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.  

Monday, September 3, 2018

Dumpling King, Hawthorn by Obelix

I am on a lifelong quest for perfect dumplings.  On the pilgrim path, I came across Dumpling King in Hawthorn.

Dumpling King, Hawthorn, chilli wontons
Right after a fun run whereby the middle-aged P exerted himself  in ways he has not in the past two decades, P, high on adrenaline, full of chest-thumping vim and vigour ordered their Sichuan wontons in hot spicy soup.  The verdict?  Hot. Spicy.  I could not get past nibbling the edges of the wonton wrapper before my lips were on fire.  So beyond the obvious adjectives in its name, I cannot describe their taste for you.  However if you are a chilli fiend, then I guess this one is right up your alley.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Woodfrog Bakery, Kew by Obelix

Here at Eat and Be Merry, we don't often devote a blog post to bread.  But bread is the manna of life, and I am obsessed with good bread, emphasis on the good.  It has to be worth the carb intake. 

Woodfrog Bakery, Kew, fruit loaf
The bread at Woodfrog Bakery, specifically the sourdough varieties, are definitely worth splurging your carb quota on.  It has been my weekend haunt for the past several weeks.  This time, however, I decided to try the fruit loaf.  It was dense as a brick (in a good way) and loaded with figs; apricots; small scattering of raisins and an aromatic orange blossom scent.  If I was a character in an Enid Blyton story, I would have eaten this fruit loaf for morning tea with 'lashings of butter' and a jam jar filled with hot tea.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Stanley, Mt Waverley by Bureaucrat

Stanley is located on Stanley Avenue and its name reminds me of the famous line when the character Stanley in A Streetcar Named Desire cries out "Stella!  STELLA!".  Stanley is literally in the middle of nowhere.  It's not near the main Mt Waverley shopping village (where one can find Son of Tucci and Curator 23 who were the pioneers who first brought cafe cred to the sleepy suburban village).  It's not anywhere need a main road.  It's sort of stumbling distance along the local Scotchman Creek trail but, really, it's buried deep in suburbia.

Stanley, Mt Waverley, soft shell crab noodle salad
Soft shell crab with Thai noodle salad

Stanley, with is pristine white exterior and smartly modern interior, is upping the cafe credentials to Mt Waverley (it's owned by the same person who runs Bentwood, Tinker and Clubhouse Malvern).  Stanley is oh-so comfortably middle class with its light-filled dining space, matt gold touches and sleek wooden finishes.  We visited Stanley mid-week and couldn't believe how popular the place was - young families, golden oldies, suited-up professionals, construction workers and locals popping in for a coffee to go.  My first thought was, how did these people find out about this place?  After all, when you come, you'll realise that it is indeed in the middle of nowhere.  I only found out about this place after a bit of Googling for nearby cafes. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Red Door Corner Store, Northcote by Rockstar

Red Door Corner Store is a large airy popular Northside brunch option... which takes bookings. Sounds too good to be true. I loved the quirky decorations which make a nod to its milkbar past... especially the milk bottle lights!

Red Door Corner Store, Northcote, smoked trout and crab crumpet
Smoked trout with spanner crab on a house-made crumpet

I often find brunch can have such high expectations which often aren’t met... or just miss the mark slightly. I would rate this brunch as one of the best I’ve had in a long time. Every dish was well executed and delicious. The service was friendly and efficient.