Melbourne

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Restaurant Review – Wonton House (Melbourne)

Published August 26, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening Bloggy friends, hope this email finds you all well. I’ve had a productive day, managed to wake up early in the morning and was told that we could buy a kettle since our previous one packed up and no longer working anymore. So, I decided to head down to the gym first get my exercise out of the way and then went to buy the kettle. The weather was starting to look promising you can even see a little bit of sunshine coming out. It’s great 🙂 but it only lasted for a few minutes. So got my kettle and had to walk down to our agency to show them a copy of the receipt. That’s another 1km walk and got home, I felt exhausted!!

Anyways, this particular restaurant is recommended by one of our friend, from the outside it seems quite a small place but you can see through the window that there’s quite a few Asians in there. You know it’s a good chinese restaurant when there’s lots of Asians eating there.

There is definitely a menu on the window – and wow it’s comprehensive, I briefly scan through and saw shanghanese dumplings and some noodles…let’s go in…

Inside the decor is quite nice, got some Authentic Chinese writings on the wall…

For drinks, Pandabear had the Hong Kong Style Milk Tea and I feel adventurous and decided to go for the cold Almond drink…Pandabear’s drink wasn’t too bad it wasn’t one to remember but mine was a little powdery so they must have used the Almond powder…

For lunch we decided to order stir fried beef with vegies flat white noodles for Pandabear and for me I felt like fried Kuey teow and we decided to have 4 shanghanese dumplings to share…now when the dishes arrived they were huge! My goodness, I was thinking to myself I don’t think I can finish this and would probably have to take away the left overs. The food waiting time was not too bad, the service was average, the food presentation was beautiful…you just want to dig in straight away…

Stir fried beef with vegies & white flat noodles

Stir fried beef with vegies & white flat noodles

Fried Kuey Teow

Fried Kuey Teow

Shanghanese Dumpling

Shanghanese Dumpling

Pandabear’s beef noodles looks fantastic and he said it tasted quite nice too, not oily and lots of meat and vegies too. My fried Kuey Teow looks fantastic too, I could even see the squid and prawns lots of ingredients and the noodles are not too chared, nicely flavoured. It was so yummy that we both end up finishing our noodles and we even fit the 4 shanghanese dumplings in. The dumplings weren’t too bad, not the best I’ve had but close enough…
the dishes are pretty affordable too..

Here’s my rating:

Dining Experience: 4 star
Food Experience: 4 star
Would I recommend it? Yes

Restaurant Review – Pacific House (Melbourne)

Published August 20, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, I have just finished cooking my pot of taiwanese beef noodle soup and made some yummy dumplings…post later, one of our friends is coming over for dinner. I’m nervous cos he’s into Chinese food and well to be honest Chinese cooking is not my strength, fortunately he asked for Taiwanese food which made it a little easier. So I will post the details later on when we have our dinner. So this particular restaurant was recommended by our friend, he was so nice enough to email a list of ‘makan’ places to go to and the restaurants you definitely need to try. They are mainly chinese restaurants cos he’s into chinese food. So here it is…

Pacific House, a small looking restaurant with your usual ducks, roast pork, bbq pork hanging by the windows. First impression, well the place is small and if you have a look at their walls – it’s full of colourful papers with their specialty dishes list out with price on them.

This place reminds me of Hong Kong BBQ in back home in Perth…so our friend did the honor of ordering for us, as he knows what this restaurant is good at. We had roast combination – roast pork, roast duck and bbq pork, violin tofu, soft shell crabs deep fried with egg yolk – I’m definitely looking forward to the soft shell crabs, I absolutely love them you can eat them without picking any bones out – it’s great for the lazy people heheheh.

