31 July, 2013
I had walked past Burch and Purchese Sweet Studio 5 times. 5 times before I set foot inside. Is there something wrong with me?
First thought after stepping inside was Willa Wonka - Willa Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. And at this stage, it felt like I had set foot into a modern cutesy play up of the movie. Pink ribbons, pink stickers, pink love hearts and everything pink popped up through the studio. The open kitchen out the back showcased where all the magic happens, and I was so tempted to run in and join them.
Green Tea, Pistachio, Cassis & White Chocolate
Pistachio frangipane, cassis jelly, green tea meringue, pistachio cream, vanilla & white chocolate mousse, cassis curd, chocolate velvet spray & green tea sponge. Yes - somehow all that sweet sweet goodness was jam packed into one little cake.
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio is a little steep, a little pricey, however you really are in for a treat once you've made the call. I know next time I'm needing a sugar rush indulgence, I'll be back for the Chocolate, Mandarin and Salted Caramel Cake for sure.
Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
25 July, 2013
My cousin was in town for a few days. And no doubt about it, there was only one place to kick start her trip in Melbourne. That is, Manchester Press.
Avocado, Feta, Chilli and Mint Smash with Cherry Tomatoes, Roquette & Pine Nuts
Fresh, creamy, salty, healthy all rolled into one. Hands down, this had to be one of the best avocado smashes I've had to date. Deliciously rich in flavour, the avocado was dreamy - infused with creamy feta, chilli and mint. The addition of pine nuts were also great, giving the dish some texture and crunch.
Thick Sliced Pastrami with Sliced tomato, Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese & Thousand Island Dressing
Keeping in line with the NYC feels, this Reuben bagel was an obvious choice for the two boys. And a winner winner it was. Thick cut pastrami was piled onto a sesame bagel, with melted Swiss under a solid helping of sauerkraut, tomato and thousand island dressing. The flavours were delicious, the sauerkraut added just the right amount of flavour to really take the bagel to the next level. On the side, the dish was freshened up with a small mixed garden salad.
Manchester Press certainly does not disappoint and consistently meet our hunger pangs and bagel cravings. It was definitely a unique place to show my cousin and boyfriend around given their delicious food, coffee and quirkiness.
22 July, 2013
I had already had my lunch. Quite a big one actually. But as soon as I walked past A'Beckket street, my brain immediately switched on to crazy foodie mode and went "THAT'S WHERE WONDERBAO IS!" Next thing you know, I'm at Melbourne's famous Bao eatery.
I asked the guy behind the counter which one he liked most. He started off with Braised Pork Belly, mentioned the Roast Pork Belly but then quickly changed his mind to the Fried Silky Tofu. His enthusiasm and indecisiveness of which one was his favourite was rather cute. In the end, I went for the Braised Pork Belly seeing as though it was the one that he mentioned first. Perfect - pork belly for my pork belly
Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao
Similarly shaped to a taco, the bao reminded me of marshmallows - soft, fluffy and an absolute delight to eat. I could have just had the bao itself and I would have been happy. But the wonder did not stop here. The bao was filled with a thick juicy slice of fatty braised pork belly, pickled mustard, a fresh spring of coriander and a sprinkle of crushed peanuts. Sweet sweet satisfaction by the mouthful, the flavours together were sensational.
It's simple, the name pretty much says it all - wonderful wonderbaos.
19 July, 2013
Rain rain go away, come again some other day. Well that didn't work. What to do now ? Go to Big Boy BBQ for greasy, fatty, meat meat and more meat on this freezing winter night of course.
There is none of that dainty serviette/napkin nonsense here, they offer manly paper towels here instead and buckets for bones - it's all about being a Big Boy. And if you weren't one already, no doubt you become by the time you finished up here.
Given so many choices of sauces, of course I had to sample them all ! You've got your regular tabasco, ketchup and four types of BBQ sauce - vinegar BBQ sauce, spicy BBQ sauce, Braai-BQ style sauce and Kansas style BBQ sauce.
Big Boy Platter
It was without question which platter we were to order - The Big Boy Platter. It is actually captioned in the menu that this platter feeds 1-6 people. What kind of a range is that ?! Oh, Americans. Borderline, EpicMealTime style came out saucy beef brisket, pulled pork scotch fillet, pulled lamb shoulder, beef pastrami, ½ rack of Kansas Style dry rubbed pork ribs, ½ rack of saucy glazed lamb ribs, regular wings and pickles. Let's don't forget the pickles, we all know how important vegetables are. For our jumbo sides, we went for amazngly crunchy lightly spiced chips, onion strings and potato salad. Coupled with bottomless soft drinks, there was American feels all night.
No matter how hard the 5 of us tried tackling this ginormous dome of meat, we still had left overs. In the end, I guess we really went for the novelty - the American BBQ dining experience. For me, all the meats tasted pretty much the same, all doused in BBQ sauce. I found myself picking at the sides more than the mains, which really says something. Nonetheless, Big Boy BBQ was fun but not somewhere I will be returning any time soon.
Big Boy BBQ
17 July, 2013
It was a Saturday afternoon, and Platform 3 was exactly where everyone wanted to be. Away from the harsh winds, we were very lucky to get a table inside.
I was kindly invited by the owner, Tyler to try out the food at Platform 3 – a café and tapas bar nestled on the other side of the train tracks in Carnegie. The decor is modern, stylish and also included a beautiful centre piece on the communal table. With music playing softly in the background, coffee in the air, the vibe inside was very laid back and exactly what I wanted for a lazy Saturday.
Slow cooked BBQ pulled pork
Spanish Smash Avocado with Poached eggs
It was great to see that for the smashed avo lovers, we had three options - Feta, Chilli or Spanish. And given the choice, we decided to go for something a little different from my usual feta infused avocado smash. Atop toasted ciabatta was an abundant amount of smashed avocado with onion and tomato, with a pair of perfectly poached eggs oozing yolky goodness.
