Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Pepper Cafe

A very popular cafe in Flemington. Having frequented quite a few establishments in Flemington, Pepper was next on the list. Had only been there previously for coffee and it is always packed. We enjoyed our brunch and are looking forward to going back. We had:

The hygienic breakfast - fried eggs, with bacon, potato gratin, slow roasted tomato, button mushroom, baked beans, chorizo sausage and sourdough. Delicious. Perfectly fried eggs and deliciously rich potato gratin make this quite a standout among 'big breakfasts'.

Baked eggs - pork and fennel sausage and vegetable casserole with toasted birdseed sourdough. Eggs were perfectly cooked with the yolk still runny. Only negative is that the casserole could be a little thicker in consistency.

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star ½
Value for money: :star :star :star :star ½

Type of venue: Breakfast, Modern, Coffee

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 44 Pin Oak Cre,  Flemington VIC 3031

Pepper on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 30, 2015

Supper Inn

Our go to place for a late night meal. Supper Inn is a popular joint and although the service can be hit and miss, they do quite good congee which is the main reason why we go there. This time we had:

Suckling Pig - not many places do this Chinese style roast suckling pig. Slices of suckling pig with tender meat and crispy skin. Need we say more? Yes, there are better versions in Hong Kong etc, but this will do.

Sliced pork fried noodles - fried noodles and congee go well together and this version of "yuk shi chow mien" is really good. Crispy noodles with a nice gravy, generous thinly sliced pork and crunchy bean sprouts complete this dish.

Pork and century egg congee - they have a good congee list and we quite like their sliced abalone and chicken congee. Decided to try the pork and century egg congee this time and it was just ok. The congee texture is good but the century egg isn't the best in terms of taste and quality. Will stick with the abalone one next time.

Service: :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star ½
Value for money: :star :star :star :star

Type of venue: Chinese ,  Asian, Supper

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 15 Celestial Avenue,  Melbourne VIC 3000

Supper Inn on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Xocolatl Cafe

We're on a quest to find the best hot chocolate in Melbourne. What's your favourite? We drove out to Maling Rd in Canterbury and had:

Spanish hot chocolate - Xocolatl's "regular" hot chocolate, couverture spiced with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. Large serving of deliciously rich hot chocolate and with just the perfect hint of cinnamon.
Orange hot chocolate - couverture infused with real orange. If you like flavoured hot chocolate, this is definitely for you. Imagine a drink version of choc-dipped candied oranges. Very rich and delicious.

Passionfruit and olive oil teacake - good accompaniment to the hot chocolates. We didn't want something too rich or heavy and it was just right.

If you haven't  already been here,  we highly recommend it!

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star :star

Type of venue: Dessert,  Coffee

Worth a return visit? Yes

Address: 123 Maling Road, Canterbury VIC 3126

Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Hardware Société

One of our favourite cafes in Melbourne, Hardware Société delivers on all fronts; excellent service, food, drinks and value. We don't visit as often as we used to but we certainly try and have it as often as we can. This time we had:

Croque Madame - bacon lardons, smoked eggplant bechamel, fried frisee salad. A wonderful version of a ham and cheese toastie with a fried egg on top. The ham has been replaced with bacon and we think it is better for it, and it not only looks amazing but tastes great.

Poached eggs deux - housemade lyonnaise sausage, potato and leek croquette, blood orange relish. Good mix of flavours, slightly sweet with the marmalade-like relish. The croquettes were perfectly prepared as were the sliced sausage and poached eggs.

Hot chocolate - 54% dark Callebaut. Certainly one of if not the best hot chocolate out there. Rich and very satisfying. Try it if you haven't already!

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star :star

Type of venue: Breakfast, French, Coffee

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 118-120 Hardware Street,  Melbourne VIC 3000 

The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


What a delightful find in South Melbourne. This place certainly holds its own when compared to the many good Korean restaurants in Melbourne. This was our first visit and we cannot wait to go back. We had:

Galbi beef rib bibimbap - marinated beef short rib, sautéed zucchini, kimchi, kale, bean shoots, toasted seaweed on Korean rice. It was a modern looking bibimbap, everything worked well together and the short rib was tender and delicious.

Korean fried chicken - chicken pieces coated and crisped with spicy sauce and daikon kimchi. Mixture of chicken ribs and wingettes. Very well cooked but wish there was more sauce and the batter was a little heavy. Still, a good sharing dish.

Green tea bingsoo- soft rice cake on sweet red bean with green tea snowflake. The snow ice machine is excellent as the texture throughout the bingsoo was good. Light green tea flavour mixed with the homemade red bean lifted this humble dessert.

Raspberry kombucha - a raw fermented chilled tea, full of natural probiotics and immune boosting benefits. Interesting drink, slightly tangy not unlike an apple vinegar drink with a slight effervescence.
Service: :star :star :star :star :star:
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star ½
Value for money: :star :star :star :star 

Type of venue: Modern Korean

Worth a return visit? Yes. 

Address: 128 York Street, South Melbourne VIC 3205

Patbingsoo on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mörk Chocolate

Mörk Chocolate is just two weeks old and is where you go to get your hot chocolate fix. They supply many cafes with their chocolate products but this is their first retail store. We only wish the opening times were till much later in the evening as most people there in the morning still had to venture elsewhere for breakfast or brunch. We had:

Vanilla infused sparkling water - complimentary palate cleanser which is refreshing with a nice hint of vanilla.
Campfire chocolate with smoked salt and homemade marshmallow - a visual treat, you are given a quick explanation on how to have it. Nice beechwood aroma and the hot chocolate is smooth and light with just a light hint of smokiness. It is a fun drink to have but quite light in flavour.

A Chocolate bar - a deconstructed chocolate bar which you empty into a cup, pour the hot chocolate over and mix everything up. Nice hazelnut and caramel flavours and we quite like this one over the Campfire chocolate.

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star ½

Type of venue: Chocolate, Dessert

Worth a return visit: Yes.

Address: 150 Errol Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051

Mork Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Hakata Gensuke

Hakata Gensuke is extremely popular and there seems to constantly be a queue outside it. We like it because you can specify how you like your noodles, toppings and broth to be. This time we had:

Signature Tonkotsu - Hakata Gensuke original pork bone broth which is essentially a full-bodied and collagen-rich pork bone soup, served with homemade thin noodles, tender pork Cha-shu, black fungus, egg and spring onions. The soup is deliciously rich and the noodles just the right texture. Simple accompaniments such as the tender pork slices and a perfectly soft boiled egg make this our favourite thing to order here. Quick tip: a dash of the ramen sauce helps lift the broth slightly if you want it a little saltier.

Gyoza - Petite, well-made gyoza goes perfectly as a side with the ramen if you are feeling a little hungry. The chicken karaage is nice too but the gyoza is just light enough to have.

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star 

Type of venue: Japanese, Ramen

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 168 Russell Street,  Melbourne VIC 3000

Hakata Gensuke on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Om Nom Kitchen and Dessert Bar

Om Nom is by far our favourite dessert place. We first discovered it after the chef was featured on Masterchef. To say we love our desserts is an understatement. We have probably tried almost all of what is available in Melbourne and are not strangers to driving out just to get some dessert from Mr Hive for example. This time we had:

ChocolaTerrarium - cinnamon sugared churros, chocolate "gravel", pistachio + chocolate sponge, chocolate ice cream, valhrona manjari 64% mousse  + milk foam - A visual treat for sure. Looks and tastes pretty spectacular. Not too sweet and wonderful textural contrasts.

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte - pronounced "Schvarts-velder-kearsh-torta". Cherry griottine jelly, vanilla bavarois, valhrona manjari 64% chocolate mousse, hazelnut ganache, cherry pate de fruit + flourless chocolate cake - Simply delicious. Love the cherry flavour through the dessert.

Mango Alphonso - choux pastry, mango mousse, shiso creameux, poached mango, coconut pearls, white chocolate crumble, kalamansi sorbet + lemongrass, ginger coconut foam - Asian inspired-technically challenging dessert that is visually stunning and if you love mango (who doesn't) this is your dessert. This is the dessert that was featured on Masterchef.

