25 May, 2015

Hakata Gensuke

Baby, it’s cold outside. It’s wet, it’s dark and it’s pouring with rain. Ramen is suddenly the only thing that makes sense. Hakata Gensuke ramen that is.

God Fire

I must say, Ramen has to be one of my ultimate comfort foods. And the ramen at Hakata Gensuke is no exception. If anything, it's the rule. My Level 4 God Fire was wickedly spicy, a steaming bowl of Gensuke's silky tonkotsu broth with a secret blend of 'Spicy Fire' swimming with bouncy noodles and your basic trimmings. I also went for an added egg because really, who can say no to a gooey centered egg ? Seriously, I can not think of anything better to warm the soul on a chilly, grizzly day.

Signature Tonkotsu

On the other end of the table was the Signature Tonkotsu - rich, cloudy and collagen-full pork bone broth served with thin noodles and an upgrade on the trimmings. For an extra $8, you get three more slices of fatty cha shu, seaweed and flavoured egg. All politely slurped up in no time.

Hakata Gyoza

Chicken Karaage

We also grabbed ourselves some bite-sized Hakata Gyozas and Chicken Karaage. Juicy Hakata style fried chicken tossed in secret spices - so so luscious on the inside yet amazingly crispy on the outside. Oh man, biggest craving for this JFC right now. 

Guys, hang up your dripping umbrella and wet jacket, shrug off those winter woes and fill up Hakata Gensuke. Best ramen in Melbourne I tell you.

Hakata Gensuke
860 Glenferrie Road 
Hawthorn, VIC 3122

Hakata Gensuke on Urbanspoon

Hakata Gensuke on Urbanspoon

12 May, 2015

D'Elephant Thai

D'Elephant Thai is one of Chadstone Shopping Centre's newest restaurants, providing hungry shoppers affordable Thai cuisine in a casual and approachable space.

Moo Ping

Red Duck Curry

Pad Kee Mao

As excited as I was to welcome a Thai joint to my favourite shopping centre, I couldn't help but to feel rather underwhelmed with their dishes. Regrettably, D'Elephant Thai's muted flavours and less than service made a less than desirable experience.  Perhaps I was unlucky and just so happen to stumble in on a bad day ? Let's just hope it was my bad luck.

D'Elephant Thai
Chadstone Shopping Centre
1341 Dandenong Road  
Chadstone, VIC 3148

D'Elephant Thai on Urbanspoon

07 May, 2015


Operator25 has got to be one of my favourite brunch spots. Big call, I know. But hey, what's not to like ? It pushes all the right buttons, from it's modern edge design, witty branding and graphics to it's inspiring menu with global accents taking Melbourne's brunch scene to the next level. 

Served against all this playfulness is their serious passion for food and specialty coffee - two things these guys will never joke about. And believe me when I say that Operator25's new autumn menu is here to excite the senses. A great range of dishes to please anyone and everyone. 

 Balinese Pulled Pork Burger

 I fell head over heels for it back in 2013 - it was love at first sight. Such tender, juicy pork that melted in your mouth, full of flavour thanks to a marinade boasting over 30 herbs and spices. Accompanied by a crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw, fresh springs of coriander and chilli mayo, this burger was simply divine. Can I please redial another one ?

Smoked Sardines 

This was a flavour powerhouse of a dish - salty smoked sardines on grilled rye, fitted with delicate slices of pickled cucumber, shards of manchego cheese and herbed up with parsley, rocket and dill.

#NOYOUHANGUP - Honey & fruit infused coffee, Grand Marnier, 
Amaro Montenegro, orange bitters, tonic water, mint, orange peel

House Brewed Iced Tea - Hibiscus, chamomile, eucalypt honey 
served with mint, segmented orange and nata de coco

Ras El Hanout Soft Polenta 

The Ras El Hanout Soft Polenta was spectacular too and the epitome of an autumn dish. A spoonful of the soft creamy polenta felt just like a warm hug from the inside, contrasting wonderfully with the perfectly grilled octopus and chorizo patty. So much yes.

Spiced Chickpea Fritters 

Beautifully fluffy spiced chickpea fritters served with herb tahini, tomato and cucumber salsa, cottage cheese, chipotle sauce, crisp flatbread and thick cut streaky bacon. I repeat, thick cut streaky bacon. Will you just look at that bacon ! 

Elderflower Sago 

For dessert, we moved onto one of Operator25's signature dishes, the Elderflower Sago. Visually pleasing to the eye and even more pleasing to the palette, we loved the playground of textures and intricate flavours of this dish - from the refreshing elderflower sago, bursting chia seeds, the tartness of rhubarb together with the sweetness of the strawberry compote, heavenly light white chocolate foam to the crunch of the freeze-dried mango. Absolute bliss.

Ginger and Date Bread 

Last but not least was the dish that stole my heart. Oh so soft and moist ginger and date bread topped with a luscious mascarpone folded with caramelised banana, studded with a salted milk crumb and  pomegranate molasses. Food porn at it's finest.

Operator25, you brew my mind. Over and over again.

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Operator25

25 Wills Street  
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Operator25 on Urbanspoon

02 May, 2015

East End Den

Let me introduce to you, East End Den - Melbourne's newest basement kitchen & bar located deep down in the belly of Chinatown. Starring locally sourced food and drinks, East End Den's killer cocktails and small plates are sure to please.

Trust me. Head east now !

Natural Oyster with Shallot Vinegar

Bloody Mary Oyster Shooter with Basil

Lamb Cutlets, Chermoula, Crispy Potato and Watercress

Chorizo Croquettes with Lime Aioli

Scallops with Broccoli Puree, Radish and Blood Orange

confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of East End Den

East End Den

51 Little Bourke Street  
Melbourne, VIC 3000

East End Den on Urbanspoon