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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hutong Dumpling Bar

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It has been awhile since my last session of yum cha and now I am craving it so bad. Hutong Dumpling Bar is a place I knew I should visit in the afternoon because I don't trust our luck to come during dinner time. We have passed by Hutong Dumpling Bar several times and it was always crowded. Make sure you make reservations to play safe. It was pouring outside, we were extremely glad to stay warm inside, have dim sums and unlimited amount of hot tea cups.



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There are three floors in this dumpling house. The first floor you can see chefs preparing dumplings, the second a completely casual setting, and the third a more private and dimly lit area suited for family gatherings.



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Pan-Fried Dumplings, 11.80AUD


The first plate that came to our table blew our minds off the roof. The fried dumplings have delicate skins, juicy pork meats with a soupy filling. The skin at the bottom was crispy and almost caramelised, giving the dumplings nice hints of crunch. Everything was made to order and we absolutely love the freshness of this dish.



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Wantons With Hot Chilli Sauce, 9AUD


The second dish also did not disappoint. I have pretty high tolerance towards spicy food and these wantons were not at all spicy. Nonetheless, the chilli oil soaks and coats the wanton skins nicely. The wantons were bursting out with sweet, salty and sour, all balanced perfectly.


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Stairway to China, right?



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Shao Long Bao, 10.80AUD


Hutong Dumpling Bar's Shao Long Bao was top notch. The temperature was just right and there was plenty of juice that bursts in your mouth with every bag of bao. I love to use my chopstick, carry its twisted peak, and dip it in soy sauce instead of vinegar. What about you?


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Shredded Turnip Pastries, 6.80AUD


The Shredded Turnip Pastries had a crispy exterior, and when bitten, there were still warm smoke coming out of the insides. Inside was moist and steamy, nothing that exemplifies dryness.


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Minced Pork And Prawn Dumplings, 9.80AUD + Silky Beancurd Spring Rolls, 7.80AUD + Vegetarian Dumpling In Spinach Flavour Wrap, 7AUD


One of yum cha's must haves is the Minced Pork And Prawn Dumplings (siew mai). The skin was velvety, paired with compressed pork and prawn meats which tasted so well with soy or vinegar. The Spring Rolls was also cooked beautifully with malleable bean curds portioned just right, it tasted peppery and perfect. The only dish that I can criticise was the green Vegetarian Dumpling In Spinach Flavour Wrap. The skin was too thick and tasteless, the spinach within hardened and there was no moisture in it at all.


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Waiting area on level three, a great place for important guests to wait at.



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All in all I consider Hutong Dumpling Bar as one of the best dumpling house in Melbourne. Not just the food that was impeccable, but the overall layout and design of the store captures the essence of China. All staff came from the mainland whether chefs or waiters, and we completely enjoyed every touch points of the service. We all had a memorable experience at Hutong Dumpling Bar and we are definitely coming back in a heartbeat. Hutong is considered as having a narrow lane situated in a traditional residential area of a Chinese city. This is strategical as Hutong Dumpling Bar is located along a small alleyway on Market Lane just a street out of Chinatown. Down the same street is a German beer house Hofbrauhaus, and a retro bar Girl With The Gris Gris. No doubt in this lane we get the best of all worlds.







Hutong Dumpling Bar
14-16 Market Lane, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9650 8128

Mon to Thu: 11.30am-3pm
                            5.30pm-10.30pm
Fri to Sat: 11.30am-3pm
                   5.30pm-11pm
Sun: 11.30am-3pm
               5.30pm-10.30pm




HuTong Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon



Monday, May 25, 2015

Frank Green Smart Cup

EveLovelle had the courtesy to review the smart cup sponsored by Frank Green

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Hey loves! I am very excited to share today's post on Australia's first smart coffee cup that has got it all covered out. I was thrilled when I received mine because I have been on a search to find the perfect coffee cup.

Frank Green Smart Cup is unique, primarily because there is no need to lift and shift the lid to drink. With a push of a button, the hole unveils and drinking is made even easier. With my previous cups I had problems with the lids and have spilled coffee over my bag and clothes several times. I love how I can go extremely reckless with Frank Green and it is still 100% spill resistant. The outer layer of the cup is made out of thermoplastic to retain the heat of your coffee longer. Trying my coffee cup for the first time was pleasantful as materials used are of high quality, which ensures that the cup is odour resistant. No they do not use those cheaply produced low-density polyethylene, and this is especially imperative for me as I get to taste my full blown aromatic coffee, instead of smelling or tasting plastic. Plus, the bottle is BPA free so you can throw your toxic worries away.

Ever since I moved to Melbourne I have been more environmentally conscious and made more efforts to take part in the 3Rs. Frank Green Smart Cup's ethical movement to help out with reducing supply of disposable coffee cups hopes to achieve a more sustainable mother earth, one that we all should feel responsible for. And if we all could help with sustainability, lets do it fashionably with Frank Green.



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I am not one to carry yellow and the colour was preselected for me, but when the mail came in, I was surprised how much this colour fits my desk, my wardrobe and style. I love how the size is a great size to carry, different from other coffee cups which are usually more roundly shaped. To browse all other colour combinations, click here.


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So guys, here's another perk of having Frank Green Smart Cup, you can go cashless and still buy your coffee! What do I mean? Frank Green Smart Cup is embedded with a microchip which allows you to pay just by simply scanning your coffee lid. The lid sensor would detect and process your payment instantly. Download the CafePay™smartphone app to top up, pre-order coffees or send free coffees to your friends. You can also earn and redeem points for not just coffees but food as well. When I say Smart Cup, I am not kidding.


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Frank Green Smart Cup has just recently launched in April 2015. Follow their Instagram account on @frankgreen_official to see which independent retailers are selling them. For every cup that is purchased, 1AUD will be donated to Earthwatch, an international non-profit organization that does fantastic work to conserve wildlife and the environment.

So far I have been bringing my Frank Green to several cafes and also to school (you should have seen a lot of snaps of it on my Snapchat @evelovelle). The cup has had gotten praises quite a few times, even this waitress came up and told me how unique the cup is and she's considering to get one for herself. Here's me totally contented with my Frank Green Smart Cup. I say that this cup a good investment for personal use, or if you are scratching your head a lot, Frank Green Smart Cup is a great practical and fashion forward item to give a friend. Oh yes Frank Green you had me at hello!






Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pondok Bamboe Kuning

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For a quick, easy and inexpensive meal, Jan and I just love going to Pondok Bamboe Kuning for one simple reason, Bakmi! We have been here a couple of times and every single time we told ourselves to try other things on the menu but it has always been bakmi that we ordered. Sides that complements the bakmi that are a must to order are the fried wantons and beef balls! This place is one of those we always have to return to for an Indonesian food fix.


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Pangsit Goreng, 4.50AUD

These fried wantons were super crispy yet fluffy at the same time. They provide sweet chili to dip it with and it was just terrific. The centre had just enough minced meat, letting the wanton skins stand out in glory. It comes in five pretty huge pieces in one plate.


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Bakso Sapi Kuah, 5AUD

The next side we shared are beef balls soup. These minced beef balls were extremely soft and chewy. My favourite Indonesian meatballs have always been these types of beef balls. The best ones I have tried was in Jakarta served from a mobile food cart. I would say that these ones at Pondok Bamboe Kuning is definitely a worthy competitor.


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Mie Kombinasi, 8.50AUD

There are several types of noodle toppings to pick from the menu. The main ones are chicken and pork. We opted for the 'Noodle Combination' which consist of both toppings with extra mushrooms. If you don't understand the menu, here's some help, 'Mie Ayam' refers to Chicken Noodles, and 'Mi Babi' would be the Pork Noodles. After all this noodle talk I can't wait to eat Bakmi Gajah Mada (Bakmi GM) as I will definitely be flying in to Jakarta at the third quarter of the year. Wait for me Bakmi GM, I miss you.





Pondok Bamboe Kuning
354 Clayton Road, Clayton
Melbourne, Victoria 3168
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9544 2466

Mon to Tue: 11.30am-2.30pm
                5.30pm-9pm
Wed: Closed
Thu to Fri: 11.30am-2.30pm
              5.30pm-9pm





Pondok Bamboe Koening on Urbanspoon



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Collective Espresso

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Pumpkin & Quinoa Burger, 16AUD


It was my first time at Camberwell region believe it or not. We chose Collective Espresso to visit as it seemed like a good place to go to and it was close by from where we were. I hate giving bad reviews but we did not enjoy our meals here at all. We got our seats right away on a communal table as it was past lunchtime and the lunch crowd was already gone. There aren't any washrooms in the cafe, but they would pass you a key and you have to travel out to the neighbouring shop to visit the loo. Okay, a little confusing but we did not mind the hassle. We were excited when our food came because we were all starving. You would think that everything tastes good when you are hungry right? Well you are wrong. I ordered a pumpkin patty sandwiched on two multigrain breads. The pumpkin was mashed and covered with seeds. It was served with tomato chili jam, cheese and balsamic reduction. I thought the pumpkin would be better off served on its own or with other sides. The whole ensemblage was just unsuited as a 'burger'. The dish was also too drying to the mouth and it was sadly quite disappointing.


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Avocado & Feta Mash, 15.90AUD


The mashed avocado had an interesting take from the usual avocado and feta, as fine herbs were included in the mix. It also had a citrusy lemon tang which made it quite refreshing. However, my friends and I thought that a classic smashed avo should stick as a classic smashed avo. Not too bad but not a fan.


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Collective 'Sigh Of Relief', 22AUD


Collective Espresso calls its big breakfast the Collective 'Sigh Of Relief'. Umm, I would sigh but won't feel relieved. The fried rosti, kaiser bacon and mushrooms weren't too bad, but the overall dish was too dry. I mean, some type of sauce would help right?! We formally requested (twice) for hollandaise or tomato sauce and they did not have that. I mean, aren't those two sauces a cafe's staples? Instead, we were given some hot sauce which we all wouldn't consider the brunch material type, a type that was similar to sriracha hot sauce, totally unsuited for the big breakfast.



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Steak Sarnie W/ Porterhouse, 19AUD


The Steak Sarnie was the most decent dish out of what we ordered. But can you imagine paying 19 bucks and only getting half a burger and few strands of wedges? The burger was served with a Turkish bread and not brioche. The steak was great and succulent, paired with caramelised onions, relish, Swiss cheese and rockets.



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Blueberry, Apple & Mint Slushy, 7AUD


It was a warm day outside and this drink was very much demanded. The slushy was antioxidant packed and was rejuvenating to the mind. 


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Latte, 3.90AUD


I did not try the coffee but it looks promising and no doubt it was done beautifully.


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Collective Espresso is a tiny café and its food did not impress at all. But this is just the opinions talking in my non-clear head, you on the other hand might think otherwise.







Collective Espresso
3 Cookson Street, Camberwell
Melbourne, Victoria 3124
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9882 8995

Mon to Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat to Sun: 8am-4pm




Collective Espresso on Urbanspoon



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Fomo Thai

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Sawadika my friends! Here presenting to you my favourite Thai restaurant in the Melbourne CBD. Fomo Thai is often compared to Jinda Thai Restaurant and the real question is, which is better? My answer would be that they are both amazing, and by that I mean they are great in different ways. Fomo Thai has better beef and pork dishes, Jinda Thai Restaurant owns in seafood dishes like fishes and soft shell crabs. Jinda Thai is also exceptional with noodles and rice dishes. Its difficult to pick and point, but I love both and for different reasons.



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Thai Iced Milk Tea, 3.50AUD

This milk tea is absolutely sweet. In this case, being overly sweet is somehow its charming and captivating factor, so thumbs up.



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Som Tum Tod, 16AUD

This shaved green papaya salad was apparently deep fried. The outcome was still fresh because Thai tangy dressing was added onto it. The overall dish was pretty spicy, crisp and refreshing to the senses. It is also definitely a great starter dish to get your taste buds rolling.


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Khao Pad Subparod, (S:12AUD/L:16AUD)


Different meats can be chosen to pair your pineapple fried rice with. We had the chicken instead of pork, beef or a vegan version. We had the small bowl, and 
regrettably, yes.. it was pretty small.


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Crying Tiger, 15AUD


The Crying Tiger was char grilled beef tenderloin cut into pieces. I thought I would be icky about its texture as its done in medium rare, and I would usually order medium. Turns out it tasted perfect especially with the tangy dipping sauce. We could all truly taste the smoked flavour and it was just flipping amazing.


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Tom Yum Goong Ma Praw Aon, (S:16AUD/L:25AUD)


The Tom Yum Goong on top is one of the best I ever had. The tom yum broth was extremely rich. It was more on the milky and 
murkier side similar to the density of a laksa broth. It was sour but balanced with a certain sweetness, and definitely not spicy, just very slightly. There were fish slices, several king prawns, mussels, and a few types of mushrooms in the pot.

Fomo Thai is the perfect go to for authentic Thai comfort food in the city. Really, its pretty hard to beat.





Fomo Thai
171 Bourke Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9650 7987

Mon to Thu: 10.30am-10.30pm
Fri to Sat: 10.30am-1am
Sun: 11am-10pm




FOMO Thai on Urbanspoon



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Hofbrauhaus

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Biermischgetränk (Mango Weizen 300ml), 9AUD

Hofbrauhaus is a traditional German beer house. This brewery was first opened in 1589 by the Duke of Bavaria, in Munich. Today, Hofbrauhaus has been replicated in many countries serving good old traditional Bavarian food, and beers of course. The waitress recommended the Mango Weizen as it was her favourite. This flavoured wheat beer was supposedly refreshing and it definitely makes one happier than happy.


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Arcobräu Urfass 500ml, 8.50AUD

This lager is almost alcohol-free with only 0.02% of Urfass per standard drink. and it has hints of light caramel. We thought it was bitter and none of us actually liked it.


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The ambience is not as folksy as the original Hofbrauhaus, but its definitely more homey. Music is loud but not rowdy. I absolutely love the whole dramaturgy of being greeted by men in lederhosen and women in dirndl. These German costumes took us virtually back to medieval times of what it was like centuries ago, indeed the age of discovery.


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Brezel, 4.50AUD

I wanted a pretzel, because how could I not since I'm here. It was served in a traditional basket with butter on the side. It was incredibly tasty with warm and chewy interior, while its crust was perfectly crispy.


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Bratkartoffeln, 7.50AUD

Well yes they put a little too much oil and hence these pan fried potatoes were very much soaked in it. With that much oil and none of us complained, the aroma and taste forgave its sinful and high caloric self. Fatty, oily carbs, come at me.


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HB Wurstplatte, 28.50AUD

We wanted to try a selection of wursts, and this sample sausage platter comes with Bratwurst, Käsekrainer and Nürnberger. The Käsekrainer has been my favourite type of sausages all along because it usually contains 10%-20% cheese. Once the cheese cubes within were grilled or baked, melting cheese would squirt in your mouth that's to die for. Be serious guys, don't think dirty! I can't say that this is the best sausage of all time because there are so many wurst that I have yet to try. The Nürnberger sausage originated from Nuremberg (Duh!) and its made from ground lean pork seasoned with various spices and herbs. Its texture was more sturdy than the other two and far more compressed. The HB Wurstplatte was served with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and pickles.


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HB Platte, 91AUD

Saving the best for the last, we ordered a massive plate to share! It was listed that this plate serves just two people but really, there were five of us killing it. See what's up there? a good size of giant pork knuckle, pork belly, schnitzels, sauerkraut, beetroots, mashed potatoes, potato dumplings, pickles, salads, apple strudel and bier jus. We have mixed feelings with the apple strudels and it tasted odd, but everything else was on point but I have to say that the pork knuckle and pork belly were absolutely magnifique.


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We were true barbarics tonight and we all absolutely enjoyed our meal at Hofbrauhaus. For some reason I felt like a viking, just missing a helmet, braids, and my pet dragon. I wish to relive this special moment and I can't wait to visit Munich one day to visit the real Hofbrauhaus.





Hofbrauhaus
24 Market Lane, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9663 3361

Mon to Sun: 12pm-12am





Hofbräuhaus on Urbanspoon



Friday, May 15, 2015

Addict Food & Coffee

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Potato Hash & Mushroom Duxelle W Roasted Field Mushroom, A Poached Egg & Caramelised Onion, 18AUD


Brunching time with a couple of friends at Addict Food & Coffee. The premises instills a homey and casual feel. The cafe has private, communal and outdoor seats for whichever you may. The first item on order was quite the tiny bit, suited especially for ladies who want indulge but not wish to overeat. 
The dish had a nice balance of soft and crispy. Duxelles are finely chopped mushrooms sauteed with butter and herbs. The creamy moisture of the duxelle was marvelous and this dish is certainly one of Addict Food & Coffee's signature dishes.


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Brioche Breakfast Bun W Bacon , Fried Egg, Field Mushroom, Smoked Scamorza And Brown Sauce, 16AUD + Avocado, 4.50AUD


I opted for the burger with brioche. The bacon was of a generous portion and the melted scamorza that made contact with the mushrooms mixed well together and it was indeed very tasteful.



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Corn Fritters W Kasundi, Haloumi, Poached Eggs & A Coriander & Mizuna Salad, 18AUD


Corn Fritters taste bland on its own but it can be a great dish if you mix it up with dips, salads or other sides. The yolks of poached eggs always add great flavour to the fritters. The haloumi also punched the pack, it salts the fritters and in turn enhanced the whole fritter experience.


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Ssamjang Glazed Roast Pork Belly W Nashi, Herb Salad And Kimchi Emulsion, 20AUD


Not a fan of the mixed herb salad but the roast pork belly was succulent and the ssamjang glaze really brought out its true flavour. It had a smoky aroma and slight barbecue taste which was really lovely.



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Southern Pulled Pork Burger W Slaw & Chipotle Mayo Served W Parmesan French Fries, 18AUD


The Pulled Pork Burger was rather nice at its first few bites, but overtime we started to feel the dryness that left the mouth thirsty for quite a while. The thin parmesan French fries on the side was delectable with every bite and dangerously addictive.


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Mork Hot Chocolate, 4AUD


Quality Mork Hot Chocolate was used and it had intense flavour, bittersweet I would say.



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Flat White, 4AUD

Latte art was on point for this Flat White. Seriously if we all could, lets all wake up to coffee all day everyday.


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Addict Food & Coffee
240-242 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Melbourne, Victoria 3065
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9415 6420


Mon to Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat to Sun: 8am-4pm





Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon



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