Friday, May 29, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Waffle On

I am almost done with my Melbourne posts. Bear with me.

We walked over to QV after lunch at Meiji. I spotted a waffle station the other day and wanting to try.

Waffle On@QV Melbourne
Waffle On @QV

Belgian waffle@Waffle On

I think this is called 'The Canadian'. Waffle with maple syrup topped with vanilla ice-cream.

Waffle is quite nice with a little chew.

Egyptian cotton. Really more superior?

The answer is no.


All those Egyptian Cotton manchester I stock up during sales are money down the drain?? *loud sob* perhaps wailing is more appropriate.

Bro-in-law is coming for a visit with his new wife.

So I thought I would stock up on some new manchester in case he forgets to bring along (which is always the case).

I googled for the best deals and best possible 'type' you can get.

Imagine my face when I found out 'Egyptian Cotton' could be any cotton that is grown in, duhhhhh, Egypt. Even if they are of the lowest grade. My whole body 'exploded'.

Oh my gosh, all those money I spent on 'Egyptian Cotton' manchester......>_<, not to mention those Egyptian Cotton sheets. Ouch....Ultimate price to pay for my own ignorance.

I quickly got myself over to Sheridan outlet to get the real stuff.

'SALE' sign plastered all over the window. Great.

Sheridan Supima Cotton

Brace yourself for the price....

Sheridan receipt


Even cheaper than those non-Egyptian Cotton ones *snigger*. Er...maybe not the face towel.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Meiji Japanese Cafe

Meiji Japanese Cafe
105 Little Bourke Street

Visited 12 March 2009 for lunch.

Kaki furai@Meiji Melbourne
Kaki furai

Gomoku kamameshi@Meiji
Kamameshi - Gomoku

Nice and quiet place for a rather unique Japanese fare (it's hard to find in Oz or even south-east Asia).

From wikipedia:-
'Kamameshi (釜飯) literally translates to "kettle rice" and is a traditional Japanese rice dish cooked in an iron pot. Similar to takikomi gohan, kamameshi is a type of Japanese pilaf cooked with various types of meat, seafood, and vegetables. By cooking it in an iron pot, the rice gets slightly burned at the bottom which adds a desirable flavor to the rice. It is often sold as ekiben.'

After lunch we went in search of the famed coffee specialist (or so they called themselves), Brother Baba Budan on Lt Bourke St just off Elizabeth St.

Word of warning, there is no signage.

Brother Baba Budan@Melbourne
Regular house blend

The place was super busy with tourists and nearby office crowds who were obviously loyal patrons for coffee break.

Unfortunately my cup of coffee was lacklustre.

The milk was barely warm and the coffee tasted bitter which lingered quite a while >_<. If this is Melbournian's idea of a terrific coffee specialist boutique or whatever fancy name they call themselves, I =X. $3.50 wasted. Period.

They should come north and try our Merlo and Campos.

Merlo's current coffee of the month is Costa Rican bean. Medium to dark roast bean. Medium bodied and smooth. Very good coffee bean.

I normally buy from the torrefazione (Italian for coffee roasting house) on James St where they also offered complimentary cup of your choice of beans to try.

Very clever tactic and I am sure they have got themselves many loyal customers. Myself included. But only because the coffee is really good. I switch between Campos and Merlo.

Friday, May 22, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Dainty Sichuan

Dainty Sichuan 天府川菜馆
26 Corrs Lane

Visited 11 March 2009 for dinner.

Dainty Sichuan@Melbourne
To get to the restaurant, you have to walk towards the end of Corrs Lane which is a wet and smelly cobbled alleyway.

Big King was so unsure, halfway in the alley, he actually turned and walked back to Lt Bourke St and stand and lookabout for a while.

Cheh, so angry, I insisted on going.

Cold noodle@Dainty Sichuan
Cold noodles

Dressed heavily in chili oil. It made my mouth burn but it was so addictive I couldn't stop.

Cumin pork ribs@Dainty Sichuan
Spicy cumin pork ribs 孜然排骨

So spicy, my mouth felt like its been injected with botox. By the time I was on my second piece, I wanna cry out for mercy.

Princess actually liked and ate quite a bit. She kept asking the next few days, 'Got anymore of 'that meat'?'; 'are we going to eat 'that meat' again?'

Eggplant@Dainty Sichuan
Fish fragrant eggplant (made-up name, direct translate from Chinese) 鱼香茄子

The sauce reminded me of our Malay keropok (ubi kentang coated in sweet chili paste).

Yet another addictive dish.

Eggplant1@Dainty Sichuan
The eggplant was crispy on the outside with soft and melt-in-the-mouth flesh inside.

Superb skill from the chef.

All the dishes are by no means 'dainty'. Its best to go in a group or at least four, lest you will find it difficult to finish the dishes.

Dainty Sichuan interior
We arrived around 6.20 and there was already a queue formed. We waited for like 20 minutes before sitting down. The queue was worse when we left.

It was a weekday night but I was actually not surprised.

After dinner, it was drizzling but we strolled over to Nam Loong on Russel St for some steamed custard bun.

Nam Loong@Melbourne
The steamed custard bun was average. It was not steam well enough, I bit into granulated sugar (which should have been dissolved thus creating a molten effect) and thus was not impressed.

But the big chicken pau was good. We even tapao (takeaway) a couple to be eaten on the flight back (we flew Virgin, no meal provided).

Monday, May 18, 2009

[Brisbane] Chouquette - Opera Gateau

Taking a break from the Melbourne posts.

Opera Gateau from Chouquette

New offering from Chouquette few months ago, I think February.

Moist jaconde, nice coffee buttercream and rich chocolate ganache.

What's not to like.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Espressino; Laurent Bakery

Madame Brussels Lane
50 Lonsdale St
Melbourne (CBD)

Visited 11 March 2009 for lunch.

Ham&mushroom piadina@Espressino
Piadina Cotto AUD8

Piadina is an Italian flat bread. I ordered the Cotto with ham, mushroom and cheese. After one bite, my heart OS: should have just gone across the road to Piadina Slowfood =X.

Also had a flat white, the cafe served Romacaffe (AUD3). It was served in a smallish cappucino cup and saucer -_-''.

After eating, I quickly left. The place was super busy with nearby office crowd.

Er, haha siao chabo I know. I taught her to pose with the hands on her hip but then it came out..... XD. Hahaha.

On Lonsdale St
Taken at a building along Lonsdale St.

After a lacklustre lunch, we went for tea at Laurent again.

Auteil AUD6.95

Auteil - Vanilla mousse, caramelised mango, raspberry coulis, sable, fresh raspberries & meringue.

Princess ate the mousse but left the rest.

No food luck during the day :-( but we had the most memorable dinner ever!

Friday, May 08, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Red Silks

Red Silks Restaurant
Level 1, 200 Bourke St

Visited 10 Mar 2009 for dinner.

Big King had work dinner commitment, so Princess and I went looking for something simple to eat. Actually not hungry meh, but I want to try out some new restaurants.

Red Silk@Melbourne
Dimly lit bar like interior.

Stairs to Red Silk
The restaurant is up a flight of stairs above Breadtop.

Hokkien fried rice@Red Silk
Hokkien fried rice AUD11.40 (including a glass of iced lemon tea)

As soon as I entered the restaurant, I regretted. The interior was dimly lit, the round fake leather sofa seats were all cracks and the colour faded. Seriously they had seen better days. Worse, I can smell cigarette smoke in the air.

But the very friendly waiter greeted us and informed smoking was only allowed outside in the balcony seats.

Ah well, since we were already there and Dessert House Eatery was full house when we passed by earlier. I decided to give it a go.

Menu had a decent pan-Asian selection with some interesting daily specials dishes on blackboard.

The restaurant did not fill up the whole time we were there. This really puzzled me after I tasted the Hokkien fried rice.

This was the first time I ever heard of and ordered a Hokkien fried rice. It was egg fried rice topped with stir fry of chicken and vegetables in sauce.

It was good, really good. In fact, me and Princess polished off the whole bowl and we went away tummy healed. Very weird, I know. Healed with a fried rice?? Come on. But it was true, come the next morning, we woke up very hungry and eager for more food to fill our tummy. Hooray, no more rennie :-) and the bread roll from Breadtop, really sick of it by now.

While devouring the fried rice, I started to seriously study the specials menu on the wall and the more I read on the more I felt like trying everything! Deep fried fish in special spicy sauce, golden prawns coated in yolks, soft shell crabs.

The place was popular with students and after work office people. I can hear murmurs of satisfaction from neighbouring tables. 'Oh, this is so good,' 'Oh, so tasty,' 'hau hau chze,' etc.

I actually saw a Causasian man ordering two dishes. A rice dish and a plate of char kway teow (fried rice noodles). Everything was polished off @@. He came after us and left before us @____@.

We never had a chance to come back. Too many restaurants to try too little time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Le Petit Gateau

Le Petit Gateau
458 Lt Collins St
Melbourne (CBD)

10 Mar 2009 morning.

After an egg muffin for breakfast at the hotel, Princess and me hopped on the circle tram, again. This time we were heading for Crown Casino.

Usual chain stores in the shopping foyer *yawn*.

Took a few photos of the food-court and cafes.

Crown food court
Upmarket stalls at the food court.

Cafe in Crown
Cake cabinet in one of the cafes.

Today's lunch was still the bread rolls from Breadtop.

Then we headed to Le Petit Gateau.

Le Petit Gateau@Melbourne

Le Petit Gateau cakes

Bottom: Brownie and Passionfruit Chocolate Crunchy
Brownie base, crunchy praline, passionfruit custard with chocolate mousse.

Top: Kyoto
Sesame biscuit base, green tea mousse, caramel and adzuki bean.
We were served iced water with straws as soon as we sat down. The waiter was very pleasant and helpful. Score. Tick.

We took a long time to finish the cakes. The flavours were rich and intense, which was great, under normal circumstances. But we went with a sick tummy so the richness became, unfortunately, a burden.

Though the flavours were great and all, they were let down by the dry brownie base and dry and brittle sesame biscuit base. I ate everything but left most of the bases on both cakes.

Total bill AUD13.

I would have came here everyday instead of Laurent if it wasn't too long a walk.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Spicy Fish
219 Little Bourke St
Melbourne 3000

Visited 9 Mar 2009 for dinner.

Lunch was breadroll from Breadtop AUD3 for a packet of 6 or 8.

We went early like 6.15pm. No queue. Great.

Spicy Fish@Melbourne

Spicy Fish poster

Sweet sour fish@Spicy Fish
Sweet and sour fish like the one on poster AUD35

It is quite obvious from the pic, the sauce was oily. Shrimp was previously frozen to death. This was one time I did not fight to have the last scrap.

French bean@Spicy Fish
Stir fried french beans with mince

Super salty hence went well with rice.

Fried dumpling@Spicy Fish
Pan fried dumpling

The dumplings were dripping in oil. I ate one and instantly felt jelak (satiated).

There was a long queue when we left @___@.

Friday, May 01, 2009

[Melbourne 2009] Docklands; Spanish Donut; Dessert House Eatery

Third day in Melbourne (8 Mar 2009). It was a Sunday. Big King has free time for us today. Yay!

I woke up extremely hungry and had a big breakfast. The tummy felt funny after that. Too tam chia!

That ain't gonna dampen my spirit for the day.

Took the circle tram (free) to Docklands.

Newish living and entertaining area in Melbourne CBD.

Mecca Bah@Docklands

You can also find Harbour Town Shopping Outlets. But the prices ain't 'outlet-y'. Americans will find this place a joke. Outlets (supposedly) at department store prices. Hah.

Harbour Town@Docklands
We spent about 10 minutes in this HUGE place.

Nothing interesting there except Theobroma (chocolate, but the window said 'Coming Soon' :-(.

Walked back to Docklands area and had some gelato from Limonetto.

A small gelato shop with very limited flavour like 10. Maybe we were there too early, 10am, haha.

Limonetto gelato@Docklands
Didn't take us long to decide on butterscotch and lemon (its signature flavour).

I have to say its on par with our Shlix here in Brissie both in texture and in taste. Hmm, yum, yum, goody good.

The colours seemed subtle but the flavours packed a punch. Not that you expect to see some color in lemon ice concoction -_-''. Of course I just meant the butterscotch and the rest I saw in the shop.

This is one gelato parlour I would come back if I ever visit Melbourne again. Sadly, I had given up on other gelato places we visited in Melbourne before.

After devouring the delish gelato, we headed to Queen Victoria Market, by Circle Tram again.

Spanish donut van@QVM
The famous Spanish Donut van

There is also a legendary American Donut in the next street. I bought once before and wrote it off immediately. Even when I received those hot off the fryer. The donut was tough and extremely chewy with burnt 'skin'. The jam was super sweet with artificial strawberry flavor (a no no in my book).

Spanish donut - churros

I bought 2 for AUD2 and they were very nice. I would go back or even come to QVM especially for them. Next time I will get the chocolate dip too.

My tummy felt uncomfortable so I had to skip the chocolate dip *sob*.

Princess loved these a lot. She keep asking me to get some the next few days. I would if I could. But by dinner time that day, my stomach officially declared war and refused to listen to my heart and brain *sob*.

No lunch the next few days :-(. The heavy breakfast from the hotel made me nauseatic and so I have to live with a distended stomach the next few days. But a particular night's dinner saved me from my ordeal....More on that later.

The plan was to have Indian food for lunch. But it was not open, ah well, blessing in disguise. Not that I can stomach any of those food.

So we went to my favourite no brainer, Dessert House Eatery. If I can't think of a place to eat, I will head straight for DHE.

Fried kwayteow@DHE
Char kway teow AUD9.80

I ate 1/4 but can't taste. My tummy protested. I had to tapao the rest.

Lemongrass porkchop@DHE
Lemongrass pork chop rice AUD9.30

Big King had this but he didn't comment. After all, it's not Lucky's chu par (pork chop), can't compare with his numba wan.

Dinner was roast duck and braised chicken rice from Pacific BBQ AUD9.80. Worst roasts ever, can't imagine why this is a popular place. Duck was dry and flavourless but chicken was ok. The ginger and shallot dip was bitter, orz *_*.