Tag Archives: Melbourne CBD

Mission #4: T by Luxbite

If I had the power of foresight – this month’s theme might have been “Invites” – this week itself has been pretty crazy! I won this invite to T by Luxbite’s launch party by participating in a regram competition on Instagram and the chances were slim, but I was one of the last ones picked. Huzzah! Continue reading

Mission #4: Simply Spanish

A belated post, but a while ago I met the lovely Steph also known as spooksnbubbles or Food For My Belly. After I invited her to one of my past events and it didn’t work out, we decided to catch up separately instead.

She let me choose a place, and as I was feeling like something not too expensive but not Asian, I decided to give Simply Spanish (Bourke St) a try after seeing positive reviews. I didn’t want an overly expensive meal but that’s the sort of prices you tend to get with tapas and large dishes like paella, so I thought the prices at Simply Spanish seemed reasonable. Continue reading

Gingerboy

With Melbourne’s crazy and unpredictable weather, I still haven’t managed to start Mission #2. Although what have I been eyeing? Well the Hideaway pop up at QV for one – it’s curated by Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and includes some special events and workshops, whilst acting as a cafe (Milky Joe) during the day. That was my go-to coffee back in my interning days! Continue reading

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria & Cucina

Recently, I was lucky enough to be invited to a large dinner for Weekendnotes writers at Tazio – an Italian restaurant located on the corner of Flinders Lane and Exhibition St.

Another writer volunteered to write the review on Weekendnotes, but I thought I’d love to add a few more non-Asian restaurant posts to my own personal blog. Did you know I’ve only ever posted one Italian place on my blog?

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The idea of the night was to showcase their large tables for functions. The table seated 24 people, thus 12 writers and their plus ones. It was great to meet some of the writers who you see post so often on Weekendnotes, and finally find yourself able to match faces to names.

With the function already catered for us, we were provided with a special Weekendnotes banquet menu (above). The good thing about Italian food is that it is perfect for sharing, thus the menu was designed for exactly that.

20140716_191938They also provided cocktails at a special price ($12.50), but as we were both driving, we chose to have mocktails – Safe Sex on the Beach and a No-jito ($9.50 – these were not included in the banquet). Service was great because we arrived a bit later and as we sat down, someone was already over to check what drinks we would like.

I enjoyed that you could have drinks similar to your usual cocktails but without the alcohol, as I’m not a big drinker anyway, it feels like you’re not left out and don’t miss out on the great flavours! 

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Whilst everyone arrived, chatted and settled in, the table was served with antipasto – including cured meats, feta, olives and herb bread. I guess I haven’t been exposed to antipasto much in my life to judge it, and found myself eating the usual meat and bread.

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Meanwhile, the chef came out to speak to us about Tazio’s concept of simple Italian food and talk us through our dinner menu and plan. He was a bit quiet and not loud-spoken, but we appreciated that he made the time to come out to talk to us at the start and end of the meal.

20140716_200153There was quite a break in between the entree and mains, which could be because they were allowing us time to get to know each other and chat, or also because they wanted to ensure everything came out at the same time.

Sides included patate fritte or chips with roast garlic aioli and salads – I don’t think you can go wrong with aioli but the chips were nothing special. Pictured below is the rucola – rocket, radicchio, parmesan and balsamic, a simple dish, usually $7.50, to lighten up your intake of pizza and pasta.
20140716_200258But this was only the beginning. After this our mains began to appear rapidly. Below is the classic margherita – I once heard someone say that it is best to judge an Italian restaurant on their margherita. These pizzas were thin and simple, herby and flavourful, but this was not the most memorable pizza.
20140716_200400The Della Mare – prawns, spinach, mozzarella (below) looked interesting, but I didn’t feel the prawns suited the pizza. I feel like there needs to be a little more topping to compliment it or something added to the sauce to make it work.
20140716_200503I did enjoy the last two pizzas more than the others, the Veneto – roast peppers, goats’ cheese, pancetta (Italian cured pork belly) and Treviso – crushed oven dried tomato, caramelised onion, basil.
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The Treviso felt like a more exciting vegetarian option than your classic margherita, with its extra dimension of flavour from their caramelised onion, feta and herbs.

