Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Fonda Mexican, Hawthorn by Obelix

In a fit of the "I-can't-be-bothers", we hit up our local Fonda Mexican in Hawthorn for a quick mid week dinner.

Fonda Mexican, Hawthorn, magarita
Perhaps it was the Spring in the air, P was in an unusually sprightly mood and ordered himself a lychee and elderflower margarita to kick things off.  It was described to him as a frozen slurry of lychees steeped in alcohol - a decadent slurpee, if you will.  He was sold.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Mamasita, Melbourne by Rockstar

A friend was visiting from Sydney and I wanted to introduce her to a Melbourne classic. I remember when Mamasita arrived in 2010 - for me it was a revelation in Mexican flavours. I adored the balanced flavours - the tanginess, the richness, the happiness! I recall the queues down the stairs; the waiting and the utter busyness of the place. And that every time I ate there I’d want to go back again. I’ve been back a few times - every couple of years and it’s never disappointed me. 

Mamasita, Melbourne, corn chips and salsa
There was no queue when we arrived at 6:00pm but it filled up quickly. We started with the tortilla chips, avocado, salsa and retried beans. It sounds so pedestrian, so 1980s. This version is a delightful combination... I tried not to steal them all before the Sydneysider had had her fair share.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Ramblr, South Yarra by Rockstar

A long awaited girls weekend in Chapel Street and I was feeling the pressure of being responsible for choosing our dinner venue. So many options, so I chose two and booked them, making the final decision the day before.

Ramblr, South Yarra, Korean lasagne
Korean inspired fried lasagne square

I’d read lots of positive reviews of Ramblr, and I’d walked past many times. We chose an early dinner so we could come back and enjoy the hotel. We actually walked past the entrance as it’s a subtle doorway with no obvious signage. Inside it’s a dark and moody place - the food is modern with Korean, Japanese and Chinese influences.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Piatella, Glen Waverley by Bureaucrat

Once upon a time, Kingsway in Glen Waverley was yet another unexceptional suburban shopping precinct - mainly local fashion shops, professional services, a Chinese takeaway restaurant and a cafe or two.  Young families and golden oldies shuffled up and down Kingsway going about their daily business and dropping by at the local council office and the library.  Nowadays, Kingsway is bulging with cafes and restaurants, and getting a parking spot has turned into a competitive sport in this area.

Piatella, Glen Waverley, shashuka eggs
Shakshuka baked eggs with chorizo and prosciutto

There are Asian eateries (e.g., Hong Kong Dim Sum, The Grand Tofu, Ocean King Chinese Restaurant) and cafes galore (e.g., Workshop Brothers, Mocha Jo's Burger Bar, Yo My Goodness) and even fine dining options (e.g., The Black Toro, The Butcher's Bench and Yokohama Teppanyaki) all located in this relatively short shopping strip.  

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dohwa, Glen Waverley by Bureaucrat

A new-ish addition to the Blackburn Road shops near Syndal station (where you'd find Trei and Danny's Kopitiam), Dohwa is a Korean restaurant. It's quiet and assuming.  I was recommended to try Dohwa by a Korean acquaintance of mine who works in the area - he says that the food there is authentic and tasty.  Reviews online agree with this assessment and for a mid-week lunch, we fronted up bang on 11:30am.

Dohwa, Glen Waverley, Korean fried chicken rice
Korean fried chicken on rice

Inside, it's clean simple lines with nice little homely touches.  The service here is friendly and thoughtful - I particularly liked how we were given warm water on a cold winter's day and not cold water to drink.  There's a special lunch time menu, which we ordered from.  There's a mix of what you'd call traditional Korean dishes and also more modernised dishes (e.g., burgers made with Korean fried chicken served with chips).

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Ichi Ramen, Box Hill by Bureaucrat

Buoyed by my experience of better than average dumplings at Dream Dumplings and chic Asian fusion brunch at The Penny Drop, I thought I'd be brave and see what else Box Hill has on offer.  A quick Google told me that Ichi Ramen was a spot for good ramen eats.  Located on the exterior-facing side of the old part of Box Hill Central, Ichi Ramen looked popular among the lunchtime diners.

Ichi Ramen, Box Hill, deep fried calamari
For starters, the Lawyer and I shared some deep fried calamari.  These were lovely and tender and nicely seasoned.  However, I wasn't too impressed with the overly burnished hue of the batter - using some fresh(er) oil to cook the calamari would have made this dish much better.  I'm always a bit leery of places that re-use their cooking oil to such an extent that it's obvious in the dish.  I'm an advocate for waste minimisation in the kitchen but this is distinct from cost minimisation, which is what I suspect Ichi Ramen is doing.