{Travels} My Guide Around Surry Hills, Sydney

photo 4-1-1

About 3 weeks back, the Mr and I decided to surprise my sister-in-law and brought her to Sydney for the weekend as her birthday present! Needless to say, the smile on her face when she opened the envelop containing her printed air ticket was priceless! It has been a long time since we went to Sydney as well, so I was super excited to go!

We were so lucky to be able to stay at Cambridge Hotel that is located at the heart of Surrey Hills. Everything was just a stone-throw away! In this post, I will be sharing with you the different places we dined at that were all located in Surrey Hills, and a walkable distance from the comfort of our hotel!

First stop : Devon Cafe

Devon Cafe

Of course, to maximise our stay, we took one of the earliest flight out and arrived early in the morning! haha As we were too early to check in to our hotel, we decided to stop by one of the cafes that has been on my list for the longest time for breakfast! Plus it was close to the hotel too! (:  We were greeted by the most enthusiastic and friendly staff which instantly brightened up our morning!

Muffins, pastries & burgers

If you wanted something light or quick, they had a good range of savoury and sweet on display! Croissants, muffins, brioche and tarts! Especially if you wanted something to pair with your coffee-on-the-go! hehe

Our usual cuppas

We started our breakfast with our usual hot cuppas! Chai soy latte for me, latte for the mr and hot chocolate for Melissa!

Chai soy latte

I absolutely loved the pot used to serve my chai latte! hehe It was so japanese inspired and wanted to smuggle it back! haha Of course I didn’t, I still wanted to head back to Devon Cafe when I am traveling in Sydney again. hehe

Chick n Chips

There were so many things on the menu that we were drawn to. Everything just sounded so delicious! Melissa was tossing between sweet or savoury, but decided on the Chick n Chips! When it arrived, the smell was AMAZING! I was salivating just inhaling the smells. haha It had a chicken sausage, crispy confit wing smoked potato, fried egg, jus gras, chicken skin and chips! Yes, crispy chicken skin! DELISH!

green eggs and ham

The Mr ordered the special of the day, and I could totally understand why! It’s a play on the typical green eggs and ham but definitely elevated to a whole new (and better) level and everything the Mr loves! Thick cut bacon, Jerusalem artichoke puree, 63 degree eggs with wild mushroom, parsley & garlic cream and topped with crispy Jerusalem artichokes! Absolutely delicious! The plate was close to being licked clean!

Devon's granola

I wanted to start the trip with something healthy, as I knew how indulgent I will be for the rest of the day! haha So I decided to order Devon’s granola! How pretty is it? hehe It has house made granola, vanilla yoghurt, poached pear and freeze dried raspberries!  Loved all the different colours and how the freeze dried raspberries just pop!

Devon's granola

Seeing how pretty it is is making me itch to make my own granola and have it for breakie!! Think I just might! (: So after a filling and satisfying breakfast, we decided to head over to Cambridge Hotel to check in!

Front Desk of Cambridge Hotel

(Photo credits : http://www.cambridgehotel.com.au/)

When you enter the hotel lobby, you’re greeted by the smiles on all the faces of the staff! It took less than 10 minutes to get us all checked in and headed up to our room!

our room

How inviting are the rooms? Really spacious for the 3 of us too! This was the premium twin double room and our room had stunning views too!

Welcome chocolates

And how thoughtful are the staff at Cambridge Hotel? A box of handmade chocolates to warmly welcome us to our room and Sydney! Isn’t it the little things that really count and make an impact to your holidays? Love it!