Platform 3 was an easy spot to eat, drink, chill out and leave the world behind for a bit. Food was fresh, delicious, and stood out in Carnegie (the pulled pork !!). Tyler and the incredibly friendly waitresses armed with great big smiles were all attentive and helpful throughout the whole afternoon. It was particularly lovely to see Tyler on site, engaging and stopping for a friendly chat and chuckle with customers. A passionate foodie owner himself, Tyler has certainly found the perfect combination in putting his love for food and career hand in hand.
confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Platform 3.
13 July, 2013
Seriously craving flavoursome food, and with a quick comb through Urbanspoon landed four hungry piggies at Kamel in St Albert on Hump Day.
Designed to share, we selected five dishes to taste between ourselves. As we finished up ordering, the waitress kindly informed us that four dishes would be plenty enough. Obviously, she didn't know us very well ! We stuck with five dishes.
Chilled Turkish Apple Tea
Middle Eastern Plate
The Middle Eastern Plate starred rolls of fatty lebanese sausages and thick slices of grilled chorizo, both full of flavour and smokiness. The sides included caramelised apple, and salty crumbly feta, marinated olives, and deliciously flavoured garlic & herbed bread.
Lamb & Lentil Filo Triangles with Yoghurt
Next came out the ever so delicate, light and crispy Lamb & Lentil Filo Triangles with Yoghurt. Unfortunately, I found the yogurt a little dull. An improvement I would love to see in this dish would be some more flavour to the yogurt. Perhaps a squeeze of lime, a dash of spice or some fresh herbs added would bring the yogurt to another level.
Baked Saganaki Prawns
My friend absolutely adores saganaki. So as soon as she saw this little number on the menu, she was sold. However, what was presented were small baked saganaki prawns which swam in pool of spiced tomatoes with red capsicum & spanish onion sauce. With a fresh spritz of citrus, the flavours were certainly delicious. However, the dish to me, seemed more like sauce with prawns.
Twice Cooked Rolled Duck
The boys chose the following dish, and had been looking forward to it the whole night. It was a definite yes as soon as the menu was flipped open. Probably one of the favourites of the nights, the twice cooked rolled duck stuffed with figs, buckwheat & ginger was ducking good. The sweet figs made the perfect addition to the succulent bitefuls of duck.
Tagine of the day
For our last dish, my eyes wandered as the wait staff walked by with various dishes. I was keeping an eye out for the special tagine earthare pot, or the little tipi hut as I would call it. However, it was to my surprise that Kamel served it without the lid. Th tagine of the day was mint harissa and pomegranate molasses lamb tagine with lentils, served with saffron couscous scattered with dates and pistachios.
Our dishes at Kamel came out progressively, which allowed time for our stomachs to digest and also encouraged conversation by the fireplace. But if you ask me, I found that food was coming out a litttle too slow, and a little small in size. I was so suprised that the waitress had thought that four dishes would have been enough. Nonetheless, majority of dishes were full of flavour, heat and satisfied our tastebuds, but not so much our rumbling tummies. It was definitely worth the visit, but not somewhere I would be rushing off to dine at again.
10 July, 2013
"Comeeeeee to PappaRich" - so does anyone else have the PappaRich radio jingle stuck in their head ? Now, I'm not too sure if the aim was to use this 'annoying' jingle as a marketing technique, but that's exactly the effect it had on me. This catchy, annoying jingle was all I could think about on my way there, as I ate, when I left, and now as I write this blogpost. Kudos to you PappaRich.
Dry Curry Egg Noodle with Steamed Chicken
Iced Teh & Jelly
You know what's fun to drink ? Slurping up icy cool Teh Tahrik with grass jelly. With a layer of pulled froth sitting on top, the strength and sweetness of the Teh was just about right.
For me, PappaRich is somewhere I would go only to when I'm looking for a quick meal at Chadstone Shopping Centre. PappaRich is nothing special - it's simple, no fuss kind and you get what you order.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
08 July, 2013
Each laneway in Melboune has their own individual character, charm and hidden surprises. Down Rankins Lane, we find street art and dumpsters. But, if you look carefully enough, you will discover that it is down this lane where you will find one of Melbourne's hottest brunch spots. Yes, I am talking about the bagel and coffee utopia, Manchester Press. Sweet bagels, savoury bagels, plain bagels, filled bagels, bagels for breakfast, bagels for brunch and bagels for lunch.
Skinny Flat White
Manchester Press, like Loco Coffee uses 8oz Coffee Co, and I would have to say is one of my favourite. I'm not going to lie, both J and I really wanted some sort of full on, show off coffee art though. No biggie, this cup of goodness still hit the sweet spot.
12 Hours Roasted Pull Pork With lettuce, BBQ Sauce & Homemade Apple Slaw
12 Hours Roasted Pull Pork
Fruit & Nut Bagel topped with Mixed Berry Mascarpone, Strawberries & Pistachio Dust
I'm not normally a big fan of sweets for brunch, however I did make an exception at Manchester Press. How could I not? The Fruit & Nut Bagel topped with Mixed Berry Mascarpone, Strawberries & Pistachio Dust was an absolute standout with the crowd. The mixed mascarpone was served atop two halves of toasted fruit and nut bagel extremely generously. The berry mascarpone was just right, not too heavy, but enough to know it was a treat.
Although Manchester Press was swamped with brunchers, and the lines forming out front, the staff catered to all our needs and never once rushed us. A great spot if you're after a quality light meal, in a typical Melbourne laneway at very reasonable prices. From the graffiti murals, warehouse setting to the comforting food and coffee, Manchester Press is definitely an experience I would recommend for both local and international friends.