Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Espresso & Matcha's Delectable Tarriance - Melbourne: Cobb Lane


Having not been able to purchase any croissants from Lune to take home (a decision I immediately regretted upon walking out), my companion and I found an alternative in the rustic Cobb Lane bakery which was on near a place on our itinerary in Melbourne. 


Arriving quite early, there weren’t many other customers in the store and I was free to admire the delicious cakes on display, knowing I wouldnt be able to take any away with me ☹. 


Service was friendly and prompt and I got some baked goods to take with me. 


The croissant and pain au chocolat was of course consumed on the plane (I hate plane food with a passion), much to the envy of my fellow passengers. Both were deliciously layered and flakey. I loved the bitter sweet dark chocolate in the pain au chocolat, which was just right for me. The caramel doughnut was given to my sister who is a caramel addict. She found it to be quite average and a little doughy in texture. 

Price range: $5 - $15pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 9/10
Environment: 8/10

Cobb Lane Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Funny Funny - Brisbane CBD


Last week I went to see a late movie after work with a friend. Finishing quite late at 10.30pm, we had real difficulty finding good food at that hour. Knowing that Korean restaurants open quite late, we took the chance to try out Funny Funny, which has long been on my to try list. Situated along George street, we headed upstairs to the dining area. 


Of course stopping to take a gratuitous picture of their infamous graffiti. 


Grabbing a table on the loft, we admired the creative designs on the wall, no doubt by staff and customers. 


 

As with most Korean restaurants, the menu was super extensive, and we had slight difficulties in making our choice that night. Service was by buzzer, but unfortunately our buzzer was broken and we had a lot of issue waving down staff. Additionally the loud music also made it quite difficult for us to continue our conversation. 


Our side dishes that night comprised of kimchi, spicy tofu, sesame seaweed and pickled turnip. Whilst they were all enjoyable, my favourite was without a doubt the seaweed which was infused with fragrant sesame oil. 


Being famous for fried chicken, we got a portion of the boneless KFC, half and half with soy and garlic. In all honesty, the chicken was quite underwhelming for us, for a number of reasons. Firstly the flavours were not very apparent, whilst we could taste bits of garlic and soy here and there, it wasn’t strong enough and wasn’t consistent. Secondly the chicken itself was a little soggy from some of the basting covering it, which really disappointed me (although my I didnt have as much regret as when I eat Momo and break out for two weeks afterwards). Portion wise, it was quite generous but I would prefer if they had KFC in a single size portion. 


Our other dish to share was the Wagyu Beef bibimbap, which was even more disappointing than the fried chicken. The stone pot was hardly hot enough to even sear the beef, and the chef had completely forgotten to add salt to the dish. Otherwise the salads were fresh and the rice was ample. 

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

Taste: 5/10
Value: 5/10
Service: 5/10
Environment: 5/10

Funny Funny Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 24 July 2017

Espresso & Matcha's Delectable Tarriance - Melbourne: Lune Croissanterie



During my last several trips to Melbourne, I’ve made multiple attempts of navigating the treacherous laneways of Fitzroy to get to the world’s best croissants (according to the New York Times). Before our last trip, we had gone and failed twice (both times sold out), which only added to my determination and obsession). Luckily for us, it was third time lucky. Parking a few lanes away, we saw the steady stream of satisfied customers leaving with their treasure in their brown paper bags. Our anticipation grew with every step we took. 


Inside the warehouse was a rustic yet futuristic setup of bricks, glass and concrete. Perhaps the article has made the store very famous internationally, as we noted quite a few tourists buying boxes and boxes of croissants to go. 


The glass chamber in the middle of the room was without a doubt the main attraction, with the bakers meticulously practicing their art. I watched in awe of their passion. 


The menu on the wall gave an indication of all available options, including coffees, croissants and cruffins. 



If that weren’t enough for us to make our decision, there was also a display on the counter of todays selection. We were lucky in the sense that most options were still available when we arrived. 


Between my companion and I, we each had two croissants and a coffee. 


I quite liked the rich foam on top, but considered the coffee to be a little bitter and burnt. 


My companion who loves his savory food chose the Reuben as well as the Ham and Gruyere. The Reuben contained pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut with a pickle on top. Whilst he loved the croissant, he found the flavours (and in particular, the sauerkraut and pickle) to be a bit too intense so early in the morning, I think though it would be a good lunchtime option. In contrast, he loved the ham and gruyere, which made the perfect comfort food for breakfast. 


Being a traditionalist who likes to stick to basic flavours when trying out new things, I had a plain and a pane au chocolat. From the offset the croissants were extremely visually appealing, with their perfectly golden exterior and glossy top. Each one was perfectly shaped as if inviting you to bite into them, and I have to say that they tasted as good as they looked. The plain was perfectly flaky with a delicate layered buttery but not oily interior. The pain au chocolat was just as good, but with the addition of a tasty bittersweet chocolate centre. Without a doubt, this is the best croissanterie I’ve been to. 

Price Range: $10 – $20pp

Taste: 9.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 7/10

Lune Croissanterie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Espresso & Matcha's Delectable Tarriance - Melbourne: Sakura Kaiten Sushi


Was really cold in Melbourne when I went a couple of days ago, and my companion and I wanted nothing more than to just hide out at the hotel and order pizza. Unfortunately for him, I wouldn’t allow the opportunity to have dinner at Melbourne go to waste. So with much duress, I “convinced” him to go and grab some Japanese with me at Sakura Kaiten Sushi. 


Arriving just past six, we took the last two seats in their now full house. To be fair, the restaurant was quite small, with customers sitting around the small conveyor belt. 


We were seated near the door and right under the super adorable mini screening of Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service (Queen V would have loved it here). 


Like quite a few of the sushi trains, we could make special orders on an ipad. 


Unlike any of the sushi trains I had been to though, Sakura Kaiten had an additional express track on top of the main conveyor belt for special orders to be served upon. 


As you may have guessed by now, my companion started his meal with a red wine. 


To kick off my meal, I had a salmon avocado nigiri. The salmon was thick cut but the avocado was small but ripe, and the mayonnaise and onion was a nice touch to the dish. 


The unagi was just as delicious as it looks. With its generous cut and being grilled to a delicious crisp, this was one of the best unagi nigiri I have had in Australia. 


My companion started off with some lemon fried chicken. With its light batter, it was reportedly quite tasty. 


This was the salmon ikura. Although a little smaller than what I am used to, the fish and roe were very fresh, and I relished every pop in my mouth. 


I also enjoyed a dish of the tuna special that evening. It was quite fresh and smooth with the fish melting in my mouth. I really enjoyed the pure flavour of the fish, unhindered by any distractions. 


Next up, I had some soft shell crab, which was super crunchy whilst maintaining its juiciness inside. I would have enjoyed it a bit more though if it came with dipping sauce. 


Wanting to try out the ordering system, I got an avocado salmon ship through the ipad. It came within 5 minutes to much spectacle and fanfare. Needless to say I was super impressed with the efficiency. 


Like the salmon ikura, it came as two little parcels of rice wrapped in salmon. This time though, it was topped with seasoned smashed avocado, making a delicious and comforting combination. 


My companion rounded off his meal with an order of roast pork belly. It was only very slightly browned but very moist, which he enjoyed. 

 Price Range: $20 - $40pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Environment: 8.5/10

Sakura Kaiten Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Shik Gaek - Upper Mt Gravatt


With the cold, foggy and rainy winter that we've been having lately, there's nothing better than to warm up with some Spicy Korean BBQ. Having driven through Kessels Road on the way to Garden City, Shik Gaek's big KBBQ sign definitely caught my eye. Adding it to my list, I had meant to eventually try it out sometime in the next two months. Luckily for me, the perfect opportunity came last week, and we went to try it out on Saturday night.


The restaurant itself is divided into two sections, an internal area for non bbq meals, and an external area for bbq meals. Of course we were seated outside, which was quite cold.

  

The menu was provided, and to get ourselves started we made our pick pretty quickly out of the Korean Charcoal BBQ set meals, despite the temptation of stir fries, share plates and hot pots.


After ordering, charcoal was soon added to our table, and we were able to warm ourselves around it.


Sides were also served, and in Brisbane, this was one of the biggest selection of sides I had received in one meal. My picks for the night were the spicy tofu, kimchi and seaweed salad, which were all very tasty. Refills of course, were complimentary.


We were each given bowls of Korean salad, to cool down the burning hot meats. They were lightly dressed with a vinegarette, which was quite refreshing against the grilled meat. In addition to this, there was a little added zing in the salad from some extra wasabi which was added to each bowl, which really set it apart from other salads I had tried before.


Before long, the rest of our set dinner arrived.


Our meal included some marinated pork, pork belly as well as beef short rib in addition to some mushrooms. We found the cuts of meat to be quite high quality, and although they couldn't be described as not fatty, there wasn't an excessive amount of fat, and it was well distributed throughout the cuts. What really impressed us though, was the marinate for the short ribs and the pork, which had a delicious sweet soy seasoning to it, in addition to the great texture.


Like most authentic Korean places, they gave us some lettuce leaves, garlic, chili and miso to wrap up our meat, rather than bowls of rice. I found it to be a refreshing and lighter way to enjoy our delicious meats.


Our set was rounded off with a thick tofu miso soup. It was warm and hearty for a bean based soup, and definitely more substantial than the Japanese misos I've had at other restaurants. In each spoonful, I could taste the rough granules of soybean, which really filled us up that evening.

Price Range: $15 - $25pp

Taste: 8/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10


Shikgaek Korean Restaurant & BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato