Tag Archives: takeaway

La Morenita Latin Cuisine

This post is just a tad overdue, but Kenny from Consider the Sauce inspired some great ideas in me, so that just had to come first!

So now is probably a good time to tell you where these ideas started. Kenny asked me for lunch a while back and I finally found some time to meet up with him and his son, Bennie, in the west. I thought I would suggest somewhere, but it seems every place I could think of, he had already blogged about!

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And so, I let the master decide, and he suggested La Morenita. Latin sounded like something a bit different to the usual food I review, so I was definitely up for something different in an area I’m not familiar with.
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It’s a casual takeaway spot, but seemingly also very popular, as there was a long line at the counter. This however, impacted the waiting time for someone to come over and take our order. On the positive side – this allowed more chatting time for us.

Kenny recommended their sandwiches ($7) and also empanadas ($2.50-$4), so my friends I were up for choosing a sandwich or roll along with an empanada on the side.
20140706_130828Above you’ll find the choripan, with simply chorizo and onion. The onions do look a little burnt as well as the ones on Bennie’s super-sized version, the Gigante, with additional ham, cheese, mayonnaise and fries (below, $15).

I don’t mind a charred touch to spice it up with a BBQ feel, but Bennie felt a bit overwhelmed by the amount of burnt onions.

20140706_131053However, I can see my friends and myself returning to demolish this meal for the novelty of it. Amazingly, Bennie managed to down the whole thing!

Meanwhile I chose to have the Chacarero with steak, tomatoes, beans, cheese and mayonnaise. At first they forgot the beans and had to bring it back. These sandwiches are quite similar to burgers but then I don’t imagine beans in a burger – so it was something a bit different.

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I think I would have preferred something a bit more indulgent, the greens just felt a little too healthy for a burger-like meal, although it was similarly saucy and messy to eat. Next time, I might opt for something like a Barrus Lucos – steak with melted cheese or Carnicero – all the different meats plus cheese and onion. I think that was Kenny’s one pictured further below. It still had some evident signs of burntness though – I think they might want to cut back a bit on that edge.

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I really enjoyed the empanada and you can even buy frozen ones to cook at home. I ended up choosing a chorizo one. As it was freshly cooked, it was hot and super crispy on the outside. The sizzling hot chorizo inside along with the melted, cheesy goodness created a satisfying sensation for a simple snack.

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This is when we discovered Kenny holds regular feasts at restaurants by arranging something with these places and selling tickets to his events.

This sounded like a great idea as it involved so many things. It allows exposure for the restaurant via word of mouth, it brings people together and provides the opportunity to meet readers. This inspired me to think of how I could go about something similar, as a blogger who is still fairly new and trying to figure out how to make myself stand out from the crowd.

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So thanks to Kenny for sparking those thoughts and ideas! Below you’ll see pictures up at La Morenita from one of CTS’s past events there. Unfortunately, by the time we got through our lunch we didn’t have much room left for dessert and there was a caramel empanada calling out my name…
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But that along with that giant chorizo roll may just call me back for a next time!

La Morenita is located at 67 Berkshire Road, Sunshine North. They are closed Mon-Tue and open Wed-Thurs 11-4pm, Fri 10am-4pm and weekends 9am-4pm. Checkout some menu items here.

La Morenita Latin Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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Madame K’s Vegetarian

Sometimes spontaneity provides you with more memorable experiences, especially when out to dine. After an unfulfilling meal at Henry and the Fox (a post on this will be coming in the future), we ventured to Brunswick St for a second round.

Our initial plan was to drop by the popular vegan and organic restaurant Yong Green Food, but this plan was thwarted after their voicemail said they were closed for a break.

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Next idea was Vegie Bar, but this place is crazy-busy on weekends. But Melbourne is full of eateries and we were bound to find something else on Brunswick St – and my friend then spotted Madame K’s Vegetarian.

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It was smaller than Vegie Bar but still full of diners, and we were lucky to get a table for three.

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It was a bit cramped and the staff kept squeezing between me and another table, but I was just glad we managed to score a table on a Friday night.

We started off with some chive dumplings ($6.90, below – sorry for blurry photo). They were panfried and surprisingly full of flavour – I honestly didn’t realise these crispy vegetarian dumplings could be so tasty! I think the dipping sauce also had an attractive, strong flavour – similar to soy but a lot more compelling.

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I wasn’t entirely hungry after Henry and the Fox (how rare), thus I went for an entree of lamb sliders. I assume it was “mushroom made lamb”, as described in all their other lamb dishes on the menu. They won my curiosity as the description did not mention the common brioche buns but instead, naan bread. They were quite different but I don’t think it worked as a wrap for me.
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The doughy and thick nature of the bread means I would much prefer dipping it in some nice curry. The other ingredients reminded me of the minty flavours you would get in a Vietnamese dish. Unfortunately, I probably would have preferred these ingredients in a normal bun, as the bread is a tad chewy to bite off whilst trying to enjoy a wrap.

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My friends on the other hand, were still ready and gearing for another full dinner. They both ordered rice dishes, which were quite similar in taste.

One was a mushroom dish (above, $16.90), with various mushrooms, eggplant and Thai basil served with Jasmine rice. You have the option to choose Jasmine or brown rice. The dark sauce resembles oyster sauce, but I felt like the flavour was more interesting and intense than your average oyster sauce.

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This sauce was similar to what was used with the tofu and cashew dish (above, $16.90). And this was a good thing because we all enjoyed this flavour a lot. I think perhaps the sauce’s aroma and flavour was enhanced by the Thai influences, rather than your typical Westernised Chinese takeaway.

Whilst we enjoyed our meals, I noticed a constant stream of takeaway customers coming in and out of the restaurant. Service was quite quick – the only issue was they didn’t realise my entree was actually my meal, so they were waiting for me to finish before serving my friends’ mains. This was quickly sorted though.

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Finally, we couldn’t say no to dessert as we were enjoying a good chat and thought the banana roti ($10.90) sounded too good to pass on. I was still dreaming of Chin Chin’s amazing banana roti, but this was different and delicious in its own way. It was a bit like a crepe but with a thicker base of roti, with not only banana, but also strawberries, soy ice-cream, their homemade sauce and a bonus kiwi fruit.

Thus, I’m not ashamed to say – we ordered another one of these! I’d happily go back but I’m aiming to try Yong Green Food first. If you decide to go here, I’d suggest booking or going on a slightly quieter night during the middle of the week to get a better table.

Madame K’s Vegetarian is open for lunch Sat-Sun from 12-3.30pm and dinner every night from 5-10pm. Check out their menu here.

Madame K's Vegetarian on Urbanspoon

Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine: A Menulog Delivery

Recently I was invited to sample and review Australia’s number one online takeaway system Menulog.

I was given a voucher and paid for the remainder of my meal. The website is quite straightforward and easy to use. From the homepage all you need to do is type in your suburb – I typed in Lalor as I was eating at a friend’s place.

Consequently, it lists restaurants in your suburb and surrounding suburbs that will deliver to you. You also have the option to pick up but for the purposes of this review we went with a delivery.

I hardly have food delivered to my house so it is a little nerve racking as you worry about whether they will deliver your order correctly and on time. I chose Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine in Preston as I’ve eaten there previously and enjoyed it. Furthermore the reviews and ratings on Menulog were quite high.

Another useful feature of Menulog is you can choose a delivery time and order when they aren’t even open. We chose 7pm and I ordered quite early in the day. I received a confirmation text message just after 5pm as the restaurant opens in the evening.

The food arrived at 7.10pm, which I find reasonable considering it’s around when everyone is driving home from work. Preston is also about a 15-20minute drive, depending on traffic, from Lalor.

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A receipt was included with our order so we could check everything was there. I was impressed that it was packaged quite meticulously. Each dish, which has a lot of sauce, was stacked and covered tightly in layers of glad wrap whilst our naan bread and Tandoori chicken came in foil and a bag.

Since we weren’t too familiar with Indian food, some Googling of the menu was involved prior to ordering. We couldn’t go past the classic Butter Chicken (above, bottom dish, $12.99) and I enjoyed dipping our warm and slightly crispy naan bread (below, $1.99 each) into the sauce.

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We also decided we would try some different meats in various sauces, so after some online searches we chose the Prawn Makhani ($14.99, below photo, top dish). It looked and tasted a little similar to the butter chicken, but that means we enjoyed it.

