Friday, 11 April 2014

Korean is the Way to Go (: [Anju Restaurant & Bar]

18 Little La Trobe St 
MelbourneVIC 3000
Hello everyone~

Seems like some of you still use my blog for some references. Thanks for that!
I see my ranking on urbanspoon has dropped a fair amount (from ~150 to 494 T_T)
Guess it's time to change that by getting back into the groove of things.
Today's images all came from my phone (Sony Xperia Z1) which it may look different to my past photos ~
Nevertheless, I am back and I am starting off with a Korean restaurant I've walked passed a few times: Anju.



"Anju" is a typical Korean word which means Korean Food consumed with Alcohol. So that's exactly what happened.

Anju takes typical Korean food and adds a little western fusion as you can see later on :)

This restaurant is fairly popular and I would recommend you booking before arriving or expect to be disappointed. I went with a friend and we were lucky enough to get a seat even though it was at the bar.







     

A unique feature of this restaurant is their menu. It is in an envelope which one would normally use to post letters. It is as though they are sending you an invitation to enjoy their food. Really is an interesting way to present it.



Let's move on from their interesting menu to their stunning interior.

Starting from the Left Image: The Bar.
Honestly speaking, for me, the spot at the bar is a spot I would rather not be. There are of course a few exceptions to this which I don't mind. One was it seemed they couldn't put us anywhere else (it was only me and a friend but whatever) and two, the food was prepared right in front of us. Who doesn't enjoy a show while you wait? Given the smell of the food just made us hungrier but that was a given wherever we sat.

The Middle Image: The Front Seating Area.
A simple design which didn't overpower the restaurants own charm.

The Right Image: The Back Seating Area.
This has the same simple design however a bit more privacy was attained with the positioning of the tables.

Overall, a very nice atmosphere.
Rice Crisps w/ Peanuts






To start us off: some Rice Crisps w/ Peanuts. I have no comment on these except they were very well made and certainly prepared us for the dishes to come.












The Starter: BBQ Corn
BBQ Corn w/ White Miso & Gochujang (Chili paste) $4 Each
I actually was expecting this dish to be just the kernels on a hot plate with the White Miso and Gochujang (Chili Paste). That isn't to say it wasn't a pleasant surprise. The corn had been brushed completely with the flavouring of the White Miso and Gochujang while finishing it off with some lime. This was a very flavoursome starter having the moistness of the kernels while also having just a bit of outside charred from the barbeque.




Fried Half Chicken with House
made Spicy Sauce Served with
Nectarine Coleslaw $26

The Main: Anju Fried Chicken
I believe most Korean restaurants will have a specialty for their Fried Chicken and this is Anju's.

The Fried Chicken was cooked very well, the outside having just enough crunch while the meat on the inside was juicy. The spicy sauce is kind of ... exaggerated? I didn't feel that much spice but it might be because I have a fairly high tolerance of spices.

The coleslaw was surprisingly delicious. I usually expect a somewhat dry and tasteless coleslaw but I was proven wrong here. This coleslaw had a slight citrus taste to it and it was very refreshing.

 Side Note: The chicken dish had peanuts in it so be careful!


Pint of House Beer $11







OH! Almost forgot the beer :)
It was a house beer called Little Creatures! It finished off the main amazingly. Should definitely have it if you go here. Very light taste and not very bitter.









Wrap Up!

Anju

I really have no complaints about the taste of the  food here. It was simply amazing. However the portions could have been a bit more considering they recommend that everything be shared.
The service was pretty nice and very welcoming.
The price was somewhat steep having our total bill come to $56 for two people.

Food: 9/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 8/10
Overall: 8.33/10

Very nice food, very nice dining area and a price to match. I will definitely come back here to try their sliders and steak!

Anju Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon


More cravings to come,

~R

Monday, 11 March 2013

Time for a JBBQ [Tori Matsu]


179 King Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
To whoever this may concern,

I am finally back~ d=(´▽`)=b
I was in Vietnam for a while but I am back with this post :)

This time, it's Japanese BBQ! This is actually the first time I've been to a Japanese BBQ restaurant, it is usually Korean BBQ that I go to. I've always had an interest in Japanese BBQ but never had the chance to go so this was something I was really looking forward to!


The place is called Tori Matsu, it's quite a small restaurant but has two levels to accommodate the busy nights. They are open Monday - Friday 12:00 PM - 2:30 PM for lunch and Monday - Saturday 6:00 PM - 9:15 PM (9:30 PM for Friday & Saturday) for dinner, so it might be a good idea to call them up and book before coming in. Tori Matsu has in fact been open since 1975 and are still running strong til this day. After I tried this place, I can see why :)




As all BBQ places, it's not easy on your wallets. The Tori Matsu Course gives you a plate of everything for $29.90. That's a fair amount if you think you can't eat more than one serving of everything on the menu. The 90 minutes all you can eat is the same menu however there is no limit to how much you can order as long as you relatively finish everything you order. This menu is a bit more expensive of course, $36.80 for males and $32.80 for females. They won't kick you out on exactly 90 minutes unless it is really busy, I went when there was hardly anyone so they didn't say anything to me :) I'll go through each dish with the pictures below~








I've seen this BBQ plate in so many Japanese films but it's so exciting to finally to the real thing! :D











The interior looks very authentic and gives off a nice feel to the place. You really feel welcomed by the atmosphere in here.




Hot Japanese Tea $5





It's a Japanese restaurant so it calls for some Hot Japanese Tea. It was very fragrant but not bitter at all so that was quite enjoyable for me.









The vegetables! Mushrooms, pumpkin, sweet potato, eggplant, cucumber and carrots (yes the last two aren't in the picture, we just ate them as they were). This is kind of expected so I won't make any comments here :)






Okay, first meat dish; squid. Not the best in my opinion. The flavour wasn't that strong and it didn't seem to that fresh to me. We only ordered one serving of this.






Second dish, pork. This one pretty much makes up for the squid's lack of flavour. It was full of juiciness. We really liked this dish so we ordered two of these dishes. Only problem with this dish (for me, maybe not for some of you) is that there was a lot of fat in this but what can you do when they give you pork belly~ ^^ The second dish of this really pushed it for us though.





Third; beef porterhouse. Can't complain, the meat was cut into fine pieces which made it easy to cook and eat. Not as flavoursome as the pork but had enough for this dish. x2 for this dish too!







Fourth; Chicken~ I generally am a big fan of chicken, always yes for chicken. However this one disappointed me. It was difficult to cook, pretty plain to eat and didn't really go well with anything. If this was marinated then it would of been pretty nice but it wasn't, so what can you do? Only one dish of this.






Fifth; Beef tongue. My recommended meat dish. This was beautiful. I can't even put proper words to this. It was the best meat dish and you just need to get down here to try it. x2 for this dish as well.







Salmon Sushi (well it's nigiri but whatever, I'll let them have it).
This is one of the, if not, best salmon nigiri I've had in Melbourne. The rice was not too dry but also not too moist and the salmon was fresh and just simply melted in my mouth. This was actually our second serving, we ordered four of them to start with and then ordered eight for the second serving. Simply loved this.







Asabiraki Suijin Junmai Okarakuchi Sake $28


We had to top it off with some sake while we were here. They had run out of the cheaper varieties so we opted for this one.

There are well balanced umami, sweetness and richness of Iwate local grown Toyonishiki rice with its super dry crisp finish of SMV (Sake Meter Value) +10.
This sake would be a good supporter to bring 
up the flavours of each dish.

As the SMV indicated, it was a very dry sake (higher value means more dry, lower means more sweet). It tasted quite similar to typical vodka if anything. It did however bring out the flavours of our dishes. A nice drink with our bbq indeed.





Wrap Up!

Tori Matsu

The pork, beef porterhouse and beef tongue were all amazing. The chicken and squid not so much. The beauty of this place is, we can choose what we want and only order the things we like. The sushi is absolutely a must get and the sake was a nice compliment to the meal.

For you who are curious to know, our total bill came to $106.60. Around ~$50 each for me and my friend. Yes it is pricey but I think it's a nice treat once in a while.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 8/10
Price: 7.5/10
Overall: 7.67/10

If you're looking to have some Japanese BBQ and not too fussed with spending a bit more then this is definitely the place to go.

Tori Matsu on Urbanspoon

Til the time I crave again.

~R

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cooling down in Summer [Story in a Cup]


4/9 Yarra Street
South Yarra, VIC 3141 
Hello everyone :)
It's been a while since the last post, been busy with uni and work :(
This is just a short post and hope you enjoy! 
Finally managed to get around to going to this Frozen Yoghurt place I heard of. If you haven't noticed, Melbourne has been heating up and some Frozen Yoghurt just seemed like the perfect choice to cool me and a few friends down ! :D



The place is called 'Story in a Cup'. It's a self-serve yoghurt place similar to Tutti Frutti. Their concept is that you make your own story with your yoghurt. I thought this was a really good concept and proceeded to make my story.


As I come up to the store, I see the interior of their store through the front window. The front window's text is simple, clear and straight to the point. No confusing jargon here. :)





As I entered, I can see the self serve machines. They currently have 6 flavours. Still, 6 flavours is more than enough for me.
I was really having a hard time choosing which one I really wanted! ):<


For their menus, they show the types of yoghurt they have two by two along with suggestions for the toppings. You can choose from the original and then to special ones like the organic coconut!



Do I even need to say they have lots of toppings?
They have your normal ones like strawberries and mango fruit but they also had interesting ones like gummi bears! :O






For seating you have these small doll house like chair and tables. They're not bad, they fit in with the feel of the shop :)


The one on the right is a regular cup with all the yoghurt flavours except the orginal. You can see I went a bit overboard with the toppings ...
All the yoghurt is really nice though, they're not overly sweet or strong in their respective flavours compared to other frozen yoghurt places like Tutti Frutti and Cacao Green. My one was about 330 grams and it set me back $8.25. Fair price in my opinion.



 


The one on the left is my friend's one; he got coconut yoghurt with walnuts :) He kept going on about how amazing it was, so that should tell you his story haha




If you end up going here and want to come back, make sure you get one of these! Buy more and get discounts, what more can you ask for? :)



Wrap Up!

Story in a Cup

The frozen yoghurt was really nice in my opinion. Not too sweet but not too strong. The belgian chocolate had a fair amount of flavour, the organic coconut gave a smooth consistent taste, the mango mojo was like an extra kick, the blueberry dream melted incredible well and the cool watermelon finished it off making them all an amazing story in a cup.

Food: 9/10
Service: 10/10
Price: 8/10
Overall: 9/10

I hoped for more flavours and the price was a fair price as I said before :)
Nonetheless, it's a must try!

Story In A Cup on Urbanspoon

Til next time I crave,

~R.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

'The World in a Bun' [Bao Now]

119 Hardware Lane
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Hello everyone :)
Just a few things to note from now on. I am using my own personal watermark for this blog's picture (hoorah~) and I shall be trying to keep each post to one restaurant only so I will add more information about the place if possible! Also since I'm at it, going to change the format a bit too! :)

This post is about 'Bao Now', an up and coming restaurant that takes the traditional Steam Buns and gives them an international twist! :)

A Bit of a Back Story
The owners of the store, David and Ricky, came up with the idea of putting the world's flavours into a bun three years ago. Well initially they thought to do it in a taco since at that time there was no good Mexican food around but they got set back by costs of working in Melbourne. They changed from tacos to buns since by the time they had set up a solid business as a cake distributor, Melbourne got overrun by Mexican food. Through lots of experimentation of the dough and the fillings, they have set up in Melbourne for about a month now! :)

Everyone has heard of the typical steamed bun with the pork or chicken filling, or even the red bean and custard fillings.

However if you're like me, then something new wouldn't hurt once in a while. This is where this small restaurant comes in, they have taken your stereotypical steamed bun and thrown in some ingredients that you wouldn't normally expect.

The interior design is small and quaint. They have a small restaurant area inside and outside as you can see.

It really has a welcoming atmosphere starting from the warm lights to the smell of the food to the cheery owner that greets you and gives you a good chat while you eat :)




While you're eating, you can check out what they have in store for the future of their business.

On the wall is a map of the world and what flavours that they have or are going to incorporate into the steamed buns :D

It's such an interesting range of foods that could be the next 'Bao'. They even welcome suggestions!

Me and my friends have contributed a few suggestions and we look forward to see if any of them become part of their menu :9
Once you've taken in the atmosphere of the quaint little store, you are welcomed by the menu on the wall. Damn, is that a menu.. There's so many choices!

You have four options from each savoury, san choy or dessert baos and also four options for rice dishes.

Luckily if you can't make a decision, they have these meal deals for all the sorts of baos.

The individual baos are $3 each and you have a variety of choices from the savoury buffalo chicken filling to the dessert style cheesecake fillings.

They certainly have thought an interesting concept of inheriting the orginal Chinese Baos and giving them a twist with international fillings.
The meal deal I got was 3 Baos and a drink for $9. That's a pretty good deal in my opinion since the baos and drink are a fair size :)

As you can see in the picture to the right, my friend got the same thing ~

But they do have other deals too! Another deal was 2 San Choy Baos, 1 normal Bao and a drink for $10. Really good value all of this :)


My choices: Buffalo Chicken (back left), Bacon Cheeseburger (back right) and Vanilla Custard.
The Buffalo Chicken was moist and full of flavour which was finished off with the spicyness you'd expect from buffalo wings. I'll admit I was skeptical about the bacon cheeseburger when I first heard of it but I have no regrets of choosing this one. It really felt like you were eating a bacon cheeseburger just with a slight change in its exterior.

Oh! I had to try the cheesecake bao too! It was too tempting not to try it. So in the end I tried the Vanilla Custard and the Cheesecake Baos from their Dessert Baos.

The Vanilla Custard was a cold Bao but that doesn't imply that it was bad or anything. It's just that it worked better cold. The custard was creamy and blended well with the dough.

The Cheesecake was a hot Bao. I was lucky enough to get a fresh one and it was totally worth it. This is an indescribable one. Truly like heaven in your mouth for the sake of a bad comparison.


I really loved these Baos so I had to go back the next day. The image to the left is their BBQ Pork bun but it's not like the typical BBQ Pork one. It tastes more similar to an actual piece of Pork on the BBQ, which was the initial thought I had when I ate the Asian one in the beginning. It's nice in it's own perspective.



The second time I went I also got some of the San Choy Baos. It was part of the $10 deal (2 san choys,1 normal and a drink) so really good value for money :)

I was really doubting that I would like these in the beginning. Thankfully I was wrong. They really go well with the ingredients! I chose the Buffalo Chicken and the Thai Chicken Curry. A tad messy to eat but they were both very flavourful and went well together!



One last Bao before I left. The Mexican Pork Bao. This really confused me because like .. What is Mexican Pork? It was quite good, it reminded me of pork floss but just a different texture in the meat. Still very delicious :D





 Wrap Up!

Bao Now

I really don't have much complaints about these. They are certainly a different turn on your normal 'Bao'. They were a tad small so I ended up spending more than I would of preferred but even though I say that, they make up for the small size with the burst of flavour and amount of filling in eat bun! The dough is actually less than the normal one so the ratio between the dough and the filling is overpowered by the filling (they fill it up, there's no empty space like the asian ones haha).

Food: 10/10
Service: 10/10
Price: 9.5/10
Overall: 9.83/10

I only took 0.5 off for the price only because I've spent way more than I should of at this store over the last two days D:
The owner did say he was looking into bulk ordering so that would be awesome *.*
This is a definite must try! It's something new and different so don't go into the store with the mindset of comparing it to the original Asian Steamed Buns because you'll be disappointed if you think like that. Go into the store with an open mind and you'll be amazed at their creations!

I've placed their address at the top right of my post as I will be doing that from now on.

I'll definitely come back whenever I have cravings for these buns or even to try their new ones :D

Bao Now on Urbanspoon


Til next time I crave,

-R

Friday, 28 September 2012

Adelaide~ [Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate & Mamma Carmela Restaurant and Pizza Bar]

Hellloooooo~

I've just come back from Adelaide a few days ago for University Games. It was an interesting place I reckon.
The good things were:
  • Stayed right next to beach
  • Good time with friends
  • Found this awesome chocolate shop (Bracegirdles) 
Bad things:
  • Shops close at 5pm weekends and 9pm weekdays (blasphemy D:)
  • Not much to do ..

Rather than talking about that~ I found two places that I liked in Adelaide :D
An amazing chocolate shop and a fairly decent restaurant~

The Chocolate Cafe is called 'Bracegirdle'.
It gives off a warm welcoming atmosphere when you enter :)
Oh and the rich smell of delicious chocolate too~
I ended up coming here twice :9

They have this at the front of their store...
I was somewhat skeptical..
Because you know, when places put these up; it's usually not that great.
However this place lived up to it :)


As you enter you can see their wall full of chocolate delights :O
Absolutely heaven for anyone seriously ._.

Then when you get to the counter... You see these bite sized chocolates D:

Oceania: $2
I ended up trying this one.
It was chocolate and caramel but was very nice :D
The shell broke apart quite easily in my mouth and everything melded together quite nicely~

Hot Chocolate: $6.00
Chilli Hot Chocolate: $6.50
They came in the same cup so I didn't see the point of having two pics of the same cup.
Their hot chocolate is really good! One of the bests I've tried in a long time.
The hot chocolate was full of flavour and simply amazing :D
For the chilli chocolate one.. I'm usually not inclined to try chilli chocolate..
However these guys made it quite good. The chocolate was warm and a bit frothy which was then
hit by the slight taste of chilli, not too strong but strong enough :9

Short Chocolate: $4.50
It's basically a shot of their chocolate with milk.
This is SOOOO good D:
This is the main thing from this store that I will be craving I think
For this price you get a fair amount and it was worth it ..
I mixed the milk and chocolate together to get the picture above so then I could
scoop the chocolate out and eat it :9
It was creamy and satisfied my chocolate cravings ~

Bracegirdle's Cooler Bag: $15 normally. $5 if spent over $50 and free if over $75
I got it for free... So yeah you can tell I bought a lot of chocolate :\

White, Milk, Dark, Darker Chocolate: $9.00 or $12.50
These are the chocolates I bought!
They're blocks of chocolate for my friends in Melbourne.
Trying to stop myself from eating these T.T

Mamma Carmela is a restaurant of mixed reviews ~
Reviews said only good pizza.
End of the night.. I reckon the pizza wasn't that great but other things were~

Seafood Platter: $33.00
Hmm... skeptical...
Chips were below standard and seafood was okay?

Sweet Chilli Chicken Focaccia: $12.50
Chips: $5.00
The chips wasn't the best choice.
The Focaccia however was a good choice.
The Focaccia was massive and worth the money. It filled me up in a good way :9
Chicken was well cooked, the vegetables complimented the chicken and to the top it off; the melted cheese /drool

Gourmet Calzone $18.90
It's basically their Gourmet Pizza in Calzone form.
The Calzone itself didn't have empty air inside, full of ingredients and flavour.



Wrap up! :D

Stop #1: Bracegirdle's House of Fine Chocolate

Best chocolate in Adelaide? I think yes. In Melbourne? It's in the top chocolate places for me! :D
Amazing chocolate products, great service and awesome atmosphere ~

Food: 9/10
Service: 9/10
Price: 8/10
Overall: 8.67/10

It's a must try! Cannot miss this if you're in Adelaide (not like there's anything else there).
They have a few stores but the one I went to was in Glenelg.
They are at: 31 Jetty Road, Glenelg, SA 5045

Bracegirdles House of Fine Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Stop #2:  Mamma Carmela Restaurant and Pizza Bar

Not a bad restaurant. I guess this place is good depending on time and what you choose? Seafood platter and some Pizzas weren't good choices. Calzone and Focaccia were good choices. It depends on what you order here in my honest opinion. Service was okay, not the best though.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Overall: 6.5/10

Not a bad place. I reckon try it out if you're ever in Glenelg, South Australia.
They're at: 4 Jetty Road, Glenelg, SA 5045


I'm glad to be back in Melbourne though. I miss this place with it's changing weather and bad public transport a lot haha

Til my next post,

-R