Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Melbourne Food Getaway Part 1
My blog have not been updated since my job started having night shifts, which have thrown my balanced life into chaos and sometime I could not attend lots of casual dinner with friends. On top of it, seem facebook, twitter and other social networks have keep me away from blogging as my friends have been active and moved into these social networks.

Looking back, I have been thinking to blog a real foodblog and move this blog to a new blog which I have created last month. I had to separate my personal blog with my foodblog. This new foodblog address will only be used for other foodblogger.

Let's move into Melbourne Getaway or shall I call it Melbourne Food Getaway?

Pho Mekong

My friends and me was walking around Swanston Street in Early September and then Cy asked me to look for Pho Mekong using my iPhone Safari. Instead Safari, I opened the FourSquare application. It was time to try this new application and voila! We got some short recommendations menu, location on google map, and address.

Recommended menus are Pho (beef soup noodle) and Chicken & prawn spring rolls. We were waiting for around 15 minutes before these delivered to our table. The soup is a bit sweet and a bit sticky. It was said that the soup is cooked for 24 hours. Definitely the stickiest Pho soup which I have tasted so far. The rice noodle is smooth and silky, easy to slurp. This is the only Signature Pho soup served with bone marrow. Can you spot the unusual soft white things inside my bowl? These are bone marrows!

These golden spring rolls definitely an eye catch. It was so hot when it arrived on our table. We had to continue slurping our soup while awaiting for these to cold down a bit. Served with delicious sweet and tangy dipping sauce and lettuce, these spring rolls was folded elegantly and tightly wrapped. First bite, you can feel these crunchy outer skin and tasted these tasty mince chicken & minced prawn inside with green bean vermicelli combined. We love the sweet and tangy dipping sauce combination with the spring rolls and could not stop keep dipping it into the sauce.

Pho Mekong is located on 241 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.

Spicy Fish

After resting two hours inside the hotel's room, we decide to go to Chinatown on Little Bourke Street for dinner. Passing a crowded restaurant called Spicy Fish made us wondering what is inside. We asked and the waitress advised us to wait for 30 minutes as it was crowded and a bit hard to get a table for 5 people.

FourSquare recommended dry chili chicken and pork ribs with dry chili. As we favour pork, we decide to get dry chili pork ribs. We were also drawn to the picture of fragrant duck and ordered one. My friend, SV, decided to order Barramundi cooked with the mince pork and chili.

The Fragrant Duck is the winner. It tasted like Balinese version of fragrant duck (in Indonesia, it is called Bebek Bengil). I have never been to Bali, but my friends assured me that they really like this duck and never eat any duck as good as this one in Australia. We ate this duck, could not stop looking at it during dinner and almost fight for the last piece.
When we visit the Spicy Fish for lunch on our last day in Melbourne, the fragrant duck was not as good as the one we had on our dinner. Seem the night chef cooked it better. As for lunch, the duck was under cooked and not salty enough.

Dry chili pork ribs is our favourite number two that night. Decorated with dry chili and peanuts all over, this pork ribs dish were not too hot. We love the combination of bright colours and the fragrant smell from this dish. It was like playing digging for treasure when we were looking for these peanuts after finished the pork ribs. The peanuts are hotter than the pork ribs and a bit crunchy like beer nuts.

Barramundi cooked with mince pork and chili with Sze Chuan style. Sadly, though this one is on market price, we think that it is just tasted like usual fish and no specialty in this dish. It is a strong hot chili but not fiery one. The sauce is not a tasty one and seem this one was cooked as a usual fish dish.

Spicy Fish is located on 209 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000.


posted by Lilia at 9:27 am | Permalink | 1 comments
Saturday, February 28, 2009
The Eveleigh Market
It was a hot day and I was already too late to attend Eveleigh Market. Located around 500 metres or just around 8-10 minutes walking from Redfern train station, there were a lots of people in the market. Some people already going home with lots of goodies and bags when I passed them on the way to Eveleigh Market.

The market is housed under an open warehouse. There were lots of people queueing for Eumundi cooked sausages. Then I saw The Biscuit Tree stall, however I didn't see the famous Suze from Chocolatesuze around the stall, so I decided to explore a little bit.

I saw Gena from Sweetness the Pattisserie with her famous marshmallow. I bought lime and ginger shortbread. It is crumbly easily, but the flavour duo of ginger and lime are perfect. My heart sang happily after I finished the shortbread.

I saw the Gympie Farm stall. From Helen's blog Grab Your Fork, Helen wrote that she loves the churned butter. So instead asking for cheese tasting, I asked for butter sample. It is indeed so creamy and fresh, however the salt were not spread evenly. I could feel a bite side a bit salty than other side. I wanted to buy the butter, but a meeting with other friend in Parramatta in the afternoon made me had to hold back and said that I 'll be back next week to buy the butter.

