Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I could so..

...fall asleep right now! In fact, I've felt like falling asleep every 2 minutes today this week. I guess now I know what it really feels like to be a walking zombie. So tired from having to wake up on time (like normal people do everyday), and not being able to sleep at night. :\

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cafe Sweethearts - South Melbourne

Cafe Sweethearts is my failsafe choice for a satisfying breakfast. This place has certainly gotten more popular over the years, up to the point where it's better to make a reservation so that you're guaranteed a table, and this is something that I don't really like. I mean, how often do you call ahead to make a booking for breakfast? When I go to sleep the night before, I don't even know if I'll be heading out the next day, or spending all day at home watching shows on my computer hibernating under the doona.

But I guess they've got to do what they've got to do to control the crowd that keeps pouring in through their double doors. Hmm, make that revolving doors, since there's always people coming and going har har. You can always take a chance and rock up without a reservation, but be prepared to wait or be turned away if they are REALLY busy and can't accommodate you. Their Eggs Benedict section of the menu is extensive and they have many variants...maybe a gazillion, ok I lie but it sure looked like that many. 
I had the Eggs Atlantic (?)- toasted english muffins with smoked salmon and delicious hollandaise sauce, topped with fresh dill. Mmm, the sauce is perfect and the eggs are beautifully poached.

Bf opted for Eggs Benedict with mushrooms- can't go wrong there!

The previous time we went (oh, maybe over a year ago now) we shared a blueberry pancake between the 2 of us and it was just divine. I highly recommend it since the pancake is packed full of juicy blueberries. They also do a proper chai latte (with the spices and tea- not the syrup rubbish) so if you like your chai like I like mine, give it go... you won't regret it ;)

Quick post this time around- I am officially joining the working world once again come tomorrow! 

Café Sweethearts on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Let me tell you a (semi-sad) story...

Today I went into Myer and saw the pair of sunnies I'd been wanting to get since FOREVER. Not wanting to miss out on them, I got them even though I wasn't 100% sure about how they sat on my face.
After coming home and trying them on again and again and again (and wishing I could somehow go for a quick nose job), I have decided to return them :(

Bye-bye Chanel 5171s, you were good for the short period of time you lasted in my possession.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The red soles got to me...

After spending the last couple of days watching episode after episode of the Rachel Zoe Project, with its beautiful haute couture dresses, unattainable shoes, jewels costing millions of millions of dollars, I clicked 'BUY' on a pair of knee-high black leather Christian Louboutin boots. It was the red soles I tell you, I was hypnotised and all common sense picked that very moment to go flying out the window. Nevermind I already have a pair of similar knee-high high heel boots that I only wore once or twice during winter. I will not even begin to think about the money I have spent, my only consolation is that, 'they were on sale' and 'the AUD is doing really well against the British Pound' so it was really... affordable? :D

Now I can't wait to get my hands on them and try them on. Hurry up DHL!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More more more!

I woke up early today and got myself more Macarons by Duncan. Yum!
This time around he made a couple of new flavours:
- pistachio ganache, toasted coconut shell with pandan ganache, rose-lemon buttercream, violet + aniseed.

I just had the violet + aniseed  and it reminded me so much of the violet ice-cream I had at Cutler & Co. I never knew violet tasted so highly 'perfumed'! I enjoyed it though, and was surprised the aniseed was really, really subtle.

Monday, September 20, 2010

As we age..

Maybe it's true what they say. That as we age, things start changing....I, for one, have come to realise that drinking anything with even the tiniest amount of caffeine (yes, green tea I'm looking at you) makes me stay up past midnight.

Sleep eludes me once again when I so yearn for it. I have an early day tomorrow! :(

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cutler & Co- Fitzroy

I finally had the opportunity to dine at Cutler & Co, having been wanting to go for couple of months  after hearing rave reviews from friends. It's a 2-hat restaurant that has been bestowed the title of Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year 2011- so obviously I had high expectations. Apologies for the pictures as I only took my digicam with me, so on its highest ISO setting (400) the pictures turned out a little grainy and blur. 
It's very nicely decorated inside- in fact, I think it has one of the most beautiful decor of all the restaurants I've ever been to, from the exposed brick walls to the jellyfish and glass lighting hanging from the ceiling. 

