Friday, March 28, 2014

Famishd the new salad place

There is another Famishd in the city now and that's near Southern Cross station.

A few days ago I received an email for free soup so I decided to check out the new place. Hence this is a partially sponsored review (I paid for the salad myself).
The soup changes daily

The menu

Oh and they have bread loaves for sale


Look at the cupcake

They have an outdoor area

The service wasn't bad. There was one brunette lady there who didn't want to be there. She was a little bit unfriendly and a little bit intrusive.

They have a soup of the day and today's one was pumpkin. I really liked that soup with the sour cream in there. I also loved my sourdough bread.

The salads change daily and they also have alcohol. They never used to.  Oh and they still have their regular coffees by St Ali.
The salads on offer (top, middle and bottom pictures)

You can make your own salad too if you like.

They also do spuds.

The soup was nice and creamy and very fresh. In fact they took ten minutes to make the soup.

The salad was just passable ($8.50 for a side). It wasn't great. It had chicken in there and I don't normally eat meat. The pasta was very dry and breakable; hence inedible. The only saving grace was the spring onions.

The soup really warmed me up.

Verdict: Go to Famishd in winter for the soup and not the inedible pasta. Oh and if you are a salad freak design your own salad.

I really do hope they open for dinner for all the weary travellers from Southern cross station who don't want another pub meal. It is a great thing that this place, Pok pok and Simply Spanish opened a block away from Southern Cross station.
Famish'd Salads & Stuff on Urbanspoon

Hammer & Tong

Hammer and Tong are in Brunswick st, not too far away from RMIT in the city. It is easy to get to by tram.

At 11.30am on a bright and sunny Tuesday morning it was not busy and I was easily able to find a place to sit. Weekends can be really busy and they don't allow any changes to the menu during the busy periods.
Coffee menu

Coffee is by Dukes coffee roasters

Seasonal menu


The condiments

Coffee fans will be impressed by the ten different types of coffees that it offers. They will also be impressed by the quality of the Duke Coffee Roasters beans that they use. I was really impressed by their iced coffee. But the only downside is that it was not too sweet. I would have liked it to be sweeter. Luckily there was sugar on the table and I added it myself.

But if you are not a coffee drinker they also have teas by Storm in a teacup.

I went for their brunch which I had heaps of trouble deciding as they all seemed too good. In the end I went for their soft shell crab ($12) which was amazing and their corn on the cob ($9). The corn on the cob is cut into half and it can be shared between two. Oh and it has a whole lot of peccorino cheese so if you are not a fan then don't order this.

The corn on the cob

Someone's lovely watermelon drink

Verdict: Would love to come back. The service whilst good, was a little invasive. I didn't really like the lady with the glasses. She seemed a little bit unfriendly. The other brown haired lady was alright.

Students do swing by for their amazing soft shell crab. If only they had chips and onion rings as a side it would be a bit better.
Hammer & Tong on Urbanspoon

Super Bowl Pho and Bun Bo Hue

Super Pho and Bun Bo Hue had been opened for about a year now and already they have ten posts. They are near the corner of Church and Victoria sts and the route 109 tram services it.


The menu 

The guys that work there are lovely and attentive. The manager was super friendly and said sorry for running out of onions. I did however remind him a couple of times though before he said sorry.

They have free tea not like some other places.

They support a charity somewhere in South East Asia. If you have chance do donate.

The broth was quite good for the vegetarian pho. I had a small bowl for $9 and boy was it huge! I put a bit of chilli sauce in there. The rice noodles was great.

Verdict: Some people thought that pho might be expensive just looking at the menu but the bowls are huge. Its a good thing that Richmond has a lot of these sorts of places.
I have to agree with many of the bloggers about the meals there. I paid for my own. I'd like to try the broken rice next time.
Super Bowl Pho & Bun Bo Hue on Urbanspoon

Cucinetta by Claudia

Cucinetta is a tiny little cozy Italian cafe which is opened manily for dinner but they also do lunches as well.

Love the wine glasses

Cucinetta always has promotions

The exterior on a lovely sunny day

It is run by one guy and a chef. The chef is a happy guy and is always happy to take orders. They cater for mainly workers but they are looking to have other people come in the future.

I loved my drink.
They sell wines and like a traditional Italian cafe, they have a small menu which changes weekly.

I had the $23 lunch deal (two courses, bread and oils. This would be $26 for dinner) and a Hepburn pink grapefruit drink ($4).

The bread was so addictive and so was the lovely olive oil which I believe was sourced from Prahran Market.

The olives were addictive as well. I believe they are the Mount Zero ones

The fuselli (pasta) main was small but moreish. I loved all the fresh cheese in there. The only minor thing is that the pasta is a tad bit overcooked. There wasn't a whole lot of eggplant but that's ok.

Verdict: I would love for the team at Gastrology and Eat and be merry to come and visit. During the summer I'd like to visit and sit outside. The only thing is there is no bathroom nearby but South Yarra station is close
Cucinetta on Urbanspoon

Blue train cafe by Claudia

Blue Train has been around ever since 1993 and it has been a popular place with the locals and tourists alike.

But recently they expanded their place to include a cafe. Hence I got confused as to where to go for the Groupons. Just a heads up to the Groupon customers it is at their main restaurant and not their cafe that they do the Groupon.  On Wednesdays during their happy hour they have $5 sliders.
The wine glasses


The lighting

My server was quite lovely to deal with. He let me change places.

I purchased a Groupon for this place which was $12. It included one $20 burger meal and rustic chips and beer/soft drink. I wonder why it didn't include mocktails.