I went back to Eumundi and bought a small chorizo roll. The chorizo was tasty and hot. If only they are selling other sausages as well, I would be happily to buy the mixed platter with no bread.

I went back to The Biscuit Tree stall, there were an older couple waiting by the stall. I bought packs of shortbread and thin biscotti. The older man handed me a shortbread sample and I fell in love with the crunchy shortbread. It was made with a very fine butter, I could smell the goodness of butter and the great flavour of white chocolate & cranberry. This is indeed a great shortbread, not too crumbly and a good bite size! I can easily pop it in my mouth and not to worry about crumbly part everywhere on my clothes.

My buying

I asked the older man, where is Susan. The man laughed and said that Susan would be around the market. "She likes to explore the market", said the man. I informed him that I read the blog and told him that Susan is quite famous now and he laughed proudly. The lady immediately called Susan even though I said that it was not really important. Susan appeared and I told her that I read her blog. She told me that Helen was around, but my mind was wandering as my friend should have called me to tell me what time she will be in Parramatta. I told Susan that I will be going anyway and I just wanted to said hi to her.

Then after several steps it stuck me, did she mentioned Grab Your Fork? I went back and asked her if I could see Helen. Susan told me to update my blog, but my blog is not even a food blog. I just love to eat and try something new. That's why food bloggers come in handy for me when you don't want to get disappointed at any restaurant or eating places that you never visit before. Helen has a big smile and very kind. Both of Helen and Susan carried big cameras. That's the proof of serious food bloggers. Helen informed that today is the first time the Eveleigh Market opened officially. That's why I didn's see any photos or review other than the Eveleigh's Christmas report from Helen's blog.

close up of white chocolate and cranberry shortbread in the bag

I would recommended anyone to try these shortbreads and biscotti from The Biscuit Tree. These shortbread are in bite size and the thin biscotti are great as these are home made and have great taste.
I love the shortbread, great flavour, it makes me eating it non-stop. It is really different with the shortbread kind in supermarket. Even better and creamier than the famous Arnott macadamie shortbread.

Close up of coffee and ginger biscotti in a bag, you could see these candied ginger

The coffee and ginger shortbread is unique. The candied ginger is tasty and generously spread randomly all over the biscotti. I never ate any candied ginger before as usually Indonesian people would be using ginger as a spice for cooking salty food only, but behold, this candied ginger one is perfect on flavour and texture!

close up of pistachio biscotti in the bag, have not try this one yet

For better close-up pictures, see The Biscuit Tree website.

I think I was nervous when I met these famous food bloggers, not sure what I could talk about. Food?

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posted by Lilia at 8:41 pm | Permalink | 5 comments
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Bella Restaurant at The Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley
It was 4th October, my last night in Melbourne. I was staying at The Sebel Heritage Yarra Valley. After working all day, we arrived that afternoon, checked-in, showering then going out for more product knowledge then it was time for dinner!

Bella Restaurant offers monthly seasonal changes to the menu and gourmet ingredients from local Yarra Valley produces. As I reading the menu, we had no idea where we should start. As it is a rare occasion, my colleagues determined to have most by ordering different main meals.

Our entree is Bella's Pruners Plate:

Consist of Yarra Valley rabbit terrine with strawberry jam on top, farm house cheese, duck pate (top right), tarragon mustard (below right), mango chutney salsa (below left),and garlic aioli (top left) with biscotti bread.

The bread was not too dried which I like. I love the rabbit terrine, mango chutney and duck pate. In fact, my colleagues scraped these until the other plates were clean while leaving the mustard and cheese.

Next is J's choice of main meal:

Grilled barramundi, garlic prawn brochette, baby peas, spring onions and confit lemon.

She said that the barramundi is absolute delicious and she liked it cook well done (her request).

Nest is L's order:

Boned & roasted baby chicken, truffle foie, pearls onions, creamed celeriac in natural juice.

The baby chicken was tender and soft. It seem just ordinary roast chicken. My friend said that it was not a special dish.

Mine is:

Noisettes of veal, braised savoy vegetable, salt & pepper mascarpone, mushroom & jus.

The veal was tender and everything was the right flavour. The only thing i didn't like is the fried bacon accompanying this dish. It seem not a match, I could easily separated the bacon from the rest of the dish. The mascarpone was melted a bit while we were taking picture each other's dish. I would suggest that the mascarpone should not be salted as it only highlight the salted veal. Love the mushroom, seem it was soaked with jus prior cooking and it was juicy.

All of us loved the dessert:

Hot chocolate souffle with ice cream vanilla.

It's classic, but we loved the warm gooey dark chocolate in the centre while it was cold outside in the Yarra Valley. The ice cream was loaded with vanilla bean and it was delicious after you spoon the gooey warm chocolate souffle down. The butterscotch sauce was sweet as paired with these dark chocolate. As all of us are almost full, we could not finish the souffle. It was bigger than the usual and we loved the intense flavours. Next time I will definitely save more place in my tummy for the souffle.

It was full of fog at 8am on Sunday morning when we were hunting kangaroo picture with the golf cart. What a start for the amazing morning experience. I saw a shadow and shouted, "Kangaroo...!" My friend drove closer to the shadow and we saw a golfer. My friend said that I was hopeless over my over-excited spirit for seeing free kangaroo in the nature...&@^%^#^%&. We found a couple of kangaroo and more and more group of kangaroos around the golf course. We saw ducks, and some black bird with red beak around some golfers that morning. It is a great golf course, designed to blend with the nature very well.

We did have breakfast at Bella Restaurant. I love the breakfast as we were provided with fresh fruit like banana with passion fruit instead banana chips at most hotels do. Also, I noticed that the honey was in a standing glass container with some pieces of honeycombs. We also saw that the fog were flying around to disappear from Yarra Valley around 10am. Nevertheless, as we were running out of time for the massage session that morning, we could not take any picture.
posted by Lilia at 5:38 pm | Permalink | 5 comments
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Shu Shin Bou
I was walking around George Street last Saturday when I remembered a flyer from Bread Top in World Square that was given to me last month. The flyer was an advertisement about new supermarket, Maxim, which located in Regent Place on George Street.

I made a dash to the new building located between Greater Union and KFC, going down to escalator then I found Shu Shin Bou...

The first thing that I saw is:

Shu Shin Bou's display of Daifuku, dorayaki, potato cake and
caramelised persimmon with brown sugar.

Then I saw the making of Mochi-yaki, a cake filled with creamy custard. Unfortunately, the machine was being repaired. Some cold Mochi-yaki were waiting on a box, to be sold. However I was interested to have a hot mochi-yaki rather than a cold and lumpy mochi-yaki.

The mochi-yaki's machine

The mochi-yaki display is using a false ancient Japanese oven and false fire to highlight the Mochi-yaki being sold in the shop.

Still waiting for mochi-yaki

After some more minutes waiting and seem it will take more time to get the machine working perfectly on making mochi-yaki, I focused on mochi and daifuku display. I bought some mochi with different flavours and brought it home:

I bought mochi with flavours: green tea, blueberry, mango & coconut, brown sugar with sesame, peach yogurt, and mango (with brown dusted flour). I bought 2 for each flavour.

I got the brochure about these product and flavours after I bought these mochi. The brochure will help you decide which flavour you would like to buy. Had I read the brochure before proceed to ask the staff what flavours it is one by one on mochi display, I would not be embarrassed wasting time as there were some people queue behind me.

I was advised that these mochi will last 5 days in the fridge or 15 days in the freezer.

It is good to be eaten frozen, advised the staff. So I put the fresh mochi into the freezer and ate these after some hours. It is delicious, soft and cold, though some with sensitive teeth may not like it frozen. Even though it is frozen, you can bite it through without slicing it. I almost end up eating my fourth mochi that day...

Have a look at their website in here: Shu Shin Bou's Website
posted by Lilia at 6:15 pm | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
The Treasury Restaurant, Melbourne
So, I had been to Melbourne on 5th, 6th and 7th October because of the product knowledge sessions. Of course, if you are there for work, then the company will provide transport, accommodation and food.

My first lunch was in The Treasury Restaurant at The Sebel Melbourne. I saw lots of businessman and businesswoman around the restaurant. The waitress are very attentive, always keep our glasses full and asking us if we would like more wine.

As we were late for the scheduled visit in other place, we only had our main meal and dessert. We had to skip our second meal. No entree that was ordered originally.

John Dory fillet and bay scallop with potato primavera and prawn red pepper reduction

I like the fish, it was moist and soft. The bay scallop was cooked from fresh scallop and tender. When you eat food that fresh, it will retain its moistness during cooking. The sauce was tomato and some herbs (?) which tasted light and not too powering.

Coconut and pineapple pafrait (cone-shaped), with passion fruit jelly and pineapple sorbet.

The next is our dessert. It had a parfait. I never tried a parfait before, moreover combination of coconut and pineapple parfait seem like eating a butterscotch withour sugar (?). It tasted like something delicious, nutty, a bit sweet and I felt like I can taste buttery flavour but it is not butter, maybe because it was coconut milk in the ingredient. There were some chopped fruit mixed with passion fruit to accompany this dessert.

The Treasury Restaurant from above. See what is next to left of the round tables? It is used to be bank cashier. The whole building actually was The Bank of Australasia, built in 1876. Most of the building has gone refurbishment while maintaining its orginal structure and decorations.

I went to the bathroom, located on upstairs. It provided Molton Brown hand wash and lotion, a brand from UK, which is great service provided. I love the Molton Brown's lotion perfume. Seem they are using naran ji Molton Brown? We were happy to lather our hands with lots of lotion and come out from the bathroom with soft, smooth and perfumed hands.

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posted by Lilia at 9:25 pm | Permalink | 4 comments