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Thursday, 29 November 2012

Cookie (and Rooftop Bar), Melbourne

My last foodie post from my last trip to Melbourne, before I go back later today! Hahah just in time! My friend who lives down in Melbs took me out one night for drinks and dinner. We had some pretty rad apple martinis at Chi Lounge (nice decor, not the greatest service =P), which got us all buzzed, enough to make us think we could get a table at Cookie at peak hour (around 7:30pm on a Thursday night) =P. Lucky for us our alco-fuelled-confidence led us to charm the waiter enough to snag a table haha.

There were plenty more Apple Martinis to come haha

Cookie is on the 1st level of Curtain House on Swanston St (which I believe is Melbs Chinatown??) and they serve up modern Thai cusine. The room is HUGE with really tall windows - another large celinged place which wins my heart over. It was just the two of us so we didn't order much and we were quite buzzed so all I can say is that it all tasted pretty delish!




Lychee & Lemongras Martini

Drunken Prawns with Garlic, Coriander & Mekong whisky

The Drunken Prawns were AHHMAZING! Omg if there is one dish you get it is this seriously, the sauce that the prawns sit in is out of this world! I couldnt stop eating it, I just kept loading my plate with rice and dousing it in the sauce (I think the Mekong Whisky adds this unique flavour which is just WOW!)

Stir Fried Chicken, Enoki & Oyster Mushrooms, Fresh Coconut, Kaffir Lime & Lemongrass

Rice and Roti

I'd wanna go back to sample to menu more extensively, however it is a really noisy and busy place because of the large bar there as well (it's essentialy a Beer Hall with an eatery to the side) - judging by all the corporate suits there it's the place to go for dinner and drinks after work. Not somewhere you'd want to linger at after dining, hence you go a couple more levels up to Rooftop Bar! Steaming mulled wine and the views = perfect combination. But yea, it would be great to go when the sea is a bit calmer.

This photo doesn't capture the beautoiful view from Rooftop Bar that well!

MMMmmm steaming hot MULLED WINE!

Cookie
Level 1, 252 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9663 7660
www.cookie.net.au

Cookie on Urbanspoon


Rooftop Bar
Rooftop, 252 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9654 5394

Rooftop Bar on Urbanspoon


=D xx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Little Cupcakes, Melbourne

Another food haven we visited on our last trip to Melbourne was Little Cupcakes located down one of my fav places, Degraves. I'm not a big fan of cakes or cupcakes and I personally reaaaaally dislike the proliferation of cupcake chains everywhere because I truly believe the cupcakes they produce are bland and tasteless most of the time, the icing being the only redeeming feature. However, Little Cupcakes seems to have proved me wrong! Maybe its because it's an individual bakery and not a chain, but the cupcakes tasted reaaaallly good!


It's a cutesy little shop that could be easily missed, but we came looking for the shop specially because Nadi assured me that these cupcakes were worth the visit, even though I remained sceptical. We were lucky enough to snare the largest table inside (it's a very small shop, with limited dining space), it's all very homely with wooden tables, plants, chalkboards and low lighting...



Gosh they look so excited don't they =P

The cupcake selection was extensive, and what's great about these is that they are small so you can get a few to taste all the flavours.


I have to admit these were reaaaally nice cupcakes. They were light and fluffy, not at all crumbly and dry which I HATE cos it gets stuck in your throat (like most other cupcakes from chains I've had) and tasted like the flavours they were named after thank god haha. My fav was the Raspberry White Chocolate, which I saved for the plane ride home, well worth the wait! They're all reasonably priced as well at $2.20 per cupcake, $4 for the larger versions of the classics.

From left to right - Mint, Red Velvet, Peanut Buttercream, Teddy Bear, Raspberry White Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Belgian Chocolate

For someone who doesn't like cake and cupcakes, I gobbled these up pretty fast, I'm amazed I even had that last one on the plane haha. Wouldn't mind going back to get some more...=P

Not really, but hey!

