Tag Archives: Melbourne

Last post for 2014 – Addict Food and Coffee

Can you believe it my Dear Readers? It’s already the last day of 2014! I’ve started to reflect back on the things that have happened this year and realised it has been such a turbulent year with so many highs and lows. The highs include getting our little puppy Cupcake, the birth of my niece (name has been confirmed as Valerie) and achieving some new goals at work. While the lows have been an emergency trip back to Hong Kong for my sister, moving houses and some personal issues.

Best Gift of 2014

Best Gift of 2014

Anyhow, it all doesn’t matter because the year is ending and I am grateful for all the experiences, failures and success!

Magic $4

Magic

Enough talk moving on to the actual post, brunching has always been a tradition of Mr Bao and I on the weekends and now we bring Cupcake along ~ I’ve seen Addict Food and Coffee come up in my Instagram feed quite a few times and knew I had to come try. Mark Boyd and Steve Hogan are the masterminds in the kitchen, they previously worked at St Ali and now it was their time to shine :) Mr Bao ordered is usual coffee and really enjoyed his single origin magic and commented on the overall nuttiness flavour.

Ice Coffee $6

Ice Coffee

Sorry I forgot to take a photo of the menu, so I don’t have the price for the coffee or food here, but I promise to update it once I’ve revisited and have it ~ It wasn’t a very hot day, but we were sitting outside and the sun was out so I felt like an ice coffee. I really liked the presentation of the coffee in a little milk bottle and also a chilled glass with more ice.

Addict Food and CoffeeEven though the colour looks quite milky, it actually had good coffee flavours. However, I would recommend drinking it quickly otherwise the ice will melt and dilute the coffee or drink it from the milk bottle ~

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries

The menu here has a good balance between the traditional breakfast dishes with eggs and bacon, yet also caters for vegetarians and also vegan options. But being Mr Bao… he decided to try the Southern pulled pork burger with Parmesan fries. It was more like a sub to me with the long bun instead of the round burger bun ~ The pork was soft and flavoursome, however, what really caught our attention was the Parmesan fries, they were freshly made thin and crispy but not oily. We ended up fighting over who will get the last piece!

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet purée

My choice was this is my vegetarian dish Chargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puree and also roasted beets. Now you see this was a vegetarian dish but Mr Bao decided to ask for a side of bacon without consulting me, simply because he didn’t want a veggie dish haha not that I really mind but I see no issue with eating healthy somedays!

hargrilled corn with poached eggs, polenta bites, yellow beet puréeThis dish was beautifully plated and I really liked all the different colours. Even without the bacon there was enough flavour and texture, I was particularly fond of the polenta bites (I’m a huge fan of polenta!) it was crispy on the outside but still stayed warm and fluffy inside. I’m not usually a fan of beetroot but because it was roasted it was very sweet and I guess… the bacon did complete the dish but then bacon always does :D

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries.

Buttermilk Pancakes with Mascarpone and raspberries

So far we’ve enjoyed all the drinks and food at Addict Food and Coffee, but honestly nothing beats these buttermilk pancakes with poached pear, mascarpone cream and fresh raspberries! Sure pancakes have become a staple on menus across Melbourne, but there’s something about these warm fluffy pancakes. It was a generous serving of two thick buttermilk pancakes, that are slightly dense which is the way I like, paired with mascarpone and poached pear! Even Mr Bao was impressed and ate more than half of these pancakes! I was close to ordering another serve just for myself :D

We really enjoyed Addict Food and Coffee, staff were very friendly and efficient and most importantly they have those buttermilk pancakes and very dog friendly which is important to us now.

Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

 

 

And that ends my last blog post of 2014 on a sugar high! I would like to say how grateful I am for those who have loved and supported me this year. That includes many people but of course Mr Bao (I admit I am hardwork!), my sister Win Win, my family and friends! But I also also grateful for your support my Dearest Readers, thank you for always being here and supportive loyal even when I haven’t had time to blog, I know you’re still here waiting for me!

With that I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year and may 2015 bring you more joy and happiness :)

Merry Christmas!!! – Cookie Love + Giveaway *Winner Announced*

Merry Christmas everyone :)

Merry Christmas everyone :)

My small little family (Mr Bao, Cupcake and myself) would like to wish all my Dearest Readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Boxing Day :) Hope you’ve been enjoying this wonderful festival of overeating, overspending but more importantly spending time with loved ones.

