Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rice Paper, Melbourne CBD

Service was hasty and therefore sometimes lacking. But the cheap food made up for it. I probably wouldn't come back again, but we needed a fast meal on the night and that's what we got.

Rice Paper Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 24, 2010

Afghan Gallery, Fitzroy

We came to Fitzroy looking for Spanish cuisine and hot Spanish waiters. However by the time we found parking we were famished and Afghan Gallery was just around corner. The name rang a bell and I remembered reading some rather positive reviews so we stumbled in.

Unsurprisingly the place was pretty full, and we got told to take a seat at a table near the door. We waited patiently for some menus and after three different wait staff, we finally received them. But our hunger made us overlook this glitch and we pursued the menu eagerly. All the items sounded really promising and it was definitely hard to make up our minds.

For entrée, we decided upon the chef's selection so that we could try a few things.

It was a bit surprising to be served pasta at an Afghan restaurant, and quite ordinary pasta at that. Personally, I felt it was a waste of my precious calories count. Also I was intrigued whether Afghan cuisine really used pasta. So I googled it and Wikipedia tells me that 'Pasta is called "khameerbob" in Afghanistan and is exclusively in the shape of dumplings. These native dishes are wildly popular.' Somehow I don't think that's quite what we had.

The rest of the entrées were much better and I quite liked the filling inside the pastry puffs although the pastry could have been more fluffy and these tasted reheated. But the dumplings (the real version) were quite interesting and the filling kept us guessing in a good way, trying to determine which meat they used to achieve its flavors. My bet was on lamb.

By this stage we had also figured out that the best way to get service around here was to ask for it. I didn't mind this too much, especially since the staff were all quite friendly once you did get their attention.

Soon after our mains arrived.

The lamb with spicy onions and sweet corn was quite fantastic. The flavors complemented each other and the lamb was soft and tender.

But the eggplant was my favorite! I may be bias because eggplant is one of my favorite foods of all time. But it was just so damn good. The pieces of eggplant melted in my mouth and every spoonful remained as addictive as the last. the dish was right in front of me so, sorry ppl if I seemed to be hogging the dish!

Both dishes were also served with soft fluffy rice which was perfect for catching the drippings of sauce.

Of course we could not leave without dessert and we had especially not overeaten to save ourselves for some sweet treats! The standout from the platter was the baklava.

Overall, I quite liked this quaint little place and it's definitely worth a try. Even if it is just to experience the novelty of Afghan cuisine.

Afghan Gallery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Turkish Delight!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to feast upon a banquet of dishes at a friend's house! The amazing hostess spent 2 days cooking up a storm for a formidable group consisting of more than 10 people!!!

An overflowing antipasto and dips platter satisfied our rumbling tummies upon arrival.

Before long, we were lining up for the most spectacular feed of our lives. The cabbage salad was beautiful and the cous cous was perfectly refreshing. The freshly made borek was sooooo gooood and I adored the filling!

But the most surprising standout for me was the carrot dip which was eaten with the meatballs. They complemented each other so well along, but it was such definitely an intriguing combination which I had not encountered before.

Ta-da! My plate of goodness!

With our tummies filled, we went on to have a very productive night. The best sticky date pudding accompanied by freshly brewed tea provided the perfect finish.

Many many many kudos to M for organizing the night and cooking a delightful Turkish feast! Much love. xx

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

David Jones Foodhall, Chadstone

Came here during one of my lunch breaks with R!

Vegetarian Laksa was delicious and the flavours were just right. I was apprehensive about the lack of meat, but it was actually really delicious.

The stir fry beef was really tasty but I thought a little sprinkle of bi carb soda would have softened the meat and made it just perfect.

R was still hungry and ordered a steak and mushroom pie. Kudos for the real beef that was used in the pie.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kouzina, South Bank

So I was talking to a friend today and she asked me whether I've ever come across any place that I haven't liked yet. After some thought, it dawned on me that yes of course I have. It would be wholly untrue to say that every eatery I have ever been to has been perfectly perfect.

But the simple fact is, I don't really enjoy writing bad reviews unless it was a totally disastrous experience and I hate the place and wished that their building crumbled from a termite infestation. And my tendency to rave and rant about the good ones leaves me with little time and energy to devote to the others. They are usually just shafted into the 'meh' list.

Anyway here's one of those for the record.

Kouzina has an awesome location in the Southgate complex overlooking the YarraRiver. The venue itself was also decorated very nicely and I guess that kind of made me hopeful. In addition, we were starving and wanted a good feed, and Kouzina was right next to the entrance of the complex. However, in hindsight, the lack of customers should have sounded a warning bell.

We had the meze platter which had some nice bits in it. The dips were very tasty and went well with the warm bread. Overrall, it left me quite satisfied and looking forward to the meat platter. Although perhaps it may have been prudent for the waitress to warn us about the size of the dishes because the meat platter was HUGE!

It looked fantastic when it arrived and I dove in. However I soon stopped after a few bites. The main issue for me was that the various meats weren't tender and a bit overdone, and not spiced well. This made it all the more harder to chomp through and finish. We ended up having to throw away more than 1/2 of the dish because the restaurant did not offer take away services. It would have been better if the cuts of meats were of a higher quality and cooked more delicately with better flavours. This would have made the dish so much more tastier and enjoyable.

Kouzina on Urbanspoon

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Malaysia Garden, Clayton

We were enroute to the supermarket and took a quick detour to this all time favourite. R had a nasi lemak while I had a big warm bowl of hot and sour soup. Sluuuuuuuuurp!

And because we can never get enough, we also ordered a hor fun for takeaway.
Malaysia Garden on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate Buddha, Federation Square

We came here when it first became popular. Back then, it was uncommon to dine at federation square.
I was initially concerned about the amount of non-Japanese looking people in the restaurant and I worried that it might have been one of those sell-out Asian eateries.

The lemon iced tea was crisp and refreshing and not overtly sweet. It made a nice start to the meal and awakened my tastebuds.

My soba noodles with tempura prawns were just right. The broth was lightly flavoured and it complemented the slippery handmade noodles perfectly. The prawns were very gently battered and depp fried. But they're not greasy at all and the sweetness of the prawns remained the focus of the dish.

R's wagyu beef was just epic! We both loved it! It was almost comparable to the wagyu we had Nobu. And although a bit unconventional, the steak went well with the white rice.

We were too full for dessert, but they definitely had some delectable offerings that would be worth going back for.

So it seems that my assumptions were merely that, and in this instance, I was glad to be proven wrong.

Chocolate Buddha on Urbanspoon