. Skin was exceptionally crispy and the meat approaching melt-in-your-mouth. Potatoes were just cooked and the bok choy so crunchy it could distinctly be heard as one bit into them.
Chocolate pudding with whiskey sabayon was definitely my favourite dish and probably the one recurring dessert I would ever order. L & I made the mistake of swiping up as much sauce as we could which was absolutely divine. Strong and bold, it seeped into the dense chocolate and was an absolute delight for the tastebuds~ Truly the shining star, so much I practically neglected the other sweets.
Mascarpone and rhubarb filled pancake with persian fairy floss and this tiny, tiny, spoon of pistachio ice cream. The wonderful characteristic of persian fairy floss is that it's very fine and dissolves on impact. I question their choice of colour, but that's just me being picky. And rhubarb? I dislike it's tartness =.=

Pistachio ice cream was another highlight. Very smooth and an impressively strong taste. I weep at the serving size ;___;
 
Something and pandan tart with mango sorbet was like the passerby in a crowd of stand-outs. Forgettable.

Total: Between $240-$250
Seamstress on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mio Dolce+

Mio Dolce
89 Puckle Street
Moonee Ponds 3039

Didn't have the camera with me so all I've got are some dodgy 2MP pictures. I hope you don't mind ^^;
Mother and I shared a many layered pastry of a name which escapes me. The thought process in trying to recall it is as follows:
1. Was a word I couldn't pronounce, starts with S.
2. Second letter was 'f'.
3. ...or a 'z'.
4. Ended in 'ando'..?
5. Sforzando! ...o. O. O..*trails off* is a music term.
6.  Was a word I couldn't pronounce, starts with S.
Back on track, the filling wasn't to my tastes so I'll leave it at that. The Strawberry Cheesecake, on the other hand was very smooth and spread lazily across the tongue as I do across the bed when there's work to be done. A hurrah for procrastination!

Total: Under 15 (+ coffee and tea)
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Meanwhile, I'm awaiting the opening of TeapoCafe's city branch. Website is here but there's more to be found on its facebook page for now. While it looks only to be a competitor for dear Chatime it still looks cute, yes? As to that quote they have there: 

"如果茶是爱,请给我加点茶吧。
If tea is love, please pour me some more tea."

Au contraire!
"茶是爱,不过是过去式的。现在给我温暖的,是咖啡。
Tea is love, but of the past. It is coffee which now gives me warmth."

You can lunge at my throat for being superfluous and not typing 'was' rather than 'is', but the quote seemed to sound better that way :P

*Truthfully though, tea would be my stay-at-home husband and each cup of coffee the different men with whom I have intimate affairs. And yet..


Enjoy the weekend kids :)

 *That 'truthfully' refers to how tea and coffee actually fit into my life, not my infidelity to imaginary people xD

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Le Petit Gateau

Le Petit Gateau
458 Lt. Collins street
 

The tides of life haven't been smooth at all lately and we're lost at sea again.

When in doubt, eat cake.

~

Late afternoon/early evening cocktails before the ride home @ Murmur.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Cafe Kinetic

Cafe Kinetic
103 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, VIC3000


Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but the Brekkie Foccacia was definitely not one of the healthier ones I'd had. While we're here, should it be fo-ca-sha or fo-ca-cha? Evidently my two years learning Italian were useless ^^;

Something about this classic combination just happened to agree with me that Wednesday: was it the sweetness of the sauce, the runny egg, or the well toasted focaccia? Whatever it was, it probably wasn't the sausage pieces which were an absolute pain to gnaw through.
   
I didn't appreciate the latte here, so L and I made a stop at Oliver Lane Espresso. The more you drink, the better it gets with the deepening flavour :)

Total: $9.00 (Cafe Kinetic only)

Cafe Kinetic on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mister Close

Mister Close
246 Bourke Street
Shop 13, Midtown Plaza





I'm a believer of destiny -it's a way to make sure I don't regret anything in life and I try to come up with excuses as to why unappreciated incidents occur.

Take this morning.

Whenever I miss the train, I delude myself into thinking I'll be meeting my future partner there. It will be love at first sight, the cameras will have this extended, exaggerated close up shot of our faces and our twinkling eyes, then we'll link arms, sprout angelic wings and take to the skies.

While I didn't meet a Mr. Right today, I did visit Mister Close for breakfast with L and K.
Latte. Cold foam, hmm :/
 Cutlery wasn't very clean, some unidentified smidgen of substance was stuck on the teaspoon. K pointed out the footprints on the table as well.
K's artistic snapshot
Good pals: the Amigo eggs

Egg white omelette w/ goats cheese & spinach
I was wanting a chorizo & goats cheese omelette w/ smoked almond &parsley salad, but the waitress must have heard differently and served up an egg white omelette w/ goats cheese &spinach instead. Rather than risk running late, I went along with this arrangement anyway.

This was the first time I tried goat's cheese so the unexpectedness sourness was confronting. There was a large amount of it in the omelette, rather overpowering.

To quote L, "It was just egg and cheese with spinach. Personally i think that they overdid the cheese a little but otherwise (a) very simple eat. Can't complain, but can't compliment either."

Well summarised.

Total: $53 (3 coffees, 2 omelettes and 1 amigo omelette)
Mister Close on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 13, 2012

Izakaya Chuji

Izakaya Chuji
165 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC3000

Are the type of person to make plans and stick with them? Or do you set out with a vague idea of what you'll be doing, take a detour and end up far away from the intended destination?

Experimenting with photoscape..
..because photoshop costs. Food is a better investment.
Having won tickets to see Max and Paul's 'In No Particular Order' @ Fad Gallery, T & I stopped by Izukaya Chuji for dinner. Fortunately there were still seats, though the waiters were busy rushing to and from each table. Following a short delay we were directed to a table which was rather 'tipsy' and wobbled about on it's foot. Rather than each ordering a main dish,we opted for three entrees and two desserts, expecting modest portions.
 
After studying Japanese for four years, all I've come away with is how to ask where someone lives (there's a stalker within me, but my favourite celebrities live in different continents ;__;), how to count and the names of foods so I was excited to understand what Yasai Yaki meant :D The english version on the menu was more detailed however, declaring this plate to be vegetables grilled with teriyaki sauce. Everything had been cooked to a soggy consistency with the exception of the sweet potato slices that were still approaching tenderness.

Take note I've never tried eggplant before, so I'm unsure if the texture of the skin is supposed to be that tough, akin to a 2L milk carton.
By the time all the starters were served it was already 8.15 and the show started in 15 minutes. The regulation beef dish: Gyu Sashi (tender rare beef slices served with special sauce) were very tender and offered little resistance as I hurriedly chewed and swallowed. The sauce was unexpectedly sweet.
 I've never been good with dismantling any food with bones, so I only got through one of the Teba (deep-fried chicken wings with garlic). The sauce tasted like what was served with the beef; garlic was nonexistent.
Taiyaki (waffle pancake with sweetened red bean paste & ice cream). Matcha flavour of the ice cream was prominent. By this time I was just putting spoon after spoon into mouth so not much else registered ^^;  If a food stand selling taiyaki were to pop up in the CBD for $2-3 each, I'd be a regular customer. But $10 for this tiny bowl was ridiculous.
 T's Dorayaki (sponge pancake with sweetened red bean paste & ice cream)


Alas, speed eating was for naught. We went overtime with dinner and decided to catch a half-price show instead, then ended up paying full price anyway to see the lovable Sammy J & Randy ^^;

Five minutes before the show was scheduled to begin we realised we didn't know where along Flinders street was the Forum so we had to sprint back to the Town Hall for directions and endured a terrible run uphill. We're not the fittest people.

I love the duo and never expected to see one of their shows so soon, so while I wasn't clutching my stomach and suffering from painful laughter, the show was still a blast :)

Prices: Teba              $9.80
            Gyu sashi        $13
            Yasai yaki       $7.80
            Small rice x2   $3 each
            Taiyaki            $10
            Dorayaki         $10
Total:                         $56.60

Izakaya Chuji on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Snack at Pho Bo Ga Mekong

19 Degrees. Oh Melbourne, when will you stop with your capricious behaviour. Just because you don't get as much attention as Sydney, doesn't mean you're not as loved~ (SS4 why you no come to Melbourne ;___;)
That said, a vast blue sky coupled with the warmth of the glowing sun meant it was perfect picnic weather, even if that meant abandoning my beloved blazer :P

Before our great city changes its mind again and brings out the rain clouds, do make some time to collapse on a picnic rug in a scenic park and enjoy the company of food and friends...and slamming your hand down on the pile of cards (and any other hands below) to claim ownership of them in a game of Egyptian snap [credits to A for originally teaching us]. It's the same deal as 'Snap' with additional rules:

1. Two consecutive cards add up to 10? Slam it.
2. All picture cards are 'penalty cards'. When a penalty card is played, the next player must put down the corresponding number of cards:

Ace: 4
King: 3
Queen: 2
Jack: 1 

 
3. If the next player puts down another picture card as part of their penalty, the penalty is passed onto the next player and overrides the previous one.
4. If no picture cards are placed down as part of the penalty, the player who played the penalty card keeps the pile of cards.
5. If you slam your hand down on the cards and find a quicker player has taken the brunt of it, feel free to smack their hand again to exert your frustration (optional)

Skip forward to Rice Paper Rolls on Swanston street. Eh. Typical rolls minus the meat paired with ordinary peanut sauce.

