Turning 27 (Part 2) : Little Hunter

Little Hunter

When I was planning where to head for dinner with the Ho Clan for my birthday a few weeks back, I happened to read a post by Miss D’s post on Little Hunter and I knew instantly where I wanted to go! (: I have to say, Melbourne is full of surprises! Ever so often, you would hear about a gorgeous new cafe or restaurant and thus my ever growing list of places to try! hehe Little Hunter was no doubt one of them! Especially when Gavin Baker (was a sous chef at Fat Duck, London) and Pete Evans are the talents behind this grill house. I definitely couldn’t wait! (:

Little Hunter

Because we were celebrating, the Mr ordered a bottle of Goaty Hill Riesling 2012. Riesling has always been one of my choices of wines when dining out, as it has sweet fruity tones and this had flavours of citrus and green apple. Really smooth and crisp! hehe How cute is the print on their wine glass? I couldn’t stop snapping photos of it. haha There were a few communal tables and also booth seats! I wish I knew, cause I would have definitely requested for one. hehe I’m not sure about you, but our table is always a tad bit small for the amount of food we order. haha Oops! That’s definitely not a bad thing though hehe

Garlic pull apart bread with chicken skin butter

Our meal begun with a complimentary serve of pull apart bread and chicken skin butter. Yes, dear readers, you’re not seeing things! I did say chicken skin butter! This is a delicious little pot of gold! I know it sounds like something that might be heavy and overly rich, but it tasted nothing like that! It was smooth with little bits of golden crispy chicken skin pieces and just melts the moment you spread on the warm bread. It was some tasty, tasty (and did I say tasty?) butter! We definitely wanted more! The bread was soft and just full of flavour. Just a great way to start the night!

Beef on toast

We decided on three entrees and one of them were ‘beef on toast. It was a layer of beef carpaccio, over a layer of smooth and rich chicken liver parfait and when you reach the bottom, there was a crispy layer of crusty crouton. The dish is dressed with a mixture of gherkins and chives and the acidic mixture cuts through the richness of the dish. It was so good and I just wanted more!

Pork crackling

The mr would never miss the chance of ordering a serve of pork crackling if it’s on the menu! This was so crispy and crunchy and addictive! We just kept popping them into our mouths! They were beautifully seasoned with paprika and cheddar, and served with a smooth apple sauce. I just love the combination of pork and apple sauce, a match-made in heaven (:

Cured kingfish

Our last entree was the cured kingfish.The fish was so fresh and had a subtle sweetness. Every mouthful had the popping of fish roe and a slight spiciness of the roast peppers. Not only was the flavours beautiful, the plating was impeccable. Like art on a plate! Edible art of course. hehe

Ribeye steak with bone marrow

As Little Hunter was a grill house, we had to try the steaks on the menu. Each of us ordered a different cut of steak and I have to say, they cooked every cut to perfection! The Mr ordered the Robbin’s Island waygu ribeye with bone marrow (he loves marrow!) and beef fat butter. The meat was melt in your mouth and just full of flavour! And how sexy are the grill marks? Just love the criss-crosses that gives a nice char flavour to the steak as well! NOMS!

Blackmore waygu flank

Melissa ordered the Blackmore wagyu flank with cajun flavours and avocado. I would never have thought that avocado goes well with steak, but it did! The flank, though not the usual cut you would order, was cooked to medium rare and bursting with flavour! Definitely a happy belly there (:

Cape grim fillet mignon

I couldn’t go pass the Cape Grim fillet mignon! This melt in your mouth cut was coffee and wood smoked and really didn’t need anything at all. Every mouthful just melted in my mouth. I was definitely the happiest girl that night!

Our sides for the night

With all the meat we were having, we had to order some sides to balance it out. We had the Little Hunter fries which was chunky and crispy. And grilled cabbage! This was no ordinary grilled cabbage, it was one that packed a punch! The sweetness of the cabbage was counter balance by the saltiness of the anchovies and blue cheese and the tanginess of the hazelnut vinegar. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but this was YUMMILICIOUS! Love the crunch of the toasted hazelnuts too! This is one side you don’t want to miss!