The Veneto was also a simple meat option for a pizza, with a good amount of goat’s cheese. A suitable creation to represent an Italian restaurant with goats’ cheese and pancetta, a sort of Italian cured meat similar to bacon/ham.

20140716_201031Many people fell in love with the prawns, tomato and lemon zest risotto, but I have always found risotto tends to be too creamy for my liking, and this was one of them. Eating too much of a creamy or cheesy meal usually does not sit well with me after a while.
20140716_201102Meanwhile, the penne amatriciana – chicken, pancetta, chilli, garlic, napoli – did not seem that different from a similar dish my mum usually whips up at home. The sauce at Tazio does taste slightly different and more authentic, but still does not warrant any exclamations that it is the best dish.
20140716_201423Overall, the night was more for a good catch up and chat, full of getting to know people and enjoying food surrounded by people you usually aren’t surrounded by. The food was good, with some pizzas earning my tick of approval, but generally not outstanding.

Image taken from the official Weekendnotes write up by Nadine

It did, however, stick to the its concept of simple, Italian food. It is also a nice, classy atmosphere with good service, so drop in if you are after a sophisticated yet affordable Italian meal.
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Tazio is located at 66 Flinders Lane and is open 12pm-late weekdays and Saturdays from 5pm. Find their menu here and book online here.

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina on Urbanspoon

Mon’s Adventures was invited for a complimentary banquet with eleven other Weekendnotes writers and friends – all to promote their function table.

Burma Lane

I’m still surprised, that Red Spice Road‘s sister restaurant is not well known. But “not well known” still seems hard to define – most of the people around me had not heard of it, but the place was booked out the night we went.

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As with Red Spice Road, the service is always friendly and accommodating. I altered the number of guests a few times and they were neither annoyed nor snobbish. We also came quite late but my friends already present did not mention being rushed or questioned.

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It’s a nice place to enjoy a cocktail or some mocktails with your food and I always enjoy a good drink with experimental and Asian-inspired mixes.

RSR impressed me with a mocktail once, so I eagerly tried and enjoyed a THAI DAI ($9, right) which had lychee juice, pomegranate, kaffir lime. It even had a pomegranate in it, which was impressive. The lychee gave it a good degree of sweetness and the minty taste was not overpowering as it is in some drinks, allowing the pomegranate to shine.

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The food is a Western take of Burmese food with South-East Asian and Indian influences. We pretty much ordered all the meat since it was a large group, the top photo being the Lamb slow cooked in Yoghurt w/ Green Pea and Tomato Biryani ($27) and Rich Beef, Sweet Potato & Pickled Lime Curry ($28).

They were both so-so dishes, not amazing us, but exhibiting some different tastes. My friends were not fans of the beef. With its big tender chunks, it still seemed a tad dry and uninteresting. Unfortunately, a lot of expectations come with dining here and this take on Burmese cuisine does not seem to have the boldest flavours.

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We were excited to try their Roasted Pork Belly w/ Spiced Caramel Sauce & Herbal Salad ($29), after all, the most popular dish at RSR is their caramelised pork belly with apple slaw.

There was nothing wrong with the dish, but it had the same issue with comparison – the caramelised taste felt subtler than RSR, whilst the salad was nothing special. Even as a stand alone dish, I would find the pork belly acceptable but not a standout.

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I did enjoy the Prawn Dry Red Curry w/ Fried Cauliflower & Coriander ($29), as the sauce was nice and it had a tiny hint of spice. I think I was too busy enjoying the night to even notice the fried cauliflower!

We did notice that a lot of the dishes looked hot with the scattered chillies but none of them seemed to really be spicy except the chicken noodle dish below ($24). This was a little bland once again, besides the mint leaves and chilli tang.

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Despite similar prices to Red Spice Road, the food didn’t feel as satisfying. It’s possibly due to the weaker flavours and also servings are a bit smaller, as the restaurant is located on the Paris end of town.

