Thursday, March 3, 2011

Attica - Ripponlea

There were only 4 Australian restaurants that made it onto San Pellogrino World's Best Restaurants list last year and having had the honour of dining at Quay (ranked #27 in the world and the highest ranked restaurant amongst the 4 Australian restaurants) last year, the boy was keen to visit Attica (ranked #73). Me, however, not so keen. The idea of another degustation menu, long waits in between....just threw me off.

But am I glad I went!
On weekends they only offer the 8-course degustation so that's what we had.
Butter and smoked olive oil with black rock salt.
He was delegated the *cough* tough *cough* choice of choosing the wine
Meanwhile I was delegated the even tougher task of having to eat the bread. O woe is me.
Sashimi of prawns (complimentary appetiser). Yum. So fresh and refreshing. It truly whet my appetite for the next few courses. 
The science lab for molecular gastronomists!
Molecular magic!
Tada! Snowcrab with horseradish powder, roe, puffed rice, pomelo (I think!) and many other ingredients I'm sure. This dish set the bar very high- this was such a textural tease! Every spoonful tasted different because of the different flavours and textures embedded in the clever play of ingredients. 
Marron tail with leek, egg yolk, garlic. The freshest seafood I've tasted in a while. I didn't think it'd work with the egg yolk, but the pairing was beautiful.
' a simple dish of potato cooked in the earth it was grown' I was very keen to try this dish, but unfortunately it just reminded me of a very well cooked potato. It probably didn't help that when I was younger and still in primary school my mom would always pack boiled potatoes for my lunches haha. I didn't exactly like the goats cheese cream it was sitting on either.
Bass grouper, shitake, quinoa and raw brocollini flowers in dashi broth with slivers of radish. I enjoyed everything but the fish (but that's because I don't like cooked fish that much....I reckon it's boring :x .. unless it's salmon or cod- then we're talking! )
Pork tail, black pudding, pickled onion sauce, beetroot watermelon, dune spinach and flowers! Delicious- the pork tail was made to resemble something like deep-fried taro (always seen at yum cha) but still kept it's lovely, flavoursome taste. And beetroot infused watermelon? Who would've thought! I ate all the flowers on my plate too haha
I think somewhere in between this and the previous dish I was starting to feel stuffed to the brim with food. This was beef cooked 3 ways- Wagyu beef (very good), smoked ox tongue (so tender, and literally melts in your mouth), cured beef with tomatoes
I needed a hot glass of water with lemon to digest all that goodness I had just consumed. What's quirky about this glass is that it's tempered so even though the water was BOILING, we couldn't feel it on the outside. Kinda tricky, if you ask me....imagine if I'd been impatient and gulped everything down yikes. But that's ok, it came with a warning from the waitress to be careful so I was saved that night haha
honeydew, peach sorbet and blackberries. A great way to finish the meal- this felt like a palatte cleanser.
Strawberries, brown sugar, cream. Imagine this dish without the cream. Now imagine one of the chefs coming over to your table to introduce this dish, and to also pour the sour cream over the strawberries. Cos that's what happened! How often do you get chefs coming out of the kitchen during meal prep time? If I wasn't full to the point of bursting I would've eaten everything...but sadly I could only manage 3 or 4 so the rest went onto the boy's plate :D
We thought the strawberries were the end of the meal, but we were presented with two salted caramel filled white chocolate eggs with brown chocolate speckles. How pretty!

I was very impressed with Attica- almost all the dishes were amazing. Would I go again? Definitely...but I'd opt for the 5-course menu instead of the 8 so that I can enjoy the food better :) Oh, and I have to tell myself not to wear such a tight dress the next time so all the food can go down!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Andrew's Hamburgers

.....words aren't required for something as succulent and juicy as a burger with the lot- thick beef patty, tomato, onions, lettuce, egg, bacon and gooey cheese- i'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Andrew's Hamburgers has been around for decades and constantly ranks high on hamburger-aficionados' lists so head on down quick and taste for yourself....

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cafe Rosamond - Fitzroy

An article in last week's Epicure caught my eye- it was a story about Cafe Rosamond and how Thursday evenings are special. Special because it wasn't like any other evening, or any other weekend. No, Thursdays are their dessert-only evenings! :) Dessert maestro Pierre Roelofs creates a new menu each week so no two weeks are the same. This is dangerous, because it means I have something to look forward to each week, only that it really isn't that practical (or healthy!) for me to be ingesting so many sweet dishes in such a short span of time. 

