31 July, 2014
Younger sibling of Einstein's 251, Einstein's Relative is located on Yarra Street, just a stone's throw away from South Yarra Station. Beakers, conical flasks and hanging Edison bulbs set the scene. The space is bright and inviting, with plenty of sunlight flooding the room and bright canary yellow daffodils. Oh yes, I was excited.
I had my eyes set on the Chicken Toastada, and boy was I happy with my choice. The freshness, the flavours, and the vibrancy of colours – it all had me jumping for joy. It had tender chicken pieces, crunchy slaw, fresh chilli and tissue-thin slices of radish. On the side was a baby beaker of spicy mayo and portion of lime which perfectly complemented the dish with a faint kick of spice and punch of citrus. Such a dazzling dish !
T was equally impressed with her Haloumi Bruschetta - seeded sourdough toast concealed with creamy avocado, a medley of cherry tomatoes, warm cubes of haloumi and tangy yoghurt dressing.
To finish, we also shared a mookie which is the hybrid of everything great about a cookie and muffin. Genius I say !
The guys at Einstein's relative have really got something great going here. With amazing food, friendly service and warm atmosphere, they really have found the formula for success.
1/9 Yarra Street
South Yarra, VIC 3141
26 July, 2014
Tucked quietly down Cookson Street, Collective Espresso is just a hop, skip and a jump away from Camberwell train station. A local hot spot for train commuters, students and locals (lucky you), Collective Espresso is the perfect spot to rest up and refuel.
Skinny Flat White
Dill and Lemon Cured Ocean Trout
My eyes were the first the feast as I marvelled at my dish – it was a piece of artwork. Dill and lemon cured ocean trout lounged elegantly between wonderfully crisp rosti, perfect slow poached eggs and vibrant ruby red beetroot, grounded by a fine herb sauce. And the eggs, such beautiful eggs - wobbly translucent eggs which oozed liquid gold with just a gentle prod. Such lovely presentation and well balanced flavours, this dish did not disappoint.
Open Field Mushroom and Goats Cheese Omelette
E was head over heels with her dish – a meaty open field mushroom and slightly tangy yet creamy goat cheese omelette with balsamic dressing, crusty migas and fresh garden herbs. Two big thumbs up here.
Collective Espresso has garnered a solid reputation and is so easy to see why. Perhaps it’s the cozy space, the family feels in the air, the friendly smiles, or just all of the above in combination with good food and coffee. Yes, Collective Espresso manages to tick all the right boxes.
3 Cookson Street
Camberwell, VIC 3124
21 July, 2014
Guess who's back, back again. Deli 's back, tell a friend !
In case you didn’t get it, what I was trying to get at is... The Pantry Delicatessen is back ! Back with a refreshed fit out, the interior is chic and slick with its silky charcoal theme, timber clad walls and warm atmosphere.
Modelled on the old-style Italian deli, The Pantry Delicatessen specialises in seasonal take-home meals – perfect for those on the go, or those purely just after something quick and tasty. A browse around will find you a healthy range of salads, pastas, wet-dishes, roasts, antipasto items, cured meats, cheeses, baked goods and so much more. Simply put, its restaurant quality food cooked by award winning chefs all packed into a box for your convenience.
My eyes went straight to the crusty traditional loaf of Burnham Bakery Sourdough and an Asian inspired salad incorporating beautiful coconut poached chicken, crunchy slaw and candied nuts. The Ancient Grain Salad was an absolute stunner with its tempting tastes and textures – from the cumin spiced grains, pops of quinoa to the sweet bursts of pomegranate. And to wrap it all up, you can't go wrong with a Jaffa Loaf Cake and Ginger Chocolate Loaf Cake.
It’s not hard to like The Pantry Delicatessen. Prepared with love daily by a team of dedicated and talented chefs, The Pantry Delicatessen offers the perfect option for a healthy and hearty meal.
confessions of a little piggy was invited to takeaway as a guest of The Pantry Delicatessen
The Pantry Delicatessen
1 Church Street
16 July, 2014
Proudly dreamt and created in Sydney, Charlie & Co. is all about "bringing the good times." Their philosophy ? To bring you the ultimate burger experiences with quality produce, inspiring environment and great service. Let's put them to the test, shall we ?
Mighty Charlie Burger
Not holding back, we went for the Mighty Charlie Burger - an impressive tower of a well seasoned chargrilled Wagyu patty, smokey bacon, fried egg, melty cheddar, sun ripened tomato, sour pickled gherkins, caramelised onions, garden leaves, creamy aioli and Charlie's signature tomato sauce all sandwiched between a toasted artisan bun. Though I was rather downhearted that the egg was overcooked, this burger was still a messy affair and oh so satisfying.
Parmesan & Truffle Fries
Inevitably, we also indulged in crunchy golden fries with a gourmet touch of parmesan and truffle. It was a shame that these didn't come out piping hot though.
Simply put, Charlie & Co. does a mean burger and only adds to my love for the Emporium. My suggestion is to roll up your sleeves and have plenty of serviettes handy. Expect big flavours and a full belly.
Charlie & Co. Burgers
Melbourne, VIC 3000
11 July, 2014
From the brains behind the ever so popular Chin Chin and Baby, now comes Kong BBQ. Positioned comfortably on Church Street, Kong joins a bustling street of crowd pleasers - Top Paddock and Pillar of Salt. Fitted out by designers Eades and Bergman, the 60-seat restaurant is casual - simple yet bold. The menu, inspired by Korean and Japanese flavours focuses strongly slow cooking, the oriental BBQ way.
Teriyaki Roast Ora King Salmon Ssam Roti Roll
The flavour and texture of Ora King Salmon was full, rich and buttery together with lashings of teriyaki sauce mingled with the sweet crunch of wok fried Chinese broccoli and tomato. The roti was tender on the inside, soaking up all the sauces, yet the outer layer still crisp and nicely charred. Not exactly a Korean or Japanese inspired dish, but no one’s complaining here. My friend and I fell in love with this dish and had us singing praises for the entire meal.
Kong Bossam BBQ Tray
I'm a big fan of bossam, mixing and matching bold flavours that you create in your own individual morsel. The gochujang BBQ chicken was delightful, pulled pork a little lifeless, pork belly and crackling absolutely lip-smacking and the beef brisket slightly dry but saved by the coffee infused tomato relish. Together with the fresh lettuce, tangy pickles, wombok kimchi & walnut ssamjang, we had lots of fun playing with your food - in an acceptable way of course.
At Kong, atmosphere is loud and lively, service fun and friendly, and food marvously mouth-watering. Would I come back you ask ? Puh-lease, that’s not even a question - I’ve already been back for seconds. Kong is King.
599 Church Street
Richmond, VIC 3121
06 July, 2014
Located on Mt Alexander Road, Philhellene is a warm family restaurant that focuses on provincial Greek cuisine. The interior is homely and rustic with its brick walls adorned with family photos, spitting fire place and heavy wooden features. And Philhellenism, “the love of Greek culture” is what it is all about.
Straight away, our attention was drawn to their specials board – Stuffed Zucchini Flowers and Lamb & Artichoke Fricassee were just a couple of the dishes that stood out to us. Our lovely waitress patiently explained each and every special in great detail, with her eyes lighting up as she described her personal favourites.
Spinach Feta Kalitsounia
The Spinach Feta Kakutsouni was a dish we could not look past. Crispy buttery pastries filled with a jumble of spinach and salty cheese that was all kinds of delicious. Dipping these in cool and creamy tzatziki, we devoured these savoury goodies in a flash.
We also ordered the Chargrilled Octopus, which had just the right chew and char to it. Drizzled in extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice, my friend thoroughly enjoyed this dish.
Roast Kid Goat
The 5 hours slow roasted kid goat was superbly tender, with chunks of meat falling off the bone. Together with a warm salad of broad beans and peas and roast potatoes, we felt this dish was cooked marvellously though would have loved for more flavour.
Spicy Seafood Saganaki
This saganaki dish was a fiesta of succulent prawns, mussels, swordfish and cous cous soaked in a garlic-rich spicy tomato sauce. We loved the addition of almond flakes which gave a lovely crunch to the dish. Not wanting to waste a drop, we mopped up the hearty sauce with the crusty bread.
At this point, our bellies were close to bursting - but somehow, just somehow, our waitress persuaded us to finish off with something sweet. The quince crumble particularly caught my friend’s eye. Delicate slices of quince soaked in brandy and spices, baked in custard and topped with crumble. Safe to say, my friend was all smiles after this.
All in all, our meal at Philhellene was delightful. In true Greek style, food was full bodied and generous. Service is friendly and attentive, which really further highlighted just how proud and passionate they are about their food. Philhellenism, it’s a thing.
confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Philhellene
551-553 Mt Alexander Road
Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039
01 July, 2014
I know many of you would agree with me - it’s pretty easy to get lost in Melbourne’s forever blossoming cafe scene. So from time to time, I like to take a step back and appreciate the simple pleasures. Cue Daniel Son.
Skinny Flat White
Sumac Spiced Mushrooms
Aside from the wonderfully silky yolks wobbling in the translucent whites, the earthy mushrooms were substantial, meaty, and tremendously juicy and were balanced by the tangy brightness of the sumac spices. Together, the flowing golden yolk, delicious mushies and crunchy sourdough worked beautifully.
Avocado and Feta Cheese
On the other end of the table, Melbourne Girl enjoyed chose a classic favourite of hers, Smashed Avocado and Feta Cheese. On a thick slice of toasted sourdough was the most generous serve of fresh and creamy smash.
Daniel Son was a refreshing change and the perfect place to catch up. Daniel Son, I will be back.
471-473 Neerim Road