My server said that they got about 60-70 Groupon customers in one go over two hours.  But today I saw not many of them except for a table of guys that ordered burgers and drinks.

It was after 12pm when I came and inside the restaurant it was not busy. I ordered a lemon and lime and bitters and first time around they got my order wrong. Well almost. I had to remind them gently when they brought out the wrong drink.

I ordered the pulled prawn burger with capers, seeing as I don't eat meat but do eat seafood. Oh how I would love a vegetarian burger on the menu (a proper one that is). But I enjoyed the rustic chips which weren't too salty and they were freshly done.

I didn't really love the pulled prawn burger as such. Whilst the brioche bun was nice, I thought it was a little dry. The prawn was the letdown. It was cold and ergh. There was too many capers. But the lettuce and coriander gave it that nice Asian touch.

Verdict: I'd love to come back and try their rustic chips as I was surely addicted to these. And please please please put vegetarian burgers on the menu as many people would love to see this option.
Bluetrain on Urbanspoon

Thursday, March 27, 2014

International students set to recceive concession cards in 2015

The Victorian government in association with the City of Melbourne have decided to trial a new three year program involving International students and travel. Some international students will be able to receive concession cards in 2015. This is a three year pilot program.

The aim of this program is to attract more International students to study in Melbourne. Currently due to the high costs of studying in Melbourne including travel many students are studying elsewhere such as the US.

The NUS, CISA, Meld and others have welcomed this announcement after years of campaigning.

But the downside of the program is that not all students are able to get it. This is only a yearly pass. Currently it is only the University of Melbourne and Monash students and its only available to full time undergraduate students. Hence there are many equity concerns on CISA's Facebook page.

On the yearly pass students pay about $1105 for Zone 1 and 2 for a concession and $2210 for a Full fare myki.

What do you think? Share your comments below.

Blogging basics part 1: Establishing your own brand

Do you have what it takes to be a blogger? The team at RMIT Newintstudents explains what it takes to be a blogger in this four part series.

An example of what you could talk about
Blogging is like marketing where the dynamics is always changing from one week to the next. One week you will have a lot of sponsored post and the next you might not.

What sort of a blogger are you?
Are you an honest one or are you one that lies?

What do you like to talk about?
You can talk about whatever you like. Most people love to talk about food, but if food is not your thing you can talk about other things

What are the ground rules?
Try and post at least once a week if you can. Always check your spelling and grammar. For International students that are not so good at it, your English will get better and better as time goes on. We are not perfect.
Also try and comment on most people's blogs and hopefully they will do the same. Do reply to people's comments.

You need to have some sort of a voice as this will be used a lot when you write your content. For all students having a voice is important when you do your assignments. The tutors (or whoever's marking you) will want to see that you have an opinion. They will also want to see that you understand what is being taught. Doing a blog is a great way to get used to using your voice.

Blogging can be frantic as it is often changing. If you keep up you'll be great at it and it will become a natural thing for you. Be organised. You have to be organised in your studies, why not start a blog? I have no time is not an excuse not get blogging.

Problems with Accomodation

Students have had many problems with their accommodation during their time in Melbourne. Accommodation has been one of the biggest issues to date and student organizations are advocating for cheaper accommodation which is close to college.

Legal rights
In the paper by Smith & Nyland (2007) it said that many students do not know of their rights in the first three months. But there are information sessions which talk about these things, but many students do not know.

Share housing vs Rooming house

Nyland (2007) said that not many students know the difference between rooming house and share house. A share house doesn't have as many people where as a rooming house has about 10-15 residents. A rooming house has a lot more stringent rules.

But some of them can be unsafe especially if they have 10-11 residents in one room or a small house.

A share house is cheaper but some of them are unfurnished. Some of the housemates can be quite disruptive especially if they love parties and drinking.

College houses
This is more expensive but if  you want to experience a lot of Melbourne life and make friends then this might be the way to go.

Melbourne Uni has a lot of college houses which includes the bills in the rent. They also have many activities for students. Some of them include meals.

RMIT Village is very expensive for one tiny bedroom. Here it is about $400 per week (all bills included) but it doesn't include food. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clubs and why it is important to join

Students all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Did you know that by joining a club it is fun as well as a great opportunity to network with people? Well it is and we explain the types of clubs that you can expect.

The most important club you'll need at uni: student union membership- it is $10- $20 per year. Here you will get lots and lots of member benefits.

Five categories of student clubs
1) Spiritual/Religious- these clubs meets once a week and they have spiritual gatherings. They are usually free to join

2) Sport and Art- they are usually run by the uni, hence they are free for uni students to join. There is usually something out there for everyone. This is a great chance for you to meet and mingle with the locals. In some sporting clubs such as netball there are teams and you'd get assigned to one if you don't have one. Joining a sport is a great way to keep healthy.

The art ones have always got a gallery or exhibition opening showcasing student work.

3) Cultural- these cost a small fee to join. The money that they collect is used to help fund for their events to which some of them are free for members. If you join and pay you'll usually get a goodie bag and some discounts. It is a great way to make friends and lose all feelings of homesickness.

4) Academic- there are clubs for each discipline that you are studying in like: AIESEC which is all about accounting and business. These clubs might have some second year and third year students who may have done some of your subjects/courses and could give you some tips on aceing the exam.

5) Clubs just for fun- there are gaming clubs and and anime clubs. There is usually something to suit everyone's hobbies. After all "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".

 There are always clubs to suit everyone's interest. But if there's one that you want and its not at your uni, you can always start one. Each club needs 10 student members and each uni's student union has a clubs and societies officer. 


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