Sunday, December 1, 2019

Ena Greek Street Food, Forest Hill by Bureaucrat

Forest Hill Shopping Centre (aka 'the Chase') is slowly but surely coming up with some fine good eats.  There's the ever reliable and incredibly good value dumpling and noodle house, Baowie (also a good thing about Baowie is that they're willing to take orders before lunch time officially starts - a boon when you're hungry at 10:30am!); and the wonderfully indulgent Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates for its iced chocolate shakes and complementary chocolates.

With the refurbishment of level 3 at the Chase, a raft of new eateries have opened up, including, Ena Greek Street Food.  Ena is a Greek food outlet.  So having observed the slabs of enticing meats that were turning on the spit roast, it was time for yet another early lunch.  

Ena Greek Street Food, Forest Hill, lamb and chicken open plate
Feeling like I wanted a bit of everything to try, we went for the lamb and chicken open plate.  This was a plentiful plate loaded with lamb, chicken, pita bread, salad, chips and dip.  This was lip-smacking good!  Of the two meats, the chicken was my favourite - slightly sweet in flavour it was quite moreish.  The pita was warm, fluffy and soft; a squeaky fresh Greek salad; the chips were crisp and spot-on; and the creamy tzatziki was replete with fresh herbs.  

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gracious Grace, Lilydale by Bureaucrat

There's a wonderful sense of timelessness at Melba Park, Lilydale.  With its curved stone walls, mature trees, manicured lawns, a lovely cottage that hosts the local lawn balls club, and pretty cool playground (which includes a water pump!), it's like you've stepped back in time.  It's certainly idyllic.  To cap it off, Melba Park also has a very delightful cafe and gallery to boot!

Gracious Grace, Lilydale, grilled barramundi
Grilled barramundi with potatoes, fennel and a lemon and tahini dressing

Gracious Grace is certainly gracious.  Delicious food at very reasonable prices.  You get gourmet Yarra Valley produce without the price tag that usually goes with it.  Gracious Grace has indoor and outdoor seating.  The outdoor seating has views directly onto Melba Park and you also have these beautiful thick blankets to drape over your lap should the weather be chilly. 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Young and Foolish, Wheelers Hill by Bureaucrat

Young and Foolish has accomplished a feat.  Its many predecessors (typically they were those unappealing budget pizza and pasta franchises) struggled to attract diners: the location didn't help - it is situated on the exterior of the humdrum Brandon Park shopping centre; and the decor certainly didn't help - drab furnishings and the exposed windows meant that diners were overlooked by shoppers.  However, Young and Foolish is attractive and has no trouble getting diners in.

Young and Foolish, Wheelers Hill, the Doffle
The Doffle - doughnut waffle with toasted marshmallows, Nutella, strawberries and hazelnuts

With a serious upgrade, Young and Foolish is a modern cafe - a much-needed one in the local area.  With a modern menu, lovely interior (cosy horseshoe booths, sheer curtains, amber lighting and smart layout) and friendly staff, it's easy to whittle away a few hours here.  

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Rainbow Toastie, Melbourne by Big Fil

What’s rainbow coloured, stretchy and comes with a big smile on its face? Give up…a rainbow cheese toastie of course!

Rainbow Toastie, Melbourne, Rainbow Toastie
Almost all of the colours of the 'bow, man!

Looks wise these super stretchy creations are the biz, super cute. Taste however, not really my thing. The bread is soft but also is fairly tasteless, the cheese a bit plastic in texture and sweet in taste. To be fair though, the texture of the cheese probably reflects that they have gone for a very stretchy cheese (which makes pulling the two halves apart more fun), and the sweet somewhat bland taste of the cheese perfect for most of their customers even if I would have preferred a much stronger flavour. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Vanilla Cakes and Lounge, Oakleigh by Bureaucrat

I've previously declared my love for Nikos Cakes.  If you've been to Eaton Mall in Oakleigh, it's hard to miss that Nikos Cakes is located at one end of the mall, while Vanilla Cakes and Lounge is located on the other end.  Both are big cake shops.  Both are popular.  And both have loyal patrons.  

Vanilla Cakes and Lounge, Oakleigh
While I love Nikos, I couldn't resist the siren call that was coming from Vanilla Cakes and Lounge.  And with a smidge of betrayal in my tummy, I decided to give Vanilla a go - hoping that it wouldn't be better than Nikos.  So whose cakes reign supreme?  Read on! 

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

D'elephant, Chadstone by Bureaucrat

One of the good things about shopping centres is that they now have a range of better quality dining options - a very welcome change from the rather dreary food court fare of days gone by.  This time around, we found ourselves at Chadstone Shopping Centre and an opportunity for an early lunch saw us front up for a table at D'elephant.

I've eaten at D'elephant Thai Street at the Glen Shopping Centre which I really enjoyed.  However, from what I understand, this particular D'elephant at Chadstone is not located in the food court and is styled more like a restaurant - so, no buzzing electronic tokens heralding your order and table service is offered instead.  As Mother Hen and I were soon to find out, there are also slight changes in the menu offerings.

D'elephant, Chadstone, kao mhu grob
I was really hoping to order the grilled chicken with rice and soup dish that they have at D'elephant Thai Street Food.  Alas, this was one of those dishes that do not appear at the restaurant version of D'elephant.  I took this opportunity to try something new - Kao Mhu Grob.  This was a very rich and yummy crispy roast pork.  The pork was pretty good - most of the crackling was deliciously crunchy, although there were a few chewier/tougher bits.  The meat itself was tender and had a nice meat-to-fat ratio.  It came drizzled with an aromatic sauce and served with soup, rice, half a boiled egg, cucumber slices and steamed gai lan.  All of this was done very nicely.  There was a soy-chilli dipping sauce which we avoided as some of it splashed out and we found out unexpectedly that it packs fiery punch!