Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dong Que VN - Footscray, Victoria

102 Hopkins Street, Footscray, Victoria, Australia (03) 9689 4392
Open Monday to Wednesday and Friday to Saturday 10am - 10pm, Sunday 11am - 10pm 

We’re on a mission to try a new place, in Footscray, each week.  Dong Que fit those criteria.  It wasn't a place we had given much thought to before, just one of the many restaurants all snuggled up together on this section of Hopkins St.

For the more visual minded there are pictures of most of the chef's recommendations.  I’ll say that the pictures informed our dining choices as they were things that I hadn’t seen on other menus around Footscray and they looked interesting.

The first dish was mixed flour cake with egg - if you found someone with a hangover who had never eaten Vietnamese food before, serve them this along with broken rice and they would be converted forever.  This is ultimate hangover food.  It’s pretty tasty without the hangover as well. Served with a tangy, spicy dipping sauce it was simple food but something I would order again if I went back here.

The second dish was odd.  Texturally really odd.  The comment at the time was ‘like eating a spiderweb and the brick you found it on’. I know that sounds terrible but it had such a hard, crunchy exterior and then soft, sticky rice noodle and pork inside.  It came with some kind of tamarind dipping sauce.  It was nice – but a really unique combination of textures that neither of us were expecting. 

There were other dishes on their menu I would try and I liked the place for not placing pho at the forefront of their menu.  The food was kind of unadorned and definitely different from the normal selection on Hopkins/Barkly Street.  They still have all the Vietnamese favourites but try this place if you’re looking for something a little different.

Banh Bot Chien - Fried mixed flour cake with egg

Banh Dap Thit Nuong - Steamed rice paper with grilled pork and rice crackers

Avocado smoothie

- words by pisso | images by überjoi.

Meal style: Lunch (2 shared dishes)
Cost: $20.50 total (not including drinks)
Time and date of visit: 11:00am Sunday 27 January 2013

Dong Que on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Café Vue - January Mixology (Cocktail Degustation), Gangnam Style

Normanby Chambers, 430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (03) 9691 3899
Open Monday to Friday, 7am to 4pm

"Gangnam Style" - the influence of pop culture on what we eat

Seo Taiji and Boys - Nan Arayo

Soju Collins

Pickled Korean Vegetables

BigBang - Bad Boy

New Fashioned


PSY - Gangnam Style

Kim Chi Mary

Bo Ssam

Hyuna - Bubble Pop

Omija Cha

Beef Bulgogi

GD and Top - Knockout




VG: "The dessert was one of the best ever and I loved the Beef Bulgogi. Didn't really rate the Bo Ssam though and not enough chilli in the Pickled Korean Vegetables."

GG: "Dessert rocked!! The drinks were king."

And as for me, the highlights were definitely the Kim Chi Mary and the Mochi dessert. Just remind me to request a table with a bit more lighting for the February edition!

Meal style: Cocktail degustation (5 courses with matching cocktails)
Cost: $95.00 per person
Time and date of visit: 7:00pm Friday 25 January 2013

Previous editions: November | December

Café Vue on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekly Menu, 26 January - 1 February 2013

Saturday 26 January: African Taste
Sunday 27 January: Dainty Sichuan
Monday 28 January: Steak and kidney pie
Tuesday 29 January: Saffron lentil soup
Wednesday 30 January: Greek pasta salad
Thursday 31 January: Rose Garden BBQ
Friday 1 February: Sweet and sour pork Aangan

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pei Modern - Melbourne, Victoria

Collins Place, 45 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (03) 9654 8545
Open from early 'til late Monday through to Saturday.

Summer Pilsner and Watermelon Hoo Haa

Padron Peppers

Brandade Croquettes

Wood Grilled Prawn & Pork Salt 

Meal style: Pre-dinner bar snacks
Cost: $66.50 (total between 2 people, including drinks)
Time and date of visit: 6:00pm Saturday 19 January 2013

Pei Modern on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekly Menu, 19 January - 25 January 2013

Saturday 19 January: Amigos
Sunday 20 January: Olive, anchovy and tomato pasta
Monday 21 January: #dinnerwithfriends
Tuesday 22 January: 3 cup chicken
Wednesday 23 January: Virginia Plain
Thursday 24 January: Fried rice
Friday 25 January: January Mixology at Cafe Vue #girlsnightout

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wonderbao - Melbourne, Victoria

Shop 4 / 19-37 A'Beckett St, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Hot homemade soya milk with fried silky tofu gua bao and roast pork belly gua bao

Fried silky tofu gua bao - pickled mustard, coriander, sweet soy sauce & crushed peanuts

Roast pork belly gua bao - cucumber, pickled carrots & daikon & hoisin sauce

Cold homemade soya milk with braised pork belly gua bao - pickled mustard, coriander & crushed peanuts, and fried silky tofu gua bao.

