Sunday, August 16, 2015

CHIN CHIN



Chin Chin
125 Flinders Lane
Melbourne 3000

I'm back!! If you are still reading thank you :)  

A couple of weeks ago my sister in law and I met up for lunch at Chin Chin.  Surprisingly neither of us have been there before, (I don't like queuing), so we went with the Feed Me option. For $69 they will serve you a selection of their favourite dishes. I must say I was a little nervous but it turned out to be a fantastic decision.  And the food just keeps coming!  It was definitely an indulgent long lunch and we enjoyed every mouthful.

To begin from the "Little Something" section we were served three dishes.


Kingfish Sashimi, Lime, Chilli, Coconut & Thai Basil

I loved the kingfish sashimi.  It was fresh, light and full of flavour. A great start.


Chin Chin Pork Roll Ups, Red Braised Suckling Pig, Pancakes, Slaw & Asian Herbs

The pork rollups were delicious and fun to make. I could have happily had more of these.


Spicy Corn and Coriander Fritters, Iceberg Lettuce, Chilli Jam

The third 'little something' were spicy, crispy fritters. I love the combination of corn and coriander and these crunchy little balls were yum. Wrapped in a lettuce cup with the bite of chilli jam - perfection. 


Our next dish was from the "Rice & Noodles" section of the menu. 

Pad Seuw of Six Hour Braised Wagyu, Gai Laan, Rolled Rice Noodles & Crispy Shallots

This is pure comfort food for me.  The noodles and beef were sublime, the coriander and crispy shallots the perfect finishing touch to the dish.


Crispy Barramundi & Green Apple Salad, Caramelised Pork, Peanuts, Chilli, Lemongrass

Next up was a salad from "Green Stuff". Not what I would have expected from something in that category but it was one of my favourite dishes. The pork was sticky, the fish tasty and the apple salad fresh and crunchy.  A lovely, refreshing combination.

By this stage we were getting quite full and thought we may have finished the savoury part of the meal but no, there was more - a dish from the "Curries" part of the menu.  The butter chicken curry was good but didn’t wow me like the dishes that came before it and I probably wouldn't order it again. As an aside though I must say I loved the bowl it was served in!
 
Butter Chicken Curry, Yoghurt, Green Chilli served with Rice

Our final course was from "Sweet and Refreshing Things".  This is not something I would have ordered but it was nice and a lovely way to end our meal. Actually I probably wouldn't have ordered dessert at all so I was glad it was a part of the Feed Me experience.  I particularly liked the sweetcorn icecream and the crunch of the wild rice.  

Coconut Sago, Sweetcorn Ice Cream, Praline, Puffed Wild Rice


I highly recommend the Feed Me option, particularly if you've not been to Chin Chin before.  It allows you to get a feeling for the serving sizes of a vast portion of the menu, it is great value and it takes the stress out of narrowing down choices when you want to try everything.

We left very full but happy.  Particularly when we saw the number of people waiting for a table.  I can't wait to go back to Chin Chin but I will definitely go early again to avoid the dreaded queue!



Click to add a blog post for Chin Chin on Zomato

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Barcelona

Barcelona Cathedral


As much as I love Paris, there is something so exciting and captivating about Barcelona. I had visited Barcelona once before, many years ago, on a 100 (it felt like!) cities in 30 days Trafalgar tour so my memories of it were quite vague.  This time I fell in love with the architecture, the ambiance, the shopping and the food!

Placa de Catalunya

In Barcelona Lucy and I stayed at the Hotel Pulitzer, just minutes from the Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla. Another perfect location, surrounded by shops, restaurants, cafes, the on-off tourist bus and Starbucks!!  Let me just say that I don't think I've ever been to Starbucks in Melbourne but being so close to one in Barcelona was very exciting.  Free WIFI!!  And good, reasonably priced coffee and tea.  Below is a picture of a cup of tea I was served in a cafe in Barcelona.  Hot milk with a tea bag! After that experience I happily went to Starbucks.



Of course Barcelona is famous for the work of architect Antoni Gaudi, in particular his still unfinished Sagrada Familia. 


It don't think my pictures adequately convey the magnificence of this church.  It was a very hot day but we spent a lot of time standing on the street just staring and taking in its majesty! 


As we explored the streets of Barcelona it seemed that around each corner was a new amazing building!






I love the contrast of the plain (boring even) and the exotic!  Look at that roof!

We also did a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter and were captivated by the stunning architecture dating back to medieval times. 







Not unlike our quest to find the perfect onion soup in Paris, Barcelona was all about finding the best paella. And we had quite a few delicious versions.  We never planned where we were going to eat but rather just walked around exploring all the little lanes that branched off La Ramblas until we found somewhere that appealed.



This was one of the best.  We were seated by an open window on a beautiful warm night, the paella was very nice with the perfect crispy bottom and the sangria was refreshing though with a bit more fruit than I would have liked.

Another paella enjoyed at the Waterfront!
One night we stumbled across this gorgeous square and had dinner at one of the many restaurants.


We shared a traditional tapas dish, patatas bravas, which was just ok and a lovely fresh pizza.


Barcelona is home of one of the most amazing markets - the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria or just La Boqueria. With its origins dating back to the 1200's this market is foodie heaven. It is a combination of fresh food - meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and prepared food - perfect for hungry tourists!  I loved this market. Prepare for a barrage of pictures as I had serious trouble picking just a few favourites!!


Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

The famous Pinotxo bar at the entrance of the market
Lunch on the run - delicious!

Loved the egg shop!






Figs!!

There is so much more we did and saw in Barcelona - the waterfront with its impressive Columbus Monument, Montjuic (translated as Jew Mountain) with its stunning views of the city and harbour, the FC Barcelona Football Stadium .. the list goes on.  



Such an beautiful city, full of contrasts.  I hope I can return one day and spend even more time.



Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!





My little blog has been badly neglected this year.  If you are still reading thank you so much and I promise much more regular posting in 2015.

This delicious glass of Cava was enjoyed in Barcelona and my post on this amazing city will be published in the next couple of days.  

Happy New Year!  May 2015 be a good year for us all!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

San Lorenzo via MENULOG


San Lorenzo
688 Mt Alexander Rd
Moonee Ponds 3039

Four and a half years ago I moved out of a house and into an apartment and not once in that time have I had take away food delivered.  Somehow it just seemed strange to get someone to come to the apartment building and buzz me from the foyer.  How that is different to coming to a house and ringing a door bell I don't know. There is no logic to this delivery phobia I developed.  It just was what it was!

So when Menulog contacted me with an offer to try out their website my first thought was I can't do that, I don't get food delivered!  But a few weeks later, after a busy week and with my nieces coming for a sleepover I changed my mind and I am glad I did. Now I know how easy it is to get takeaway delivered and my phobia is cured!  Hmm - maybe not such a good thing!

 

The Menulog website is very easy to use.  The girls and I entered my postcode and then scrolled down the extensive list of restaurants comparing cuisines before deciding we wanted italian. A lot of the restaurants offer discounts and this was clearly marked on the search page. After clicking on a few different options we decided on San Lorenzo.



The ordering process is easy and intuitive.  Within minutes we had placed our order and received a confirmation email and text message from Menulog confirming the order details.  The estimated delivery time was 40 minutes and the food was delivered in just under that time.  We also received a phone call from the restaurant because one of the items we had selected was unavailable on the night. We confirmed we were happy with the substitute. 

Now for the food! Everything we had was delicious.


The Calamari were divine and just melted in your mouth.


The Aranchi were crispy on the outside and nice and gooey on the inside.  Comfort food bliss! 


The Gnocchi Napoli was delicious. Soft, light pillows that also melted in your mouth.

san marzano tomato, fior di latte, fresh basil with a hint of olive oil
Margherita pizza.  Some would say a simple/plain choice but sometimes you just want plain and simple. This was a tasty, cheesy version of the classic.


We also ordered a garlic pizza and the item the girls were most excited about - Nutella pizza!


I'm not a big fan of nutella but it was good.

We all thought the food was lovely and wouldn't hesitate to order from (or visit) San Lorenzo again.  

I will definitely be using Menulog again now that I am over my delivery phobia.


Disclosure: Piecey Num Nums received a $40 voucher from Menulog for this meal. The remainder of the bill was paid independently.


San Lorenzo on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Le Grand Cirque


Le Grand Cirque
21 Daly Street
South Yarra 3141 

I seem to have a knack for reviewing restaurants that close soon after!  I must say I am very surprised that this is one of them.  I visited Manu Feildel's restaurant, (backed by George Calombaris' Made Group), a little while ago and really enjoyed it.  I was planning on returning soon and was going to blog about it after that, (with hopefully better quality photos), but it has just been announced that the restaurant will close next week.  After some consideration I decided to publish my post anyway. 
 

You enter the restaurant to a 'ticket box' reception/cloak room and billowing black curtains which part to reveal the restaurant proper. In keeping with the 'circus' theme a bowl of popcorn was offered whilst we perused the menu.  I liked this idea though the spice could have had more bite.


There were four of us and we shared a number of dishes.  The ham croquettes with cauliflower cream were delicious.  Cheesy, creamy, crunchy. They were the pick of the entrees.


The baby fish burgers with tartare sauce were very tasty. I liked the brioche bun. The school prawns served with aioli were fine though they didn't overly excite me.


For mains we shared the traditional cassoulet which was hearty and delicious.


And the beef cheeks in red wine sauce which was lovely.  My photo really doesn't do it justice. Beautiful tender meat in a rich, hearty sauce.


For sides we had the creamy potato puree. Divine! Pure comfort food.

 

We also enjoyed delicious baby green peas with lettuce, leeks and lardons.  
Meat, potato and peas elevated to great heights.


Of course we had to have dessert.  The salted caramel crème brûlée was rich, sweet and delicious.

Our final dish of the night was the highlight for me and one that I would have happily had as my main course! Melted goat's cheese on toast.  Rich, creamy and superb.  I became slightly obsessed with goat's cheese when I was in France last year and seriously could have made a meal of this dish.  Yum, Yum, Yum.  For this alone I would have returned to Le Grand Cirque!


So, all in all we liked everything we ordered, some more than others.  I can't remember exactly how much we paid but with a couple of bottles of wine and coffee I think it was around $70 a head.

I certainly hope we see Manu take another chance on the Melbourne food scene one day!


Le Grand Cirque on Urbanspoon