Monday, February 8, 2016

Thi Thi, Springvale by Obelix

I get ever so excited when I rediscover a ol' favourite and it turns out to be more wonderful than my memory of it.  Case in point, Thi Thi.  P used to go there as an impoverished uni student for his "number 21" which so happens to be pork chop with broken rice.  Thi Thi apparently served the cheapest broken rice down the Springvale strip, according to P's research way back when.  In fact, he never took any note of the name of this establishment, always referring to it as "Number 21" after his usual order.  So fast forward 20 years and a middle-aged P dragged me and Kiddo back down memory lane.

We found the place and I dimly recall him taking me there many moons ago.  This time, we made note of the name of the place.  We sat down on the Formica tables and were greeted by very friendly service.

pho, springvale, seafood, pescatarian
Kiddo ordered this amazing looking seafood pho.  It came with a homemade looking prawn cracker embedded with a wee prawn.  I was so thrilled by it that the waiter came back with a small bowl full of the prawn crackers just for me!  I felt special!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Nipa Hut, Mitcham by Bureaucrat

For a late Sunday lunch on Mitcham shopping strip means that sometimes you gotta make do with what's available to you.  Faced with a choice of a plastic sandwich roll from how-on-Earth-can-this-be-called-bread Subway and Nipa Hut, a Thai/Filipino eatery, the decision was easy.  A cheerful mom and pop shop, Nipa Hut has more than its fair share of local fans getting takeaway and dining in.

Nipa Hut, Mitcham, vegetarian, pad thai
With less than 30 minutes to have lunch, Beaker and I opted for takeaway, which we wolfed down standing in the street, while waiting for our ride from friends.  Beaker ordered the vegetarian pad Thai ($12.90) which was loaded with lots of crisp vegs, tofu and egg.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Ultimo (NSW) by Benny

A business trip to the University of Technology, Sydney takes us to a suburb of Sydney that is largely unfamiliar – Chippendale. Turns out we are not too far from Sydney’s Chinatown, but in the best Eat and Be Merry tradition, we have high hopes of finding lesser known gems. Bilby Blue has been busy online and finds a likely prospect – Malacca Straits on Broadway.

We find Malacca Straits just inside a short arcade off Broadway leading to a modern open courtyard in the Quadrant Building. The restaurant is decorated with a hodge-podge of items seemingly gathered from antique/junk shops, maybe attempting to evoke the old-world charm of the Malaysian trading port of Malacca. It is not entirely successful.

More promising is the menu. Bilby has visited Malaysia many times and loves authentic Malaysian food. After a quick discussion we choose three dishes (Bilby is hungry): fish head curry (a traditional Malaysian favourite); Ayam Percik Keletan, (grilled chicken with salad); and a side dish of Kangkung Belacan (water spinach), accompanied by steamed rice.

Malacca Straits on Broadway, Sydney, kang kung
First to arrive is the kangkung: a larger than expected plate, stir fried with still-crunchy stems and a good amount of belachan spice and chilli. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Gourmet Cinema at Caulfield Racecourse 2-6 March 2016

Forget ordering popcorn and choc tops at the cinema.  This March, five of Melbourne's best restaurants will roll up at Caulfield Racecourse to bring to you gourmet goodies as you watch movies under the stars.

Epocha, Le Bon Ton, Baby, Mamasita (see our review) and The European will have popup stalls at the racecourse, offering some of their most popular menu items to hungry movie-goers.

Elotes callejeros (chargrilled corn on the cob with grated sheep’s cheese, chipotle, mayonnaise and lime) at Mamasita

Each night, one restaurant will present a special menu to match the evening’s movie.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tutti Frutti Artisan Gelato, Mornington by Benny

New Year’s Day saw us motoring down to Mornington. Sunny and warm, we had several objectives – one of which was to check out the gelato at Tutti Frutti Artisan Gelato. We discovered this little gem just over a year ago, and we were keen to see how it compared with our recent experiences in Sydney at Anita Gelato.

Cherry Bomb and Passionfruit

Something we hadn’t factored into our plans was the Picnic Car Display – Mornington was packed. Bumper-to-bumper classic cars crawling all the way down Main Street. Obviously a huge event, with hordes of people. Furthermore, hot day + crowds = big demand for gelato.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Inaugural Cider and Pork Festival (by invitation)

It was with much anticipation that I arrived at the Inaugural Victorian Cider and Pork Festival of twenty sixteen!  Set in the picturesque Rochford Winery in the Yarra Valley, the event was full of promise for all connoisseurs of pork and cider (that would be me and sidekick MC!).  The drive up from Melbourne and the view to the winery from Maroondah Highway only heightened our level of excitement.  As we drove up, we witnessed throngs of people mingling on the green; marquees and the like dotted the vista; and the blinking lights of fairground rides added to the feeling of carnival! And what’s better than a standard run of the mill carnival than a festival which featured pork and beer? 

Victorian Cider and Pork Festival, Yarra Valley, pig jowl
Pig jowl $15