Category Archives: Melbourne

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 2

Time for part 2 of my extra long blog post about my Easter in Melbourne.

Miss G and Mr D took us to Lux Bite after lunch so we could have a look at the desserts on offer there. I had read a lot about Lux Bite so I was really eager to check out all their desserts plus their macarons which I had heard were the best in Melbourne. All the desserts looked so intricate that they almost looked too pretty to eat. I could tell that these desserts were nothing but indulgent and rich. I was super sad that by the time we got here I was still so full that I couldn’t fit in any dessert. I’m going to have to come back next time on my next trip down to Melbourne. Everything looked so delicious as I gazed intently on the cabinet full of desserts. Mr Muscles knew deep down that I wanted to try one but I showed some self-restraint and said no this time…I regretted it about 10 minutes later after we walked out of the shop ;P

LuxBite

Lux Bite Quote

Love this quote of theirs – so true! ;P

Desserts

How cute are the Easter Bunny Macarons ;P

Desserts 2

Easter dessert

I really wanted to get this but my stomach was still suffering from a massive food coma =(

Dessert 2

Macarons2

Macaron Dessert

Macarons from Luxbite

Macarons from Luxbite2

Lux Bite’s infamous macarons – how cool does the freckles one look on the very far right hand side – definitely trying one next time!

We visited the Prahran markets for the first time as Miss G and Mr D needed to get a few things from there. Going to the markets was such a wonderful experience and I only wish that there were more markets like this open for longer in Sydney. Most the markets I go to on the weekend usually close early so I never get a chance to go to some of the markets. There were so many stalls at this market ranging from people selling honey, organic foods, a deli, fish and meats, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, flowers and the like. I honestly probably could have spent a lot longer at this market i.e. all day because there was just so much to look at. And what was even better was at the back of this market, I found an Essential Ingredient where I dragged Mr Muscles with me to go exploring in the shop. I spent ages looking around trying to find new baking equipment and recipe books. In the end I picked up a really cool asian dessert recipe book which I plan to filter through and draw ideas from.

Markets

Honey

Spreads

Eggs

Nuts

Flowers

Deli

Deli

To finish off our Melbourne trip Mr Muscles and I decided to have breakfast at Cumulus Inc the next day as I had really wanted to try one of Melbourne’s popular breakfast/brunch places. We got up quite early so we were the first customers for the day and had preference to sit anywhere in the cafe. The cafe is modern and has a large kitchen where you can view the chefs in the kitchen preparing your food. I had read about this place in many blog posts and was keen to try the crumpets and madeleines that a lot of people had blogged about.

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus Inc Door

Tables and Chairs

Tables and Chairs inside

Interior

Kitchen

The Menu

The Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

 

Green Tea

My sencha green tea

Mr Muscles wanted to eat something a lot heartier for breakfast as he had a big night and was feeling under the weather so to speak so he decided to order the beans and egg dish.

Beans and Egg

Grilled Lyonaisse sausage, smoked hock, braised beans and 65/65 egg $19.80

Mr Muscles didn’t really enjoy his breakfast. He thought the food was ok but didn’t really like the sausage they used for the dish. I think he was expecting something different and so it didn’t really satisfy his hunger. Also he thought it was quite a pricey meal for what he got.

I decided to order the crumpets instead of the madeleines as I wanted something slightly savoury and the madeleines take longer to make so I figured I should stick to something that didn’t take too long.

Crumpets

Crumpets close up

House made crumpets, whipped ricotta & rooftop honey $11.00

Honey

Rooftop Honey

Inside of the Crumpet

An inside shot of my crumpets

I was very surprised when my crumpets came out. It looked so different to the crumpets I used to eat when I was a kid that you get from the local supermarket. Not at all soft but rather crunchy on the outside and chewier on the inside. It was a very different experience of eating crumpets. I loved the honey and ricotta as they both paired wonderfully together with the savoury taste of the crumpets to give that slight savoury sweet flavour that I was after. I think I prefer the softer version of these as I thought these had been fried a bit too much in the pan. The crumpets itself were not filling however and Mr Muscles could see I was hungry still so he ordered the granola for him and I to share.

Granola

Toasted Honey Granola & Poached Rhubarb with Vanilla Yoghurt $11.00

I really loved this dish and probably should have ordered this instead of my crumpets as this is my usual go to breakfast when I dine out for breakfast or brunch. The granola had a lovely crunch with various nuts, seeds and sultanas and it paired really well with the yoghurt and the tart flavour of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries.

I would like to go back to Cumulus to try out their dinner menu as I know this place gets really packed out for dinner. Also, I have yet to try their madeleines with lemon curd so that’s something I will come back for when I have more time.

All in all, it was a great way to spend most of the long weekend before Mr Muscles and I had to work on the Easter Monday. Great catching up with friends, exploring new places to eat and indulging in various foods which meant massive food comas for most of the trip ;P

Prahran Markets

163 Commercial Rd

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 8290 8220

Trading Hours:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 7am – 5pm
Wednesday  Closed
Thursday 7am – 5pm
Friday 7am – 6pm
Saturday 7am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 3pm

Website: http://www.prahranmarket.com.au

Cumulus Inc.

45 Flinders Ln

Melbourne VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9650 1445

Trading Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7am-11pm

Sat-Sun: 8am-11pm

Website: http://cumulusinc.com.au/

Until next time Melbourne,

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Markets, Melbourne, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT celebrates Easter in Melbourne Part 1

Hello dear readers!

Hope you are all having a wonderful week so far especially given the Easter long weekend meaning that this week is just a little bit shorter =)

I spent some of my Easter in Melbourne catching up with friends, playing a bit of basketball and of course indulging in various foods. As soon as I stepped into Melbourne it was as if I had gained the capacity of two stomaches and I could eat nearly twice or three times as much as I usually would in Sydney…yes food coma indeed…most times were spent clutching my stomach after over eating and although I knew I was full most of the time, the lure of the oh so yummy desserts on offer in Melbourne pulled me back in each time…I’m definitely guilty as charged when it comes to over eating this Easter…and did I mention Mr Muscles bought me an Easter treat which consisted of Lindt Easter Eggs (one large one and some small ones) which as soon as I received it I devoured most of the large easter egg…damn my sweet tooth again…I never learn for some reason! ;P

I will most likely be splitting this blog post into two parts as I realised I took a lot of photos from my Easter trip in Melbourne so stay tuned for Part 2.

Mr Muscles and I decided to get some dessert on the first night we arrived in Melbourne so we took a nice stroll down to Chinatown in search of some Taiwanese desserts. I wanted to go to Dessert Story as I had heard a lot about this place but as soon as we got there the place was packed and people were queuing outside the place. Dessert Story seems very similar to Meet Fresh offering the usual grass jelly and tofu pudding desserts. As I didn’t want to wait in line, we decided to go searching for other dessert places to kill my sweet tooth craving. Meet Fresh was just down the road but as we passed it, we noticed how busy the lines were as well. I didn’t realise how much of a mission it was to find a dessert place to eat at in Melbourne on Good Friday. Clearly everyone had thought the same thing and wanted to indulge in some dessert on the public holiday hence the masses of people lining up for these asian desserts. In the end Mr Muscles and I found a small Taiwanese dessert place which had a table available so we decided to try it out. I thought the desserts were ok but wasn’t as good as Meet Fresh back in Sydney. The sweet potato and taro balls were not of the same texture or consistency that Meet Fresh tastes like.

Taiwanese Dessert

Mr Muscles ordered Grass Jelly served with Sweet Potato and Taro Glutinous Balls along with Green Tea Jelly and Noodle Jellies.

I was feeling a bit cold from the weather in Melbourne so decided to get a hot dessert instead of an icy one. I chose the silky tofu pudding in ginger soup. I was hoping that this would be similar to what they serve in yum cha but the consistency again wasn’t really there. However it did the job of warming me up. I still rather enjoyed the dessert despite not being what I had expected. It was lovely and gingery. Definitely something I would eat during winter.

Silky Tofu in Ginger Soup

Silky Tofu Pudding in Ginger Soup with Brown Sugar Sprinkled on Top

The next morning, Mr Muscles and I couldn’t quite work out where to have breakfast. Initially we had planned to eat somewhere near the basketball courts for convenience but as we got up relatively early we decided to eat downstairs of the hotel and splurge on a buffet breakfast. Grand Hyatt (Collins Kitchen) have a very lavish buffet breakfast on offer with various foods to suit everyone’s taste buds. I was in awe of all the food and couldn’t quite decide what to eat at times but knew that I wanted to try nearly everything. It’s quite pricey for $40 a person but it’s definitely a one time thing that you have to experience. I can’t even remember the last time I had a proper buffet breakfast but I was happy that we tried this out as this was definitely an indulging weekend for the both of us. Though I started regretting the choice of a buffet breakfast after I started playing basketball not long after as I managed to overeat. My plan was simple: do not overeat (on the basis that I knew I was about to play basketball)…somewhere along the way my plan failed miserably as my stomach got the better of me and everything I saw I just wanted to try…fail indeed…

Thanks Mr Muscles for taking all these photos for me…I felt slightly shy about taking so many photos of the buffet whilst there were cooks looking over each time I had my camera in my hand, so Mr Muscles decided to go around taking photos instead.

Yoghurt

Various brands of yoghurt and Yakult

Juice

The juice table

Bread Station

Various breads to choose from where you can slice the size of bread you want and on the other side there was already pre sliced bread which you can toast and eat with various jams and spreads

Spreads and Jams

Spreads and Jams to go with the breads

Fruit

Various fruit to go with yoghurt or to make your own fruit salad

Eggs

The hot food station with sausages, crispy bacon and a chef who made omelette and eggs whichever way you wanted and with the ingredients of your choice (think he didn’t realise Mr Muscles was trying to take a picture of the hot food station)

Hot Food

Asian Station

This was the Asian food section consisting of steamed dim sims and dumplings and congee which you could make with various toppings.

Condiments

Various toppings to use for congee

Buffet Kitchen

Rice and Eggs

More Asian food: Noodles, Fried Rice and some scrambled eggs which was placed in the Asian section for some reason.

And to my most favourite station of the buffet: DESSERT!

Dessert Station

Pastries

Various danishes and croissants to choose from

Bircher Muesli

Bircher Muesli

Muffins

Muffins!

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Bread

Biscuit Jars

Crunchy Chocolate Biscuits

Almond Tuiles

Almond Tuiles

I started off my buffet breakfast with healthier items to not make me feel so bad when I started to indulge in all the sweet food. I realised that I didn’t eat much savoury food and stuck to all things sweet whilst Mr Muscles chose to eat all savoury foods not indulging in anything sweet.

