Category Archives: Melbourne

Healthy Snack – Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls + Giveaway *WINNER ANNOUNCED*

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Happy Wednesday my Dearest Readers :) Half way through the week! I’m not sure if I’ve told you, but I work in a very technical team with all men…there’s only one other girl in my team, but she doesn’t work in the same office as me so I haven’t even met her before. Anyhow, these middle ages men are always mindlessly munching on snacks all day long… whenever I bring any goodies in…they will generally be cleared in a couple of minutes.

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Balls

Recently, my two managers have decided to try and be healthy and opt for healthier snacks and one thing they love are pistachio nuts. They will take turns in buying a big pack and share it amongst themselves, and it’s very entertaining to see them fight over the last one in the pack! I didn’t realise until recently, that pistachios are a healthy snack which can help lower cholesterol and the fibre and fat content make them quite filling and hopefully you will eat less later ~

Wonderful Pistachio

Wonderful Pistachio

I was recently sent some Wonderful Pistachios to try and was asked if I was interested in creating a recipe for them. So I took this opportunity to make some healthy pistachio snacks for my colleagues which were also portable as they have been going on for long runs at lunch time.

Cranberry and Pistachio Energy Ball

Will provide you with the recipe now, but don’t forget to scroll down to the end for the giveaway :)

Recipe – Cranberry and Pistachio Energy Balls adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Yield – Approximately 20 balls (Tablespoon)

Ingredients
220g (1 Cup) chopped dates
1/2 Cup honey
pince of salt
1 1/2 cup of traditional oats
1 cup unshelled pistachio nuts
1 cup dried cranberries

Notes
- Fresh dates are probably better, because they’re not as hard
– More honey may be required to help the ingredients stick together
– Make sure the dates are well chopped, as my food processor had trouble combining the honey and dates together
– I use raw pistachio, meaning they were not salted. If you use salted pistachio, you can leave the pinch of salt out
– You can add additional seeds, nuts or dried fruit if you wish to

Method
1) Place chopped dates, honey and salt into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Mixture should be slightly runny, if it is too stiff add some more honey (1 or 2 tablespoons).
2) Transfer mixture into a large bowl and the other ingredients, pistachio, oats and dried cranberries. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3) Once the mixture is cool and harder, use your hand or spoon to assist and roll them into the size you like. Place them back into the refrigerator to firm up.
When stores in an air tight container they will last up to 2 weeks.

Cranberry and Pistachios Energy Balls

Mr Bao tried these energy balls and gave them a thumbs up as they were quite sweet and really filling, he said he ate 2 in the afternoon and was full until it was dinner time again :) Note these are also sugar free too, as it uses honey and dates!

Now let’s move onto the giveaway!

20141009-IMG_3279One lucky ready will win a Wonderful Pistachio pack valued at $24, pistachios in 3 flavours, Roast & Salt, Salt & Pepper and Sweet Chilli. Otherwise, you should be able to find them at your supermarket :)

To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me do you like salted or raw pistachios?
– For more entries please ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Follow me on Twitter ~ If you’ve already done that please let me now! Thank you!
– Giveaway ends on the 22nd October (Wednesday) 
– You may reenter daily, one entry a day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 24th October (Thursday) 
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

WINNER ANNOUNCED

Congratulations Jessica M! You are the winner for the Wonderful Pistachio pack! I will be emailing you about this today :)

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Thank you everyone who left a comment and participated!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet received Wonderful Pistachios as a gift 

 

New Friend Leaving – Lucy Liu

Lucy Liu

Mr Bao laughed and rolled his eyes, when I told him, “I’m going to start my blog post with the following statement – I am a social butterfly”. I’m not sure what’s so funny about this statement, because it’s very true! I love socialising, meeting new people, making new friends:) Fellow Wong (that’s our nickname for each other since we have the same surname haha)  is one of these new friends I have made, we met through another friend last year and have kept in touch since then. If it wasn’t because of a busy work/life schedule and distance of where we live, I’m sure we would met up more. 

