Saturday, June 19, 2010

Newton's Circus, Huntingdale

A reliable source tells me apparently that this name is legendary in Singapore. So when said source discovered the same name in Melbourne, we made a point to visit the place in Huntingdale.
It wasn't exactly the hawker's style food court that we had hoped for, and the bain marie with the pre-cooked dishes was another initial turn off. But we ventured forth towards the counter and ordered from the menu.

I ordered a chuay teow which was rather ordinary and I didn't really like the hokkien noodles which was mixed in with the flat noodles. In addition, it was kind of low on other ingredients.

But R's chicken rice was absolutely perfectly spot on! The rice was well flavoured, and the chicken was soft and succulent and the skin melted in your mouth.

Will definitely go back, but will remember to stick to the chicken rice only.

Newton Circus on Urbanspoon

Hong Kong East Cafe, Glen Waverley

Apparently this place is where I should'v hung out in my school days if I had been like many other Asian kids who grew up on this side of town. Unfortunately I discovered the many many many options that this diner has to offer much later in my life. And when I say many, I am totally serious! The menu here is like a tome and must feature more than 200 items!

It's not hard to see why this place is really popular. The extensive selection of dishes and drinks makes it a safe place for the undecided. The important thing is that they consistently deliver on each dish and each drink that is featured in the menu.

They have dishes ranging from Spaghetti Marinara to Portuguese Chicken, Japanese Curry to Egg Chiffon Rice. Drinks range from Red Bean Ice to HK Style Coffee and desserts include Glutinous Rice Balls and Tiramisu. Although, it is highly likely that my taste buds are biased and I am quite accustomed to how these classics are cooked here whereas others might beg to differ.

On this occasion, R had the mixed grill and I ordered the double baked rice. Nom nom nom. Massive feed.

Kintochi, Chadstone

This cute little Malaysian-Chinese run Japanese diner in Chaddy has been a favourite for a few years now. The sushi train is just adorable and the platters turn around fast enough for the platters to maintain freshness. There are bar stools placed around the train tracks for those wanting to watch the sushi chefs at work.

However, we usually prefer to sit in the main dining area because we like to order from the extensive range featured on the al carte menu. The only reason for this is because the bowls and bento boxes are simply too big and it's awkward to eat from them when they are placed on the narrow benchtop.

Although, on this occasion we did sit on the barstools so that I could capture the best angle of the train without making a scene. We started off with a few dishes from the sushi train, which filled our initial hunger. Then we proceeded to order the mixed bento box and the miso eggplant from the al carte menu.

The miso eggplant took almost 15mins to arrive and I was almost late back to work, but every morsel of it was worth the wait. Although I can't say much for the accompanying salad leaves which were slightly brown-ing around the edges

The different bits in the bento box were also quite tasty, however the bento box in which it was served irked me, because it looked very worn out and it wasn't pleasant to see the beef and the sashimi placed straight onto the plastic without some carrot/radish/mixed leaf garnish underneath.

But then again, it IS a shopping center diner, and it obviously ain't Nobu. Besides the sushi train is just too adorable to pass up.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ping's Dumpling Kitchen, Clayton

We chanced upon this place on another one of our swotvac adventures. It would have opened up very recently and it was attracting a fair crowd on that day. Business seemed to be good. This place is in the style of Bob's Kitchen, and Aunty's Dumplings with its good range of home style Chinese dishes and snacks such as pan fried dumplings, red bean pan cakes and my all time favourite: XIAO LONG BAO!!!
The specials are written on strips of paper and plastered on the walls and the menu was reminiscent of my grandma's specialities.

We ordered the braised pork and tea leaf egg with pickled salty leaves, salty fried duck, and a serve of pan fried dumplings which was just massive! The picture was taken after we had devoured half of it.

And last but not least: I ordered a serve of XIAO LONG BAO which I tried so hard to capture with my stupid phone camera which then went and un-saved the precious picture. By the time I realised its greivious mistake, I had already finished the whole thing and it was too late. Although it does give me the perfect excuse to go back there very very soon to take the picture again. =P

Ping's Dumpling Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Max Brennar, Melbourne Central

Huge fan of strawberries in Winter when the strawberries are imported from QLD and at their best.

Friday, June 11, 2010

An An, Glen Waverley

We marked the beginning of the examination period with an obligatory feeding fest this Monday in Glen Waverley. Ended up at An An's which is a Vietnamese place along Kingsway. Personally, I prefer to get my pho-fixes in Springvale simply b/c it's been a childhood tradition to go grocery shopping then eat pho and order a broken rice for take away. I often shy away from eating Vietnamese in other places however, it was swotvac and we were too lazy to drive far.

Overall, the food was pretty decent and we had a good feed. In addition, the place was clean and service was efficient. But there were just a few minor points which wasn't to my liking.

Drinks: I ordered my 3 coloured drink however I found this mixture to be not as sweet as I expected because there wasn't enough of the lotus seed paste and the red beans were supplemented by kidney beans instead. R ordered his coffee with condensed milk which came in a curious laboratory set up which left us perplexed for a few min's before we figured out how it was supposed to be used.

Pho: we ordered a small sized chicken and a small sized beef pho with the expectation that well, they would be small. But they were definitely anything but. Both were delicious and the broth was very tasty. My only irk was that my broth was not hot enough when it arrived at the table and it didn't wilt my bean shoots. Raw bean shoots ergh! Otherwise, both the texture of the meat and the pho was just right.

Broken Rice: we shared it between the two of us, ie: R bore the responsibility of demolishing it while I took my pick of the various elements of the dish. Again, it was overall rather charming, but it would have been nice for there to be just a bit more rice vermicelli and wood ears in the meatloaf.

An An on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ajisen Ramen, CBD

The year was 2004 and Ajisen Ramen had a cult following in China almost rivalling Pizza Hut's. I was back in the motherland for a visit and I was introduced to my first bowl of steaming fragrant ramen on Szechuan Bei Lu.

When it first opened in Melbourne, it attracted mostly customers who have had it before at one of its overseas branches. Its location far up Bourke St also did not help to bring custom. The only reason I ever saw it was b/c we used to go to Paramount Center to borrow animes. However in recent years it seems that the flocking of international students to the Melbourne CBD has made it a more popular destination and local residents have also begun to take notice.

On this occasion, we had gyoza for starters. R had the volcano ramen with EXTRA volcano sauce, while I had a miso eggplant. I made up for it with black seaseme ice cream topped with red bean paste for dessert. Delicious. Cheap. and Fast.

Ajisen Ramen on Urbanspoon