Monday, March 31, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Il Dolce Freddo

Il Dolce Freddo

After a frustrated meal at Brunetti, we hope the 'award-winning' gelato will 'extinguish our fire'. Who knows........

We had durian and lychee flavours. The durian smell strong, I could smell it 2 shops away but tasted pretty weak...orz. Lychee both smell and taste weak...orz...more disappointments. I miss Shlix.....

By dinner, I no mood to snap anymore. We had claypot rice and wat tan hor (rice noodles in eggy sauce) at Claypot King on Swanston Street. The braised pork claypot rice was surprisingly good.

Yeah, that conclude our Melbourne trip.

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Brunetti


Date visited: 16/2/2008 (day 8) for lunch


We arrived tired and hungry at about 12.50pm.

There are cafe and restaurant. We wanted to sit down have a nice meal. Who knows.....

Took the waiter 25 minutes to set an EMPTY table. WHATDAEFF??? Dowan our business issit??

The waiter and waitress stood behind the counter all the time, busy at nothing and sometimes stared into space. Bloody difficult to attempt eye contact.

Seafood linguini
I had seafood linguini.

Duck risotto
Big King had duck risotto.

The food came extra salty till it left a bitter after taste. The duck so dry we could have sworn we were eating duck jerky.

Also had sourdough with olive oil and balsamic dip. The bread came cold and stale?? WHADADAEFF!??

Opera & nutella cheesecake@Brunetti's
Opera and Nutella Cheesecake

Cheesecake average, Opera is dry and felt it had been in the fridge for 3 days.

Italian cheesecake
Italian cheesecake (ripoff at A$8.XX)

I once read, Italian cheesecake is the KING of all cheesecakes. Eating one is like a revelation. Jokingkah?? Blah. This version is hard and stodgy. *head hit wall* by now.

Total damage A$70 including tips. BIG damage and should have saved the tips.......ORZ.......

Super overrated place.

I simply no mood to snap the very flashy entrance by the time we left.

Fine if you LOVE this place to bits, the above is just our unfortunate experience.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Ichipan Crepes

Ichipan Crepes
Melbourne Central

Date visited: 15/2/2008 (Day 7) for dessert

Ichpan Crepes@Melbourne Central
Situated on ground floor of Melbourne Central near the Swanston St exit/entrance.

Ichipan display
The wall is adorned with plastic models.

Ichipan crepe with ice-cream
Big King had one with ice-cream, I had one with nutella, banana, strawberry drowned in custard, YUM!

Salt & pepper chicken rice
We had dinner at Dessert House Eatery (again!). I had salt and pepper chicken chop rice (pictured), very nice! Big King had lemongrass pork chop rice (no pic) which is similar to the chicken version I had before.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Cocoro Japanese Pottery & Lounge

Green tea parfait@cocoro
Cocoro Japanese Pottery & Lounge
Queen Victoria Market

Date visited: 15/2/2008 (day 7) after lunch at Piadina Slowfood

Cocoro Jap Pottery
Nestled unassumingly among a row of brick shops.

Marriage of cafe plus potteries showroom

Green tea parfait1@Cocoro
Green tea parfait A$9.XX

Green tea ice-cream, vanilla ice-cream, green tea pound cake and honeyed adzuki beans topped with cream and garnished with black sesame.

Doughnut van
Saw the legendary doughnut van on the way home.

Jam filled donut
Jam filled donut A$0.80@

I limped all the way back, too much walking the past few days. Princess asked me to carry her midway while also carrying a teapot, a percolator and a bag of hot donuts, orz.....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Piadina Slowfood

Piadina Slowfood
Rear 57 Lonsdale St

Date visited: 15/2/2008 (day7) for lunch

Still full (gali, more like) from previous night's dinner. I sat in the sun in a little garden on Spring St waiting for tummy to grumble. Princess chased birds and plucked flowers. Finally, it got too hot so we made our way slowly towards then along Lonsdale St.

Came across Madam Brussels Lane first. Housed many hip eateries/bakeries/cafe here. Check out the ultra cool Espressino at rear, very bright and welcoming with drool worthy cakes and snacks in the glass cabinet.

Mdm Brussels Lane@50 Londale St
Madame Brussells Lane, 50 Lonsdale St

Cross the road and continue along Lonsdale St and we arrived at number 57. Climb a flight of stairs and Piadina Slowfood with Chinese/Japanese lantern greeted us at its entrance. Super strange, lantern in an Italian cafe which served its food in a Chinese claypot. Fusion all the to Mars, very strange indeed.

