Monday, 28 May 2012

Kokoro Ramen

157 Londsdale Street
Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000

We'd like to have something hot so we decided to go to Kokoro. Its quite a new ramen shop in CBD and i could say they are quite famous since I have been seeing people talking and posting photos about this place. We went there on Saturday lunch but it wasn't busy, there are about 50++ seats but less than half  were occupied.

Like most of the Japanese restaurants, they welcomed us with いらしゃいませ ! Then we were directed to our seats and given menus. The waiters did not take our orders as we need to order in the counter and pay first. The menu itself really makes ordering easier with photos for all the choices.
Basically there are 4 stocks to choose from :
1. Tokyo Ramen - Pure Chicken & Seafood Stock
2. Tonkotsu Shio Ramen - Salt base Pork & Chicken Stock
3. Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen - Soy Sauce base Pork & Chicken Stock
4. Tonkotsu Miso Ramen - Soybean Paste base Pork & Chicken Stock

The portion of each ramen is big which is fair for the price. Me and my 2 housemates went for the Tonkotsu Shio Ramen because they say its better than the Shoyu. The soup is rich in stock which is why its really oily, but we agree that its too salty. Is it because of the NO MSG? Well, we think its better to pull back the salt. The homemade noodles are really thin. However, its not quite firm and chewy that I could straight away swallow them without putting much effort in munching them.

I really like the fried soft shell crab, they're really crisp and tender.  
Fried Soft Shell Crab - $14.50
 The chicken karage were really good too, crisp and juicy. And they're more generous with the amount.
Fried Chicken - $12
Extra Tasty Egg - $2
Do you agree that're a lot of charsu than usual? Well, they are! Its not that we don't like chunk pork slices, but we prefer thin slices as they usually melt in your mouth.
Charsu - $12
My other housemate had the Tonkotsu Miso Ramen. He went with the Butter & Corn as recommended in the menu. The soup is rich and oily but not as salty as the shio because of the touch of the spiciness. However, there's something really disappointing. They forgot to put charsu on top of it and my friend did believe its a vegetarian dish until we saw charsu on the menu again on our way back.
Butter & Corn - $14.50
Overall : 6, it was not a really nice lunch for us although i love the karage and soft shell crab. Service are great and fast. In my opinion, putting less salt for the soup is a must and keep the consistency for the chewiness of the noodles.
Kokoro Ramen on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Sammy's Bakehouse Cafe

Shop 1, 22 Mason Street
Hobsons Bay, Newport, VIC 3015

I have been returning to this small bakery every Friday on my way to Newport Lakes Primary School. At first I doubted this place, it looks like a small and plain cafe. They offer so many things from bagels, pizzas, cake slices, and many more. I know that all the bagels are baked daily since every time I come in the morning they're always busy in the kitchen.

I always buy their bagels, they're so big, yummy and cheap!! They don't really look like usual bagels, the size is about 3 times of the normal ones. They are less dense compared to normal bagels, the outside is crisp and chewy like chinese doughnut.

My friend always goes for the plain sesame bagel, she likes it because its not sweet and somehow feels like its savoury. 
Sesame Bagel - $3
I had the chocolate one that day because they are popular and always sold out. Its not really sweet either since its dark chocolate and I just like how the chocolate evenly covered the half top of the bagel. 
Chocolate Bagel - $3.5
We have also tried other flavours, cinnamon and custard. I love the custard ones, melting in my mouth!

Overall rating : 7, a really good place to buy some snacks or even lunch. I have not seen anywhere else in Melbourne that sell a huge bagel for just $3! The staffs are always nice and they often start conversation with us. What is more, FREE SAMPLES for all the bagels even though we've been there several times!!
Sammy's Bakehouse Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dinkum Pies

29 Block Palace, Melbourne CBD, VIC 3000 | 0396546792

Have you heard about them? I have not heard about them before too, and its weird as they are really famous in CBD area. I actually know them after I purchased a deal from Living Social. It is risky to buy something without doing pre purchase research first (ups, this is marketing talking). But 2 pies and 2 coffee for $9? Well, i don't think you need to think twice for this and Yes i didn't regret it at the end!
Did you recognise that red is appearing in every sides of this place? I did not ask why is that but I assume they want to say "made with love" as red usually reflects love <3
The place is actually quite big with more than 20 seats. But during lunch time, its kinda hard to find a seat because they're really busy and even most of the customers take away their food.