It's a cosy little cafe situated just off Smith Street. I was puzzled whist walking along Smith Street because I couldn't locate a 191 anywhere- when on a whim I just looked into the laneway between two blocks and there it was- Cafe Rosamond nicely tucked into the side of the building. Having heard that the place didn't take bookings I thought it would be a good idea to arrive at around 7.30-8pm (I'd had an early dinner with the boy) and not have to wait too long to be seated. I was wrong, there was already a waiting list and we only got a table around 9pm. Maybe I just picked a wrong week to go, I mean, the place was just featured in Epicure two days ago! Good thing was that once you left your name on the list, you're free to go do whatever to kill time and the lovely staff keep you in mind by calling you to let you know how long more you have to wait. 

You have a choice of a one, two or three-course degustation ($20, $30 and $40), and the boy and I picked the three-course degustation to share.
#7 in the series- salted chocolate fudge pudding. I regret not buying a packet, oh well, maybe next time when it's closer to winter. I can imagine whipping this up as a comforting snack when the weather turns colder. 
Test tube ($9 each)- filled with raspberry jelly and custard. Fun, but taste-wise it was nothing special. I couldn't even get it all out at once haha.
Look how pretty it looks. Caramelised peach, blackberry and tea. I couldn't remember what the rest of the ingredients were. There were also a couple of pieces of something that resembled cake, and something else that tasted like cream cheese. I didn't think this was too special, having had better desserts elsewhere.
This, however, I absolutely loved! I have to warn you though that this is an acquired taste. You need to like (on their own) rose, turkish delight and musk sticks to be able to enjoy this. The boy didn't like this very much, which suited me just fine because it meant I could have everything to myself! Hee. I believe the ingredients included a delightfully refreshing grapefuit sorbet, lychee (maybe?), rose-flavoured ice-cream, turkish delight and musk pieces. 
Grape, olive oil, walnuts....this reminds me a lot of carrot cake as it also has some cream cheese-like ingredient. Not a fan, unfortunately. 

Overall, I was a little disappointed with the night's menu because I expected greater things or had higher expectations, or maybe the courses served weren't suited to my tastebuds as I like to be a bit more adventurous. Having said that, knowing that the menu changes every week is enough to tempt me to give it a second chance. 
Café Rosamond on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 27, 2011


*yawn* quick post before heading to bed with a book. Let's play a guessing game.

I was in Forever New with the boy (believe it or not the bf is my unofficial fashion stylist lol. He approves or rejects what I wear, and I do ask for his opinion a lot) trawling through clothes when we chanced upon a skirt with a floral print and a bow tied around the waistband. He looked at me and said, 'This looks like something xx would wear.' I was surprised, I know I shouldn't be but I always am when he takes notice to what someone wears.

Sitting next to it was a white cardi with flowers on the neckline. Again he said, 'This looks like what  xx would wear too!'

Then we put the cardi on the skirt and said, 'This is the total outfit she would put together and wear!' Oh snap, we were totally thinking the same thing at the same time hehe. 

Can you guess who it is? She's a character from a TV show....

It's Rose from Two and a Half Men!!! :D

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cornershop - Yarraville

Happy Australia Day!

Who doesn't love mid-week public holidays? It's been a busy few weeks for me at work, with more busy weeks to come, so a break in the work week sure was welcomed with wide open arms. 

Instead of heading into the city or frequenting our usual suburbs, the boy decided to head out to Yarraville for brunch at the Cornershop. I always forget how suburbs look like outside of the CBD. As you head further out of the city the apartment buildings disappear, slowly replaced with level crossings, old single storey or two storey buildings, milk bars, the local cinema where families gather, family-run establishments....

It was packed when we arrived, however the wait for a table wasn't that long. I had my usual soy chai and it was served in a giant teapot (only half-pot though, phew). 
 Pro: Endless supply of chai; brewed with real chai spices, served with a pot of honey!
Con: Watered down :( I guess that's what you get when the pot's a lil too big.

Spanish baked beans with paprika and chorizo-  the one we had at Capital Kitchen was yummier.
Eggplant Kasundi Relish with Feta and Parsley- I had this and it was good. The eggplant was spicy (with spice, not chilli) and sweet, I can't quite pick what spices were used but they were familiar. The feta provided the savoury aspect this dish needed and the parsley I couldn't really taste- let's just assume it was there to look pretty lol. Once again I seem to have ordered food that comes in a skillet so that means you need toasted + buttered sourdough bread to mop it clean! Mmmm...