Short Mach

After indulging on all the delicious and rich food, the Mr needed a digestive ; a short macchiato. It’s a new ritual of his after being introduced to him by his Italian weightlifting buddy! hehe and He’s loving it (:

Frangipane

Of course, desserts are a must to have a complete meal. haha Well, at least it is for us it won’t be complete without something sweet! hehe I knew exactly what I wanted, and I took charge of ordering the desserts to share. haha As we were already quite full, we ordered two for the three of us! First up : the Frangipane ! I loved how it looked! Just looks like a fried egg on the plate! hehe Instead, it’s meringue with a delicious and tangy passionfruit curd and a refreshing peach sorbet! So so good! The frangipane cake was slightly dense (though still light) but I personally love dense cakes so I was one happy girl!

Double chocolate mousse

The double chocolate mousse was one so rich and decadent! Absolutely loved it! It has an airy layer of white chocolate at the bottom and dark chocolate on top. The coffee cream went so well with the chocolate (almost similar to a tiramisu, but richer), with the bite of the cocoa nib brittle! Loved every single bite!

Ho Clan

So that concludes our beautiful meal! (: Just want to thank the Ho Clan with all my heart for making the night a fab one – filled with good food, good wine and lots of laughter! (: Love you both!

The mr and I

Happy weekend everyone! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love! 

Little Hunter on Urbanspoon

{SG} Kilo Kitchen

Kilo Kitchen

We were introduced to Kilo Kitchen by one of our closest friends, Jacky and Linda, located at along the Kallang River. It’s just above Loysel’s Toy and this area brought back lots of good memories for us! Just a year ago, Jacky shot our pre-wedding video here and we had so much fun during the shoot! 

We didn’t know that in that same building was a beautiful quaint little restaurant that served comfort food inspired by Japanese and Italian cuisines. It took up the whole level, and there was plenty of space between each table. I was so excited the moment I stepped out of the lift and couldn’t wait to try the food they had to offer! (:

Kilo Kitchen

Address : 66 Kampong Bugis, Level 2

Telephone : +65 6467 3987

Email : reservations@kilokitchen.com 

Opening times : Monday – Saturday 6pm – 12am (Reservations highly recommended!)

We asked Linda and Jacky to order as they knew what was good and WOW! Just WOW was all I had in my mind when I tried the food. They were scrumptious and soulful. You could tell how much love and effort they put into making their food. That’s what I really love about places like these.

slow-cooked beef shortribs with salt and pepper

First up : slow-cooked beef shortribs with just salt and pepper. These were slices of heaven! Every single bite just melts in your mouth and you just want more! We were close to ordering a second serve but was saving out tummies for the other dishes we ordered. hehe It’s amazing how just salt and pepper would make a dish so delish!

Seafood ceviche

Initially, we wanted the figs with danish blue cheese, walnut and bacon (cause everyone knows I am totally addicted to figs!) but they ran out! AHHHHH! So we had to choose something else, and we decided on the seafood ceviche. They were all seasoned with a tangy vinaigrette and also a side of avocado salsa. I think it’s just me, but I am not a huge fan of raw tuna. But the tangy sauce makes it delicious! hehe Everything on the plate was fresh and I couldn’t stop myself!

12-hour pork belly with purple mash and crackling

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better. The mains of the night arrived. Fatty pork is a favourite of the mr, so when I saw this, I requested for it to be ordered. Linda tried it before and said YES! WHEEE! It was melt-in-your-mouth-yummy-li-cious!!!! The soft pork belly, creamy purple potato mash, sour cream and bacon with the crispy pork crackling. What more can I say? MORE PLEASE! hehe We ate it exceptionally slowly., just so we could savour it just that little bit longer. hehe

Squid ink rice with prawns and squid

This was my favourite dish of the night! So much so that each couple ordered one each! hehe Squid ink rice with an egg yolk and grilled prawns and squid! The richness of the squid ink just went so well with the egg yolk and was just MAGIC! Pure magic. You could tell from the look of our faces how much we really love this dish! I might be biased though, cause I love everything squid ink! hehe Something intriguing about the rich black ink that makes me want to dive my spoon in!

