Category Archives: Melbourne, VIC

New and shiny Dandelion…

Took me 5 weeks to get a table at the current “it” darling restaurant Dandelion… and was it all that?  Yes!  Hyped up by numerous food reviews, lack of seating (even on a Tuesday night!), and the infamous wagyu pho noodle soup…. I had to go!

Our booking was for 8.30pm on a Friday night, and thankfully, there were no hiccups in the booking other than one of my dinner party being an hour late!  As I sat there with a few wines, the procession of dishes going past to the other tables had my tummy rumbling the whole time!

First up we had the “sizzling coconut pancake with crab and BBQ pork and bean sprouts“… the dish was light and tasty, and given I had to wait over an hour before the first dish (as one of the dinner attendees was late), this poor dish was smashed down.  We tucked into it before remembering that we needed a photo for the blog!

Next up was the “Wagyu beef pho, with raw sirloin and braised brisket“. Most of you would know pho from the deep depths of Springvale, Richmond, Footscray, etc and the homely taste of the soup stock infused with herbs.  This tasted almost exactly the same but cleaner/clearer… and of course the produce used was exceptional (wagyu can do no wrong).  It was divine, definitely will be going to try the other varieties such as mud crab claw and raw tuna.

The Yellowtail Kingfish, green papaya in a turmeric curry with snake beans and dill was the least memorable dish of the evening.  It was the least memorable only because it had to go up against a raft of excellent dishes.  Overall, it tasted good, and the fish was extremely fresh but lacked spiciness.

The winning dish of the evening was the pork belly, simmered with caramel and black pepper, in a clay pot.  It was divine!  The pork was soft and succulent, and the caramel sauce was sticky and flavourful and the sizzling smells were intoxicating!

BBQ Spare ribs with a refreshing lychee and mint salad.  Nothing more to say.  Just do it.

Unfortunately, Asian desserts just don’t cut it for me.   We gave some of them a go, but if I were to have my time at Dandelion again, I would skip the desserts and order extra mains!

Banana spring rolls with passionfruit sorbet… a take on the old favourite banana fritter.  The sorbet was a winner, not the spring rolls.

Caramelised banana cake, tamarind ice cream and coconut ice cream…  it was good, but not great.

All up,  a great dining experience.   Service was prompt and friendly, food came out at a great pace, and most importantly, food came out tasting sensational.   I would go back, to have a few repeat dishes and to try new ones.   And definitely giving up on the desserts.

For more reviews and information on Dandelion:
Dandelion on Urbanspoon

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Sweets for my sweet!

Thought I’d post up the collection of sweets & desserts I’ve accumulated over the course of the year…  I’m not big on sweets and desserts, but when it looks so good, and taste yummy, I’m all in!

So we’re starting with treats in the morning.  What could be more delightful then a good cup of coffee, with a truffle or macaroons to go along with it?

The coffee on the left is from Caffe Esc in Docklands, great coffee, great guys and on the right we have Cafe Vue (the old cup, not the new black and white fancy ones) along with the best macaroons in the city.

Morning tea delights of French toast with banana, cream and toffee sauce (Seven Seeds) or mini cupcakes in various flavours (Little Cupcakes).

I love the variety on dessert platters!  Maha‘s platter consisted of fluffy donuts, chocolate ice cream, panna cotta with honeycomb and a middle eastern inspired creme brule.

This little fluff ball comes from Spice Temple.  I don’t remember the exact description but I’d describe it as a kumquat filled cupcake topped with citrus turkish fairy floss!

The humble pavlova is one of my favourite desserts, and this lovely, simple and light dessert is taken to a whole new level at the Palace Hotel.   It’s absolutely gorgeous to look at, and delicious.  The Eton’s Mess is also another winner at the Palace, however, it’s not on the menu for this summer.

For more info and reviews of Caffe Esc:
Caffe Esc on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Cafe Vue:
Café Vue on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Seven Seeds:
Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Little Cupcakes:
Little Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Maha:
Maha Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Spice Temple:
Spice Temple on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Palace Hotel:
The Palace on Urbanspoon

Pork belly sandwich @ Earl Canteen

I just wanted to share this photo with you all… if I could eat this picture, I would.  Succulent pork belly with crispy salty skin stuffed into a baguette with an apple and fennel salad.  Yum!

Earl Canteen really can’t do any wrong… the lunch box with sandwich, salad and dessert is a bargain at $13.50.  Here are some of the other yum yum yummy sandwiches available:

12 hour slow cooked lamb with carrots in a baguette.  Was delicious!

Confit duck in a ciabatta.  Not as awesome as the two sandwiches on top, but tasty enough.

For other reviews and info on Earl Canteen:
EARL Canteen on Urbanspoon

 

Ola Mamasita!

Thought I’d posts some pics and thoughts on one of my Melbourne favs…Mamasita!  Been there a handful of times, and I’m rarely disappointed.

Food you have to have… the tasty BBQ street corn covered in cheese with a light dusting of paprika, the crab tostatdas (pictured above) which are the perfect combination of sweet crab, hot jalapeño (beware!) and crispy corn chip, and the soft tasty fish inside the fluffy taco perfected with a squeeze of lime…

Other things that are tasty…  chicken quesadilla, the salty and tangy Mamasita margarita and the BBQ prawn dish…

Sure you have to queue for a ridiculous amount of time, and 3 out of 4 times you’ll probably abandon the line… but when you get in, damn the food is tasty!

For more info and reviews of Mamasita:
Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Corn fritter obsession…

I love corn fritters.  Something about the crispy golden brown fritter with juicy corn kernels hidden within served with a side of crispy bacon or smoked salmon and a good guacamole, dollop of sour cream and/or tomato chutney makes my mouth water!

The consistent favourite for me is at Bossy Boots in Brighton.  Good fluffy corn fritters, with the right amount of corn and good consistency, with guacamole, tomato chutney and sour cream, and a generous side of crispy bacon.   Everything is cooked perfectly, the only thing that could be improved is just to provide a bit more guacamole, chutney and sour cream.

The legendary Mart 130 (Middle Park) is known for their corn fritters, and I can totally understand why.  The reason why I love this fritter – it is loaded with corn!  I think this has the highest corn to batter ratio of all fritters I’ve ever had.   The fritters come with tomato chutney, sour cream and crispy bacon.

Another favourite is Little Ox (also in Brighton).  Their delicious fritters come with cheese within, and comes with guacamole, sour cream and a generous serve of ham.   A great dish with everything balancing nicely, and very pretty to look at.

Another notable fritter is from Miss Jackson in St Kilda.  Simply with chutney, guacamole and roasted tomatoes, this makes for the lightest corn fritter in this review.  Again, another very pretty serving.

In my travels, there have been two corn fritters that have not wow’d me.  Firstly is Richmond Hill Larder, where the fritters were served with tomato chutney, spinach and smoked salmon.  Two things bothered me about this dish, firstly, there was way too much going on.  Next, it felt like the fritters were deep fried…  so I’m not a fan.

Coin Laundry corn fritters have an identity crisis; they’re sweet, sour, tangy and grainy…  ’nuff said.  Comes with rocket, mayo, a light tomato salsa.

Two spots that I have been to a fair few times, but don’t have pics of are Replete Providore and Liar Liar, both in Hawthorn.   A few years ago, Replete fritters were the toast of the town, but towards the end of my patronage there, the fritters were getting a tad heavy.  The fritters are served with guacamole, sour cream and bacon.  Liar Liar have pea fritters, served with fetta and mint – which I adore!  Crispy outside, mushy goodness on the inside.  They’re served with smoked salmon and sour cream.

So that’s my take on the Melbourne corn fritter scene!  If you’ve got any comments and suggestions, please let me know! xo

For more info and reviews of Bossy Boots:

Bossy Boots on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Mart130:

Mart 130 on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Little Ox:

The Little Ox   on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Miss Jackson:

Miss Jackson on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Richmond Hill Larder:

Richmond Hill Café and Larder on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Coin Laundry:

Coin Laundry Cafe on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Replete Provadore:

Replete Providore on Urbanspoon

For more info and reviews of Liar Liar:

Liar, Liar on Urbanspoon