Friday, June 29, 2012

All in a day's stuffing

Little King Cafe
I don't use umbrellas very often, so that downpour around 1pm left me looking like I decided to shower with my clothes on (oh the modesty..). The woman at LK didn't look too happy ^^;
Yes I have ugly hands.
 Not a bad coffee, just nothing distinctly memorable about it.
 Almond croissant. They, very kindly offered to heat it up for me. I had 10 seconds to savour its warmth and sneaked a bite, before I stepped back out into the rain and the heat very quickly dissipated ;____; Sweet, flaky and crunchy. Was a nice lunch/afternoon delight.

: $8.10

Manchester Press
 Prior to drinking coffee I always take a good, deep whiff of it first...makes me feel even more like a dog!

Coffees at MP have never put me in a state of awe, but they're certainly better than most. Coffee art is always something to take note of.
Yup. Back at Hopetoun for cake.

I don't think I'll ever be back again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nama Nama

Nama Nama
31 Spring Street, Melbourne
Melbourne CBD

There's a noticeable trend in the cafes I've been to recently, whether it's small water glasses with cartoon designs, fun sized wooden furniture or recycling crates for other practical usage.

Newly opened Nama Nama captures all of these features. Seated on the tri-legged wooden stools, we bade mondayitis goodbye with coffees and said hello to the new week.
Aish. It's freezing.
Still some renovations going on in the backroom, hence the power tools. Otherwise, you've got this bizarre juxtaposition between child sized stools and low tables, reminiscent of the kindie years, and a sizeable array of alcohol in a glass display case. It's strangely appealing, to the inner drinker and the side of me with a soft spot for adorable items.
Asahi beer crates to stand the table on
L's flat white ($4) in a ceramic glass
A deep frown at the excess foam crowning the coffee (to the coffee educated, it's Market Lane beans). She also noted an underlying 'sourness' to it, so is that what's meant by acidity? Someone help me out here xD
The agony after taking so many photos and having each one blur ==
 L and I both had breakfast bentos ($15) which included an onigiri, a surprise, pickled vegetables and fruit salad served in a hollowed orange half.
I'm one of those people who needs a lot of rice to balance out all the condiments. So, much as the rice ball was cute, I would have preferred more to combat the egg, salmon and especially the pickled vegetables ^^;

As lovely as it all looked, I don't have much praise for it. Nothing particularly stood out seeing as it's all basic ingredients, so I'm reserving further judgement until a future lunchtime trip.
Points for offering tea from Lupicia and being in close walking distance from Parliament/a tram from Flinders street. They have a special membership offer where you can take home one of their bento boxes for a day and bring it back for a $1 discount off another bento. It's a good incentive, and I can already picture the lunchtime businessmen crowd..

July 2nd 
That lunchtime businessmen crowd? I walked past on Friday afternoon and it was packed, with a few unlucky ones waiting for a seat on the steps. This scene only served to reinforce my decision to turn up for a late lunch instead. So at 3pm, I had the entire bar area to myself :3 Not that I took the entire lot up of course.. 

I had to stick this photo here, look at the colours! When I was a kid I had  I have this toy rice cooker, and the colour scheme matches the exact shades of red, blue and yellow. Oh the memories of serving up plastic banquets and my grandfather making clucking noises as he drank the 'tea'~

You can't tell from the picture, but the bowl really looks like a perfectly halved egg shell and it's relatively deep. A modest portion.
Udon noodle soup, wagyu beef option ($15)
  Okay, the udon was really fun to eat. They have a great elastic property and the faster you slurp them up the greater they jump and dangle about. It's firm and perfect when served, and due to their thickness, it takes longer for it to soften so you've got a bit more time to finish it..not that you'd take that long. It's too good to savour at a moderate pace.

As to the beef, I don't think it matters whether it was wagyu or not. I'm comparing this to the humble pho as I write this since the beef is also sliced very thinly to achieve tenderness, so I wouldn't have minded a cheaper cut in exchange for more quantity.

Menu says the soup base is a 'Kanto-style broth'. I'm not going to pretend I know what that is, just that it was hot and briny; a real heartwarmer.
Nama Nama on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 24, 2012

WE: Harajuku Crepes - ❅ - Pancake Parlour

I think this week was the last chance to book for the roast event at the Brunswick Cider House which has me bummed out D: My weekend wasn't bad though.

Saturday I met up with an old group of friends for a catch up session with a 'first time' for everyone.
The first time S went to those Asian photo booths and posed like a wide eyed Puss in Boots.
The first time E and L had Harajuku Crepes.
The first time I bought nail polish.
The first time we were all reunited outside of a classroom :)

Harajuku Crepes. Honestly I've never liked them, but just this once, under certain circumstances, I relived heart-wrenching-ly sweet cream and cheap chocolate sauce.
Shit dreams at Max Brenner.

Note that's only a testament to it's shape xD
Pancake Parlour. I don't know why they bother with that 2 for 1 short stack vouchers anymore since it hardly takes effort to get one. Might as well just change the prices on the menu and stop wasting paper .__.

And that was a ridiculous glop of butter. Fatteningly good, but it's going to take me a few years to burn off those calories ^^;

Anyway, that, an upcoming photo of brunch at Captains of Industry, analysing a Sammy J article and indulging in some Lano & Woodley videos was basically my weekend. Hope yours was as fun.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Captains of Industry

Captains of Industry 
2 Somerset Place
I don't think I've ever felt this way about a sandwich before .__.
Beef sandwich. Good amount of filling, beef was warm and ladden with crunchy salad, bound by pungent mustard . On this afternoon, it was perfect.
Fantastic environment. There's no pressure to leave as soon as you finish your food. 
We spent a nice hour sitting by the window and thinking.

 You know how Patterns Cafe used to be my Sunday brunch place, then it converted into an Asian desert eatery? Captains of Industry is likely to be my new haunt from now on.
 By the time I get there it's not too crowded and I can take a seat by the window, then succumb to the taunting of the seeds of thought, allowing them to take root and grow.

Then get on with the book of course :)
Avocado was nice and just ripe, suitable for spreading.
 Avocado toast. With lemon! I didn't know there was such a combination, though really the pairings are endless and everything is up to one's tastes I suppose. Nope, wasn't up for some citrus this morning.

 Cordial staff. Lazy, but cheery music that puts one's mind at ease. A world away from the one before us.
The view from above.
Captains of Industry on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Little Mule Cycle Co. & Cafe

The Little Mule Cycle Co. & Cafe
19 Somerset Pl

 While I don't mind company, I tend to find solace in solitude. With L's wallet a little on the sickly, colourless side - yes, she's essentially the one person who I eat out with on a regular basis - I was alone on this walk down Somerset Place.

 Here a lane, there a lane, here a cafe, there a cafe...on the opposite side is Captains of Industry where you may shortly me at for breakfast :)

I've said this before but I'll reiterate: I don't know the specifics about coffee. I just preferred the latte at LBB.

I got to the empty room at around noon. If there's a lunch rush here, looks like I beat it :P

Roast beef baguette.

Actually I wanted the chicken and sweet potato stew they had on offer, but since I had already ordered coffee I decided a baguette would make a better pairing ^^; 

I've since learnt not to be too critical about the humble bread and its fillings (unless they've really screwed it up, which takes effort). The one standout about Little Mule's version was the smudge of horseradish that gave it some character, though I still prefer the more intense mustard and beef pairing <3

Otherwise, it was a nice experience. Coffee in one hand, baguette in the other and just letting myself drift off and the thoughts to buzz lazily about. Ah life!
Going back at least once more for some cooked food, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Hongyun Chinese Restaurant - Cacao FC&P - LBM

Hongyun Chinese Restaurant
209 Bourke St

The sweet smell of freedom is so close! Alas, the journey is not over...I merely decided not to prioritise and went out shopping instead ^^; Lunch was at Hongyun - I don't know why we ordered the cooked cabbage. While 'healthy' and pleasantly crunchy, it was damn oily. Ah, typical asian restaurants.. *shakes head*
Vegetarian dumplings - how could I pass? I swear I've tasted this combination before, there was that same prominence of mushrooms!
Honestly I wasn't expecting a fantastic meal, just something to fill the stomach which Hongyun did. There are a lot of other restaurants to eat at when you're feeling stingy though, and I can't give you a straight answer as to why you'd specifically pick this one.

Cacao Fine Chocolates and Patisserie
Melbourne GPO

I know I'm the one that said I wanted to go shopping, but I'm not one of those women who immediately forget about their fatigue and can ignore their aching feet when doing so - I need sustenance! I seek salvation! Food delivers.
Coffee was Mother's actually. She approved ^^ 

On the sweet side, I found the macarons too grainy. They're finer and smoother at LBM.

La Belle Miette
Macaron stack #2
I got the lemon one on, then it fell over just as I got the camera ready. Sucks TT  
Damage to the lemon one during transportation.
It's going to take me a while to get over the pretty pastel colours. As for now, my favoured flavours are dark chocolate and earl grey (lemon was too strong for me :/)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Giraffe Cafe - La Belle Miette - Bread Kingdom

Giraffe Cafe
302 Little Lonsdale St
 I know I know...I complained and absolutely hated their brownies last time, so why in the world am I back here? Basically there are two other places where I post these photos, one of them being (of course) facebook (it's all I ever post). N, a friend who I don't see often requested that I take her there some day and, fast forward a few months when we managed to find some free time, we're here :) Joined by mutual friends E and M, we managed to secure the last table. Victory! :D
 E and N both had chicken pies

 Dumplings & Soba ($10) 
I really hated this soba. Even with the wakame it was so bland and almost slimy .___. There's not much filling in the dumplings either, but on the bright side, the dish leaves you some space for dessert (not necessarily from here) if it is desired :P
N's white chocolate
First E was sick. Then Mother was sick. Then L was sick. Actually, they're all still sick D;
I've been OD-ing on coffee lately so I'm occasionally plagued by kidney and/or sharp stomach pains, which was the reason for my truancy on Friday...then I remembered I still needed my books. As I was returning from the CBD I called the still unwell Mother if she wanted anything to which she declared 'sweet bread'...and the above photo are the spoils :)

La Belle Miette
30 Hardware Ln
I reaaaallly wanted to sit down for some ppc (pen, paper and coffee) pptm (pen, paper, tea and macarons) time, but all the tables were filled up TT
  Macaron stack! From top to bottom: Pistachio, dark chocolate, cherry blossom + sake and earl grey

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Le Miel et la lune - Von Haus

330 Cardigan street
If you know you'll be having a bad day, plan for a good meal.
If the day doesn't turn out too bad after all: eat anyway.
For the last few days I've basically been living on popcorn - and when that ran out, a batch of brownies - so to celebrate the end of cramming, what better else to do than to eat?
After reading up on Le Miel et la lune and obsessing over that adorable bear on their website, Wednesday was the first chance I got to visit the cafe.
A communal table out front, subject to plenty of natural light (when there is some), and extra seating in the back. this lighting isn't entirely natural, but hey, the overhead plants must account for something.
I almost felt cruel trodding on the cut out bear.
Maybe I've been getting used to the lattes @ LBB. This was really light.
Even if you hadn't read up on Le Miel beforehand, you can pretty much immediately tell the food incorporates some Asian aspects. For example, there's no patty in the beef burger, it's actually bulgogi. So instead of tomatoes being the main problem in softening the bread, the marinated beef was the culprit and eventually soaked its way through one side of the bun ^^; Overall, it wasn't quite to my tastes..
T's beef ragu
T: "What do I do with the cheese? ...Right."

See. Our brains have been overworked DX
Clockwise, from top left: White chocolate & Oreo cheesecake, flourless orange, lemon cheesecake and brownie
Forgive me for yet another tacky photo. The overhead one just happened to be the only one that didn't blur in the dim lighting.

Seeing as Le Miel was closing soon we got a $11 takeaway box of 4 different cakes to enjoy. The brownie was really dense. Question: why do you dust brownies with cocoa powder? I don't bother because I'm an idiot and tend to fly into a coughing fit from accidental inhalation.

Normally I'm a huge fan of cheesecakes, but I couldn't bring myself to finish this one. There was the prominent taste of egg yolk for some reason.

LE MIEL et la lune on Urbanspoon

Von Haus
1 Crossley street
Melbourne CBD
T's Duck Terrine.

Vegetable soup. Nothing spectacular. While it's nice to know they love their customers,  putting the bread in the soup is always a bad idea ^^;

Otherwise, the atmosphere at Von Haus was great. The interior was simple but lovely; some wooden furniture, another large communal table in the centre and an outstanding artwork on the wall. That and the shelves lined with bottles of wine.

But yes! It's a pleasantly casual space where, even in that small frame of time when you and your companions  stop with the talking and finally take a bite of food, you can unintentionally eavesdrop on some interesting conversation.

Oh and the place is dimly lit with little candles, so all around the room radiant orbs flicker and cast faint shadows. It's wonderful.

Among the topics we were discussing, we got to talking about lucid dreaming. It's an interesting concept which I've yet to attempt - anyone out there who's succeeded and would like to describe their experience?

Von Haus on Urbanspoon