Friday, January 30, 2015

Eat. @ Pop Up Scroll

86 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066 ph 0433 849 281


The next new "old thing" in sweets has "popped up" in Collingwood in the form of Pop Up Scroll. 



I'm always up for something sweet so Bubs and I dropped by for an early afternoon tea the other day. 



We were served by a couple of friendly ladies with cute little aprons and they were very nice to Bubs.  He generally only likes to lick the icing off the top of cupcakes and has the ability to leave the cake perfectly in shape (eww), but to my surprise he wolfed down the mini scroll and we had to get another  (bigger) one which he again devoured!



The scrolls ($4.5, with mini versions for $3) are brioche based which explains the buttery softness. The original cream cheese is simply tasty and I can't blame Bubs for wanting more!



We bought some more scrolls to take home after our afternoon feast.  The Cherry and Pistachio had a delicious caramel topping that made me want to lick the screen of my camera just from taking a photo of it!



The Cherry, Cream Cheese and Gingerbread was a bit fancier and had a lovely Christmas-y feel to it. 



And last but not least we tried the chocolate and caramel.  Couldn't keep the little fingers from my photos, that's how much they liked it!


Can't wait to go back and try more flavours.  I am inspired to try my hand at making some at home too!


Pop Up Scroll on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eat. @ Kong BBQ

599 Church St Richmond 3121 ph (03) 9427 1307


We went and tried out Kong with our "Carnivore" friends Matt and Jo.  Matt works near there and is a veteran but this was our first outing to the "Korean Chin Chin", which has been on our radar but we've not had the chance to visit as yet.  Similar to Chin Chin, Kong has a no reservation policy, and we had a one hour wait from leaving our names at the door to being seated, which was spent pleasantly down the road at the pub.  A coffee martini later we stuck to the exotic but non alcoholic drinks once we got back to Kong. 




Once we've ordered, the food came at a quick but not rushed pace.  We started off with the famous Buns, firstly filled with soft shell crab ($6 each), with a salted duck egg relish and coriander.  The flavours were amazing, and I am most impressed with buns which were fluffy and soft, yet not soggy and not dense, a difficult task apparently as it's more often than not done badly.  These buns were perfect!


Likewise the Spicy Pork Belly with pickleed cucumber and Kong crazy horse chilli ($6 each) were to die for.  The crackling was super crunchy and had us asking for more!


Next we had the Hot wings with Gochujang and Chipotle ($12 for 6 pieces), crispy wings with really a spicy sauce.  I still prefer my standard KFC, but this was a great spicy version.
  

No Korean meal is complete without some Bulgolgi of course, so we ordered the Bossam Bulgolgi Black Angus ($28).  The BBQ meats here is so beautifully done.  


Did I mention this was a meat-fest?  So of course there were ribs.  BBQ Baby Back ribs ($36 full rack) with that crazy horse chilli again.  Very more-ish, and yes my mouth was on fiiiiire!


We did have a non meat dish, a trio of kimchi ($7) showcasing the different types of pickled cabbages and mushrooms Kong has for offer.


I regretted not having dessert at Chin Chin so even though we were quite full we did not leave without this time!  I did choose the Black sesame ice-cream ($11) thinking it's a refreshing dessert which it is, however there were 4 big scoops (I'm not complaining seriously) so it's a good dessert to share!


Jo and I also both wanted to try the Coconut Sago with passionfruit pineapple triffle ($12), which was a lovely combination and a great asian twist to the traditional triffle.


And last but not least Matt, who is American, had the Apple and Walnut tart ($12) with miso butterscotch and Japanese whiskey ice-cream, amongst jokes of Americans and their apple pies.


Another lovely night out to another great addition to Melbourne's food spots.  Friday nights are hip and noisy and probabaly not very kid friendly, but like Chin Chin, I would be game to bring the kids for early dinner especially since my bunch is really into Korean food right now.  Can't wait to come back and try other things on the menu, and of course for more of those buns!

Kong BBQ on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eat. @ Providence

497 Rathdowne Street, Carlton 3053 ph (03) 9240 7055


Providence is the new cafe on the block in Carlton, from the dynamic team behind The Grainstore in the CBD and Hero Subs.  Their newest project sits on Rathdowne Street, on the Ground Floor of the brand new Australian Unity Building.  Recently I was invited to attend their launch event and try out some of the items on their menu.


I was pleasantly surprised to find that the building is now home to Rathdowne Place Aged Care which has marvellous facilities for retirement living. I work in health care and it's so refreshing to see an aged care facility that caters so well for active senior citizens, with a theatre room and swimming pool amongst the many facilities to keep their residents happy and active.



We were greeted with a selection of drinks, including a delicious berry smooth and deliciously fresh blood orange juice.  




And of course a coffee!


Mini versions of their menu were served up for us to try, during which time both the lovely owners and some of the providores for their locally sourced goodies including Gundowring Ice-Cream and Gamze Bacon and Smallgoods.


One of my favourites for the morning was the Smoked trout, served on bubble and squeak potatoes topped with a poached egg.



The Breakfast Salad was an excellent choice for a healthy breakfast and my favourite part was the slightly caramelised grilled avocados.  


The Egg and Bacon pies were cute and was quite filling even in its miniature version size.


The pumpkin and lentil fritters pack quite a punch with its aromatic herbs.


And of course there is the sweet breakfast berry clafoutis.  A slightly naughty sweet dish with a berry filled pancake topped with some Gundowring rhubarb ice-cream. A crowd favourite!



There were also lots of other goodies available from the counter, good for a quick "grab and go".




We were treated with a goodies bag, and a coupon to check out the local farmer's market at Carlton Primary School.  


Inner suburb markets are such treasure troves of goodies and artisan items, I love having a wander through and checking out what is on offer.  The vendors are often passionate about their wares and are so knowledgeable in their craft, it's such a pleasure to experience!  I eventually used my voucher on some baked goodies from Cannibal Creek, which of course went down well with the family!



Providence is a lovely cafe in this area of Carlton which still has relatively few cafes of its kind.  The Australian Unity Building has opened up my eyes to what retirement living can be like - the food blogger in me will no doubt insist I retire somewhere with easy access to good food!

Providence on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer : I attended the Providence launch event by invitation and courtesy of the team behind Providence Cafe.  Opinions are my own.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eat. @ Hakata Gensuke

168 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD ph (03) 9663 6342


Woohoo!  Melbourne is really stepping up in the Ramen wars, and the latest ramen joint we checked out is the famed Hakata Gensuke.  I've wanted to try their ramen since they opened but have always been deterred by the long queues.  Especially difficult when we have three hungry kids in tow.  Luckily last Saturday we happened upon the shop at around 11:50am, quickly joined the queue and scored a table for 5 when the shop opened for business at midday.  

Not how you usually order!  Excuse the scribbles as we used one of the forms to enterain Bubs and Macaron Monster whilst we waited for the ramen to arrive!

To order you're given an order form per patron and from there you can pick how your bowl of ramen is made.  You start with the base, decide on variations on how you want the noodles and broth to taste, and then add on extras.  In this case we had the Signature Tonkotsu ($13), added Cha-Su ($5 for extra 3 pieces), seaweed ($1 for 3 pieces) and extra noodle ($2).  The broth was meaty, and the noodles cooked perfectly.


My favourite of the day was the Shio Tonkotsu ($13), ordered here with extra seaweed ($1), with the lighter, cleaner broth, as compared to the signature. The base bowl size is quite small and Hubby would definitely need the extra noodles to feel remotely full.


We also tried the Black Tonkotsu ($14) which was a black colored broth with a nutty flavour from the black sesame and roasted garlic paste.


We also ordered some sides.  The Hakata Gyoza (5 for $5, 10 for $9) were little mini morsels of flavoursome dumpling meat wrapped with a light pastry.  Very delicious but each gyoza was quite small and I could easily eat the whole 10 on top of a bowl of ramen!


The Chicken Karaage ($5) was 3 pieces of well fried chicken which was delicious and more-ish.  More, more, more!


Overall we really enjoyed the meal at Hakata Gensuke.  It was noisy, fast, crowded and tasty food.  Despite the small shop size and the busy turnover, the staff are quite accommodating to prams and small children.  My only quibble would be the need to line up, and the fact that it's more expensive - at $13 for a basic, smaller bowl of noodle (with only one thin slice of cha-shu), it costs around $20 to add on to create the same sized bowl of noodles that you can get for around 3/4 of the price at other quite acceptable ramen places in Melbourne.  Nonetheless I liked the delicious broth and the perfectly cooked ramen, and probably will be back as a party of 1 or 2 as the turnover is quite a lot faster for smaller parties.   


Hakata Gensuke on Urbanspoon

Toilets - yes
Highchairs - yes