Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sprinting

Sometimes I find myself being unable to paste a string of words together and create a coherent sentence, so instead, I throw keywords at whoever I'm speaking to and leave them to try and figure it out. You're right, it doesn't work well, so these pictures come annotated ^^v


Mid Autumn Festival @ Box Hill. Popcorn chicken in the last image, sweet crispy pops of mildly juicy chicken, smelling what I later learnt to be five spice powder.
Elceed 610 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

Brunch with L. She had her breakfast crumble which she didn't enjoy at all. Pity, they make some nice corn fritters, even if it takes them a while to get the food served.

Ah here they are. $16.50 for some fat corn fritters, salmon (though very salty), avocado, tomato relish, cream cheese and rocket topped with a bit of pesto. Ah such a wondrous dish, though admittedly not as crisp as the initial visit.
Beef sukiyaki from some japanese place on Collins street. The name of the building escapes me ^^;

The card collection grows.
Dessert Story on Swanston Street
Fruit avalanche on shaved ice. Really I'm paying $8.50 for chopped fruit, then I hack at the ice as I chat to friends. Took them a damn while to get it out though, the other table who ordered the same thing got their's within 5 minutes of ordering.


Beef lasagna, a combined effort
Yes, I suck at plating up.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Here is a road




Extensive chatter, long drawn out laughter and ruckus on trains. I'm going to miss these memories. 
There's not too long till 2012 passes us by.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrate. Eat. Reflect.

Badger and Hawk

333 La Trobe Street, CBD

One of my favourite places to go for a coffee. With the exception of one occasion, it's 'always' tremendously thick and creamy and has a wonderful smell. Why have I not eaten here yet?

It shall be the next target. Unless I find corn fritters.

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar
8 Whitman Street, Southbank 

Family dinner. Much reflection to be done.
Steamed Alaskan king crab legs/corn bread/coleslaw/Marie-Rose ($16)
Such spikes..they frighten me. It's listed under the 'to share' section of the menu, but descriptions hint nothing about portions. Mother didn't think the legs were particularly great: dry, lacking in flavour.
Crispy little pig ($18)
How cute. Watermelon cubes, celery bits and some other pickled vegetables I don't think I ended up identifying... Pork was indeed as described though sauce was overly salty. Watermelon tasted like it was left outside of the fridge for too long so it developed that 'furry' exterior. I guess I liked this more for the range of textures, from the crisp shell of the pork to its softer innards, the more resistant veggies to the crunchy celery and brittle crackling. It's a party.
Slow cooked Marlborough King salmon/crab/sweet corn ($34)
Pan fried snapper/smoked egg/wild greens ($32)
Sharing for two: Roasted pheasant/heritage apples/parsnip chips ($60)
Dry. The sauce really just slipped off ^^; Apples were bittersweet, much of the bitterness having mellowed out once I smeared it over the pheasant. 
Ricotta cheesecake/yuzu/ginger/nuts/seeds ($16)
Overall, I thought it was secondary to the one at Henry and the Fox. Ricotta had that uncomfortable feeling associated with excess gelatine, yuzu was fine with its distinct tartness once mixed with the cheese. Crushed pistachios provided its characteristic crunch to contrast with the biscuit. I have no recollection of any ginger, and the sorbet was a mistake. While it provided a nice cool touch, you don’t take a break from sour yuzu by having more of it ^^; Compare that to Henry and the Fox, where the sorbet wiped the passionfruit from the palate before it became too much, and I’d be eager to repeat the process of ‘cheesecake, sorbet, cheesecake, sorbet..’
Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Brown’s Bakery

28 Pratt Street, Moonee Ponds

Pass on the coffee, but cheesecake was very dense and creamy with a strong lemon flavour. Sweet enough so I couldn’t taste the currants, but their juicy texture was still nice :)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Journey in the West

West 48
48 Essex Street, Footscray

Had a mild bout of food poisoning on Tuesday, proves I can't even toast a sandwich without doing some sort of damage. A quick stop at the gp revealing some amusing results, then lunch at West 48.
Avocado on toast with heirloom tomatoes and feta
Today's special, along the lines of air-dried wagyu with rocket, sweet balsamic pears, pine nuts and feta in a ciabatta roll. I promise I’m not one to fall for the ‘wagyu trick’ and I’m just biased towards beef in general. In fact, it tasted like a thinner, and less salty version of salami. Warm, crusty bread stuffed with mildly bitter rocket leaves, some feta, the goodness of firm pinenuts, currants and pears for a sweet edge. While it was very nice, it costed $12 or so. I’d happily trade in the wagyu for some other meat if that meant prices would be reduced.

