Month: March 2014

Oakridge Winery

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Oakridge Winery

http://www.oakridgewines.com.au

My 2 girlfriends and I thought we would go to the wineries one lovely Saturday afternoon. As there were so many wineries to choose from we thought we would try Oakridge since neither of us had tried it.

The scenery of the wineries is beautiful. We were seated right next to the window overlooking the vineyard. We ordered the set menu, 2 dishes for $50. I ended up choosing the Victorian Beef as an entree and the Roasted Rack of Pork as the main.

The Beef entree was absolutely delicious. The Beef was cooked perfectly medium and sliced very thinly and the sauce that came with it was paired perfectly with the beef.

Onto the main was the roasted rack of pork. Following the delicious beef, we expected the pork to be just as good. Unfortunately the pork was very dry and underwhelming. The bit of pork we received was way too big to start with. The apricot and mustard butter didn’t really go with the dish we thought. One of my friends said it tasted like a banana milkshake lol… I don’t know how you get banana out of apricot and mustard but each to their own.

The winery is an amazing place for a lovely lunch and catch up with friends. The food can be a bit up in the air. Some were good, others weren’t great. I would come back though. I love the atmosphere of the place. Its a nice and relaxing place to enjoy a lunch and bottle of wine.

Oakridge Wines Cellar Door and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Nieuw Amsterdam

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Nieuw Amsterdam

http://www.nieuwamsterdam.com.au

I had only recently heard of this place from looking it up on Broadsheet. This restaurant has been newly opened in the last 6 months or so. Tucked away down Hardware St (opposite Hardware Lane) this place has a bar area downstairs with the restaurant upstairs. We were greeted with a very nice waiter who showed us to our seats and explained the menu to us. We ended up ordering the Pork Trotter and Ham Hock Nuggets, Chicken Waffles, New York Clam Chowder and the Southern Style Pork Belly Chops… oh and we also got a free Smokey Beef Brisket.

The entree styled dishes (nuggets and waffles) were delicious. Perfectly portion sizes. The nuggets were lovely and crunchy on the outside and nice and juicy on the inside. The Waffles were lovely! The pate that was on the waffles was so silky, smooth and rich.. but so good! I loved the extra texture of the crispy chicken skin on the top as well! Topped it off!

The Clam Chowder, to tell you the truth it didn’t look like a clam chowder at all. Having been to San Francisco before and having seen what a clam chowder should be, this looked nothing like it… although it does say it is a ‘New York’ Clam Chowder and I’ve never really had a clam chowder in New York before so I suppose this is what it might look like :p Anyway.. enough of my rambling, this Clam Chowder was SO GOOD! I’m salivating just thinking about it now! The creamy texture of the sauce was to die for! It complimented all the vegetables and meat/clams in it. It was so flavoursome!

The Pork Belly was melting in the mouth! It was that good! It was so soft and tender and the portion size was quite generous as well. We ended the meal off with a free dish (the waiters got our order wrong twice and gave us one of the incorrect orders) the Beef Brisket. Even though we didn’t order this the beef was lovely and tender and cooked to perfection. The sauce and the vegetables went hand in hand and were extremely enjoyable.

All in all, this place, even though they did get our order wrong a few times, they made up for it by giving us a free dish. All of the dishes that we tried were absolutely delicious and the service at this place was excellent. I would definitely come back again and try something else. Maybe one night when I’m feeling peckish after a big night out.. They do open until quite late I’ve heard… who’s up for a late night snack?? 😉

Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

South of Johnson

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South of Johnson

http://southofjohnston.com.au/autumn-winter-menu-2014.pdf

This cafe was hard to find. Although maybe it’s just my eyesight going bad! 🙂 Nestled on a small road behind Smith Street, this cafe seemed quite quiet from the outside but once you step through those doors, its all hustle and bustle. We didn’t have to wait at all for a seat.. maybe because it was a cold rainy day in Melbourne. We were seated in the area ‘outside’ but it was undercover which was fine. There was an array of things to order but I settled on the corn fritters where as my partner tried the french toast.

At first glance, my corn fritters looked really good! There was enough of everything on the plate. After trying it however, I felt like they tried to put too much on the plate. There was bacon, fritters, egg, a tomato salsa, avocado and rocket. I think there was a bit too much going on for my liking. There was a generous serving of bacon which I love and the fritters were nice, but I think it could have done without the egg and rocket and just stuck with bacon, fritters, salsa and avocado. That would have been perfect! The dish was still nice but I don’t think there was much wow factor in it.

I also tried a bit of my partners french toast. To us, we had tasted a lot better. This French toast does not even compare to the one we had at French Fantasies. This one just tasted like regular French toast that you could make at home. The ice cream that came with it was just a vanilla ice cream and my partner decided to add bacon onto it (don’t ask me why but he always does it). I think this dish was a bit of a let down. Also I think 3 pieces of toast is way too much for a serving for breakfast.

The atmosphere of this place is pleasant and the staff are lovely. I think they need to up the anti on their food though and give it something different or put a bit of wow factor in it. We probably won’t be back any time soon considering there are so many other places that we still haven’t tried and it also didn’t have that spark in the food.

Tiramisu

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Tiramisu

I love a good tiramisu.. who doesn’t? The creamy-ness and the coffee flavour.. I don’t like it too strong mind you but its lovely none the less. I used the following recipe to make this gorgeous tiramisu.
(I think next time if I was to make this again I would put layers of the lady fingers to give it a bit more texture throughout the tiramisu)

  • 2 Egg yolks (approx 80g)
  • 30 ml Water
  • 120g Sugar
  • 80 ml Whipped cream
  • 250g Mascarpone
  • Beans from 1 Vanilla bean
  • approx 80 ml black coffee
  • approx 5-6 lady fingers

1. Crush the lady fingers into smaller pieces
2. Make the Coffee
3. Pour the coffee over the lady fingers and set aside
4. Put the sugar and water into a saucepan and heat until the sugar has melted.
5. In the meantime, place the egg yolks and the vanilla beans into a bowl and mix until fluffy.
6. When the sugar has melted, add it bit by bit to the egg yolk mixture.
7. Continue mixing until the mixture forms ribbons when the beater is lifted.
8. Stir in the mascarpone in a bit at a time until it is all incorporated.
9. Follow by mixing in the whipped cream.
10. Fill the jars/cups with the coffee soaked lady fingers and then top with the cream mixture. Leave in the fridge for a few hours and when ready to eat, sprinkle with cocoa and enjoy!

Coin Laundry Cafe

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Coin Laundry Cafe

http://www.coinlaundrycafe.com.au/home/menu/

This cute little cafe situated in Armadale. I came upon this place when a few friends wanted to have brunch at somewhere different. We had to wait a little bit.. maybe 15 minutes for a seat.. which wasn’t too bad I suppose as there ended up being 6 of us. We sat outside on a lovely summers day.

I ordered my soy mocha and the Smoked Salmon, Winter salad with walnut, toasted brioche and poached egg. The salad was beautifully presented but personally I think it needed more sauce. The salad was a bit bland here and there and the brioche.. lets just say I’ve had better. It was an ok dish but I don’t think I’d order it again if I went back.

The overall atmosphere of the place was nice and pleasant. If you want to go with a big group it may be hard to get a seat but the staff are lovely and accommodating when possible.

 

Peanut butter Cookie dough bites and Raw chocolate Brownie

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So I tried a little bit of a raw blueberry tart the other day and I was actually surprised as to how good it tasted! It gave me the inspiration to look up some easy recipes and try to create a raw dessert for myself.

I got the Peanut butter cookie dough bites from the following website.

http://cleaneatingsurvivalguide.com/recipes/2013/10/23/peanut-butter-cookie-dough-blondies

I found this recipe to be super simple. Everything was added in the food processor and blended away. Simple and easy. I moulded my ‘bites’ into a mini cheesecake tin. They’re not exactly bite sized but I reckon it would be good in small balls so they are easy to eat. The texture of this was cookie dough like which was nice. I think for me, it would’ve tasted a little bit better if I had put a little bit more peanut butter into the mixture but in saying that it was still delicious.

Raw Chocolate Brownie

http://www.therawtarian.com/raw-brownie-recipe

I came across this website whilst looking up different raw recipes. It seemed simple enough without having to buy too many different ingredients I wasn’t familiar with. I actually doubled the recipe as I thought the original recipe didn’t seem like it would make much.. oh how I was wrong, it made quite a bit. The recipe was simple enough to follow. I think I need a better food processor though but overall it seemed to work as well as it should have. I topped the brownies with the raw chocolate icing from the same website as well. My icing wasn’t as smooth as what I would have hoped but the flavour was nice. I think its a bit bitter but I don’t mind it like that. The brownie tasted a bit like dates but it was still chocolatey which was good.

I gave these to my partner to try. He’s already not keen on too much chocolate so I didn’t think he would like the brownies much.. I was right.. he thought it tasted a bit too much like dates. I liked it however.. I think the taste is something you need to get used to but I think after a few bites its fine. He liked the peanut butter cookie dough bites though.. nice and peanut-y! I think these websites would be very useful and delicious for people who have allergies to certain foods. Also for people who want to try a healthier version of a brownie or ‘cookie dough’.

Burch & Purchese

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Burch & Purchese

Cute little dessert cafe based in South Yarra. To be honest I thought this cafe would have more seating (apart from outside) and a small drinks menu. I think it would allow customers to sit and enjoy a coffee/tea with their desserts as well. However, in saying that, as soon as you walk into the cafe you are met with a cabinet full of cakes and desserts. Opposite the cabinet was a wall full of chocolates, confectionary and jams/spreads. All of this ready for purchase.

I came here with my friend and we ordered the ‘White night’ Cake and the ‘Raspberry, Laurent Perrier Champagne, Peach & Lemon’ dessert. Both of them looked lovely and delicious.

We tried the ‘White night’ Cake first. This was absolutely delicious! It wasn’t too sweet which was good. The coconut sponge was nice and soft and there was also a mousse and a bit of coconut jelly inside it as well. I loved this cake! I wish they had it on their regular menu but they don’t 😦 They only had it because of ‘White night’ in Melbourne. Oh well… maybe it’ll come back next year.

The Raspberry dessert was a bit strange to our liking. We found it to be quite ‘tart’ tasting. I think the raspberry compote was a bit too overpowering and made the dessert quite sour/tart. However in saying that, the Champagne mousse tasted just like that.. Champagne! It was strange but nice. I loved the blondie in it although I think it could’ve done with a bit more to cancel out the tartness. I think this dessert was nice but the flavours just need to balance each other out a bit more that’s all.

I’d definitely come back again. I’ve always loved the look of these desserts and I want to try more!