Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No photo-taking!

I've come across a couple of places on Dank St, Waterloo that have a no-photo policy.  In fact, I've been asked to delete the photos I've managed to take (they've waited as I do it).  No photos of the interiors, of the menu of the food, etc.


























{Cameras ..//, originally uploaded by Only u*.

My friend was also showing me photos on her digital camera during our meal, and I had a lot of warning/worried looks from the servers of this particular place (which is located on top of a fruit shop)..ahem...

Has anyone come across this in their food adventures?  Any restaurants I should avoid bringing my camera to?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Melbourne Day 1: Cafe Vue, Little Cupcakes, Ying Thai & Koko Black

After my San Francisco trip, my friend from Melbourne asked me how I could've managed to eat so much in the short period I was there.  She found out during the weekend we spent together in Melbourne!

I arrived in Melbourne in time for lunch, and my friend suggested Cafe Vue for a quite, light lunch, and this is where we start.

Cafe Vue
Cafe Vue has a few locations, but we went to the one in the city, as it was close to our hotel and easier to get to.  The Cafe is situated next to the restaurant on Little Collins St.

My friend and I shared a couple of dishes...

French Onion Soup
Croutons weren't as great as I'd hoped...I was hoping cheesy yet still slight crispy.  The onion soup was great though.  It took me back to a bistros in Paris, where I never had a bad French onion soup. - but you gotta love onions!























The Cafe Vue Lunchbox
Pickled beetroot salad, smoked salmon brioche, chicken and pistachio terrine, chocolate macarons
It was a small lunchbox...we were not very full, but it was good for a light lunch.  I'm usually not a big fan of beetroot, but maybe my palate's changing?  The beetroot was nice and tangy.  The chocolate macarons were the highlight....yum!






















Look at the pretty macarons!

Little Cupcakes
We went on to explore the little laneways in the Melbourne CBD, and we stumbled across this little shop, which my friend said had a very good red velvet cupcake.



























Ying Thai
After watching a movie, we went to Lygon St to have some dinner.  Whenever I go to Melbourne, I have to go to this Thai restaurant, because they have this dish that I have not seen in any other Thai restaurant
anywhere, and that is the Crispy Pork Salad.  I even took some home with me on the plane back to Sydney!

Yum sam Grob
Crispy Skin Pork salad mixed with prawns, squids, vegetables and special sauce (ask for mild!)
It's not a very good-for-you salad, I suppose :)  But it's so good!  The sweet, spicy, sour sauce mixed with the crispy pork salad is just perfect perfect perfect.  I seriously don't feel like I've been to Melbourne if I don't get to eat this dish.

Gana Panang with Duck
Can't just have the salad of course :)  The curry was not the main event, but it was nice, spicy, creamy, and generously dotted with roast duck.
Koko Black
Ok, we're very full at this stage, but again, I can't go to Melbourne without hitting Koko Black.  I only manage a small dessert, but it was packed with rich chocolate....

Chocolate Moelleux 
Baked fresh to order, hot liquid centre and served with raspberry espumn
Basically, a chocolate fondant (yum), served with a raspberry puree that has been aerated.  It was a good accompaniment to the fondant, because the molleux was so rich.


Look out for Melbourne Day 2: Babka & Maze!

Cafe Vue
Normanby Chambers, 430 Little Collins Street (between Queen & William Streets), Melbourne
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm, Friday evening from 6.30pm for Cocktail Nights

401 St Kilda Road (near the corner of Toorak Road)
ph: (03) 9866 8055
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 7am – 11pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am – 11pm 

7 Templestowe Road, Bulleen
ph: (03) 9852 2346
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm, Thursday to Saturday 6pm-9pm

Little Cupcakes
Shop 7 Degraves St, Melbourne VIC 3000
http://www.littlecupcakes.com.au/index.html
ph: (03) 9077 0413
Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 6.00pm, Saturday to Sunday 10.00am - 5.30pm

Ying Thai 2
110 Lygon St, Carlton 3053 VIC 
http://www.yourrestaurants.com.au/guide/ying_thai_2/
ph: (03) 9639 1697
Opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday, Noon to 10.00pm

Koko Black 
167 Lygon St, Carlton 3053 VIC
http://www.kokoblack.com.au/
ph: (03) 9349 2775
Opening hours: Sunday - Thursday, 10.00am - 11.00pm, Friday - Saturday  10.00am - Midnight

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bistrode: Surry Hills

Sorry dear readers, I've been remiss in updating the blog - I've just been so busy! 
My husband and I recently celebrated our birthdays with a big bash, but more on that another time.

But we had a nice quiet dinner tonight at Bistrode in Surry Hills - it was a bit impromptu, as we were hoping to go to our usual birthday treat, Billy Kwong, but it was closed - all we saw were covered up windows!  So we opted for another place around the corner.

Bistrode is owned by Jane and Jeremy Strode, who are regular contributors to the Good Living insert in the SMH.  It has been awarded One Chef's Hat in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.  It's nice to go to a place that is still quite reasonably priced, and serves quite fabulous food.  We didn't have a reservation, but we were able to be seated at the bar at this small, cosy bistro.  Here's an account of our meal.. :)

We start with some sourdough bread...






















Then we ordered a side of chips, that we asked to come as a starter, because we were hungry but we didn't want to order an entree....we were saving room for dessert!

The chips were delicious.  These handcut chips still had the skin on, were very crispy on the outside, and soft and mushy on the inside and well seasoned, and they were just a perfect starter.

Chips

My husband ordered the Petuna Ocean Trout, Savoy Cabbage and Bacon.  The cabbage was tender, but still had a bit of crunch in some bits, which is how I like my cabbage.  The skin of the ocean trout was crisp, and the flesh was cooked to a beautiful coral pink, not overdone at all.  The taste of the dish was fresh and well balanced.

Petuna Ocean Trout, Savoy Cabbage and Bacon






















I came into the restaurant feeling like I wanted to eat a big steak...and I did!  I ordered a Grass Fed Scotch Fillet (with Roast Bone Marrow).  The steak was just beautiful...the fat melted in my mouth.  There was a not a piece of the steak that was dry or chewy, the whole piece of meat just broke away in my mouth.  I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the Bone Marrow, but you can take it or leave it - it comes separate.

Grass Fed Scotch Fillet (with Roast Bone Marrow)
Finally, dessert.  I've been meaning to come back here to try the Honey Tart and Peanut Butter Ice Cream, their signature dessert.  It's very sweet, and I made a valiant effort to finish it, but just couldn't.  It's definitely a dish to share, and you have to really like honey, as the tart is like eating a whole bottle of Honey.  The Peanut Butter Ice Cream was a good foil to the sweetness of the tart.  

Can I just make a comment on the tart shell?  (I've been up to my arms in sweet shortcrust pastry over the past few weeks).  The tart shell was so buttery and flaky, and thin...I really do appreciate very well made pastry - after having some dodgy, stodgy thick, floury versions, this was one of the best pastries I've had.

Honey Tart and Peanut Butter Ice Cream
It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday...we'll be back again!

Bistrode
478 Bourke Street, Surry Hills 2010
ph: (02) 9380 7333
email: info@bistrode.com  
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, from 6pm and for lunch on Friday from midday
 

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