Saturday, April 30, 2011

capers

Capers is a kind of spice used to make food tastes a bit nicer. It is salty and comes from Europe. They are quite small and can be included in most pizza and pasta dishes. You can find this in Supermarkets and delis. They are around $6- $10 and can last for a while

Mustard

Mustard is a type of sauce that you can add to hot dogs, bratwurst, sandwiches and roasts. It comes from England and America.
You can have standard mustard, hot, or mild. It tastes really pickly. Mustard is yellow in colour and in certain types of  mustard it can contain seeds. They are found in supermarkets and delis and costs around $6-$8 per jar. They can keep for a while in the fridge.

tapas

The turkish bread and dip is one example of tapas

Another example is the eggplant chips, where the eggplants are cut and deep fried.
These are a snack that is enjoyed before or in between meals. This idea comes from Spain and it includes most European small meals.

spanish onion

This onion is purple on the outside. You will usually find them at the supermarket, green groccers or even on your food when you go out. It can be on pizzas, in pastas, salads etc.
It tastes like normal onion except spicier.
These can be found at the markets, supermarkets and Greengroccers and prices vary within season. They are in season in Autumn, but you can also buy it during winter.

Friday, April 29, 2011

International students lunch

Hey guys,
Do you like free food on Fridays? Are you an RMIT International student? If your answer is yes to both of them, then come to the RMIT City campus on Fridays between 11:30am-2:30pm for some free food.Each week is a different theme. This week was chicken curry, which by the way didn't taste good. The chicken was rubbery, the vegetables were frozen (ewww!!) and the rice was of a cheap quality. It was bought from the upstairs Caf. But the other time I was there, the Vietnamese rice paper rolls were just fine. It is on in the Student Union meeting room, down the hallway from the Student Union. If you don't know you can ask at the front counter.
This is organized by the Student Union's International Department.

sushi, salad, crepes and green tea

This morning's free lunch had disappointed me. So I went down to Purple Peanuts and Choix creperie by tram. I had seen them before when I tried the PerkUp cafe in the same area. The tram stop is outside in Spencer st. The two restaurants are at the upper end of Collins st, near Docklands. I have read many good things about these two places. They are recommended by the Age as "cheap eats"
1) Purple Peanuts- I had ordered a Veggie Soba salad ($11.90 with Miso soup), green tea ($3) and sushi roll ($2.50 each). The veggie soba salad was ordered on a recommendation by someone from Urbanspoon.com. I really enjoyed the salad. The salad was made freshly, but I didn't quite get the chilli sauce on the bowl.  This is fared much better than the Tomodachi version.
I also loved the miso soup, because it was not from a package, but made freshly with lots and lots of vegetables. There's not much MSG in this.
The green tea tasted little bit strange and not like green tea. When I drink green tea, I like it to be strong with lots of flavour.
The sushi was superb.



My miso soup which tasted like it was homemade


I loved the decor. It was warm and very inviting (reminds you of Japan).The downside of this is that the restaurant is really cramped and I was elbowed twice when someone wanted to get by. The table was really small. Luckily there is outdoor areas and on a nice sunny day like today, you can sit outside. The staff here are very friendly and I donated all of my change into the jar for the Japanese Earthquake.
They are a vegan friendly cafe, offering most of their meals as vegetarian.

Now on to the dessert:

2) Choix Creperie- I had the AC/DC crepe ($8.50) and proper Green tea ($3.80 for one). The pot looked really big but it wasn't filled all the way.

Choix Creperie Café on Urbanspoon
The crepe came without Ice cream. I like my sweet crepes to have ice cream. But the filling and the crepe made up for it. This fared better than the Pancake Parlour version of it.
They also have curry and sandwiches.
The downside of this is that there is too much music and it should be a bit quieter like Roule Galette. But I liked the dim lighting though.

I would come back to these two places with many of my friends for a night out.
Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

travellers aid

http://www.travellersaid.org.au/node/1. This is a free service that helps all newly arrived students if you do need it. They are located at Southern Cross and Flinders st stations and elsewhere in the city. They can provide some assistance with travel and other needs

another link

http://www.melbourne.homeless.org.au/just-arrived.html. Here's a link that should help you out if ever you need any help when arriving in Melbourne and you need a place to stay for a short while. This lists the services in Melbourne that can help you out if you are short of cash or are homeless.

Thai Green curry recipe

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/24285/thai+green+vegetable+curry. This is the recipe that we use in RUSU realfoods except we use quinoa or the brown rice to serve this with instead of jasmine rice.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

antipasto

A plate of antipasto to share
Antipasto is an Italian entree (to start the meal) dish which you share with others. It contains preservatives such as artichokes, olives, roasted eggplants, sundried tomatoes and stuffed bell peppers; all of which can be quite salty if you are not used to it. The artichokes are really vinegary. These things can be a bit oily.  It also includes Italian ham, which tastes a little bit weird at first but you'll get used to it and some brie cheese. 

This dish is served in top notch Italian restaurants such as Sotto.

Free drinks Thursdays @ Pearsons and Murphy's cafe City campus

Today I went out for free drinks at Pearsons and Murphy's cafe with seven other friends. It is on every Thursday from 4pm-6pm (run by the RMIT student union activities department). No need to book, just turn up and grab a ticket from the roving Student Union staff who yell out "Free Drinks" in the Caf or Bowen st. But you need to get in there quick, because when it is really busy they go out fast.

Today they had a really rad DJ (I can't remember his name though). Sometimes there are comedians and other acts though. The weather was really nice to be sitting outside. It was really sunny for an autumn day.

A few people came, but many were still on holidays. There's bound to be more next week though.
My ticket for a free drink

My drink- meh I'm not an alcoholic

The DJ



There's heaps of free food, mainly pies and sausage rolls all courtesy of the Pearsons and Murphy's cafe. The sausage roll was awesome, but I'm not sure about the others. There was only one plate of food and it was gone in like five minutes.

So do bring a friend or two and just chill out there.

links

There are links posted all over the blog. Please click on the ones most relevant to you, as they will assist you during your time in Australia. Some of the ones with Internet jobs you don't have to click on, but the ones with the good deals, such as CUDO and the SwapIt one has some good advice

important article

http://www.couriermail.com.au/ipad/clean-your-drier-or-risk-a-fire/story-fn6ck4a4-1226017261734
This an article that all students should read as it relates to fire safety.

mexican salsa salad

Serves 1
Ingredients
One small lebanese cucumber diced
A handful of cherry tomatoes
90G of three bean mix

Mix everything together. You can serve it on its own or with a piece of bread.
Enjoy

Don't work here

different types of cheeses

A cheese stall at the Queen Victoria Market
There are a few different types of cheeses in Melbourne. Most of them orignated from France, but are made here. These are listed below:
1) Brie- (France). Its very creamy. It can be on bread, pizza, anything or it can be eaten plain.
2) Camembert (France). It can be eaten plain
3) Cheddar- It's really hard and woody, but good for toasted sandwiches
4) Fruit cheese- (Australia)- Perfect for snacking and it has dried fruit in it. Because of its sweet taste it is also a desert cheese
5) Swiss (Switzerland)- Its very light in taste and flavour and is good for sandwiches
6) Parmesan (Italy)- very cheesy and is normally sprinkled in pasta. This can be packaged or in blocks.
7) Blue Vein (France)- tastes like blue cheese and has blue spots, resembling blue vein (but these are not real and the cheese is edible)

You can buy individual cheese blocks at the supermarkets and delis for around $4-$11 per piece. Or you can buy them at the Queen Victoria market for 3 for $10

Kinfolk

This cafe is near trams and trains. It is the ideal place to have lunch. It is a place which is a not for profit organization. I have read many good reviews and have heard that they opened just recently. So I thought that I might pop by today. They rely mainly on volunteers. They are all very friendly.

The decor here was pretty friendly. On the outside, it may look a bit dirty, but really it is very clean, warm and inviting. I love the wooden floors, you don't get that often in cafes in Melbourne. It is not as cramped as the other cafes in Spencer st.
The sopressa Sandwhich

A sign encouraging people to volunteer for them



My hot chocolate



They will let you use your own mug here, not like some other cafes.
 The interesting thing is that you select a coffee bean and place it in a cup. You can choose from a wide range of charities and projects which are labelled on the jar and the money goes to that charity.

My breakfast costed me $12. It consisted of a sopressa sandwich ($8.50) and a hot chocolate ($3.50). I loved the way that they do the hot chocolate. Sopressa is an Italian type of salami.

The sopressa sandwich was done nicely too. It had a relish which was really refreshing and a bit spicy. I love spiciness of the food. But if you don't like spice there are non spicy dishes such as porridge and other things.

I think there are a few vegetarian choices on the menu. I think that the cafe is also organic, which makes me want to return.
Kinfolk on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

here's a place where you can book tables at the last minute

http://www.yumtable.com/. Here you can also eat for cheap at some of Melbourne's fine food dining.

Lil Kitsch



             Today I went to Lil Kitsch on my way to the supermarket, feeling like a good hot chocolate and a waffle. The ones at Max Brenners are way too dry and are very hard to cut. Plus they are also very expensive (about $17 for a plate of two small waffles).

But the waffle at Lil Kitsch was better in terms of taste and quality. The waffle was really big. It was really fluffy not hard and dry like the ones at Max Brenners. For $13 I expected two waffles, but instead they brought out one and a whole lot of ice cream and jam. I loved the jam. The jam tasted very countrylike.

The hot chocolate was very ordinary, but big for $3.70.

The restaurant was really busy for a Monday morning.

