Friday, April 17, 2015

The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink

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The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink is one of the more beautiful cafes I have discovered in a while. The entrance was hidden behind a petrol station, one you'll hardly discover if it wouldn't be for the assistance of social media or word of mouth. The Vertue has high ceilings that allow natural light to come in, balmy mild sunlight is naturally a mood lifter. I have been here so many times and can't seem to get bored of it yet. If you are a student of Melbourne university, The Vertue is walkable and I spot so many uni students hang out here during break time.


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Iced Coffee

My friends had Iced Coffee while I had a hot drink. Feels like there is a party going on, I love the quirkiness of the straws and it definitely made it look more appealing.


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Flat White

The days are getting colder and I have only been craving for hot or warm coffees, not cold. The point when my coffee was served, I felt abounded with contentment to be enjoying this exact moment (as you can see from my expression below).


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Chia Seed & Coconut Pudding, 14AUD

You can truly taste the creaminess of the pudding defined by the coconut milk that was used to expand the chia seeds. Both the kiwi and passion fruit gave a sweet and citrusy tang. The whole mug was not just plated beautifully, but light, healthy and delicious all at once.


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Scotch Egg, 21AUD

My beau opted for something more savoury. Brioche soldiers carefully stacked with a side of smoked pork belly, scotch egg and a pig skin cracker. Two sauces on the base of the plate that enhanced the taste of smoked pork belly and scotch egg, the yellow was piccalilli mayonnaise, which tasted somewhat like mustard, and the other was a light onion marmalade.


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Smoked Fish Chowder, 18AUD

Smoked Fish Chowder was the meal of the day. It almost got to the point where I was reliving good old memory of Seattle's famous seafood chowder at Ivar's Fish Bar along the pier. It was truly one of the simplest and best food experiences ever. There were lots of ingredients used here let me tell you. From old bay spiced squid, Port Arlington mussels, barbequed corn, carrots, potatoes, and even a quail egg. The added chopped herbs and a dash of oil heightened the taste.


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The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink 
exemplifies Melbourne in essence of design, food, coffees, and general ambiance. This place I have returned to many times and I am coming back again. I love the quiet charm and the ability to perform a peaceful introspection just sitting here in silence. I'll pinch myself if it gets more crowded after writing this review. But hey, a good place deserves some sharing right?







The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink
8 Raffa Place, Carlton
Melbourne, Victoria 3053
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 8060 6987

Mon to Fri: 7am-4pm
Sat to Sun: 7.30am-4pm





The Vertue of the Coffee Drink on Urbanspoon



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#NespressoCreations - Espresso Shot Jelly

EveLovelle had the courtesy to review all Nespresso products sponsored by Nespresso

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Recently I was challenged by Nespresso to inspire you guys to create a recipe with a Nespresso shot, or any recipe in general that would suit drinking your coffee with. I will be sharing and writing several blogposts for you over the upcoming weeks. For today's #NespressoCreation, I visited Lia's kitchen and she taught and demonstrated to me how to make Espresso Shot Jelly. Lia did a short course at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and I knew she was the one I had to book a time and collaborate with. This beautiful jelly is easy to make and so much fun to decorate. Its definitely an impression maker and a conversational starter if you follow this recipe for your upcoming party.



Espresso Shot Jelly

Ingredients
30g espresso shot (1 shot)
95g water
25g regular sugar
1 gelatin leaf

Assembly
1.     Bloom gelatin leaf in cold water
2.     In a pan, combine shot, water and sugar. Bring to a boil
3.     Add gelatin leaf and stir until incorporated
4.     Pour into mould and let cool for 15mins
5.     Place in fridge to set
6.     To unmould the espresso jelly, dip mould in hot water for 20s and overturn


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This beautiful Espresso Shot Jelly can be used with any capsules of your choice. I find that the Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato in blue suits best for this recipe. The fact that its decaf helps to serve this recipe to caffeine sensitive drinkers. The cafe strength for the Vivalto Lungo is 4/10, with mixtures of South American and East African Arabicas combined. It has a nice light roast and subtle floral notes.


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With my new Nespresso Inissia machine, having your morning coffee can never be easier or a whole lot faster. Just place water at the water tank, enter a capsule, press a button and viola.


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The Espresso Shot Jelly is easy to make and you can decorate it in any way or with any ingredients you want. Pairing the shot with anything sweet would balance out the dish. However, if you would like the exact recipe of the rest of the ingredients, here goes:



Meringue Française 
250g egg whites
150g regular sugar
350g powdered sugar

1.     Using a whisk attachment, whip egg whites
2.     When egg whites are half whipped (foaming but very soft), add 1/3 of sugar
3.     Continue adding sugar gradually and stop when meringue is at stiff peaks
4.     Pipe small teardrops and small logs
5.     Bake at 100° for 1 ½ to 2 hours



Milk Chocolate Espresso Ganache
30g white chocolate
15g espresso shot
15g whipping cream

1.     Combine all ingredients in a bowl and melt over bain mairie
2.     Mix to incorporate
3.     Place into fridge to set



Burnt Caramel Sauce
50g sugar
5g butter
10g whipping cream
5g light corn syrup

1.     Place sugar in pan and cook sugar, without stirring, until dark brown
2.     In another pan, heat whipping cream
3.     Once sugar has caramelised, slowly pour corn syrup and whipping cream into the caramel
4.     Then stir in butter
5.     Pour finished sauce into small bowl



Visit #NespressoCreations on Instagram to look at other creative ideas that other bloggers have come up with. For all desserts lovers, follow Lia's journey on Instagram @in.louvre as she bakes the most delicious and unconventional desserts ever. I hope this blog post inspires you to stay creative in your kitchen. Until the next post of #NespressoCreations, I will see you guys soon!





Chef: Maria Giamuli Adalia (Instagram: @in.louvre)

Photographer: Patrick Aritonang (Instagram: @patrickarto)



Monday, April 13, 2015

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

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Black Garlic Ramen, 17AUD


Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is another addition to Melbourne's Japanese ramen houses. With new restaurants multiply and exploding in the city, I was thrilled when Ineke invited me to have a taste some of their ramen selection. Japanese food I can never reject! Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen is a franchised chain from Japan and two Indonesian siblings, Ineke and her brother were the franchisees. These two loved milder ramen tastes and Ikkoryu Fukuoka caters specially to those who thinks many other ramen joints are oversalted. We were first served with a sample of their Yakimeshi (Japanese Fried Rice), and several other smaller snacks like Kaarage and Gyoza. We loved both snacks and shamelessly asked for multiple rounds of them before our ramen was served.

I picked the Black Garlic, still cooked in tonkotsu, just mixed up with a particular special roast garlic oil. Its the mildest option out of the five different ramen types that was offered. Garlic Oil Ramen traditionally uses oil and the controlled burning of garlic that gave it its colour, oh slurps!


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We were first given with a paper that combines menu items and order sheet. The underlined was what were chosen. The order sheet states as follows:

Ramen Base: Original Tonkotsu/ Yuzu Tonkotsu/ Spicy Tobanjan/ Black Garlic/ Miso Tonkotsu
Ramen Oil: Light/ Normal/ Heavy
Green Onions: Yes/ No
Pork: Regular/ Pork Belly
Soy Sauce: Light/ Normal
Noodle Texture: Soft/ Normal/ Hard/ Extra Hard

Additional Toppings: Egg (2AUD)/ Seaweed (2AUD)/ Bamboo Shoots (2AUD)/ Black Fungus (2AUD)/ Extra Meat (Shoulder: 2AUD/ Belly: 3AUD)/ Extra Noodles (2AUD)


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Miso Tonkotsu Ramen, 17AUD + Extra Noodles, 2AUD


Jan had the traditional Miso and our thoughts were that they were the best out what we all picked. The tonkotsu broth was added with miso paste for a more well endowed flavour. Boys will always be boys and Jan loves his carbs, so extra noodles is always necessary.


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Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu Ramen, 17AUD


My friend Aldo is friends with the owners of Ikkoryu Fukuoka and we came in three in a group instead of the usual two. Aldo picked the spicy broth tonkotsu, although I will have to say its really not that spicy. However, you could customize and request to elevate the spice level if wished. This particular ramen tasted good with us adding more crushed garlic to it.


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The whole setup was designed by Japanese designers from Japan. We all complimented on how traditionally modern and stylish the premises was.



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The open kitchen is a Japanese tradition to be transparent and honest about their style of cooking. Reputation definitely 
withholds with these Japanese staffs skillfully plating all of our ramens.


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The other two that we didn't get to try was the
Ikkoryu's Original Tonkotsu (15AUD) and the Yuzu Tonkotsu (17AUD). Bummer, we only realised that the Yuzu Tonkotsu was Ikkoryu Fukuoka's preeminent bowl of ramen that it offers. Imagine green ramen evolved from the citrusy yuzu and the resulting taste was a perfectly blended concoction of slight sour and salty.

Because of its modern aesthetic design, Ikkoryu Fukuoka is one place I can imagine you bringing your friends and colleagues over to after work. Be it having a board meeting in a more private room or just having a bonding session over a bowl ramen and a glass of sake.





Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
27 Russell Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9650 3708





Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen on Urbanspoon



Saturday, April 11, 2015

Mysterious Pink Lake

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Over the Easter break I caught myself in mysterious wonder. We visited this lake of pink, a scene you would see straight out of a fantasy film. This particular lake is located at Westgate Park, not very far off the city. The colour forms with the presence of a certain algae known as dunailella-salina. The liquid texture is almost as dense as milk when I tried to stir a branch against the waters. I heard the algae is sensitive to temperature and will cease during the winter time when it gets cold. I felt a sense of calmness when I see the stillness of these waters. This picturesque location should be on your bucket list, it is exquisitely bizarre and well deserved a visit.




Friday, April 10, 2015

Pop Up Scroll

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Scrolls have been taking over Instagram lately and it made me crave for it everytime I scroll down my Instagram feed. After a brunch session around Fitzroy area, I knew I had to get my hands on these babies. There were plenty of scrolls to choose from at Pop Up Scroll. We had one here and brought home two of them.



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Snickers Cruffin, 5AUD

Cruffins (croissant + muffin) are possibly one of the best recent food inventions after cronuts. Thing is, I am not particularly sure which of the two were invented first but the trend goes, cronuts then cruffins. Lets face it, we are incontrovertibly croissant-crazed citizens! I had this cruffin with not just top heavy with melted Snickers, but it was also filled with plenty of snickers in the cruffin centre. The bread portion was exactly like that of a croissant, just in a muffin form.


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Banana & Peanut Butter Scroll, 4.50AUD

This scroll uses a good classic pair of banana and sweetened peanut butter. With peanut bits for an added crunch.


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Cream Cheese Scroll, 4.50AUD

Cream cheese never go wrong and the amount of it in proportion to the scroll itself was just right. These scrolls go so well coffee. Have it for breakfast with coffee or in the evening with tea, either way its good to go.







Pop Up Scroll
86 Smith Street, Collingwood
Melbourne, Victoria 3066
Australia

Tel: +(61) 433 849 281

Mon to Fri: 8am-4pm
Sat: 9am-4pm
Sun: 10am-3pm





Pop Up Scroll on Urbanspoon



Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Longrain Melbourne

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Freshly Shucked Oyster, Red Chilli, Lime Juice, Crisp Eschalots

My friend Audy just turned a year older and we celebrated at Longrain Melbourne for a night to remember. He booked a banquet meal for all 16 of us and we were separated on two tables. Longrain Melbourne is a direct competitor to Chin Chin, as both concentrates on serving Thai fusion cuisine. Comparably, even though they are classified under the same subcategory, both have completely different items on the menu. Chefs who are creative and like to twist and turn recipes are admirable and these two restaurants did just that. Its not easy to find good Thai fusion restaurants in Melbourne, but rest assured that Longrain Melbourne is pretty well known and acclaimed.

The very first appetizer was sea oysters served with red chilli as a substitute for tabasco. I am not a fan of oysters hence I did not try one, but the others said it was fresh, just albeit sandy in one or two.


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Caramelised Pork, Prawn, Peanuts, Sour Pineapple

As a replacement to oyster, I ate the Caramelised Pork, Prawn, Peanuts and Sour Pineapple canape instead. I could barely taste the pork or prawn, but the peanut was sweetened, almost like giant chunky peanut butter. The combination of sweet and salty peanuts and the sour pineapple were pretty remarkable. Wished there were plenty more instead of two.


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Betel Leaf, Smoked River Trout, Peanut, Green Papaya, Mint

Each main dish caters to about four people and so we have four plates of each of the main dishes served to the 16 of us. This was supposed to be eaten in one mouthful. The trout was subtle and the shaved green papaya was overwhelmingly fresh as mint was added into it.


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Filled Eggnet, Pork, Prawns, Peanuts, Caramelised Coconut

The cris-cross eggnet was one I have never seen done before. Either skillful finesse or very singularly uncommon machine was used to create the net, I am still amused. Within was a scrumptious salad with tons of fresh bean sprouts other than what was aforementioned in its title. We were entertained with pomelo bits buried within, something we never expect out of a salad. All that with some sweet and sour sauce, which really hits the spot.


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Salt & Pepper Silken Tofu, Fried Eschalots, Sweet Soy

This felt as though Japanese silken agedashi tofu was handed to us. When it says silken, they meant it literally. Unpredictable, but it was absolutely my favourite dish of the night. My my, who would have expected tofu to be the starring dish. Just remember to drench the tofu in sweet soy sauce because that made all the difference.


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Penang Curry, Cape Grim Beef, Peanuts, Thai Basil

Penang Curry was the runner up after the tofu. The beef reminded me of Indonesian rendang and even the taste was similar to it. It was an elevated version with the added herbs, giving it a tangy flavour altogether.


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Jungle Curry, Blue Eye, Wild Ginger, Holy Basil

When served we could all already smell its fragrance. Jungle curry is usually thickened with coconut milk but this one was not. The only flaw is that they could serve us with more blue eye grenadier.


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Vegetarian Curry

One of us was allergic to seafood, so we were served with a customised Vegetarian Curry with mashed pumpkin and various mixed vegetables. The pumpkin was surprisingly a good pairing to the curry, and so are the vegetables. The curry sauce was very different to the Penang Curry (above). This one was more smooth and not as chunky. I vote Penang Curry, but this one is not far from par.


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Steamed Chinese Broccoli, Oyster Sauce

For a side of vegetables, it looks like a small bowl but the amount of broccoli leaves and stems were condensed, and trust me when I say that there were more than plenty to share. It taste very similar to the ones at any typical Chinese restaurants.


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Dessert Plate

We mentioned to the waitress that it was Audy's birthday and we received a complimentary Dessert Plate made out of traditional Asian desserts. We are not huge fans of the sticky rice with cotton candy floss shavings. Both gelato, coconut and dark chocolate, were flavour dense and we all loved it. The sago cup tasted a lot like es-campur, and it got us reminiscing of some great Indonesian es-campur experiences. The last one had caramel crisp crepe with an almost chewy consistency, made out of mostly caramelised palm sugar, sweetness overload. There is a similar Indonesian dessert like this one, which looks completely different but taste exactly the same, called bubur sum sum.


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Happy Birthday once again Audy! Have a special one this year. Here's to hoping all of your birthday wishes come true. You deserve all the happiness in the world and thanks for being such a wonderful friend.


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I love the graffiti of the hidden tiger at the background, jungle appropriate with its name.


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Located at the heart of Little Bourke Street, it looks like an underground eatery. This place is always fully packed and they serve really good food, but I am still leaning towards Chin Chin because their menu options are more suited to my palate.





Longrain Melbourne
40-44 Little Bourke Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9671 3151





Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon



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