Lucy Liu

Anyhow, the sad news is Fellow Wong is relocating again, he is originally from Sydney, this time he is moving to Singapore. It’s a great move for his career and he’s definitely someone who likes a new challenge so we’re very happy for him, however, at the same time it’s sad to see a new friend leave. There’s a few more weeks before he moves, but we wanted to catch up a few more times. That’s how we ended up having lunch at Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar, which is the new venture from Michael Lambie (The Smith, Circa), Smith Borg and Zac Cibbes. 

Kirin Apple Cider

I had a look at the menu before booking, and it gave me the impression of so modern Asian with Thai and Korean fusion. It seems to be on the rise with the number of modern Asian restaurants in Melbourne. The boys both shared a Kirin Apple cider, I didn’t know that Kirin produced ciders because I’ve always associated them with beer hehe I had a sip and found it to be quite crisp, but not too dry. 

Koh Tao Cooler - Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

Koh Tao Cooler – Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice top with soda $8

I got a mocktail the Koh Tao Cooler with Apple, honey, apple juice, crushed ice and topped with soda. Really enjoyed this refreshing drink and paired quite well with our dishes with such rich flavours.

Freshly shucked oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

Oysters with red nam jim sauce $4 each

As a little starter we tried a freshly shucked oyster with red nam jim sauce. Haven’t had it with nam jim sauce before, found the slightly sourness helped bring out some of the sweetness from the oyster.

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

Barramundi & Scampi Dumplings with chilli, ginger and spring onions $14

We then shared these Barramundi and scampi dumpling with chilli, ginger and spring onions. I’m usually sceptical of fish dumplings as they’re often quite fishy, but I was very impressed with these dumpling. They had a decent amount of filling and was actually quite tasty! Especially with the chilli sauce!

Crispy Pork Bun $8

Crispy Pork Bun $8

We then ordered a couple of buns to share, this is the Crispy Pork Bun with spicy kimchi and kewpie mayo. It’s so nice to see that Kewpie mayo is used more widely now and not only available in Japanese groceries. I’m addicted to it haha :) The bun itself was soft and fluffy, however, I found the crackly wasn’t as crispy as we would have liked and found the pork to be slightly bland.

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

BBQ Lap Cheong Hot Dog $8

This was my favourite! BBQ Lap Cheong ‘Hot Dog’ in a toasted milk bun with wombok coleslaw. A yum cha you can find Lap Cheong buns but they’re definitely not as indulgent as this one with that wombok coleslaw which I’m pretty sure has egg and more kewpie mayo! I really enjoyed this and would recommend you trying it!

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

Rare Breed Sticky Pork Belly $20

This reminds me very much like that signature pork dish they have at Taxi Kitchen . I did find $20 for only 2 pieces of pork belly to be on the dearer side. It was also served a young coconut salad and red chilli. Unfortunately, we were a little underwhelmed as the pork was a little tough and once again under seasoned and not very sticky.

Koren Fried Chicken Ribs $14

Korean Fried Chicken Ribs $14

But then I was blown away again by the Korean Fried Chicken Ribs with kewpie mayo :) The ribs were not greasy with the flesh still tender, it was slightly spicy probably because of the marinate, and dipped into Kewpie mayo perfect!

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock $38

Just in case I forgot to mention, the menu here is designed for sharing as most places are now! We’ve had a fair amount of food, so we decided to only get one dish from the ‘Larger’ section of the menu. We decided on the Korean Style Crispy Pork Hock with apple kimchi salad, pancakes and hoisin sauce.

Lucy Liu2

I would describe this dish like it a peking duck, but instead you replace the duck with pork! It’s quite simple, you hack into the pork hock, rip pieces off it, wrap it into the pancakes add a bit of the salad. Here comes some action shots for you!

Lucy Liu

Step 1

Lucy Liu

Step 2

Step 3

Step 3

Oh yeah last step is to wrap it and put into your mouth!!! We all really enjoyed this, the pork hock was tender with great smokey flavour, with a drizzle of hoisin sauce to give it some sweetness and the green apple for crunch! It’s also a very generous serving that could easily feed 3 to 4 people! I also liked the super thin paper like pancakes which means it’s less filling and you can eat more of it :)

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam $15

If I had it my way, I would’ve forced the boys to have 3 desserts! But they were too stuffed, so I settled for only 2! Starting with the Chocolate Dulce De Leche with blood orange foam. I’m a little perplexed because I really liked the bottom layer with the dulce de leche, how sweet and rich it was. But then I’m really not a fan of blood orange, while it was the opposite for the boys they liked the foam more because it wasn’t as sweet :P

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

Crispy Banana Fritters $15

To make it easier for sharing, we got the Crispy Banana Fritters with coconut ice-cream and syrup. The batter in which the banana was coated in was thicker than I expected and not as crispy. Felt like a modern take and wasn’t as oily as the traditional one. Coconut ice-cream was creamy and nice with a sprinkle of toasted shredded coconut.

It was such a great catch up with Fellow Wong and as a side story, I’ve already introduced him to my good friend Ms S who will take care of him when he lands in Singapore. See I’m such a good friend haha I go to great lengths to take care of them. Back to Lucy Liu, I think it had some hits, but also some misses. I think some dishes they executed so well, however, lacked some flavour in some others. However, if you’re looking for a new place to have lunch or dinner with friends who take bookings, I think Lucy Liu is a good option. Plus the name is quirky :P

Lucy Liu Kitchen and Bar on Urbanspoon

Crown Golden Ale – Caulfield Cup Carnival Preview

Caulfield Cup Carnival

 

Can you believe it? It’s already October and for those who liked horse racing you will know it’s time for Caulfield Cup Carnival :) If you want to go, best to get tickets early! A few weeks ago, I was invited to a preview dinner to try some of the excellent dishes that will be served during Caulfield Cup.

Caufield Cup Carnival

NV Pommery Brut Royal

 

The event was very casual, we all arrived, grabbed a glass of champagne and forgot about the days trouble and relaxed into the night.

Soft goats curd with edible soils and heirloom carrots

Soft goats curd with edible soils and heirloom carrots

As we’re sipping on our drinks, we are handed a canapé, soft goats curd with edible soil which is made out of dehydrated mushrooms and olives garnished with pickled heirloom carrots. I’m not usually a fan of goats curd for the gamey taste, however, this was very subtle and the edible soil had such intense mushroom flavour.

Sashimi grade tuna with textured green apple and sevruga Caviar

Sashimi grade tuna with textured green apple and sevruga Caviar

It was quickly followed by the Sashimi grade tuna with green apple salad, green apple caviar, apple and wasabi sorbet finished with sevruga caviar. Such an exquisite canapé using some luxurious items such as the sevruga caviar. I know Mr Bao was so jealous when he saw the photo on Instagram, as he loves raw fish and tuna is one of his favourite. The apple and wasabi sorbet really impressed me as it helped bring out of the flavour of the tuna without being too overpowering.

Crown Golden Ale

Crown Golden Ale

We then moved into the kitchen were our main meal was going to be served. As this is the Crown Golden Ale preview we were given a range of lagers and ale to try :) Tully Hadley CUB Master Brewer, gave us a brief explanation about Crown Golden Ale the history and production method, I also learnt a few interesting facts. For starters, Australians drink their beer very cold compared to the rest of the world, in some places, they even drink it at room temperature up to 10-12 degrees (celsius).

Caulfield Cup Carnival

 

He taught us how to pour the beer and that it doesn’t really matter if its on an angle or not as it’s a myth it will create too much foam. I’m not generally a Ale sort of girl, however, I found the Crown Golden Ale quite easy to drink, malt flavour wasn’t too strong.

Ian Curley

Ian Curley

We were then introduced to Ian Curley (Head Chef of Black Caviar Restaurant) and Julian Robertshaw (Melbourne Racing Club’s Executive Chef). You may recognise Ian from a previous blog post of mine, where I met him last year :) He is one of the most candid and nicest chefs I have met. It was also very nice to meet Julian who has recently relocated back to Melbourne, he spent 10 ears working in China, which I found very interesting where he had to learn Chinese simply to communicate with his staff members.

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I swear John Dory is Ian’s most favourite fish, he used the same fish at the previous event ~ well can’t blame him the texture of the fish is outstanding when cooked well. On the menu was a Friscassee of John Dory with Oyster and Musseel escabeche. As you can see Ian is stirring the pot with the oyster and mussels, I was getting pretty hungry by then!

