Monday, 24 September 2012

Pillar of Salt

541 Church Street
Richmond, VIC 3121
I don't have a boyfriend, but that doesn't mean I can't go on a date.
Today I had a lovely time with Olivia, a lil sister to me <3

Melbourne is cold and windy but that didn't discourage us to come to this lovely cafe on Richmond. This place has a lot of sitting from outside, inside and at its hidden back area. 
We sat on the table just behind the lady with the red jacket.  
I love our table not only because there's a heater that kept the two of us warm but also the brightness. 
I managed to take 10 photos of our food in total which is a really rare event.
This area looks like a coffee laboratory for me and it ain't be ordinary. Five Senses Coffee for Pillar house blend. 
They also have Geisha, the best coffee ever produced from Panama

Lovely latte art and froth for my cappuccino, but somehow the texture was not as smooth and creamy as what I had from Seven Seeds. 
Cappuccino - $3.5
Olivia trusted me to order our food and I already knew what I wanted to try as soon as the staff asking.  
This is because I had spent quite some time going through the menu on their website :p
We agreed to order two dishes and shared them half half. 

I never thought that apple and hollandaise make one perfect couple <3
The apple cider hollandaise was buttery yet not too salty and the sweetness from the apple just clicked. 
Green Eggs and Ham - $16.5
I was even more happy seeing the runny egg yolk once I cut it. 

The scrambled eggs were cooked to perfection. I could truly taste the chilli although it was not the spiciness I imagined from its name. I would be happier if the spring onions were cut smaller and they used brioche instead of toast like Miss Jackson
Red Chilli Scrambled Eggs - $16.5
Service was truly amazing, friendly from the moment we stepped in until we payed the bill and efficient that our food came within 15 mins considering it was a full house. 

Coffee : 4    Food : 4   Service : 5

Coming Back? Absolutely, I am so all over the couple (hollandaise + apple). 
Pillar of Salt on Urbanspoon

Monday, 17 September 2012


126 Koornang Road
Carnegie, VIC 3163.

That day my brother and I had nothing to do and we just too lazy too cook so we went out for lunch and yes its a Date! I don't go to brunch or Western restaurant with him because every time I ask what should we have, his answer is always either Japanese or Thailand cuisine. So I looked back to my wishlist and came across this place. Shyun is a casual Japanese restaurant at Carnegie, which has been known for its freshness. They are also featured on Cheap Eats 2012 with two star rating. 

The place might not look big from the outside but they actually have more seats at the back. 

My brother went for the Una Tama Don which basically is eel cooked with egg on rice. I love this dish not because I'm a big fan of unagi but because it was cooked perfectly and the sauce tasted just right, not too salty or sweet. 
Una Tama Don - $12.5
On the other hand, I was so tempted with the bento menu. You can actually create your own bento and choose 2 or 3 dishes from the menu but I just couldn't decide so I ordered the Deluxe Bento. I was so happy just looking at these small dishes on my bento. 
Deluxe Bento Box - $14
with (vegie & shrimp tempura), teriyaki chicken, grilled salmon, 2 rolls and salad
The tempura was crispy and lovely but I could barely taste the prawn. The grilled chicken was really tender, while the mayonnaise balanced out the sweetness of teriyaki sauce. The SALMON was so delicious! It was grilled perfectly and the miso sauce was sweet and very addictive. 

Service was great, the staffs were really friendly. There were quite a lot of takeaways that time, but our food came out within 15 minutes and it just made us happy because we're hungry.

Food : 5  Service : 4 

Coming back? Yes for sure! I'm so in love with the salmon and can't wait to try their sushi rolls :)
Shyun on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Rainbow Restaurant

Level 2, 206 Bourke Street
Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000
I miss my Sundays back at home where I usually had yumcha with my family for brunch. While here, I can easily count how many times I've been to dimsum. Its not because there's no good places (although i found Indonesia's better), but it is kinda expensive for my student budget. But here we go, (me, my bro, isa, belin and tephi) 5 hungry kids' and "all u can eat dimsum".

Rainbow has been opened for 2 years and still very busy. They serve buffet on lunch and dinner.
Daily Yumcha  - 11.30am - 3.00pm
Seafood Hot Pot  - 5.30pm - till late
I'm not sure if they do bookings but I'm pretty sure you'll get a table without one because the place is huge!! and unlike other places where they squeeze everything, tables are well set here and interior design is great too.

So we paid $22.8 because its weekday and Yes weekend will be more expensive. Basically we sat on our tables, ordered tea (Free) and waiting for the trolleys to pass by. 

We started with six dishes above and sorry I can't remember all the names. 
All the deep fried dishes were great, and my fav was the top right one. The siumay was also great. FYI, they're very generous especially with shrimps. 