Yoghurt Bowl

My yoghurt bowl consisting of natural yoghurt, strawberries, pineapple, crunchy nut granola and leatherwood honey

I really loved the do it yourself yoghurt, granola and fruit that I ended up getting 2 servings of this as it was really tasty.

Omelette

Mr Muscles’ made to order omelette

Pancakes

Pancakes made to order topped with maple syrup and cinnamon sugar

I was quite disappointed with my pancakes. They were dry and not very fluffy.

Danish and Croissant

Raspberry Danish and Mini Croissant

I chose the Danish and croissant because it looked quite tasty but upon eating it, I was disappointed as it was again dry =(

Chocolate Hot Cross Bun

Since it was Easter I decided to try their hot cross buns. There were the standard hot cross buns and then a chocolate and cherry one. I decided to go with the chocolate one. Again the bun was quite dry so it made it difficult to eat.

Banana Bread

Banana bread with various biscuits

I loved their banana bread and you had the option of toasting it which really made a difference. It was so good that I was tempted to get another one but since I had eaten so much and had chosen to eat this last I couldn’t fit another one in. The biscuits were really lovely as well with a nice crunch to them. I really adored the almond tuiles and definitely could have gone back for seconds, thirds…but alas food coma was getting the better of me.

I realised I didn’t take too many photos of the savoury food that Mr Muscles ate. He also thought that while there were plenty of options for food at this buffet, the taste of the food was lacking in some areas. It was a bit of a hit and miss with various foods. Mr Muscles tried out some of the Asian foods such as the steamed dumplings and the fried rice. He quite enjoyed the fried rice and he also got a portion of scrambled eggs so that we could share. I quite enjoyed the scrambled eggs and that was perhaps the only savoury thing I ate apart from some bread I sliced for myself and toasted.

I really loved that there was a whole station dedicated to dessert. You could either choose pancakes or waffles. Because my pancakes were dry I wasn’t sure what the waffles would taste like so I didn’t order them. I wish I had chosen waffles instead of pancakes looking back though. Also, I loved that there were various bircher muesli on offer in the cabinet of the dessert station which were presented in glass cups.

The buffet itself was very pretty, very lavish and with so many options, it was hard to try everything without feeling over full. I didn’t even get to try everything and I still felt quite full. All in all it was a good breakfast to start the morning and that yoghurt and fruit with their crunchy granola was really a highlight for me for the buffet =)

After the buffet and basketball we caught up with Miss G and Mr D over lunch. Miss G and Mr D have been living in Melbourne for a while so know the best places to eat. They took us to eat at Two Birds One Stone as Miss G was telling me that they serve a yoghurt pannacotta for breakfast (which is served all day) so I was keen to try this out.

Two Birds One Stone is a lovely little cafe located in a small street in South Yarra. There are tables inside and outside of the cafe and when we got there the cafe was quite busy. We took a seat outside as there was no space inside and each time a waitress would come out with various people’s dishes I was having serious food envy. All the food looked so good and delicious and whilst I wanted to eat something savoury I knew my inner sweet tooth was craving the yoghurt pannacotta so I decided to go with that instead.

cafe

inside cafe

The inside of the cafe

Freshly Baked Muffins

Freshly baked muffins

Cakes

Various cakes on offer – the cheesecake brownie looks awesome!

The Menu

The Menu

Mr D's Coffee

Mr D’s Coffee

Mr Muscles Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Ms G's Coffee

Miss G’s Coffee

Info about Coffee

Tasting notes for Miss G’s Coffee

My Green Tea

My White Peony Green Tea

Corn Fritters

Mr Muscles’s meal: Corn Fritters with house smoked salmon, avocado & snow pea tendrils $17.50

Mr Muscles ordered the corn fritters which looked really lovely on the plate. These corn fritters were a little different from the usual type of fritters we have eaten before. The texture was a lot softer instead of the usual crisiper ones that we usually order from other cafes. Mr Muscles enjoyed his meal however he stated that the serving size was rather on the small side and had hoped that there would be more on the plate.

side

Mr Muscles’s side: Ham Hock Beans $4.00

Mr Muscles ordered an extra side of Ham Hock Beans to go with his corn fritters. He enjoyed his side of beans as it was gone not long after he had eaten his first spoonful.

Two Birds Meal

Mr D ordered the Two Birds meal consisting of scrambled eggs on toast with mushrooms, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, homemade sausage and bacon, haloumi, ham hock beans and an extra piece of toast for Miss G.

When the plate came out I was surprised at how large the serving was for this big breakfast. Mr D and Miss G really enjoyed sharing this meal together. Definitely something to eat when you are feeling extra hungry or just want to indulge in some savoury goodness!

Miss G and I both ordered the yoghurt pannacotta and I couldn’t wait to try it out!

Yoghurt Pannacotta

Yoghurt Panna cotta with Kaffir Lime, Fresh Fruit & Nut Cluster $12.50

The yoghurt pannacotta was soooo good! It was like eating dessert but in a bit of a healthier way and that you could eat this for breakfast or lunch. The nut clusters gave it a nice texture compared to the smoothness of the panna cotta and I liked how you could taste the tartness from the yoghurt. In no time at all, I finished the whole dish and had wished there was more but once again, food coma came into play and I was soon clutching my stomach as I felt that I was still quite full from the breakfast but I really couldn’t say no to pannacotta.

I really want to try a lot of the other dishes next time I go back to visit Melbourne…I saw a few customers order the charred polenta with mushrooms and the smashed avocado and feta on toast…definitely something I’m coming back to try!

Thanks Miss G and D for showing us this place…it’s a great find for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

To be continued with a post on the Prahran Markets and a breakfast at Cumulus Inc….so stay tuned!

Collins Kitchen (Grand Hyatt Lobby)

123 Collins Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Ph: (03) 9657 1234

Website: http://www.melbourne.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels-melbourne-grand/index.jsp?null

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

12 Claremont Street,

South Yarra VIC 3141

Ph: (03) 9827 1228

Trading Hours: Mon-Fri 7am – 4pm and Weekends 8am – 4pm

Website: http://www.twobirdsonestonecafe.com.au/

So until next time!

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Fruit, Granola, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Pancakes, Restaurant, Toast, Waffles, Western, Yoghurt

JACKPOT’s Melbourne Adventures…

Hello Dear Readers!

Hope you all had a great weekend! I know I certainly did however lacking plenty of sleep in the process.

I decided to go to Melbourne last weekend to catch up with Miss Teepot and while I was there Mr & Mrs Papparazzi happened to coincidentally also be in Melbourne for a birthday so it was great to catch up with everyone in a different state exploring what the Melbourne CBD had to offer. Miss Teepot was our tour guide for the day showing us all the small laneways of Melbourne with plenty of interesting graffiti art spread across all the walls. We definitely had a blast taking numerous photos, doing silly poses and taking various panoramic shots with our trusty iPhones.

We headed out to lunch together and decided to eat in one of Melbourne’s popular laneways. Miss Teepot decided on eating in one of the cafes in Degraves Street. The street was packed with people as it was around lunch time and a lot of people were lining up for the cafes situated in this street so it was very difficult to get a table in one of the cafes. We settled on eating at “The Quarter” as we were in luck and found a free table and their lunch service was just about to begin as we sat down so it was good timing. I was saddened at first as I was really looking forward to having some breakfast/brunch food but was in luck when they handed us a menu with a few items they do for all day breakfast..I will always pick breakfast food over lunch food any day just like I will pick dessert over dinner ;P

Photos are courtesy of Mrs Papparazzi…I figure I should let her take all the photos as she is more professional..thanks again Mrs Papparazzi! Stay tuned for her new upcoming blog for all her photos..definitely a must see blog!

Lamb Backstrap

Mr Papparazzi’s meal: Lamb Backstrap served with roasted potatoes and beans

Rib Eye

Mr Muscles meal: Rib Eye served on a bed of fetta and olive oil mash accompanied with spinach and Portobello mushrooms with a beef jus.

Tandoori Chicken Salad

Miss Teepot’s meal: Salad Special: Tandoori Chicken Salad

Spaghetti Special

Mrs Papparazzi’s meal: Pasta of the day: Spaghetti in a tomato based sauce with an array of flavours (I think there was chorizo, corn and many other flavours)

Smashed Avocado

My meal: Smashed Avocado – Poached Eggs, Avocado, Fetta served on rye bread

I enjoyed my meal however I found the bread to be a bit soggy due to the poached eggs and avocado which had been sitting on the bread for too long. The avocado paired well with the eggs and the fetta gave a nice saltiness to the dish.

Little Cupcakes

We decided to get Miss Teepot a cupcake to celebrate her birthday (belated). How cute is this cupcake! It’s a cookie monster cupcake with a chocolate chip cookie, Oreo frosting sprinkled with blue sprinkles on a chocolate cupcake.

Cookie Monster Cupcake

Cookie Monster Close Up

Mr Muscles wanted to visit “Wonderbao” after lunch as we had both heard so much about this bun shop in the Melbourne CBD. As it was about a 15 minute walk there, we explored a bit of the Melbourne CBD along the way and of course this gave us a chance to burn off some of lunch before we continued to eat and indulge in more food.

I was very excited to finally try “Wonderbao” as I had read a few reviews and knew exactly what I wanted to try before I got there. Since I have a sweet tooth and I had just eaten lunch, I knew that I wanted to try some sweet dessert buns. The others all tried out the savoury buns and were quite happy with their choices.

The place is hidden in a small arcade which leads to more laneways with graffiti walls. The shop itself is quite small featuring many bamboo steamers for the assortment of buns they sell. There are a few stools where you can enjoy your buns with a cold drink from the fridge but mostly this place has a lot of customers who come in and take away the food to eat elsewhere.

Mr Muscles really loved Wonderbao and couldn’t stop raving about it when we got back to the hotel. We both agreed that it was a great concept with many places trying to imitate the famous Momofuku pork buns and as you all must know by now, I love all things to do with steamed buns so I know we will be back to visit again on our next trip to Melbourne.

Wonderbao Menu

Wonderbao’s menu

Wanderbao Map

A map of how to get to Wonderbao

Bamboo Steamers

The array of bamboo steamers filled with plentiful amounts of steamed buns

Braised Pork Belly Buns

Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao with pickled mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts $3.80

Roast Pork Belly Bun

Roast Pork Belly Gua Bao with cucumber, pickled carrots & daikon and hoisin sauce $3.80

Taro Bun

Taro Bun $1.70

Taro Bun inside shot

An inside shot of the taro bun I ordered

I really liked the taro bun as it was not too sweet and you could tell that they used fresh taro for the filling as it had more of a savoury taste to it.

Egg Custard Bun

Nai Wong Bao (Egg Custard Bun) $1.70

Inside shot of custard bun

An inside shot of the egg custard bun – look at that lovely yellow custard!

Mr Muscles knew I wanted the egg custard bun as well so he ordered it and split it in half to share with me and I was not disappointed. The bun was soft and the custard was smooth almost melting in your mouth. I love egg custard buns and if my stomach could have fit another bun, I would have ordered another.  I was already in quite a heavy food coma so I had to settle with the half that I ate. I will definitely order this again next time I visit this place.

Graffiti

A panoramic shot from my iPhone of one of the laneways with graffiti on the walls

After a heavy food coma, we decided to retreat back to the hotel and have a bit of a nap being grandmas and grandpa after all. After a quick nap we woke up and got ready for dinner. We chose to eat dinner at the Crown as we were planning to try our luck at the tables after. I had never been to Bistro Guillaume before but had read quite a lot of reviews on this place so was eager to visit this place.

The atmosphere of the place is very vibrant with green doors, a green bar and green menus contrasting to the bistro feel of the restaurant with dark wooden chairs and tables, lantern like lights and a chalk board for the specials.

Door

The entrance of Bistro Guillaume

The Bar

The green bar

Bar Stools

Inside the Restaurant

Lights

Menu

The Menu

Menu Part 2

Daily Specials

Bread

Complimentary Sourdough Bread which was crispy on the outside and light and soft on the inside

Oysters

An assortment of Freshly Shucked Oysters served with Shallots and Red Wine Vinegar $3.50/ea

Steak Tartare

Mr Muscles entrée: Steak Tartare with Pommes Gaufrettes $24.00

Up close Steak Tartare

A closer view of the steak tartare

Pork Belly

Miss Teepot’s Main: Berkshire pork belly with pickled cabbage and apple salad $36.00

King Salmon

Mr Muscles Main: Chargrilled King salmon with fennel puree and a herb salad $36.00

Crab Salad

My main: Spanner crab salad, avocado, cucumber and coriander $24.00

Paris Mash

Paris Mash $9.00

I have such a weakness for potatoes and I couldn’t resist. The mash was so smooth and creamy that I had to keep going for seconds and thirds ;P

Creme Brulee

Miss Teepot and my dessert choice: Vanilla bean crème brûlée $15.00

This dessert was really delicious with the right consistency not being too thick or too runny. You could see speckles of vanilla bean throughout the whole dessert. The dessert was served with a lovely vanilla shortbread but by the time I had devoured my creme brulee I was feeling the food coma again and could only eat half of the shortbread. A really wonderful dessert which I plan to order again when I visit this restaurant next time.

Happy Birthday

Miss Teepot’s plate of dessert – Happy Birthday again! Hope you had a fun time indulging in a plentiful amount of food!

Until next time!

x

Jackie

The Quarter

27 – 31 Degraves Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9650 6156

Trading Hours:

Mon-Sat: 7am-late

Sun: 8am-5pm

Website: http://www.thequarter.com.au

Wonderbao

Shop 4/ 19-37 A’Beckett St

Melbourne VIC 3000

Bistro Guillaume

Crown Entertainment Complex

Southbank, VIC 3006

Phone: (03) 9292 4751

Trading Hours:

Lunch & Dinner 7 days a week noon until late

Website: http://bistroguillaumemelbourne.com.au/

Leave a comment

Filed under Asian, Birthday, Breakfast, Brunch, Buns, Cafe, Dessert, Eggs, Lunch, Melbourne, Melbourne, Restaurant, Toast, Western

Jackpot Celebrates 28 Part 2…

Hello All!

Following my previous post, the birthday celebrations continued with a lunch at Taxi Dining Room to celebrate Ms G’s birthday and my own birthday along with Ms G and Mr D’s engagement. Mr H and Ms K joined us for the festivities as a surprise. It was great catching up with everyone to celebrate together.

We all chose to have the special Bento set which consisted of 4 courses for $48.50. We all thought this was a good deal and the food looked quite appealing so we all decided to go with this. The only option that we needed to pick was the main course. We all decided to share each main with each other so that we could taste both options. The food whilst being small in portion was really lovely and the presentation of each dish was impeccable. My only complaint about the lunch would be that I did not indulge in enough dessert as the dessert portion was small and having a massive sweet tooth I was craving more dessert after the meal…but I couldn’t be too greedy as I knew I’d be indulging in much more dessert at dinner. The white wine was flowing throughout the lunch and everyone at the table started sharing funny stories they remembered about each other or friends we knew. The laughter was endless and the stories were plentiful. We were all eager to find out how Mr D proposed to Ms G and as they told us their story, it was very romantic – involving a hand made story book about the couple. Congratulations Ms G and Mr D…I’m looking forward to when Ms G becomes Mrs GDRZ ;P

Photos from the lunch:

The Bento Menu

Seeded Wholemeal Bread Roll

Butter

1st and 2nd course: Market fresh salmon sashimi with Taxi dressing and Shinshu miso soup with shimeji mushrooms and spring onion

3rd Course: Confit chicken raviolo with parmesan, asparagus and macadamia – this was a really nice dish!

