29 May, 2014

Lu's BBQ

I miss Shanghai. I miss the people, the tall buildings, the freedom, the crazy antics and the convenience of just about everything. But most of all, I miss the food - specifically the lamb skewers (羊肉串) just a minute away from where I stayed. And so when I set foot into Lu’s BBQ handily located on Koornang Road, I could hardly contain myself. 

Lamb Skewers (羊肉串)

You must order the lamb skewers here. Cooked on long metal skewers, each skewer of lamb is pierced with juicy pieces of lamb, with just enough fat to melt-in-your-mouth and intensify the flavour and texture. Dusted in fragrant cumin and it's sister spices, these are dangerously addictive. With over 20 lamb skewers, yeah - you could say I am quite fond of them.

Cucumber Salad & Seaweed Salad

To accompany our lamb skewers, we also ordered a serving of cucumber salad and a seaweed salad. We interspersed between these two crunchy yet soothing salads between bites of mind-blowinging tasty lamb.

Lu's BBQ - you are absolutely amazing. That is all.

Lu's BBQ
49 Koornang Road
Carnegie, VIC

Lu's BBQ on Urbanspoon

24 May, 2014


With over 135 restaurants in 26 countries, it was about time Vapiano made it's way to Melbourne. Popping up just over a year ago, Vapiano is an innovative European concept - celebrating traditional Italian recipes and bringing them to life with some good ol' Aussie know-how. Let's not forget how effortlessly snazzy the space is - warm lighting, chic furniture with fresh spots of greenery here and there.

Ordering is made easy here - make your way to your station of choose (pizza, pasta, drinks), order directly from the chefs and tap your Vapiano Chip Card (provided upon arrival). Then what ? Watch as your meal is cooked right before your eyes. Essentially, a fancy canteen for grown-ups !

Pizza Bianco

I ordered the Pizza Bianco - a white pizza, which was a welcomed change from your usual traditional heavy-on tomato based pizzas. Smeared with a rich garlic cream sauce, delicate slices of rosemary infused potato and mozzarella, the flavours were spot on. Though the pizza base had a nice chew to it, I wished they had left it in the oven a tad longer for a golden exterior to develop. 

Pizza Barbecue Pollo

Straight out of the oven, the Pizza Barbecue Pollo smelt wonderful, with it's smokey aroma wafting through the air. Layer upon layer, there was a base of homemade tomato and barbecue sauce scattered with chicken breast, red onions, smoked cheese and mozzarella. A delightful mouthful, though we felt they could have been much more generous with the chicken. 


With over 10 freshly made pasta options and 17 tempting sauces to choose from, I couldn't blame my friend for taking a little longer to choose what he wanted. In the end, he opted for linguine with a classic all'arrabbiata sauce. The thin flat strands of pasta were cooked to al dente, pairing beautifully with the vibrant spicy sauce. Quoting him word for word, he commented that this dish held a divine spicy aftertaste which was very "sapid."

Pollo e Spinaci

My other friend went for the Pollo e Spinaci - each individual ribbon of tagliatelle coated in a well balanced sauce of homamade basil pesto and cream, tossed with tender chicken breast peices, fresh spinach and paremeson. Though rather under-seasoned, she still enjoyed this dish. 

What I enjoyed most about Vapiano if that there is a focus placed firmly on freshness - with all fruits, vegetables and herbs sourced from farms locally within the states. I mean, there's a mini herb garden at every table - how much more fresh can you get than that ?

Overall, we had a lot of fun at Vapiano and whilst the concept of an up-market canteen was pleasant, I cannot say I will be rushing back anytime soon. Perhaps it's  my penchant for much more exciting and bolder flavours, Vapiano simply did not win me over. But for the less selective, this may just be up your alley.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Open Haus and Vapiano

347 Flinders Lane  
Melbourne, VIC 

Vapiano on Urbanspoon

19 May, 2014

Tall Timber

There's a lot to like about Tall Timber. And it's not just the food, but the whole package - it's the real deal. 

Decked out in timber (duh!), the whole look and feel of the place is clean, casual and relaxed. Filled with the glorious aroma of coffee wafting through the air, the bright airy space is attributed by tall ceilings and white washed brick walls. 

The menu offers your classic brunch items, but with flair. Think Eggs Benedict jazzed up with slow cooked pork shoulder smothered in apple cider hollandaise. Let's not forget their super-duper food dish of sautéed kale, asparagus, greenback with poached eggs, almonds, and goats curd on quinoa loaf. 

Skinny Flat White

Brunch really is not brunch without a mandatory skinny flat white. I trust you guys know this by now !

Roast Pumpkin Bruschetta

My Roast Pumpkin Bruschetta was unbelievable. On a striking black plate, the dish came out looking magnificent - with an earthy hummus as the base, two crunchy slices of toasted quinoa loaf, bright orange smashed pumpkin, two perfectly poached eggs littered with micro herbs. Not only magnificent in looks, my pumpkin dish also tasted amazing. The sweetness of the roast pumpkin paired with the creaminess of the feta worked beautifully with the crunchy mix of dukkah.

Sourdough with Smashed Avo

On the other hand, my friend opted for a more simpler dish - toasted sourdough with a side of smashed avocado. Exactly what she was after.

You really can't deny it - Tall Timber is one appealing cafe. For me, it ticked all the right boxes in ambience, service and price. Add to this enjoyable coffee and delightful food offerings and we have ourselves a winner. And a happy little piggy.

Tall Timber
60 Commercial Road  
Prahran, VIC

Tall Timber on Urbanspoon

14 May, 2014

Joe's Bar and Dining Hall

Who is Joe ? And where can I find him ? Located in the heart of St Kilda, Joe's Bar and Dining Hall celebrates the tastes and techniques of traditional Texas barbecue, and offers what I like to call 'dirty food' - the good kind of course. And who better to feast with, than with two of the hungriest boys I know. 

Joe’s Famous Fried Chicken (JFC)

A basket of Joe's Famous Fried Chicken was one of the first to arrive, piping hot from it's swim in the deep fryer. Juicy tenderloins soaked in buttermilk, deep fried to a crispy exterior and then tossed in addictive spices. Followed by a squeeze of lime and dunked in chipotle mayo, these were finger lickin' good. 

Texas BBQ Spare Ribs

Highly recommended, we also tried Joe's signature dish - the Texas BBQ Spare Ribs. With so many other dishes on the way, we decided to go with the half rack (which was still enormous).  Dry rubbed with creole, smoked over fragrant applewood and served with Texas mop sauce, these pork spare ribs looked amazing. We were excited to gnaw away on what seemed like delicious juicy ribs, however found it dry and quite underwhelming.

Buffalo Wings

We also ordered a basket of Buffalo Wings, half with buffalo hot sauce and half with Black Label BBQ sauce. Using our hands (of course), we dug straight into the tender chicken wings. Smoked over applewood and smothered in sauce, it was a messy and delicious affair. The buffalo hot sauce covered wings were the clear winner here.

Baja Fish Taco

Served on a soft six inch tortilla came a fillet of chilli beer battered fish, dressed with ranch fennel slaw and littered with crispy popped capers. A vibrant combination of zesty flavours that had me wanting the whole taco to myself.


We also demolished a basket of Canadian's staple food - Poutine. Golden springs of curly fries, topped with cheese curd and doused in sausage milk gravy. Oh man, these were so good.

Bananas Foster

To finish off, we indulged in the Joe's decadent Bananas Foster. Drenched in dark rum, the bananas were flambéed to perfection and submerged in warm butterscotch sauce. This was accompanied by two scoops of vanilla bean ice-cream, and topped with walnut praline crumble. Amazing is an understatement here.

If you're in the area, do head on down to Joe's Bar and Dining Hall for a taste of the South. Among the hustle and bustle of St Kilda, it's a decent spot that will tame any junk food cravings. Do be prepared to use your hands !

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of 360 Immerse Agency and Joe's Bar and Dining Hall

Joe's Bar and Dining Hall
64-66 Acland Street 
St Kilda, VIC

Joe's Bar and Dining Hall on Urbanspoon

10 May, 2014

Bistro Vue

Anyone looking for a French affair, look no further than Bistro Vue. This contemporary modern European bistro offers classical French cuisine coupled with an extensive wine list with a focus on classic French varietals and their modern day equivalents. What more could one ask for ? Bon Appétit !

Garlic Snails with Parsley Crust 

Confit Rabbit Leg, Crispy Belly, Sauce Soubise

Braise of the Week

Giovanni Fabbri Truffle Pasta

Rump Cap 8-9 Score 250gm

Sirloin 4-5 Score 300gm

Pommes Frites

Corn, Truffle Brown Butter

Crème Brûléee

Chocolate Biscuit, Vanilla Ice Cream

Bistro Vue
430 Little Collins Street  
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Bistro Vue on Urbanspoon

09 May, 2014

Giveaway: Menulog


Hey Friends !

With winter right around the corner, there are (too many) nights when all I want to do is stay home, slip into my pyjamas and relax. Yes, it may be hard to believe, but I don’t eat out every night. For those lazier nights, Menulog is the answer.

I’m super excited to announce that Menulog and Confessions of a Little Piggy have teamed up – we are hosting a giveaway to reward 3 of my lovely readers ! Up for grabs are 3 x $15 Menulog vouchers !

So what is Menulog ?

Menulog is an online take-away and food delivery website that features over 3000 restaurants, 9000 specials and 100,000 reviews.

Hop online and order food from local take-away restaurants that deliver to your door. All in one spot, you have a broad selection of specials and deals, browse through menus online, reviews and promotions from a wide choice of cuisines.

In the mood for Thai Green Curry Tuesday or a Pad Thai Friday ? Menulog has you covered.
Browse and order from your local delivery restaurants:

-        -  Sydney Delivery Restaurants 
-        -  Melbourne Delivery Restaurants
-        -  Adelaide Delivery Restaurants
-        -  Brisbane Delivery Restaurants
-        -  Perth Delivery Restaurants

So how do I win ? 

1. Like Confessions of a Little Piggy on Facebook
2. Tell us how many restaurants Menulog features and what your favourite winter take-away meal is (Comment on Facebook).

It’s really that simple !  
Please make sure you've done both of these things before midnight Friday the 31st of May 2014 to be in the chance  to win one of these awesome prizes!

So what are you waiting for ? Enter now.

05 May, 2014

Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ

I get a lot of cravings. But when I get so hungry to the point that I turn hangry (hungry + angry), Korean food is usually the best solution. And on this particular day, it was up to Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ to rectify my hunger. 

Mo Dum Gue C (BBQ Set C)

Having a hard time choosing which cuts of meat to order, we went with BBQ Set C - a combination  of yang num galbi (marinated beef spare ribs), beef sirloin, soy chicken and spicy pork belly. Though a couple of cuts were quite average, the dish that was most enjoyed was the spicy pork belly. You can never go wrong with pork belly.

Cold Buckwheat Noodles with Spicy Sauce

As the meats sizzled away, the naengmyun arrived - a Korean style buckwheat noodles smothered with tangy spicy red chilli pepper sauce complete with various crunchy veggie toppings, tasty beef slices and half boiled egg. It was fun contrasting bites of these icy cold noodles with pieces of charred meats straight off the grill.

Seafood Pancake

Lastly, but definitely not the least, the Seafood pancake was absolutely delicious. Crispy on the outside, yet light and fluffy on the inside. So simple, yet so satisfying. 

Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ has clearly positioned themselves as the spot where carnivorous students flock to for a good feed. The menu is broad, food is served promptly, and service is no fuss. Their biggest drawcard is certainly size - where when quality may not be the highest, they make up in quantity. 

Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ
235 Little Bourke Street  
Melbourne, VIC

Melbourne Dae Jang Geum Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

01 May, 2014

Shandong Mama

No stranger to the Melbourne dumpling scene, Shandong Mama is currently one of the most talked about dumpling houses in Melbourne. They take their dumplings very seriously here, with Mama and daughter, Meiyan Wang and Ying Hou serving up traditional recipes from the coastal city of Yantai in the Shandong Province.

Every dumpling is unique and crafted with creative fillings by Mama herself. Choose from dumplings tailored just for Melbourne or dumplings inspired by family and happiness - ‘Little Rachel’ Dumplings, named after her newborn granddaughter.

Melbourne Fried Dumplings

A contemporary recipe inspired by Australia's multicultural scene, the Melbourne Fried Dumplings are a combination of dried seafood (prawn, calamari, mussel, fish) and chicken mince, zesty lemon rind, olive oil, garlic and parsley. Certainly, very interesting flavours to find in a dumpling. These weren't my fave, but were easily fixed up with lashings of vinegar and chilli oil.

Boiled Fish Dumplings

The Boiled Fish Dumplings housed a mousse like mince of fresh mackerel fillet, coriander, ginger and chives, all encased in a thin dumpling skin. What I really enjoyed about these massively juicy parcels was how light and bouncy-like they were.

DILL-licious Pork Fried Dumplings

Lastly, we had the DILL-licious Pork Fried Dumplings which was a blend of pork, dried shrimps, spring onions, dill, garlic and sesame oil. Just like the Melbourne Fried Dumplings, each dumpling was crispy and chewy.

Looking inside, Shandong Mama looks just like your typical Chinese dumpling house. But take a peek at their menu and you'll be able to see that it offers dumplings you cannot find anywhere else in Melbourne. Personally, I prefer the traditional Beijing pork dumplings, but I would still recommend checking out Shandong Mama's dumplings with a twist and let your own tastebuds decide if they're worth the hype.

Shandong Mama
Shop 7, 200 Bourke Street  
Melbourne, VIC

Shandong Mama on Urbanspoon