Friday, October 26, 2012

Chimmy's, Richmond

I have visited Chimmy's four times to have afternoon tea! Sometimes, we also have lunch there beforehand, because we simply cannot resist their delicious al carte menu offerings. One of the most memorable dishes was the pork belly. 

Afternoon tea consisted of a large selection of cakes and slices and pastries, as well as four huge piping hot scones which came with generous servings of good strawberry jam and thick thick cream. Those scones were always my favorite part of the proceedings.

Service was always friendly and I appreciated the fact that they were always more than happy to help us take away any of the desserts that we couldn't finish. 

Chimmys Bridge Road on Urbanspoon

Swiss Club, Melbourne CBD

This is a rather old-fashioned, up-stairs establishment that can be only be reached via elevators. Whilst the Swiss are renowned for making chocolates, Swiss food has never received the same degree of acclaim. In Melbourne's diverse food scene, it is overwhelmingly under represented. In fact, I only heard about this place because the Mac kids mentioned sometimes ordering dinner from there. Thus M and I ventured there to try it out and see if it could be added to our list of dinner order options.

For the most part, it was a very enjoyable dining experience. The restaurant reminded me of a cabin in the Swiss alps and the various things hanging on the walls were quite entrancing. Service was slightly mechanical at the beginning, but became smoother as the meal progressed. The chefs made several appearances which also livened things up a bit. Unsurprisingly, there were a few rather intriguing choices on the menu: I ordered a curry - so go figure.

Swiss Club of Victoria on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 21, 2012

PappaRich, Chadstone

Crispy fried chicken skin! Boom! That alone should be enough of a reason to visit. 

Green tea and red bean with green tea ice cream! Boom! Another irresistible reason to visit.

The ordering system here is ingenious. Every table has an ordering pad and a pencil. Once the order form has been filled out, there is a buzzer that is to be used to hail the waitstaff. A true ode to Asian efficiency. 

PappaRich Chadstone on Urbanspoon

Bluebird Espresso, Collingwood

We inadvertently stumbled upon this place one Sunday morning. It was busy and lively and we had to wait for a table. We only needed a small table and did not have to stand for too long. Menus were promptly given to us and our beverage orders were taken. Subsequent service was not as prompt but understandably so, as the small cafe became even more crowded. 

Whilst we waited for our food, we had ample opportunity to survey our surroundings and try to understand Bluebird's operations. 

Just as I was starting to shuffle impatiently in my seat, my sourdough toast came with a perfectly poached egg and a generous portion of the most memorable avocado and feta mixture. It was divine! I could eat this every single day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

As for P, he chose poached eggs with smoked salmon and spinach leaves on sourdough toast. Personally I would've had it with hollandaise sauce, but P is not as much of a glutton as me. P didn't go gah-gah over his dish like I did, but then again, I suppose P isn't one for going gah-gah over anything. 

Bluebird Espresso on Urbanspoon

Friday, October 19, 2012

Heirloom, Melbourne CBD

Heirloom seems to be a rather unlikely name for a Japanese restaurant. Initially I was perplexed but upon further deliberations, I thought it was rather refreshing and original to have an Asian restaurant with such a distinctly Anglo-Saxon name. 

The restaurant is impressive in size and furnished tastefully. Service is attentive and the staff are diligently astute. The menu is quite extensive and it was all too hard so we let our greed get the better of us - thus over-ordering.

Heirloom on Urbanspoon

Papa Goose, Melbourne CBD

Papa Goose served memorable food. The cauliflower and chive soup with truffle oil was a creamy blend of indulgence, full bodied in both flavor and texture. These complimentary starters provided a thoughtful touch as we dined here on a cold winter's night. This was especially appreciated as we had ordered freshly shucked oysters which were perfectly chilled and retained a faint whiff of the ocean.

My main was a most inspired combination of ingredients that challenged conventional palates. Crispy strips of salty smoked meat were used to wrap around tender morsels of sweet rabbit meat, creating a curious interplay of flavors. These were placed haphazardly amongst a patch of soft creamy puree and topped with an odd assortment of slow cooked fruits and vegetables, with enough jus to nourish everything on the plate.

We didn't have time to stay for dessert, but I did spy several tantalising options and will be looking forward to revisiting. Even if snooty service has to be endured, my inner glutton sneers at such trivial adversities.