The place is cramped D: As I took a seat I accidentally bumped my bag into someone's head, with the final minutes squished against the table because of children and their love of space ^^;

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

 Hope you're enjoying the long weekend, whether it's with the partner and kids or just relaxing with friends and having that much needed catch up.

As for myself, I'm working hard on repaying my sleep debt. At 3.30pm, this fried rice was my breakfast/lunch/tea followed by an unpictured plate of chocolate cake :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Heirloom

Heirloom
131 Bourke St
Melbourne, VIC3000

I caught up with J today with the intention of enjoying some stonegrill at Ishiya. Alas, the doors were still closed and my stomach - which should really be used to skipping breakfast by now - wasn't about to sit obediently and not whine. Dear Heirloom here was the next place we saw that was open and looked good. 

This time I remembered to snap photos of the food and consequently dismissed the environment. I do remember the impressive looking bar in the centre of the room though :D
J's Prawn Kakiage Udon Set
which also came with two pieces of sushi and a salad (unpictured)
Pork Katsu Set
Also came with rice, miso soup and black sesame sauce. The firm pork pieces weren't very crispy and were lacking in juices so as to allow the sauce to shine. Forgot about the notes today too, so I can only offer a vague description about it tasting salty with a touch of sourness and distinctly of sesame - a fine support for the meat.

You can catch the barest whiff of wasabi in the crunchy salad - I do love the texture of seaweed.

Bella Baci here wasn't my first choice but the arrangement turned out well. You get all sorts of fruity flavours in the glass with strawberries as the most prevailing flavour. Cheerfully sweet, I only wish I could have downed* it faster without the eruption of crimson on my face.


Wonderful staff who all bore friendly smiles. As Arnie said, I'll be back~

Total: $52

Heirloom on Urbanspoon

*Really just a continuous sip from the straw with very few, though long, breaks in between to stop myself from finishing beverages before the meal. It's a bad habit.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Brunetti

Brunetti
214 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, VIC3000 
 

Hello Brunetti.

I've missed your chewy chocolatey macarons with that seductively dark filling and slight crunch. Don't ever leave me.

You didn't look so good today Mr. Rum and Raisin Cheesecake. Hope you feel better and stop being so sour (the strawberry). I've decided you had too many whole raisins for my liking.

Hey there cappuccino - weren't you aromatic today? Would love to stay and drink but I'm lying and there's someone else. It's not you. I mean it is. But it's also me. I think we should spend some time apart and I'll come back if the other ever stops understanding me.

~ For two cheesecakes, a macaron, two lattes and a cappucino~

Total: About $27
Brunetti on Urbanspoon

Somewhere up Lt. Bourke there are coloured lanterns

怪味合
Somewhere up Lt. Bourke, past Russell street.

Has this place been around long? My memory says no, this hotpot restaurant doesn't even exist on urbanspoon. Unless I've got the name wrong -____-

It was 11.30 when we popped in for an early lunch. It was deserted, so we had the full attention of the kitchen and the waitress.
Coloured lanterns. Pretty, but I thought the blue was very out of place.
There hangs an expired poster advertising for Lollipop F
 
Fish Fillet Hot Pot with Oyster Sauce. The ingredients cook quickly in the shallow pot (the oyster sauce is yet to make an appearance)
Complimentary cold dishes. 
From closest to furthest: Pork collagen, sugared peanuts, bean sprouts with sesame oil and pickled cucumbers.
As it began to boil the waitress came around with a bowl and coated the fish in oyster sauce. Whilst I acknowledge her precision with the spoon and how careful she was to smother it in a smooth, even layer, this was purely aesthetics. 

Oyster sauce has a high sodium content. Use wisely.
Fish was fresh. Broccoli was small. Potatoes and carrots were abandoned. There's a shop that also serves hot pot for $12 several shops down - I've yet to try it, but it's rather hard to go wrong with hotpot. If you visit this establishment, make sure you stop them from going overboard with the sauce, even if it means cutting short their fun with food painting.

Total: $19 (+1 bowl of rice)