Ian and Julian weren’t going to make it easy for us, we were all asked to help including Chris and for those who don’t know he’s a jockey and it was so intriguing to know about what they do to keep themselves so slim which obviously helps with riding :)

Julian Robertshaw

Julian Robertshaw

After a dollop of mash potato, Julian spreads a generous amount of the oyster and mussel escabeche, wish I could quenelle mash like that!

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Even without the John Dory this dish, I think this dish was ready to be eaten :) But then that wouldn’t be fair because Ian had spent so much time filleting the fish and cooking it hehe

Fricassee of John Dory with Oyster and Mussel escabeche

Fricassee of John Dory with Oyster and Mussel escabeche

And the finished product looks, smells and tastes stunning! The John Dory skins as crispy but the flesh was still delicate, while the escabeche had such lovely flavours especially with the oysters and mussels. We were given the recipe, but don’t think I will be able to replicate this at home anytime soon!

Crown Ambassador

Crown Ambassador 2012 Reserve Lager

The main was paired with two Crown Ambassodor Reserver Lager, Tally told us that the Crown Ambassador is only made once a year and there is only once chance to make it, hence, they need to make sure the collect the hops on the right day and produce the lager.

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We were lucky enough to try both the 2009 and 2012 reserve Lager. I thought I liked the 2012 lager more at first, as the malt flavour was strong but still smooth on the tongue, however, after trying the 2009 that was definitely more suited to my palate much sweeter like a dark burnt caramel.

Rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream

Rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream

The last course was a Melbourne racing club signature dessert rhubarb and ginger pudding with mint caramel ice-cream. The ice-cream is made in house and I was a little wary of the mint caramel combination at first, however, it turned out to be quite nice!

Caulfield Cup CarnivalLook at that luscious rhubarb layer on the bottom! It was probably a little tart for me, however, after a large meal and drinks you would probably want something not as rich to end the meal :)

I had a delightful evening at the Caulfield Racecourse and it was good to finally go as a guest and not go for exams! Hahaha yes Dear Readers, my University was right next to the racecourse and they would rent out the space for us to do our exams there! I enjoyed all the dishes presented and even though I won’t be going to Caulfield Cup Carnival, I am looking forward to seeing everyone all dressed and having a great time!

Daisy@Nevertoosweet attended this event as guest of Melbourne Racing Club and Haystac

 

Iranian Pistachio Gelato – Il Melograno

I’m not sure if any Dear Readers have noticed, but I’m starting to blog a little more again :) The last couple of months have been tough with work being so busy, personal commitments and everything else in between! I finally hit a wall and broke down… and even got a little teary at work… but my manager and team has been nothing but supportive! And of course Mr Bao has been doing thing he can to help. After the break down, I cancelled a lot of events and catch up with friends and gave myself more time. And realised that really helped clear my mind and help focus on the things that needed my attention!

Il Melograno1

 

Anyhow, I’ve bored you enough with my break down, but don’t worry everyone :) I’m feeling so much better now! As a matter of fact, I’m doing so well I managed to get this blog post up, even though I only visited Il Melograno two days ago! Two nights ago a restaurant had their launch party (will be blogging about that soon) and quite a few food bloggers were invited. It was a great event to see and catch up with everyone. Once the meal was finished, it was still quite early not even 9pm, I had my partner in crime Ashely (Im So Hungree) with me, and she actually suggested we should pay Il Melograno a visit. We then lured Allan (Almost Always Ravenous) to come with us!

Il Melograno2

I have read of Il Melograno opening a while ago and have been on my ‘must-try’ list. We are so spoilt here in Melbourne with so many authentic gelato places to choose from. My impression of Il Melograno is that they focus on making small batches of traditional gelato, flavours were not as modern or creative as say Gelato Messina. However, I could taste the quality and effort placed into producing these gelato.

Thanks Allan!

