Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Guylian, Melbourne CBD

The display cabinets were filled with shelves full of shiny gleaming sweet temptations. It wasn't even half past ten in the morning, yet I was already succumbing to my sugar cravings.
I bought a few to test and taste, including two GF cupcakes, which I was a bit surprised to see as a part of the selection. Of the three different treats that I chose, I found them all to be quite as expected. There wasn't one that tasted spectacularly memorable nor was there one that was particularly disappointing. 
 However, what are mention worthy were the friendly service and the convenient location.

Guylian Belgian Chocolate Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feast of Merit, Richmond

This is a cafe with a really chilled out vibe for a really good cause. It's a YGAP initiative, and 100% of the profits go back to YGAP. Feast of Merit is a tradition that comes from an  North-eastern India. In Naga culture, when someone within the community acquires a position of wealth, they can choose to hold a festival – Feast of Merit. The whole community – including the poor and disadvantaged – is invited to join together to share the fruits of the person’s wealth. The feast lasts until all of their assets – everything of value – are shared amongst all of the community.

When T read  this explanation on the chalkboard, he was less than impressed. It sounded all too much like communism he exclaimed! He was also less impressed upon being informed that there weren't enough ingredients to make him a smoothie or a juice. It was late on a Sunday afternoon, and a couple of missed juice orders were clearly not of great commercial concern. 

Feast of Merit Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

The Wrap Shack, Richmond

A greasy little joint wedged between two pubs along Swan Street, The Wrap Shack's patronage consists of some of Richmond's finest citizens. Serving everything from kebabs, to potato cakes and dimmies, to pizza's at $5 a slice, it is truly a drunkard's paradise.


The Wrap Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Combi, Elwood

For C's 60th birthday, she commissioned a beautiful cake from Combi and it was the first time that I had the fortune of tasting one of their beautifully crafted masterpieces. In line with the trends of the modern age, I first became acquainted with Combi via Instagram. 

Beautifully constructed, this cake was gluten free and dairy free and made up entirely and only of  raw ingredients. There were several layers, each capturing a different flavour, which compounded to create a delightful mouthful. 

Combi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Kitchen and Pantry, Carlton

This is a fantastic little neighbourhood deli / grocer / cafe along Elgin Street in Carlton, offering delicious and healthy food at really reasonable prices. 

There is a fantastic variety of inspiring ingredients for the pantry and easy meals for the fridge. There is also display cabinet filled with ready to go salads and the countertop is full of delightful desserts and snacks.

I got a yoghurt parfait and a piece of their GF flourless orange cake for under $10 and suffered a momentary shock from the fact. The yoghurt was creamy and the berry sauce was sweet and luscious. The GF orange cake was sticky and moist, yet light enough and addictive enough to warrant a second slice.

Kitchen and Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Campos, Carlton

Campos is well known for its specialty coffee and it has an on-site laboratory dedicated to the pursuit of making a fine brew. I was however, surprised when T dragged me here one lunchtime to taste their burgers. 

He promised me the best burger that I would taste. To form my verdict, we each got a burger, with GF buns so that we could share and swap. T started with the wagyu and I began with the haloumi. Both were bursting with ingredients and we tried to eat faster than the juices could drip. 

Campos Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Alimentari, Fitzroy

Amongst the thrift shops and second-hand antique shops littering this stretch of Smith Street, is an providore of fine foods. With a name like Alimentari, and with its polished interior, it had quite a different vibe to many of its neighbors. But then again it does also have the company of St Crispin and The Panama Dining Rooms nearby. Perhaps such is the nature of the hipster movement whereby it's preferable to spend big on food and very little on clothing, furniture and other superfluous items.

I dropped in for a pre-dinner bite and got myself a mini pizza filled with nutty pesto, cheesy mozzarella and juicy tomatoes. Alimentari closes at 6 and locals were busy gathering bits for their dinner. 

Alimentari Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cat Cafe, North Melbourne

Housed inside an old residence near Vic Markets, the cat cafe offers fluff lovers a chance to spend some R'n'R time with a few furry friends. Some of the reviews here complain about the food and beverages, but I think those really miss the point. 

The main appeal of the Cat Cafe are the cats. Everything else, such as the merchandise or the coffee and the food, should be secondary and tertiary considerations. Think of the Cat Cafe like how you would think of Internet Cafes - they exist to provide access to the Internet. Or, in T's case, so he can team up with J and play Age of Empires 24/7 - and that in itself is commendable. 

Similarly, the cats here are the raison d'être and they are beautiful creatures who have been rescued from animal homes and given a more pampered life at the Cat Cafe. By visiting the Cat Cafe, you too can support this very worthy cause.

Cat Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Pana Chocolates, Richmond

Having been a longtime devotee to Pana Chocolates, I was overcome with emotion when I finally visited the infamous Pana shop. I took my time getting excited about the exhilarating array of  products and flavors, and my mind boggled with choices such as raspberry and white chocolate or peppermint, raw chocolates or cake slices.

After 5 relentless minutes of pacing up and down the small shop, and numerous concerned looks from the shop assistant, some tough love had to prevail. I chose a peanut butter and jam slice because it sounded decadent and it certainly was, but in a raw and organic and still-healthy kind of way - each bit was rich, yet wholesome.

As for my Hemp and Nib chocolate bar, it's currently sitting patiently in my pantry, waiting to be tested and tasted.

Pana Chocolate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hobba, Prahan

A lazy and lengthy midweek breakfast at Hobba is a luxury that I can only afford whilst on annual leave. It's certainly a good way to experience how the others live, and imagine for a moment what being 

The food menu here has all the usual choices, with a Hobba touch. J ordered the granola, C went with the eggs benedict and I decided to try a toastie.

What was unexpected was the Vietnamese coffee on the menu. I ordered one out of curiosity and was delighted to see that it had both strength and and sweetness.

Hobba Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Stokehouse City, Melbourne CBD

Downstairs is the casual café and bar, and upstairs is the fine dining restaurant with white tables clothes. Downstairs is fantastic for a quick coffee, casual bite or an easy drink. Upstairs is a bit more refined, a bit more impressive and they take your coat.

We came by for lunch and it was Friday so I rewarded myself a cocktail for getting through the week. The cocktail was pretty and strong, and just how I like to be. There were a few other enticing choices on the menu, but alas it was only lunch, so I restrained myself from indulging completely. On the alcohol at least.

I had no qualms about helping myself to multiple pieces of the densely soft bread and the fluffy butter. I also liked the presentation of the salt flakes in a bowl with white opaque swirls which was just so aesthetically pleasing . 

Stokehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, September 6, 2015

St Ali, South Melbourne

Where there is Pepe Saya, there is usually good food. The same perhaps can be said of coffee, as it was the case at St Ali.
We came here to celebrate A's 30th and they set us up at a large table in an alcove near the back of the restaurant. I had come here when it first opened, however hadn't been for a long time. Since then, the food menu has developed a life of its own, and I was excited to sample it. 

T of course ordered his usual serve of poached eggs on toast, which used very good GF bread and the eggs wobbled and oozed in all the right ways.

I had a much harder time choosing between all the tantalising items on offer. Finally I settled on the Soft Cell Tainted Love, which is a seafood lovefest of soft shell crab, trout, pipi, and salmon  roe, nestled amongst some fluffy scrambled eggs. I absolutely adored this dish and took my time savouring every single bite.

Click to add a blog post for St Ali on Zomato

Market Lane Coffee, Melbourne CBD

Stumbled upon this popular little coffee store near the Vic Markets this week during my staycation in Melbourne. It was already lined with market goers and nearby workers and the baristas worked away busily. 
Instinctively, I placed an order for a long black, but then just happened to glance at the menu as I was paying and something called a coffee spritz caught my eye. As it turned out, it's a refreshing drink made of sparkling water and a shot of coffee. Tasting a bit tangy, and then a bit sweet, it was certainly an interesting concoction.

I sat with my drink and perched on one of the bench seats for a few pages of philosophy, and contemplating the meaning of being.
Click to add a blog post for Market Lane Coffee on Zomato 

Chin Chin's at Koto Moon, North Carlton

Chin Chin's at Koto Moon is  a local eatery in North Carlton which serves Japanese food as well as a number of other Asian dishes. We dropped in because it was between where we were and we wanted to go, however most of the other diners seemed to be locals who resided in the area. There were quite a few families, young and old. A few tables also brought in their own bottles, so I presume that there is BYO available.
T was starving and I was merely peckish so we ordered an odd assortment of entrees and mains, agedaishi tofu, prawn rolls, and a tofu and vegetables stirfry, between the two of us.

The prawn rolls were lightly crispy on the outside, contained a generous amount of sweet succulent prawns, and came with a mild sweet chilli / sweet sour sauce ( I can never tell!).This was my favourite of the three and I would definitely recommend this .

Click to add a blog post for Chin Chin's at Koto Moon on Zomato