Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Breakfast at Marion

Although I love the bustle and energy of a cafe (paired with at least a 15 minute wait no doubt), there’s something special about breakfast places that are soothing, restorative and quiet - and they’re usually not cafes. Or at last not in the typical Melbournian way.

I never realised Marion, a wine bar, also did breakfast, until I saw someone visit on Instagram who posted a rather luscious picture of a good looking black pudding - and made the executive decision (as I usually do) that we should visit.

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It was a slightly muggy and wet morning when we visited, which made the restaurant feel particularly soothing, a beautifully designed sanctuary filled with diffused light. The neat and smart interior, is also quite inviting, with comfortable looking banquettes and brick walls painted white. 

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Coffees and chai are a touch short on the foam, but I’m not one to judge on technical execution. Milk was smooth, chai was sweet, but not too sweet - I’m easily satisfied with just a couple of little things.

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Brad ordered the baked eggs with greens, labneh and Turkish chilli, which is a refreshing alternative to the usual saucy tomato based baked eggs, but equally as hearty. 

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I don’t often order omelettes when I go out for brunch, but when I do, they better be as good as Marion’s omelette with zucchini, tarragon and buffalo ricotta. Oh lordy, someone let loose on the butter and I am so okay with that. Delightful moreish, and fluffy, I loved how the tarragon cut through the richness a bit, and although it maybe was just a tiny bit salty, I was much too content to be bothered. 

A lot of cafes you’re in, and then you’re out. But when you have a space where you feel comfortable so sit, and I mean really sit, not just perch at a communal table on a stool, with a newspaper (or just the news on the phone), it’s really quite a luxury. One I hope to enjoy again quite soon. 

53 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy 3065

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


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Bang Bang

Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest as part of an event

We could smell it as we walked down the street. There are lots of places that are doing contemporary South East Asian, French Indochine cuisine, but Bang Bang smelt like it - in all the best ways possible. Lemongrass hung in the air, and the irresistible smell of barbecue was impossible to miss. 

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Bang Bang has been a long time coming, but it’s been worth the wait. On a balmy evening like the one we had, and are still having (late Melbourne summer’s for you), the indoor-outdoor deck is bright and so inviting, especially with a cocktail or three in hand. The Vermouth Spritz is the perfect way to begin your night, with Dolin Dry Vermouth orange and holy basil, topped with soda. It’ll be one before you know it. 

But the food! When Daisy and I arrived, we were a bit late, having been stuck in traffic, but really, we were just in time, as food hit the table minutes within us being seated. It was all totally planned. Obviously.

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Chargrilled King prawns with roasted shallots and lime, are juicy, sweet and a great way to get the meal kicking. The betel leaf with confit duck, and the betel leaves with pomelo are both delightfully herbaceous - although we’re divided over the table which we like better. I’m a sucker for pomelo personally, and I love how vibrant the pomelo combination is. 

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Kingfish sashimi with caramelised cashew and trout roe is refreshing, but also textural, with a unexpected amount of zest - all the favourite flavours from South East Asia. Chilli, lemongrass, citrus - perfect.

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It’s hard to dislike crispy chicken wings, especially when they’re crispy as advertised. The chicken itself is juicy and moist inside the batter, only issue? You’ll definitely need to order two serves. Why share?

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Chargrilled pork neck was also tender with a hint of sweetness, reminiscent of char siu for me, complete with the slightly charred edges. The crunch of the iceberg lettuce a refreshing contrast in texture, and a hit of chilli to bring everything to life. 

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The roasted pumpkin curry with kipfler potato with cinnamon and anise was a hit around the table, other than the fact that there was no where near enough gravy to drown the rice in - cause it was so darned good! Creamy, slightly sweet but nicely offset with a balance of spices, would come back and order this with a bowl of rice just for myself!

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For those who are looking for something a bit more filling, the chargrilled Cape Grim short rib is definitely a solid choice. Literally! The meat from his just falls off the bone, so tender and very moreish. 

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To wrap up? Black sticky rice with pandan sweet cream, mango and coconut sorbet - a twist on a classic Thai dessert. Very easy to gobble up, but lacking some of the punch that the savoury dishes had in flavour. 

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We were also served some watermelon with chilli salt, which is quite a classic combo in South East Asia and very refreshing on the palate. Having said that, I’m not sure if it’s something I would order while out at a restaurant personally, but it is a great option if you might have miscalculated in your ordering, don’t have much space for dessert, but still want something sweet to end the night on. 


All in all, good vibes, good cocktails, bright and punchy food (in general). It’s refreshing to have a modern Asian space that’s approachable, friendly and fresh, and would definitely be around for after-work drinks if I lived closer to Elsternwick! 

294 Glenhuntly Road
Elsternwick 

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

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Making Hot Pot at Box Hill Central

So excited to share this project with you guys! Box Hill Central invited Daisy from Never Too Sweet and I to visit and pick out some ingredients, and show how to make a dish. We figured there's no better way to showcase the wide range of produce and product you can get at Box Hill Central than...a  good old hot pot! 

Check out the video below, hope you enjoy it - I'll definitely be getting into the hot pot swing of things once the weather cools down again. Can you imagine anything better? 


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mukka

Hey guys, sorry it’s been so long between posts, but after 7 years of doing this I think I just ran out of steam at the end of last year. Work was taking over, the time and love I had to dedicate to editing and writing was disappearing, and honestly, I’m sometimes a bit jaded with the direction food blogging has taken. 

Don’t get me wrong, still loving the food, still loving the photos, still loving the people…just needed an impromptu hiatus. 

But I’m coming back and working towards a little more of a slow and steady pace, to rebuild the love I know I still have. Also helps that I’ve watched all the episodes of Mythbusters on Netflix as well so I’m out of things to do when I do have an evening free now…

So. A while ago Brad and I popped into Mukka on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. It won The Age Good Food’s cheap eats award last year, and after visiting - deservedly so! 

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Indian food is something I find myself craving more and more recently, it’s just so comforting, but yet so exciting at the same time with so many vibrant flavours - and often at a price point that the wallet can regularly agree with.

Mukka is a cosy little spot, which feels right at home in the neighbourhood with distressed brick walls, paired with pops of colour. 

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First bit of business at Mukka? Obviously getting a masala chai, which did not disappoint, beautifully brewed in the traditional Indian way. It had a nice little spice kick - definitely not your sweet powdered gunk!

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We ordered a dosa to share, which is one of my favourite Indian dishes - I usually pick at the ‘pancake’ component of the dosa before diving into the filling - I think we got ‘The Classic’ with cured potatoes but don’t quote me on that. Although I enjoyed the dosa, I usually like my dosa a little browner/cooked, so that I have crispy edges to pick at. But I guess that’s just a small personal preference. 

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What I really, really, really loved at Mukka though, was their butter chicken. Oh my goodness. I think Brad and I visited Mukka well over 6 months ago but I still tell people about this butter chicken. The gravy is so rich, thick and perfect for pouring all over your rice. But what I really love is the chicken that tastes like its had a quick session in the tandoor, so that it has a nice bit of grilled, kind of charred flavour to it, which really for me, kicks the flavour profile of this dish to the next level. Delicious. 

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The biryani serve is also generous, and vibrantly flavoured. Plenty of spices kicking around in there. 


Although my Indian cravings are usually when I’m out at Brad’s in Gembrook (I know. It’s a little weird), so happy to have Mukka for those days when I need it a bit closer to home, serving simply hearty dishes in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. 

365 Brunswick St
Fitzroy VIC 3065

Mukka Indian Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato