Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fonda Mexican

Mnn Mexican! Fonda in the CBD is situated on Flinders Lane between Exhibition and Spring. It's a a bit out of the way but it's certainly in fine company with neighbors including Cumulus, Ceconi's, Kenzan and Nama Nama. The trek is certainly worth it for the good food and the reasonable prices.
 
We placed our order over the phone and they were really fast with the preparations.
For a 6-person order totaling more than $200, they took less than 20 minutes. Pretty impressive for two huge bags of freshly prepared food. Oh man when I say huge, I mean huge. Everything was separated into individually labeled cartons (as per our request) and neatly packed into large brown bags that looked like something that a laneway boutique might use. I felt like I had gone shopping!

 
 
Just as some books can be judged by their cover, food can also sometimes be judged by its packaging. The food was very good and the ingredients tasted very fresh! Fonda Mexican is a good takeaway option as well as a cool dine-in venue.

 
Fonda on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gyoza Gyoza, Melbourne CBD


M came back from dinner one night and could not stop raving about this "hot" waitress at a Japanese restaurant in Chinatown. I was intrigued. For M to get so excited, she must have been fairly special as M doesn't have a track record of chasing after Japanese girls.
 
T on the other hand, has always made clear his intentions of having multiple Japanese wives. Thus being the doting (G)F that I was at the time, I suggested that he should be taken there. However when the two of them did go, the "hot" one wasn't there.  

Nevertheless my curiosity remained and S and I decided to check it out one evening. We ordered a bunch of things to share and also some sweet Japanese concoction. Our food and drinks arrived reasonably quickly and everything tasted pretty good. The service was attentive and friendly although I was slightly disappointed to not be enchanted by the mythical "hot" one.  
 










Japanese Gyoza Bar on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Gelato Messina, Fitzroy

I have been hearing fantastical tales about Gelato Messina for a painstakingly long while but never had the fortune of being taken there.
 
My friend J is an expert in food and her strong advocacy for their ice cream was a major factor for my inextinguishable desire to sample their flavours.
 
One fine Friday, I heard about an incredible Uber offer. By signing up to the Uber app with a special promo code, I could receive $20 in credits which could be used towards Uber deliveries of Gelato Messina ice cream, which were $20/tub. In effect, Uber was giving away free tubs of Gelato Messina ice cream. How could I say no!?
 
I went through the steps of downloading, signing up, logging in with my promo code and then encountered the screenshot below. #WhatDoYouMean? I kept trying for another 15 mins to no avail! By then, one of the other girls at work also said that her tub of goodness was on the way! Soon enough, I went down with R to meet her delivery and just as I was relaying my sob story to R’s delivery guy, I suddenly saw that my persistent finger-race had finally paid off and my screen showed that Megan was bringing my Gelato Messina and she was only 2mins away!
 
R and I carried our loot upstairs to many eager mouths that devoured the hard-won 1Lt in no time. As for the verdict on Gelato Messina, well the logic goes a little something like this:
Ice cream = good;
Free ice cream = great
Free ice cream from Gelato Messina = awesome
Free delivery of ice cream from Gelato Messina to the office = epic
 
Bearing that in mind, any opinions that I espouse on Gelato Messina could be slightly bias. So let me try to be as factual as I can. The 500mL tubs featured three flavours: salted caramel, chocolate brownie and Bounty. The salted caramel was smooth and velvety, the Bounty was a bit rougher and the chocolate brownie flavour was downright chunky! I like em’ smooth and I like em’ rough, but my favourite was the chocolate brownie flavour as I enjoyed the surprise of discovering each hidden chunk of chewy happiness.   
 

 
 
Gelato Messina Fitzroy on Urbanspoon
 



Thursday, July 24, 2014

Borsch, Vodka and Tears, Prahan

NYC has many draws, and one of them is the phenomena of brunch clubbing. As might be expected, restaurants typically adopt a brunch menu for the weekend. However the menu is full of alcoholic beverages and concoctions. At one restaurant, each breakfast dish came with the option of unlimited champagne cocktails. At another restaurant, one table ordered a $8000 bottle of rose which was wheeled out in a trolley and shared around. By 3pm, there are often DJ's spinning decks and patrons dancing on furniture. There is something so decadent and so indulgent about getting royally smashed during daylight hours, and this element definitely heightens the appeal of brunch clubbing.

There isn't anything in Melbourne to rival NYC's Lavo, Bagatelle or Paradou. But Melbourne does has Borsch, Vodka and Tears. L and I met for a brunch catch up one Sunday morning because I suggested cocktails with brunch and L in his wisdom, suggested Borsch, Vodka and Tears.

With its fun and extensive drinks list, available even on a Sunday, good vibes, and friendly crew, this place definitely has what it takes to explore the concept of brunch clubbing. The food is hearty and plentiful and the crockery is colorful!
 

Borsch, Vodka & Tears on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Ying Thai 2, Carlton

A popular little place in Carlton serving really authentic Thai cuisine. The flavours are strong and the ingredients are fresh. 

Portion sizes are very generous and when we couldn't finish everything, we had the option to take away the leftovers. 


Popular with locals and students, the prices are affordable and the service is fuss-free. The interior is a bit tired and the furniture is a bit rickety, but there are elephant teapots and baby elephant teacups! Need I convince you more? 



Ying Thai 2 on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 21, 2014

Menulog Manual


This blog has featured its fair share of take away food pics as I’m often in the habit of ordering delivery to the office and eating dinner at my desk. Thus when Menulog contacted me recently with an offer to do a write-up for them, I willingly obliged. Menulog is an online takeaway and food delivery website offering their services Australia wide.
 
I accessed the Melbourne Menulog via  http://www.menulog.com.au/browse/melbourne-vic and found takeaway restaurants nearby by entering the postcode 3000 and hitting the go button! This brought up a list of restaurants which can be filtered in a variety of ways, i.e. Cuisine, Speed, Ratings, Minimum Order and Promotions.
 
The minimum order amounts are all pretty reasonable and range anywhere between ~$20-30. In my case, I wanted to have my food delivered and delivery charges vary by restaurant and max out at around $5.
 
The promotions are also very decent with most of the restaurants offering first time user discounts and loyalty programs – definitely some good incentives to take up and keep using Menulog.
 
For this write-up, Menulog had kindly given me a $30 voucher to use and I ended up choosing Green Tea Vietnamese Restaurant. I chose a green chicken curry and a Mongolian beef stir fry. All of this food + delivery came to just a little under $30. The checkout process was pretty straightforward with sufficient prompts to guide me along. After completing the order, I received a SMS confirming my order and the expected delivery time which was pretty useful. I also really liked that fact that they emailed me my order, as it will make it easier to comply with the expense policy at work.
 
After about 40 minutes, I got an actual call from the delivery guy saying that he was outside my office building with the order. Sure enough, when I bounded out the automatic doors, there he was with my food.  Menulog had delivered and delivered in fine form. Almost 3 years of ordering dinner deliveries has exposed me to all kinds of unfortunate mistakes, sheer incompetence and utter illogic. So to be able to order and receive my food so easily via Menulog restored my faith in humanity. 
 
As for the food, it was alright. The flavours were fine although the ingredients were rather average. The meats didn’t taste like quality cuts and the vegetables seemed a bit weary. This is more a reflection of the restaurant rather than Menulog so I would definitely recommend checking the restaurant ratings on Menulog itself or using another service.
 
 

Auction Rooms, North Melbourne

T didn’t like to admit to wrongdoing but when he was really sorry, he would let me choose where I want to go for food. One time, I was short on patience, short on time and I’d been wanting to visit the Auction Rooms for a while. 

There was a bit of a wait for a table so we put our names down and waited outside on a wooden bench discussing our feelings. Engrossing ourselves in the menu distracted us from our feelings for a while. 

I chose a virgin Bloody Mary and the black pudding. Despite the oddness of my choices, I was blown away on both fronts! The Bloody Mary was icy and zesty and sour and just thick enough. The black pudding was dense and juicy and tender, and encased in a golden crumbed shell. I’ve never had black pudding like this and I loved it! 



For an uber hipster, uber busy place, the service was also surprisingly uber good. The happiness of the place was infectious and by the end of the meal, we were happy again, with each other.

Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stokehouse City, Melbourne CBD

Housed inside the old Comme, is the new Stokehouse. One of my biggest regrets has always been not having made it to the original Stokehouse in St Kilda.

Even T, whom is definitely not one to express sentimentality towards food, fondly recounted his epicurean memories, and expressed genuine dismay at its tragic demise.

So much that he visited the new CBD Stokehouse very soon after its opening and without me!!! Grrrrr! When interrogated, he sheepishly admitted to how good the steak was.

Thus I was in a highly magnificent state of excitement when I finally found the time and excuse to visit.

We were only mildly hungry and decided to order a number of things to share. Despite only having a few forkfuls of each, I was blown away by the exquisite intricacy of each dish. Everything tasted so perfect and the oysters were especially memorable in their freshness.



Stokehouse City Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Patch, Richmond

Patch is a shining example of dieting can be a delicious exercise in gluttony. Inspired by the Paleo-diet, the Patch menu is full of deliciously healthy options for the modern yuppie.

The Caveman is definitely one of the most hearty options although it's debatable whether they had wagyu beef all those years ago...


For those who are not in the mood for devouring so much meat so early in the am, there is mushroom on eggs which is also quite good.


To finish, or simply cos, Patch's pancakes is a delightful version of drizzled goodness.


I was being a bit of a spoiler that morning and stubbornly refused to deviate from my juice diet. Even so, I was spoilt for choice with a decent selection of organic jucies.



Patch on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 18, 2014

Inaugural Giveaway - in collaboration with Scoopon


I’ve resisted competitions thus far but Scoopon's Red Carpet Restaurants offers are simply too irresistible! Check out their offers here: http://www.scoopon.com.au/events/789. These irresistible offers for some of Melbourne's top-rated restaurants, are available until Sunday.
 
For one lucky reader and a friend, there is a 6-course degustation meal with a glass of bubbly at Zio’s, East Melbourne up for grabs.
 
All you have to do is the following:
1.  Follow me on Instagram (louise_ruyi) or Twitter (@size8glutton)
1.5 Be kind and follow Scooponau on Instagram and karma may be kind in return
2.  Tag me in an Instagram photo or Twitter post featuring something “gluttonous” (in an ode to this blog)
 
The most sinfully gluttonous post will win and the winner will be contacted / announced by 3 pm Saturday 19th July 2014 (AEST), so be fast!
 
Xx
 
 
 Zio's Ristorante on Urbanspoon
 

400 Gradi, Brunswick

We visited one Sunday near dusk for an early dinner. It was barely dinner time and the restaurant was already 3/5th full and abuzz with activity. L had done the thoughtful thing and made a booking. We  were soon seated with an utmost important decision to make.

For when one has the world's best pizza maker spinning dough for oneself, what pizza does one choose? 

For that is indeed 400 Gradi'd most renowned claim to fame. Isn't that incredible to think that a Melbourne restaurant has earned such an accolade? We are indeed the lucky country!

Faced with so many good options, it was hard to decide. I went with the seafood option as it's generally hard to do, and I wanted to see if they could outperform.

L is a much more seasoned pizza connoseiur and chose the popular 'maket darling' featuring prosciutto and mozzarella with a sprinkle of rocket. 


I greedily stuffed my face til I could hardly breathe yet when dessert arrived, I found myself shamelessly salivating over our Nutella filled calzone! The pizzas were definitely worth writing home about, but this?! This was just out of this world!!!




400 Gradi on Urbanspoon

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The European, Melbourne CBD


Having recently moved residences, I’ve found myself in possibly the best location to indulge in all sorts of gluttonous tendencies. The European was the perfect location for breakfast on a cold winter’s day. 

J and I hid ourselves from the wind and the rain, and settled ourselves inside the warm embrace of The European. The weather was perfect for indulging, but occasionally, I do remember that I’m writing the Glutton’s DIET, and must abide by the other half of this namesake.

In this vein, I ordered the fruit salad with yoghurt, and asked for a sprinkle of muesli on top. Not sure if they were deliberately trying to sabotage my attempt at dieting, or just being generous, but my order was HUGE, like, the size-of-my-face huge. Huge and delicious, (also how I’d like to think of my face), it was a bountiful bowl of fresh and nutritious ingredients.

We shared tales of J’s wedding preparations, rants about gender inequality and advice on rouge tenants whilst the Melbourne weather raged on outside.

The European on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Supernormal, Melbourne CBD


I counted Golden Fields as one of my favourite restaurants, so of course I was super excited to hear about the new Supernormal opening up in the CBD (and within walking distance to the office no less). There’s an expansive selection of Asian fusion delights including Andrew McConnell’s infamous New England lobster roll.


There is something so sinful and so decadent about a lobster roll. Maybe it’s the soft fluffy golden brioche bun, or the smear of creamy mayonnaise, or the sweet succulent morsel of lobster, or the exorbitant $16 price tag. The part that always gets me is just how delicate the lobster roll tastes, despite the richness of the ingredients that it’s composed of. I often contemplate and eventually succumb to having two or three in a sitting.

Another highlight from the menu were the lamb ribs which had me enthusiastically going at them with hands and fingers and all. They were lip-smacking good! Perfectly spiced, these sticks of meat were the perfect balance between lean v. fat, meat v. bone, offering enough resistance so that I could  relish tearing the meat from the bone with my bare teeth, but soft enough that I could.

One more choice worth checking out is the pig’s head bao, consisting  of crumbed chunks of fried pork bits, kimchi cucumber, red sauce encased in a white bun. So simple and so delightful!




Supernormal on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Touchwood, Richmond

Somewhere in Richmond, people are queuing up for a spot at the brunch table. It’s a standard scene for a Sunday morning and we obediently fell into line. It was a bit of a wait but they eventually found a roundtable for our big group. 

Roundtables are fantastic as they enable much more interaction around and across the table. 

My simple poached eggs were perfectly made and the accompanying toast pieces were also just simply good.


All the other girls were equally impressed with their choices and my favorite was the beautifully presented porridge that R ordered.


Touchwood on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 11, 2014

Green Point Brasserie at Domaine Chandon, Yarra Valley



T and I set out on a road trip with the best intentions of visiting animals and artwork, appreciating the splendor of nature and etc etc. We set out with the aim of getting to Healesville Sanctuary around lunchtime and had envisioned an afternoon of cuddling koalas and contemplating the meaning of paint splatters. 

However the highway was filled with signs pointing for wineries and breweries and when we pulled up into Domaine Chandon, we told ourselves that we’d only stay for 30mins. It was a honourable thought.

After tasting the selection, we took a tour around the winery and ended up staying for a light meal. For the type of venue that this was, the menu was well put together. There were many recognisable ingredients and traditional dishes so as to appease the conventional diner, i.e. a beautifully tender rack of lamb for T. However there were also a few bold choices to challenge and excite, i.e. crunchy zucchini flowers filled with dollops of creamy ricotta.
 



Basking in the afterglow of a good meal, we debated the merits of owning a winery v. a beach house v. a farm. The wine had made us silly and we compromised to simply have to have it all.



Green Point Brasserie at Domaine Chandon on Urbanspoon

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