Category Archives: Melbourne

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

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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/

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