So apparently Allan said that he owed me money from so long ago that I honestly don’t even remember, but he said gelato was on him :D Wasn’t going to argue with him! Thanks Allan hehe

Il Melograno3

The gelato here is also very reasonable priced $5.8 for a small cup with two flavours and take note! The cups are also edible which I find intriguing and rare to find here! I swear we didn’t plan this…but all our gelato have the same colour scheme hehe

Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Macadamia $5.8

Chocolate & Rosemary and Salted Macadamia $5.8

Ash chose a flavour on their specials board, which is quite interesting Chocolate and Rosemary which surprisingly paired quite well with each other. Neither was overpowering each other. Not something I would choose but the salted macadamia! Such intense flavour!

Coffee and Banana & Walnut $5.8

Coffee and Banana & Walnut $5.8

Not as adventurous :P Allan chose the Ricci Method Coffee and also Banana and Walnut. Just like before both flavours were intense and for those who can’t handle caffeine too well, I wouldn’t suggest ordering the coffee as you might have trouble sleeping at night! The Banana and walnut resembled a smoothie with that strong kick of banana through it.

Bacio and Iranian Pistachio

Bacio and Iranian Pistachio

I got two of my favourite flavours, Bacio think the Baci chocolate (hazelnut chocolate) intense with small pieces of hazelnut through it. But what really impressed me was the Iranian pistachio, the wonderfully friendly girl behind the counter explained to us, that proper pistachio gelato should have a very pale if any colour. And the ones that are mint or even fluorescent green has certainly been tinted with food dye. That really intrigued me, as I always thought pistachio equaled green. The flavour was probably not as intense as the other flavours, but still very good and great creamy texture.

I definitely enjoyed Il Melograno, flavours are intense and you get all you asked for :) Pleased that we now have a good gelato store in the suburbs which hopefully will make parking easier and queues shorter. At least for now until more people find about them and then I won’t have a secret gelato spot to visit anymore hehe Maybe I should’ve kept this to myself and not blog about it!

Il Melograno on Urbanspoon

That Beef Brisket – Meatmaiden

Meatmaiden1

My Dear Readers, do you remember the short lived restaurant Little Hunter? It had some great success but after only what felt like 6 months, it closed its doors due to financial issues. This great space was then forgotten for a while but it has been brought to life again! It has been taken over by the same owners as Meatmother in Richmond and now transformed into Meatmaiden.

Meatmaiden2

Meatmaiden is on the basement of a commercial building, and since it’s Little Hunter days, it has changed a little with more seats at the bar, not as dark and I love those dark grungy photos of girls holding a knife haha that’s the evil side of me when I don’t get what I want :P

Meatmaiden3

To celebrate the opening of the restaurant, Meatmaiden decided to organise a bloggers/media night, which I thought was very generous as all guests were also asked to bring a plus one. Even though it was a large event, we were all placed our own tables and I had Shellie (Iron Chef Shellie), Michelle (The Bakeanista), Katey (TinkPR) and Mr Bao on our table, so it was still intimate.

Negroni

Negroni

So what if it was a Tuesday night, it was going to be an awesome night filled with food and catching up with my fellow blogger friends so I was determined to drink! Plus Mr Bao was driving haha so lets start with a Negroni! Definitely not for the light drinkers it was quite strong indeed!

Beef Jerky, Pickled Heirloom vegetables and Kipfler chips

Beef Jerky, Pickled Heirloom vegetables and Kipfler chips

Ok now we’ve got drinks covered let’s move onto the starters, here we have beef jerky, pickled heirloom vegetables with chilli and goats cheese and Kipfler chips. The beef jerky with their homemade BBQ sauce was delicious! Then we also had the insider joke that Shellie pickled her stomach that night with all the pickled veggies she ate haha they were a great to prepare us for all the food that was coming!

Oysters with Smoked Fennel Dressing

Oysters with Smoked Fennel Dressing

Next was the freshly shucked oysters with smoked fennel dressing, I’m pretty sure these Oysters were from Tasmania and had a creamier texture. I haven’t had smoked fennel dressing with oysters before and found it very refreshing.

Southern fried chicken with tequila mayo

Southern fried chicken ribs with tequila mayo

I think I forgot to mention that Meatmaiden focuses on American BBQ so it also makes sense that they would have Southern fried chicken and to make things more interesting it was served with tequila mayonnaise. I couldn’t really taste the alcohol but it had all the rich and creaminess expected from mayo and the chicken ribs had such great flavours! I think more places should do Chicken ribs instead of wings, it’s easier to eat and more meat!