Are you drooling yet? hehe So if you’re in Singapore, do head to Kilo Kitchen and give everything a try! I can’t wait to head back when we are back in December! (: Have a great Thursday ahead dearest readers! Not too long before the weekend so hang in there!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! (:

Of Dumplings & Popcorn Chicken

Dumplings. I absolutely love them! I’m sure I am not alone about this. What’s not to love? Pan-fried, steamed, boiled and I could have them on their own, or with noodles or soup. You name it, I will love it. hehe That’s how much I love dumplings. So you can imagine how happy I was when I realise the newly opened Food Republik in Boxhill has dumplings of all kinds made on the spot and served piping hot.

Food Republik has a concept of a food court just that it has table service. If you’re from Singapore or Malaysia, I’m sure Food Republik (or Republic) rings a bell. For those who ain’t familiar, Food Republik in Singapore and Malaysia is a huge food court that offers a whole range of food so everyone could get something they enjoy. So even if you go with a whole group of friends, everyone could order their own meal and still have the company of their friends.

Food Republik in Boxhill is a slightly different concept : It’s a food court with a whole range of different Taiwanese food and dessert. To reduce the queue lines, instead of the usual food court concept, it has table service which is pretty handy! There’s 2 menus : one savoury and one sweet. I met up with a few of my foodie girls (Miss D, Miss J, Miss L) and beauty blogger (Miss L) after seeing numerous pictures of the xiao long baos that people have been having. I couldn’t wait to dive into those dumplings!

These delicious small steam dumplings are filled with delicious mince pork and flavoursome soup. You have to eat it with caution as if you put the whole thing in your mouth, you would burn yourself bad! I love to place the dumpling on the spoon, and slowly nip a portion of the thin skin, and suck the soup before adding some vinegar and then, only then, popping the whole thing in my mouth. MMMM. (: My ultimate favourite is from Ding Tai Fung, but unfortunately they don’t have it here in Melbourne. This is 90% similar to those! The closest I’ve ever had. SO HAPPY! I would easily gobble up 4 (which is the small portion).

We also ordered a plate of pan-fried pork dumplings and they were delicious! Look how crispy they are! It’s amazing! And the skin was thin, and the filling was juicy. We definitely were in dumpling heaven! haha

Miss D suggested we order the meatball soup and it was really good. Almost like a hot and sour soup, without the spiciness! It had dried  shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots and topped with coriander. So many different textures, just the kind of dish I really enjoy. Perfect for a cold night!

Another dish we were all craving for was the popcorn chicken! These were absolutely mouthwatering! Every piece was crispy and well seasoned, I ended up popping them into my mouth non-stop! hehe It reminded me alot of the XXXL chicken chop I had when I went to Taiwan, just that it’s bite sized. We did wanna order the chicken chop, but Miss J said the last time she ordered it, it wasn’t cut! So would be difficult to share. This was so much easier! Loved it! NOMS! A must order when you’re there! (:

The last savoury dish we ordered was ja jiang mien (noodles with mince meat sauce). The noodles were bouncy and chewy and were all coated with the mince meat sauce. Nothing really special, but it was quite yum! I only needed a small bowl to make me stuffed!

So it was time for something sweet, and the dessert stall there was Dessert Story which I’ve only tried at Glen Waverly. We were all pretty full after all the dumplings and popcorn chicken so we decided to order one to share.

Miss D really wanted to try the taro shaved ice with red bean so that’s what we had! It was really huge! haha A tower of shaved ice, covered with red bean, condensed milk and pieces of taro. The taro were a little hard for my liking. Would prefer if it was a little softer and sweeter as well, though when eaten with the rest of the dessert, the sweetness was just nice! I was just happy cause there was condense milk. haha I’m such a kid sometimes! I remember how I love having condense milk on those old school Kong Guan biscuits and would secretly make them when my mum wasn’t looking! hehe They were so good (though sinful) though! Would love one now! hehe

So Food Republik is definitely a place I would return (quite soon actually haha) and really wanna bring the Mr there as I know he would love some xiao long baos and popcorn chicken! hehe Be there early though, cause there would be a line from 630pm onwards (on weekdays).