roast pork & bbq pork

roast pork & bbq pork

roast duck

roast duck

Can I just say, the moment when the waiter brings the dishes of the roast – I was salivating…the presentation is great and it’s nicely sliced up in decent bite size – none of this huge slices messy looking dish sometimes you get from Chinese restaurants. The meats just melts in your mouth – they are so tender, juicy and nicely salted. Some roast I find at other Chinese restaurants are really salty they go overboard with seasoning and their meats well, sometimes you find more bones and fats than meats. Especially with ducks, I’m quite fussy with my ducks cos I’m a duck lover and can I tell you these juicy fat ducks are delicious! Better than Hong Kong BBQ back home 🙂

Then our violin tofu arrived it is served with green bok choy. The sauce just looks amazing and these fat looking, juicy tofu – so crispy you just want to dig in straight away. The tofu is still crispy on the outside and soft and tender in the inside and it’s well balanced with that delicious mushroom sauce and oh it goes so well with the bok choy.

violin tofu

violin tofu

and then finally, we have waited for this moment…our soft shell crabs deep fried with egg yolk…..it was delicious, the egg yolk goes so well with the soft shell crabs and it’s not too salty as well..it’s served with some deep fried basil and some crispy crunchy pieces…

soft shell crabs

soft shell crabs

wow the food is pretty amazing here and the food waiting time was fantastic, we got everything within 10-15 minutes from ordering – talk about speed here…and the waiters/waitress is pretty friendly – one waitress probably thought we could only speak English, so she said to another waiter in Cantonese “you better go to take the order from that table, I can’t handle English orderings..” it was hilarious and the waiter came to us and my friend started ordering all in Cantonese too!! I’ll definitely go there again to check out their other dishes…

Here’s my rating

Food Experience: 4.5 star
Dining Experience: 4.5 star
Would I recommend? Definitely!

Restaurant Review – Suji Sushi Japanese Restaurant (Melbourne)

Published August 19, 2010 by Mary Jane

Afternoon Bloggy friends, I know I actually blogged in the afternoon instead of night time..well, I’m so happy that my epic failure cake turned out to be a half decent cake so I can’t wait to blog this later on…Now, I had a rather productive day, cleaned the whole house, listened to some sermon and then decided to hobble my way through to QV to buy some Quilt cover for Pandabear, we’ve finally got 2 separate blankets yay 🙂 sorry forgot to mention that we don’t share our blankets, as I’m a roller I end up pulling the whole blankets to myself and Pandabear gets really cold and he doesn’t want to wake me up by pulling the blankets back…so that’s why it’s better we have separate blankets 🙂

Anyways, so I pop on my scarf and thick jacket and stared outside it’s actually a little sunny which is great and put on my little cushion band-aid for my feet it is still quite sore, no make up, no blow dry of my messy hair and stepped out! Wow, it’s so cool – back home in Perth I will have to make sure I put on my make up, brush my hair and get dressed. Life being a bum is actually quite liberating! So as I’ve mentioned about hundred times – I love Japanese food, so we came across this Suji Sushi place – day time it’s always packed with working people there so I told Pandabear we must try for dinner one night. So we didn’t book, we walked from our hotel to the Japanese place. When we arrived the person told us we have to order and pay at the counter and then take our seat. Which is fine, except when I asked for a copy of menu – he said sorry we don’t have menus, you just order from our sign board?? What?? A restaurant without menus!! How strange…anyways, we struggled to decide what we wanted – eventually I went with good old bento boxes…

I was also eying out for some sushis as well, but since the bento boxes came with sushi – I thought I’ll leave it as that. So I went with Teriyaki chicken & Teriyaki beef – wow you can have two different dishes in your bento and Pandabear went with seafood deluxe – superior bento – so he thought. The decor of the restaurant is not too bad, has the standard Japanese wooden tables and on the tables you have your chop sticks, sauces and some other cutlery. I overhead the waitress/waiters speak Chinese, and I was like oh no..this restaurant is probably own by Chinese. Nothing against Chinese but I know there’s alot of chinese people running Japanese restaurant and some of them make awesome Japanese food but some of them make Chinese mix with Japanese style food. Anyways, our bentos have arrived…

Teriyaki Beef & Chicken Bento box

Teriyaki Beef & Chicken Bento box

I decided instead of deep fried items, to opt for the fruit salad – that way I don’t feel guilty eating a large bento by myself at least there’s some healthy fruit salad with it 🙂 Now, the presentation is not bad – the taste is only ok. Teriyaki beef was average and teriyaki chicken – the sauce was really salty and alittle too thick for my liking. One more fault my rice was warm!! I like my rice steaming hot so that was a bit disappointing. However, the sushi were quite nice…

Here’s Pandabear’s bento box..

Seafood deluxe bento

Seafood deluxe bento

Now, the presentation of Pandabear’s bento box looked alittle messy, the noodles were everywhere. You can see two large prawns – but that’s pretty much the only “seafood” he has in his bento box. He stared at mine and said he should have ordered my bento box instead. So I shared my teriyaki chicken & beef with him…so the food was average. But look, the price is really cheap – so I guess you get what you paid for…I would probably recommend their sushis for lunch but for dinner…definitely not the bento boxes but just go with the sushi…I wonder why is it so popular during lunch hours – maybe cos it’s cheap and large servings…

Here’s my rating:

Dining experience: 3 star
Food experience: 3.5 star
Would I recommend it? probably not…maybe just go for the sushis…

Victoria Market here I come…

Published August 13, 2010 by Mary Jane

Well, today Pandabear has got a day off – so I was excited since it’s the day I could go to the markets and buy these fresh produce and I get to cart my bluey da trolley as well. I need someone like Pandabear to look after Bluey while I go crazy at looking at different produce. Anyways, Victoria Market is a huge market in Melbourne – they sell absolutely everything, and you will find there’s quite a few similar stores that sells exactly the same thing which kind of makes it hard for me. But this is my second time visit since I’ve moved to Melbourne and I’ve started to get the hang of noticing which fruit & vegie shops are my favourite.

In particular, I love this Asian fruit and vegie store – it’s an elderly man with a little beanie and they all speak Cantonese. What amazes me is they don’t use the till or calculators everything is by mental maths. I said to the guy wow – I’m impressed you guys could calculate this all on your head and the guy laughed and replied yeah my brain is my computer hahahaha. I proceed to search for my list of herbs that I need for my Jamie’s cook book challenge and there’s just so many herbs that I’ve never seen or used in my whole life. So I had to ask the guy each time um..do you sell Marjoram? Do you sell Tarragon? I just have to trust the guy is giving me the right stuff 🙂

Also, there’s lots of meat, cheese, seafood stores – honestly the whole streets worth of them – I couldn’t be bothered comparing with different stores, I came to this Jim’s deli place – it’s like they are Italian for some cheese and prosciutto and once again he surprised me with his mental maths skill. My last stop was at the seafood place, seems to run by the Vietnamese and the lady this time use her till to calculate the items and hand over the seafood to me without a plastic bag – she did say that sorry no plastic bag our store only recently started? Huh?? So I left my seafood on top hoping it wouldn’t soak through the rest of my herbs.

Anyways, I spent an hour buying fresh produce and things and before I know it my blue trolley was all filled up and it was time to head home. One of my wheels started to look a little lop sided, I hope this trolley will last for at least 6 months…

Here are some of the ingredients I bought – they are all very fresh indeed and huge in size compared to the ones you get from supermarket – I still believe buying items from markets is a cheaper option, but I think Pandabear disagrees with me as I tend to get just a little carried away with purchasing!!

mini beetroot

mini beetroot

Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

banana prawns

banana prawns

Blue swimmer crabs

Blue swimmer crabs

fetta cheese

fetta cheese

goats cheese

goats cheese

Mozzarela cheese

Mozzarela cheese

Almond flakes

Almond flakes

pistachio nuts

pistachio nuts

Okies, then I went crazy with buying all sorts of herbs…can you guess what some of these are??

So it was a productive day, but I ran out of time doing a Jamie’s cook book challenge – I’ll make it up tomorrow!

Food at Melbourne

Published February 6, 2010 by Mary Jane

Hello People, since we’re on the topic of restaurants in Melbourne – I decided to write about food at Melbourne. I’ve had the opportunity of traveling to Melbourne for my honeymoon. That was my first time to Melbourne and I love it. There’s literally food shops and restaurants everywhere and it’s open till late at night so if you are hungry for some late night supper, not to worry head down to China Town and there’s bound to be century eggs with pork porridge there waiting for you. It’s what I would call Aussie land of food hehehe… now for our honeymoon trip we decided to be spontaneous, just rock up to places and choose to dine at what ever. Oh yeah, besides from booking the Rockpool place we basically roam around and just dine anywhere that ranged from Food court up to the higher end of the market Rockpool.

The food is considerably cheaper in Melbourne compared to Perth. Especially at the food court, there’s so much variety that I find myself lost in deciding what to eat. Fortunately, I nailed it down to Japanese food – yes I love Sushi I could eat it everyday and not get sick of it. Pandabear had a large bowl of udon soup and you can also order some bubble tea along with it as well..bargain 🙂 We got around Melbourne Central with trams, I love trams they are so cool you don’t get them in Perth 😦 they basically are like little buses that runs on rails on the road kinda like mix between a little train and a bus – quite comfy too. A whole day pass would get you around Melbourne Central to all the popular places you want to go. I got really excited when I come across BreadTop, yes we don’t have it in Perth we only have a small bread shop that sells asian breads, nothing compared to Melbourne’s BreadTop – full of Asian breads reminds me of the bread shops in Taiwan 🙂 so we bought it for our snacks and brekkie – so yummy you just wanna go back and buy more.

Night time, head down to China Town there’s loads of restaurants there – it’s hard finding which one to dine, but I always make sure the ones that are filled with Asians, it must be good. So that’s generally how I go about choosing Chinese Restaurants. They even do the dumplings similar to Ding Tai Fung. Night time when you are after some great coffee – which I’m not really into, I’m more like a hot chocolate person. Coffee gives me the shakes and makes me so hyperactive that I can’t sleep 😦 The cafes in Melbourne are awesome, not only they do great drinks they also do great desserts and I’m sure to do a restaurant review on one of the cafes I dine in Melbourne that’s worth mentioning. Morning time, there’s lots of cafes that does brekkie – we decided to just dine in one of them. Reasonably priced and good service 🙂 what more can you ask for?

Now if you are in Melbourne don’t forget to check out the markets place. It’s got loads of cool gadgets, jeweleries, clothes, souvenirs and loads more. Sort of like our flea markets in Fremantle but a way bigger version of it. We even got this China man to draw a cartoon version of Pandabear and myself that was really cool. I could spend hours and hours checking things out at the markets. The produce is so fresh, I just felt like buying all the fresh ingredients and rush back to the hotel to whip up some meal. Unfortunately this was not possible, no kitchen in our hotel. But really, Melbourne is not all about the Food..the shopping is great over there. There’s DFOs which is similar to our Harbor Town in Perth but 10 times bigger. There’s streets which basically just sell clothes, lots of little boutique shops worth checking out. There’s just lots to do in Melbourne and you would never go bored 🙂

Taro Bread from Bread Top

Taro Bread from Bread Top

dumplings from China Town

dumplings from China Town

Seafood noodles from China Town

Seafood noodles from China Town

One of the cool cafes

One of the cool cafes

Market Food

Market Food

The portrait drawing place

The portrait drawing place

Restaurant Review – Rockpool Bar and Grill

Published February 6, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening People, it’s come to that time for my brain to start winding down. Wow it’s been a productive & busy day today. Start off in the morning doing the usual house chores, washing 3 loads of washing, made my irobot vacuum the floor, dish washing and finally waiting for my friend Miss A to pick me up to Burswood park for some birthday celebration with BBQ. Now I’m not very fond of BBQ, why? Cos I get sunburn easily, even if it’s not very sunny today and quite windy – I’ve decided to not put some suncream on and guess what happened? I got burnt, it’s now a little hot and sore on my chest 😦 that will teach me next time to be brave and not put some suncream on. After the BBQ, I went straight to a meeting which went for 2 hours so by the time I got home, I was tired but still managed to cooked some mushroom steak Pattie sandwich along with some health string beans.

Okies, it’s time for a restaurant review and I’m proud to do a review on this restaurant, I’ve been to this restaurant twice and I’m loving it. Rockpool Bar and Grill in Melbourne within the Crown Entertainment Complex owned by Neil Perry. My first impression of stepping into the restaurant is that the whole atmosphere is grand, classy with a touch of elegance. What caught my eyes were these bold cuts of meat dangling in those clean and sparkling glass case. It didnt’ put me off infact I was curious why the owner decided to dangle those cut of meats upon the entrance. We had to book in advance as this place gets booked out very quickly. The waiter set us down and handed us the menu – I realised it has a date on it with a picture of cow and me being me was very curious, I asked the waiter why there was a date on this menu and he said ‘ they change their menu everyday’. I was very pleased to hear this. Later on, upon deciding what to get from the menu the waiter brought out different cuts of meats wrapped around was white tea towel showing us the different cuts of meat – that was intriguing and a bold approach to show your customers the difference between a rib eye and T-Bone.

For entree we had the lobster linguine – it was delicious, I could have more of it if it wasn’t too expensive…now for mains since Rockpool Bar and Grill was famous for it’s steak, we both ended up ordering steak. Now people would say aint all steak done the same way – what’s so special about Rockpool and why would you pay so much for the steak. Well, let me tell you it isn’t just any steak – the waigu beef was fantastic it literally melts in your mouth and you could still taste the sauces in your mouth after you finished chewing. The sauces were delicious and it complimented well with the steak. I like my steak medium well done, now – I don’t like it rare but it needs to be cooked with no blood – I find some restaurants tend to over cook my steak. But Rockpool did a fantastic job with my rib eye – pink in the centre and NO BLOOD 🙂 I was very pleased with the mains. Came to dessert time, the waiter came back with a smile and asked whether we would like to have some dessert? Why not? Now we were feeling quite full from our mains and was thinking do we really want dessert?? The waiter came back after a few minutes and asked us what we would like for dessert we said we were quite full, the smart waiter said well there is this refreshing crushed strawberry rose ice dessert that we could both share. We were convinced by him, and decided to order the dessert. We were so glad we ordered it, when you see it, it’s just like normal shaved ice but when you taste it – it’s so cooling, refreshing, strawberries with rose water and ice – it was delicious 🙂 We were very satisfied and thanked the waiter for recommending it.

My overall rating…

Dining Experience: 4.5 star
Food Experience: 4.5 star
Would I recommend: Absolutely a YES

This restaurant is best suited for couples, as the whole ambiance of the restaurant is romantic and classy. The kitchen is an open kitchen so you could see what’s going on in the kitchen at all time. That’s the fascinating part, the chefs are working hard to produce excellent dishes and they are constantly under the customers eyes. However, the price range is a little on the higher end – but it’s definitely worth trying..I may consider going back for 3rd time when I move to Melbourne…btw, before I left I asked the waiter if I could keep a copy of the menu – he said why not? He even rolled it up so I don’t crease it, what a friendly well trained waiter. The service is excellent and that’s what dining is all about – food and service 🙂

The Cow Menu

The Cow Menu

Lobster Linguine

Lobster Linguine

Waigu Beef

Waigu Beef

Strawberry crushed ice with rose water

Strawberry crushed ice with rose water