Service there wasn’t too bad. I didn’t mind the noisy table next to me, at least one person had the guts to tell me that they were going to be a bit noisy. Which was nice of them. Their breakfast plates and chips looked really nice. The next time when I go back I will have to try the vegetarian breakfast with chips.
Lil Kitch on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

http://au.news.yahoo.com/vic/latest/a/-/article/9260812/student-bashed-by-gang/
I feel sorry for the guy. Here's a lesson for you: Just be careful walking Melbourne's streets 
at night or early morning as there is no security around during that time of day. 
And don't walk in the streets late at night alone.
And watch where you are going and take notice of who is with you or around you at all times. 
If there is anything suspicious or if there are any suspicious looking or acting people outside the apartment
or house let your roommate or security guard know. Or otherwise you can ask the security guard to escort you. 
Otherwise Melbourne's streets are fine to walk in.

coffee list

Here's a list of a few coffee places that I like to go to. I've given my reasons here.
1) Tramazini- North Melbourne. It is right outside the number 57 tram stop. Across the road is Hotel Miami. The ambience is really inviting. The lady that served me was very friendly. They do fair trade coffees and drinks. I had a medium soy hot chocolate ($5) from them and loved it. If ever you are staying in Hotel Miami and are waiting for the tram you should come by.
Tramezzini Cafe on Urbanspoon

2) Cafe Stax- great fair trade coffees at a low price. All the meals are under $15. It appeals very much to uni students such as myself.


Stax on Urbanspoon  Max Brenner Chocolate Bar on Urbanspoon
Chokolait on Urbanspoon
3) Max Brenners- I'm a bit of a chocoholic myself. Even though this place is very expensive ($16-$25), it is worth a visit for all of you chocoholics out there. There are decadent chocolate pizzas, make your own chocolate drinks (see diagram), chocolate shakes and smoothies etc. And they also do a fondue for two ($16). This is really great for a cold winters day in Melbourne.
4) Chokolait- This place is hidden away in Royal Arcade, but it is sure popular with all the locals. Here you can buy handmade chocolates as well as hot chocolate ($6-$7). They also do really big servings of cake ($9.50 per piece) and you'd have to share the cake with someone. Last time I was there, I couldn't finish my Pavlova.

5) San Churros- This is a Spanish chocolate shop/cafe. Here you can buy a chilli hot chocolate ($5.50-$6.50) and some churros ($8) to warm you up on a cold winters day. They do really great chilli hot chocolate to wash away your winter blues. They often do have free coffee promotions so if you do like them on Facebook and Twitter you will be in the know. And if you join Unisquare.me then you can get a free hot drink and truffle for $2


6) Brunettis @ Myer- This is a lovely Italian place situated right in the heart of Myer. Here you can take a break from all the shopping and buy a nice coffee/Italian hot chocolate ($3-$6) for yourself. You can also sample some of the cakes that they have ($10- $15 for 4 cakes/pastries) or have lunch here ($15-$25)

7) Roule Galatte @ Rebecca Walk- This is a tiny little cafe, situated right in the heart of the city. This is
 near Degraves st and Flinders st station. Here they do crepes for ($4-$14). You can choose between savoury or sweet crepes and they are very filling. They also serve coffees, not sure about the price though



















8) Puckle st cafe- low price and great on quality and size. The lady there is lovely,but hardly speaks much English.. You can't go wrong there. $5 for a salad roll and $4.50 for an iced chocolate. $4 for a hot chocolate.

Brunetti on Urbanspoon
Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon
Roule Galette on Urbanspoon
9) Invita @the Queen victoria Market
This cafe is vegan and I love their healthy soy hot chocolates. Who cares about the price because it is sooo darn good! I can get my salad fix here as well as my chocolate fix! And they do good teas too!
Invita on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 25, 2011

couscous

Couscous is a type of grain from the Middle East used instead of rice to cook many dishes. You can include it in salad, just like the picture below. It is very small, but grainy. It is widely available in most supermarkets for a cheap price.

pavalova

Pavlova is a traditional Australian dessert. It is a very sweet and light cake, filled with cream and has a meringue casing. The topping is mainly strawberry, but other fruits can also be used. This is usually sold at chocolate shops and some cafes in Melbourne.
We like this dessert during summertime when we have our barbeques.


tiramisu

Tiramisu is an Italian dessert made with Mascopone, cream and a bit of cake in the middle and down the bottom. It is coffee flavoured and very sweet. You will find this in most Italian cafes and shops in Melbourne
This is what it is.

eggs benedict

Eggs Benedict is a European dish which is sold in many restaurants and cafes in Melbourne. It is typically a breakfast dish which consists of poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, ham or bacon and English muffins.
The Hollandaise sauce should taste of mayonaise with a bit more of a buttery flavour. The eggs should sit on top of the ham (or bacon) and English muffin.
NB: this can also be done with spinach instead of ham

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