(photo credits to beauty blogger Miss L)

It was such a great meet up with the girls and I can’t wait to do it again! We were all still dreaming of the dumplings the day after! hehe How cute is Miss L above? In case you don’t know what we bloggers do, our cameras and phones have the first taste of our food, always! hehe Do head over to Miss J’s review of Food Republik as well! She has more photos of how it looks like from the inside! (:

Have a great night everyone and it’s Friday tomorrow so you can start doing your Friday happy dance! xx

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Food Republik on Urbanspoon

Last Bits, Good Bits.

Happy Monday my dear readers! Hope all of you had a really good start to the week. More eating adventures continues in this post, but I promise this will be the last one! So thank you for going through this adventure with me the last few weeks! Just re-capping everything we did is making me want to head back to Daylesford again! I hope it has inspired you all to also make a trip down cause you won’t regret it! (:

Of course, we started our day with the same amazing breakfast. How could we not right? hehe Till this day I’m still thinking about the breakfast we had and wanting more. So after we had our breakfast we chilled in our room for a little bit before setting off to try some more cafes this beautiful town had to offer.

Our first stop was Cliffy’s Emporium which was a store, cafe and wine bar. They have a whole range of local produce and their menu changes regularly and according to the seasonal produce. We were still really full from breakfast so we decided to just have something light, although there were lots of things I would have liked to try. Besides, we needed to save some things to try for our next visit, right? hehe

We ordered a small cheese platter and a pot of peppermint tea to go with. The platting was so pretty! Like art on a plate! We sat under the sun and enjoyed each other’s company. It’s really nice how there still seems to be alot of things to share with the mr although we see each other everyday. The best thing about being with your best friend. (: We could just chat and discuss about everything under the sun (pun intended hehe).

The small platter came with two delicious and creamy cheeses : one of which is goat and the other was a type of cheddar. I do apologise that I don’t know the names of the cheeses, as I wasn’t at the table when it was served. There was also a side of maple syrup which went really well with the cheese! Might be something we will try at home soon I reckon! hehe There’s something about the sweet and salty combination I love! Mmm (:

We then found a brochure I picked up amidst the whole pile that caught my attention : $1 oysters at Darmagi! Something my mr adores! He could finish a dozen on his own, and he did exactly that! (:

I don’t fancy oysters, especially when they are raw. The Mr LOVES them. Although they were $1 each, the quality wasn’t compromised! They were plump and juicy! The dozen were all slurped down within minutes! haha According to him, the best way to have them is just with a splash of lemon juice and nothing else! (:

The happy boy with his plate of oysters (: I think he could have had another dozen, easy. hah But I don’t think it’ll be good for his cholesterol!

What I really liked about Daylesford and Hepburn Springs is that their local cafes and restaurants all support local produce and this includes their drinks! Loving their cute logo as well. We had to try some of their sparkling liquid and I decided on the sparkling blood orange mineral water which was really refreshing. Loved it!

The Mr had the organic brewed ginger beer and it was really yummy without an overpowering taste of ginger and spice. Definitely went well with the oysters he had. hehe I have to say, ginger beer (alcoholic or not) is one of my favourite soft drinks! I’m not a big fan of coke or other carbonated drinks. It’s usually either ginger beer or sparkling apple juice to quench my thirst hehe

Before we knew it, it was time for dinner. The Perfect Drop was one place that was highly recommended by not just the retreat but also from other blogs that I’ve read as I was researching on the places to visit. So without much thought, we made a reservation for dinner and headed there, hungry and full of excitement! Before I share with you what we had, I have to apologise that I’ve only got pictures of the entrees we had that night as it got too dark, and the iphone camera just couldn’t take any good shots when the mains and desserts arrived. So I’m really sorry! But here are the entrees we had that night (:

A Perfect Drop is a wine and food lounge that had a very cosy interior. We were shown to our tables by the window, close to the fire place. It was perfect for taking photos (until it started getting dark that is). Still kicking myself as to why I didn’t bring my camera along. But too late now!

After ordering our food, we were served with warm bread with a side of olive oil and sea salt. Nothing beats warm bread to be honest. The smell of the bread slowly envelops the air around us. Just the best smell in the world!

The first thing we ordered was the white anchovies with a boiled quail egg on toast with micro herbs. This was really delicious! Every single bite just makes me crave for more. The white anchovies just melts in your mouth and had the right amount of saltiness. Everything just went together so well. I had to pull myself back from ordering another haha

Another entree that we wanted to try was the homemade beef chorizo. It was delicious, juicy and just filled with spices and did I mention delicious? I didn’t know what was in the green mojo, but it was like a tapenade which complimented the chorizo very well. I never had a beef version before, usually the ones sold in the delis are made using pork. So this was definitely something different. But a good kind of different of course (:

Besides these 2 entrees that we ordered to share, we ordered 2 individual entrees as well. hehe We couldn’t help ourselves. There were too many things we wanted to try!

I ordered the veal carppacio with manchego, celeriac salt and horseradish mustard. How pretty is that? hehe It’s no wonder why people say we eat with our eyes. Don’t you just wanna dive your fork into this plate? I’ve not had veal carppacio, just beef. But they didn’t taste alot different, just a little gamier. But not overly so. i really enjoyed it! If you haven’t noticed, I usually have either a carppacio or a scallop dish for entree. haha I’m boring like that.

The mr ordered the stuffed duck neck with pork and pistachio sausage and it was just delish! When I saw it on the menu, I knew he would have to order it. The Mr is one person I know that would eat every single part of most animals. Yes, even the offal. It also means he doesn’t waste any part of the animal, just one of the things I love about him. (: The skin was crispy and the sausage stuffing was juicy and flavourful. Just a delight with every bite!

As much as I love to say the service was as good as the food we had that night, it was unfortunately a little inconsistent. We didn’t feel as included or welcomed as compared to the other tables. Perhaps it’s just us being sensitive, but there wasn’t a point when we were asked how our food was, or if we were enjoying the meal. In fact, after the first entree, I told one of the staff that it was amazing and she actually had a shock expression on her face, which I really couldn’t understand. It’s a real pity though, cause the food was really really good. But like I say in my reviews, service does play a huge part of the dining experience. So we left the restaurant with a bitter-sweet taste in our mouths.

So this wraps up our adventures of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs! I do hope you enjoyed everything I’ve shared with you! I can’t wait to head back to Daylesford and try the other restaurants that I missed this time round! (: Have a great week ahead everyone! xx

Remember to always cook and bake with love!

A Sweet Affair

Remember my last visit at Mr Hive’s Kitchne & Bar? Yes. I went back for more. This time I brought my mr and his family for a very special occasion: My in-law’s 29th wedding anniversary! I was so glad I decided to bring them there cause we were pampered from the very moment we were shown to our tables!

As I did let Mr Hive know, when I was booking the table, that we were celebrating a wedding anniversary, we were given a glass of champagne each to start the dinner off! I knew instantly that it was going to be a spectacular night! I couldn’t stop smiling and my in-laws were definitely really happy! (:

Mr Hive’s Kitchen & Bar

Address : 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank Vic 

Phone : 03 9292 8300

Though the service was exemplary for the whole night, the highlight of the evening was definitely when we adjourned to the dessert bar to fix our sweet tooth! I don’t usually have second posts for food reviews, but our experience that night is definitely worthy of my double post! Please do not get me wrong, the food was delicious, but we pretty much had the same dishes as my first visit, so I thought I would just focus on the desserts. Besides, who doesn’t like desserts? hehe Miss D would be with me on this! haha

We were lucky to dine at Mr Hive’s on a week night, so it was quite quiet and there was an empty dessert bar waiting for us! Having never seen a pastry chef plate desserts before, it was a great first experience for the mr and his family as well!

The moment we sat down, we were greeted by the friendly pastry chef – Chef Mario! We looked through the menu and ordered instantly. Then he started plating desserts. It was like watching a cook show right infront of our eyes! Although it was my second time, I still enjoyed it. You could tell he took pride in every single dessert he was plating.

He started plating individual portions of the yoghurt mousse with rhubarb compote and szechuan ice cream. We thought it was for another table, as we didn’t order actually this. Little did we know, it was a complimentary dessert for us as a gift for my in-law’s wedding anniversary again! Are they amazing or what? Not one but two gifts! The flavours just complimented each other. There was the lightness of the mousse with the slight hint of spiciness from the ice cream and crunch of the white chocolate crumble. NOMS!

Then came the apple tart tatin which had another surprise for my in-laws. They not only wrote happy anniversary on the board, but   also came with candles! That really made all of us smile! The tart tatin was perfect. The apples were so well caramelised and the tart was crispy and buttery. It was made to order, so it was still piping hot when served! Together with brandy cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Match-made in heaven!

Chef Mario portioned it and even gave each of us a scoop of ice cream to go with our slice! It was so good, I could continue eating it the whole night! There’s just something about a dessert that had both cold and hot elements. Makes my taste buds tingle (:

Of course, I couldn’t not order the Mr Hive’s chocolate bar when I dine at Mr Hive’s. It’s rich and decadent and the base is crunchy! If you know me, you know I love desserts with different textures. This definitely tick all the boxes! hehe And you know what’s even better?

This.

Chef Mario took the plate before I could, and split it into 5 portions and re-platted them individually with a beautifully quenelled peanut ice cream! In fact, the one that was served with the whole chocolate bar melted slightly, and he threw that away and quenelled 5 more for us! That’s how much pride he takes in his desserts! We were so impressed! hehe

The last dessert we ordered was of course the ricotta cheesecake because my mr’s dad loves cheesecake! Plus it was one of the prettiest desserts I’ve ever seen!

Of course, Chef Mario presented the dessert and then took it and replated it into individual portions again! What’s more amazing is that there were only 4 pieces of cheesecake but he just added another cause there were 5 of us!

How pretty is the individual portions? Every single plate looked like that. How could you not be touched? I couldn’t stop saying “wow!” both verbally and in my head. haha

And just you think there can’t be more. He picks up 5 glass bottles and starts preparing the grand finale! He started squeezing some chocolate milk with milo powder and tops the glass bottles with a salted caramel truffle! Trust me. That’s like the best truffle you will ever have. You bite into it and there’s an explosion of salted caramel in your mouth. LOVE.

I absolutely adore the straws they give to slurp the delicious, thick chocolate milk. I really need to go get some from Wheel & Barrow! hehe (:

So I can definitely say it was a night we will definitely remember! And we left Mr Hive’s with happy bellies!

Happy Wedding Anniversary to my dearest in-laws! It was great to celebrate this special day with the whole family! (: Our compliments to the chef and staff of Mr Hive’s! Thank you so much for making this day even more special than it already is!

Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

The Merrywell

I’m late! I’m late! I’m very very late and I do sincerely apologise! But I really didn’t want to rush through this post cause it was a very exciting first experience for me. I got my very first invitation to a blogger’s lunch at The Merrywell a few months back and I could still remember how surprised I was when I read the email. I had to re-read again a few times just to make sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me. haha Thankfully it was on the last day of my break so I could attend! Hurray!

The Merrywell

Address : Corner of Clarendon Street and Crown Riverside, Southbank Vic

Phone : (03) 9292 7468

Website : http://www.themerrywell.com.au/

The Merrywell is a relatively new restaurant situated at the corner of Clarendon Street and Crown Riverside. It features both a restaurant (at the upper level) and a burger bar (at the lower level). We were invited to try a whole range of food and drinks from the burger bar and we were definitely stuffed (with happiness) by the end of lunch! So let’s face it, we all love a good burger! The best I’ve had is at Huxtaburger and I was just really excited to be able to try another place out!

Lunch began with huge floats! There were both kid friendly and adult versions of floats available. I was sitting with 3 other girls and we all ordered a different float to try! I went old school and ordered a root beer float but I was very sure that if the mr was there, he would go for the guinness float which would be perfect for the beautiful sunny weather we’re having now! (: *slurps*

To be honest, I was already feeling a tad full half way through my float! But looking at the menu, we had lots of yummy food coming our way! I have to say, the amount of food that we were being served could easily feed double the number of people! There was so much! It was endless, just kept coming.

So we started off with the four entrees to be shared around the table : Caesar salad, mexican cobb salad, greek salad and grilled fish tacos!

The salads were all fresh and delicious but I had to only have a bit of each as we all had a burger each coming our way! In fact, the fish tacos came after our burgers did, so I had absolutely no room to fit it in my tummy! A pity though, as they looked really good! Have to save it for next time! hehe

So now the stars of the afternoon – the burgers! We were given a choice between 4 burgers. From the start, my eyes were set on the Merrywell burger, although I was intrigued by the Bistro burger that had fries stuffed in them! haha But I stuck to my decision and was so glad I did!

The Merrywell burger came wrapped beautifully with a side of fries! The fries were SO GOOD! Crispy and I love the fact its super crunchy! Not a single bit soggy. Unwrapping the burger was like opening a present! The moment you open it, the delicious smell of melted cheese and seared beef just fills the air. AMAZING!

The buns were soft, the meat was juicy and there was just enough melted cheese to tie everything together. Definitely a burger I recommend! I can just imagine myself having the burger, and gulping a beer while enjoying the sun with the view of the Yarra river! Doesn’t it sound picture perfect?

As Msihua doesn’t take beef, she chose the K.F.Club which had chicken, bacon, tomato, cheese and mayo. Definitely looked delicious! The Merrywell burger is the only one that came with fries, so of course, there was an extra side of fries and onion rings! Noms!

Yes. Golden fried onion rings. Couldn’t get any better!

Of course, the meal wouldn’t be complete without some sweets as Miss D would say! haha And we were presented with three jars! My eyes lit up as I have an obsession with desserts in jars, as you might know! They were all so beautiful and even though I was really stuffed, I had to give them all a try!

If you don’t already know, I LOVE chai. So when this was in front of me, I dived (okie, my spoon did haha) right into it! It had really in depth flavour of chai, and thick and creamy! But instead of the layer of burnt sugar, it had a layer of chocolate to crack into!

The chocolate mousse was highly recommended by the host of the event and I could tell why. It was not just chocolatey, it was luscious and just delicious! I wanted more even though my stomach was saying STOP!

Last but not the least, the lamington trifle! I have to admit, I never liked having lamingtons as I am not a big fan of desiccated coconut. But I couldn’t really taste much of the coconut in this! Love the soft cake with cream, vanilla custard and sweet berry sauce and strawberries! The colours of this dish was just so pretty!

Of course, you can only imagine how full I was by the end of the lunch but I was definitely satisfied! Was really happy to be able to meet new people over great food! Will definitely be returning to this place soon but just for their burgers this time so that my stomach won’t always be stretched! (: Definitely an experience I won’t forget! A big thank you to the team at Merrywell for the fantastic lunch!

For other reviews, do head over to :

I’m So Hungree

Sarah Cooks

Msihua

Disclaimer : I was invited to dine at the Merrywell with compliments to the restaurant and Crown Casino.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Josie Bones

This would be my second visit to Josie Bones but this time, we had the mr’s cousin join us so we could try more of the menu, so I was really excited. I have to admit, we wanted to have Huxtaburger that night, but silly me didn’t check their opening times and they were closed on Mondays. But it was like a blessing in disguise, cause we got to dine at Josie Bones again!

We were first introduced to Josie Bones by my mr’s client who gave raving reviews about the food and the vast number of different beer/alcohol they offer. This comes as no surprise, because it is opened by Chris Badenoch and Julia Jenkins, who were contestents of Masterchef Season 1 and Chris was known as the beer merchant. And the Mr purchased Chris’ cook book because he loved how he uses the whole animal when he cooks, like the whole pig, sheep or cow. Nothing goes to waste, which is awesome!

Josie Bones

Address : 98 Smith Street, Collingwood 3066

Telephone : 03 94171878

Absoutely love the outlook of the restaurant. It has a long bench top which customers can sit and enjoy the food and have a chat with the most friendly staff! Josie Bones is a tapas style restaurant that serves heaps of unusual but delicious food. It’s definitely not your usual dishes, but trust me they are awesome! There was alot of oohs and ahhs the moment the plates were placed on the table. Just couldn’t wait to dive in, but as usual, our cameras ate first. hehe

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beverage menu. haha Yes. It’s that thick. They do bring in lots and lots of beers from all around the world, and most of which we’ve never seen or heard. The staff were all very knowledgeable about every single beer and they are more than willing to help if you get lost in the ocean of beer choices!

The mr told him what he usually likes (which is whiskey, of course) and the staff actually recommended a beer that tasted like whiskey and totally suited his taste buds! I, on the other hand, prefer something fruity. And the melon gibson, which was more on the sweet side and tones of watermelon, was highly recommended. It was delicious and not overly sweet! Kong Seng had the raspberry beer which was really yum as well!

We ordered two entrees to start our meals. One of which is the crackling of the day ($4). Every single piece of crackling was super crispy and its served with a side of seas salt which was so good! It went from the a plate full of crackling to an empty plate in less than 10 minutes. And yes, we ordered a second serve of it as well! haha Whoops!

Our second entree was one of the specials of the day : mini sliders with braised pork belly and kimchi in freshly baked brioche buns. These were the BOMB! SO good! I could just have that all night long to be honest! The brioche buns were freshly made and cotton soft! and the braised pork. oh what can I say? Melt-in-your mouth goodness! The kimchi added a crunchy texture to the slider and also cut through the richness. AMAZING!

Yes. It was really really good. Would love one now. hehe

hehe that’s how small it was. Small but mighty, I have to say. hehe Can you tell how much I really like it?

So then come our mains. We ordered three to start with and the staff recommended we order a side of greens to balance our meal out. hehe It totally slipped my mind to order some greens! hehe Oops. Totally focused on all the meat dishes! But can you blame me? hehe I got overly excited when I saw the menu.

Our first main was stuffed trotters with black pudding, with braised lentils and crispy pigs ear. As you already know, I love dishes with different textures and this just ticks all the boxes in my list! The soft and tender pig trotters that were stuffed with black pudding was tasty but not overpowering! I was a little apprehensive about the black pudding at first, cos it wasn’t something I usually enjoy. But this was really good. The deep friend pigs ear was so good! I saved that to the very last bit and had it all slowly, savouring every bite. *crunch*

This was my favourite dish of the night! We had it the first time we came as well. But had to have it again, cause it was so good! It’s rolled pigs head with sauce gribiche and crackling. Yes. More crackling! haha This is just one of the examples of not wasting any part of the animal! In fact, the meat from the pig’s head (for example pork cheeks) are the best bits! Super tender and super tasty. Melt-in-your-mouth kind of goodness. The super crunchy outer layer covers the most tender piece of meat (and fat). But I’m really glad we shared, cos it might get a bit too rich. But the sauce gribiche helps cut through the richness as it is a tad bit sour and tangy.

This zucchini salad with fiore di burrata, toasted almonds, grapefruit and saffron pickled shallots was recommended by the staff and I must say it was a perfect in between dish to be served as it was really refreshing and acted almost like a palette cleanser, preparing us for our final main dish. Fior di burrata is actually an italian cheese made of mozzarella and cream. The texture was exactly like a fresh mozzarella. So good!

The mr’s cousin have never had rabbit, so he requested for us to try this dish : Braised rabbit with chorizo and creme fraiche jus. The rabbit pieces were really tender and the chorizo added a mild spiciness which was good! and what’s better? The staff offered us a basket of bread to go with the gravy! DUNK!

Of course, we couldn’t leave without having sweets. Although we were all quite full, but like the mr says. There is always space for dessert! hehe When we looked at the dessert menu, our choice was made up almost immediately. haha

Pear tarte tartin with beer caramel and bourbon & raisin ice cream. The puff pastry was still crispy-crunchy and the pear was really tender, all these yumminess covered with an intense beer caramel which was sticky and gooey. This hot tartin was paired perfectly with a boozy bourbon and raisin icecream. It was so good! Although we did wait 30 minutes for it, but I think it’s well-worth the wait! hehe

So after all the rich and delicious food, we were of course super stuffed but we had happy bellies at the end of the night! hehe I have to say that every single dish was really well balanced in terms of flavour and textures. Almost each dish had a a mix of tenderness and crunch! Plus you pair them with beers of your choice! Definitely really happy we went there that night.

So go ahead,  hold on to those hooves and give them a push! I know you would want to! (:

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