I found these bee looking dumpling so cute and yum!! 
This pork ribs were delicious, tender and very flavoursome!! But they were many left on the trolley so we couldn't get more :(
Pork Ribs
The rice noodle rolls were thin enough not to overpower the charsiu. However, it would be better if they put the sauce separately because it became too salty when soaked too much. 
"Cheong Fan" - Rice Paper Roll with Pork
They also had porridge but it was average and don't eat too much or you'll be too full. 
Chilli is a really important since you almost dip everything with it and this one was not that good, too watery and flavourless. 
Chilli and Porridge
Both the chicken pie and custard bun were great, crisp on top and the rest were soft.
Chicken Pie and Custard Bun
You might be wondering why did I put pork bun in the bottom. Well thats just how we had it when we're about to finish and pay. I'm not a fan because I don't like the filling and always eat just the bun but my friends said they're good. 
"Char Siu Bao" - Pork Bun
Luckily, the tofufa was great that day and I ate the whole bowl by myself. Tofu was really soft and the sweetness of the soup was just right.
Tofu Fa and Mango Soup
The mango pudding tasted so much like mango soup and the green tea pudding was not good and a bit pale. 
Mango and Matcha Pudding
This sesame ball is also a special dessert at yumcha, crisp and chewy dough filled with black bean paste. 
Sesame Seed Ball
I just can't finish without the must having dessert, Tan Tart (tan means egg in Chinese). The egg tart was very good, fresh and very flaky which made me walk away happily :)
"Tan Tart" - Egg Tart
Lastly, the staffs were friendly and fast enough that our table was never ran out of food. 

Food : 4   Service : 3

Coming back? Well, why not? its totally worth what we paid!!   
Rainbow Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Reading Room Cafe

88 Ballarat Road
Footscray, VIC 3011

Brunch at Footscray? I don't think anyone would come across this suburb when it comes to breakfast. But trust me, this is a hidden gem unless you go to Victoria Uni. Its quite hard to find the place especially on weekend when almost all of the entrance doors are closed. I don't know how's the business doing during school days but that Saturday they were quite busy. They have quite a lot of seats inside and few long tables outside. This place is surrounded with glasses, like its name, its bright just how you want it when you're reading your books :))

They have a half open kitchen and you could see the cooking process with the stove. And i just love the way the chef posed when he saw me taking pictures since its not always comfortable to do that when the chef look uneasy.
They have a separate space for coffee across the kitchen and from how it looked I could tell that they're not ordinary.

I know that the places I go make great coffees, but sometimes I just have to ditch cappuccino for my new love. The chai latte was really good I'd say even though I prefer it to come in a pot with some honey. Both the latte and cappuccino were great with lovely latte arts.
Coffee Beans from @Sensory Lab - $3.3
Without further looking I went for the BFG and Yes I made the right choice. This was the first time I had French Toast with Bacon because I never like the idea of sweet bread and salty stripes. But every component worked out really well and yes so YUM. The brioche toast was crisp but super soft in the middle and I felt like eating cloud :))
The BFG - $14.5
The two guys went for nothing but Pork and they did not regret it. The pork belly was cooked perfectly and they had a unique way of eating them. Starting from the flatbread, then place everything from apple, zucchini, remoulade, coriander, pork belly and some chilli jam on top.
Crackle & Pop - $16.5
The portion of this breakfast was huge, and really amazed us just like its name "Great Expectations". I don't know how many eggs were used but its definitely more than 3 and they all just melted with the gruyere cheese.
Great Expectations - $13.5
Jacq went for the special menu, it might not look as good as the others but this dish was very good. The beans were soft and had enough flavour, eggs were runny and the halloumi cheese just YUM YUM YUM! Sorry for the exaggerating but it was!
Double Smoked Istra Bacons with White Beans - $16.5
Corn fritter was good but compared to other dishes, this might be in the bottom rank. Well, you can't really go wrong with this one and yes it is a safe option.
Fritter's Lane - $14.5
I was full and so the others but there were 4 girls and we always have room for desserts so I ordered the Coco Bananas. Well, banana bread was always good but I still prefer Auction Room's. The lemon crd ricotta was refreshing but I think I would be fine without the coconut.
Coco Bananas - $9.5

Coffee : 4     Food : 5    Service : 5

Coming back? Yes, definitely! Every thing was YUM and the ambience was great too. Plus the service was excellent, the lady always came and checking on us including offering us more dishes :p Reading Room Cafe (Victoria University) on Urbanspoon

Friday, 27 July 2012

Las Chicas

203 Carlisle Street
Balaclava, VIC 3183

Las Chicas is a brunch spot that has a really strategic location. Once you walk out of the Balaclava station, you will see a long sign with pink stripes and its only 3 mins walk really. They do have a lot of seatings from indoor and outdoor but trust me most of the times they are full so you better come earlier. That Saturday I arrived around 11am with 6 other girls and as expected there was no seat for us. The staff told me that its gonna be around 20 mins wait. We're thinking of going to somewhere nearby after waiting about 10 mins, thanks God we didn't leave yet when the staff came out and said that the table was ready.