Little Cupcakes
Shop 7, Degraves St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9077 0413
www.littlecupcakes.com.au

Little Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Spice I Am, Darlinghurst

Another long long overdue post! We visited Spice I Am for a friend's birthday (the same one I made my deathly Salted Caramel Cupcakes for haha). I've heard alot about Spice I Am, more specifically their smaller original outlet in Surry Hills. Some reckon the original in Surry Hills is better, but I gotta say, if this is the case then the food at the Surry Hills branch must be out of this world because the stuff at Darlinghurst was sooooo good!! (Photos courtesy of Nadi!! Thankyouu!!)


We started off with some cocktails of course! Love when they use ingredients traditionally used for the cuisine being served, makes the flavours flow on really nicely.



Golden Siam - Fresh golden pineapple, guava nectar,
freshly squeezed lime juice, Havana Club
Especial and Amaretto
Chai Yen - Panama passionfruit, apricot nectar, Wyborowa vodka and French peach liqueur
         

And on to the fooooood!

Deep Fried Mini Spring Rolls

Goong Ma Kham - Deep fried king prawns with tamarind sauce, served on a bed of steamed Chinese broccoli

Spicy Fried Rice - Fried rice with garlic, chilli and Thai holy basil        

Pad Prik Pao Crispy Pork Belly - Stir fried crispy pork belly wok tossed with Spice I am chilli jam, cherry tomatoes

My fav was of course the Pork Belly! So crispy, so sweet, so yuuum. I pretty much finished this off my self =P. It is their most famous dish I believe! They have a few pork belly dishes on the menu.

Som Tum (Green Papaya Salad) - Green papaya with dried shrimp peanuts, and chilli 

Chicken Pad See Ew - Stir fried flat rice noodle with Chinese broccoli, egg, garlic, chicken and dark soy sauce

Basil Pad Kra Prao - Stir fried chilli, mince and Thai holy basil (Usually made without minced meat, but with bamboo shoots and green beans) 

The Pad Kra Prao had to be my least favourite dish, it was waaaaaay too salty for me. But the flavour combination worked, so it would have been great if they had eased up on the salt.


Fried Rice With Crab Meat - Fried rice with egg, crab meat, garlic and spring onion

The restaurant is pretty nice inside as well, all dimly lit and nicely decorated and furnished. The staff were pretty nice too. It did take a while for the food to come out, but the taste compensated for that I reckon. I wanna go back just for some Pork Belly!

Spice I Am
300 Victoria St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
(02) 9332 2445
http://www.spiceiam.com/spice-i-am-darlinghurst

Spice I Am - the Restaurant on Urbanspoon

=D xx

Pastel Skittle Nails

I bought these NYX Pastel Polishes a looooooong long time ago, with the intention of doing Pastel Skittle Nails. But of course, me being me, I never got around to doing them for a bajillion other reasons. Finally I decided to give them a go!




From Thumb to Pinkie we have NYX Pastel Lavender, Pastel Mint, Pastel Pistachio, Pastel Yellow and Pastel Coral. Love love LOVE these colours on their own! It just looked so nice on my nails! Then I decided to ruin it....



LOL the animals are cute, but I do like the polish manicure on its own. I would definitely do this one again, I loved the soft pastel colours, not too harsh. Next time I'm gonna skip on the cutesy nail art ahaha =P.

=D xx

Brocade

I bought these J brand Brocade Jeans a few months ago, but I've only taken these babies out for a spin a couple of times. They're not everyone's cup of tea but I absolutely love them! The moment I saw them I knew I had to get a pair, so I had them flown over from Anthropologie in Melbourne.


The only problem is that I can't seem to find much to style them with, hence the delay in wearing them out =S. So once I saw some of my style icons flaunting them on Instagram, I've been taking direction from them, such as Chiara over at The Blonde Salad (My look is very similar to one she posted recently) and Aimee from Song of Style (who has a pair in red and blue). Black seems to be the obvious colour to go with such detailed colour-contrast jeans, but I did wear them with a cream shirt once (sadly, no longer existant).....


.....which looked quite good...I'm waiting to see what other people do with these beauties!






Jeans - J Brand
Top - Sabo Skirt
Shoes - Sportsgirl
Beanie - Forever21
Accessories - Ramond Weil (watch), Rayban (sunnies) Wanderlust + Co. & Forever21 (bracelets), ASOS (bag)


=D xx

Friday, 23 November 2012

Green Refectory, Brunswick

You may recall I blogged about my last trip to Melbs, and within that post I mentioned that we went to a place called Green's to have lunch one day. Well, it's actually called Green Refectory, affectionately known as Green's to those who frequent it regularly, and it's preeeettty popular on Urbanspoon i.e. the Melbs foodie community. Again, yet another place in Melbs I had NO idea was a famous institution. Makes me love the place even more seriously.

My high school friend lives in Brunswick so this place was a short 5 min drive away. Put simply, It's just a simple little cafe with awesome awesome food. I don't have many pictures but it's a pretty crowded and busy place, but like most cafes in Melbs it has a bit of character and charm to it. And Brunswick is just an awesome place, all hip and funky and just amazing. I wish I lived in Brunswick =(.

Now, being a cool ass cafe in Melbs, they obviously don't have a menu on a website to refer to, so I'm just gonna have to guess at what we got (since it was such a long time ago blergh)


A good ol' meat pie with tomato relish

I hear that Green's baked goods are to die for so this must have tasted good!


Mixed salad - Spiced Cauliflower, Grilled Squid and Chickpea Salad

I was feeling particularly healthy that day so I ordered from the salad display.....and THANK GOD I did because I think I had the BEST CAULIFLOWER I HAVE EVER HAD. HANDS DOWN. No joke, the spiced cauliflower salad tasted so good!! I couldn't stop eating it and I wish I could have figured out what was in it so I could recreate it! Ommmmmggggg who knew I would discover my fav cauliflower dish in a small hipster cafe in Melbs?! Well, it's Melbs so I shouldn't be surprised =P.

Pretty sure this was a salmon, cream cheese and grilled-vegetable-of-some-sort combination

SO going back here next week! I want that cauliflower salad! SO GOOD.


Green Refectory
115 Sydney Street
Brunswick VIC 3056
(03) 9387 1150

Green Refectory on Urbanspoon

Annnnddd just an FYI there is a discount shoe shop right next door to it where I picked up some major MAJOR bargains (LOTS of Tony Bianco goodies)!

=D xx

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas. Need I say more?


The only thing I can say about these is make sure you don't over roast them. Only sayin cos I did and they tasted a bit burnt =P (as you can see by the colour of them ahha). But follow the recipe right and you should be sweet, it's reaaaally really easy. They make for a great snack, they're much healthier than all those processed snack foods, and you can mix it up with the spices you use. I got the recipe off that blog I've been following - probs one of my new fav blogs! I swear I'm on it all the time, she has the best recipes! The only thing I changed with this recipe is that I doubled the amount of seasoning I used just because I wanted them really flavoursome - This change is reflected in the recipe posted below.


Roasted Chickpeas
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients
2 cups cooked chickpeas (if canned, drain and rinse)
1-2 tsp olive oil, or olive oil spray/mist
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
 
Method
1. Preheat oven to 220C (425F).
 
2. Place chickpeas on a paper towel and pay completely dry. Remove any loose skins.
 
3. Place on a baking sheet and mist with olive oil or oil of choice. Roll around to coat. Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice and toss well to coat. Make sure chickpeas are in a single layer.
 
4. Bake for 15 minutes, toss well and flip, then bake for about 15 minute. Let cool and eat!
 
Enjoy =D xx

Movember (Nails)!

Movember is almost over people!! 1 more week to go! Hope all those people growing mo's are pleased with their progress! And since I'm a woman and can't grow one (I'm not gonna say 'obviously' because you never know do you =P), I decided to do my nails with a moustache theme =D.

I really wanted to do that french manicure one where the moustache sits just on the border, but firstly my nails are really short atm, secondly my DIY frenchie was very messy (mainly due to point 1 =P) and secondly, when it came to putting the moustache design on I just couldn't get the positioning right. Frustration overload. So I gave up and switched to a black and white theme. I think they turned out preeeetty good!