We ordered a second round of food for the table so ended up with pretty much the remaining meat dishes and…

The Mushrooms stir-fried w/ Shan Tofu, Greens, Yellow Noodles & Coriander ($25, below.) This did not feel like the mushrooms were the main attraction of the dish but rather the tofu. Shan tofu is a Burmese tofu, and the inside texture and taste were almost like potato.

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We also had the interesting sounding Chicken Aloo-Rolled Chicken w/ Potatoes, Tomato, Spices, Lemongrass & Coriander ($28). The flavour was slightly different, the sauce seemed to demonstrate more vegetable flavours with a hint of Asian herbs. I enjoyed the chicken but felt like there was very little of it.

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Finally, we also had some classic calamari but it seemed quite plain compared to the fancy description of Calamari w/ Apple, Sweet Pork, Tomato & Herb Salad ($28). To me, it just felt like calamari, tomato and a few leaves…

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Unfortunately, this place did not live up to the hype. That is the unfortunate thing about having such a popular restaurant chain already, but may also explain why some people still haven’t heard of Burma Lane. The service and people are always top notch at both RSR and Burma Lane, but unfortunately this “contemporary” take on Burmese food has not won me over.

Burma Lane is located 118 Little Collins St and is open 12-3pm for lunch and 6pm-late for dinner. Check out their menu here.

Burma Lane on Urbanspoon

Anju Bar and Restaurant

Lately, I’ve been discussing and pondering over the idea of themes on my blog. Someone recently commented that I often blog about the same sort of places. Thus, next month I’ll be starting a new idea – so watch out!

For this month, let’s just say I’ll continue with my “usual” places, which I have realised consists of mainly Asian or modern Asian joints! (Check out this category, and it becomes even more apparent).

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Following my recent discovery of modern Korean restaurant Suda, I happened to discover another similar restaurant called Anju Bar and Restaurant via the procrastination that is Instagram.

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A friend mentioned it wasn’t busy last time she went, but with only two people, my friend and I still had to be seated at the bar on a Thursday night. It seemed most of the larger tables were taken or booked so I was happy that we were still able to squeeze in.

20140710_181647The menu is divided into traditional and modern dishes (click on picture above). I was surprisingly not overly hungry and decided to order the dishes that I’d heard most about, the sliders and the mother and son omelette.

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They also have plenty of Korean alcoholic drinks (click above) to go alongside your dish, from soju cocktails (again!) to rice wine (makgeolli).

You’ll notice, I drive often, so I had to go for a more tame pear juice ($4, below). I’m not sure if they make it themselves or not, but it came in the current trend of a mason jar mug, and had a nice, light and slightly diluted taste of pear.
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I have also seen pictures of an interesting ice-cream soju cocktail, as seen on The Bake-a-nista’s post, but I didn’t spot it on the menu above. It seems to involve dipping an ice-cream (on a stick) into your drink, so I hope they bring it back! It may have been a summer item.

20140710_183030Since all the sliders sounded amazing, we decided to order four of them. This included the soft shell crab (right), beef bulgogi (centre), pork bulgogi (spicy pork, left) and panko ebi (crumbed prawn, back). All sliders were $6 except the soft shell crab, $8.

Service was swift and attentive. It could be because we were right at the bar and in front of the register, but I’ve heard many good accounts. We asked for a knife to split our sliders and one was provided a mere few seconds later.

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Each slider had its own unique taste to match the filling. The prawn and soft shell crab had mayonnaise type of sauces and a slaw filling to match their crispy exteriors. I think I enjoyed the soft shell crab the most. It was crunchy and slightly juicy whilst complimented by the slaw and sauces.

The beef bulgogi meat was nice and sweet too, but a bit plain with not much else in there. The spicy pork felt a bit similar, but also didn’t feel suitable in a burger for me.

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Above is the mother and son omelette ($26), which was an oven baked omelette with cheese, bean shoots and spicy chicken inside. This was very cheesy, but I enjoy my cheese so it wasn’t a problem. The chicken pieces are a little hard to find but the cheese and egg make it a filling dish.

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The prices are more expensive than you would usually pay for Korean fare, especially as you get to the meatier options, but this is not your typical Korean restaurant. I’d gladly return for the lovely setting and service to try a few more items (and drinks), as it’s something a little different. But for now, I haven’t left with the desire to come rushing back immediately.

Warning: you will smell strongly of food when you leave, as the picture above shows how open the cooking area is at Anju!

Anju Bar and Restaurant is located at 18 Little Latrobe St and is open Mon to Fri 11:30am-2:30pm and Mon to Sun 5:30-11:00 pm.

Anju Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Sushi Hotaru


I was finally able to try a sushi train the other week, after debating over which one to try. The mixed reviews for Sushi Hotaru made me a bit reluctant but many people I know gave me firsthand accounts of liking it, so it felt like worth trying.
20140606_174624It’s a place you have to know about to find, as it’s up a few levels in Mid City Arcade on Bourke St, between Swanston and Russell St. Just go up the escalators and you’ll eventually see it (and perhaps a line in front of it)!

It doesn’t take bookings and I’d read that it would be quite a wait if you get there after 6pm. We managed to get there a bit after 5.30pm, thus we were given a number and we were only subject to a fifteen minute wait until our number was called.20140606_180006After we were called in we were promptly seated at two stools. You don’t really know where to put your jacket so I saw a lot of people just sitting on theirs’.

The novelty of the experience is the iPad touchscreens for where you are sitting. You’ll find most dishes on the train become repetitive but this is why you should take advantage of the iPad.

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The system is quite easy to use, with the menu divided into comprehensive sections such as hand rolls and nigiri (where the meat/fish is on top of the rice). You also use it to order drinks or call the staff – when we ordered water it came in a mere few seconds.

Furthermore when you order from the iPad, the staff in the centre of the room are continuously making fresh sushi to put on the train and also the ones that have been ordered. In a few minutes, they will hand it directly to you and the iPad will show a symbol to indicate it has been delivered. Technology!

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Each dish is $3 unless you see a sign indicating they are a special gold plate – they cost about $7.90, but I didn’t have any. You’ll get typical sushi such as salmon and crab drifting past you, but they look a bit plain compared to the gems you could order on the iPad.

It’s hard to remember what everything was, but I think the above was a spicy seared salmon nigiri, whilst the below seemed to be the salmon and onion nigiri. I love Japanese seared food so they were really enjoyable with their subtle, smoky flavours.

20140606_181418The hand rolls were also good value for the same price, the one we chose below was the obvious choice to us – soft shell crab! I enjoyed that this came out freshly made and quite hot, preferable to the sushi that has been on the train for a few rounds.
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The same goes for this crunchy crumbed prawn – it came out nice and warm, so that the crispy exterior was really prominent.

20140606_182649It’s hard to remember what every dish was – this below dish kept coming across on the train and we finally decided to try it. I think it was just teriyaki chicken with a lotus chip on top, thus not very exciting.
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I didn’t take pictures of everything but another favourite was one of the scallop sushi whilst dishes such as the eel cream cheese (bottom right) were interesting, but not necessarily winning creations.

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I enjoy this concept and wouldn’t mind trying another train such as Sakura Kaiten Sushi or the new one at the Emporium. What’s good about this one is the cheap prices compared to these other options and despite negative reviews, service was swift for me.

The moment we clicked the call for our waitress on the iPad, she was over and ready to count our dishes for our bill. The experience was very efficient. The dishes weren’t amazing, but it’s hard for a $3 sushi plate to cause that many sensations.
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I would definitely recommend ordering a lot, rather than waiting for it to come around. Then you’ll even get the benefit of a hot dish being passed over to you.

The beginning is the only slightly confusing part, as there’s no sign indicating how the queue works. The door to the restaurant had a green “Push to open” button and makes it look a bit intimidating to walk in and ask. We did eventually go in and we were given a number. But if you never walked in, you would be standing outside in line without a number and a bit lost, so just make sure you are definitely in the queue!

Have you tried the other sushi trains? Comment below about your experience!

Sushi Hotaru is located on the first floor of Mid City Arcade, Shop 118 200 Bourke St Melbourne CBD. They are open Mon-Sun 11am-10pm.

Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon

Bowery to Williamsburg

It’s rare that I venture to the city during the weekend for brunch, but the Mother’s Day Classic gave us a good reason to reward ourselves after.

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Most brunch places on my list were a bit far from the Flinders area though, but I remembered there was a bit of hype around Bowery to Williamsburg when it first opened. Located on a laneway of Flinders St, there was bound to be hype as they are run by the same team behind The Hardware Societe.
20140511_100528It basically serves brunch with an American twist, hence the name (Bowery – New York, Williamsburg – Virginia). The menu (above) is short and sweet whilst printed on the back of a postcard.
20140511_100546When the hype first started, all I heard of was the peanut butter hot chocolate (below). Served with a Reese’s peanut butter cup and in a trippy cup that’s designed to look scrunched, the taste was definitely rich of peanut butter. The only issue was it got unpleasantly clumpy at the bottom of the drink.
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My friend and I ended up choosing the pulled pork hash ($16, below) with broccoli rabe, poached eggs and corn bread. It was served with a sauce on the side, which to me tasted like a barbecue sauce with a hint of mustard, demonstrating the American influence.

20140511_102937One egg fell off the top of my pile of food and onto the plate on the way to our table, so my friend’s dish was more suitable for photos. I enjoyed the dish as it’s something different from your normal brunch fare.

The pork was a little cold but I’m not sure if it was because we were waiting for the last dish to come out or it was genuinely not that hot. The portions of each ingredient was reasonable and I really enjoyed the sauce on the side.
20140511_102943Meanwhile, my friend was eyeing a dish on the table next to us. It happened to be one of the shakshouka eggs, similar to baked eggs. Out of the the pastrami, salmon and sweet potato, she chose the hot smoked salmon ($16, below).
20140511_103229The dish looked great but unfortunately it felt like the salmon didn’t suit the shakshouka’s sauce that well. I think pastrami would have been my choice, served with a mint salad and yoghurt.
I wouldn’t mind coming back to try some other dishes but it’s not as though I’ll be rushing to come back.

The place was busy when we arrived but luckily a table had just left, which spared us a wait. Unfortunately the round tables outside are quite small and they had to pull up an extra chair for all our condiments etc to make room for our food. The long rectangular tables are more spacious but evidently more popular and often taken.

At the counter is a sandwich bar where you can choose what ingredients and spreads or “schmears” (as the sign says) you would like, so you can treat yourself with an American sandwich for lunch.

I am constantly eager to try brunch places that don’t just serve the everyday items and this was a nice addition to the mix. I find it at least a bit more interesting than Hardware Societe itself. They also have a few specials so don’t forget to take a look at these too – check out the buttermilk pancakes with lavender marshmallow listed above!

Bowery to Williamsburg is located at 16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne CBD and is open 7.30-3pm weekdays and 8.30am-3pm weekends. Check out the menu here.

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon

Heirloom

In the mood for Japanese, but something different from your standard dons and bentos, I decided to try Heirloom, a bit of a higher-class and modern take on Japanese cuisine. When you pass it on Bourke St, you won’t realise it’s Japanese and might mistake it for an upper class bar.

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Well, perhaps it is, but with a strong focus on Japanese food and drinks. The service was prompt and faultless. Our waitress did not have the best English skills but she was attentive and willing to help. The overwhelming part was when she provided us with about five different menus. This might be an area that they want to brush up in. One standard booklet would be sufficient rather than separate sheets with her explanation of what each one was.

You’re probably curious as to what they were – they included small and large tapas, some degustation courses, sushi degustation, bar food and their drinks menu. She also pulled a sheet out of her pocket and started to recite the specials. It might be helpful to display this somewhere for forgetful minds like us!

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After pondering over the many menus and finalising our order, I realised I might want some greens. So our first dish we received was the tofu salad (above). I feel their menu is quite more extensive than their current menus online. I can’t remember prices but this dish was fairly cheap at $10 or less.

The dressing was light and the tofu chunks were large and cold. Thus the tofu was understandably plain but I found it the perfect dish to have on the side, especially to balance out any accidental tasting of wasabi. My friend on the other hand wasn’t a big fan. Usually, I tend to like cooked tofu in nice sauces, but this did the trick as a healthy side dish.

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The wasabi happened to be in our order of salmon sushi aburi shio nigri (top, $7.50 per 2 pieces). This means the salmon is slightly grilled and I really enjoy that Japanese style of cooking, which provides a subtle smoky feel. There were bits of wasabi hidden underneath the salmon. I know they are making it traditional but perhaps they should ask about it in the future, as I know a lot of people who prefer no wasabi (yes we’re weak).

I also ordered a drink but not wanting to splurge on a cocktail, I noticed that they had an offer of shochu (Japanese spirit) mixed with various fruity flavours and soda for $9. I picked the lychee flavour and both my friend and I enjoyed it, along with an actual lychee.

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Next up were the sliders. I was tempted to have these after seeing another friend’s photos. I think they were only $5 each or so. We had the ebikatsu (fried and crumbed prawn, left) and pork belly (right). They were both so delicious that we couldn’t quite figure out which one was our favourite. They are both complimented by shreds of slaw and their own, rich sauces in soft brioche buns. There’s not too much of anything and the sizes are perfect for a non-messy fare.

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After trying the nigiri sushi with the salmon on top, we went for the soft shell crab sushi roll (above, $14 for 4 pieces). Each end seemed to have a great deal of crab, whereas the middle pieces seemed to only have avocado and a tiny piece of crab. This wasn’t too special and I preferred the nigiri.

In addition, I almost we forgot we had the wagyu kaburi skewer ($4 for about 3-4 pieces of scotch fillet). By itself, the skewer is pretty plain. For skewers I would try somewhere like Pabu Grill and Sake, as it’s more of their specialty.

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We managed to remember one of the specials, so we ordered the teriyaki salmon ($18). It was served with orange/mandarin pieces, which I found a bit weird drizzled in teriyaki sauce. However, I really enjoyed the sauce, which seemed to have an extra sweet kick from the mandarins, and the salmon was cooked perfectly.

These dishes didn’t exactly leave us hungry or full so we dived in for one last dish – dessert. We went with the Houji tea sticky date pudding (below, $13). This included caramel apple pieces, vanilla ice cream, (Japanese) nikka whisky caramel sauce topped with a sort of biscuit. The staff were happy to provide the whisky sauce on the side, so my friend wouldn’t need to avoid the alcohol.

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The sauce had a strong taste of whisky. I enjoyed it as it still had a base of caramel, but I couldn’t have too much of it, otherwise it felt too rich and strong. I enjoyed the addition of the biscuit on top to provide some crunchier texture and to lessen the sweetness of the dish. The Houji tea (a roasted green tea) made the sticky date a bit drier but with an interesting taste, so the ice-cream and sauce provide the needed cover, and I think it was an innovative take on the classic dessert.

20140411_194519Overall, Heirloom really delivers the service and food for a good night. If you go by your instincts and order what sounds good you’ll most likely be fine. The lights provide a great setting whilst they project anime on a screen in the distance. Service is attentive and swift, so I feel like it’s always going to be a place where you know you will be looked after. It’s not the cheapest but we paid less than $50 per person, so I feel like it’s a reasonable price for the quality.

Heirloom is located at 131 Bourke St, Melbourne CBD. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve a buffet breakfast (who knew!) Mon-Fri 7-10am and 7.30-10.30am on weekends.

They have daily specials for lunch, Mon-Fri 12-3pm and serve bar food 3-6pm. Finally, they serve dinner 6pm-10pm on weekdays and 6pm-10.30pm on weekends. Check out their menus here, but as I mentioned I think they have more items than this now.

Heirloom on Urbanspoon

Fukuryu Ramen ft. Dessert

This place seems to be the new place to be right now in Melbourne, and what better time to launch a new ramen place than when the colder weather is kicking in.

Down a laneway of Chinatown and up a few stairs, you will find yourself in this bustling franchise out of Asia. I’d heard of long waiting times, but lucky for us, it seemed we just arrived before that peak period.

20140412_183434 Besides the wall above, the outfit was pretty standard with your usual basic, faux-wooden tables. When you reach the place, you find yourself walking straight into the line where you order and a standard menu on the wall.

Yes – this means the moment you walk in, you must make your decision. The cashier was very helpful in clarifying the difference between tonkotsu ramen and Shoyu ramen, which resulted in my friend and I reversing our initial choices. More on that later.

20140412_184042The cashier was quite bright and he seemed to know what he was talking about yet his American acccent threw us off a bit. When he told us to have a great meal it seemed very rehearsed and cheesy, but it’s better than showing no interest at all! Along with this, the whole team tend to shout Japanese phrases such as “Welcome!” every now and again, as if to add to the show.

20140412_184853My friend ordered what I initially had in mind, which was their Signature Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.90, above).The broth is pork flavoured, thick and creamy. The hype surrounding this place often mentions this dish, but I can’t stomach large creamy meals without feeling a little off. I had a spoonful of the soup and it definitely had this distinctive, tangy pork flavour.

It was interesting but I don’t think I’d be able to have a whole bowl. Having never tasted authentic tonkotsu, I can’t comment on this aspect, but I’ve read many other reviews proclaiming its authenticity.
20140412_184950I ended up choosing the Shoyu Ramen ($9.90, above). The menu didn’t say much besides ‘Tokyo style’, but we were told that the broth was clearer and based on a chicken and fish flavour. This appealed to me immediately, and I was glad I changed my mind.

The soup was quite addictive and I downed it to the last drop. The noodles are apparently handmade, just slightly thicker than instant noodles. The downfall was the serving size and lack of toppings. You can see the bowls below become slimmer as you reach the bottom and I could probably have had another bowl…or two.20140412_184956

I think more commercialised, and perhaps not as authentic places, such as Ajisen Ramen have set my hopes of serving size too high. The ramen here is cheap at $9.90, but then you’ll only get two pieces of meat.

That being said, the soup was much nicer than the usual oily fare. I’m still yet to try other places such as Kokoro Ramen so would gladly appreciate if anyone would share their experiences of ramen in the comments below!

Fukuryu Ramen is located on Level 1, 22-26 Corrs Lane, Melbourne CBD. They are open everyday for lunch 11.30-2.30pm and dinner 5.30-9.30pm. Their menu can be seen on their website.

Note: Fukuryu Ramen have just informed me they’ll be releasing extended portion sizes and more toppings as of April 16th, so watch out!

Fukuryu Ramen on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Supper Club

Considering we were still hungry, we couldn’t pass up dessert. Melbourne Supper Cub is perfect for a late night meal or sweets, but located on Spring St and up from The European, I have heard they can be a little snobby.

I thought we’d give it a go anyway, as despite this I remember good desserts. We enjoyed sinking into the sofas but struggled to use the small table. They have this dark yet elegant atmosphere (hence this bad photo), where you’ll find people on dates or older groups sitting over wine and chatting. That’s probably why their tables are so small, it’s more for a light shared meal over drinks.

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My friends and I don’t really drink, so we ordered tea, coffee and three desserts, hence the crowded table. My friends who first took me here always raved about the lemon tart ($9), which was a winner on this occasion too. The hard, savoury base and cream on the side balances out the tanginess of the rich lemon tart.

The tiramisu ($11.50) was creamy as expected and nothing too amazing. We did wonder if the three chocolate sticks were placed there purposely to serve us three or if it was part of the staple decoration. The churros con chocolate ($12) were surprisingly addictive, coated lightly in sugar and served with a dark chocolate dip. I don’t enjoy dark chocolate a great deal but it seemed to go with the churros well along with sips of tea. I’ve also tried the sticky date pudding ($11.50) in previous visits and would gladly recommend that too.

Once you get past the atmosphere that tries to emulate the sophisticated nightlife of Europe, the sofas and intimate setting prove great for a laid-back catchup. It started getting busier later on so we did feel the need to leave but didn’t feel we were too pushed to leave in a rush.

Melbourne Supper Club is located at Level 1/161 Spring St and is open 5pm-4am Mon-Thurs and Sunday, and 5pm-6am on Fri-Sat.  You can view their menu here.

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