Cupcakes by Paolo
28C Ashley Street, Footscray
Red velvet cupcake. 
I don't understand.

Duchess of Spotswood
87 Hudsons Road, Spotswood

Braised lamb shank ragu with peas, mint and..ricciutelli? Not learned about my pastas, I just thought it was cute how from a side view, they were 'S' shaped. Mmm, scatterings of tender lamb that held plenty of flavoursome, and not too saline, sauce amongst its strands. Peas were cooked, but plenty firm and mint leaves provided a breath of fresh air when encountered. Toast seemed completely out of place, just tacked onto the plate like that ._. It did its job of being filling.

Creamy creamy foam! Other than that, coffee wasn’t the greatest.
Overall, nice dish, just not something I found myself gushing about.
A bunch of cakes
86 Hudsons Road, Spotswood
3/4 of this was a mountain of smooth icing. Heavy scent of vanilla in the cheesecake.

Hey, 100th post.

Bipolar

Bipolar, because each one meal was at the oldest end of the 'to be blogged' continuum, and Mr Mason was the most recent. There there post, you can have your freedom now.

Coin Laundry
61 Armadale St, Armadale

The wonderful thing about documenting your travels, whether you choose to do so in the form of a journal, a photobook, a blog, tweets, fb etc. is how it's permanent, and you can note with interest how  you've changed along the way. Over five months later, I don't think I've gotten very far in terms of increasing my food knowledge. If anything, my mental state has been affected more greatly. 

Solo dining sounds confronting, but it's not bad at all when you'd like some peace and quiet. On days like these, I make sure to have a book in tow and shove away all the tumbling, troubling thoughts.
 Sweet corn fritters w/ avocado puree, feta and chicory dressed with crème fraiche  ($17)

 Alot of layers going on here. Crispy fritters, soft batter, the pitched crunch of red onion and chicory and the shattering of cauliflower, all melded together with pureed avocado. Interesting. Other than the sour bashes from the feta, it was comparatively light and more texture focused. Fritters had a curry touch to them. 

Mr Mason
530 Little Collins Street, CBD

Chocolate leather couches.
Super food muesli; mixed grains, dried berries, yoghurt, poached fruit ($11)
Baked eggs, goat’s cheese, hand rolled sausages, peppers & baby spinach ($13)

Now that I think about it, I didn't remember biting into sausages at all. Spent too long cooking and the eggs emerged to be quite tough. Pre-buttered toast.

Need to pay L$1.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

I've got a feeling, I've got a bit of this crackling

Common Galaxia
Last time

I have a way with finding new things to do as I procrastinate, and this series is what currently takes up my time. Oh they're gorgeous :)

Smile! Avocado on pumpkin toast w chickpeas, pomegranate gems, chevre, pistachios & radish (14.5)
Left and right (2 for $15)
Roast pork w apple, braised cabbage, onion & fennel jam & pork scratchings
Warialda rare roasted mountain pepper beef w horseradish, crispy onion rings, mustard & beetroot chips


Iffy about the size of these, frankly I thought they were too expensive :/ Now I'm not the type of person to eat and mentally tick off all the ingredients listed on the menu, because I forget them. So as I ate, I assumed the little white mound was potato and was in for a bit of a 'surprise'. Couple that with the mustard and 'burnies burnies!' With this amount of idiocy, I don't know how I've survived this long on earth -.- Otherwise, I thought it was just a mini war of mustard vs. horseradish and eventually, I couldn't taste anything else.

Seven Seeds coffee - all good. So far, it's the only thing I'd come back for.

Not cafe standard but..

Corn fritters with tomato relish
I don't cook often, and when I do, it doesn't tend to end well. In this case, the relish never thickened and the fritters were really plain, but thankfully put the two together and all is good ^^;

..Wow the chopsticks look so out of place.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

ψ(`∇´)ψ Collingwood Food Dash

South of Johnston
45 Oxford Street, Collingwood

Lately I've really been getting tired of the CBD. If I'd only realised how close it was to Collingwood by tram, I would have gotten out here sooner ^^; While my head kept scanning the streets for the places on the wishlist, our lunch destination was a little further away from the tracks.
My photos never do justice to what I photograph, and these are no exception. The room is tall, wide and comfortably spacious. Our table was being cleaned, so we waited it out in the couch area, next to a pile of logs and a fireplace.
The decor is really amazing. Bold and passive colours. Artwork line the walls, miniature monuments on the tables; knobs and fresh flowers and drawings may also be spotted.
T's Blue Mountain Tea. Big pot of loose leaf, and the milk came in an adorable bottle. (Too bad she isn't a milk tea drinker ^^;)

Unusual pairing. Heck, normally I don't even get a saucer! Don't take that as a complaint though, I liked the little plate :P Supreme beans btw.

Too many tasty options on the menu! We ordered four to share. 
Corn fritters. I slot this in the 'pass' category, but not something I'd return for. Suh-weeeeeeeet chutney.
Crumbed chicken in flatbread. I said that we shared the food right? I essentially unwrapped it when I tried to slice it ^^;  Lots of fresh, healthy salad.

Scotch fillet steak sandwich. Despite having more cheese than the chicken wrap, I didn't mind it here. Sweet beetroot was the usual stand out.
Penne with chorizo. The higher you climb, the harder you fall. I was most looking forward to this one, but I've decided I like creamier pastas afterall ^^; I'm thinking I should steer further away from foods with chorizo from now on. I know I'll like it, but gone is the element of surprise and excitement.

The mini city, and the fork in the sea. Overall, I loved the interior and staff were friendly, even though it was lunch hour and the place was quite busy. It would make for a nice stop when I'm in the area again, but I wouldn't return strictly for the food and coffee.

South of Johnston on Urbanspoon

Monsieur Truffe
90 Smith Street, Collingwood

This outing was centered around hot chocolate actually ^^; K's a big fan of them, and I'm starting to try them out myself, though lattes are still what I default to.
So many types of chocolate @.@ Spotted a 70% hazelnut I want to go back for, but pity they don't have any darker ones.
Cute cups, substantial amount of foam. They're quite milky, and far from bitter.
Between the 4 of us, we had hot chocolates ranging from 70-85%. The 70% and72% were sickly sweet . By the time I got to the 85% I couldn't taste much, other than grainy powder ^^;

Storm in a Teacup
48 Smith Street, Collingwood

Serendipity. Okay, not quite. I expected it to be good, but it wasn't what I was looking forward to for the day. Tea is like my former lover, the stereotypical character who was always patient, always there, with its loving warm embrace. And I, I took the road less travelled by and that has made all the difference was seduced by coffee and its wickedly smooth charms and broke it off with the former. While we had occasional get togethers, it was never quite the same.

After this visit though, I'm beginning to think I should rethink our relationship. I was young, I was curious and wanted to see the world! Even now, it's probably too early to ask tea to take me back, so over the course of the next few weeks, when I come across a cafe with a slightly more extensive tea list, I'll give it a try and see where my true allegiances lie.

Storm in a Teacup has also rekindled an old interest in learning how to properly steep teas, rather than dunking a Dilmah/Bushell's teabag in a mug, and filling carelessly with boiling water and milk. If anything it'll certainly be easier to than making a coffee and shall teach me to be patient ^^;
Detox tea and brownie. I'm afraid I'm not familiar with individual smells and flavours so I can't dissect this like a 'serious' tea drinker could. The most I can offer is how it had a deep, inviting scent :)
Sweet darkness beckons, and look how pretty the plate is! Personally I'm a fan of the light blue and brown combination.
Fabulous Fruit Toast! ($12.50) Think healthier version of the walnut and ricotta load at Twenty and Six Espresso (have you been yet?). Smooth dollops of yoghurt, with contrasting sweets and sours from the strawberry and blood orange, and the finishing touch of crunchy pistachios, and embedded hazelnuts (Nuts about nuts ^^;)

Guilt free I tell you, guilt free.

Storm in a Teacup  on Urbanspoon