I chose to start with the Spanner crab, abalone and sweet corn soup. I really liked the abalone pieces and random ginger bits in the soup, but overall this was a let down. I would have much preferred a seafood clam chowder over this anyday.

The boy ordered the Mandarin duck- crisp leg, smoked fillet, boudin noir and lentils as his entree- this was absolutely delicious. The duck was tender, juicy and flavoursome. This dish came with boudin noir which is blood sausage and I tend not to eat that so much, but he said it went very well with the duck.

He followed his entree with the Roast Suckling pig, XO spring onion, garlic and parsley root. We both really didn't like this. It was very Asian inspired but it would have been done ten times better at a Chinese restaurant.

I had the Potato Gnocchi roasted with Tallegio (above), cauliflower and fennel salad (both pictured below). The potato gnocchi was out of this world. It was coated with what I suspect is crispy breadcrumbs (?) and there was literally a party in my mouth when I took bites of the gnocchi with tallegio cheese. Mmmm. The cauliflower with shallots (below, on the left) was quite ordinary and tasted like something you could takeaway from an Indian restaurant with curry and the works. The fennel salad (below, on the right) with peas and mint was so refreshing and tasted unbelievable when eaten together with the gnocchi. 

And then time came for dessert...!
We both shared the Violet ice-cream, chocolate ganache and sour cherry. The violet ice-cream provided  a great hit of floral flavour and almost felt like a palette was really nice. Everything else on the plate was a miss. It was nicely plated on 2 separate plates when we told them we would be sharing dessert, so that was really nice of them. 

Overall, I didn't quite enjoy the food as much as I thought I would as it was a bit hit and miss. Would I go back again? Maybe, to try the Cured Kingfish one day...

Cutler & Co on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Macarons by Duncan

I am not a morning person.

Even if I slept at 11pm the night before, the earliest I'd wake up AND not be a cranky little thing is 9am or later. It takes me a good half hour of rolling around in bed before I finally feel ready to get out of bed.

But sometimes you have to make sacrifices.

Today I woke up to my alarm ringing at 7am. I had made plans that would take me to Southgate Avenue. Finished whatever I was meant to do by 9.07am (still early) so I decided to head to the city to try my luck at Liaison cafe- to try and find the ever elusive Macarons by Duncan. Why not? The day was still young and I had nothing else planned.

I had previously been to the cafe two weeks ago at 10.30 am, only to be told the macarons were 'sold out'. I was on time! How can that be? Apparently they lasted less than 10 minutes. Nevermind, I thought to myself, I can always try again.

I arrived at 9.30am this time around and enquired about getting some macarons (that's right people, macarons not macaroons. Unless you want some coconutty confection, get it right). Was told they go on sale at 10am. So I went to the nearby park and sat down, enjoying myself while people in suits rushed to and fro all around me.

At 10am I headed back to the cafe, this time only to be told the macarons go on sale in 10 mins. Argh.

I returned at 10.10am and finally got my hands on 4 lovely, petite macarons- each delicately branded with a colourful dot. There was a limit of 4 macarons per customer, so I bought 3 salted caramel and 1 fresh ginger and dark chocolate.
I've only tasted the salted caramel one so far and I have to say, even though the caramel was deliciously sweet & salty and left me wanting more, it was slightly bitter. The shell was smooth (beautiful to look at), light and crisp- it melted in your mouth, but was slightly chewy. However, they do taste better than most of the other macarons I've had...but I still love the macarons by Adriano Zumbo. I can't wait for him to open a place in Melbourne!

Looking forward to trying the fresh ginger & dark chocolate after dinner tonight :)

ETA: Ok, so I tried the fresh ginger & dark chocolate macaron today and absolutely loved it. The dark chocolate was rich and creamy, the fresh ginger shell was delicately crumbly on the outside and lovely on the inside when the soft almond meringue combined beautifully with the filling and just melted in your mouth. It was a small macaron, but it sure packed a punch with a flavour hit in all the right places. Now I know why people queue out the door just for a taste of his creations. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Domestic Goddess

I've recently gone from working full-time (and more) to sewing buttons onto the bf's shirts and ironing his work shirts. Hmm. Something's not right here!