3rd Course: Roasted John Dory with Spring vegetables, sage and crab tortellini

4th Course: Dessert – Yarra Valley berries with goat’s curd sorbet and strawberry consomme

After resting up before dinner, I got ready to go out again for another food adventure. This time it was to Ezard for a degustation in which I went into a food coma. I think dessert pushed me over the edge and I was slightly cursing my sweet tooth for indulging so much into dessert. I have been to Black by Ezard in Sydney twice and have always enjoyed my meal there. They do great steaks and have really nice desserts. I celebrated my birthday last year with my family at Black and they all enjoyed their meals. I have also been to Gingerboy twice in Melbourne and have enjoyed their hawker style Asian street food. I remember eating this fabulous white chocolate tofu cheesecake there one time and it was really amazing that I wished I could go back to just order that one dessert dish. Unfortunately it’s no longer on the menu but it will be forever reminisced as one of my favourite restaurant dessert dishes. I have never been to Ezard before so I was keen to try this restaurant and it recently was awarded “The Age Good Food Guide 2013 Diner’s Choice Award” so it made me even more curious to see what the food was like. I opted for a vegetarian degustation as I usually do while Mr Muscles opted for the normal degustation.

Each degustation is an 8 course tasting menu with each course having a lot of Asian influence through each dish. I can say that I didn’t dislike any course and each one was very enjoyable. Mr Muscles seemed to also enjoy each course as well. My favourite dish of the night had to be the polenta dish. Polenta served with mushrooms, peas, a mini poached egg, parmesan crisp and truffle oil. While polenta can be quite heavy, as this was a small portion it was very enjoyable. Mr Muscle’s favourite dish of the night was the citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt with tangerine vinaigrette dish. He couldn’t stop raving on about the flavours and the texture of the dish that it was consumed within minutes. And of course we decided to order the dessert tasting platter which was quite a large serving of desserts and when it was placed on our table, a huge smile swept across my face as I couldn’t wait to try each one. My favourite dessert dish was the pannacotta as I always choose pannacotta if it’s on the menu for dessert and also the honeycomb ice cream with toasted gingerbread. Even though they were small portions, I was getting very full at this point but it’s as if my stomach decided to open up even more space somewhere deep inside to allow me to eat these desserts. Some of these desserts were too good to share and you would often here me say to Mr Muscles “Oh but you don’t like pannacotta…Oh you don’t like honeycomb..” to which he would just stare at me in amazement and confusion but often letting me try most of the desserts anyway =)

Photos from dinner at Ezard:

Different Flavoured Salt and Pepper for the bread. This was really nice and I usually don’t like pepper but once the bread was dipped in the rosemary olive oil along with the different salts and peppers, the flavours worked well together.

VEGETARIAN: sweet corn and basil soup with red curry oil with a tofu shooter – I really loved the soup which was served warm. It appears to look heavy but was actaully very light. The tofu shooter however wasn’t as enjoyable as it looked as the flavours didn’t really go with the tofu and the strong sake flavour was probably more suited to the oyster which was the original dish.

japanese inspired oyster shooter 

VEGETARIAN: salad of baby beetroot, asparagus, parmesan custard, white truffle vinaigrette – I really enjoyed this dish as I love beetroot. Very fresh and light.

citrus and vodka cured salmon, black quinoa, olive oil jam, smoked yoghurt, tangerine vinaigrette – Mr Muscles couldn’t stop raving about this dish so I’ll have to take his word for it.

VEGETARIAN: steamed spiced tofu with chilli, fragrant oils and crispy sweet potato – I liked this dish as I really enjoy eating tofu. Tofu is a big staple for me in my diet and I loved how the crispy sweet potato strings contrasted the very smooth silken tofu. It was also surprisingly not too chilli as I have a very low tolerance to chilli in food but was glad that it was more mild than hot.

steamed blue swimmer crab dumpling with yarra valley salmon roe, celery cress and tom kha – I tried a bit of this as I was curious to see what the flavours were like. I enjoyed this dish and wished there was a bigger portion. The crab dumpling was very flavoursome but when added with the tom kha soup, there was even more layers of flavour and added some spice and richness to the dish.

VEGETARIAN: soft white polenta with sauteed mushrooms, peas, poached egg, parmesan crisp, truffle oil – This was my most favourite dish of the night and not just because I love polenta but it was soft, rich and moreish that I wanted to have a main course size of this. The mushrooms worked well together with the mini poached egg that was placed on top of the polenta. The parmesan crisp gave it a nice crunch to contrast the soft and smooth flavour of the polenta. YUM ;P

salad of baby beetroot, asparagus and serrano jamon, parmesan custard and black truffle vinaigrette – similar to the vegetarian version I had but with serrano jamon.

VEGETARIAN: roasted jerusalem artichoke, celeriac cream, asparagus, soft herbs and chive oil – I’m not a big fan of artichoke so I didn’t really enjoy this dish as much. The flavours were nice but it felt a bit heavy for me. I started to regret loading up on the bread in the beginning of the meal at this stage.

pan roasted baby barramundi with caramelised eggplant, tomato and lime salad, yellow curry dressing

VEGETARIAN: sesame rice noodle roll with asian mushrooms, soy mirin broth, black bean crumbs – I was looking forward to this dish as I had seen photos from other people’s blogs about this dish and also because I love rice noodles, however this dish was way too rich for me. The broth whilst very fragant, was too rich and very salty for my liking so I left most of the broth in my bowl. I did enjoy the rice noodle rolls and the mushrooms but it would have been better with a less saltier broth.

slow cooked bangalow pork belly, apple pudding, fennel, celeriac and calvados jus – Mr Muscles only qualm about this dish is that pork belly should have crackling and the dish was lacking this crunch factor.

VEGETARIAN: handmade potato gnocchi, manchego, dried olive, cauliflower, raisins and toasted brioche crumble – I’m not really a fan of potato gnocchi and by this stage I was starting to get quite full. The dish was really heavy and the cheese and the toasted brioche made the dish feel even more heavier when eaten. I passed most of this off to Mr Muscles to finish off as I couldn’t finish the serving myself. He agreed that this dish was very heavy. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night.

eight score sher wagyu beef, potato terrine, garlic and red wine jam, mushroom soil, bordelaise jus

Palate Cleanser

AND now to the much anticipated dessert tasting platter:

Dessert Tasting Platter to Share consisting of:

  • espresso chocolate marquise, soft meringue, raspberry gel, blood orange sorbet – I did not really enjoy this as it was very rich and bitter and I am not a fan of anything with coffee in it
  • fromage frais pannacotta, poached rhubarb, strawberry water, saffron fairy floss – I really enjoyed this and the pannacotta paired well with the rhubarb and strawberry water
  • pistachio frangipane, caramelised strawberries, tonka bean ice cream – This was a dense type of cake but I didn’t mind it and the ice cream gave it another texture when eaten together.
  • honeycrunch ice cream, toasted gingerbread and sugar swirl – I loved this dish as the ice cream was really scrumptuous and you would get tiny pieces of honeycomb when you bit into the ice cream. Ice cream + gingerbread = success!
  • sable of apple and pear, earl grey tea creme brulee, lemongrass jelly, cider sorbet – I only tried a bit of this as I had gorged out on all the other desserts. I loved the earl grey tea creme brulee as I love earl grey in desserts. It reminded me of a time I ate at Arras in Walsh Bay in Sydney and they had an earl grey dessert that was so good I wanted more. The sable was very nice and had a good crunch to it in contrast to the smoothness of the creme brulee.
  • salted caramel parfait, chocolate peanut butter crunch, pressed paw paw and blackberry syrup – I didn’t try this as I’m not much of a fan of salted caramel or peanut butter in my desserts but Mr Muscles told me this was quite a good dessert after demolishing it.

 

I was super full after the dessert and was in a serious food coma but it was really worth it. I would definitely go back to Ezard especially for their desserts.

We ended up having a few drinks after dinner with friends to celebrate further. I was so full though at this point that I could not enjoy the cocktails as much. However it was a great way to cap off the birthday celebrations – lots of fun and laughter throughout the day, indulging in food and just enjoying the atmosphere of melbourne with great company.

Some Syringe Cocktails we had to celebrate 😉 What an awesome and creative gimmick!

Taxi Dining Room

Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square

Cnr Flinders Street and Swanston Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03)9654 8808

Ezard

187 Flinders Lane,
Melbourne, VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9639 6811

Hours:

Lunch Mon-Fri 12:00pm-2:30pm

Dinner Mon-Sat 6:00pm-10:30pm

Website: http://www.ezard.com.au/

Till next time!

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Asian, Bento, Birthday, Degustation, Dessert, Dinner, Fine Dining, Japanese, Lunch, Melbourne, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot celebrates 28 Part 1…

Hello all!

The tiredness and exhaustion is slowly starting to sink in this morning. I’m definitely feeling some Monday-itis as I was busy taking in all of the celebrations from the weekend. Birthdays always mean lots of good food, plenty of cake and catching up with lots of wonderful people and this weekend involved all of that and much much more. This is probably going to be a long post showcasing all the food I consumed over the weekend but all that calorie intake was well worth it!

FRIDAY

Friday night involved a surprise birthday dinner with friends and family at Umi Sushi, Darling Quarter unbeknownst to me. I really had no clue whatsoever. I was under the pretence that I would be celebrating turning 28 with the BF at Sepia in the city but little did I know that he had sneakily organised a big birthday surprise dinner for me. I had a wonderful time catching up with everyone and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than with all your loved ones.

Some photos from the night:

A red velvet cupcake from Cupcake Bakery from Ms S and Mr H

One of my favourite dishes: Tiger Roll: Crabstick, Avocado, Cucumber wrapped with Prawn and Avocado

Salmon and Avocado Salad with Sesame Dressing

My birthday cake: Adriano Zumbo’s New Raspberry V8 Cake

Flavour layers consisting of: black sesame, raspberry, liquorice, lychee and rosewater. You can really taste each layer as you eat it with the layers of jelly and cream contrasting the crunchy biscuit base.

Inside shot of the Raspberry V8 cake

SATURDAY

Saturday day and night were spent in Melbourne eating wonderful food, catching up with friends and just walking around Melbourne CBD. The weather was typical Melbourne weather with sunshine, clouds and rain all in one day but that didn’t put a damper on the celebrations.

Mr Muscles and I visited Degraves Street in the city for breakfast. We were both feeling quite hungry and wanted a hearty meal to start of the day so that we could walk around the city feeling energised. Degraves Street looks like a little alley way but it is filled with little cafes on each side. Melbourne is all about the little alley ways where lots of cafes, restaurants and bars can be found.

We chose to eat at Degraves Espresso Bar. The Cafe was very small but very crowded and the cafe is well known for its assortment of paninis and breakfast food. You have to wait for a seat inside or try your luck for tables outside in the alley way. We were lucky enough to get a seat sitting in front of the window staring out at all the people eating their breakfast and sipping their coffees in the alley way. Mr Muscles chose to eat eggs benedict with sourdough toast as he usually does at most cafes we go to for breakfast whilst I chose to eat scrambled eggs on sourdough toast. The food came out very quick once we placed our order with the waiter. The food was good but wasn’t spectacular that I would come back again for it. It did the job though by filling our stomachs with enough energy to continue our walking adventures around the melbourne CBD.

After Degraves we visited my very favourite organic Cafe/Store at Degraves Street, The Organic Food and Wine Deli (TOFWD) to buy some vegan banana cake. If you love all things healthy, all things, vegan and gluten free – this is a place you must visit. They sell all types of sweet and savoury foods. Sweet food ranging from vegan banana cakes, carrot cakes and poppyseed cakes, banana breads, muesli slices, raw cheesecake slices, cinnamon scrolls, vegan muffins and so much more. Savoury foods consist of various pies made with spelt flour, an assortment of sandwiches, spelt pasta dishes and salads. Whenever I go to Melbourne, I always try and visit this place to get my organic food fix for the day.

Photos from Degraves Espresso Bar:

View of the alley way from inside the cafe

View inside the cafe

Blackboard Menu

Scrambled Eggs with Sourdough Toast $8.90

Eggs Benedict with ham served with home-made hollandaise sauce on sourdough Toast $16.00

I think i’m too addicted to green tea ;P

Another place that I always visit when I go to Melbourne is Cacao Green. I love frozen yoghurt (also known more commonly as Froyo). I became so addicted to froyo when I visited Jakarta, Indonesia many years ago where the fad was just starting. Jakarta have some really good froyo places such as Sour Sally, Red Mango and I’m sure a lot more now since I last was there. The craze has been quickly rising in sydney and around australia. I love Noggi in sydney for its Green Tea Froyo. I prefer my froyo to taste more yoghurt than icecream and they do a really good green tea frozen yoghurt compared to Moochi which is another popular frozen yoghurt chain.

Cacao Green is quite similar to Red Mango from Jakarta. They started Red Mango from a franchise in the US and Cacao Green really reminds me of the froyo from there. I prefer the original flavoured froyo here but they also sell Green Tea, Chocolate and Blueberry flavoured frozen yoghurt.

We also visited another frozen yoghurt chain to see the difference in taste and texture. At QV they have a frozen yoghurt place called Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt. The difference with this frozen yoghurt is that it is self service and you can put as much frozen yoghurt and toppings into your container as you like and it is priced on weight. I didn’t think that the frozen yoghurt would taste nice but to my surprise it was pretty good. We got a mixture of taro froyo and green tea froyo with some pearls, nata de coco and mochi balls. I think I will visit this place again when I go back to Melbourne. The Taro froyo was so good that me and Mr Muscles were fighting for the last bite of it. I won in the end of course ;P

Cacao Green

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt: Taro/Green Tea Froyo with Mochi Balls, Lychee Pearls and Nata de Coco

I visited Phillippa’s bakery in the CBD. I have seen their biscuits sold around sydney in DJ’s and various cafes so I was excited to find the actual bakery in Melbourne. They sell breakfast and lunch food with freshly baked bread, pastries and biscuits/cookies. I was like a kid in a candy store wanting to buy everything I saw but once again I restrained myself to just looking at the food in awe. I ended up buying spelt muesli cookies which I hadn’t seen before. I am yet to eat them but they look so very tempting!

Bread Loaves and Baguettes

The assortment of biscuits and cookies

Assorted Pastries and Muffins

The variety of biscuits, biscotti, jams and cake slices

My purchase of Spelt Muesli Cookies with Pecans and Cranberries

Umi Sushi + Udon

Shop TR10, Darling Quarter, 1 Harbour St

Sydney, Australia 2000

Trading Hours:

Mon-Thu 11:30am-10pm

Fri-Sat 11:30am-10:30pm

Sun 11:30am-10pm

Phone: (02) 9283 2006

Website: www.umisushi.com.au

Degraves Espresso Bar

25 Degraves St

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9654 1245

Trading Hours:

Sun 8am – 5:30pm

Mon-Wed 7am-9:30pm

Thu 7am-10pm

Fri 7am-10:30pm

Sat 8am-6:30pm

The Organic Food and Wine Deli

28 Degraves Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone:  (03) 9654 5157

Website: http://www.tofwd.com.au/

Opening hours:

Mon-fri 7am – 7.30pm

Saturday 8am – 6pm

Sunday 9am – 5pm

Cacao Green – Swanston

285 Swanston Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

(03) 9654 9674

Trading Hours:

Sun – Wed 11am to 10pm

Thurs – Sat 11am to 11pm

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt

Shop 1-034, QV Urban Market, QV Building

210 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

Website: http://www.tuttifruttiyogurt.com.au/default.aspx

Phillippa’s

15 Howey Place

Melbourne VIC 3000

Phone: (03) 9671 4030

Hours

Monday to Friday 8.00am – 5.30pm

Saturday 10.00am – 4.00pm

Website: http://www.phillippas.com.au/

To be continued with Lunch at Taxi Dining Room at Federation Square and Dinner at Ezard…

x

Jackie

Leave a comment

Filed under Bakery, Birthday, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Dessert, Dinner, Eggs, Frozen Yoghurt, Health Food, Japanese, Melbourne, Snacks, Sushi, Western