I know I am once again guilty for disappearing and not posting for a few weeks. I really apologise for that, however, I simply have not had the time do very much with work being so busy, working until early hours of the morning and also moving houses. We haven’t found our new place yet, so for the interim we’re back at my parents ~ But hopefully in the New Year we’ll find our new home! Wish me luck :)

Farmhouse direct

Because I feel bad for not blogging for such a long time a have a gift for one special Reader :) Keep reading and scroll down to the bottom for details how to enter this giveaway. Christmas a time for giving and also receiving. And although we tend to spoil ourselves during the holiday season, I think it’s important to remember to give to those who are less fortunate than ourselves. That is the reason why I was keen in trying and reviewing the new website ‘Where Your Heart Is’ website. This is a new website created by both Farm House Direct (a website which supports and helps sell local produce) and Good Spender (a website that sells products from Australian social enterprises).

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

Cookie Love from Teresa :)

The concept of Where Your Heart Is, is to give consumers the options of purchasing products which not only help local producers but also help give back to those in need. I think it’s a great idea and definitely makes Christmas shopping a lot easier! So save the link for next year! I was sent some beautifully packed baked goodies from Cookie Love a local artisan baker from Phillip Island in Victoria.

20141219-IMG_5250Teresa the founder and artisan baker of Cookie love wrote me one of the nicest Christmas cards I’ve ever received explaining how she came up with the idea of selling her gorgeous cookies and moreish panforte. Oh by the way, if you haven’t noticed that’s not my hands haha I recruited Miss D to come help me devour some cookies!

Christmas Cookies

Christmas Cookies

I opened the first box and squealed to see a range of talented decorated Christmas cookies, I particularly like the Santa Claus because he has the most adorable little face. Miss D and both tried a little gift box cookie, as we wanted to save the bigger ones for later ~ I was particularly impressed with how soft the cookies remained and had a nice texture. These cookies would put a smile on anyone;s face!

Gingerbread Men

Gingerbread Men

Underneath Christmas cookies were another layer of Gingerbread men! Once again delicately made with the cutest faces! I’ve made them once before… and lets say some of my gingerbread men we’re definitely not as happy or cheerful looking! They had the same soft texture as the butter cookies, however, these had a subtle ginger and cinnamon flavour through them.

Panforte Noire

Panforte Noire

We then moved onto the other two boxes which were Panforte. For those who are not familiar Teresa explained in the Christmas card that panforte are very traditional Italian fruitcake with lots of nuts. Some may mix chocolate through it to make it a ‘Nero’ a dark version of Panforte.

Panforte Bianco

Panforte Bianco

The serving suggestion is to sprinkle with a little icing sugar, cut into slithers and enjoy with a cup of coffee or I would suggest champagne.

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The panforte bianco has white chocolate mixed through, a variety of nuts and dried fruit. I’m not sure I’ve had panforte before so I’m probably not the best judge, but Miss D and I really enjoyed the chewy texture and crunchiness of the nuts. Compared to the dark chocolate (nero) panforte, we found that this wasn’t as sweet and tasted more fruity.

Panforte Nero

Panforte Nero

Moving onto the Panforte Nero which is exactly the same as the Bianco except it has dark chocolate (Lindt) mixed into it instead. It still has the roasted nuts, glace fruit and also honey for sweetness. I think the dark chocolate one looks more like a regular chocolate cake ~

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Once again severing suggestion is icing sugar (which I forgot oops!) and cut into slithers which mine are also too big…what can I say I’m a greedy person :D I must say the texture is very similar for both panforte but my personal preference would be the nero as it is sweeter and has a more intense chocolate flavour. I would have loved to have this with a glass of latte, unfortunately my life is in boxes right now so I don’t even know where my coffee machine is hehe.

The panforte were quite large and could easily feed 6 to 8 people depending no the sizing of the pieces as it is quite filling. I’ve enjoyed all the products from Cookie Love and really enjoy supporting products made in Victoria. You can also order these Cookie Love products from this Farm House Direct link and be sure to check out the other products they have. It’s like a local farmers market online without having to wake up early the products are directly sent to you :)

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Now thanks to Teresa (Cookie Love), Where Your Heart Is and Farmhouse Direct I have one set of this Christmas pack to giveaway. I’m sorry that it’s after Christmas but it’ll be more like a New Years present :)

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To enter this giveaway
- Leave a comment and tell me have you tried Panforte before? Will you like the Bianco (White chocolate) or Nero (Dark chocolate) more?
– 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 4th January (Sunday) 
– You may reenter daily, one entry per day
– Winners will be chosen by me personally and announced on this blog and notified via email on the 5th January
– Open only to all Australian residents (Sorry International Readers!)

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My little Reindeer (Cupcake) would like to wish everyone good luck in this giveaway and also have a safe and Happy New Year!

WINNER ANNOUNCED!!!

Congratulations CC you are the winner of this Cookie Love giveaway!

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I will be emailing you and sending you the gift pack very shortly.

THANK YOU EVERYONE who entered!

Up In The Woods – Piggery Cafe

Piggery CafePiggery Cafe, Shannon Bennett’s newest venture up in the Dandenong Ranges. I visited in late September with Sarah (Sarah Cooks), Sandra and Ashley (I’m So Hungree) and have been meaning to write about the event for the longest time.

Piggery Cafe

Sarah visited Piggery Cafe a couple months ago and has been raving about the cakes and also the $25 afternoon tea. So we promptly organised a girls day out and Sarah kindly offered to drive which is probably a great idea, as I am horrible with directions :P

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Piggery Cafe is only one part of the Burnham Beeches a historical mansion built in the 1930s and is now divided into different area such as the Burnham Bakery and also an Emu enclosure. There are also plans to open a Burnham Beeches hotel and steakhouse.

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We chose one of the best afternoons to go, as it was lovely weather not too hot or cold and we managed to grab a nice table outside. Ashley and I took a walk inside the cafe and was immediately mesmerised by the table full of scones, mini tarts, cakes and other sweets! I was in dessert heaven!

Piggery Cafe1

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart

I honestly couldn’t take my eyes off all the baked goodies! I wanted to try EVERYTHING the scones, lemon tart, mini chocolate cake! I’m practically had to drag myself out back to the table and waited patiently for the waiter to take our order. He explained to us that for $25 per person, includes a selection of savouries, sweet and unlimited flow of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

Valrhona hot chocolate

Valrhona hot chocolate

They use Valrhona chocolate to make their hot chocolate here, so Ashley and I decided to get one each. It had great chocolate flavour, however, wasn’t the thick European type and was rather light and came with a little house-made marshmallow.

Piggery Cafe

Savoury platter

Next up was a large platter of savoury items, it was a huge shock the amount of food on the board. From the left was a puff pastry filled with mushroom, smoked salmon, seeded sourdough with some addictive garlic spread and also a little quiche. Everything was great and I enjoyed it all but the mushroom pie was definitely a winner with the super flakey and buttery pastry!

Scones with jam and whipped cream

Scones with jam and whipped cream

This was followed by these dainty scones half fruit (dried cranberries) and plain served with jam and whipped cream. I am determined to make my scones smaller at home next time they just look so much more refines and so damn cute when they’re small like this!

I slathered a very generous serving of whipped cream and I think it was apricot jam with a light citrus flavour which may have been orange. Scones had a good crust, but was still moist and fluffy inside thumbs up from me!

Chef's selection of sweets

Chef’s selection of sweets

The food doesn’t stop coming, it was then a full plate of Chef’s selection of sweets! A wide range of cakes such as pistachio canele, almond cake, mini macarons, chocolate tart and macaroon. The cakes did not only look good they tasted fresh and nothing was dry or felt like it has been left out for a long time.

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We then finished up with another round of coffee and tea. The afternoon tea here at Piggery Cafe is such a great value for money and I still can’t believe we got all this food for only $25! I guess it is a great way to attract patrons to visit in the afternoon which is usually quieter for the Dandenong Ranges when people are making their way home. I heard that Shannon Bennett wanted to create a space where he would like to visit with his kids on the weekend. He’s definitely done a great job to make Piggery Cafe very kid friendly and also pet friendly which is very important to me :)

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Apple Danish and Lemon Merengue Tart $9

Before I left, I went back inside to grab an Apple Danish and also Lemon Merengue tart for Mr Bao as he got quite jealous he wasn’t invited to come hehe I can’t wait to take Mr Bao and Cupcake with me next time and I’m tempted to try the Burnham Beeches picnic basket next time :)

Piggery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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.

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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!

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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

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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

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