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?!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Capital Kitchen - Chadstone

The cafe in Elsternwick that was meant to open after 19th January (see my post *here*) was open today alright- it was open for renovations! Garh!

Since we were both hungry and I was planning to force the boy to head to Chaddy after brunch for a day of shopping (hee) I decided to kill two birds with one stone and have brunch in Chaddy instead. First place that came to mind was Capital Kitchen. I'm glad we didn't go anywhere else- the food was so yummy! I loved the layout and decor as well- high ceilings, exposed brick walls, light airy space, long communal tables, comfy sofas, big giant wall clock 20 times the size of my head.....The Iphone doesn't really capture the beauty of the decor, I felt like I was sitting in an industrial warehouse somewhere in health-conscious LA!
There weren't many choices on the breakfast menu, but what they had were tried & tested goodies. For the first time in brightcopperkettle brunch history, we both ordered the same thing.
Spanish eggs with tomato sugo, egg, chorizo and buttered sourdough. The sourdough was a tad crispier than I would've liked it to be but it was good for mopping up all that tomato goodness. I would have preferred the egg to be more runny too- the yolk was cooked through :( - but the chickpeas and kidney beans in the tomato sugo- they were so hearty. And I don't really like chickpeas OR kidney beans in the first place so you can imagine how tasty this was!
And the soy chai was so good, I believe it was made with true blue spices- the empty glass deserved a picture on its own to showcase the deliciousness that was the chai.
Mmmm- I was surprisingly very satisfied with Capital Kitchen overall. Next time we're in Chaddy we know where to head to for brunch! There's banana bread with maple mascarpone calling my name :)
Capital Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cafe Gaia - South Yarra

I once wrote about Dead Man Espresso, and Laurent Hoffarth who used to run the kitchen there and has since moved on to be head chef at Cafe Gaia, posted a comment and invited me to follow along on his food adventure at his new cafe. So I did just exactly that today :) The second time I visited Dead Man was disappointing- the pork belly sandwich was dry and for lack of a better word, uninspiring. It was time to move on to new cafes!

We were meant to visit another cafe in Elsternwick but it was closed till 19th Jan (today!)- just my luck huh? Anyways, since we were around that area we didn't want to travel back to the city or South Melbourne and were looking for cafes around the St Kilda/Prahran/Toorak/South Yarra area. A quick peek on Urbanspoon listed Cafe Gaia and I thought, 'Hang on a minute, this place sounds familar'....and the penny dropped! I read it in my comments once! And off we went to South Yarra, excited about the discovery of a new brunch place for us.

Soy chai- not sure if the syrup was used. If it was, real spices would have been way better.
Enjoying the weather (ok, I lie- it was chilly and cold that morning!). It's just that pictures look better in natural daylight :D
Haha I thought this picture was funny. Someone didn't look too happy with me, in fact, he looked like he was ready to stab me with the butter knife. But but but what did I doooo?
That's better :)
I ordered the breakfast piadina- purely because the waiter told me it included bacon and after that all I could think about was bacon, bacon, bacon! This was so delicious! In between the toasted Italian flat bread is scrambled egg, bacon, relish and rocket leaves. Fresh tomato salsa sits on the top, as you can see. The first bite of this transported me back to when I was 13, back to when I was in Europe for a holiday and had ordered a flatbread sandwich to satisfy my hunger pangs. Just like how certain smells evoke a certain memory, the same goes for food. 
The boy ordered the potato and rosemary rosti, with crispy pork belly, tomato & chilli relish and poached eggs. This is another win for Cafe Gaia- absolutely yummy! The hint of chilli in the relish gave it just the kick it needed to differentiate itself from being an ordinary relish. The roast pork belly was so tender it literally fell apart on your fork. Only gripe was that the crackling wasn't crispy.

Ahhh- birthday brunch totally exceeded my expectations!

A quick glance at the specials board today listed french toast with chai mascarpone...if I wasn't so full and satisfied from my piadina I would've ordered that for dessert. Maybe next time ;) 
Cafe Gaia on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Izakaya Den

Hidden in the basement of a building on the corner of Russell and Little Collins St lies Izakaya Den. Descending the stairs takes you to Chiodo, but that's not why we're here. At the very bottom of the stairs a black curtain hangs ominously on the left. If I wasn't with the boy I'd think I was at the wrong place. Push past the curtain and you'll find a glass door leading you to a restaurant bustling with patrons, chefs and waiters. Welcome to Izakaya Den. 

Drinks and food menu
There was a wait even on a Tuesday night so we ordered a couple of drinks whilst waiting.
I ordered the Hyakunen Umeshu- plum soaked in honey and brandy. Absolutely delicious.
The bar, and further along the bar is a stonetop area for dining. 
Perusing the drinks list which by the way, seemed quite extensive to me. Sake, wines, shochu, beer, cocktails, umeshu...everything under the sun!
Er, too many choices on the menu made it difficult to order? (no, not really)
Open kitchen concept whereby the chefs cook everything in front of you. The wait to get a table was around 20 minutes or so, but once your order is put through, they come flying out of the kitchen at top speed!
Fresh salmon roll with pickled konbu- pretty ordinary, but the salmon was very fresh!
Spicy tuna with taro chips, daikon and nori. I have to say- Nobu does something similar, and it does it better.
Deep fried sweet corn with green tea sea salt- was so good! It's a unique dish and the sweetness of the corn greatly complimented the salt.
Cocktail potatoes with anchovy butter. A squeeze of the lemon wedge and you're ready to rock and roll. I loved this, but it's because I like savoury food and you can't get any more savoury than anchovies!
Wagyu tataki with wasabi cream. This could be the first time I'm saying this about any of the food I've had...I absolutely hated this! I think it was cut too thickly and as a result it ended up being too chewy and raw. Moving on, moving on.....
This was the star of the night! Char-grilled duck with leek. It was beautifully cooked, tender and moist. I loved this!
Special fried black rice- nothing special but after the first few bites I tasted a little bit of sweetness coming through. Its texture is quite similar to wild rice.
Apple mille feuille- as the name suggests I thought I'd be served an apple pastry but no...out came this tower of apple sorbet on apple chips, drizzled with honey! It was refreshing but next time I'll pick the black sesame creme brulee over this.
We shared 7 dishes and 1 dessert and came out walking instead of having to roll ourselves down Lt Collins St. Pretty good result for an unexpected, unplanned night out on town ;)
Izakaya Den on Urbanspoon