Piadina Slowfood
Inside, the cafe is tiny. Daily changing menu hung from the ceiling and on chalk board.

Ham & rocket piadina @Piadina Slowfood
I wasn't hungry, so I opt for piadina (Italian flat bread) with ham (I am sure it has some nice name) and rocket. It came with lots of garlic (FRESHLY minced). I like but sure ain't come cheap, total A$13.00.

Princess drank half the latte, orz ><

Piadina Slowfood 1
The place is buzzing when we left, around 12.45.

Signature 'smile' (looks fakey fakey haha)

Princess likes Melbourne very much.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Camy Shanghai Dumpling & Noodle Restaurant

Camy Shanghai Dumpling & Noodle Restaurant
25 Tattersalls Lane
(off Lt Bourke St nearer to Swanston St)

Date visited: 14/2/2008 (day 6) for dinner

A restaurant hidden in an dingy alleyway but enjoy wide coverage by Melbourne bloggers and media.

Camy Shanghai Dumpling
Dan dan noodle (I know, it looked like something else), Shanghai fish rice (need lots of water to wash down), spring onion pancake (dripping with oil), xiao long (thick skin, strong porky smell) >_<'''

'Authentic' northern style dumplings
'Authentic' northern style dumpling (as stated in menu)

'Tastiest' food of the night, though still with strong porky smell. Gawwwd.....

High oil, high sodium and 'strong smell' food is simply not our cup of tea.

Paid A$3x.xx

Since on subject of alleyway dining, Hardware Lane (between Queen St and Elizabeth St) is a very happening dining street with live band performing in the evening.

We've never dine there, no mood sitting elbow to elbow with other tourists.

Hardware Lane@Melbourne
Hardware lane at daytime, comes alive in the evening.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Dragon Boat BBQ

Dragon Boat BBQ Restaurant
Lonsdale St (somewhere between Russell St and Exhibition St)

Date visited: 14/2/2008 (day 6) for lunch after visiting Queen Vic Market

Take circle tram from La Trobe St/Queen St stop and get off at La Trobe St/Swanston St stop. Walk about 10 minutes.

Pork chop rice@Dragon Boat Lonsdale
Pork chop rice

Ordered by Big 'Pork Chop' King, surprise, surprise *snigger*

Char Siew & chicken lo meen@Dragon Boat Lonsdale
Char siew & soy sauce chicken lo meen

Soy sauce chicken is good, me like. Princess liked the noodles.

Total bill: A$20.10.

Monday, March 17, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Buy buy buy!

Sam Edelman
Sam Edelman Carlyn ballet flats (A$95 on sale)

The after effect of jalan-jalan(wandering) around Flinders Lane after tea at Nila.

Shoe details:
Black patent leather upper
Leather sole
Buckle detail at toe
Leopard print lining

Where to buy:
ZOMP shoes at Flinders Lane, just round the corner from Degraves St.


Other accesories scored include black canvas Longchamp tote (the Gucci killed my back, the buckle is too heavy) at David Jones for A$179 and a pair of Voodoo tights from Myer at 20% off (yes, can't stay away from sexy tights), I think A$11.xx.

I have been good, aye.

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Nila City

Nila City
13 Degraves St
Melbourne 3000

Date visited: 13/2/2008 (day 5) for afternoon tea

Nila City @Melbourne
The place is dark and dingy. Photo taken at 1500.

Roti telur@Nila City
Much awaited/anticipated roti telur A$3.50. Melburnians think this is dirt cheap, if only they know how much we pay at home.......


Moving on.

Mee Mamak@Nila City
Mee goreng mamak A$6.50. Ok lah, canlah.

Too full, no dinner.

Friday, March 14, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Shopping - Melbourne Central

After lunch at Meiji, we walked over to Melbourne Central. It took us like half an hour, we are slow walkers.......with short legs.......

Diamond bracelet@Melbourne Central

Saw this love shapes diamond bracelet. Went in to try on and asked the price. It was AUD6,500!!! At 30% off, it was still daylight robbery price!! I said thank you and will think about it (NOT). You should have seen the lady's face, though less 'black' and 'smelly' like Empress Dowager's.

Krispy Kreme@Melbourne Central

Walked to the basement and saw Krispy Kreme! Woo woo, die die must eat! Bought the coffee deal for AUD5.95 and you get a doughnut and a coffee (duh). The coffee was surprisingly good. Princess drank half the cup, orz, I know I shouldn't let her.....bad mama.

I like Melbourne Central, because there is less crowds here so I can shop leisurely. There are art-deco seats scattered all over the building to rest your tired feet.

You can find Famous Amos(!), allegedly world's smallest tie shop, Cash Box Karaoke (from Taiwan), bowling centre, cinema, creperie (another post!), gelato bar and the usual clothing stores.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Meiji Japanese Cafe

105 Lt Bourke St
(between Exhibition and Russell St, opp Chinese Museum)

Date visited: 13/2/2008 (day 5) for lunch


Chicken & prawn pot rice@Meiji
Prawn, Chicken and five veg pot rice

Rice in stainless steel pot@Meiji
Spatula and a small bowl provided

I suppose this is way off most tourists' beaten path. Most of its clientele is nearby office workers or locals (cos I overheard them talking about their house and office ><, not intentionally, the place is tiny!).

It's about 15 min walk from Swanston end of Lt Bourke St and 10 min walk from Spring St end of Lt Bourke St. I was actually sweating when we reached Meiji and it was a cool day.

The rice dish came in a stainless steel pot and sure didn't look appetising but it smells very good. I was surprised when I tasted the rice and veg, they were full of flavours, must have been cooked in stock. The pale colour of the whole thing belie the presumption that the rice and the ingredients were bland.

At first I thought I was not hungry, but we finished off the whole pot between me and Princess and it sure was a BIG pot and only cost me A$8.50! Great lunch spot if you work in Melbourne CBD, well, depends where you work. The walk will certainly build up the appetitie for the pot rice!

Again, I was too full and can't manage dinner, though the afternoon tea later was part of the culprit XD.

[Melbourne 2008] Shopping - Melbourne's GPO

Day 5, morning

Melbourne's GPO
Cnr Elizabeth St and Bourke St Mall

GPO Melbourne

GPO gets a special mention because it houses some of my favourite labels; Camper shoes, Karen Millen (from England) and Gorman. You can find Fat (fashion store) here which carry labels like Tsubi, Birds of a feather, Rittenhouse, Lomo (wow!) and etc.

If you are feeling famished, head for the alleyway between GPO and Bourke St Mall where you will find fine Japanese restaurant, Kenzan and good Italian nosh, Nostro Baretto.

Do give it a visit if you are in Melbourne, even just for the spectacular historic and heritage-listed building structure.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar

Date visited: 12/2/2008 (day 4) after dinner

Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar has quite a few locations around Melbourne. We visited the QV branch.

Max Brenner's @QV
Business is always this good, day and night.

Chocolate fondue for 2@Max Brenner's
Chocolate fondue for 2 A$16.50

You get a pot of milk chocolate and dark chocolate each. To dip, you get, bananas, strawberries, marshmallows and banana bread.

The melted chocolate was so sweet, a diabetic person will ting tong even from one small taste. Imagine, dipping the already super sweet marshmallow into the super duper sweet melted chocolate....*shudder* even just thinking about it.....

Max Brenner's
Shop corner selling ready-made chocolates and chocolate related *shudder* 'goodies'.

Chloe@Max Brenner's
The devil eats chocolate.

After initial taste, Princess (head shaking vigorously and hands waving vigorously) said (screamed, more like),' Mai liao, mai liao.'

That is Princess verdict, a self-confessed chocolate lover (I ask what her favourite food is, she will say chocolate until she saw ice-cream or cheesecake, haha).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Dessert House Eatery 2

Date visited: 12/2/2008 (day 4) for dinner

This is our second visit, because we are crossing the street for dessert later. Yay, oh, so full of anticipation.

Pork chop rice@DHE
Pork chop with dunno what sauce

The sauce ruined the nice pork chop!

Wat Tan Hor@DHE
Rice noodle with eggy sauce (seafood)

The sauce is 'unnaturally' sweet -_-'''

Can't even remember the price.

