Monday, February 27, 2017

Gradi at Crown

RNIS received a free $50 Gift Card from Crown to spend at Gradi and therefore did not have to pay.

Gradi is now everywhere. The first store was in Brusnwick and the second was in the city and now there is one at Eastland. Not only are they everywhere they even do functions and events such as the Live tennis site.

Here the Gradi at Crown was busy at 3pm. I was starving by then after running with the wind. It was a nasty windy and rainy day for February. After 3:30pm it was quiet. There was a bit of a wait between mains and dessert.

The new book

Meats on display

The service was very friendly, albeit a bit slow.

For the mains I had vegetarian pizza as I know that they are renowned for their pizza. Here their pizza bases were the good side of doughy. They were not undercooked or overcooked just perfect. I loved the addition of olives on there. If only they had left it on the menu for this pizza-great. As for the chilli oil it was not too hot when you don't eat the chilli slices. When you do it is hot.

This Gradi now has a zero Gradi ice cream truck outside. I was willing to see how their gelati stacks up and it was the bomb. I ordered a limonata one and it had a biscotti inside it to give it that extra crunch as well as the white chocolate for the sweetness and the extra "wow" factor. I really did enjoy the dessert

Rating: 15/20- great and welcome to the Casino. It's good to have such good pizza places here. I would love to have tried out their Aperol and drinks but wasn't in the mood for them.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Lucky Chan

Lucky Chan is in Crown and it has been there for a long time. When RNIS last went there a few years back, the place and the service was shocking. Moreso the food was very bad and expensive. These days it still is expensive at $8-$12 a plate but for some of dishes they were big, such as the Congee and the roast duck.

But then the service wasn't very friendly by some of the staff especially the older guy who sat me down. And the lady who asked me for tea asked in Cantonese. These days most people speak English so it is better to ask in English.

First up was the sticky rice. I really enjoyed this espceially the lapchong sausage as that was really sweet. It does have prawns inside. At $10.50 per plate of this, it was really steep and I won't be getting this again.

The char siu bao was too sweet for my liking. There was so much sugar in there which killed the dish. My flatmate can make better ones at home.

The spring rolls were nothing much to wrtie home about. They were bland and very oily.

I did however like the steamed dumplings and the wontons. For the steamed dumplings the skin was translucent and the broth came out of them. The wontons were crispy and not too salty.

Overall I wasn't too happy about paying the $57. If only they had accepted the gift card that would be fine and dandy.
Lucky Chan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 18, 2017

El Rincon

El Rincon is a Spnaish place in Queen Victoria Market. It has been opened for a few months now and already they are starting to see customers in the late afternoon. Here most people love a drink and free tapas.

I had heard good things from Gastrology bloggers about them and so wanted to give them a go. And give them a go I did. The manager and the wait staff seemed very friendly to their customers so I recommend my readers give them a go. And they seemed to know Spanish cuisine.

Here I had their egg omelette with chorizo, mushrooms and olive bread. There was salami in this and they must have run out of chorizo. But at least the eggs were good and the olive bread was just divine. It was moist and not too hard to cut.

The mushrooms were good and they had a little dash of extra virgin olive oil in them. I love Olive oil as it is good for your health

And unlike what some other bloggers say about the food sizes, this was a huge plate for $15.

Rating: 15/20- I really don't know what Penguin eats and other bloggers were on about. I wish that I was invited to try their dinner service with wine.

I would have liked to have tried the Spanish sweets but seeing as I am doing Febfast I cannot have any sweets.
El Rincon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pho Cycle

Pho Cycle is one of the better places in South Melbourne. Here they renowned for their pho and some people took to Zomato to express their disgruntlement. They were on the quieter side for a Wednesday night and I was in the mood for some vegetarian pho.

 They had run out of sweet potato fries so they let everyone know that before ordering which is good. They have a limited menu and they don't do much dessert. Only tapioca pudding which is $10.

The bathrooms are out the back and past the kitchen. Whilst going there I passed a lovely arrangement of beer bottles. I thought this was cool.

The service here was friendly but slow. But at least I could smell my pho being made in the kitchen. Unlike what the guy said three weeks ago about his pho being salty after it was delivered, mine was not. Mine was the huge size for $12 which is good value for money.

It didn't have a lot of tofu in there, rather it had a lot of vegetables, spring onion and rice noodles. Lots of rice noodles is good for a runner like me. But too much soup is not. I couldn't finish all. I also enjoyed the pickled chilli in my soup. The other chilli was way too hot for me.

Rating: 14/20- the service has a lot left to be desired sometimes, but better pho than other places.
Pho Cycle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pride March

Every year at the end of Midsumma there is a Pride March and it is free for all to attend. Here the marchers wait for a long while at the oval at Lakeside drive until it is their turn to march. And then they march down Fitzroy st to Catani Gardens where entertainment and food await them.

I went this year with RUSU Queer Department on a perfect day. It was not too hot and not too cold. Heaps of people turned up to this free event, hence all the trams going back into the city from there were packed. And some people waited for hours in bars.

Hence I decided to run the 7km back into the city after it ended.

Every year it is fun to go and say hi to the crowd as you pass them. For me that was yelping and cheering.

But every year the lines are long for the bathrooms and the food. That is why I never bothered with the food. As for the drink wristband, last time in Alexandra Gardens it was 6pm and they never bothered checking anyone's ID. This time around  they did and it was a huge queue for it.

Do go next years one if you are a uni student or work for one of the LGBTI groups as to which there are many. SEEK had a ball with their balls.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Jasper Hotel

RNIS did not have to pay for their meals or drinks at the Jasper Hotel as Entertainment publications paid for this.

This year we are raising money for the Salvation Army. This is because there are so many people who are homeless and in light of the Lord Mayor's plan to get rid of them the Salvos are at a breaking point. They try to help but either they have lack of resources or people refused the help.

Here the Jasper Hotel has received many good blog posts. Some of which are from Eat and be merry and Gastrology.

Here we both had sparkling water and I could not have any sweet things due to Febfast as I am supposed to be quitting sweets for a month.

But however I had a filling cheese okomiyaki for $8.9. Here it looked small but filling due to all that cheese on the top.

Many thanks to Entertainment publications for the invite and do buy the Entertainment book when the new version is released in April as they have 25%, 50% off and 2-for-1 offers. The book is $70 but they have a lot of offers which expire in June 2018. You can also buy the app for the same price.
Oko on Jasper Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lane Restaurant

Lane Restaurant is in the Novotel hotel and its part of the Accor group. They do breakfast buffet as well as a la carte brunch, lunch and dinner. Here it was quiet at 11:50am when I came as they had just finished breakfast. Moreover the staff were really slow at taking my order and giving it. It took them five minutes to take my order and 25 mins to wait for a salmon bagel with scrambled eggs.

Dining area


They must have had a lot of room service orders and there was a big conference going on next door so they might have had to cater to that.

But the salmon bagel was not worth the hefty price tag of $19. Still the salmon was fresh and the bagel was good. And because of the wait the side of eggs and juices were free. The scrambled eggs was just ok.

The next time I come it will be for a drink only unless I want to wait ages. At least the guys were friendly and the place was clean.
Lane Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Pancake Parlour in Highpoint

RNIS got a voucher for a free short stack and did not have to pay

The Pancake Parlour is a franchise and some Pancake Parlours do their short stacks worse than others.

I had been wanting to try out this Pancake Parlour for some time now and when the chance to get a free voucher came along at Melbourne Central I jumped at it.

I didn't have any drinks due to the Febfast program which I am taking part to learn about what sweets can do to someone's health and their life. Every year too many Australians eat a lot of sugar that they don't need. Thus this is why I did not add any ice cream to my pancake.

Instead I had whipped butter and a little squirt of syrup. In hindsight the pancake is much better without the added sugar. This pancake was moist but a little on the small side. Luckily I didn't pay $12.50 for this so I am grateful.

Many thanks to the Pancake Parlour for the voucher and do try the short stack out with the whipped butter and a little squirt of maple syrup.
The Pancake Parlour Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Nandos at Melbourne Central

RNIS got a free voucher to try their Peri Peri chips but paid for the spicy rice.

Nandos is in Melbourne Central on the same level as the cinema. I have never tried this Nandos before eventhough I have seen it. That's weird because I try almost everything that I see. Maybe its either because Nandos is full of meaty things or because its expensive. Or I have never had the chance until now when I went on that treasure hunt and picked up a free chip voucher.


You go up and order and you pay. If you are eating in they will give you a number. But be prepared to wait if they are busy like they were on Friday night. But I did not have to wait long for my food. The service was friendly and they were attentive.

Their peri peri chips are pretty good. And they are not too spicy which is great. I tried a couple of sauces such as the three bell pepper one and the mildly spicy one. I liked them both and the three bell pepper one worked better on the rice than on the chips. The peri peri one worked better.

The wild rice was al dente and it was very spicy so mild lovers may not like this.

Rating: 15/20- great. Do come by and try this place out before a movie. Or after one.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ibis restaurant

I only went there for coffee in the morning.

IBIS restaurant is part of the IBIS hotel which is on Therry Street in Melbourne. It is right near the Queen Victoria Market and I have passed by this place many times.
The tennis poster offering the shake

Here they do offer a Breakfast buffet but they already finished it by 10am when I arrived. It was ok by me as I had just had breakfast.

As it was a hotel restaurant their staff were quite friendly.

As it was Australian open, they had an Australian Open shake for $7. They also showed some of the Australian open on TV and they had ping pong tables in their restaurant where customers can play.

The latte was $4 and it was burnt and bitter. Although it had nice artwork.

Do come by for a meal or two.
Ibis Kitchen - Ibis Melbourne Hotel and Apartments Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Victoria Street Lunar New year festival

This festival was free for all to go to. Set right in the heart of Victoria st in Richmond this is a must see every year. Every Chinese/Lunar new year a lot of people go to the festival to see the dragon and taste the food. Each year there are many Australians as well as Asians who attend this festival.

I must admit that taking the tram there can be difficult as they closed off the line and you have to walk to McKay st which is nine minutes away. There are replacement buses which don't stop in Victoria st so most people took the train. I took the number 78 tram from South Yarra to Richmond and at the end took the tram back.

Foods on display

The stage

The makings for Longan drink

Samosa samples

The games really were a waste of space. They are not what people come to these cultural festivals for. The balloon one was very nauseating for some people.

We love coming to these cultural festivals just to try new foods. The new foods we tried were the longan drink which symbolises good health and wealth for the coming year. To me the seaweed and grass in that drink was quite foreign to me.

There was this other Bun (Vietnamese salad) which had chicken and you had to mix the coconut sauce in with the fish and vinegar sauce. To me that was just weird and it drowned out the flavour of the salad. But still noodles bring longevitiy for the new year.

The watermelon drink was quite a refresher for me on this warm day.

Also I loved the lion dancing and that was so much fun for all to watch. On a day like today many people got dehydrated and someone had to be taken to hospital.

Many thanks for the festival Victoria st. Can I make a suggestion for next years one and that is to remind people to stay hydrated on a really hot day? People should bring two bottles full of water if they can and one big tank is not enough for a festival this size. Drinks here are quite expensive.


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