Monday, January 30, 2017

Midsumma Carnival and T- dance party

Both were held on the same day and it is a tradition for RMIT Newintstudents to attend. This was their 30th festival (they have one each year) and so of course it was special. Here they were both as fun and both had just as many people and lines to the bathrooms and food. The lines to the food was really crazy. Last year there were so many stalls. This year they cut it back a little. Also there were no free bottle openers which I and others would have loved.
Patting dogs

Dan Murphy's cider theatre




I would have got food but because the lines were so long, I ended up with takeaway from somewhere else. People brought food but because I did a run in the morning I couldn't be bothered carrying all.

The T-Dance party was quite fun but loud and drunken people ruined it for everyone. I tried a Fat Yak ale and it was $9 for a small can. I also tried a $6 slushee in a small cup. The tubes were $10 and people kept coming back for refills.

The dog patting and spotting was the best part of the day. Visitors brought in dogs to enjoy the show with them.

Do come to next years one and celebrate all things queer.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Five Grains Asian place

This place is in Niddrie and its where the old Noodle Box used to be. This place opened a few days ago and for a New Years Eve lunch we went there. My housemate saw it in the area and decided to go in.

It is part Malaysian- part Chinese. For a New Years Eve lunch there wasn't a lot of people there. I would have thought more since they wanted to find out about the place. It was clean and I loved seeing the flowers.

Here we ordered the Char Kuey Teow ($12.90) and the Hainan Chicken ($12.90) to share. The Hainan chicken was overcooked and was without the bones. The picture suggested plump chicken pieces but this was without. The rice was nice and there was subtle coconut flavour. But it was too much for one person. Normally at Mabrown and other places in the city I would have got the chicken with the ginger sauce and sambal. No such luck here, although I must admit that I did like the sambal. This was good but not as good  as Mabrown's version.
Image courtesy of Foodenvy on Zomato.com



The Char Kuey had a lot of wok hei to it but it was a small plate. Usually in the city I get a bigger plate for that price. I liked the seafood to it and there was not a lot of meat. Moreover the noodles were a little soggy and slippery.

I don't know about returning but lets see what Escort and Thief, Eat and be merry, Sweet and Sour fork and Consider the Sauce think of this place. As for service it was just ok.
Five Grains Asian Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Exchange Hotel

RNIS paid for their own drink and did not have to pay for the burger meal. This meal was taken from their good food gift card which you can buy from the Age online.

The Exchange Hotel is in Port Melbourne right near the end of the line and where the Spirit of Tasmania is. Hence it is really popular with the locals and visitors alike. But the wait times for food are very long. As I had to be somewhere else in a hurry I took my chips away. I was very hungry and agitated at the wait. At Bells Hotel we didn't have to wait this long. Our food only took about ten minutes to come. The place was not even packed- it was steady with a lot of punters just drinking.




At least the staff were friendly about it.

The beef burger for $19 (normally $24) took about half an hour to come. Other people were not happy with the wait times and there were several tables waiting for ages. At least the food was good (except for a few gristles in the burger and the super sweet bun).

But at least the patty was cooked. The burger was small but not too small. It was supposed to have bacon but this did not. At least I liked the onion ring in there,

The chips also were really great. I loved the chicken salt and the crunchy taste.

The drink came out before the burger and I devoured this in no time. It was a lemon, lime and bitters. I would have gone for the beer but they seemed a tad bit expensive and it was on the late side for me.

Rating: 13/20-ok food but would mainly come here for the drinks and the locals night on Monday. Hated the wait.
Exchange Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

40 years: 3RRR's exhibition

To celebrate 40 years of being in Melbourne 3RRR has a free exhibition and pop up bar going on at the State Library. The pop up bar is only on selected Fridays.

The 3RRR exhibition was rather interesting. Here they had some of the works from RMIT University a leading uni in radio and television. RMIT have their own student radio and TV channel where students can practice what they have learnt. It was good to be transported back  in time to where nightclubs and bars were more popular. I remembered those years at RMIT especially at the student union where I was helping with their weekly events. Their weekly events had beer for their members and then afterwards we would sit and enjoy that beer. It still happens to this day but not as much because of the move to a smaller space.

Then on selected Friday nights there was the pop up bar which was free entry. It was also a chance to let guest mingle with each other over wine and cocktails. There wasn't much in terms of snacks except for pretzels so I had brought my own and added in a $10 RRR cocktail which was vodka, ginger beer and mint. It was presented in a takeaway cup and it would have been nicer in one of their fancy glasses. But oh well- it had that hint of sweetness from the ginger beer and the refreshing taste of mint.

Other drinks were $4-$8.
The music at the pop up bar was electric and cool. It was the true spirit of RRR and people enjoyed
it.

Do go and see the exhibition in the State Library before they close on the 26th of Feburary.

Hyakumi

Myakumi is a Japanese place in Niddrie. On this particular Saturday Niddrie was busy and Friend A wanted to catch up. Hyakumi is right next to La Porchetta which seemed quiet. Here Hyakumi was busy with Caucasians. This must be a good sign, am I right?

Nope I was wrong. The place seemed understaffed for a busy Saturday. We did have a long wait of up to 20 minutes for a basic but deluxe bento to come ($18.80 for a measly one with no rice). It was nice of them to warn us about the rice but they could have made this up with more sushi and sashimi.

The katsu was nice but there could have been more.
Image courtesy of Daniel Johnston on Zomato

There were four morsels of sushi- not enough for someone who is really hungry. There were two rolls and two nigiri. All of which are fresh and my roll fell apart. The wasabi was the lovely Japanese one.

The seaweed salad was ok though and I loved the salad under the katsu. That had that nice tang to it.

The spring roll was the frozen sort.

I really did like the tempura and would order that again even on its own along with the agedashi tofu which someone had

In short don't bother with the bento. Instead order the other dishes which seemed to be better
Hyakumi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe De Taite

Cafe De taite has only just popped in Glenferrie st and its a roast duck shop. Here it is run by Cantonese people. Cantonese people are friendly but this waitress seemed a little bit surly. I'm not sure why. She did not smile one bit and after 3pm I was the only customer there.

The city was evacuated at 1:30pm hence I decided to hang out in Glenferrie until it ended.




The BBQ pork omelette was just ok. The complementary pork and vegetable soup was too salty. The rice had too much soya sauce in it- they could have put that on the side.

The BBQ pork was dry- it was overcooked. It had that dry chewy feeling to it.

The rice was just ok.

In short don't bother about the meals here. I wouldn't mind buying duck to take home seeing as its between $16-$30 depending on what you want and how much you'll eat.
Cafe de Taite Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, January 23, 2017

POWR Kitchen

We had a Good Food gift card and did not have to pay.

POW Kitchen is in Fitzroy st in St Kilda and it was after our run that we went there. It focuses on South east asia flavours just like Cookie and Chin Chin. Except there is not a huge long line like Chin Chin. I haven't been to Cookie yet because they are too darn expensive for my liking.




 POW Kitchen has about 20 different dishes and a huge long wine and cocktail list. They also listed Aperol Spritz as one of them on the board.

The service there was very friendly and attentive for a Sunday afternoon. I don't  know who was complaining about the service but seriously good. The ladies were really friendly. The place was not busy.

To start off with we had a lemon, lime and bitters. This was a little bit on the flat side.

We also had prawn crackers with a really nice peanut dipping sauce. This sauce had chilli in it but not too much. Katherine initially thought that it was free but it turns out that it is $5.

Then comes the char kuey teow with fish cake and lots of it ($18). It also had lots of prawns and the noodles were not soggy. But there was no wok hei to it which I would have liked. There was a lot of chilli in this though.

Rating: 14/20- still a few things to fix, otherwise good. 
POW Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ten Miles

Ten Miles is a Chinese place in the Crown food court. For this years upcoming orientation I have decided to focus on inner city and hotel places so that students know  where to eat when they first arrive in Melbourne. When they first arrive here many of them choose to stay in a hotel until they decide on a place.


My food at Ten Miles wasn't the best. It was from the bain marie and was $11.50 for a small tub of takeaway food. This included two dishes and your choice of noodles or  rice. I picked noodles and everything was just greasy.

In short I say don't bother.
Ten Miles Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hokkaido Cheese tart

Hokkaido Cheese tart has just opened in Melbourne Central and recently we went to check out the craze. The first few weeks the place was really hectic as people wanted to find out about these little beauties. But now that there are shops in Chadstone and QV as well as Melbourne Central, there was really no need to go all the way to Melbourne Central.



Here the tart was nice and warm from being freshly baked on site. That's the good thing about coming early in the mornings. When you get them in the afternoon it can be lukewarm and cold from being on the bench for a while. One tart is $3.90 which is expensive for such a sweet tart.

In short try it once and if you like it go back again.
Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Burger Kitchen

This place just opened up right outside of Moonee Ponds station and here its popular on a Thursday lunchtime.