Instagraaaaaaaaaam! @eesh_89

Unfortunately, my camera had a bit of an accident a couple of weekends ago so the lens motor in my most used lens is broken and in for repairs atm =(. So dodgey phone photos and Instagram photos will have to suffice.

For those not in the know, Movember is the "annual, month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other male cancer and associated charities"...according to Wikipedia =P.

So make sure you get donating people! Support your friends if they're gorwing a mo' or you can donate at the official Movember page!

=D xx

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Cumulus Inc., Melbourne

Usually, it's not often I go out for breakfast/brunch/lunch - First of all I'm so picky about what I eat in the morning It's just too much for my brain to go out for breakfast =P. And normally there's no one to go out with for lunch. When in Melbourne, I don't have this problem =P. I will GLADLY go out to eat every meal haha. There is just so much nommy food everywhere I always find something my picky appetite can't resist.


On our last day of our last trip there we headed over to Cumulus Inc. down foodie Flinders Lane for brunch/lunch before dragging ourselves kicking and screaming to the airport. I clearly haven't researched my Melbourne restaurants that well, but even this place I had no idea was a Melbourne foodie institute. For some reason for this past trip we had the best luck with restaurants - there wasn't a cue on this Sunday morning! We did have to wait about 10 minutes for breakfast service to be over but staff were very accommodating and offered us drinks while we waited.


I have to say I think Cumulus Inc. is in the top 5 of my dining experiences ever. I LOVED the menu! And I LOVED the concept of shared plates and how they are brought out according to what we have ordered, just so they compliment each other. Everything tasted amazing, I don't think there was a dish we didn't liked.

Complimentary Bread

Tuna Tartare with Crushed Green Pea Salad

This was a favourite among everyone. The pea salad went really well with the tuna - normally I would have issues with such huge chunks of raw fish (like those I had at District Dining) but this was really good.
 
Kitchen Charcuterie Selection - (From top left) Pork and Pistachio Terrine, Syrahmi Salami, Jamón Serrano, Kurobouta Proscuitto and Wagyu Bresaola with Fried Onion & Creamed Parmesan

This was so good! I love charcuterie, I just don't eat it that often because it's so fatty and because of all the nitrites (the dietitian in me is really shining through =P). I tried terrine for the first time (the 'block' shaped thing in the top left corner), and it was actually my fav thing on the plate haha. I never thought I would like this because I've seen it being made and it doesn't look very appetising =P. But seriously it was so good!

Sadly not on the menu anymore - Some sort of pickled onion dish with a really nice capsicum sauce (??)

Cassoulet of White Beans Braised with Salt Pork Belly, Smoked Blood Sausage & Roast Pork Strap

Probs my fav dish!
The pork was cooked really well, but what I really loved was the cassoulet with the blood sausage! After having blood sausage at Otto Ristorante last year I've sought it out on menus wherever I go, since it's not something I'd attempt to cook or eat at home =P. SO YUMMY!

Cracked Wheat & Freekeh Salad, Preserved Lemon, Barberries

Another favourite!
So simple yet so good! I actually found the recipe for this through Gourmet Magazine because we were desperate to recreate it....but it looks a bit more involved....not so simple as we thought hahaa.

Saffron Spiced Cauliflower, Golden Raisins, Pinenuts & Curd

The only thing I regret not ordering were the famous Madeleines! I considered it, but decided against it as we were heading to the Little Cupcake Bakery to pick up some goodies afterwards (and Brunettis for Macarons). Had I known how famous they were I would defs have gotten them....yea I'm superficial like that.

Fantastic food, good service and nice cafe style atmosphere. Even though the service area is pretty much in the middle of the restaurant, it's not too loud, but the smell of delish food wafting over while you wait is just cruel haha =P.

Cumulus Inc.
45 Flinders Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 1445
http://www.cumulusinc.com.au/

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Seriously writing all these foodie posts for Melbs is just getting me even more excited about going next week! =D xx
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