Papa Goose on Urbanspoon

Babble, Chapel St

It is only human nature that one might have the need to dress over-zealously for totga. Thus I had envisaged a particularly ludicrous outfit for our first friendly encounter. With this at the forefront of my mind, and bearing in mind other practical considerations, I suggested Chapel St.

P delivered a short and curt reply of 'maybe somewhere less congested and plastic'. Plastic indeed! Chapel St seemed to be the ideal backdrop for my possibly-too-bright velour hoodie, possibly-too-low cut tee, possibly-too-tight jeans and possibly-too-high neon heels.

Being a good friend, P let me have my way and relented to meet me at Greville x Chapel. Initially I wanted to visit E.D.V. however to my disappointment, it wasn't open. Amici was across the road, but P was adamant about his no-carbs diet as he wanted to ensure a smashingly irresistible body for his getaway to Thailand.

P suggested the corner cafe, and I instantly knew which one he meant. Despite my outward disgruntlement,  I was secretly ecstatic that he'd inadvertently picked one of the places that I've always really wanted to visit. My inner child jumped up and down in glee.

Fortunately, my enthusiasm for this place was substantiated in due course. P's chicken was of such succulence and tenderness that I would have gladly devoured a whole piece of meat by myself. Of course, it would not have been appropriate to act with so little decorum in front of totga, so I kept my cutlery well within the bounds of my own salad bowl. 

Someone, somewhere, must have taken pity on me for the two hours of exquisite suffering that was to ensue - my mixed salad bowl consisted of nearly all of my favorite ingredients. It was a healthy and delicious combination of Greek salad, Asian greens, and Mexcian beans with avocado salsa.

Amidst the sometimes uncomfortable topics of conversation and the frequent bouts of nervous giggles, I was thankful for the delicious food, terrific staff, and distracting crowd.

Babble Bar and Café on Urbanspoon

City Grill Room, Melbourne CBD

Like many of Melbourne's treasures, the City Grill Room is tucked away, down a little lane way, off Little Lonsdale Street. The restaurant itself is large and spacious yet the dim lighting lent the space a suitable degree of intimacy. 

For our dining party of two, we were seated at one of the smaller tables on the edge of the room. The middle of the dining room was made up of clusters of tables presumable for larger groups. It seemed to be a well thought out seating plan. Service was similarly thoughtful and the staff were attentive but non-intrusive.

The food also impressed us both. I was especially taken with my starter of baked mushrooms in herb sauce, topped with feta cheese. The mushrooms were soft and juicy and perfect for soaking up the flavors of the herb sauce. Meanwhile, the feta cheese had some soft and crumbly chunks as well as being baked to crispy perfection in other parts. 

For mains, I ordered the salmon and B chose the porterhouse. The salmon was delectably medium rare - the outside was slightly crispy, the meat was flaky and the innermost center was soft! As for the steak, B said that it must be one of the best that he's ever had - possibly even the best! 

In addition, the signature Monkeygland sauce was a memorable blend most resembling smoky Jack Daniels BBQ sauce. Being a true sucker for different flavors, I enjoyed the numerous varieties and copious amount of sauces which came with our meals. The side serve of grilled vegetables also complemented our mains splendidly. Generous portions meant we were well satiated before we could even contemplate dessert. then again, in consideration of our plans to run a 10k marathon together, this was possibly a good thing for both B and I.

Many thanks to B for a delicious feast and a thoroughly enjoyable evening! Thanks also for being a true gentleman and making sure that I would get home safe and sound.

PS: I loved the selection in the lolly bowl at the front! There were even bandung (rose) flavored Mentos chews! I'll have to find out where they sourced them from. 

City Grill Room on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Izakaya Hachibeh, Melbourne CBD

A very popular Japanese place well known for offering an extensive selection of tapas offerings. There is often a crowd, mostly young. Tables are closely arranged and it's not too hard to perve on food ordered by our neighbours. 

This was probably my favourite pick of the night. It's an interesting twist on the classic meatball and I loved the slightly softened outer coating and the soothing qualities of the meaty broth.

Also take a look at the huge platter! This was especially good value.

Izakaya Hachibeh on Urbanspoon