Second Stop : Bourke Street Bakery

Address : 633 Bourke Street, Surry Hills

Opening hours : 7am – 6pm (Mondays to Fridays)

7am – 5pm (Weekends)

Bourke Street Bakery

After taking a short break (aka taking a power nap haha) we decided to walk to Bourke Street Bakery! I was so happy when I realised how close it was! Just a 15 mins slow walk brought us to this amazing bakery! It’s always pretty packed and there is always a queue, but it moves pretty quickly and trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Pork and fennel sausage rolls

Before going on to the sweets, we decided to have their sausage rolls! So glad we did though cause it was so so so so good! The pastry was flakey and buttery and the pork and fennel filling was absolutely delish! We shared as we wanted to have space for the sweets which we already aimed or while we were ordering the sausage rolls! hehe

Sweet pastries

The mr really wanted a croissant, but they only had the plain ones left! It was still really good though! No regrets getting it! hehe We couldn’t resist ordering the famous ginger creme brûlée tart, especially since the mr loves creme brûlée! And just when we were about to pay, a tray of freshly baked rhubarb frangipane tarts came out of the oven, so I had to get one! Trust me, nothing is better than a piping hot tart, fresh out of the oven!

Ginger creme brûlée tart

The ginger creme brûlée tart was nothing short of amazing! The short crust pastry was buttery and absolutely love how creamy and luscious the filling was! There was also a good hit of ginger, which the Mr absolutely adored! We may or may not have bought 2 more to bring back to our hotel. haha

Third stop : RoboCog Cafe

Address : 249 Riley Street, Surry Hills

Robo Cog

I absolutely love how the hotel is surrounded by small cafes, and all of them have something that would draw you in! Just down the road was a cute little cafe called Robocog which I had a cuppa with the gorgeous Heather (:

The inside of robocog

The interior was really warm, cosy and inviting. Their menu was in a shape of a robot (but I didn’t get to snap a shot of it, oops!) They had quite a spread food wise, but we were just there for coffee and to catch up!

Decaf cappuccino

I ordered the decaf cappuccino which had quite bold flavours but was smooth to taste! It’s been a while since I had coffee but still enjoyed it! I really love meeting up with people after only communicating over emails/instagram/twitter! Was an absolute pleasure!

Forth Stop : Chat Thai

Address : 20 Campbell Street, Haymarket

 Chat Thai

I know this isn’t exactly located in Surry Hills, but it’s a short 5 minutes drive or a 20 minutes brisk walk from the hotel! Chat Thai has been on everyone’s lips when they do head to Sydney and we didn’t want to miss having it! So off we went, in the cold, and walked there for dinner one night!

Cute lights

Although we went around 615pm (which I thought was quite early), we still had heaps of people infront of us and we waited for a good 40 minutes for our table! Fortunately there were a few thai supermarkets which we could pop in to have a walk or when we felt too cold to wait outside! When it got colder, the staff brought out the gas heater, which definitely made the waiting less painful!

papaya salad

We started our meal with a bang! A huge chilli hit! The papaya salad (som dtum) was so spicy I could only have one portion! Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but just too spicy for me. I think we could have let them know the level of spice, but we didn’t and we were given the maximum one! haha

Grilled pork neck

This was my favourite dish of the night. Grilled pork neck (khor mhu yaang) with smoked chilli and tamarind relish! The pork neck was so tender and the sweet & sourish relish complimented each other really well. A must order dish if you ask me! (:

Thai green chicken curry

When we have thai, it’s a must to order a bowl of green curry as well! This was the thai green chicken curry with apple egg plants, kaffir lime leaves and basil! So fragrant and just the right amount of heat! Could easily finish a bowl of rice just with the curry gravy! Mmmm!

dtom yum goong with king prawns

The dtom yum goong with king prawns had the most intense and amazing flavours! Every sip tasted like prawns! SO GOOD! We couldn’t stop saying WOW. haha In fact, we were still talking about it the next day!

photo-0-1

The last savoury dish we ordered was the crispy fried whole snapper with a roasted chilli and garlic sauce. When it arrived, we all thought we were in for another spicy journey haha But it actually was a good balance of sweet & spicy! The fish was also cooked perfectly. NOMS!

Durian sticky rice

We were so stuffed by the time we polished off the savouries, but the Mr couldn’t resist ordering the durian sticky rice! We did want the mango sticky rice, but mangoes weren’t in season. So durian it is! Many might not like this King of the Fruits, but we absolutely adore it! Creamy and sweet, we finished it too quickly! hehe

Fifth Stop : Bills

Address : 359 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Bills

Last and definitely not the least, Bills. I remember the first time I came to Sydney, the only place I wanted to try then was Bills. This time was no different. Bills was still on my to-go list and one thing I wanted to have was the fluffy ricotta hotcakes! We went around 1030am and had to wait for a good 45 minutes. But is it worth the wait?

Ricotto hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter

ABSOLUTELY! Look at how fluffy the hotcakes are??? Piping hot with bananas and a honeycomb butter and a drizzle (or a heap haha) of maple syrup! YUMMO! I just couldn’t stop eating!

Ricotta hotcakes

Oh my gosh. I’m having some serious hotcakes pregnancy cravings this instant! hehe They are seriously amazing. You definitely have to make a trip there when you are in Sydney or around Surry Hills! Head there early if you want to reduce the queueing time!

Bills

The place was constantly crowded but the staff still wore smiles on their faces! Love it!

Hot chocolate

I was so excited about the hotcakes I forgot to talk about the drinks we had! Melissa ordered the hot chocolate and boy was it good! It was made by coating the bottom and sides of the glass with chocolate buttons and pouring hot milk in! Ooh lala! She was definitely one happy girl! hehe

Beet root juice

I decided to go for something healthy and refreshing – Beet root, carrot, fennel & apple!

I really hope you enjoyed my eating journey around Surry Hills! Our bellies were definitely happy through the 3 days we had in Sydney. Just want to thank the Mr for planning the trip, Heather for helping with the accommodation and Cambridge Hotel for the comfortable stay we had for the 2 nights!

Have a great week ahead everyone! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx

Third Wave Cafe

Third Wave Cafe

Iron Chef. I always loved and glued myself to the TV when it was on. Seeing how the chefs are able to transform one simple ingredient into an array of 4-5 dishes is just purely amazing, to say the least. I recently learnt that the protégé of Iron Chef Sakai, Ryo Kitahara, was the chef of the newly opened Third Wave Cafe, located just opposite Prahan Market! So you can imagine how excited I was when I was invited to try their food.

5 senses coffee

Coffee was very important to the owner, Inga, and she was adamant that coffee has to take centre stage in her cafe. Through months of research, she chose 5 Sense coffee to be served in her cafes.

Coffee Facts

Love the little things they add around the cafe. This was one of my favourites! (:

5 Senses Coffee

I decided to be brave (was a bit adventurous haha) and ordered a magic (piccolo latte made with double es
presso) and the mr ordered his usual latte. But after a sip, I knew if I finished that cup of magic, I definitely would lay in bed wide awake that night. So thankfully, the Mr switched with me! haha

Our coffees

With over 70 options on the menu, we got down to two. Trust me, it wasn’t easy! I wanted to try everything on the breakfast menu! haha But we were both drawn to the American BBQ options (who wouldn’t be right?) and decided to go for them!

Texas Fry Up

I decided on the Texas Fry Up with slow smoked brisket, pan fried with Kiefler potatoes and butter mushrooms & in-house made spicy BBQ sauce topped with a poached egg. The brisket was so tender and practically melted in my mouth! And the in-house made BBQ sauce was seriously delicious! Just the right balance of sweet & salty and a kick of spice! YUMMO!

Perfectly poached eggs

Let me present you with the perfectly poached egg with all it’s golden yolk glory! When I slid my knife through, it revealed a molten flow of egg yolk. My best way of having eggs in my opinion! Mmm.. went to well with the buttery Kiefler potatoes! Just couldn’t stop eating!

American BBQ Pork Ribs

The Mr ordered the American BBQ Pork Ribs and it definitely didn’t disappoint! The meat just fell off the bone and melted in our mouths the moment we bit into it! It was smoked for 5 hours using maple wood and definitely had the subtle sweetness of maple and marinated in dry spices. So darn good! Can’t get any better!! Or can it? Served with super crispy beer battered chips and a side of homemade slaw!

American BBQ Pork Ribs

The generous portion was definitely enough to fill the Mr’s tummy and you can bet on your buck that I had some too! Was too good not to!

Pastries & Muffins

It’s a pity we were too full to squeeze something sweet in after, as I was eyeing for some almond croissants since I walked through those doors and spotted them! hehe Just have to return next time and when I do, I’m definitely gonna try the Russian inspired dishes!!!

So the next time you’re around Prahan, do head to Third Wave Cafe to have brunch or lunch! Those ribs are definitely not to be missed!

Disclaimer : I was invited to dine at Third Wave Cafe as a guest. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. Thank you so much for this wonderful yummy experience!

Third Wave on Urbanspoon

Famish’d : Salads and More !

Famish'd

Due to work, it’s almost impossible to have lunch anywhere besides the staff room haha. Thankfully it was the holidays when the newly opened Famish’d celebrated their opening! I couldn’t wait to head down for lunch as I’ve always wanted to try their salads! Their first store was just behind the Mr’s work place, so I used to meet him for coffees and cakes when I get to head down to the city.  So I was super excited when I received the invite!

Famish'd interior

Beautiful interior, neon signs that pop, warm and friendly staffs. Everything that you would love and look forward to for your mid day delight! And although they specialise in salads (a huge range!), they do hearty soups as well as spuds (both potatoes and sweet potato for a healthier option).

famish'd

There is definitely something for everyone! I know many of you would be thinking – how can a bowl of salad be filling? Trust me, their salads are HUGE and you definitely will be filled by the time you finish.

St Ali's coffee beans

Of course, you can’t skip having a cup of St Ali’s coffee as well while you’re there! Beautiful, robust flavours, definitely a pick-me-up when you need one!

latte

And still my favourite part of their coffee – the chocolate chip meringue!

chocolate chip meringue

It’s really quite magical. Every bite feels like you’re eating a teaspoon full of chocolate chips! Comes with every coffee, dining in or taking it away!

Salad bar

So let’s begin our salad adventure shall we? Since Daisy was there too, we decided to divide and conquer : I was going to choose the salad and she was going to choose the sweet potato spud !  You are allowed to choose the base of either a selection of fresh salad leaves, or their famish’d favourite salads that changes everyday! They also have a huge selection of ingredients to mix into your salad and you are allowed to choose up to 5 different ones!

Explaining how to design our own salads

Don’t worry if it’s your first time at Famish’d cause you would be well taken care of! Everyone working at Famish’d is friendly and is more than happy to explain to you how to design your own salads and spuds! Every one in the Famish’d family works together so well, it’s just amazing! They don’t have specific jobs, they just do anything that is presented infront of them! Like one big happy and loving family! Love it!

Making my salad

When it was my turn to design my own salad, I have to admit, I was like a kid in a lolly store. haha So many fresh and vibrant ingredients to choose from, I almost wanted more than 5!

my salad

My colourful salad! After selecting what you want, you can choose from an extensive range of home-made dressing! All the dressing is made by the owner, Georgia, herself! AMAZING!

All tossed and ready to be enjoyed

My salad had pumpkin, chickpeas, corn, artichokes and roasted capsicum! I asked what dressing is recommended and mine has a mix of dijon balsamic and mayo! They do have other dressings for the more adventurous ! I am actually regretting not trying them! Have to head back to try! hehe

My salad and Daisy's sweet potato spud

The portion was huge and I had to take away half of mine home! A slice of bread is also given to mop up any of the delicious dressing left!

Daisy's sweet potato spud

Daisy did equally well with her choices for her sweet potato spud! She had cheese (of course, a must with spuds!), mushrooms, corn, bacon, spring onion and salsa! It was so amazing! I’m definitely gonna have this in my next visit!

Sweet potato spud

Hidden under all the delicious ingredients is a roasted sweet potato spud! So tender and super sweet! Not sure about you, but I prefer sweet potatoes to potatoes anytime! hehe Somehow, it feels healthier! hehe

Sweets by Sweet By Nature

Next to the salad bar sits a beautiful array of cakes and slices! It’s supplied by Sweet By Nature and how good does everything look? After being good and having a healthy lunch, it’s surely okay to have something naughty (and delicious) for dessert right? hehe DEFINITELY! Miss D will agree with me for sure! And of course, we got to try one of each they have!

Sweets

When this board arrived infront of us, wide smiles appeared on our faces almost naturally. haha How good does that look? Don’t you just want to dive into it and just take a bite of everything? We did. haha

Dessert

The orange poppyseed cake is still my favourite! And the rocky road was really rich and decadent! Only needed a small bite to make you feel happy and contented!

By no means am I a healthy eater, but I do enjoy having a healthy meal once in a while. This is definitely a place to come to if you are on a health fix too! You can create your own salads and spuds to your liking and I can vouch that you will love every mouthful of it! So if you’re around the city or you work in the city, head down to Famish’d for lunch and I’m sure you won’t regret it! Have a sweet (or two) while you’re there too! hehe

Famish'd Salads & Stuff on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer : I was invited by Famish’d as guests to have lunch. All thoughts and opinions are based on my experience at the time of the visit. 

Hero – New Kid On The Block

Hero Soft Launch

Good evening dear readers. Hope you had a good weekend! Sorry for the long pause in between posts! Been a little busy and finally have the time to sit down and share with you a new place in the city! Are you a student who studies in the city and need lunch on-the-go? Do you work in the city and need a quick and delicious bite? Then you’re in luck! I’ve got a perfect place for you to go to!

Hero

HERO!  Inspired by the hero-style sandwiches made famous in and around Brooklyn-Queens, New York, Elena & Michael decided to open this Brooklyn-style sandwich store behind RMIT in the city! They may sound familiar to some, as they are the same people behind the Reading Room and the Grain Store.

The menu

I was lucky enough to be invited to the soft launch to try their subs with the mr and sis-in-law! As there were 3 of us, Elena suggested that she would make for us 6 different half-size heroes and a side of chips! It was perfect, as we got to try almost all the subs on the menu besides one!

Our six half subs

When it arrived, the first thing that hit me was the beautiful colours that just pop! hehe Of course, soon after the smell of the delicious subs filled my nose and I couldn’t wait to tuck in! So these are the 6 that we tried :

#BRKLYN

#BRKLYN : 10 hour pulled lamb that just melts in your mouth goes perfectly with the tartness of the pickled beetroot. I have to admit, I’m not a lamb fan, but I still gave it a try! The Mr really liked it and finished the whole thing! hehe Great flavours in the lamb too!

The mr eating the sub

I just love bringing the Mr to events, cause he loves food as much as I do! hehe

#bythehour

Next up, #bythehour ! When everything was brought to the table, this was one that caught my eyes immediately cause of the colourful corn salsa! hehe The 12 hour bbq pulled pork was just amazing and soft, which went perfectly with the crunchy corn salsa and apple cabbage slaw!

#bythehour

This was one of my favourites of the day, but it was a little difficult to eat cause all the salsa fell off with every bite! Don’t worry I picked all the corn up and still ate it all! haha

#paradise

#Paradise was like a caesar salad in a bun! hehe If you love your caesar like me, you will love this!

#catcher

The #catcher had panko crumbed shrimp with slaw and thousand island dressing. This didn’t stand out as much as the others, just cause the prawns were a little small compared to the big buns! Having said that, the shrimp were fresh and have a light batter! I would love a whole bowl of those crumbed prawns hehe Omnomnom!

#throwback

#throwback would definitely be a crowd pleaser. Wholesome veal & pork meatballs in a homemade sauce. Can’t really go wrong with meatballs can you? The buns takes the place of the usual pasta, and goes really well as a whole! It was definitely my second favourite for the day.

#kidroyale

This my dear readers was the winner of the day! The hero of the day if you would like. The #kidroyale was the favourite for all of us! The slow roasted beef had a smokey hickory rub and was so tender and absolutely tasty! Went perfectly with the sweetness of the onion jam and the subtle kick of the honey dijon. And the piece de resistance were the crispy fried onion rings on top! AMAZEBALLS! A definite must try when you’re there!

Shoestring fries with hero secret spice

The shoestring fries with hero secret spice was so addictive! We couldn’t stop eating it! Really crispy and fried to perfection! Mmmmmm!

Hero cookie

After all the savouries, of course we needed some sweet to balance it out. There’s 2 dolce on the menu and we wanted to try both! First up was their homemade cookie! It was huge! almost as big as my hands hehe Love how they imprinted their logo on the cookie! and they were fresh out of the oven, and we all gave it two thumbs up! There were chocolate chips with every bite! And I took the one with the X cause for those who don’t know, my name in mandarin is Xin Lian hehe So i deemed the cookie mine! haha

Hot ball donuts

Next, Elena gave us 3 freshly made hot ball donut! Love how the filling was oozing out of the donut. Couldn’t wait to try them!

jaffa chocolate hot ball donut

I took the chocolate jaffa one and it was so damn good! I usually am not a fan of jaffa, but the orange flavour wasn’t overpowering and the main thing I tasted was still chocolate! Which I LOVE! hehe The donuts were soft and fluffy and oh-so-delicious!

hot jam ball donut

Melissa had the hot jam donut! It has a bit more dough but it was still soft and fluffy! It took a while before she found (or bit into) the jam, but when she did, it was good! But I preferred the chocolate one! hehe

Hero subs

So the next time you’re thinking of where to have lunch, head to Hero and give their subs a try! You won’t regret it!

PS : They are having a special lobster tail sub at the moment and they only make 6 a day! So get in early and quick so you don’t miss out!

Disclaimer : We were invited by Elena and Michael as guests to have lunch at Hero. All thoughts and opinions are based on our experiences at the time of the visit. 

Hero on Urbanspoon 

Turning 27 (Part 3) : Merchants Guild

Brunch at Merchants Guild

Yes, my birthday celebration continues! (: This time with my favourite mother and daughter team : Peggy & Paige! hehe While researching for where to dine at, we decided to head to somewhere close to both our homes, so I went through my list and decided on Merchants Guild! The weather was beautiful, so we took a nice stroll there to have brunch.

Merchants Guild

Address : 680 Centre Road, Bentleigh East

Website : http://themerchantsguild.com/

my lunch date

If you follow me on instagram (@lianneelow) you would see alot of photos of Paige just cause she is so gorgeous! (: Doesn’t she just melt your heart? I was so so lucky to be able to have brunch with her and her beautiful mum on my actual day. As the Mr had work that day, Peggy was so sweet to spend the day with me. Thank you again!

Chai latte

We started our brunch with chai lattes. I love it when cafes serve their chai lattes in a pot! It was richly spiced and something just so comforting about it. I’m not sure how many times I’ve said it, but I do love my chai lattes! hehe Especially if there it is served with a side of honey. Mmmm (: I could drink it all day I reckon!

Eggs benedict

There were many attractive things on the menu, but I decided to stick to the all-time favourite of mine – eggs benedict! At Merchants Guild, they actually change the flavour of their hollandaise and that day, it was a herb hollandaise that was thick and delicious, but not overly rich.

Roasted potato bubble & squeak

Peggy ordered the roast potato bubble & squeak with smoked trout with a side of horseradish cream, cornichons and poached eggs. It was so delicious and when I tried it, I knew that the Mr would definitely love this! He’s a huge bubble & squeak fan, so much so that he requested I made it for him for brunch. The smoked trout pieces were mixed into the bubble & squeak and the horseradish cream had a subtle spiciness! Yummilicious!

Buckwheat pancakes

Both of us were drawn to the buckwheat pancakes on the menu, so we had to order a serve to share. They were so good! Thin pancakes topped with grilled pears that were so soft. The chocolate fudge was so rich and decadent, tasted like nutella! So so good! It was drizzled with a whiskey maple sauce that really had a kick to it. We couldn’t stop saying “so good!” haha The roasted hazelnuts added a crunch that gave the dish more textures. Absolutely loved this!

Cutie pie

Thank you again for the company and for the treat (: Definitely had a great time and you both made my day! Great food, awesome company, happy bellies and endless smiles! 27 is gonna be a great year I’m sure! hehe Definitely gonna bring the mr here to try the food, and no prizes on guessing what he will have! hehe

Remember to always cook and bake with love! (:

Merchants Guild on Urbanspoon

Thai Feast : Middle Fish

Thai feast at Middle Fish

I absolutely love thai food! I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I just love how thai food always packs a punch with their flavours! Somehow, they get to squeeze in the salty, sweet, sour and spicy all in a dish and equally in a mouthful, and leave you wanting more! It is definitely one of the cuisines I enjoy the most and would never turn down a thai meal. hehe

Middle Fish

I was introduced to Middle Fish by my dearest Miss D, and when I saw the pictures she was posting on Instagram of the food she was having, I knew we needed to head there, ASAP! Last weekend, the mr ended early at work so I headed down to Carlton to meet him and Melissa for some deliciousness! The sky had the most beautiful shade of blue and excited couldn’t really describe how I was feeling when I got there!

Middle Fish - Entrance

I love love love the entrance to the warehouse converted restaurant, so welcoming! (: The colours of the signage and furniture just pops out and everyone there were so friendly. The moment I stepped in, I was greeted by the owner, Pla, who has the most infectious smile and oh-so bubbly. You just feel so comfortable and just an amazing atmosphere!

Middle Fish - Inside

One side of the restaurant had booth seats and the other was a mix-match of tables and chairs which made the place so vibrant. I was so ready to order and feed our hungry tummies the moment I sat down! Truth is, I was salivating just looking through what the had to offer!

Our drinks

While deciding on what to order, we ordered our drinks first. I have always been a huge fan of thai ice milk tea and I remember Daisy highly recommending it, so I had to try it! Boy was it good! Plus, how cute is the metal bowl that it’s served in? I kept going “WAH WAH WAH!” when it arrived at our table! hehe The Mr and Melissa ordered their usual drinks of latte and hot chocolate respectively, and they were good too! (:

thai ice milk tea

Had to snap another shot of my thai ice milk tea, just cause I love the metal bowl so much! And it was quite a big bowl as well, I almost couldn’t finish it after scoffing down all the food we ordered. hehe But I did, every single drop of it!

Crying Tiger

We covered almost all the different kinds of protein that afternoon. First of : Crying Tiger. The name just cracks me up! But when you had a bite of it, you would understand why they had the “crying” part. The chilli in this salad dish added a good kick and there was a really good balance of flavours. The angus rump slices were so flavourful and tender, and the herbs added a freshness as well. DELISH! I could have this for lunch any day. hehe

Kao gapi

 Our next dish had pork : Kao Gapi. It was presented almost like a bibimbap! hehe So we called this a thai version of bibimbap. The shrimp paste rice was pungent and flavoursome, although the caramelised pork neck could have been a little more tender. Mixing in the green apple, red onion, bean shoots and carrot gave a crunch to the dish. Like I’ve said many times before, I love dishes with different textures so that was definitely a plus! The omelette tasted like it was made using salted eggs, and I just love having egg with rice. Somehow it’s a perfect combination to me. hehe

Crispy chicken ribs

We ordered a street food dish as well : Gai Tod which is crispy chicken ribs with a sweet and spicy sauce which was SO GOOD! We just wanted more of those ribs. So crispy and so juicy on the inside. Couldn’t get enough! hehe But this was meant to be a snack, so the portion was smaller than the others, but perfect for the 3 of us. (:

Middle Fish famous crunchy mussels omelette

This, my lovely readers, was our favourite dish of the day : Middle Fish’s famous Crunchy Mussels Omelette. Before Pla placed this dish on the table, she did a short dance and almost sang the name of the dish and told us it’s their best dish at the restaurant in her opinion, but we TOTALLY agreed! The outside layer is so crispy and there is a “crunch” with every bite/chew! The middle had the texture of fried carrot cake and there was a generous number of juicy mussels! With a similar sauce to the crispy chicken ribs, it was a match-made in heaven and we couldn’t stop singing praises about it!

It was a pity that we were too full to try the desserts they had to offer. But I’m sure we will be back again and the next time, we will! (: If you love thai food as much as I do, do visit Middle Fish and let me know what you think! Do note that they are only open 8-5pm (Monday-Friday) and 10-4pm (Saturday & Sunday), and they have breakfast too!

Happy mid week everyone, and remember to always cook and bake with love! (:

Middle Fish on Urbanspoon

Wonderbao

Melbourne. There is a new obsession in town. Buns, hot steaming buns (bao/包) to be exact. I am totally sucked into the fad and loving it! (: I think it’s one thing I love since young. I’m like my dad. We both love baos and till this day when we go for yum cha, char siew baos and salted custard buns would definitely be on the table! Even on Sundays when we do go out, we would come back with his favourite chicken baos. NOMS! Just thinking about it is making me crave for some now!

Of course, since I’ve had baos since I was little I have to admit, my expectations of a good bao is quite high. The dough has to be soft but not too thick and there must be enough filling. I went to meet the mr for lunch in the city in my last week of break so we decided to go give Wonderbao a try! How cute is the name? Love it!

Wonderbao

Address : Shop 4/19-37 A’Beckett St. Melbourne, VIC 3000

Phone : (03) 9654 7887

Wonderbao is hidden in a lane under a block of apartments in the city and is a small cosy little shop. I love how they steam the baos in huge steamers and that’s the first thing that greets you when you step into the shop. Because the menu was quite small, the mr and I decided to order one of each bao (besides the sweet ones) to try! It totally looked like we haven’t eaten for days! haha But the staff were really nice, and told us that they would serve half of what we ordered and serve us the other half so that they won’t turn cold! Perfect! (:

I don’t really know what gua bao is. But the buns remind me of those used in the kong ba bao! It’s like a bao made into a U-shape to hold the ingredients! The two gua baos are my favourites of the day! I have a feeling it’s because the filling is fatty pork! (: The first one we had was braised pork belly accompanied by pickled mustard, coriander and crushed peanuts. The pork belly was perfectly cooked and melts in your mouth! The mr and I was beaming after each bite. haha Fatty pork really do make us happy!

The other gua bao was stuffed with roasted pork belly, cucumber, pickled carrots, daikon and hoisin sauce. In our minds, we were expecting crispy crackling with this! So we were a little disappointed when it didn’t. Cause who doesn’t love crackling, right? But the combination was really quite yummy so all was good! (: We still gobbled it down within minutes!

There were 2 big baos offered in the menu. A big pork bun as well as a big chicken bun. They both had a slice of egg and shiitake mushroom in them. The meat was juicy and really tasty! The bao skin is soft and fluffy and besides the top being a little too thick, there was a good proportion of meat to bun!

The chicken bao had a bit more dough and not as much filling. But the chicken was still juicy and yums!

Another of my fav of the day was the choi bao (vegetable bun). It reminded me of the cabbage kueh my mum always buy for me when I’m home. It had shiitake mushrooms, tofu and veggies! Really yums (:

The char siew bao was quite disappointing though I was really hoping it would be better! There was only a thin layer of char siew and sadly the colouring of the char siew was seeping into the bao skin. Though I have to say, the char siew itself was yummy! Would love to have more.

I love chinese sausage. So when I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t wait to try it! Although it was just a sausage wrapped in some dough, I have to say sometimes, simple is best! The mr and I had it and we think the taiwan sausage is handmade cause it’s not the usual size! It was just the right amount of sweetness, and not as much fatty bits! Was really delicious! I could easily have it on it’s own! hehe

After we tried all the baos, we were tempted by the homemade soy milk and bought a cup of cold soy milk each! *slurps!* Really refreshing especially since it was a really hot day that afternoon. I will definitely return for more gua baos and the choi bao! But just note that they are open for breakfast and lunch (Mondays to Fridays) and only lunch on Saturdays!

So, have you been pulled in to the bao trend yet? (:

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon