Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Boulevard, Kew

Set inside the grounds of Yarra Bend Park, it's a very nice venue. I was feeling a bit apprehensive when we drove into the car park, which was looking a bit unkempt. But once inside, I was reassured by the white linen table cloth, floor to ceiling windows and the sparkling silver cutlery. We were seated at a table near the window and the view onto the parklands tinted by the dusk sunlight was pretty. This was complemented by the au natural look of the restaurant and its strong preference for wooden furniture and fixtures. N even lamented about how this is the sort of decor he preferred.

Soon enough, a bottle of promised Rothbury Estate white wine arrived as per the terms of our Scoopon. Menus were also set in front of us, but we knew exactly what we wanted. N had been dreaming of their pork belly entree and I was looking forward to their scallops ever since we'd bought the Scoopon.

But alas! No pork belly nor scallops to be seen anywhere on the wretched pages!!! N was beyond consolation. By this point, we'd also noticed that the table was shaky. My emphasised movements brought the waitress over and she slid a piece of paper under the table to steady it. Begrudgingly we made our choices from the menu in front of us.

When I asked to see the normal menu and offered to pay seperately for the pork belly and the scallps, we were told that the menu had been recently changed and that this was it. The waitress was quite apologetic and there was not much we could do but take her word for it.

We munched on bread and hoped that we would enjoy the dishes regardlessly. To my delight, after these early glitches, the rest of the meal ran smoothly and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The fancily named sausages were so perfect with the fancily named spiral bits of pasta. The sauce was flavourful but not too overpowering and binded the different elements of the dish. N scraped the bowl clean.

This was a more ambitious dish that I approached with a very open mind. Firstly, I loved the presentation and the colours were oh so pretty. Secondly it had all of my favourite things in it: salmon, cherry tomatos, and eggplant. But it was the wasabi that concerned me, but luckily, the sauce was ingeniously devoid of any strong wasabi flavours. It was a bit tangy but mostly sweet, and the wasabi was so subtle that it never seemed to reached the back of my mouth. The only thing I would change about this dish is the salmon, which I thought should've been sliced.

For mains, N had the lamb which came with an array of interesting leafy stuff and beetroot and mash. It was a very hearty dish and the lamb was soft and tender. It made me fall in love with lamb again.

Meanwhile, I went with another fish dish for some explicable reason. The coating on the fish was very innovative and tasted like the spice mixture used on Uighur lamb skewers. Suprisingly it was a winning combination. As for the massive side of vegies, I had mixed feelings. I loved the fact there was so much rabbit food for me to crunch and munch on. But at the same time, I felt that the dish lacked a third element, like a relish or a sauce, to it to make it even more interesting.

Finally, the dessert was my favourite dish of the night, and not merely because it was dessert. The fondant was beautifully dense on the outside, and the warm chocolate oozed from within.

Boulevard on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chilli Padi, Melbourne Central

$50 dollars for all this good food is amazing value! Despite the low price tag, there was no compromise on quality or quantity. We were both stuffed and struggled to lift ourselves from the seats at the end of the meal. Always a sure sign of good times.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Late Night Pizza

I'm a sucker for woodfired pizza's and was dying to try the woodfired pizzas from Pizza Hut.

This was waiting for me when I arrived back after a night out. the crust on the pizza was still a bit thicker than I would have liked. But it was late and I was starving. All of this went perfectly with an iced Ribena.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Ping's Dumplings, Clayton

The food was great as always, but the service was a bit off today. Oh well, I prefer to DIY anyway so it wasn't too much of an issue for me. But the wait staff definitely needs to pick up their game.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ra-ra-ramen, Glen Waverley

We were back, yet again!

Dumplings weren't fried enough. I like my pan fried dumplings golden and crisp on one side and white and soft on the other. A bit disappointed. A few more minutes and these would've been perfectly awesome.

However, the custard buns are highly recommended! So soft and fluffy and sweet =)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Camy's Shanghai Dumplings, Melbourne CBD

It was a bit too early to get into the karaoke at Chi Lounge, so we found ourselves a bottle shop and stocked up with six packs and wines and champers. But then we had a slight problem. There were hardly any self respecting establishments that would be willing to take in a rowdy group of 15 or so kids carrying brown paper bags that did nothing to disguise the contents within.

Then we had a brainwave and thought of Tattersall Lane. Shanghai Dumpling was renowned for its willingness to take in vagrant groups and if all else failed, Gaylord was in the same alley. Being a Thursday night, the place was expectantly busy. After some negotiations, we were escorted upstairs to a long table near the back of the restaurant.

Much hilarity ensued in the course of negotiating for our food and receiving our food. But I will leave that to the imagination.

So how was it? Well I would definitely come back given the same set of circumstances. Food is ridiculously cheap. But there's not much to be said about the quality. The dumpling skins were too doughy and the filling lacked texture. But they were fried nicely and a nice douse of vinegar and chilli oil made them a bit more easier to go down. The noodles that a couple of the guys were having looked a little bit more interesting and they all licked their bowls clean.

Service was random and amusing. But I don't blame them. The wait staff must be a resilient lot given the sort of things they have to put up with. I'm sure I would not last even three hours in such a demanding venue. So all I can say is, respect!

Camy Shanghai Dumpling on Urbanspoon

Given how cheap dinner was, we thought we'd splurge on a bottle of 18 yr old scotch. But alas, the service attendant at Chi tried to pour it into a jug full of ice. He was lucky to escape the room alive.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Indian Sweets

N was craving these so we got them from Clayton. I'm a sweets person and I love sugar, but oh man, these were on a entirely different level to what I'm accustomed to. Best served individually and with dark dark black tea.