MoPho Noodle Bar

MoPho Noodle Bar
1A/7 Yarra Street
South Yarra Vic 3141
MoPho Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

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The Angmoh and I found ourselves wandering around South Yarra after watching a live taping of Channel Ten’s Are You Paying Attention. The show’s much better during the filming and we were disappointed by how much was cut out when we watched it on the telly the following day. My appetite for poultry was stimulated from the verbal insults between Tom Gleisner and Glenn Robbins in regard to their manhood.

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MoPho was a quick escape from the drizzling rain, a stone’s throw from the Como Centre where the taping took place. I love the portrait of the panda in faux crane stance but, surprisingly, the restaurant had nothing bad-ass about it. It was quiet that night, despite being a Saturday evening. There’s plenty of dark tones softened by the rolls of banners amidst the ceiling.

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MoPho’s menu offers dry, soup and salad noodles, with most of the items having a fusion twist. My chicken noodle soup came with a clear broth, decorated with 2 bunny ears of bokchoy leaves. For a dish that is typically meant to cleanse and soothe the soul, this was unfortunately a letdown. The soup lacked depth, the chicken was poached in an overtly sweet stock and a more generous serve of healthy greens could be offered.

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Shredded chicken, spring onion, sesame seeds, chilli oil, egg noodle $15

The Angmoh, on the other hand, ordered a tasty winner. The fried hokkien noodles were full of wok hei and the pork was crisp and delicious. There was a confident sprinkle of chilli that went well with the sweet sauce. I didn’t quite like the sweetness of the dish but it did suit The Angmoh.

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Hokkien noodle, slow roast pork belly, oyster mushrooms, broccoli stems, chilli and garlic $17

There were plenty of takeaway orders that night and I imagine MoPho to be quite pleasing for the local (angmoh) neighbourhood palate.

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Filed under Noodles, South Yarra

Einstein’s Relative

Einstein’s Relative
1/9 Yarra Street
South Yarra Vic 3141
+61 3 9078 9801
Einstein's Relative on Urbanspoon

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The Angmoh and I stumbled across new café Einstein’s Relative a couple weeks ago. Our initial intentions to brunch at Two Birds One Stone were blown to hell and back by unpleasant noise pollution on Claremont Street from nearby roadworks. Einstein’s Relative is indeed related to Einstein 251 of Caulfield and has occupied the space of former café Outpost. The sitting space is still small but more alfresco options are available along Yarra Street.

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(Top) Double2 – double ristretto and milk $3.50
(Bottom) Piccolo latte $3.50

With the Sausage in tow, we nabbed an outdoor table and quickly warmed ourselves up with a couple of coffees, by Candyman beans. They were well-made and a great start to the morning. The drinks list is appealing with items such as the aptly named Dulce De Licious milkshake or the self-explanatory Nutella milkshake. It did require some discipline and I refrained from ordering either.

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Double2 – double ristretto and milk $3.50

The Angmoh had a surprise crave for a vegetarian brunch and ordered the smashed avocado with added poached eggs. The avo was smashed just a touch too far but the generous serve of feta and crispy crunch of radish made up for that. The eggs were poached perfectly and The Angmoh moped up all the gooey yolk with the delicious sourdough.

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Smashed avocado – smashed avocado topped with crumbled feta, chilli and dukkah on seeded sourdough served with lime $12.50

I too went vegetarian with baked beans for breakfast. It had broad beans, kidney beans and chickpeas stewed in a rich tomato sugo. The unexpected pairing of beetroot gave it some sweetness, with flavours further punctuated by little bursts of goats cheese and dukkah. The Sausage, who leans towards a more carnivorous palette, gobbled down bits of stew-soaked bread rather eagerly.

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Relative baked beans – spicy baked beans with dukkah crumbed poached eggs, gourmet feta and beetroot served with seeded sourdough $16.50

Einstein’s Relative offers delicious coffees and brunch items and has ascertained the perfect brunch equatio

 

 

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Filed under Brunch, Coffee, South Yarra

Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full
Corner Nicholson Street and Mollison Street
Abbotsford
Vic
+61 3 9421 2732
Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

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The Angmoh and I met for the very first time at Three Bags Full 2 years ago. I’d arrived early, in my white and red summer frock and was seated right by the window, overlooking the traffic along Nicholson Street. And then he appeared, blond and blue-eyed only enhanced by the pale blue T-shirt that he wore. Who knew that we’d hit it off that very morning, brunching and chatting over two hours and that we would have made it seven hundred and thirty-three days later. Not me, certainly, for I, cynical and jaded about introductions and small talk, almost backed out that very morning.

