Month: June 2013

Kumo Izakaya & Sake Bar – Brunswick East

Kumo Izakaya is a cool, trendy, hip and flamboyant new dining place in Melbourne.  Designed with Art Deco in mind, it is the place to chill out after work for dinner and drinks.  It is located away from the busy part of Lygon Street which makes finding a car park easier.  The interior is va-va-voom with a long communal table at the centre that can sit up to 20 people and fancy seating booths by the side. The bar houses great selection of Japanese imported sake and beer as well as local spirits.  For those who prefer quieter environment, there is a dining area upstairs. The voucher came with 10 course meal accompany by choice of beer or sake.  It’s definitely an excellent way to sample their dishes and I’m really looking forward to it.  Out menu is similar to Omakase set (priced between $47 – $70).  For drinks, I went for imported japanese beer from Okinawa – Orion.  It’s very light and easy to drink.   The edamame goes really well with the ice …

Gyoza Douraku – Melbourne CBD

I am a gyoza lover, period!  Have been and always will be.  I have even learnt how to make the perfect gyoza which my family enjoys very much.  It’s an easy go-to meal when you need a quick lunch or simple dinner.   Because of this, my expectation for the perfect gyoza needs to be pan-fried to perfection, lightly browned both sides, crisp light skin with juicy bite-size filling.  So, when I saw Gyoza Douraku, a Japanese gyoza bar situated on the upper side of busy Bourke Street, I told myself that I must visit this restaurant. The restaurant with Isakayz style bar offers a wide range (and interesting ingredient) of home-made gyoza (japanese dumpling) and tasty small plates “Izakaya” style.  The bar also has a great selection of Japanese sake and beer to accompany the eats.  Gyoza Douraku make their gyoza fresh daily which hopefully can satisfy my taste bud. The small seating area (for small group) is rustic with multi colored panel tables and brick walls.   However, I have to say that …

U-Village – St Kilda

I had previously dined at U-Village a few months ago using a voucher and i really liked their food.  So, when the chance came again, I snagged a voucher and made a second visit to this restaurant situated in the heart of St Kilda. U-Village pride themselves as a modern Asian Fusion restaurant that was first established in Malaysia since 2003.  Their communal dining style with modern design couple with a long bar that presents a wide array of unique cocktails, beer, wine and spirits.  As experienced during my first visit there, the service was very attentive.   To start with, I ordered a glass of Lychee lemonade to refresh myself before the entrees and mains arrive. Lychee lemonade $6 The menu was pre-selected but we were glad that they did not leave out their signature mains and that is truly awesome!  The entrees arrived together in tapas style plates which is presented beautifully.  The first entree that I tasted was a deconstructed Duck san choy bao with pomegranate pine nuts and sweet soy sauce. …

Chez Dre – South Melbourne

Bonjour. Our craving for sweets brought us away from the busy CBD to quaint South Melbourne. Through the old-fashioned red cobbled lane way, passing by some nice potted red-pink flowers and finally to a blue door, we came to  Chez Dre’s entrance.  From the outside, the place seems like a huge empty warehouse converted to a big big wicked sweet factory that has everything going on in there.  When I first stepped through the door, the place was packed with Saturday morning after-grocery-shopping hungry diners and eager patrons who wouldn’t mind the 30 minutes wait for a table. Owner Andrea Reiss (or Dre), a renowned pastry chef who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in France,  certainly has brought her Parisian charm to Melbourne. Chez Dre is well known for their French pastries particularly their petits gateaux and macaron.  Melbournians flock to this establishment for its all day dining or the sweet pleasures to take away. The open kitchen, its open courtyard with small round tables and communal seating adds to the charm of this restaurant. …