Another aspect of the online ordering is some dishes have the option to choose your preferred level of spiciness. I chose mild for this one, but it wasn’t spicy at all, so I’d suggest if you want some spice to perhaps choose the highest one!

20140612_192412Our last curry sort of dish was the Lamb Korma (top right, $13.99), which has more of a yellow sauce. The sauce is more coconut based than the chicken and prawn dishes. We didn’t enjoy it as much but it was still good to experience some new and different type of Indian dishes.
20140612_192416Finally we chose the Tandoori Chicken (8 pieces for $16.99). It had a subtle barbecue flavour but not enough to rival the Filipino barbecue my friend is so used to.

We also received some extra sauces, but we weren’t sure what they were for as we hardly eat Indian. Times like these is when sitting in a restaurant becomes a little helpful as you can ask what it goes best with. But besides these little aspects, the delivery went smoothly and the ordering process was simple and convenient.

If you are looking for a night in but don’t want to cook, this is the perfect website. I hope more restaurants in the northern suburbs get onto it so we can have a few more options, as at the moment they are mainly Indian and Italian restaurants.

menulog2To assist you with this experience, I’m offering two $10 Menulog vouchers. All you need to do is follow the steps above and I will select the winners randomly in the following week or so.
Conditions: Expires 1 month after winner selection, only valid for delivery, Credit Card and 1 use only.

Visit Menulog here to check out your local options.

Meanwhile, Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine is located at 560 High St, Preston and is open Mon-Fri 4.30-10.30pm and Fri-Sun 12pm-10.30pm.

Maharaja Tandoori Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Rice Workshop (Emporium)

A rare day of public transport failures meant I was able to take the little sister (ruining my photo below) out to eat whilst we waited to get picked up. I rarely eat at casual places in the city now that I work full time in the inner suburbs, so I took advantage of this opportunity to try Rice Workshop, which had been recommended to me.

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They recommended the original store, but I heard that a new branch was opening at the Emporium. I hadn’t had a chance to check out the Emporium, so it was like two birds with one stone. I knew it would be fast takeaway and although it was around 6.30pm, I knew we would still be able to order and eat before the centre closes at 7pm.

Overall, the Emporium is quite brightly lit, spacious and inviting. However, I couldn’t take in any atmosphere, as it was close to closing time and many shops still haven’t opened, so the centre felt very dead.

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The menu is simple and direct, offering regular and large sizes of a decent range of rice and noodle dishes. I think the prices are also a great selling point, with regular dishes around the $7 mark whilst the large are all less than $10.

Unfortunately the service met the sub-standard levels of a food court. The staff seem new and nervous as it’s a new store, and the girl who served me didn’t seem to have a great knowledge of English nor the menu. My little sister ordered the regular chicken teriyaki ($7.20, right). I am fairly sure I ordered the curry pork katsu ($7.90, left), but they gave me a normal one instead, which in hindsight was probably a good mistake as I was debating between the two in my head.

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We both enjoyed our food, my pork was crumbly and not dry, but my sister found the teriyaki sauce was a bit too sweet so by the time she got towards the end of the meal, it became overpowering. Like some other fast/takeaway places, I felt that the rice tends to fill the bowl up a lot underneath the toppings. Thus your meal seems more packed than it is – in the end I had a lot of rice left.

I noticed some chicken karaage ($1.90 – fried chicken) on offer and ordered this too. I didn’t realise they were skewers and placed at the front of the takeaway counter like your usual Asian takeaway. In addition to this, I don’t think the girl knew what chicken karaage was and just went to find a chicken one.

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I think we were given a normal chicken skewer instead, but I would avoid the skewers and try a proper restaurant if you want quality. Or perhaps you can take your chances here if it seems you have just arrived after they’ve been freshly cooked.

The Chinatown branch of this place might be better, as they seem to have quite good reviews. I think this branch is good if you happen to be by the Emporium and would like a cheap but filling meal of good quality. Otherwise, I would willingly pay a few extra dollars somewhere else for a decent dine-in Japanese meal with atmosphere. The staff here need to do a bit of brushing up on their menu knowledge and for anything other than the main dishes, look elsewhere.

Rice Workshop is located at the Emporium, 321 Lonsdale St on Level 3. They are open from 10am-7pm Sat-Wed and 10am-9pm Thurs-Fri. Check out their menu here.

Rice Workshop on Urbanspoon