The bathrooms are out the back and down some steps (watch your step). A watch your step sign would be a good idea as I nearly tripped. Also another good idea is to have a bathroom sign on the back wall where the sign is so that people know. I nearly thought that there was not a bathroom in sight.

Here I had bought a Groupon for $9.50 which includes a soft drink or water, burger and chips. It does not include any extras.  But I did order egg and grilled onions to my vegetarian one except there was not much grilled onion and I would have liked a bit more.





The chips were the mere frozen sort. It was those frozen American potato chip types. But at least the homemade sauce was good.

The burger was massive and they did have the frozen sort of veggie burger. But I did like the egg as that was nicely fried as well as the fresh vegetables in there. I couldn't taste a lot of the haloumi as the BBQ sauce drowned it.

There was pumpkin and it was good. It added to the sweetness of the burger.

The bun was light and soft.

Rating: 13/20- let down by the chips. Next time though I'd like to try the onion rings and the milkshakes as they looked stellar.
Burger Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Podium

This coffee place is in Carlton where the Audi car dealership is. I didn't need to go to the car dealership but saw a $3 breakfast special sign outside which is good for all students. The $3 breakfast special is for the egg and bacon muffin or mini Turkish roll. And you have to buy a coffee first. This offer is only valid until 11am on weekday mornings.

The place is huge and inviting.



They are popular with RMIT students and staff. Ever since the move more and more students and staff have been frequenting here. There aren't many coffee places in RMIT Carlton campus.

Here the coffee was pretty decent although the artwork was messy. I had a latte with no sugars as per usual.

The egg and bacon Turkish roll was quite good although a little bit cheesy and a tad bit too much bacon. Some BBQ sauce would be nice in it.

Do come by to this cheap eats cafe on the weekday mornings.
Podium Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 12, 2017

A25 Pizzeria

This pizzeria is in South Yarra as well as the CBD and Docklands. Here they focus on being the best pizzeria in the business. They have been to quite a few festivals and events serving up fine pizza.

We wanted to go there for a New Year dinner as we saw that they have rave reviews on Zomato. A25 Pizzeria is next to Hello Sam and the Vogue plaza and are about a five minute walk from the train station.



Wine bar


To start off with I had an Aperol Spritz ($14). Most fine and cool Italian places do this sort of drink mainly in the summer. Here it is prosecco, ice and orange liqueur. The liqueur was so strong that I could not taste much of the prosecco. You won't want another drink after this as it has so much alcohol.

The starter of foccachia bread was really good. Here they had lots of olive oil and it was one of their homemade pizza bases. It was chewy but in a good way.

The complimentary bread was dense.

The squid ink pasta with prawns (normally $21 but on Tuesdays all pasta is $14) was very overcooked. I had to wait a while for this. There wasn't much prawns in there. It was mainly peas and very oily pasta.

Rating: 13/20- come for the pizza and drinks instead. At least they churn out pizzas quickly. The service there is friendly with a smile.
A25 Pizzeria - South Yarra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dumplings Onboard buffet

Dumplings Onboard is a new Chinese dumpling buffet. I have never heard of this before and when I saw the $15 deal on Groupon I just had to give it a go.

They have been opened for two months now. Here the place was clean and busy at 7pm. Already diners were helping themselves to the food. I loved the cold stuff. In particular I enjoyed the seaweed and tofu salads. The seaweed had that spicy kick to it.

A selection of starters from the buffet




Homemade plum drink







To start off with I had their homemade plum drink. This was a little bit too sweet for my liking.

You can boil your own dumplings but I didn't want to. I'm not much of a good cook and I am scared that I will burn myself. Besides  I wanted the fried pumpkin dumpling and the red bean. It wasn't at the hot food station so I had to order this. They were both lovely compared to the spring roll which had been sitting there and was cold (not so much stale as it was a vegetarian one).

Dumplings Onboard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
The fish was tough and dry.  It had been sitting in the bain marie for some time. The chicken did look good but I was too full. The fried rice was just ok. The noodles were freshly made and I enjoyed that. It worked well with the vegetarian dumplings. I also enjoyed the spicy beans in there.

The chicken and corn soup was really lukewarm. I like my soups hot and not cold or lukewarm.

Last but not least is dessert. I really enjoyed the watermelon but was not sure about the apple. The apple pieces was brown and sour. The custard bun really did not have much custard in there.

Rating: 12/20- its ok. At least the waitress was friendly. And the place was clean. But they should seriously think about inviting some bloggers and PR soon to try their dumplings and pumpkin fried dumpling.

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