Cumulus Inc. – Melbourne CBD

The name has been in every Melbournian city dwellers’ food guide as THE place for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  My potential visit to 4-time Chef Hatted Cumulus Inc. was totally unplanned and while I was walking up Flinders Lane, my knees had gone weak the moment I saw Cumulus. Tucked in a neat corner of the bulding, the entrance called out to me.  I was not surprise to find the place fiercely crowded with Melbournians getting a little warmed up with hot coffee and breakfast on a cold Sunday morning!  Having came here without a booking means we will need to wait for a table but the nice gentleman who greeted asked me for my name and told me to wait about 10 to 15 minutes. Dining room is airy with hungry diners eating and chatting away.  The open kitchen and the bar at the opposite end lends a charming share of high table seating where you can see the staffs at work.  Once we were seated (yup! after waiting for 10 to 15 minutes …

Burmese House – Richmond

A week of rain and gloom has kept me in the house far too long.  So, when the weekend arrives with sunny skies, this is enough for me to put on my winter warmers and head out looking for just the right kind of meal to warm the heart… Feeling a tad adventurous today, we decided to put our taste buds to test.  Thanks to its bright big quirky orange teapot signage, Burmese House got our attention.  Perhaps it is also interesting that Burmese food has been vastly influenced by Thai, Indian, Laos and Chinese that got us really excited. The interior looks almost “homely” with its rustic walls and bluish purple doorways and its open kitchen area next to the dining that gives you that “ever-familiar” sound of stir-fries.  The menu has an extensive list of dishes to choose from but we can see that their specialty is in the curries. First entree served was Marrow (long melon) dipped in light batter that is quickly deep fried producing a very easy-to-eat starter.  The melon …

PappaRich – Chadstone & QV

PappaRich – the name synonymous with authentic Malaysian delights is finally here in Melbourne!  Any Malaysians will be oh-so-familiar with PappaRich, with over 70 outlets in Malaysia and having opened 5 outlets in  Melbourne and 1 outlet in Sydney recently – we are expecting more good news to come. We headed to Chady for 11am brunch.  PappaRich is normally packed by 12pm and in this winter weather, sitting at the terrace outside will be the last thing we want.  The menu is very extensive – stretching from the very Malaysian one-plate rice and noodle meals to simple snacks to bread and Malaysian desserts.   Even the order chit looks the same as Malaysia’s.  How familiar is that 🙂 Of course, being a Malaysian and away from home far too long, I wanted to eat everything in the menu.   But since we only have 3 mouths, we can only order that much food.  This gives me a reason to come back here again 🙂 The drinks list is long…but we already know what we wanted. …

Shark Fin Inn – Melbourne CBD

What better way to start your Sunday brunch on a cold day with  yum cha in CBD. Located at the “quiet” side of upper China town in CBD Melbourne – the original Shark Fin Restaurant has been standing strong for over 30 years! The quality of food and service has not disappoint us.  There are two time slots available for weekend yum cha – 11am or 1.30pm.  The policy is simple – no reservation, no yum cha.  When you dine here, they also give you parking discount card which saves you parking, knowing how expensive it is to park in CBD – how nice! My friend used to tell me that if you want to yum cha, always bring 2 more friends with you because dim sum plates come in 3’s – that way, everyone has equal share of everything.  Have you ever wonder why 3 and not 4 ? Yum cha will not be complete without siumai (pork and prawn dumpling) of course.  We were not disappointed – the siumai is huge with chunky prawn – …

Downstairs Bistro & Lounge – Southbank

A hidden gem located behind Southbank – Melbourne’s busiest dining and entertainment hub. Downstairs offers a relaxed drinks to dining atmosphere with simple elegance.  The space is complemented with a fine lounge area (it has a warm fireplace too!), a nice long bar, spacious dining room extending to outside terraces. The menu is simple – with choices for entree and “larger plates”.  There are also pizza and pasta for the easy breezy diners.  I was immediately attracted to the scallops – I love scallops!  When seared perfectly, scallops keep its wonderful flavors and with one bite – the flavors burst right into your mouth…And that’s what this dish delivers!  The cauliflower puree adds texture to the dish. Love it! My hubby decided to go for the pork belly.  We love pork belly – “the kind that melts in your mouth” pork belly.  This was cooked to perfection – crispy on the outside and juicy inside.  I can not get over how good this plate tasted. For mains, hubby went for duck breast.  The plating looks …