Monday, December 22, 2014

Crisp, Melbourne CBD by Obelix

Once upon a time a Virtuous Young Lass (yours truly) and her Young Friend were debating on what to eat for lunch.  Young Friend was trying to lure Virtuous Young Lass to Killiney Kopitiam for a greasy plate of noodles washed down with iced tea.  Whereas Virtuous Young Lass argued that no, let's be healthy and have salad, our bodies will thank us for the nourishment [insert saintly halo].  Virtuous Young Lass won and the two girls traipsed to Crisp for lunch.

Crisp is a relatively new establishment in Southern Cross Lane.  It's basically serves salad.  There are eight different types of salad selections which are constructed for you at the time of order or you can build your own.  The salads vary between $11 - $12.  The service is super friendly and many salad tossers stand at the ready to toss your order.  

I ordered the Superfood Detox which consisted of marinated tofu, coriander, quinoa, beetroot, edamame, sesame seeds and mixed leaves and a zesty Asian dressing.  Ok, I shall cut to the major plot line of this story - Virtuous Young Lass was very disappointed with her pile of leaves in a plastic tub.  As evident from this lack lustre photo, the Superfood Detox salad contained mixed leaves and little much else.  There was a stray quinoa grain or two, a sesame seed was spotted in amongst the greenage.  I could not recall tasting coriander... and there may have been a sliver or two of tofu but not enough to be satisfying.  

Young Friend did not fare much better with her Chicken Chipotle salad.  The feedback was that it didn't taste like chipotle and was a bit bland.  It was also lacking in the chicken department.  

The finale of this sad sorry tale was that Virtuous Young Lass and Young Friend was left less than satiated.  So in order to secure a happy ending of sorts, Virtuous Young Lass and Young Friend scoffed down a sausage roll and half a tube of BBQ Pringles  - replete at last.  

Verdict: we wouldn't return.  

Don't bother unless you like to pay $12 for a bunch of mesclun leaves and little much else,  in which case, knock yourself out.  There are plenty of places in the vicinity serving hearty salads for commensurate prices which will leave you full and satisfied eg Famish'd or Treasury Deli and Cafe.

Crisp on Urbanspoon 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

D Dutchman Dairy, Sicamous (Canada) by Bureaucrat

Following our lunch at the Hillcrest Dining Room, our driver suggested that we do an unscheduled stop at an ice cream shop and fruit stall.  It was a place our driver knew well, since she hot-footed across to the ice cream shop the minute we pulled up.

Located off an exit from the Trans Canadian highway, it was clear that the D Dutchman Dairy was very popular among the locals, day-trippers and tourists.  Its big red barn with baskets of hanging flowers adorning the front proved too irresistible not to get some ice cream.

With a wide range of flavours available, we got chocolate and pecan and butterscotch.  Both were delicious and the flavours tasted very real (I think these were genuine flavours and not made with artificial stuff).  Smooth and creamy and the crunchy waffle was pretty good.

Join the crowd, kick your feet up and enjoy some ice cream.

Once we had our ice creams, we wandered to fruit stall opposite DDD.  I squealed with delight as I felt like I was Kramer and the fabled Mackinaw peaches.  These peaches were HUGE and covered with fuzz and you can smell the ripe aroma wafting from them.

The best, Jerry, the best!

I’ve never eaten peaches so sweet and juicy and soft.  And an absolute steal (CAD$2 per kilo).  As we were going to be in and out of planes over the next few days, I only limited myself to buying four peaches and two nectarines.  Seriously these were the best (the best, Jerry!) stone fruits I’ve ever eaten… they’re like a meal unto themselves.  This was probably the only time in my life that I would consider being a fructarian.

The Great Pumpkin... are you there?

I also wanted buy all the different types of berries there but figured it’s probably best since I probably couldn’t have eaten them all the delicate babies in time.

Verdict – we liked it a lot.

If you’re in the area, join the crowds and take a break and get some ice cream!  Then waddle over to the fruit stall to get some fruit to atone for the calorie intake.

D Dutchmen Dairy on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 19, 2014

Ease Garden Chinese Restaurant, Dandenong by Obelix

The Olds have been talking about this restaurant for a while now in glowing terms.  As my mum is one tough critic, I figured Ease Garden has to be of pretty good calibre.  So for family lunch, my parents kindly invited us down to try it out for ourselves.

We ordered the following dishes which came with complementary soup and tong shui.

The complementary soup which was a combo of veggies and bone broth.  Very flavourful and not too salty (which is a good thing)

Sweet and Sour Pork.  I didn't try this but Kiddo had about four pieces so I'm surmising it tasted good and the meat was tender as Kiddo hates putting in any effort to chew anything,

This scallop dish was quite awesome.  Plenty of scallops and the bok choy was fresh and crisp.

This was the XO prawns.  Again plenty of veggies which I like to keep things healthy.  Not too spicy for a XO sauce which is good so it's more palatable for young and old.

Chinese vegetables with Beef.  Once again, the veggies were plentiful and crisp.  The beef was tender.

This was my favourite - the stir fried spinach in soup stock.  The goji berries were a nice addition.

This was the deep fried fish with a sweet corn gravy.  An old Chinese restaurant staple.

Lastly, we had the tong shui which was a white fungus with goji berries.  I don't normally drink tong shui as I find them too sickly sweet and claggy.  This one was very refreshing with the white fungus.

Verdict: we loved it!

As I did not pay for this meal, I don't know the break down of the costs.  However I was told it was $120 including tips for the seven of us.  This was a great satisfying meal and I will definitely come back.

Ease Garden on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Becasse, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

Although I had my eye on the Tea Palace at the Emporium (which, if you haven't seen it yet, is like an homage to oestrogen - think, pink walls, gilt framed windows, textured wallpaper, cushioned chairs all in the style of a rather successful lady French bourgeoisie taking tea in one of her many sitting rooms in her McChateau), we decided to have lunch at Becasse.

Becasse is right opposite the Tea Palace.  Instead of the sugary, girly pink and pastel and gold colours that festoon the Tea Palace, Becasse is a strident example of sleek modernity and sharp, clean lines of silver, black and crisp white. 

We found out from the staff that the food at Becasse is really the food from Jones the Grocer (which is another cafe/providore in the Emporium).  We found that out because I asked the staff what the soup of the day was, and they said they had to ring downstairs to find out.  In this case, the soup of the day was roasted tomato and basil.  A nicely rich tomato flavour, with added oomph from the onions, garlic and basil.  It was served with a chewy slice of sourdough.  Perfect size for a light lunch.

Ms H went for a wedge of mushroom quiche.  While she liked the flavour and texture (smooth and rich filling with a thin, flaky pastry) she did feel that it was a tad lukewarm and could have done with a few more minutes under the grill to heat it up properly.  It was served with a nice crisp salad.

Although I was quite tempted, I didn't try any of the gorgeous cakes on offer.  Definitely for next time.

Verdict: we liked it.

A nice cafe for a light meal.  The quality is above average but I still feel it's a tad pricey.  But given that it's inside the Emporium, it's pitching at the right sort of clientele.  I feel it's more about having a smart-looking place to have a meal in between an epic shopping session.  Service is friendly and prompt.

B├ęcasse on Urbanspoon
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