The Cornershop on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 24, 2011


After drinking a whole jug of Prussian Iced Tea at Madame Brussels I wanted to EAT. So it was decided by the chief executive decision maker (me!) that our next stop was to be Luxbite in South Yarra. We actually walked past this place when we visited Cafe Gaia for my birthday brunch as we'd parked somewhere on Toorak Rd that day. It was packed to the brim on a weekday but we thought it was just another cafe hence we paid it no heed then.

What clinched the deal for me was the fact that they had macarons. If you've been reading me for a while you'd know I could live on macarons alone if I had to. They have a huge array of unique flavours (amongst the more normal flavours like strawberry etc) and being one who never really orders the same thing twice I just had to try everything that sounded weirdly wonderful. 

The decor was beautiful- all white and French (am I right?). It transported me to another world, one that was serene and relaxing, one where time stood still and traffic jams never existed.
Even the water jug had flowers on it. 
The lovely St Honore cake with rose, lychee and raspberries. How pretty does this look? The icing had a delicate, perfumed rose flavour which paired so well with the tartness of the raspberries. The pastry on the other hand could have been a little bit more flaky, I felt as though it wasn't as fresh as it should've been. I still devoured every last piece of this in the end- I'd never come across such a strong yet subtle rose flavour before this. It was beautiful.
Let's get down to business, people.
Last picture from top to bottom:
<3 Pina Colada- I couldn't taste anything that resembled pina colada in this one
<3 Blueberry- Nice blueberry flavour, not one of my faves
<3 Watermelon Yoghurt- Unique flavour for a macaron, oddly was quite nice, in an artificial flavour kind of way. Props to Luxbite for decorating this with black sesame seeds to replicate watermelon seeds.
<3 Peanut butter and jelly- One of my favourites, this is one YOU HAVE TO TRY. So good. SO GOOD.
<3 Kaffir Lime- when I was younger my grandma used to have a kaffir lime leave plant in her house and whenever I wanted my hands to smell nice she'd ask me to get a leave and rub it in my hands. The smell is divine, and is perfectly recreated in this macaron. It brings back memories of when I was small and used to frequent my grandmother's house.
<3 Kaya Toast- first bite tells me it really does taste like kaya. A few more bites reveals a small chunk of butter in the middle! What a genius idea. It really does taste AND look like kaya toast. Brilliant flavour.
<3 Black sesame- black sesame is black sesame.I used to love this flavour as it wasn't prevalent except in Japanese cuisine, but now it's everywhere.
<3 Vegemite (for Australia day!)- Love at first bite. I am a huge Vegemite fan (vegemite and butter on sourdough toast is the best breakfast ever) so I really, really liked this. Only try IF you like Vegemite, otherwise I can guarantee you won't like it! Who in their right minds would have thought to create such an awesome, out of this world flavour? Only the brave I guess- and in this case, the bravery pin goes to Luxbite.

Pay this place a visit someday, who knows,  you might come away with something YOU would like :)

p/s: Yes I bought 8 macarons today. How did I have time to taste test so many macarons? Cos I ate most of it in less than half a day....and took a bite or two or three out of the others. Hahaha. And nope- I don't feel guilty!
LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Madame Brussels

We were originally meant to spend Sunday afternoon chilling out on the grass lawns of Melbourne Park, taking in all the excitement and buzz of the Australian Open but like all best laid plans of mice and men, they oft go awry. I had no complains, having been two years in a row *click for last year's post*, plus it didn't help that it was perhaps 1 degree too hot so instead of comfortable weather, it felt like a scorcher at times with the sun beating down relentlessly on our heads.

So imagine the irony when we ended up at Madame Brussels where drinks in jugs are served according to respective tennis terms ala 'Two players' and 'Playing doubles'. Oh well, when life gives you lemons and takes away your Sunday plans- make lemonade and throw that back with some El Jimador, right? ;) I guess some mint leaves and peaches wouldn't hurt either.

Mmmm, ready for that ice-cold hit on a hot summer's day.
Itchy hand syndrome ok? There were pretty paper umbrellas within easy reach so I just HAD TO pick one up haha
Yum-mmmmmmmmmmmmmy! If you compare the level of alcohol in the jug in the top picture with the bottom picture you sort of get a sense of how fast the drink disappeared!
There was some BBQ action going on
Look at how carefully thought out the decor was
See- I wasn't the only one with itchy hand syndrome! Ok maybe they had a valid reason as they were sitting where the sun was shining whereas I was sitting underneath the stairs butbutbut the brollies were just
There were this many- how could you not pinch one?
Now kids- let this be a lesson to you not to finish one whole jug of alcohol so quickly. We were seeing things by the end of it can this person have 3 hands?!