We ordered mocha and latte for the drinks. I could say they are pretty generous with size as you can see the mug is really big. But they might be too generous with the foam too. The coffee did not meet our expectations but we just had them since they're included in the deal.
Mocha - $3
I did see comments about them and most people said their pies are the best. Do i agree with this? Sincerely, I couldn't agree more. The famous steak is actually the best I have so far! A crisp short crust pastry filled with delicious mixed of minced beef and gravy.
 Look at those melting meats, one word YUMMY!
Famous Steak - $4.9
My friend had the chicken and mushroom pie that looks more appealing with poppy seeds on top of it. The chicken and mushroom is kinda creamy and not too salty.
Chicken and Mushroom - $4.9
Pie and coffee are fulfilling but not yet for our sweet tongue. We decided to get some and it was so hard since there are so many desserts calling for us. Haha.. But then, a lady with formal attire (i reckon she's the owner) came and help me to choose. She also explained that everything is freshly baked in the kitchen upstairs.

Their lamington is really good. I couldn't say its the best because believe it or not that was the first time I had them. The sponge cake is firm but moist, however i'd be happier if they put a lil bit more jam in between.
Lamington - $2.4
The cream apple pastry looks really amazing, agree? But it is just so so :( I chose this because I was expecting it tastes like Apple strudel from Corica. However, it was completely different. The pastry's not crisp, the cream and apple do not create a nice filling since they are not mixed together.
Creamed Apple Turnover - $3
Overall: 8, another great places for quick and cheap lunch in CBD. You should really try their PIES! Hmm, their sausage rolls are also famous. Staffs are really friendly and helpful, they don't mind explaining more about each product.
Dinkum Pies on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 8 May 2012


223 Victoria Street
West Melbourne, VIC 3003

Because I was half full after brunch, I started looking for a dessert place nearby and found Dolcetti. The name reminds me of "il dolce Freddo" and increase my expectation. Dolcetti is located not far away from Queen Victoria Market. The place is quite small with only few seats inside but it's a really sweet cafe. 
These hanging tea cups just made this cafe even more lovely. 
"Made with LOVE" Isn't this appealing?
There was only one girl serving us and the other staffs were inside the kitchen baking for their huge orders. Just look at the freshly baked goodness on the trays!  
I forgot to take note of the tea price. Again and again, the tea set is just adorable. It feels like those sets in High Tea. 
My favourite is the mini Fruit Tart! Sweet and buttery crust tart filled with some fruits and granulated with sugar. What i like is the crust is crisp and the filling is not too sweet and refreshing. 
Fruit Tart - $ 3.9
The strawberry tart that comes with the same crust tart is also nice. The size is about twice of the mini one but the fruit tart filling tastes better. 
Strawberry and Pistachio Tart - $ 5.9
The danish is also good and not too sweet. But the pastry is not really crisp as i'd like it to be.
Pistachio, Pear and Strawberry Danish - $ 4.5
Devil Cake? Hmmm, i doubt this one. It says that there's a layer of caramel but I could hardly taste it. What's disappointing is its not a rich chocolate cake, more like sponge cake with chocolate flavour. 
Devil Food Cake with cream - $ 4.5
Overall: 8, i totally enjoyed spending my afternoon desserts there and looking forward to try their famous biscuits. Staffs and the place itself are just lovely. Cakes and pastries are all freshly baked and good with cheap prices!

Dolcetti on Urbanspoon

Monday, 7 May 2012

Auction Rooms

107 Errol Street
North Melbourne, VIC 3051

Its been long since the last time I had brunch. This time I went to Auction Rooms as suggested by some friends. I was kinda confused in finding the place since its not located right in front of the tram lines. The restaurant sign gives a little touch of an old and vintage image. But the place itself is totally modern in design with high ceilings and full sunlight. The place is really big and tables are scattered all over the building.

I'm quite happy with the menu, it looks really elegant and high class. Don't you think so?
Some people prefer tea than coffee but trust me they make great coffees here, 
so you should get them!
Latte and Cappuccino - $3.5
One of my friend was attempted to try the syphon coffee. It's served in a beaker glass, really fragrant and tastes good but i still prefer having milk with coffee.
Syphon coffee - $5.5
What i recommend the most is the banana & walnut bread. This is the best one so far, they are crispy but really moist in the inside. The banana flavour is just right and the espresso butter just make the dish even better. It would be perfect if they put one scoop of ice cream on top (i wish).
Homebrand banana & walnut bread with espresso butter - $ 9
This dish is lovely because of the perfectly cooked pork belly and the coffee BBQ sauce. What i didn't like is the black cabbage slaw, it tastes weird, there's something wrong with the sweet and sour flavour. For $17, the portion is kinda small and I was just half full after eating this.
Roast pork belly on a corn crepe with coffee BBQ sauce - $18
The pork rillette creates a crispy and tasty patty for the sandwich and it goes really well with the watercress mayonnaise. The pickle red cabbage makes the dish look amazing but the amount is just too much for me.
Crispy pork rillette sandwich - $14.5
I've seen a lot of people posting photos and recommend this dish. It is overall a great dish but my friend could not finish this because it has really strong flavour.
"The shady deal" moroccan-style tomato & chorizo stew - $17.5 
Overall : 8, i am really looking forward to go back for their breakfast or lunch menu. Staffs are really friendly and food came out fast. I wish they could do something with the black cabbage slaw and fix the portion.
Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Vegie Bar

380 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy, VIC 3065

Firstly I'd like to apologise for not updating my blog for quite long. This is because I had a lot to do on April and I'm waiting for the copyright design. Hmm, let's start! Finally I could crossed out the famous Vegie Bar that always appears in first page of Urbanspoon from my wish list! I went there on Friday for lunch and it was really busy. But the place is huge so we managed to get a table for 4 without waiting.

As stated by the name, everything on the menu is vegetarian (they also offer vegan and gluten free), just in case you're thinking they might have something else. They also sell some cakes, biscuits and cookies in the counter but I did not try any of them since the food portion is HUGE.

Mexican Burrito is a must try! Tortilla bread is really nice and it's stuffed with kidney beans, spinach, onion and mushroom. Corn chips are really crispy served with good guacamole and sour cream. I don't know why it also comes with rice which makes this dish really fulfilling.
Mexican Burrito - $14.5
My brother straight away chose the chicken wrap even though it is faux. The faux chicken come in bite sized, they're crispy and chewy just like chicken nuggets. I personally like the roti bread, its not too thick but has many layers. Mango and sweet chilli salsa are a good combination and really refreshing.
Faux Chicken Wrap - $9.5
I have always been tempted to try tofu burger since my visit to Purple Peanuts. It is really huge and tall. The peanut sauce is just excellent and they give generous amount of it. But I was expecting it would come with tofu patty instead of a plain chunk piece of fried tofu. Chips are good and crispy!
Organic Tofu Burger - $8.5
add chips - $1.5
I could say that it really captured our attention when the falafel wrap came. Like the others, the portion is just huge. I could not say much about this since I did not try it but my friend said its a bit disappointing. Its kinda plain in flavour compared to others.
Falafel Wrap - $8.9
Overall : 8, it was a really great and fulfilling lunch. The service is good even the food sometimes could take a long time but that's okay considering it was really busy. Even though you are a meat lover, you should come and try. Its totally worth it for such huge portions with cheap prices.
Vegie Bar on Urbanspoon