As usual we ordered our drinks first and start looking on the menus while waiting.
The latte was good and lovely with a simple heart shape on top.
Latte - $3.5
Dea went for the chai latte because she's a fan and I had a try and its really nice. Unlike other places, the honey was actually put in a glass in every table so you can have as much as you want.  and we used the honey dipper to get it :)
Chai Latte - $4
On the other hand, Selly ordered the Chocolate Milkshake which was kinda shocking since its already winter. But who could resist a cold and sweet rich chocolate drink with a lot of vanilla ice cream in it? I couldn't which was why I ended up sharing it with her.
Chocolate Milkshake - $6
Talking about the breakfast menus, there are a lot of options from vegetarian and non-vegetarian and the portions are big so be prepared!
Multigrain toast with sauté spinach, perfectly cooked omelette, smoked salmon, some pesto and  pine nuts on top. What else are you asking for?
Salmon Brekky Bruschetta - $15.5
Vina went for the French Toast with cinnamon sugar, lemon wedge and mascarpone. I heard that this is the sweet favourite and couldn't agree more. It wasn't just a normal French Toast, the crispiness from the batter and the creaminess from the mascarpone just brought this dish to another level.
French Toast with Cinnamon Sugar, Lemon and Mascarpone - $12
From my last visit, what I remembered about Las Chicas is their bagel, poached eggs and hollandaise. As a result the rest of us ordered dishes that had to do with these components. All the eggs were perfectly cooked and the egg yolks still runny, the hollandaise were delicious and creamy enough to complement the dishes. However, the bagels were the let downs, they were overcooked which kinda forced our muscles to work harder to bite and chew them.
Egg Benedict with Smoked Salmon - $16.5
I was so happy with my egg benedict because of the leg ham. I don't really go for ham usually but this time I chose to have them and they're above my expectation. I'm not sure if they're the dry-cured ham but they had that coarse and dry texture compared to the normal ones.
Egg Benedict with Leg Ham - $15.5
4 of my friends actually ordered the famous BBB. Like the name Bikini Blowout Bottom, the eggs actually looked like "Boobs" while the extra avocado gave it another colour to the dish.
BBB (Bikini Blowout Bottom) - $17.5
I would say the service was really great from the moment we arrived at the place. Although they did mistaken our orders and gave us all toasts instead of bagels but they were still friendly and changed them straight away.

Coffee : 4     Food : 4     Service : 5

Las Chicas on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Toodouri Korean BBQ

260 Victoria Street
North Melbourne, VIC 3003

At first I didn't know whether I should blog about this place or not because I don't know what happened but I just lost all the food photos from my housemate's camera, so I only had two photos from my iPhone :( 
But here we go!! 

Toodouri is one of the four Korean restaurants along Victoria Street and its really close to Hallah
I heard pretty good news about this place and they are even more famous since Soo Jong Ki (Korean actor) visit. So without a doubt I bought the BBQ deal from Groupon. The deal was about Korean BBQ Feast for 4 people for $74. We had the options of four charcoal BBQ dishes, sides, two mains, two clay pots and a korean beer each. 

I wanted to order the Gal Bi which is my fav meat but they said its excluded so we ended up ordering t the Scotch Fillet, Bul Go Gi, Chicken and Spicy Pork Belly. All of the meats except the scotch were marinated but none of them really stood out. Pork Belly which should be a really safe option couldn't really satisfy us. 

For the main we went for the sweet spicy chicken and egg roll. It would be good if its the same as the chicken in Han Guk Guan but it's not. The chicken was stir fry and really red but gochujang was all I could taste. Fortunately, our second main, the egg roll was great. Pan fried egg roll with a lot of melting cheese inside, spring onion and tomato sauce on top. 

Egg Roll - $12.90
I couldn't remember all of the side dishes, but the kimchi was okay. After finishing all the sides, the staff came and asked if we'd like to have more of them and we directly said yes. The bad thing was they actually charged us for the extra sides for $2.5. It wasn't a big amount of money but its so wrong to charge sides in Korean restaurants. 

The service was another let down I could say. The staffs did come frequently to cook our meat and changed the grill but they were not friendly and I could barely see smile on their faces. 

Food : 3  Service : 3

Coming back? Well, I'm not sure I will since the neighbour (Donwoori) is so much better. 
Toodouri Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon