Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cupcakes cupcakes yum yum yum!

I believe cupcakes were made popular by Sex and the City (remember the scene where Carrie and Miranda each gobbled down a cupcake outside Magnolia Bakery?) Hence it comes as no surprise that these days the queue going into Magnolia Bakery snakes around the shop.

I've had my fair share of cupcakes in Melbourne- largely thanks to the boy who has always managed to surprise me with a box of goodies knowing I love them. Actually... I just love eating.

Here's what he got me today:

Cupcakes (mini) from the cupcake family:

This must be the funniest looking cupcake deco I've come across..just plonk a mini marshmallow on top! ETA: I just ate the one with the marshmallow on top- it's banana flavoured and the cupcake is soooo moist. Thumbs up from me (and to think I ate it with trepidation because come on, a banana flavoured cupcake?). I was pleasantly surprised..yumm!

I haven't eaten the cupcakes yet, so I don't know what they taste like.

These are cupcakes he got me from the Crabapple bakery- which has since closed shop :( These were by far the best cupcakes I've ever had in Melbourne! The icing was superb, just with the right hit of flavour and creaminess. Mmmm....

Just look at how smooth and creamy the icing looks.

So I finished them all by myself, and they were all normal sized 0_0

He also got me some from the Cupcake Bakery at Melbourne Central. I wouldn't recommend this place at all as the cupcakes were dry and the icing tasted like pure sugar.

I got this cute lil' red velvet (yummmmmmmmmmm!) one from Little Cupcakes on Degraves St. You seriously can't go past this place and not try the Red Velvet they have on offer.

Oraity, off to dinner and then to devour all my cupcakes omnomnomnom

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Oktoberfest in Sydney!

Situated at The Rocks, this German restaurant was packed to the brim- even on a Monday (perhaps due to the fact that it was Labour Day for Sydney)

Even though the festival is called Oktoberfest, it's actually celebrated from the middle of September to early October for 16 days.

3 crazy pseudo-German man performing and pumping up the dinner crowd.

And if it was your birthday, they deafened you with a personal serenade (I think it wasn't his birthday at all, his friends were just playing a prank on him haha)

It was literally just rows and rows of tables inside.
Met up with Steph and her friend Jeremy for a quick catch-up over yummy food.

Even though it was a Monday night and I had a full day's work the day after, how could I not try something from the huge variety of beers on offer? I opted for Mango beer. The beer was soooooo smooth and tasted (almost) like mango juice.

It'd be a sin not to try the pork belly and pork knuckle. YUMM-O!

Calamari with passionfruit sauce as our entree. Mmm talking about food is seriously making me hungry right now.

This was the awesome view from the lunchroom of the office I was working from. Too bad I couldn't go out to play :( Sucks travelling for work.

And this is the tiny room I was holed up in for a few days. The bed was so soft and comfy that I woke up every 2 hours on the first night FML.

I forgot where I took this pic from but I'm in awe everytime I look at it. So grand. Sydney's view trumps Melbourne's view anytime. But I still love Melbourne more!

And isn't that the cutest coffee cup in the world? <3

Looking forward to the weekend! Just spent heaps of money on Asos, can't wait for my package to arrive *impatientimpatientimpatient

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Takumi- Melbourne

A craving for a simple but delish Wagyu burger led us to Takumi (we didn't have the burger as it is only offered during lunch, however we settled for an equally sumptuous dinner after the boy read good reviews on The Age). 

32 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Trivia: Takumi means connoisseur in Japanese (taken from their menu)

Started off with a glass of plum wine on the rocks. Nothing special but yummy nevertheless.

Special dipping sauces (L-R): Citrus sauce for seafood, BBQ sauce (specially made in-house) for Wagyu beef cuts, and sesame oil with salt for vegetables and Ox tongue.

Underneath this is where all the magic happens.

Entree #1- Salmon carpaccio. This is so good it deserves two pictures! The salmon literally melts in your mouth. The sauce it comes with is the perfect accompaniment to this dish.

Entree #2- Takumi's special. Wagyu eye fillet with diced onion on top, and garnishing on the side. If I'm not mistaken I think the garnishing consisted of spring onions and fried shallots. We thought this dish was pretty ordinary.

