Thursday, 31 January 2019

Espresso & Matcha's Epicurean Quest - Melbourne: Tsujiri

Having not eaten dessert as part of our dinner, Adam's evening remained unfulfilled. After a brief stroll back into the city, we came across Tsujiri, another matcha themed cafe, perhaps competition to the popular Kyo Tea House. Time for us to investigate. 

The store was fairly small, drinks menu was extensive though, but largely focused again on Matcha and Houjicha with hot and cold variations with and without ice cream.

A few of their desserts had sold out, but we still saw a few things we wanted in their pastry cabinet.

Like Kyo Tea house, our number was called when our order was ready.


We had an Iced Houjicha and an O Matcha Cappuccino to share. The houjicha wasn't very strong, and it turned out to be very icy with large shards. Adam only finished about half. My O Matcha Cappuccino was intense, but quite bitter and left a powdery residue in my mouth.

Our first dessert was the houjicha crepe cake. It looked pristine but had been left out for quite a long time and become stale and hard. It was quite dry with each layer becoming somewhat brittle when broken up.


Second dessert was the Matcha Choux. This was quite enjoyable with a crisp puff pastry, delicious crumbly biscuit top and overflowing with rich matcha creme.

Price Range: $10 - $20pp

Taste: 4/10
Value: 4/10
Service: 7/10
Environment: 7/10
Tsujiri Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Espresso & Matcha's Epicurean Quest - Melbourne: Entrecote

Its hardly a trip to Melbourne without a fancy Euro style meal. Having already scratched our itch for Italian, I decided that the Parisian Steakhouse and Cafe, Entrecote, situated near the royal botanical gardens would be a nice place to have dinner. Making a reservation beforehand, it was a relaxing stroll through the greenery that really set the mood for dinner.

Seating was as requested, indoors. The chic French setup was wonderful, although tables were a little small.



The drinks menu was long, and the food menu refined. It didn't take long for consensus to be made and we gave our order to the friendly waiter.


Drinks came first, he had the Earl Grey and Rosewater Martini whereas I had the Sidecar. His was very floral and sweet, mine citrusy and crisp. I think I've found my second go to drink ;).

Starting off, we had complimentary baguette, it was served warm with a side of butter. Crusty and wholesome, it went well with a sliver of butter.

We had two entrees to share, first up was the Caviar Blini, a sort of savoury buckwheat pancake, topped with chives, Yarra Valley salmon roe, crème fraîche and sieved egg. The portion came with two delicate little pieces, each bursting with flavour. Adore salmon roe which complemented the fresh cream well, and the puffy little pancakes were a wonderful means of transporting them to my mouth.

Second entree was my favourite, Steak Tartare ‘au couteau’, with fillet, cornichons, egg yolk, sauce épicée and pommes gaufrettes. So apparently au couteau means that it is hand cut with a knife which is always better than a mince machine. Portion size was generous, I loved the seasoning of cornichons and egg yolk, also can never go wrong with waffle chips, which are of course the best chips.

The interlude between entree and main was of course an Espresso Martini. Strong and rich, it rocked my world.

Mains soon came and filled our table. It's lucky we didn't have mains to share, otherwise we would have no room for share plates.

Adam's choice of steak was the Filet de Boeuf Grillé, an O’Connor 250g fillet served with classic Béarnaise sauce and frites. Having it cooked medium rare, he enjoyed the tender fillet and creamy buttery bearnaise. 

Of course, I went for the signature Steak Frites, a piece of  250g Cape Grim Angus Porterhouse topped with sauce Maison au beurre et aux herbes and served with a side of frites, and a soft leaves salad. Having been to numerous Parisian steakhouses before, this really hit the nail on the head. My steak was cooked to a perfect rare. The herb sauce was wonderfully rich and flavoursome, whilst the fries soaked up much of the juices. Leaf salad was also soft but crisp, I just wish I had more room to get a refill on those fries.

Price Range: $70 - $90pp

Taste: 9/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 9/10
Environment: 9/10

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

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Todd and Pup - Moorooka

Like my follow zomato reviewers, Adam and I were invited by Todd and Pup owner Kate to try out their new summer menu. Having gone just seven months ago, we were keen to try out the refreshing new options. Kicking off the Australia Day weekend, Adam and I went with the Brisvegustation family for a delightful brunch before the long weekend of bingeing. 

Arriving earlier than everyone one else has its perks, I got to peruse the menu extensively before other people arrived so that I could weigh up all options and make the best choice out of all the dishes. Quite a few light fruity options, they were definitely hard to resist.

Adam got his usual cold drip. Strong and crisp, it was refreshing against the summer heat. Trying some myself, I liked the fruity notes to it.

Having a late night before, I had a cappuccino in a bowl with an extra shot, thus coming to a total of four shots. Rich and creamy, the extra caffeine hit definitely woke me up.

Like last time, the food took roughly 20 mins to arrive, and it was quite a spread.

Mrs Brisvegustation had the Festive Breakfast, comprising of ham off the bone, basil, red wine glaze, peach, poached eggs, bocconcini and sourdough, it was definitely an unusual combination. Having seen it in quite a few people's posts of late, I was skeptical about sliced peaches in an egg dish, but Mrs Brisvegustation said that the peach was not overly sweet or ripe so it complimented the dish well.

Matchmaker extraordinaire, Brisvegustation had the summer battered fish and chips with house battered barramundi, hand cut chips, pickled slaw and tartare sauce. This was well received and the tartare was much appreciated.

Always one for dessert at breakfast, Adam had Todd's Summer Hotcake, it contained one burnt butter hotcake, white chocolate, maple syrup and vanilla ice cream with sprinkled almonds. He found the hotcake to be quite dense and heavy but still soft. It really filled him up. Special mention to the ice cream, its almost like the ice cream at Todd and Pup never melts, must be magical ice cream.

Not deviating from my usual (cue Adam's eye roll), I had bacon and eggs on toast with a side of avocado and garlic mushrooms. The mushrooms were definitely garlicy and extremely pungent, I loved it, but I'm not sure Adam liked smelling it on my breath for the rest of the day. Avocado was ripe and seasoned lightly with herbs, bacon was crispy, eggs were done really well. Only improvement would be to have the sourdough on the side rather than under everything else, as it became quite soggy under the mushroom and bacon juices. 

Espresso and Matcha were invited guests of Todd and Pup, but as always our opinions are solely our own.

Price Range: $20 - $30pp

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

Todd & Pup Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Espresso & Matcha's Epicurean Quest - Melbourne: Short Stop

We didn't get to have dessert at Calia as we were quite full, but after walking around for a bit and digesting our meal, Adam's doughnut craving hit. Being a fan of the very popular Short Stop Donuts in Sydney and Melboune, we navigated the maze of laneways and found our way there just in time for afternoon tea. 

I love walking into a place and being able to see the chefs at work. Was glad to see this at Short Stop and it reminded me a little of Lune.

Also like lune, the flavours for the day were displayed rather than on a menu. I loved how the options change every day. Prices were not cheap, at around $4 - $6 a donut, but it was worth it and the crowds of people agree. I have to make a note to come back for their coffee too.

No doubts as to which two doughnuts we picked ;)

Within 5 minutes of us walking in, I had a little bag of happiness in my hands.


I went for the triple matcha and he had the dark chocolate filled with peanut butter. Both had a really delicious texture that was not as bread-y as doughnut time but denser and chewier than krispy kreme. Put simply, it had substance. My matcha was intense without excessive bitterness nor undue sugar. His dark chocolate wasn't overly dark, being only a little darker than milk, but the peanut made it all the better for him.

Price Range: $4 - $6 per dougnut

Taste: 8.5/10
Value: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Environment: 8/10

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 28 January 2019

Espresso & Matcha's Epicurean Quest - Melbourne: Calia

With our fairly heavy breakfast, I decided that a lighter lunch should be in order so that we didn't overload ourselves. Back in the cbd, we thought that Calia, a refined modern Japanese restaurant in the Emporium would be a good choice. This was definitely an understatement.

Arriving at peak lunch hour, there was a significant lineup. We waited for about half an hour and ended up being seated on a large communal table, which we didn't mind. It gave us ample opportunity to peer upon the open kitchen in all its grandeur.


Menus were provided, and I loved the modern take on traditional favourites. Some of the options were a little adventurous but didn't deviate too much from my comfort zone. I would probably have been happy to eat everything off the menu, so this guarantees I'll be back to try the other dishes.

Starting off with drinks, he had a cold brew and I a pot of hot houjicha. Again the glass which held the cold brew was largely spent on the large ice cube, but he found it adequate to meet his caffeine needs. My houjicha was strong and toasty, I liked it.

Starting off our meal we had the standard sized sashimi platter. It was a little small for the price of $25, but cuts were very fresh and enjoyable. My favourite cut was the scallop which was so fresh that it almost had a sweetness to it. Plating was also spot on.

Highlight of our meal, and probably of the whole trip was the Kuru Kani Somen - Crab meat on somen noodles served in a light dashi tea broth, with extra crab. Portion of crab was abundant and well worth the extra. flavours were delicate, light and intricate. I loved how tender the crab pieces were with no hint of shell at all in the bowl. Somen noodles are also a personal favourite for me. I often get some to have at home, but they aren't often available on a commercial basis, these were cooked wonderfully. Further to this, the dashi broth was light but flavoursome, highlighting the flavours of crab, nori and spring onion. Perfection in a bowl.


Our last shared dish was the Baked Alaskan King Crab Leg in Miso Mayonnaise. This was his favourite of the meal, Tasty meaty crab leg that had been semi deshelled for our convenience topped with rich creamy miso mayonnaise made for a delectable morsel of food.

Price Range: $30 - $40pp

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

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