Saturday, September 24, 2016

Juno & May, Camberwell (by invitation) by Obelix

Juno & May provides an Asian inspired twist to Modern Australian cuisine.  Their food is centred around sharing plates combining great value with fulfilling meal and a slice of something new.  I also love the back story to Juno & May. The original Juno and May were dairy cows from owner/chef, Henry Honer's youth. Growing up in a large family on a cattle farm in the 1970s, Henry and his siblings sorely lacked a TV. His brother convinced his dad to buy two dairy cows which they would milk before and after school daily to save the family enough money in milk to afford a TV. Along came Juno and May.

seared scallops with cauliflower and apple nam jim
In the spirit of sharing delicious food in convivial surrounds, M and I ordered a few dishes to share.  We started with two entrees from the specials...first, seared scallops in the shell on a base of pureed cauliflower and apple nam jim.  The contrasting flavours and textures were sublime.  The scallop was perfect with the creamy puree and the nam jim gave it a tangy finish.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Rustica Canteen, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

There's quite a collection of yummy eateries around Lt Lonsdale Street/Guildford Lane - some of them have made it into my list of favourites eateries, including Gypsy & Pig (my fav non-sushi/sashimi Japanese restaurant), Krimper, Nieuw Amsterdam and Raw Trader.

Another eatery in that immediate area is Rustica Canteen, which popped up when the long-term road and building works in that area had finally finished up.  Rustica is a bakery and specialises in sourdough breads and pastries, which are made on-site.  It also dishes up some delish sangers and other bread-related fare.

Rustica Canteen, bakery, schnitzel
My memory's a tad hazy as to what Ms B and I ate.  But I do remember eating a fish schnitzel that had a delightful panko-crusted exterior.  The schnitzel was golden, crisp, not oily and didn't have a fishy aroma.  It was wodged in with lots of fresh stuff - coriander, red onions and a generous smush of avo.  It came with a little side of a paprika-dusted, mayo-coated, cauliflower pickle-y/coleslaw-y sort of thing.  It was rich yet sharp enough to help cut through the heaviness of the bun.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hue Kitchen, Springvale by Bureaucrat

I don't often head out to Springvale.  I associate it with crowds, parking road rage, poorly designed and maintained public areas, and that je ne sais quoi aroma.

In the last few months, I stumbled upon a Vietnamese eatery that has impressed me enough that I've got back a few times when I'm in the area.  Hue Kitchen is relatively new, clean and the food is definitely fresh and competitively priced.  Inside, it's bright, clean (did I mention that already?) and spacious - it's unlike the many pho shops nearby that are a bit grotty and cramped. It's owned/run by a Vietnamese family and you can often see their young kids playing around the place, and the owner is a nice guy that's happy to have a chat with you (which is also unlike the other pho shops where the service is often surly or nonexistent).

Hue Kitchen, Vietnamese, noodle salad
My usual go-to Vietnamese dish is the bun - a warm vermicelli salad with grilled meats.  This was a particularly nice and tasty one.  Generous in serve and I was very impressed with how much mint and basil there were in the salad (most places skimp on this).  The char-grilled pork was deliciously fatty and meaty - juicy!  It also came with lots of fresh salad leaves (none of the limp stuff or the stuff that's gone slightly brown), cucumber, grated carrot, bean shoots and lots of toasted peanuts on top.  I also was impressed with the properly al dente vermicelli.  Yum!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Flame Greek Tavern, Surrey Hills by Obelix

Take a evening stroll down the Surrey Hills section of Whitehorse Road on any given day around 6pm, your nostrils would be joyously inhaling the aromas of spit roast meats and grilled seafoods emanating from Flame Greek Tavern. The olfactory experience just gets my gastric juices on over drive and I'm sure I look like my dogs, unconsciously licking my lips as I saunter past. So after a few occasions of strolling past, Kiddo and I decided to stop there to grab some take away. 

calamari;  greek food;  flame greek tavern
The aroma of this lured me like a siren song... grilled calamari, scalloped potatoes, Greek styled slow cooked green beans and a veggie mornay

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Yo My Goodness, Glen Waverley by Benny

The wattles are flowering, spring is just around the corner. We all know what this means – you can no longer put off all of those garden jobs that you have been ignoring all winter. And if you’re lucky, you might be able to co-opt a friendly helping hand (or two). Thus it is that Broadhands and I, fresh from a hard morning in the garden, join up with Bilby Blue and head off for a well-earned lunch.

the reaper;  the black pearl;  12th hour burgers;  yo my goodness
L-R: The Black Pearl, 12th Hour and The Reaper burgers

With burgers on my mind (See Burger Project, Burger Block, Three One 2 One, billies) we are headed, somewhat surprisingly, for a frozen yoghurt parlour. Word on the street is that Yo My Goodness is offering some pretty good burgers from its Glen Waverley store (and at the time of writing, only the Glen Waverley store). Why would a frozen yoghurt place be offering burgers? I have no idea. But it takes just a glance at the large overhead menu to pique our interest – a good range of burgers with a tempting range of flavours and accompaniments. The beef is Angus, the chicken is ‘southern fried’, soft shell crab and pulled pork are rather interesting alternatives, and even vegetarians get choices.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pho Minh Long, Ringwood by Obelix

I had waxed lyrical about Pho Minh Long Mitcham many moons ago.  Then I discovered there was a new Pho Minh Long a few kms further down Maroondah Highway.  Well, it would remiss of me to not check it out.  PML, Ringwood edition is a new establishment.  It's less crowded than its Mitcham counterpart and owned by the same people.  I am happy to report the quality and service was also on a par.

noodle soup;  fried chicken;  pho minh long
Kiddo stands by her 'usual'.  It is the Crispy Chicken with rice noodle soup.  It came also with its regular accoutrement of bean sprouts and herbs for dunking into the broth.  The chicken itself is a general crispy deep fried portion of Maryland accompanied with house pickled carrots (I usually knick these off her plate) and a chicken based pho.  It was simultaneously warming (pho) and naughtily delicious (fried chicken!).  The serve was more than plenty for a greedy 10 year old and we usually end up taking some of the chicken home for a snack afterwards.