Friday, August 29, 2014

Bing Boy and Gong Cha

This Saturday I went to two stores.  It was when the AFIS info day was on. So I will talk about them both

This Gong Cha is in Elizabeth st is in the city and is a brand new store.

The Green tea drink that I had was not overly sweet but flavoursome. Here you can opt for no ice or less ice like I did. Without the ice it was great and easy to drink.

The service there was minimal but what do you expect?

Bing Boy in QV
I had a get one free voucher all thanks to Bing Boy, but I paid for the other myself. All the bings are priced under $10 but if you want extras you have to pay about $1-$2 extra and I think its cash only.
The bings were great. I really loved the salmon one better than the veg. The salmon one was fresh but the flavour was doused in a little bit too much mayo. But still it is great for you and they do your bing within 5 minutes.



Here you can choose your fillings and sauces.  And like Melbourne Central you can watch them make it.

The service there was friendly. The guy there was knowledgeable.

Students do go to these stories for you healthy food and drink fix whilst you are in Melbourne
Bing Boy QV on Urbanspoon Hot Star/Gong Cha on Urbanspoon

Downstairs Bistro and Lounge

Downstairs Bistro and Lounge is a causal bar in South Melbourne. It is surrounded by all the offices in a very pricey part of South Melbourne hence the high rent.

In this area they don't have a lot of competition which is a good thing. It means that they can concentrate on their food and wine. Unlike E Lounge this place is not expensive and its affordable. For me three courses is $25.50 (normally $34 but with the Entertainment card it is 25% off the total bill. This is a bonus offer which can be used again).

Look how cool the table is!

More cool bottles

The portrait on the door of the ladies- isn't she just stunning

Water- look how cool the glass and the bottle is

Beer Keg

Morning tea cakes


The service there is very friendly which adds to the casual vibe of the place. Also I loved the wait staff's uniform of jeans and checkered shirt. They looked very comfortable in this. But due to a function there it was a little bit slow. I am glad I came at 12pm.

Here I had a very cheeky garlic pizza to start off with and then for mains I had the prawn linguini and then as dessert I had one scoop of ice cream with popping candies.

The garlic pizza ($8) was very garlicky but it had the right amount of cheese to it. The crust was just right this time, not too thick and not too thin. But it was a little hard to cut, so you may have to excuse the hands.

The main ($23) was just right serving size for lunch but the pasta was a little bit overcooked. I loved the big prawns and tomatoes in there. It doesn't need parmesan cheese but a little bit of pepper would not go astray.

The ice cream was kid like and reminded me of my childhood days. Oh the memories. I loved hearing the popping sound of the candy. So much fun.

Do go and support them on on your way home with your Entertainment card as not only will you get 25% off the total bill (up to $45), you will also be supporting them.  You can book your table via Dimmi.
Downstairs Bistro & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Munich Brauhaus

 RNIS was invited to Munich Brauhaus on their opening night

Munich Brauhaus is in South Wharf and is a stones throw away from the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. It is a large German bier Hall which is very lively every night of the week. They also claim to celebrate "Oktoberfest" 365 days a year which I thought was false.

But in actual fact its true. They have these large bier steins and an actual bier hall.

I didn't know about this place until I saw all the ads at Etihad Stadium. And then I researched it and found that there was beer and pretzels and seafood dishes.
I was drawn in by the advertising and the menus and the fact that there is now a German place in the dead quiet South Wharf.

The entertainment here was AMAAZZZZZZZZZZING. Here they had songs and the traditional bier tapping. Everyone loved their bier here and the atmosphere was just lively. In fact I think I saw the World Loves Melbourne bloggers here.

Thinking that it would be too busy at around 6-7pmish we'd thought we'd come later at 7:30pm when things died down a bit. The place was still packed and some people were waiting for about an hour for their food. Flagging the waitress was hard and there was no set menus to peruse.

The pretzel was good. Not as big as the one in Hofbrauhaus but still good. It was warm and moist and very salty like the way how it should be.

Vegetarians need not be disappointed as there are a few things on the menu which are vegetarian. In fact there is a whole section just for them.

The mussels were great but very small. It is one of their signature dishes. At $33 I expected them to be a bit bigger, but still at 8pm this size was perfect. If I'd come any earlier I'd want big. And the chips were fantastic in their little bucket.

The strudel (I think it was $12?) was the right size for a 8:30pm dessert. It was moist and freshly made. I also loved the little touch of Chantily cream on the side

17/20- Great dishes and great entertainment at ze bier hall.

They should be on the Dimmi site and maybe offer an Entertainment book discount. Too bad that South Wharf is way too quiet during the mid week.
Munich Brauhaus on Urbanspoon

Elounge Pizzeria

Elounge Pizzeria has been opened for a few years now and they are on Victoria St where all the pho and Asian joints are. It is the only pizzeria that is open for just nights and Thursday and Friday lunchtimes only. They were rated one of the best pizzerias by the Age and already people have started to like it

When I came at 6:30pm there were only a few tables occupied but by 7pm more people came. There was one table next to me that looked like they waited ages for their sausage and food to arrive. There was no bread. For this sort of a restaurant I would have expected some complimentary bread and oil to start off with.

The place itself is dark, dim and cozy. It reminds me of some place in Italy. They don't open for lunch with the exception of Thursday and Friday. Their Dimmi deal doesn't include lunch. Its only for a weeknight dinner. I would have expected for this to be a bonus offer in the Entertainment book. Maybe it could be in the course of buy one main get one free.

The service was great and the lady and the guy were very friendly and down to earth with their customers. But the waitress when I did ask for bread was a little bit snappy though. Most people opted for their wine but I was very happy with my lemonade ($4 in a big glass)

I of course booked via Dimmi hence I got the 50% off the total bill. The meal was $19.

A great part on their side: A complimentary entree of tiger prawns with chilli and garlic ($13). I really did enjoy this as the prawns were fresh and done right and they did not put too much chilli and garlic. It was just right. I hope this stays on the menu.

I also had to have my olives. So I went for their special olives with cheese inside ($10). It was perfect but a tad too salty. But the good news is that the sweetness of the vinegar ed cabbage offset some of the saltiness of the olives.

Their pizza was good too. Here I had a regular size ($20) pizza with zucchini, capsicum and eggplant on top. I would have loved there to be some sort of mozzarella on top as well, but given that I just had cheese with their entree this was just perfect. Except of course that the base was a little too thin in my opinion. The pizza was too small.

I hope they stay in business for a long time as they deserved the award for best pizzeria. If only they rectify these little things they might just have more customers. It's not right for them to have so many negative comments on Urbanspoon.

As for the pizza I hope that they can put more toppings on there and have a thicker base.

Elounge Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Lord of the Fries Southern cross

A new Lord of the Fries is open. And it has been opened for a week.

Here this is more of a takeaway shop which has no seating. Most customers get their food for the train. It is outside DFO.

I went on their buy one get one free day which is Tuesday.

The chips itself weren't bad and I loved the classic ones without the sauce. The other one was burnt. The vietnamese spicy sauce really wasn't spicy. It was sweet.

You order and pay and then you collect your chips from one side.

A little birdy told me that there is a student special of $5 during their happy hours on weekdays. Their happy hours are from 3pm-5pm.

Do visit this one if you are going to the country and then you could have a meal on the long train ride.

The High Tea Salon Event

RNIS was invited as a guest as part of VU's Reviewer for a day program. This program has just started this year and it is amazing.

This program was easy to apply for. You needed to be a budding writer. There is a link for that on the Melbourne Writers festival page, but applications has closed.

The event normally costs $60 to get in. In that price champagne, tea, coffee and a little bit of sweets and savories were included. Note: there were no scones or pies and sausage rolls. Things that you would expect to see on a high tea plate. Or tiers.

But there was panna cotta. The panna cotta was just brilliant. The mango mousse needed to be softer and maybe in a jar. The flour less cake was also brilliant. It was a tad bit on the dry side, but it was not too sweet which is lovely as it helped to offset some of the sweetness of the friand, panna cotta and the mango mousse.

I would have liked there to be scones with clotted cream.

But the sandwiches with the exception of the egg sandwich and chicken wrap were just disappointing for RNIS standards. The egg sandwich was flavoursome with the crunch of the chives. The cucumber sandwich and salmon one were a little too dry for my liking. In fact they fell apart.

The tea was alright- Sofitel used the most expensive brand. And it was just ok. Most people did not touch the honey or the lemon wedges which looked a little on the dry side.
The milk and the sugar

The lemon and the honey

My orange juice


But the authors were good. There were three of them which have all got best selling books. There was also a Dymocks book stall selling these authors books but you had to pay seperately (note some of them were more expensive).

Overall I'd probably would expect more if I was a paying customer.  But I'd happily go to an event like this. What would be better is that they host it in Melba as they do great desserts and buffet lunches and people can get a discount if they are Entertainment members.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Choosing the right phone

Students need a new handset whilst you are in Melbourne? You may already have one, but it may be time for an upgrade. We give you the lowdown on two types of options and some tips in buying that handset.
Phone. Image courtesy of RMIT Newintstudents

1) Prepaid- that way you'll know how much you have spent. But you have to pay for the phone outright. And in some cases it is about $400-$1000

2) Postpaid
It is on a plan and you pay a certain cost for the handset. You'd usually get the handset for $0 when you sign up but you pay by the month with a lock in contract.

Choosing a handset
You can have a look at the Choice site to see what others say about their handsets.

Most students go for Nokia as it is more reliable and less likely to break.

You may not want a lot of features or you may use heaps of apps and things. It all depends on you. Most phones nowadays have a camera. But you may want one with heaps of memory on it for lots of photos. You may also want one with lots of megapixels if you are going to be taking photos.
 

Its better to go in store and try before you buy.All stores have their phones on display so you can see their features. Most phones have a one year warranty but many stores may not let you refund if you change your mind. A warranty means that they will fix it for free within a certain period.

Which brand of handset do you recommend? Do tell us below.