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The Angmoh and I made it back to Three Bags Full just last Saturday. Long forgotten were the polite sips and dainty nibbles, now replaced by hangry mouthfuls and fork-poking. I do refer to myself, of course.

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(Top) Piccolo latte $3.50
(Bottom) Magic $3.50

We were seated rather niftily for a weekend peak hour, snagging the corner seats of the communal table in the main room. Many things haven’t changed, like the chairs made out of re-used metal signs, or the decadent cheesecake brownie, which I’d spied on as soon as we were ushered in. The Angmoh ordered a magic and I had the piccolo latte. The house blend is known as “Major Blazer” which had a lovely balance between cocoa and fruity flavours.

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Big breaky – eggs anyway on toast, Istra bacon, grilled tomato, roasted mushrooms, pork & fennel sausage, spinach and relish $19

There were no “which movies do you like” or “what music do you listen to” questions that Saturday. He scrolled on his phone, reading on IT geek-sh**, while I stalked my friends on Facebook. There was comfortable silence, with the occasional brush on the arm.

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Sweet potato and carrot fritters with a fried egg, goats curd, grilled haloumi, witlof, pomegranate, apple and herb salad $17

As soon as our food was set down, I could snap away as I pleased, while he waited, patiently. 2 years ago, it was mushrooms on toast for myself and a customised breakfast of poached eggs, bacon and avocado for him. This time round, he had the big breakfast, and I chose sweet potato and carrot fritters from the lunch menu. The big breakfast was a platter of all the essential breakfast elements. While it may not have looked pretty, it certainly tasted fantastic. My dish too, did not disappoint. The fritters were not gluggly and the flavours of sweet vegetable, creamy goats cheese, squeaky salty haloumi, zesty apple and juicy bursts of pomegranate made every bite a delicious multi-faceted swallow.

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Magic: Single origin “Primaveral” Colombia $3.50

The Angmoh finished off his brunch with a second coffee. This time, it was a single origin from Columbia which was super light, smooth and creamy. I held back, surprisingly, and restrained myself, neither having the famed cheesecake brownie nor the chocolate cupcake. Both, I guarantee, are excellent and perhaps, next year come April 8, we may find ourselves back at Three Bags Full.

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Filed under Abbotsford, Brunch, Coffee

Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar

Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar
Level 1 Crown Metropol
8 Whiteman Street
Southbank Vic 3006
+61 3 9292 8300
Mr. Hive Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

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The Angmoh and I had a date night at Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar. It was close to home, which meant I could scurry down 100m across the road in my hugging velvet dress and skinny heels. I succumb to heels in all their pin-pointy attractiveness, from the calf-stretching leg-lengthening glory to the painful so-gonna-lose-my balance arched agony.

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Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar is located in Crown Metropol. The space is sleek and handsome, with extremely high ceilings and an extensive black shelf interspersed with shiny gleaming copper pots. Mind you, I was half-tempted to nick off with one.

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As we deliberated over the menu, an amuse bouche of dried cherry tomato on polenta was set before us. I popped it in whole, and was instantly reminded of pizza. A really fancy, minute, gluten-free pizza.

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Oyster $4

As The Angmoh appreciated his very well-poured beer, I pounced on the distracted opportunity and started snapping away at the food. He had a lonesome oyster, which he described to be fresh and sweet, with just the hint of salt.

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(Left, top) Yellowfin tuna, ruby grapefruit, popcorn, sesame $15
(Left, bottom) Kingprawns, old bay spice $14
(Right) Crispy pig: pickled kohlrabi sauce gribiche $21

Amongst our selection of entrees, our favourites were the king prawns and crispy pork. The prawns were seasoned in a wonderful smoky aroma and somehow made me think of drunken prawns. I ordered the pork dish simply due to its name “Crispy Little Pig”. I believe it was pork jowl and it was full of rich porky flavour, which was nicely contrasted against the piquant ribbons of pickled kohlrabi.

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(Left) “Cape Grim” Tasmania hanger steak (250g) $34
(Right) Ricotta gnocchi, wild mushrooms, parsnip $30

Not usually a fan of gnocchi, I went adventurous and had ricotta gnocchi for my main. The Angmoh went old-school and predictable with steak, cooked medium rare. The fluffy bolsters of gnocchi were surprisingly not too heavy. Never one to complain about mushrooms, I loved my dish, and would have loved it more if it had a drizzle of truffle oil. The Angmoh’s steak arrived rare and well-charred and received his thumb’s up. He did find an overwhelming amount of caramelised onion over the steak, and would have preferred “a smattering” of it. I munched on his sweet potato chips, which were delightful. They were pillowy and dreamy, with a good balance of sweet and salty.