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac and Cheese

Some of the bloggers have visited on another event before, and they haven’t topped telling me about the Lobster Mac and Cheese, so I was very excited to see it on the menu. We all agreed that we could all have one serve each, it was very rich but was actually quite light on the cheese. The lobster just made it even more indulgent.

20-hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket with Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub

20-hour Rangers Valley Wagyu Brisket with Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub

Now this is the BEEF BRISKET I am going nuts about, it’s Wagyu brisket from Rangers Valley and takes 20 hours to make paired with that aromatic Native Tassie Pepper Berry Rub. It is the most tender piece of beef brisket I’ve ever had! I’m going to be pushy and recommend you go and try for yourself :)

O’Connor Pasture-fed Flat Iron Steak

O’Connor Pasture-fed Flat Iron Steak

This flat iron steak from O-Connor was another winning dish that night, it had such intense buttery beef flavour. It had such good flavours no condiments or sauces were really required.

Lamb ribs

Lamb ribs

Last savoury dish we tried was the Lamb ribs, I don’t eat lamb so I skipped and gave my piece to Mr Bao. He commented that it was so succulent with great smokey flavours, we also got a variety of nods from the other people on our tables ~

Sundae with Peanut Brittle

Sundae with Peanut Brittle

All good meals must end with dessert! This was the Ice-cream sundae with chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, chocolate sauce and peanut brittle. A simple American classic dessert, just needed more chocolate sauce hehe

Chocolate Bar with Raspberry Sorbet

Chocolate Bar with Raspberry Sorbet

Something a little fancier was the chocolate bar with raspberry sorbet, its like a chocolate fondant with a soft gooey centre. I found the raspberry sorbet a little too tart for my liking and would’ve proffered something like butterscotch ice-cream but I’m sure you all know the way I like my desserts ~

I enjoyed the meal here at Meatmaiden and found it more refined than Meatmother but still retaining that casual bar type atmosphere. Their prices are also reasonable with a $49 meal with so much food my friend had doggy bags to take home with her last time she went with her hubby. Definitely recommend Meatmaiden if you’d like a place to visit with friends and trust me you must order the beef brisket and lobster mac and cheese!

Meatmaiden on Urbanspoon

Mr Bao and Daisy@Nevertoosweet dined here as guests of Meatmaiden and TinkPr

Doggy Date – Mr Hendricks

I never need an excuse to go out for brunch because I simply adore going out on the weekends and enjoying a hearty breakfast and good cup of coffee. But now that I’ve got Cupcake it’s another reason to catch up with other canine loving friends :D One of these friends is Joanna (The Hangry Bitch)   we haven’t been very well in catching up this year, the last time I saw her was in March or even February! We both have busy schedules, we finally set a date and decided to catch up for brunch at Mr Hendricks with her dachshund Danny, boyfriend The Angmoh and Mr Bao.

Mr Hendricks

I have been so excited about visiting Mr Hendricks, as there are not that many cafes in my area so when Winnie (Eat Play Shop) recommended it and visited twice in a short period of time, it was immediately on the top of my list! I started off with a Soy chai latte and they use Prana chai meaning its the real deal made out of tea leaves and not powder ;)

Soy Chai $4

Soy Chai $4

They use Padre coffee here and Mr Bao ordered his usual Magic (double Ristretto), he commented that the coffee might have been a tad warm and not as fruity as he preferred but still a very good cup of coffee.

Magic $3

Magic $3

Moving onto the food, Jo’s boyfriend The Angmoh ordered the House toasted granola with strawberry and rhubarb compote and vanilla yoghurt. Unfortunately, he said that there was too much compote and yoghurt which drenched the toasted granola making it a little soggy.

House Toasted Granola with Vanilla Yoghurt $12.5

House Toasted Granola with Vanilla Yoghurt $12.5

Jo ordered the tempera Soft Shell Crab burger with fennel, radish, cabbage, avocado and kewpie mayonnaise. It smelt so wonderfully good and I’m pretty sure the bun is a brioche bun which makes it all the better :D However, it does look a little lonely without any sides, so it might have been good to have a little salad or chips on the side.