Monday, March 10, 2008

[Melbourne 2008] Food & Drink - Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie
306 Little Collins Street
VIC 3000
(and several other locations in Melbourne and Sydney)

Open seven days a week

Date visited: 12/2/2008 (day 4) after luch at Kimurakan Cafe

Laurent Boulangerie Patisserie
Main entrance on Lt Collins St (between Swanston St and Elizabeth St), a stone's throw away from the back entrance of David Jones Men department.

Laurent is a welcoming change from the hustle bustle on nearby Collins St, not that the patisserie is not busy. The decor inside is very Parisian with high ceilings adorned with chandeliers, bronze trimmings and marble slabs, everywhere from counter to tables to chairs.

The clientele is equally interesting. I spied well-dressed tanned ladies with high coiffed hair, flame lacquered nails and leopard print jacket and gentlemen with their ill-fitted suit and leather loafers (it's my personal feeling that ONLY Italian men wear nicely-fitted jacket).

I was the only one who look out of place with t-shirt and short denim holding a equally out-of-place little one. Wow, first time I feel under dressed in a bakery. Even the wait staff are better dressed than me in their crisp smart white Laurent embossed uniform. Smart, very smart indeed.

I was even more impressed when I check out their cakes and pastries chiller cabinet. A mind-boggling magnificent spread of choice in front of me, how I suddenly wished I had 4 stomachs!

Bora-bora & Christine1
Front Bora-bora, back Christine (around A$5.50 to $6.50 each)

It took me a while to decide on Bora-bora and Christine. No glaring stare from behind the counter or beside me. The wait-staff very efficiently served everyone. I am impressed indeed. I was greeted with smiles when I beckon a waiter over. Even more smiles when I went to pay. Mmmm, very good training. A far cry from the over-rated Brunetti's, ah, but then that's another post.

Laurent Patisserie Macarons
I was unsure of the macarons, because they look, er, not very well-made. Irregular size and not smooth shell. What the heck, try try lah. The waiter once again very patiently explain each and every flavour to me, yes, with smiles, again. I think their poor cheeks must have suffered from cramps at the end of their shifts. I got pistachio (no secret I LOVE pistachio anything) and coffee, because chocolate is sold out.

Pistachio Macaron
The ingredients used is I must say, very good quality and they don't skimp on the filling which is how I like it. But sadly, the shell is sticky and too wet. Aiya, no match to my beloved Chouquette's.

Coffee Macaron
The coffee macaron did not fare better. The coffee taste did not even come through.

Bora-bora & Christine
Bora-bora: Coconut dacquoise, dark choc mousse, wild strawberry coulis, coconut mousse & macaron.

Christine: Brownie biscuit, valrhona milk chocolat mousse, creme brulee.

Both the mousse cakes are very very good, the flavours while sound complicated on Bora-bora actually complemented each other very well, no one flavour is stronger than the other. You can taste each and every flavours distinctively while they do magic in your mouth. The flavours of Christine while sounded simple, pack a punch and stongly attack your senses and taste.

This is cloud nine.

There is also another French style patisserie, Le Petite Gateau on 458 Lt Collins St (between Queen St and William St). I visited on Saturday morning, unfortunately, I was met with a 'CLOSED' sign on the door. I tried to find out more info from the internet but all I could find were several Japanese blog entries on the place. How they found fame among Japanese but not local Melbournians is way beyond my comprehension.

Howey Place, Melbourne
Howey Place, off Lt Collins St

I was also on Lt Collins St the previous day. I was on the look out for Bison Stonewares. I did not buy any, transport back to Brisbane is a headache.

Melbourne is famous for laneway shopping and dining. Sure, it's a unique thing but if you think rubbing elbows with strangers while eating is your idea of a great meal, hmmm, then you will like Degraves St and Hardware Lane.

As for up and coming designers or quirky fashion, you can find on Flinders Lane, as ALL the Melbourne guides will tell you. All I can say is truly depend on your style and taste. I personally like Kinki Gerlinki (fashion) and Zomp (shoes) and this little unassuming vintage store (shop name unknown) in Walk Arcade. For quirky fashion, forget about the much over-rated Genki in Cathedral Arcade and head for Shibuya on Elizabeth St where you will find Lolita style fashion which is hot hot hot in, well, Shibuya in Japan. Now, that is quirky and not everyone's cup of tea.

Genki just sells Japanese inspired stuff and clothings. You can also find Lomo fisheye and ActionSampler here, I think I also saw Holga?? And very cute toddler's t-shrts.

More fashion info in other post.