Meal style: Takeaway lunch
Price: $10.40 for 2 x gua bao and a soya milk

Verdict: Finally had an excuse to try the open bao (gua bao) - yummy, filling and nicely priced. Perfect lunch alternative when I don't have any leftovers...

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Malouf’s Zum Zum - Carlton North, Victoria

645 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, Victoria, Australia (03) 9348 0455
Open for dinner, Tuesday to Sunday 6pm - 10pm

Hummus bi tahini, baba ganoush & labne with grated cucumber

Duck Fatteh - twice cooked duck with chickpeas & almond rice

Lahme Mishwee – skewered lamb loin, onions rice & turkish chilli

Verdict? A little on the expensive side, but super tasty dishes!

Meal style: Early dinner
Cost: $75.50 total (3 dishes between 2 people, not including drinks)
Time and date of visit: 6:00pm Tuesday 15 January 2013

Malouf's Zum Zum on Urbanspoon

Monday, January 14, 2013

Oriental Charcoal BBQ - Footscray, Victoria

Oriental Charcoal BBQ
110 Hopkins Street, Footscray, Victoria, Australia (03) 9687 0421
Open Monday to Thursday 11am - 10pm, Friday 11am - 10:30pm, Saturday 11am - 11pm and Sunday 4:30pm - 10pm

We somehow get stuck going to the same places again and again in Footscray.  There are almost more restaurants in Footscray than there are dealers on Leeds Street so we really do need to start diversifying a little.  ‘Oriental Charcoal BBQ’ has been trying to flag us down for a little while. 

After going to Beijing in 2011 and seeing just how different the cuisine was in Northern China (nobody eats rice, everyone eats flat breads. Mutton is the main meat and most street food uses middle-eastern spices), it became that much more apparent that the vast majority of what we know as ‘Chinese food’ in Australia is really Cantonese food.  Szechuan is busily making up for lost time by stamping its fiery foot down around town and now here is a little outpost of more Northern style cuisine. 

Cucumber Salad

The pickled mildly garlic-y cucumber salad (which was pretty much tzatziki without the yoghurt) - while looking like a bowl of smashed cucumber was actually really tasty, with the cucumber retaining a good level of crunch. 

BBQ Beef Tender Tendon

Lamb Skewer

Chicken Giblets

The skewers all had pretty much the same coating of salt, pepper and cumin but each were very different in terms of overall flavour and texture.  The ‘BBQ beef tender’ is actually BBQ beef tendon –very thinly sliced and quite chewy.  The chicken giblets were also similarly chewy and quite rubbery.  We had to try them but probably I’d just order more of the lamb skewers next time.  The lamb was cooked really well and had a nice amount of fat, which added a lot of flavour.

Sliced Pork with Egg, Cucumber & Fungus

The egg, pork and black ear fungus stirfry was überjoi’s selection.  It was maybe a little oily but had a really nice flavour to it. 

The menu was quite extensive and there were a few more items I would definitely try out.  There was enough promise in what we ordered to warrant a return visit so OC BBQ gets the thumbs up for now.

- words by pisso | images by überjoi.

Meal style: Quick early dinner
Cost: $28.80 total (5 dishes between 2 people, not including drinks)
Time and date of visit: 5:30pm Friday 11 January 2013

Oriental Charcoal BBQ on Urbanspoon

The People's Market - Collingwood, Victoria

The People's Market
64-68 Stanley Street, Collingwood, Victoria, Australia
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner Thursday 'till Sunday

Strawberry lemonade from South (Vegan Soul Food)

Hawaiian Balls - Beef and mozzarella meatballs with bacon, pineapple and bbq mayo from the Meatball Company

Tijuana Balls - Chicken, pancetta and sage meatballs with guacamole and adobo sauce from the Meatball Company

Seasoned chips from the Meatball Company

Rhubarb pie from South (Vegan Soul Food)