I've also been cooking much more lately...I made Hainanese Chicken Rice, Bak Kut Teh and Butter Chicken  (with some help from our instant friends, of course :D ) and been baking muffins. I made a batch of yummy raspberry and white chocolate muffins the other day, only to realise when I was mixing in the pack of frozen fruits that I bought blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. Clearly, I left out the crucial ingredient and happily left the supermarket thinking I'd bought everything I needed. So today was round 2! I made a new batch of raspberry and dark chocolate muffins this time, with a little bit of leftover white chocolate from the other day's baking efforts.

Mmmm....gooey chocolate in the middle.

Hmmph. The bf just came into my room, stole a peek at my computer screen and said, 'Soooooo you did a bit of work and want to show off?' He's just gone off to bed, gone to play Doodle Jump -_- ..Ok, now he's finished and he's mimicking me writing this post ,'I sew, I bake, I cook...hrmm what else..' Grr....if you're reading this now hun, iron your own shirts from now on :P and I think Hungry Jacks does a mean takeaway so you're all sorted for dinner. Hee hee. *smug smile

I've made a reservation at Cutler & Co  this Sunday and I can't wait! It was awarded 2 hats by the Age Good Food Guide 2011 so I expect a good dining experience. Watch this space.

Off to bed now, it's a Monday tomorrow. Sucks being Monday huh? Everyone just hates you. Gnites!

Monday, September 6, 2010


I believe there's a beige Chanel Jumbo with silver h/w calling my name right now. If only she wasn't the most affordable halfway around the world....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Der Raum- Richmond

Having talked about this place for over a year and after multiple failed attempts to visit- I believe 2 summers and 2 winters have come and gone since someone came up with the suggestion to go, we finally made an impromptu trip to Der Raum in Richmond. Impromptu it was (hence I didn't have a proper camera with me) but hell, it was worthwhile. Their cocktails are unique and out of this world; they use premium spirits and fresh pressed juices (my fave!) instead of your usual cordials, artificial juices and syrups. It's no wonder they were voted the 3rd Best Bar in the World in 2009 by Worlds Best Bars. 
Just look at the massive selection of alcohol they have hanging from the ceiling.

We were perusing the menu at the bar and the kind bartender served us an Amuse Bouche each whilst we decided on our drinks. Literally translated as 'Amusing the Mouth' (pardon my French)- I believe it was a mixture of Rooibos tea, liquid nitrogen and some sort of alcohol. 

The best place in a restaurant is when you have a bird's eye view of the kitchen, and likewise with a bar- the best view in the house is when you can see the bartenders mixing cocktails for the night. We started off with the Toreador (Nitro Sorbet)- a mixture of tequila, pressed lime, apricot liqueur and agave nectar
Transforming the mixture into sorbet- so cool!

The end result- it was so delicious and smooth; it's perfect melt-in-your-mouth tequila sorbet. Where else can you get a cocktail in the form of a sorbet? I dislike tequila on its own (bad memories of one too many nasty tequila shots), so it's really saying something when I say I really enjoyed the drink above.

I could not only have one drink so I ordered the Sugar Cane Swizzle to kick on the night. This is a combo of pandan and chilli infused rum, cinnamon, pressed lime, aromatic bitters and a hand-cut sugar cane swizzle stick. I believe I have FOUND MY FAVOURITE DRINK. Cocktails will never taste the same again for me, ever! I can't go back to rubbish spirits and plain cordials now can I? :(
The chilli lingers on your lips and the back of your throat- very nice, if you like things spicy, and the pandan provides a beautiful fragrant aftertaste. The sugar cane makes a nice take away palatte cleanser and brings back childhood memories of chewing on raw sugar cane sticks. Once again, I hate rum (just like how I don't like tequila), but this drink just blew me away.

I'll be back for sure, there's too many creative cocktails on the menu to taste test ;)

Der Raum on Urbanspoon