Raspberry Field - raspberry + lychee sorbet, baked meringue, raspberry pannacotta, rosewater pearls + white chocolate - Good flavours and quite pretty visually, as are all their desserts.

Service: :star :star :star :star ½
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star ½
Value for money: :star :star :star ½

Type of venue: Dessert

Worth a return visit? Yes
Address: 187 Flinders Lane,  Melbourne VIC 3000

Om Nom Dessert Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 21, 2015

MoVida Next Door

Movida Next Door serves some of the best tapas out there. Always good for a quick bite and some drinks or you could have your entire meal there, the choice is yours. We tend to order the same things every time and this time was no exception. We had:

Chipirones - stuffed baby squid in ink sauce. This is truly tinned food at its best. The saltiness of the tender squid is just right and it is quite rich with the ink sauce.

Boquerone - Spanish white anchovies with cherry tomato. This is a good little appetiser to have. Slightly tangy and gets the appetite going for sure.

Croqueta - wild mushroom. Think really thick and delicious mushroom soup. Then imagine it being encased in a thin crispy batter. Be careful when you bite into it though as the insides can be quite hot!

Mussels - one of their constant specials on the blackboard, their mussels are always cooked perfectly. We can forgive them for the occasional beard, as the flavour and perfectly plump mussels are divine. 

Oreja - pig's ear a la plancha with guindillas. Gelatinous, crunchy, salty and just perfect with a strong drink. The pickled peppers go perfectly with it.

Higo - fresh fig salad with walnuts, blue cheese and honeycomb. Simple salad done well. Everything works well together and it is certainly worth ordering.

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star

Type of venue: Spanish,  Tapas

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 164 Flinders Street,  Melbourne VIC 3000

MoVida Next Door on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 20, 2015


A very popular modern Asian restaurant so do come prepared for the long wait for a table. Dishes are perfect for sharing and the staff are very attentive. 

We ordered:
Smoked beef, mustard leaf, clam mayonnaise - loved the flavour combination and it was very much like beef tartare done really well. Wish there was more!

New England lobster roll - interesting to try but probably won't order it again. We love lobster but in a buttery roll, the flavour of the lobster was a little lost and certainly the price was a little steep.

White cut chicken, cold noodles, sesame, peanuts and chilli oil - perfectly poached chicken, this was moist and delicious with the peanuts and chilli oil.

John Dory, mussels, wakame, celery and ponzu - a few school prawns tossed in, the seaweed flavour was quite nice and the fish nicely cooked though we did not think it went well with the rice and salad as recommended by the waitress.

Peanut butter parfait, salted caramel and soft chocolate - sweet with hints of saltiness equals a perfect way to end the night. Deliciously smooth. In our humble opinion,  we think this may be the best in Melbourne!

Service: :star :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star

Type of venue: Modern, Japanese,  Chinese, Asian

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

Supernormal on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 19, 2015


Mr. GastronomicGems grew up in Kuching and Sugarbun was the McDonald's of his childhood.  He was super excited when they opened here in Melbourne and we have been here many times. On our most recent visit, they had a new looking menu and also introduced a loyalty card program. We had:

Dry bak kut teh - sizzling and smoky! Herbal pork ribs, belly, meat-balls, okra and lotus roots. This dish is always delicious. You get a bowl of the bak kut teh soup on the side so the best of both worlds really. The extra pork offal always does the trick. We feel it is the best version of bak kut teh outside of Malaysia.

Oxtail with spicy and sour sauce served with coconut rice - a new menu item, the oxtail is cooked really well, falling off the bone and meltingly soft. The sauce had a little kick and  was very tasty indeed. Good to try for something different especially if you eat here quite often like we do!
Three layer tea - served cold, this is one of our favourite drinks on the menu. Good and strong tea flavour, great to have on a hot day.

Pear and fungus - house-made drink, it is cooling and refreshing. The ingredients are quite generous and can almost be had as a dessert.

Service: :star :star :star :star
Quality of food: :star :star :star :star :star
Value for money: :star :star :star :star :star
Type of venue: Asian, Sarawakian, Malaysian

Worth a return visit? Yes.

Address: 205 Russell Street, Melbourne 3000

SugarBun on Urbanspoon