Preparing the grille for the main dishes. Yum, can't wait!

We were given this piece of fat to rub on the grille prior to grilling the meat, seafood and vegetables. This was used in place of butter, perhaps to give it a bit more flavour?

Jo-tan (Premium Ox Tongue)- 70g. This dish was out of this world. I highly recommend you order this if you pay Takumi a visit (which you should!). According to our knowledgeable waitress that night, they serve wagyu beef cuts in two kinds. One kind is the normal wagyu beef cut (with less marbling) and the other kind- which they call 'premium', has more marbling. Obviously we opted for Premium cuts that night :D. Lightly salted and given a squeeze of lemon prior to grilling, this was the best ox tongue I've ever had...EVER.

Harami (tender meat)- 100g. Cut a bit thicker than the premium porterhouse, this tasted a bit more like your normal steak pieces.

Jo-Rosu (Premium porterhouse)- 100g. Thinly sliced and left to cook on the grille for a short time to ensure  it wasn't overcooked, this cut was juicy and you could taste the marbling on the beef which gave it that extra bit of tenderness and juiciness.

Mmmm, waiting for our food to cook.

Fresh salmon. Very fresh and juicy.

My abalone- which turned out very yum after a short stint on the grille.

Cooking the abalone with vegetables- capsicum, eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini and mushrooms. The eggplant, pumpkin and mushrooms were awesome. Such fresh, natural flavours.

Giving the grille a good rub with the fat.

My cooked abalone- ready to be devoured nom nom nom.

Bubbling mushies! I like cooking them this way round so you can actually drink the juice when you bite into them.

And of course, no Japanese meal is ever complete without the obligatory maccha (greentea) and azuki (red bean) ice-cream (too bad they didn't have black sesame ice-cream the day we went). We opted for the Japanese parfait to share- this came with two scoops of ice-cream of your choice and we picked the black sesame pudding to go into it as well. The parfait was a beautiful mixture of wafer, rockmelon, ice-cream, black sesame pudding and cornflakes.

To get your Wagyu beef fix, definitely head to Takumi. Prices are really reasonable as well, with the bill coming to $135 for two people.

Coming up later this month: The Press Club!

Takumi on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Issus- Centre Lane, Melbourne

Just got back from a morning of trawling the city for cafes that serve brekkie past noon. We'd wanted to try Langton's but unbeknownst to us, instead of stumbling upon a cafe- we were greeted by the sight of Cecconi's! Dayum.

So on we went to Cumulus Inc (just a few doors down) in hopes of washing down some eggs and toast with a glass of juice but once seated, we were given the lunch menu. Strike 2.

Maybe third time lucky then. We thought we'd try Benito but whilst walking to that part of the city we realised that most shops were closed, so what were the odds of Benito's being open? That's right, nil.

Feeling rather disappointed and tired by then (not to mention HUNGRY), we opted for Centre Lane where we knew the hustle and bustle of cafes and shops meant that surely we'd be able to get an all-day breakfast there.

So we settled on Issus as the menu out the front mentioned they served All-day breakfast. The crowd in the restaurant was encouraging as well.

Sure, the deco was pretty and the place it self was warm and cosy but service was terrible. We were seated pretty quickly and given menus almost straightaway but by the time they took our order I could have gone for a run around the block (and I don't run, so you could imagine how long that'd take).

Crushed strawberries- a mixture of OJ, blood orange juice and strawberries. Although the mix sounded yummy, the juice itself was a let down. Not too fussed though, as juices normally depend on the sweetness of the fruits used.

Issue Big Breakfast with Andrew's sausages. Looked yummy right? Tasted so mediocre. It was such a letdown because you normally can't go wrong with big breakfasts. The mushrooms were the only saving grace on this plate. The sourdough toasts were unbuttered, dry, hard and not very tasty. The eggs were average and the yolks weren't fully runny. The sausages tasted like something you could buy at the butchers' and cook yourself. The bacon tasted like something you could buy at Woolies and cook at home (and have them taste better!). The baked beans were supposedly homemade, but they lacked flavour and oomph.

Omelette with spinach. I can't remember what else was in there but this was average too.

Would I go back there again, perhaps to try other things? Maybe...but it'd take a lot of coercing and cajoling.