Soft Shell Crab $16.50

Soft Shell Crab $16.50

I was tossing and turning between the Crispy eggs or the Croque Madame, I decided to go with the eggs because I love anything with sweet potato. You can’t really see the ham hock in this photo as it’s covered up by the fennel and radish salad, but it was tasty and tender.

Crispy Eggs with ham hock and sweet potato puree $18

Crispy Eggs with ham hock and sweet potato puree $18

I’ve always wondered how they cooked these eggs, to make it crispy on the outside but still runny inside. I mean look at how perfect these eggs were! I can’t even make boiled eggs without my egg cooker hehe

Perfect eggs!

Perfect eggs!

Mr Bao was hungry (please note he’s always hungry haha) he got the Breakfast Cassolet with confit duck, toulouse sausage, persillade, ham hock and fried eggs. It’s not common to find a duck dish on a brunch menu so I found that quite interesting and this was definitely more a lunch dish as its big in size and rather rich.

Breakfast Cassolet with confit duck $21

Breakfast Cassolet with confit duck $21

I’m glad Jo has a sweet tooth too, because who else would share the Brioche french toast with me. This was a thick piece of brioche with vanilla poached pears, caramel sauce and double cream. It was a little too sweet and rich for Jo, while I thought it was just right. Having said that…I would have wanted a little more caramel sauce yes more :P and replaced double cream with ice-cream hmmm I can just imagine and how everything will go with each other!

Brioche French Toast with vanilla poached pears, caramel sauce $14.50

Brioche French Toast with vanilla poached pears, caramel sauce $14.50

Had such a wonderful catch up with Jo, The Angmoh and how could we forget Danny! He was so well behaved and more settled compared to Cupcake who was jumping all over him and everyone who walked past haha

Danny

Danny!!!

I really enjoyed Mr Hendricks and so happy that they have opened up in close to my area :) We don’t have any options so it’s lovely to find another local gem! Will definitely be coming back again very soon and might become a regular as they are very dog friendly and staff are attentive. Next time I WANT the waffles!!!

Mr Hendricks Cafe on Urbanspoon

Suburban Thai – Som Tam

SomTam1

Good afternoon my Dearest Reader’s hope you’re all enjoying your weekend :) I’m not sure if you remember my friend Garfield, we’ve been friends since high school and he LOVES Thai food. We have gone to countless Thai restaurants and without fail he will order the same items from the menu! That’s why when I got an offer to review Som Tam a new Thai restaurant in Thornbury, I knew it was the perfect excuse to catch up!

Garfield (nickname of course) hates photos but I managed to snap this one and he allowed me to post it as long as it was black and white :P This guy has not changed at all! Just wondering my Dear Readers do you still keep in contact with your high school friends?

Chang Beer $8

Chang Beer $8

Mr Bao came with us as well and the boys decided it was a good night to have a beer or two or actually make that three. And they also stick with a Chang beer when we’re dining at a Thai restaurant.

Complimentary Som Tam

Complimentary Som Tam

The restaurant itself is called Som Tam, and for those who don’t know it mean Green Papaya salad in Thai. We were all given a small dish of complimentary Som Tam which I thought was a nice gesture and palate cleanser.

Son in Law Eggs $7.9

Son in Law Eggs $7.9

I’m a huge fan of Son in Law eggs which are soft boiled eggs fried to give it a crispy skin, topped with caramelised red onion, chilli and herbs. The eggs were cooked well and still remained runny inside, I did find it to be a little under seasoned and would’ve liked some more chilli or onion flavours.

Roti Bread and Peanut sauce $4.5

Roti Bread and Peanut sauce $4.5

Garfield and I are huge fans of roti bread and he’s introduced me to peanut sauce and now I can’t seem to get enough of it. The roti bread was fresh and warm, while the peanut sauce had more pronounce curry flavours than peanut, they paired each other quite well.

Roti bread peanut butter

Thanks Mr Bao for being my trusty hand model. But perhaps next time I can paint your nails too? Hahaha just kidding!

Som Tam  with Soft shell crab $12.90

Som Tam with Soft shell crab $12.90

I am a huge fan of Som Tam so since its their signature I had to try. We chose the soft shell crab salad as I find that more interesting. The Som Tam was made well fresh and crunchy, however, I found it too sour and not as spicy as I’ve had it in Bangkok. The soft shell crab was deep fried, it could have probably stayed in the deep fryer for a tad longer to make it extra crispy especially the thicker parts.

Tom Yum Soup with prawn $9.5

Tom Yum Soup with prawn $9.50

Mr Bao and I also shared the Tom Yum soup with prawns mushroom, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Once again I found it to be amore sour than spicy, but the prawns were very fresh and had good texture.

Pad Se Ew $15.90

Pad Se Ew $15.90

Garfield was the first to introduced me to Pad Se Ew which is a stir fly noodle with beef slices, Chinese broccoli, pepper with a sweet soy sauce. This is his ultimate favourite dish out of all the dishes in Thai cuisine, he can eat this literally every day! He gave a big smile and nod to this Pad Se Ew as it was done right in his books made with beef and we could tell that it was freshly made and still piping hot. His only comment it that there was a little too much pepper for his liking.

Kana Moo Krob $15.90

Kana Moo Krob $15.90

I’m so glad I was dining with the boys, so I can try more dishes, we then shared a stir fry and curry dish. This is the Kana Moo Krob which is a stir fry of Chinese broccoli, crispy pork belly and garlic chilli oyster sauce. I could really taste the “breath of the wok” meaning the wok was heated to a high heat to cook this dish.

Red Curry Roast Duck $18.90

Red Curry Roast Duck $18.90

Mr Bao finally ordered the Red duck curry, he’s been talking about it for a while, but the last couple of Thai restaurants we visited either didn’t have duck or red curry. I was quite impressed that the duck is roasted in house with berries and longan added to the curry sauce to give it some overall sweetness.

Black Sticky Rice $4

Black Sticky Rice $4

The red duck curry sauce went very well with the Black Sticky rice. I’m not sure if I’ve told you this before, but I’m not really a fan of rice, never liked it or enjoyed it. However, I do like glutinous rice and when it’s black it’s even better as it’s got that nutty oat flavour to it. I also found that not many Thai restaurants serve black sticky rice so I was happy that they do here :)

SomTam2

After all that food I needed a break…so here is a picture of the interior, I believe Som Tam is newly renovated and has a modern casual dining atmosphere.

Sang Ka Ya $6.90

Sang Ka Ya $6.90

The boys downed another couple beers while I was busy choosing what desserts I wanted to try. I couldn’t decide between two or three…so what the heck…I’ll just get all that I wanted! Starting with this Sang Ka Ya which is a egg custard pudding with pumpkin, taro and shredded coconut on top and served with Mango ice-cream. I wasn’t sure how Garfield would take this dessert, as it is a very Asian style and flavoured pudding to my surprise it was his favourite! I really enjoyed the smooth texture of the custard and also the little pieces of taro through it.

Black Sticky Rice with coconut ice-cream $6.90

Black Sticky Rice with coconut ice-cream $6.90

Yay! More black sticky rice for me! This is a very traditional Thai dessert and I remember eating numerous plates of this in Bangkok, however, it was often served with slices of mango, which is what I found missing from this dessert. And perhaps some coconut milk to poured over the black sticky rice would have added some more flavour.

Banana Roti $6.90

Banana Roti $6.90

Then the final dish for the night was this Banana roti with the same fresh buttery flaky roti bread sandwiched with slices of banana, whipped cream and a drizzle of maple syrup. This become my favourite!

I will be honest before visiting Som Tam I was a little wary as I have read mixed reviews about the restaurant. It appeared to be either really good or not so great at all. Even though I do find some dishes lacked chilli and spice. I understand that the chefs are trying to accommodate to the tastes and preferences of locals. I am very glad I came and tried, as we all enjoyed ourselves. I actually found the price of the dishes to be very reasonable, with nothing even mains over $25 while service was quick and pleasant. I would happily return to Som Tam more often if it was closer to where I lived, but I’m sure if I wanted to Garfield would drive again!

Som Tam on Urbanspoon

Daisy@Nevertoosweet and guests dined at Som Tam as their guest all opinions are my own. 

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