Tag Archives: omelette

Mission #2: Grub Food Van

Not wanting to pass the opportunity to try more outdoor eateries, I squeezed in another spot on the weekend: Grub Food Van. Continue reading

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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

Modern Asian Restaurants: Fumanchu

Fumanchu has come up in my food searches before, but I’ve always been weary due to reviews about service and the fact that it’s related to Miss Chu, which I’m not a big fan of. But, as I felt like trying a breakfast with a twist, I thought the risk might pay off. Not to mention the place is conveniently located in the northern suburbs.

20140316_124235There is no sign at the front to indicate that you’ve reached the right place and when we walked in, we thought we had walked into a bar in the middle of the day. The place emanated a pub atmosphere with its pink neon lights and walls lined with alcohol. However, the waitress assured us we had reached Fumanchu, so we decided to sit alongside the window bench, which displayed more of typical cafe decor than the front counter.

20140316_114612 copyMeanwhile, the artwork of the seats along the bench displayed some sort of mid-20th century Asian film poster images. This made more sense after a quick Google search, discovering Fu Manchu as the name of a fictional character with an iconic moustache.20140316_115731 To start with, I ordered a mango juice whilst my friend ordered a Vietnamese iced coffee. My mango juice appeared to be freshly made as it didn’t feel full of extra sugar usually in bottled juice. The coffee surprisingly came out in a traditional fashion, with the Vietnamese coffee filtered and dripping into the condensed milk. After this, you pour it into your glass of ice. It was impressively presented but time consuming when you desperately want to drink your coffee! It was also quite strong for my liking.20140316_120931

As a fan of this Japanese food, I couldn’t go past the Japanese Okonomiyaki Pancakes ($17, above) from the ‘Something Different’ menu. It comes with shredded cabbage and peas inside the pancakes and is served with house cured salmon and wasabi mayo.

The pancakes tasted different to the ones you would get in a foodcourt, which seem to have more of a filling. However, this felt freshly made and a bit healthier with an abundance of peas. They were adequately sized to go with the salmon. The salmon provided a complimenting texture and flavour to the pancakes, which could have been a little plain on its own.

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My friend was tossing up between the Asiaotic Saute Mushrooms and the Asian Omelette ($15, above) and ended up choosing the latter with extra mushrooms. The omelette consisted of wok-tossed free-range eggs, lap cheong (Chinese sausage), Asian herbs and roti bread topped with fried shallots.

I didn’t realise the omelette would be served wrapped in roti bread, which was interesting. I also enjoyed that the side of mushrooms was a mix of different mushrooms including enoki, providing a proper Asian air to the dish. With egg and Chinese sausage, the dish incorporated many ingredients already familar to me so it filled me up well, but it wasn’t outstanding.

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I was glad I gave Fumanchu a chance as it ended up providing quite decent food. The service was okay but not horrible, it can just be a bit difficult catching someone’s attention because the place is quite spacious. The tables around me were packed when I arrived around 11.30am but empty by the time I left (pictured above).


Image courtesy of their Facebook – some lovely artwork I noticed on a wall before I left.

They also serve dinner with more recognisable Vietnamese meals such as pho (rice noodle soup) and bun (vermicelli noodles) but I’m still dubious about the authenticity, especially when they also serve non-Vietnamese dishes such as mee goreng. I’m happy to try Asian inspired dishes but when it comes to traditional food you’d have better for cheaper in Footscray or Springvale. That being said, I haven’t actually tried it so if any one has tried their dinner food please tell me about it in the comments!

Fumanchu has changed its name to Chumanchu but it doesn’t feel too official with their name still the same on Facebook. The restaurant is open Tue-Sun 8am-10pm and is located at 2 Gilbert Road, Preston. Check out some old versions of their breakfast menu here and takeaway dinner menu here.

Fu Manchu on Urbanspoon

Cafe Casuarina

On a rare venture to the Western suburbs, we found our selves at a cute and spacious cafe called Cafe Casuarina in Williamstown. Looking like an everyday, local cafe with a teal sign, we were pleasantly surprised to find quite a large and open interior to enjoy a sitdown and late brunch.

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Having just played sport on a Sunday, it was understandably quiet as it was after 2pm and close to closing. But we had just enough time to undo all our exercise, with cappuccinos, iced chocolates and iced coffees (below).

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Of course, I found myself with a tall and devilishly sweet iced chocolate, something you can’t really go wrong with, especially when it has a generous scoop of ice-cream. Quickly after this, we made our decisions as the kitchen was only open for another half an hour.

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As I felt the chocolate and ice-cream already satisfying my thirst and hunger, I didn’t feel in the mood for a large meal, so went with the Casuarina Omelette ($16.50, above) with cheese, ham, avocado, bread and an extra hash brown on the side ($3). It doesn’t look amazing but that’s because everything’s hidden on the inside, and together the ingredients provided a nice and light meal, with the crusty bread helping to fill me up.

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But what also helped to fill me up, was a taste of my friends’ Braised Mushrooms ($14.50, above) with 5 types of mushrooms braised with red onion and ciabatta, served with poached eggs, goat’s cheese and paris butter. One of my friend’s ordered extra bacon with the dish, and another with smoked salmon below ($3 each).

The mushrooms were really a standout, each bite of each mushroom seemed so juicy that you just wanted more. Consequently, the mushrooms’ flavour also seemed to be able to stand alone without any sides, as my friend started finding it difficult to finish off the extra bacon.

20140309_142749The mushrooms were an excellent recommendation and both my friends who ordered it said they’d definitely be willing to come back for that dish alone. My other friend had a standard steak sandwich (above), which she downed fairly quickly along with an iced chocolate.

It’s a great-looking and spacious cafe with friendly service, and I’d love to feel the atmosphere when it’s during their busier hours, which I just may experience one day when we return for the mushrooms.

Cafe Casuarina is located at 4/77 Douglas Parade and is open Mon-Fri 6.30-4pm, Saturday 7-4pm and Sunday 8am-3pm. Check out a glimpse of their menu on Food for My Belly’s blog here.

Cafe Casuarina on Urbanspoon

Top Paddock

In a bid to resist unnecessary purchases on Boxing Day, we ventured to Richmond instead to have unnecessary fancy brunch. I’ve heard lots of raving about Top Paddock yet I’ve always been dubious about visiting due to reviews talking about lack of service. But you never know unless you try, and service was not what disappointed me.

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Upon arrival, it was a good sign to see the place packed even on Boxing Day. It was quite large though, so we were seated easily but I hear that weekends have a bit of a wait time. I also enjoyed the homely and floral decor, the openness of the space making it feel akin to a greenhouse. The coffee section (above) was interestingly placed in the middle of the dining area and was separate to the register to pay for meals.

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We were seated right next to the coffee section, whilst this pretty, glowing view (above) greeted us on our other side. The service was swift, after being seated immediately it wasn’t long until our drinks orders were taken. One friend and I got iced coffees ($6, below). I found the ice cream tasted nice, more flavoursome than your regular vanilla scoop, yet the actual coffee a tad bland and diluted.

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For my meal, I was temped by everything from their big breakfast and pork belly dishes to the more experimental, “I don’t even know what that is but it sounds interesting” dishes. I gave in to the latter, having seen so many posts about this place’s interesting and successful dishes that I felt like I could not miss out.

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I chose the purple potato and buffalo ash brie omelette with padron peppers on sourdough, with added chorizo ($3), so it came to $20. The purple potato was not sweet potato as we assumed, but it seemed potato coloured purple. Meanwhile, we discovered the ash brie to be a type of cheese similar to goat’s cheese, which was what they used in the omelette previously.

I really wanted to like it, but I felt the potatoes placed on top for aesthetics did not work that well compared to say, Spanish omelettes where the potato is found inside. The chorizo was too salty, so in addition to the ash brie, the entire dish was too salty for my liking. Nevertheless, it wasn’t horrible and being hungry, I finished the meal.

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My friend chose the ricotta hotcakes with seasonal fruits, which included berries and strawberries, and marscapone ($17). It was nice, sweet and fluffy, or as she put it, like eating a giant muffin.

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After hearing about the soft shell crab burger ($21), my friend ordered this as she really enjoyed the one at Hammer and Tong. It was good and buttery but we felt the one at Hammer and Tong to be richer and tastier with more mayonnaise. It was also cheaper at $16, although a little smaller than this one. However one of my other friends present had a different experience at H&T, saying that the burger there was so salty she could hardly taste the crab, which just goes to show how different people’s experiences can be.

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Sometimes I wonder whether some places disappoint me because I’ve visited on a public holiday, when premium staff members may be on break, or because I come with too high expectations from the hype. It wasn’t as great as I expected and I probably won’t be back.

The decor was pretty and inventive, I especially enjoyed the street sign chairs (above), which are quite representative of signs in the inner suburbs. The teacup lights reminded me of the ones at Three Bags Full and then I realised Top Paddock is brought to us by the same (original) owners of Three Bags Full.

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The service as mentioned earlier was attentive and not at all slow, but I wouldn’t promise this on the weekends. However one waiter did clear my friend’s drink without asking her if she was done, and she had a bit left.

Lots of people have had more positive experiences but unfortunately not me. I was glad we managed to try it when it wasn’t during peak hour on the weekends, yet I thought this would mean more time and attention for our food. The food came out quickly and all at once, but the tastes unfortunately did not satisfy.

Top Paddock is open Mon-Fri 7am-4pm and 8am-4pm on the weekends. See their December 2013 menu here (it’s a bit outdated from the one we saw on Boxing Day which had slight variations.)

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon