Yamato is situated down quite a nice lane way in what can be considered a pretty ordinary Chinatown. The lane way may have drawn me to the end of the path into Yamato but I doubt I will ever make a return trip.
It’s Friday night and me and Mr P are hungry and I’m craving something that’s not dirty dumplings (our favourite Chinatown cuisine). We walk by Corrs Lane and Mr P thinks I’ll like this place. He has visited Yamato for Japanese food a long time ago and he tells me and the food was good.
The place is tiny and I find myself wedged between a wall and the couple next to us. Once seated, Mr P tells me that he notices that the owners have changed and are no longer Japanese family run but have been taken over by some Chinese folk (per observation). This doesn’t really bother me. A lot of Japanese places are run by folk not of Japanese background and the food still manages to taste good.
For entree, we ordered the Takoyaki balls. They are ordinary – nothing wrong with them but nothing particularly appetising either. For a serve of 4 octopus balls for $8 you’d expect it to be out of the world but it wasn’t.
Next, we had the pork belly with ginger sauce. The pork belly is quite finely sliced and comes with its fair share of fatty bits. I wouldn’t say that the meat is the best quality but the sauce is flavoursome and simple and for some reason reminds me of home style cooking that my mum could make for me. I guess it’s the simplicity of the sweet soy and ginger combo that makes me think that anyone could fry this up at home.
The Yamato Seafood arrived after our pork belly was finished and I’m not so sure why it took so long to arrive. The dish was uninspired, bland and boring. The seafood was so scarce so that you could count the numbers on the plate. You could also tell that the seafood was not fresh but frozen. The dish was small. Actually, quite smaller than a normal serving size you’ll get anywhere else in this city. At $13.50 it wasn’t cheap either. The seafood was sprayed with a side of cocktail sauce… nothing special. We were very unsatisfied.
To top this off we paid over $2 each for a small bowl of rice each. It’s really not worth your money to eat here. It’s expensive and the serving sizes are small and the food is not on par with most other Japanese places in Melbourne. It’s not hard to find reasonably priced Japanese food so it’s a shame when as luck has it, the bad Japanese food finds us. Better luck next time.
I live in Richmond but haven’t been satisfied with the pho shops lining Victoria street. So, when the pho craving struck, we decided to trek across town to Footscray and try our luck with the pho there. I give a double thumbs up to the pho we had in footscray. Better than the ones I have had in Richmond and a lot like the ones in good old Cabramatta in Sydney.
Since we were already in Footscray, I suggested going to Olympic Doughnuts for dessert. Olympic Doughnuts are much talked about as being the best doughnuts in Melbourne and sell their flour balls out of a no frills campervan look-a-like. Located outside Footscray station and next to a big construction site, one would be excused for thinking it’s a too dodgy site for good doughnuts (or good anything), but don’t judge a book by it’s covers!
I didn’t think to fill Mr. P in about what to expect so poor Mr. P thought we were going to a cafe decked out with a lounge where we were going to chill with a latte and bask in a variety of desserts. He was a bit disappointed when he saw that it was basically a tin campervan selling one variety of doughnuts out of their back window.
He was far from disppointed when he managed to sink his teeth into one of the famed dough balls. The doughnuts had a crispy outer, is dusted with sugar, a light and fluffy dough, and a liquid strawberry centre. The doughnuts were pumped with strawberry and dusted with sugar while we waited.
I was a bit disappointed at first that the strawberry filling wasn’t more jam like, but the strawberry liquid made it lighter and allowed me to eat more doughnuts – never a bad thing, right?
A set of 6 doughnuts set us back $4.90.
I spent the past past weekend playing tour guide to Di. It was awesome to catch up, walk about, eat, shop, eat more and chill out. It reminded me of our trip to Malayasia where there was plenty of girl talk, plenty of walking, shopping on the side, and eating more than we felt the hunger pangs (though I only found out now that Di actually does not feel hunger?!).
After dropping Di off to the airport on Sunday evening, Mr P was deathly hungry (mean while, I was pretty sated from the weekend of eating) so what else could we do but drop by for some Malaysian food in Flemington.
Mr P had raved on previously about a new Malaysian joint next to the famed Laksa King where we’ve been a number of times. Laksa King is great and I always get the same seafood laksa (yum!). But, today, we went next door to Chef Lagenda.
Chef Lagenda is quite a busy restaurant and serves food both upstairs and downstairs. We sat out on the balcony and it was a cool day with a breeze to send me shivering so I was thankful for the complimentary tea in flask that we received.
I ordered the Ipoh Noodle Soup simply because I wanted something warming and not too heavy. The broth was flavoursome and fresh. The noodles were perfectly cooked; not too soft, and not too bitey. I was impressed and appreciated that they did not skimp on either the prawns or chicken. The serving is generous and at the measly price of $8.50, really well worth the price.
I never got a photo of the Har Mee that Mr P had, simply because he dug into it way too fast. However, I promise when I say it was flavoursome and just as generous. I would have preferred it to my own noodles (because it was stronger in flavour) had it not been too heavy for my already bloated tummy.
Mr P’s not usually a good indicator of what is a cheap and good eat. I mean, he used to like Singapore Chom Chom on Bourke street which I’m pretty sure got closed down by the health inspectors…. but this time, I gotta give it to him. Cheap and tasty (and not scarily dirty)!
I was lucky enough to have my friend HT visit from Sydney this past weekend. My trips back home to Sydney can be quite sporadic so I’m always happy to catch up on all the juicy details of my friend’s lives on Melbourne ground (and HT’s updates are always juicy).
HT arrived in Melbourne armed with a list of recommended eateries to try one of which was L’atelier by Monsieur Truffe in East Brunswick. I have been meaning to try out their affiliated cafe (Monsieur Truffle in Collingwood) for a while now but can never get there before they close at 5pm. I have actually noticed that a lot of Melbourne’s dessert houses close before dinner time ruining any chance of me visiting as I usually keep my dessert habits to after dark (must be a sub conscious attempt to conceal my weakness for sugar laden food).
The only way we spotted this place was through the street numbering and by instructions to look for the red door (there is no sign otherwise). Bingo! The door was large, wooden, and bright red – you really can’t miss it.
It’s very spacious inside with a high ceiling, a glassed off area which had large machinery (I assume to make chocolate) and the tables were spacey.
We were here for lunch / afternoon tea and so we shared the lemon pancakes and the berries with muesli.
The pancakes were light and fluffy. I loved the lemon syrup it came with. Tangy and sweet and at the same time refreshing. It was matched well with fresh strawberries. It was quite simple a dish and not at all heavy.
The berries with museli (okay… I forgot the real name, I’m sure it was more elegantly named than that) was generously served with different type of berries from blueberry to strawberry and raspberry. The bottom of the jar had a berry flavoured jelly which was lovely as it gave a smooth and sweet texture to contrast the sometimes sour bite of the berries. The whole dish was sprinkled with muesli but in my opinion, not enough. The whole dish was bery berry (get it?)… so you do tend to get sick of it after a while.
I washed this down with an iced mocha and HT had the house hot chocolate. We both didn’t think that the drinks were anything out of the ordinary which surprised us since this is a chocolate joint after all!
I enjoyed afternoon tea here but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back any time soon.
I have never been into horses, horse racing, dressing up in cocktail dresses and standing around for hours with a drink in my hand looking composed and glamorous (I am better at standing around for hours with drink in hand and swaying a bit from too much to drink) . With that said, the Melbourne Cup and it’s associated horsey days are just not my thing. Either way, I was thankful to have Tuesday off. It proved to be useful because the extra rest gave me the oomph and extra bounce to see me through the week. As a result, I was out and about a little.
I like having an after work activity as it gives me something to look forward to on a week night. So when I saw an ad online promoting the ‘Style After Dark’ market on at South Melbourne markets I knew I had to go. It’s on every Thursday night of November and it sounded awesome on paper. Stalls of clothing, wandering around, feeling the buzz of people, warmth of the night and eating market foods. Gee, why wouldn’t I go!? The reality? Ten stalls of mish mash of clothing and accessories, no market food, very uninspired and the wandering was all over in 6 minutes. I was disappointed and Mr P was aghast that he has skipped soccer to accompany me to this event. So, I dragged him over to the restaurants attached to the markets in hope of redeeming the night. After some too-ing and fro-ing between Simply Spanish (lines were too long), Evening Star (not sure what we wanted to eat here) and Koy, we decided on Koy.
Koy is a dim lit, modern Turkish restaurant and the food proved to match it’s attractive exterior. I must apologise in advance… there aren’t many pictures accompanying this post. The reasons being that I am new to the whole food blogging scene and it’s counter intuitive for me to take a picture before poking my fork into food as soon as it hits the table and also because it’s quite dim in the restaurant and it was so hard to take a clear photo without flash. I still wanted to post this though as I did enjoy my dining experience here.
We started with the Antep Ezeme (Chilli Dip) with Turkish Bread. I like spicy food however, this dip is quite hot. The turkish bread is fresh and warm making it a perfect base for the dip. I must admit that I liked the dip more in and amongst the food we received later as it mellowed the spicyness.
Next we had the Biber Dolmasi which was a red capsicum stuffed with rice, walnuts, currants and other similar nuts and fruits. I enjoyed the flavour of this dish and the sweetness of the currants.
My favourite (sadly, not pictured) was the Mantar Dolmasi which was oven baked field mushrooms stuffed with haloumi cheese and herbs. Need I explain further why this dish rocks? I love the softness of the mushrooms and the salty flavours of the cheese. It also came with a fresh mint yoghurt which was lovely and fresh.
Mr P is vegie adverse and needed some meat (yeah! man power, flex! *sarcasm*) so we orderd the Izmir Kofte. We weren’t disappointed. This dish of meatballs with potatoes in a tomato herb stew was hearty and brought our meal to a climax. The meatballs were shaped long, soft to bite and perfectly flavoursome. The potatoes were also gently roasted and had a nice herb flavour to it. At this point I’m wondering if I really should be writing a food blog because I’ve run out of words to describe how a dish really tastes (I’m going to blame it on being past my bed time). I think I’ll just leave it to a dodgy, too dark photo to explain for me:
This weekend was my one year anniversary of moving to Melbourne. To celebrate being officially a Melbournian (although I gave a stranger the wrong directions to Flinders St a week ago – Oops, sorry! I pointed to King St instead…) what better way to celebrate than taking a day trip to Lorne.
Before heading off, Mr P and I dropped by Burch & Purchese to grab some driving snacks. They call themselves a ‘Sweet Studio’ I suppose because they are not a dine in dessert house but more of an up market cake shop also selling tid bits like house made icecreams, chocolate bars, spreads and other luxurious sweets. They are located in South Yarra a little away from the hustle and bustle of Chapel St but close enough to pop by and pick up some decadent sweets after shopping. Luckily for me, I only live about an 8 minute drive away.
Mr P & I have been once before and really enjoyed the cakes. Our second visit didn’t disappoint. The girls serving us were lovely as per usual and ever so patient as we ummed and ahhhed our way through the cake display and the shelves of chocolates and spreads. We finally decided on 2 cakes & 1 chocolate block:
The cakes are carefully stuck to the box with tape so they don’t bounce around while you skip away with them happily in hand. They also come with a description stuck on the box so you don’t forget the different elements of the cake. Mr P and I always revisit the description while we eat and tick off each element we can taste.
I chose the Banana, Caramel and Rum cake. I had to beg a little to let Mr P let me eat this while he drove us to our destination. The cake was delicious. It had a wonderfully soft and melt in your mouth outer which was while chocolate & vanilla mousse with a delicious rum and passionfruit jelly on the inside with banana cream. I can’t possibly describe all the different elements in the cake. For one, I can’t remember what was where any more but I do remember that I did taste the banana, caramel and rum.
Our second dessert was the Avocado, Mint, Cucumber and White chocolate. It’s not really a cake but came in a tube containing the different flavours and textures. This was my favourite as it was light, fruity and sweet. On paper, it sounds like a strange dessert but it really worked. I loved the yoghurt & lime crumb and mint tapioca in this. Even the compressed cucumber and apple tasted brilliant. The fruit and mint made it refreshing and the avocado cream and white chocolate mousse gave it the sweet hit it needed.
Once at Lorne, we hit up burger joint A Bottle of Milk. This was a lovely and cute cafe and not unlike the ones you would typically find in inner city Melbourne. Their menu was extensive with every type of beef burger with different fillings you could find. There were some chicken, vego and breakfast burgers too for those who want something different.
I ordered the ‘Hell Yeah’ which I thought was aptly named. It was a pretty massive burger. The bread was fresh and crunchy. The burger had tomatoes, beetroot and pineapple which made it sweet and refreshing. The prime beef patty was juicy and decently sized. I liked the refreshing vegies in the burger. Mr P ordered the Blue Cheese & Beef burger which he complained was too cheesy. I can only assume that the burger was made right and Mr P not being much of a cheese fan sought the wrong burger on the menu (dumbo alert!). Being naughty, we also ordered a size of hot chips. Boy, these were made right. They were crunchy and seasoned well. It definitely didn’t need it, but we got chilli mayo sauce which gave it a bit more naughty oomph. I wish this cafe was closer to Melbourne because it would definitely be on my list of regulars.
Lorne had their annual sculpture festival on so after lunch we walked along the shore and admired the many sculptures on display. The following are some of our favourite:
A lovely day out. I’m glad the weather held out for us… it started to rain down hard as we got in our car to held back to Melbourne. Typical.
My name is May. I’m 25. I like to eat.
What has inspired me to start not another food blog? I actually consider myself quite new to the foodie scene. It all started when I moved to Melbourne almost a year ago now. Melbourne is supposed to house some of the best eateries in Melbourne and I have had the pleasure of trying out many of these. I decided to share my experiences online on Urbanspoon at first. I like giving feedback and sharing with the online community as I am a frequent user who makes decision on where to eat and where not to eat based on the opinion and time dedicated from others to share their experiences. I found myself enjoying giving feedback and found that it gave me time to reflect on what I enjoyed about the meal. Funnily enough, some times I think it was the company and atmosphere that made all the difference to an enjoyable dining experience.
Really? I started this blog on a whim. Lets see what it becomes. Join me on the adventure.