FOOD REVIEW: DUMPLING PIZZA at Golden Chef Cooking Chinese

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

Dumpling Pizza, I found out where Moonee Ponds was for you. It’s real love.

The first time I heard about you was in an article on Three Thousand. I instantly fell in love with the idea of you. You sounded like the ultimate hybrid food. Dumplings: tick. Pizza: tick. How can dumpling pizza not be anything but perfection squared? 

However, I was aware that sometimes two delicious foods smooshed together cancel out the deliciousness of each other and you’re left broken-hearted with a gross sauce all over your hands, questioning how a donut burger could ever work in the first place. I’ve been burnt by hybrid food love before. But love isn’t rational. 

I knew my expectations for you dear Dumpling Pizza were impossibly high. But I didn’t lower them. No way, not for you. Not ever. 

Love needs a witness. Or eight. So I got some friends to come along for the ride to Golden Chef Cooking Chinese restaurant in Moonee Ponds. 

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I was anxious. But also glad the dish of my dreams was so prominently featured on the exterior. This was definitely the place.

So what if the restaurant was empty bar two people who left 10 minutes after we arrived? I pushed my doubts aside.

So what if the vibe was so intensely awkward due to the lack of background music and the presence of lighting that probably tipped towards UV on the spectrum? I pushed my doubt aside.

So what if the waiter took 10 minutes to take our orders and looked like he was having a panic attack as he read them back to us because I ordered my Sprite out of turn? I pushed my doubt aside.

I ordered a medium combo dumpling pizza. You could choose between combo (pork, prawn, chive & vegies), chicken (with chive and vegies) or vegetarian (mung bean noodle, vegies and mushrooms). Some of my friends are such geniuses, they went a half-half pizza. That’s why we’re friends.

The Dumplings Pizza arrived.

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The medium combo dumpling pizza

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Half way through a half chicken, half vegetarian dumplings pizza.

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Yes I ordered it in a take away box for the photo, even though we ate in. I WAS A LITTLE EXCITED, OK?

Dumpling Pizza does not come with a manual. But it does come with chopsticks. So I worked it out.

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There is a light batter (like a super thin pancake) that sits on top of the dumplings, holding them all together. You pierce this with your chopsticks and pick up a dumpling. As this stage, it’s pretty much like eating a dumpling. In fact, exactly like eating a dumping. But they’re excellent dumplings. Hand made with a lot of filling stuffed in. I tried all three and my favourite was the combo. Good juicy prawn bits inside. The dumpling casing was soft, but not gluggy or too thin. It was pretty much the perfect dumpling. You get a vinegar-based dipping sauce and a chili one too.

The taste is one thing. The physics of the thing is another. It was engineered with the same kind of precision you’d expect/want an aeroplane to have. The genius chefs did not just slap a lot of dumplings together to make a circle… No. That would be too small. They actually created a smaller circular dumpling to be the centrepiece, and fanned the rest of the normal shaped dumplings around the circle. Like how a flower’s petals extend from the stamen, if you will allow me to use Year 8 Biology terminology.

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Engineering brilliance

I ate my medium dumpling pizza. Then I ate half of my boyfriend’s dumpling pizza. Then I ate the dregs of my friend’s dumpling pizza. All the flavours were great, but in order of preference I liked the combo, then the chicken, then the vegetarian. 

In total I ate more than the size of a large pizza, which is 20 dumplings. Three Thousand said "under no circumstances go large alone". I’m here to tell you to fucking follow your heart and go the large. The dumpling pizza has a lot of love to give, and you’d be rude to turn it away.

You taught me a lot dumpling pizza. You taught me about engineering, where Moonee Ponds was and that it’s possible to have damn high expectations and walk away actually happy.

I’d take you home.

(Because they do take away too, but mainly because I’m in love with you.)

Golden Chef Cooking on Urbanspoon

FOOD REVIEW: DONUT BURGER (Mos Burger x Mister Donut)

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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TRANSLATION:

Hold the fucking phone guys. Come inside, gather round, and let me tell you about a little life moment I experienced in Japan called the DONUT BURGER. Or Doh-burg. Or Burg-nut. Whatever. This is serious. Listen.

I wanted to try Mos Burger because I heard they had burgers with rice buns. So my sister and I went in to one in Kyoto because who can really afford dinner with a geisha. And really, who would choose geisha over donut burger? We’re not friends.

I was trying to work out what I wanted to order by looking at pictures on the screen when something registered in my brain. The word ‘Donut’. But this was a burger shop. Maybe… maybe… it’s a donut burger? IT FUCKING IS! MOSDO! Jackpot.

We were ushered up to our own private floor. Which looking back… was probably a sign. A very obvious sign that I didn’t notice because I was peaking.

The donut burger arrived. I took 600 photos from all angles.

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Stop reading now if you’re feeling emotional, because things are about to get real.

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It was shit.

The donut burger was shit.

After telling this story to lots of people, the common response is “Well.. what did you expect!?” A lot, to be honest. I like burgers. LOVE burgers. I LOVE donuts too.

Look at the look of hope/excitement/love in my eyes (taste hadn’t registered yet). 

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Firstly, the buns tasted like nothing and disintegrated into the warm coiled sausage pretty much ASAP. I didn’t want them to be sweet, but I wanted them to taste like something. The sausage freaked me out because it was so precisely coiled to perfection, but in itself, the sausage tasted OK. The wrong bit was the sauce. So much sauce. Too much sauce. Donut bun to sauce proportion was all out. Felt like I was drowning in a bolognese style sauce with a little chili, so much so that I couldn’t actually manage the burger.

I take pride in my ability to burger manage. I always get the right ratio of bread to meat, right down to the last mouthful… but for this? Impossible.

The lettuce was making everything slide everywhere and the sauce and mayo weren’t helping. The most giant slice of tomato was making life hell. You couldn’t put it down. You just had to inhale.

Shit got messy. We had a floor to ourselves. It all started to make sense.

I wanted to like you donut burger. I really did. But it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m not ruling out the idea of a donut burger working all together, but after the MOSDO it’s gonna take time to rebuild my confidence, you know? How much time?

Give me a week. 

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Feast of Merit, Richmond

EMOJI REVIEW:

TRANSLATION:

Feast of Merit is a new restaurant on Swan St in Richmond. I decided to go there because it’s new and like a moth to a flame (or a moth to cereal boxes in my kitchen) I am attracted to all things new and shiny.

Turns out, it’s a whole lot more than the new place on the block. It’s actually doing good shit for the world. The whole cafe is a social enterprise run by YGAP and profits raised directly support their youth education and youth leadership projects in Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Australia. 

In that case, I’ll have one of everything…

The menu is mainly Middle Eastern in the vibe and all the ingredients are local, ethical and sustainable. I was there for lunch, but on the weekends breakfast is available all day. I’d already had two breakfasts, but there’s always room for three.

Guys, just gonna call it now. Freekeh is the now quinoa. Fuck, I know, you just learnt how to pronounce it but the quinoa train has left the station. 

So I ordered the ‘Freekeh, cucumber, breakfast radish, oxheart tomato, parsely, pickled red onion with a fried egg AND SHANKLISH’!

I didn’t know what Shanklish was, but it sounded like a party. It was.

Shanklish is basically like fetta but covered in za’atar and Aleppo pepper. I got that off Wikipedia. But it also tasted really good.

Everything was so fresh, juicy and delicious. The egg was perfectly cooked so the yolk oozed onto the freekeh and it was a freaking good time. 

The tomatoes looked and tasted so different to the tomatoes I buy 50 metres down the road at Coles I could feel them making me healthier. 

I spotted a perplexing ingredient!

I don’t know whether this was a cucumber or a tomato or a strange hybrid, but whatever it is… that’s a snackable vegetable. Fill me in if you know what it is. 

I also got a coffee. Yes I ordered a cappuccino, but I feel like they made a classy cappuccino.

You see what I mean? There’s no chocolate overspill or visible powder.

Feast of Merit is really great. They played good music, have friendly staff and the interior is really well designed and layed out. Then there’s the delicious food and the fact that they’re donating their profits to help run worthwhile projects in disadvantaged parts of the world. 

Feast of Merit on Urbanspoon

CAFE REVIEW: Cru, Kew

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EMOJI REVIEW:

Translation:

"Have you been to Cru in Kew?" (Must be said in a Prue and Trude from Kath and Kim voice. 

I ventured out to Cru in Kew for the express purpose of getting a juice. Not just any juice. A pho-inspired juice. As in my favourite Vietnamese noodle soup that I regularly dream about… in juice-form. Should I expect beef? Noodles? Cloves? Star anise? I can’t even imagine.

Firstly, it’s actually called ‘Phlavours of Pho’. I liked this. I appreciate alliteration in a menu, as long as it’s not cliche. “Big *anything starting with B* Brekky” - PISS OFF.

I get the juice. It looks like this.

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It had lemon, Vietnamese mint, apple, pineapple, cucumber and fennel syrup. No noodles or beef… which to be honest I was slightly crushed about but then I realised that you probably don’t want to be eating juice with chopsticks. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Phlavours of Pho was seriously refreshing. I could mainly taste the apple and pineapple, but it did leave a similar burn in your neck like the last bit of pho soup, so maybe that was the fennel syrup? Anyway, it was great on a 40 degree day.

I ordered the Crostini for brunch: fruit sourdough with grilled pear, gorgonzola, honey. 

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It was delicious, but seriously I NEED MORE ON A PLATE. One of my friends who I was there with ordered the Angus burger and I’d actually finished all three pieces of toast before he’d touched his burger. It was pure pain.

They either needed to cut their toast slices heaps thicker or to include a few more pieces on the plate.

Pat ordered the fruit bowl with fresh and poached fruit, date labne and toasted quinoa. 

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I watched him eat it as I sat there wondering if it was socially acceptable to order two meals for one person for brunch. He said it was super fresh and delicious.

I would definitely go back to Cru for their Phlavours of Pho juice, but would make sure I order two meals for brunch.

Cru is at 916 Glenferrie Rd, Kew. 

Cru on Urbanspoon

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Shop Ramen, Collingwood

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation (written by Annie):

Sometimes I wish there was an app that determines what type of pants I should wear for the day. ‘Considering eating a giant bowl of cape grim beef brisket ramen? Oooh gurl, you better steer clear of the high waisted jeans today.’

Shortly after eating lunch at Shop Ramen, I realised that I would probably need to get dramatically cut out of my pants from eating so much food.

Shop Ramen was filled with well-designed wooden stools, modern drop lights and beautifully fresh-faced families and couples. Pete Rock was playing in the background (so you know it’s good).

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We were seated at a big communal table, which I was cool with coz I love eavesdropping on peoples’ conversations. I counted 5 bearded men on our table. It was only 1pm. I felt like I could just chat to these bearded men about their fave Instagram filters thanks to the communal setting, but didn’t. (Valencia and Willow are my shit, just FYI.)

Emily and I shared a Brisket and Kimchi bun ($4) to start with, which included beef brisket and kimchi (shock horror), peanuts, coriander and Japanese mayo.

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Brisket and kimchi bun - $4

Nice balance of crunchy (peanuts) and soft (the bun). Not going to lie, I’ve never had kimchi before but it had a nice amount of chilli to it. Can Japanese mayo please be on every meal I ever eat, please?

Next up Em got the Shoyu Ramen ($14) which included pork belly, king oyster mushroom, spring onion, marinated egg, watercress, organic shoyu, chicken and dashi soup and noodles. Fucking yum. This bitch was suffering from some severe food envy.

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Shoyu ramen noodles - $14

I didn’t regret my choice though. I stood tough and stuck by my choice of Dan Ramen ($13.5). For a measly dollar you could add a roasted garlic bomb to the noodles.

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'Dan' ramen noodles - $13.50

‘Do I want the garlic bomb? I should get the garlic bomb. The garlic bomb sounds so sick. Like a bomb of garlic. Haha, a garlic bomb. If I had it my way I would make garlic flavoured gum. Garlic smells so awesome. I’m getting the garlic bomb.’

 I forgot to order the garlic bomb.

 In my personal garlic bomb reflection afterwards, I realised that I probably didn’t need it coz the Dan Ramen was bloody tasty enough. Cape grim beef brisket, radish, Sichuan pepper, celery, salad greens, marinated egg, peanuts, black vinegar, chicken and dashi soup and noodles.

Woah. So many ingredients. Normally the only time I like eating celery is when it’s smothered in half a jar of Peanut Butter but I really enjoyed it in the ramen.

And those radishes. I don’t know if it’s coz radishes are such an elusive vegetable or their pink colour that makes me so excited. But they were super tasty.

At this point I was glad that our menu got taken away because I vaguely remember reading something about fresh mango pie ($8.5) on the menu.

No Annie. You’ve already tried to subtly unzip your pants from being so full. Walk away while you still can.

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Just for a general summary of what eating at Shop Ramen is like, I’ll tell you this… When we walked past Gelato Messina afterwards and Emily turned the opportunity of eating gingerbread ice cream down.

What kind of black magic is this? In what type of a sick world would she say no to Gelato Messina? Emily Naismith doesn’t just ‘turn down’ ICE CREAM.

We were full. It was home time.

Just a heads up if you’re heading to Shop Ramen, please, please wear appropriate pants. Just trust me on this one.

 Oh, and if you do go would you please tell me if adding the $1 garlic bomb added to your ramen experience. Contact me via the official hashtag #garlicbombexperience. 

Shop Ramen is at 329 Smith St Collingwood, Victoria. 

Shop Ramen on Urbanspoon

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Morgan’s Beach Shack, Sorrento

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

Morgan’s Beach Shack is the new restaurant open in Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It’s got a whole heap of hype about it because it’s run by the people who own the Royal Saxon in Richmond and the Mornington Peninsula is deprived of cool new places. There’s only so many times you can go to the Conti.

We went on their second day of business (didn’t want to look too keen). Although we did to multiple drive-bys in the days leading up to check on progress.

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The whole place is extremely nautical. There’s lots of rope, buoys, oars and sailor stripes. I love a good theme and 60% of my wardrobe is nautical stripes so I was at home.

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As it was their second day of service they didn’t have everything on the menu available. Most of the burgers, burritos and grill items were available but not the salads. Suck on that Portsea Polo wankers.

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The menu is Baja-inspired, a Californian take on Mexican. But don’t worry, it’s not all beans and guacamole.

I went for the ‘Grilled local snapper burger with Baja slaw and smoked chilli’ which came with some pretty crappy fries. The good point about the fries was that they didn’t call them ‘frites’… what’s with places doing that these days? Sure sign of being a wanker restaurant owner.

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Grilled snapper burger and fries - $22

The snapper was juicy and perfectly cooked. Got a slight hint of chilli in there, and the slaw was pretty good. The bun was a bit shitty though. Would have expected better quality bread for a $22 burger.

My sister ordered the ‘Pork and smoked bacon burger with cabbage jalapeno slaw’. Apparently it was ‘freaking hot’ but the burger itself was delicious. The bacon was inside the patty, so if you’re looking for bacon slices this isn’t the burger for you.

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Pork and smoked bacon burger with fries - $22

My brother really lucked out though. The ‘Wagyu burger with mustard, horseradish and cheddar’ was cheddar-less, burnt and looked pretty pov. Iceberg lettuce… really? 

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Wagyu burger with fries - $22

He said, ‘Would have been better off going to Maccas’ and yes, that is him flipping the bird to the right of the photo. He doesn’t get that I’m a Professional Food Blogger™ now.

We got a few ‘Baja burritos with grilled prawns, corn rice, tomato, chilli and lime’ on the table. I think I ate a whole jalapeno in the bite I had. Effing hot. The prawns were well-cooked and the corn rice beefed up the burrito nicely. Mum’s verdict was it nice, but maybe $20 is a bit steep. BUT HEY, it’s Sorrento. I just paid $5 for a pack of rice crackers.

Baja burrito - $20

There were cute little blue trolleys filled with different sauces to add to your burgers and burritos. Mum wasn’t sure that the Masterfoods sauce bottle was appropriate though. I mean if you’re charging $22 for a burger, at least pour the Masterfoods tomato sauce into your own glass bottle to try and trick people that it’s a little bit high class.

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You can buy beers in mugs or pitchers. We got the Mornington Brewery Pale Ale pitcher. The beer was good. Hops. Malt. I dunno how to describe beer. Just trust me.

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Pitcher of Mornington Brewery Pale Ale - $23

Overall I think that seeing as it’s their second day of service you can overlook a few mistakes, but I do think the prices are a bit high for the standard of food that’s served. Hopefully the quality improves over time. You wouldn’t get away with those prices in Melbourne, but they probably will in Sorrento, so maybe the owners just know the crowd.

ADDITIONAL FUN FACT: They have a myriad of fun seats to sit on in the lounge, which is next to the restaurant part. Will this swinging chair support by weight?

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It does! That’s still a nervous smile though.

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There are also swings you can sit at to order from the bar! This could get dangerous.

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Morgan’s Beach Shack is where Morgan’s Bar used to be in Sorrento. 1 The Esplanade, Sorrento.

REVIEW: Meredith Music Festival food

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

A friend recently said, ‘You know you’re getting old when you get excited about the food at Meredith’. Pfft. I can’t remember a Meredith where I haven’t been excited about the food, and I’ve been to six of them and I’m 26. 

So here is a overview of the food I bought over three days at Meredith 2013.

Zesty Chicken Banh Mi from Banh Mi Boys

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This food truck is the definition of efficiency. I’ll never forget the Laneway festival where I waited an hour and a half for a Beatbox Kitchen burger. There were hunger tears and I now take a muesli bar with me everywhere I go thanks to this occasion. Ever since then I’ve been wary of food trucks making festival food en masse, but these guys had it sorted. 

I ordered the Zesty Chicken Banh Mi. After a ten minute wait I was devouring it on a rock that someone would probably pass out on later that night. 

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The bread roll was hard a crusty, just like they are in Vietnam. The chicken was really juicy and zingy, plus had a good charcoal flavour. Best meal of Meredith. 

Note: the staff at this truck had their shit together so much so that when someone didn’t grab their Banh Mi when it was ready, they organised the whole line to shout their name in unison.

Fish and Chips place - can’t remember what it’s called

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Someone told me that the fish and chips at Meredith were the best fish and chips EVER. High expectations turned out to be a curse, because it was good fish and chips for a festival, but not incredible. But good to eat in the sun while watching The Smith Street Band. 

Dim Sim (from the fish and chip place)

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When you order a dim sim with ‘shitloads of salt’ this is what you get. A metric shitload. Was so excited about this dim sim experience that I ate some paper off the bag…

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Didn’t even realise until after I swallowed it. That’s a dim sim for ya. GREAT.

Potato Pizza from The Forge

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As someone who used to spend a shitload of weekends in Ballarat I can confirm The Forge is one of the only good places there. Seeing as they’re trying to woodfire pizzas at a music festival, I expected a little bit less quality than at their actual restaurant, but it exactly the same. The base was light and fluffy, the potatoes and cheese melted together into an oozy mess and I was pretty happy. Happiness may have also been induced by the fact I was watching Tex Perkins live at the time. 

Goes well with a Mountain Goat Summer Ale.

Egg and Bacon Sandwich from the Community Tucker Tent

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Was SO HOPING for a quad bike delivered egg and bacon sandwich straight to my tent, but it didn’t happen this year. Community Tucker Santa didn’t wanna visit Bluegums, so I ventured down to the amphitheatre. 

I like the simplicity of the food in the Community Tucker Tent, and the sandwich was tasty but I ate it with a whole bag of lolly snakes and a blue Gatorade. Wouldn’t recommend this combo to anyone. Felt pretty sick.

Tried to take a photo of the triple layered bacon which I appreciated, but focussed on my shoe instead. This pretty much sums up how my mind was working at the time.

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There are also bands that play at Meredith Music Festival, not just food. 

REVIEW: Doughboys Doughnuts Pop-Up at The Mercat

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

7am on a Tuesday is a great time for doughnuts. You’re hungry, they’re fresh… it just makes sense.

This may not be common knowledge because when I went to the Doughboys Doughnuts Pop-Up at The Mercat I was the only person there. But that just meant I had all the donuts to myself. Look at these beauties!

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This is how excited I was about getting a doughnut from here: I was telling people in my dream that I was going to Doughboys Doughnuts when I woke up. Not only is that a lucid dream, that’s a lucid doughnut dream.

I’d heard that Doughboys Doughnuts do make a doughnut with bacon on it. My dream doughnut. But I didn’t want to get too excited about it and then for it not to be available that day. IT WAS AVAILABLE THAT DAY.

The stars had aligned.

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This is the Maple Bacon doughnut. Just a casual doughnut with Canadian organic maple icing with bio dynamic caramelised bacon bits. Holy fuck sticks.

Here’s another angle for all you bacon doughnut freaks (you know who you are).

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OK, so I expected it to taste like pancakes for some reason. Possibly because I was thinking about how I have maple syrup on pancakes sometimes and also how the Pancake Parlour has some kind of pancake with bacon on it. Side note: I only know about the Pancake Parlour menu because my boyfriend used to work there and I helped him memorise the menu by making up stories about each dish. OK!? Jeez, stop judging already. So basically, I was confused. I didn’t know what I was about to taste.

But I can tell you it was not pancake-y. It was one of the greatest things I have ever eaten, as you can see in this flattering shot.

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The doughnut itself was the lightest, fluffiest doughnut imaginable. I didn’t know doughnuts could be like this *eyes welling up*. The icing was sweet enough, but not sickly and tasted like real maple syrup. The bacon actually tasted like bacon. Proper bacon. Not bacon with sweet stuff poured over it so you can’t taste the bacon. It was salty, chewy and delicious. 

Here, have a closer look if you don’t believe me.

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But I didn’t come here for just the doughnuts. 7am on a Tuesday is also the perfect time for milkshakes with Gelato Messina ice cream. You know that.

When I asked if they have the Messina milkshakes that I’d read about, the Doughboys Doughnuts man said only on the weekends. He must have seen my heart break into a million tiny pieces through my facial expression, because then (like the saviour he is) he said: ‘We might have enough to whip one up for you’. 

Note: This is a true story. I didn’t even have to say that I run a legitimate emoji food blog with definitely lots of readers that aren’t all just my friends! 

If you haven’t read my Gelato Messina emoji review, you may not know that I am a Gelato Messina freak. Well now you do. I was pretty excited about this milkshake.

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He said this was a ‘salted caramel milkshake’ but I knew by my fine-tuned Gelato Messina loving tastebuds that it was actually had their number one gelato flavour in it: Salted Caramel and White Chocolate. 

In some parts the shake was so thick you couldn’t suck through the straw. That’s what I’m talking about. That’s a sign of a good milkshake. Or a faulty blender. But mostly a good milkshake. 

Life was peaking at it was only 7.30AM. I had a whole day of work and sugar comas ahead of me… 

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There are more doughnut flavours to try! I won’t rest until I’ve tried them all.

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That one above on the right is the Water Buffalo: reduced watermelon chili and lime icing with zested coconut sap sugar dusting. I’ve got my eye on you Water Buffalo.

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Nuttin Better (middle) has peanut butter with shaved Callebaut Belgian milk chocolate. It’s like Doughboys Doughnuts know me.

Even if you don’t like doughnuts you should still go there to look at the awesome sign out the front that my mate Paul Theobald hand painted*.

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*Who are you and why don’t you like doughnuts? I need to have a word.

Doughboys Doughnuts is at the Mercat Cross Hotel at 456 Queen St Melbourne, near the Queen Vic Markets. It’s open Tues 7am - 2pm and Thurs - Sat 7am - 11am or until sold out. Which they most likely will be if I’m around.

Doughboys Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Jimmy Grants, Fitzroy

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

Jimmy Grants souvlakis are different to the souvlakis my parents got from the local fish and chip shop when we got battered fish and soggy chips every Saturday night when I was a kid. This is a good thing. A very good thing. 

Because I am committed to the food blogging cause (and a pig) I went to Jimmy Grants twice in one week, just so this review (and my stomach) was as full as possible.

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Pita (2 pieces $2.50) and hummus ($5)

We started with the hummus dip and pita bread. By the time we got to the end of the bread, we realised our dip to bread ratio was all out. So much excess dip… but more on that later.

Sometimes when people are really hungry, they don’t read menus properly and end up ordering the dish they haven’t been dreaming about for months. This is what happened to me. I ordered a Mr Papadopoulos when I really wanted The Bonegilla. 

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Mr Papadopoulos souvlaki ($8)

The one I ordered had lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsely. The Bonegilla also had chicken in it. I was extremely jealous of the person on my table who actually ordered The Bonegilla. Jealousy and food envy aside, Mr Papadopoulos was pretty delicious. Definitely the best souvlaki I’d ever had. It was sweet, juicy and tender. There was just the right amount of bread - George Calombaris knows his filling to wrapping ratio. Respect.

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Steamed Jimmy’s Dimmies (3 for $6)

Next up, the dim sims or ‘Steamed Jimmy’s Dimmies’. I’m an unashamed dim sim fan. Disgustingly, when I stopped being a vegetarian after two years the first meat I ate was a steamed dim sim from a milk bar.  I love them that much. And that’s the shit ones! 

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These dim sims were so freaking good. So so so good. I couldn’t tell you exactly what was in them, but I’m thinking chicken, cabbage, capers and lemon, dipped in soy sauce. Hands down the best dim sim I’ve ever had (and I’ve had the South Melbourne Market ones). $2 for a magic dim sim that will change your life is value.

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Grain salad ($8)

The menu said the grain salad had ‘pulses, nuts, grains, herbs and greek yoghurt’, which is pretty vague but the unidentified pulses, nuts, grains and herbs were a yum combo. It seemed like the kind of salad that would fill you up if you only ate that salad (which of course I did not do). 

After all the souvlakis, salads, dim sims and pita bread was gone we still had excess hummus dip. On occasions like this, use whatever utensils you have at your disposal to ensure no food goes to waste…

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Yes, I ate dip with a spoon. 

Round 2 at Jimmy Grants, you’d think I’d get the souvlaki I regretted not ordering last time. But no, this time I felt like the prawn one… and I thought it’d be more interesting for you guys. Introducing The Patris.

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The Patris souvlaki ($9.50)

This one had prawns, attiki honey, mayo, cucumber, mint and coriander. The prawns were lightly fried and so juicy. The honey and mayo combined to a sticky paste that contrasted against the freshness of the herbs and crunch of the cucumber nicely. OK, now THIS was the best souvlaki I’ve ever had. 

Two of the best souvlakis of my life in one week. BOOM BOOM SHAKE THE ROOM! (Disregard if you don’t watch Masterchef.)

Don’t just get chips in a souvlaki when you come here. I mean, do get chips your souvlaki, but also get the chips separately too. 

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Chips, garlic oil, feta, oregano ($6)

See that huge piece of feta on the left side of the chips? Freaking heaven. I couldn’t really taste the garlic oil, but the feta was really creamy. 

The quality of food at Jimmy Grants is so impressive anyway, but when you consider the price you’re paying for it, it’s madness. There was consistently a small line of people waiting to be seated the whole time I was there on both occasions and I know why. 

I met George back when he was promoting the first season of Masterchef by doing cooking demonstrations at Chadstone shopping centre. I was the loser who was first in line then, and I’ll be in the line for Jimmy Grants regularly this summer. 

Jimmy Grants is just off Smith St at 113 Saint David St, Fitzroy VIC. Dim sim.

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

CAFE REVIEW: Third Wave Cafe, Prahran

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EMOJI REVIEW:

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Translation:

Third Wave Cafe is a newish cafe tucked away from the crowds of Chapel St in Prahran. If you’re into healthy eating or fitness this place hits the spot for two reasons… it has a separate Paleo menu aaaand it’s across the road from a gym.

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So being the health freak I am, I skipped over the Paleo menu and talked about how much I hate gyms.

The interior of the cafe is fresh and clean. There is an impressive wall of plants on the side of the restaurants, as you can see in this photo of a Professional Food Blogger™ in action.

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The coffee was perfect, plus it came with a perfectly cooked little meringue type treat. Such a cute touch.

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There are so many options to choose from on the menu, but being the pig I am there was one word that stood out above all others to me: BURGER. If there’s one thing I love more than a burger, it’s a breakfast burger.

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Fried bacon, fresh tomatoes, beef patty and basil mayo on an English muffin. The patty was made with porterhouse mince, fetta, sun-dried tomatoes and a big kick of spices. Perfect for brekky. But you can’t just have a burger for brekky…

So I ordered the Nutella and banana panini. 

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The Nutella and mascarpone melted into the warm banana and buttery bread and it was at this point I realised I probably didn’t need to have this panini and a burger. But I couldn’t not eat it - it was delicious. I really liked how it was served on a wooden board too.

Pat had pretty much the complete opposite of what I ordered. Yep, he went straight to the Paleo menu and ordered an egg white omelette. Personally I think the yolks are the best bit of the egg, but you can’t get between a man and his egg white omelette.

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I was interested to see what could be done with just egg whites, and was pretty impressed. So light and fluffy, plus they managed to make it look pretty beautiful on the plate.

Even though it’s close to the hustle and bustle of tiny dogs and perfect couples parading down Chapel St, Third Wave Cafe feels very relaxed and tucked away.The waitress we had was so lovely and attentive, who didn’t judge at all when I polished off the whole panini myself when we actually ordered it to ‘share’.

I rolled out of Third Wave Cafe. What a meal.

Third Wave Cafe is near the Coles off Chapel St, at 30 Cato St Prahran. 

Third Wave on Urbanspoon