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(Left) Almond soufflé, blood peach yoghurt, honey ice cream $22
(Right) Poached rhubarb cookies, Cointreau, goats milk $17

For dessert, there was a choice of moving onto the counter to enjoy the famed dessert degustation. I was half tempted but wussed out in the end, ordering the rhubarb for myself and the almond soufflé for my man. I have a soft spot for rhubarb dessert and this did not disappoint. The tangy flavours of rhubarb shone through with the goats curd sorbet giving it a punch of refreshment. The almond soufflé was another winner. It was airy and light and chockers with real almond flavour. It paired so nicely with the honey ice cream.

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Mrs. Hive’s chocolate bar, peanuts, caramel $21

The Angmoh knows me and my dessert yearnings very well. I was also very keen to try the Mrs. Hive chocolate bar and didn’t think my rhubarb dish was quite enough. He ordered said dish on my behalf, so I wouldn’t appear to be the greedy oinker that I am. And thank the heavens we he did. It was an incredible concoction of rich silky chocolate mousse and luscious caramel, topped with a dollop of peanut butter sorbet. Oh yea, you heard right, peanut butter sorbet. It was the most ‘atas’ form of Snickers, period.

Our dinner at Mr Hive Kitchen & Bar ended on a sugar high. The food was good and the dessert amazing. The live vocals at the bar are impressive too and all in all it was one really pleasant night out. My only gripe was the lack of handwash in the ladies and disabled facilities. I had forgotten to mention it that night in my drunken stupor and eagerness to get to the chocolate bar, but dropped an email and have yet to receive a reply. So ladies, drag your men or girlfriends here for a night of sinful indulgence and do pack some hand sanitiser or wet wipes in your purse first.

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Filed under Australian, Crown Casino, Modern, Southbank, Steak, Sweets

Scarvelli Cafe

Scarvelli Café
143 Whitehorse Road
Balwyn
Vic 3103 +61 3 9816 8887
Scarvelli Cafe on Urbanspoon

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I met fellow food blogger and brunch lover Winnie (EatPlayShop) sometime in early March. We were gonna do a brunch date a whole year ago but never got round to settling on a suitable date. We locked in a Sunday and met at Winnie’s local, Scarvelli.

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Scarvelli is located along Whitehorse Road, a couple blocks from the very popular Snow Pony. The former has the layout similar to that of a house, with living room, dining room and courtyard available to diners. It is more spacious than the latter, making family outings (especially with Bubs) a whole heap easier for Winnie.

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(Left) Lindt hot chocolate $5
(Right) Prana chai latte $3.80

We started off with warm drinks: tea for Winnie, Lindt hot chocolate for the Angmoh and Prana soy chai for myself. The milky drinks were exactly that, milky.

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Dukkah eggs – crumbed poached eggs, cauliflower puree, pomegranate, pinenuts, sautéed spinach $17.50

The food menu does a fancy take on brunch fare, think espresso mascarpone on banana bread or pomegranate with dukkah-crumbed eggs. The Angmoh, who is a sucker for dukkah eggs, and is also the very reason why we chose Scarvelli (after seeing a picture of said eggs on Winnie’s Instagram), was impressed by the crumbed poached eggs. They were coated by just the right amount of dukkah and were cooked perfectly to bleed a stream of runny brilliant yellow yolk. Amongst the generous serve of creamy rich cauliflower puree were pinenuts and pomegranate. This dish oddly doesn’t come with bread, which I think is quite necessary to mop up the soft textures of both poached egg and cauliflower.

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Cured ocean trout – house cured trout, pickled radish, cucumber, fresh dill, horseradish crème fraiche $16.50

Winnie chose from the lunch menu and had an extremely healthy, carb-free meal of house-cured trout on a bed of radish and cucumber ribbons. While each element was lovely, there was an overall dryness that the dollop of crème fraiche failed to overcome. Winnie wished for a drizzle of citrusy dressing.

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Smashed avocado – Persian feta, roasted vine tomatoes on your choice of toast $15
Add poached egg $3

My smashed avo had a nice balance of feta crumbled into the thick green pulpy spread. It was very nice but would be better with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Scarvelli is a great brunch location for Balwyn folks where options are few and far. It gives Snow Pony a run for their money with its creative menu and capacity to seat more diners.

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By the way, thanks Winnie, for your gift of citrus meringue coconut tarts, they were delish and I gobbled down 2 that afternoon! Can’t wait to brunch again with you soon!

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Filed under Balwyn, Brunswick

Kass Kass

Kass Kass
490 Flinders Street
Melbourne Vic 3000
KassKass Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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I like to think of myself as a not-that-demanding female. In fact, I suppose I could, in an extremely generous manner of speaking, describe myself to be easily pleased. It doesn’t take much, I promise. Just gather up my girlfriends, chuck us into a karaoke room and complete the night with fried chicken. And so it was on one unforgettable night when Daisy (Never Too Sweet For Me), Ashley (I’m So Hungree) and myself had a 3 hour singing session followed by a lovely meal at Korean restaurant Kass Kass.

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Korean style fried chicken – crispy deep fried chicken with homemade batter, served with cabbage salad and daikon pickles $28

We crooned, we swayed, we clapped, we screeched. They got hungry, I got hangry. We climbed into Daisy’s nifty little car and made our way across the city to Flinders Street for KFC. Korean Fried Chicken, to be precise.

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Tofu Salad $10

I’ll be honest, I’ve tried the Korean Fried Chicken at Gami and didn’t like it one single bit. I like my fried chicken with minimum batter, maximum seasoning. And no icky sweet sauce to turn it into a smulch of sticky soggy avian mess, thank you very much. The fried chicken at Kass Kass put a smile on my face. The pieces of chicken were juicy, and they weren’t hidden under a thick armour of batter. The skins were crisp and every bite resounded with an audible crunch.

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Pork loin kass – Japanese style fresh breadcrumbed meats served with rice, miso soup, cabbage salad and homemade sauce $16

Apart from the KFC, we also shared the katsu pork loin, tofu salad and bibimbap. The fried pork was a touch dry but its cold dipping sauce of sweetened worchestershire helped. The salad came with pan-fried tofu, simple and delicious. I shrugged at the bibimbap. I’m biased towards Darac’s bibimbap, and hence I can’t give Kass Kass the thumb’s up. I also have to point out that the usual Korean appetisers of kimchi, seasoned bean sprouts, sweetened potato etc. weren’t offered that evening, which is, hmm, unusual.

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Bibimbap $15

There you have it. A simple girls’ night out of music, singing, good food and fried chicken is one of the many ways to my heart.

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Filed under CBD, Korean

Little Tommy Tucker

Little Tommy Tucker
432 Centre Road
Bentleigh
Vic 3204
Little Tommy Tucker on Urbanspoon

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Working in Bayside has exposed me to several delightful dining places. Little Tommy Tucker (LTT) is one such place. I had a solo breakfast at the beautiful café sometime late last year, and as soon as I stepped foot inside, fell quickly in love with the round communal table at the very end. There is bleached pale wood, bright natural light, lush hanging greens and it’s just the perfect spot to spy right into the kitchen. The warm smiles of the staff at Little Tommy Tucker made staying in love too easy.

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Piccolo latte $3.50

I had a piccolo latte brewed from Dukes beans. It was harsh, bitter and full of dark notes, which surprisingly ebbed into a pleasant cookie finish. As for breakfast choices, I was torn between muesli and zucchini cakes. The former got to me with just the words “yoghurt panacotta”. It certainly sent a tingle down my spine. It was a lovely breakfast dish full of textures and flavours. The muesli had crunchy seeds, softened by the creamy gentle panacotta. The poached pear was supple and added just a hint of sweetness and the bursts of ginger created a lively zing.

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Yoghurt Panna Cotta, ginger and macadamia Yousli muesli, poached pear, rockmelon cress $13

Fast forward a couple months, Fakebooo suggested having lunch at LTT whilst I was having my split shift break. He went vegetarian with heirloom tomatoes, goats’ cheese and runny poached egg. It was a simple healthy brunchy dish, with the use of quality ingredients and a thoughtful combination of flavours. Fakebooobooo had a carnivorous burger to placate his lunch cravings. The Wagyu patty was a generous thick serve of beef, cooked medium and dripping with flavourful juices.

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Tommy Tucker Wagyu burger, tasty cheese, lettuce, pickles, mustard, tomato relish and wedges $19

As for myself, I caught sight of fresh figs and enquired about it. Oh Tommy, you rascal, you truly know the way to my stomach heart. On special that day was crumpets with maple, ricotta and fresh figs. The maple was faint and there was a hint of coconut. It was a charmingly light dish and could easily pass off for breakfast or dessert.

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Heirloom tomatoes, whipped goat’s cheese, pesto, poached eggs $17

Little Tommy Tucker is a great addition to the burgeoning brunch scene in Bayside. It’s pleasant throughout, from the amicable service, to the fit out and of course, the food.

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Dr Martys crumpets with fresh figs, honeyed ricotta, maple syrup and macadamia nuts $15

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Filed under Bayside, Bentleigh, Brunch, Burgers, Coffee