18 October, 2014

Green Park

So long St Ali North and hello Green Park! 

St ALi North in Carlton has re-emerged as Green Park, an all day eatery and bar with a Spanish accent. Revamped by Eades & Bergman, the space is intimate and warm with its dark forest green and timber fit out. Let’s not forget Sad Sax Sundays, with live music and all that jazz from 5-7pm every Sunday. 

As it was the official launch of Green Park, we were presented with a number of dishes to sample, all executed beautifully using the best quality seasonal produce. From Spanish terrines, fiery ceviche to homely fall-off-the-bone beef ribs, each dish was pleasing to both the palate and the eye.

Green Park Tonic

Pork and Rabbit Terrine with Cornichons

Local Asparagus with Aioli

Kingfish Ceviche, Avocado, Coriander, Chipotle and Jalapeño

Carrots, Labne, Mint and Cardamom

Local Snapper, Stewed Zucchini, Garlic and Thyme

Broccolini, Lemon and Smoked Almonds

Braised Murray Grey Beef Ribs, Onions and Shallots

Fried Chats and Garlic Butter

Fried Rabbit

Cakes and Fancies by Park St Pastries

The highlight dish from the night was the snapper - the meat light, sweet and moist. It harmonized perfectly with the rustic stewed zucchini with its humble sweet flavour and tender texture. Dotted with smoked almonds and a zing of lemon juice, the broccolini was also a charmer. Simple and honest food at its best I say. Supplied by Park St Pastries, the cakes and fancies left the majority of the sweet-toothed speechless. Big thumbs up to the Frozen Chocolate and Hazelnut Aero Bar and Salted Caramel Profiteroles ! 

With the likes of Scotch Eggs with black pudding and thick cut rosemary glazed bacon on brioche, Baked Eggs with lamb merguez drizzled with labne, harissa sauce and coriander and Cornbread adorned with avocado, scrambled eggs, tomato and chipotle relish making appearances on their day menu - you could say I’m green with envy. Another visit is definitely in order.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Tomatom and Green Park 

Green Park 
815 Nicholson Street  
Carlton North, VIC 3054

Green Park on Urbanspoon

13 October, 2014


Located in Carlton, Providence is a town village kitchen inspired cafe which focuses on embracing and sharing the beautiful produce that Victoria’s local farmers have to offer. Providence is the latest addition to Eleena and Michael’s family (Hero Subs, Reading Room Cafe and The Grain Store) and together with Head Chef Cate Hardman’s ‘gate-to-plate’ philosophy, you can just imagine how thrilled I was to attend the breakfast launch.

Blood Orange Breakfast Spritzer

Skinny Flat White

Upon our arrival, we were instantly greeted with an assortment of drinks - Breakfast Smoothies, Blood Orange Breakfast Spritzers and coffee roasted by Code Black Coffee. Oh yes, yes please.

Smoked Trout

The first dish of the day set the bar high, and was definitely my top pick for the day. Patties of fluffy, creamy bubble and squeak potatoes intertwined with rich, hot smoked trout. Topped with drool-worthy runny eggs and herbs, each bite was gratifying. You know you’re in for a treat when each and every element dances in your mouth.

Breakfast Salad

Oh avocado, how I love thee. But to grill the avocado ? Genius ! Paired with sticky ham hock, lovely leaves, sweet peas and goats curd, this was no ordinary salad, this was salad at a whole new level.

Egg and Bacon Pie

A spin on an old favourite, these pies boasted an incredibly buttery rich, flaky crust encasing a hardboiled egg and adorned with crispy bacon bits, chunky tomato chutney and peppery rocket. Though I found these pies a little too rich for my palette, they were well-received all round.

Pumpkin and Lentil Fritters

This last savoury dish particularly highlighted the quality of the ingredients with its aromatic spiced pumpkin and lentil fritters, chilli tomato pickle, fragrant coconut yoghurt and salad leaves. Though the fritters were not the same light, fluffy mouthfuls I had imagined, they were packed with flavour and dense with nutrients. 


 Breakfast Berry Clafoutis

We ended with these cute little samples of Breakfast Berry Clafoutis - a baked pancake studded with fresh berries, crunchy almond flakes and rhubarb ice cream. It was evident that these were too good to resist as they were demolished in a flash.

Though not every dish had me at the edge of my seat to the extent that the Smoked Trout did (that's pretty hard to top though), I had an amazing time at Providence. What really gave each dish extra points is that all produce are locally sourced and their focus on seasonality. Those who are fortunate enough to work or live in Carlton now have a great new spot for superb coffee and good food. Lucky you.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Providence

497 Rathdowne Street  
Carlton, VIC 3053

Providence on Urbanspoon

08 October, 2014

New Shanghai

Finding a home at Emporium’s Cafe Court, New Shanghai has got Melbourne in a state of infatuation. Decorated with ornate oriental furniture, New Shanghai offers an extensive range of mouth-watering Shanghainese dishes and dumplings. With so much to choose from, it’s not hard to see why there is a permanent line outside.

New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao

We started off with the humble staple dish, Xiao Long Bao - plump parcels of goodness filled with flavoursome soup and pork mince. Though I cannot say these were the best XLB I’ve ever had, each mouthful was still enjoyed.

New Shanghai Sheng Jian Bao (Pan Fried Pork Bun)

The Sheng Jian Bao on the other hand were astounding, and were just as satisfying as the ones I inhaled on the cold winter days in Shanghai. Whilst the top of the bun remained a soft spring-like texture, the bottom contrasted well with a crispy golden base which nestled the hot and juicy filling.

Shepherd’s Purse & Pork Wonton Tossed with Peanut Butter, Red Chilli Oil & Spice

Did someone say peanut butter? Of course I had to have these. The velvety skin encased an appetizing filling of pork and shepherds purse, dressed oh so sexy in luscious peanut butter, fragrant chilli oil served with refreshing strips of cucumber – working wonderfully to offset the heat. Hands down, these babies were my favourite of all the dishes.

Deep Fried Tofu with Salted Egg Yolk

I love salted egg yolk anything so it was inevitable that this dish impressed me. The tofu was smooth and silken on the inside, yet crisp on the outside and liberally coated in a golden hue of creamy salted egg yolk. A very rich and sinful dish but definitely worth it.

Rainbow Beef

We were also encouraged to try the Manager’s favourite dish, the Rainbow Beef. Thin strips of deep fried beef enveloped in a sweet and sour sauce. To my friend’s surprise, as someone who does not usually enjoy beef, she found herself magnetised to this dish.

Crispy Salted and Spiced Duck served with Steamed Plain Bread

This last dish was probably one of the most anticipated. The split open buns, much like a fluffy clam were moist and slightly sweet. These acted as a beautiful canvas for the crispy pieces of duck coated in moreish spices, cucumber, spring onion and a trickle of plum sauce.

New Shanghai, what can I say ? I left feeling like a happy dumpling– plump, warm and extremely satisfied.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Spice & Soul and New Shanghai

New Shanghai
Emporium Melbourne
287 Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000

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