Monday, October 22, 2018

Hellenic Republic, Kew, Melbourne

It was only after we had gotten our food that I realized that the restaurant (26 Cotham Road, Kew, Melbourne, tel : +61 3 9207 7477) was owned by a George Calombaris - an Australian chef of Greek heritage that's a judge in Masterchef Australia and a character of some repute, some of which controversial.

Anyways, we were here for their showcase of Greek food which I heard is good in Australia. Melbourne I read, is home to one of the largest Greek diaspora communities in the world as well as being the city with the largest Greek-speaking population outside Greece. These have got to count for something with their cuisine here. No?

We started with some lamb manti with mint yoghurt and what might have been chilli oil. The stuffings in the dumplings tasted like lamb sausages. Pretty tasty.

I thought their spanakopita was delicious with the crisp paper thin filo pastry crust. There was a good balance between the stuffings of vegetables and feta cheese 

And then a saganaki - grilled Kefalograviera (which is very much like halloumi) that was topped with some peppered figs that provided a bit of spice and citrus sweetness.

Our celebration of the beast were a combination of spit roasted chicken and slow roasted shoulder of lamb. The former was all dark meat which I liked. Lamb was delicious with sweet caramelized char.

These might look like brains but they're actually roasted cauliflower with buttermilk tahini. The dark parts were the char on the cauliflower from the roast and not cancerous brain cells. For a little while, I had found the nutty creaminess a little confusing with the cauliflower.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

The Barn Owl Cafe, Silvan, Melbourne

We were on the way to Yarra Valley for a wine tasting day trip and stopped by The Barn Owl (1 Parker Rd, Silvan, tel : +61 3 9737 9546) along the drive for some breakfast.

Cappuccino was okay. They dusted the weak foam with sweetened chocolate powder instead of powdered cocoa.

This was their Wolffy muffin with grilled halloumi cheese on the side. I liked that they used back bacon instead of the streaky ones. As a muffin, I thought it wasn't as satisfying as the Mighty McMuffin.

What I found interesting was their chilli scramble. Scrambled eggs on croissant with chilli. Those cut red chillis were actually pickled - much like the pickled green chilli back home. 

Berwick Kebab, Berwick, Melbourne

We got some kebab/HSP this trip as well. This one was from Berwick Kebab (3/248 Clyde Road, Berwick, Melbourne, tel : +61 3 9702 2502).

While it satiated a craving, it didn't seem to be as enjoyable as the last one from Wot A Kebab which we though did a better job saucing up their meats. This pack also had relatively little cheese and chips.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Mighty McMuffin from McD in Australia

This was a quick first bite after we landed from a McD drive through down under. We were initially just trying to get some coffee, the name caught my attention and we somehow ended up with one. This mighty rendition appeared to be just a McMuffin with real bacon. I haven't had real bacon from McD back home for as along as I could remember. Then I realized that sausage patties here were made with beef too. I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoyed that sandwich of saturated fat and sodium.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Colonial Club, Changi Airport Terminal 3

We were checking in early for our flight and decided to eat at the Colonial Club (#03-33 Changi Airport Terminal 3, 65 Airport Boulevard, +65 6214 0268). I'm not sure how much locals this place attracts but quite obviously, it's set up to get the attention of tourists with all the Hainanese/Peranakan/Colonial heritage that they're painting on the menu.

The menu looked interesting that we were spoilt for choice. We ended up with their garlic chicken rice which was the chicken rice that one doesn't find outside.  

The fried chicken was competent with crisp skin. But it wasn't an outstanding one. Meat was a little dry. Those garlic chips were a little sweet. Their chilli was infused with garlic and some citrus; wasn't bad but also not exactly impressive. The elements of the dish felt like it was on the verge of being memorable but not quite getting there. Like their rice which I enjoyed but still couldn't help shake the feeling that something was amiss with the flavour. An edge that wasn't quite there.

Got curious about their roti ayam - which translates into chicken bread. I don't know what were the origins of this since I've never had or even heard of something like this. It was basically French toast stuffed with minced chicken with mayo and bits of chilli. I liked it better than I thought I would.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Pumpkin latte from Japan Rail Cafe

This drink of the month from Japan Rail Cafe was obviously in line with the Halloween season and in spite of the name, isn't a coffee of any sort nor does it contain caffeine. Instead it's kabocha blended with steamed milk with a dusting of cinnamon. It was delicious.