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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Sabai Thai

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Sabai Thai

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A few nights ago we got the opportunity to sample Sabai Thai, a new kid on the block along Church Street at the Richmond suburb. I love restaurants with an edge and Sabai Thai is uniquely so, as it offers Thai fusion by having lots of different Asian flavours to its dishes. Every dish is truly fresh and flavourful, with no MSG added, just natural flavours.


Manpreet, the owner of Sabai Thai was very welcoming as he toured us around the premises. He and his wife have been in the hospitality business for 25 years, and it took them a good amount of time to perfect its first venture, Sabai. They consider the business as a Classically Inspired Creative Thai Restaurant. What we found intriguing was their commitment to purchase fresh produce from South Melbourne Market daily to ensure high quality of food to the customers. South Melbourne Market has reputation for delivering exceptional quality of vegetables. Even if the produce from South Melbourne Market cost more to purchase as compared to its neighbouring markets along Victoria/Church Street, Manpreet believes quality ingredients will translate well onto the plate. By not using flavour enhancers, we do not have to endure long lasting feeling of thirst, only savouring freshness of each individual dishes.


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There are two floors to the restaurant and we sat on the first. The first floor has seats on one side with a bar against the other. The place radiates refined yet casual vibe. The painting is an integral piece of the restaurant and customers coming in would have an idea of what Sabai Thai is trying to portray.


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Thai Milk Tea, 4AUD


I love the sweet, yet not overpoweringly sweet milk tea.


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Soft Shell Crab Sliders, 12AUD


We kicked off with Crab Sliders for a start. The taste of savouriness from the crab, and acidic notes from the apple slaw makes the dish a lovely entree to start our palates. Soft Shell Crabs have the tendency to be soggy but this one was absolutely crispy and delightful.



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Pork Hot Dogs, 12AUD


The Pork Hot Dogs has a lovely punch of spice and aromatic flavour. The pickled green papaya that comes with adds freshness to the savoury dawg. Similar to the Soft Shell Crab Sliders above, Sabai managed to have a perfect balance between savoury, acidity, sweetness and freshness.



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Pork Baby Back Ribs, 14AUD


We mouth-watered when the Pork Baby Back Ribs arrived to the table.  The meat was tender and it was easy to peel out off the bone. The beautifully golden red curry glaze was cooked to perfection.



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Fresh Coconut, 6AUD


The coconut was one of the freshest we've tried in the city. The skin was a tad bit hard to scoop off but the coconut water was superbly reinvigorating to the throat.


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Pork Belly, 22AUD


The Pork Belly was twice cooked and we loved the combination of green beans, beans and broccolini against that chilli jam sauce. The pork belly has enough meat and fat, also juicy and packed with flavour. Even if you order just this dish with rice alone for a single person it would be satisfying enough for a good lunch or dinner meal.



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Duck And Lychee Salad, 16AUD


The salad was crunchy, meaty and fresh all at once. There was a mixture of roasted duck, sesame, cucumber, pickled radish, onions, mint on ginger soy dressing.



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Lamb Shank Massaman, 20AUD


The Lamb Shank Massaman is not so much a Thai dish but it sure had several Thai spices infused in it. This was to us the dish of the night and we loved the tenderness of the meat coming from the leg bone beneath the knee. The shank was slow braised and cooked with curry. A side of roti would be served when you order this dish. Having the roti dipped into the curry was pure excellence. My beau and I highly recommend this dish.



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Barramundi, 24AUD


The steamed Barramundi was served on a clear ginger and soy sauce. The barramundi fish was imported from Queensland as told by Manpreet. As a whole, the flavour of this dish was more understated in bold flavours and perfect for those who is looking for subtlety.



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This area was from the second floor of the restaurant. We adored the light fixtures used for the dining space.


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Sago Pudding, 12AUD


We finished off our meals with two desserts. Manpreet recommended the Sago Pudding and we went with it. The sago pudding had a subtle sweet taste. The dehydrated mango that comes along with was a nice surprise, giving a sourish flavour to the dish. The Sago Pudding was also served with berry coulis and freeze dried berries which taste similar to berry jams. Overall this dish plays with a sweet and sour combination and we were pleased with it.



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Coconut Ice Cream, 6AUD


Three lovely scoops of Coconut Ice Cream With shaved coconuts was a good way to end to our meal. The toffee crumble served was homemade and it gave the ice cream an extra punch of sweetness. This dish was an absolute palate cleanser which left us feeling refreshed after eating too much.



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Sabai Thai offers a variety of Asian flavours despite its leading label of the expected 'Thai flavours only'. Think of it as them serving Thai food with a twist. Flavours are definitely contemporary but traditional at the same time. We love the comforting ambiance and would gladly be back if time permits given the limited time I have left in Melbourne.






Sabai Thai
460 Church Street, Richmond
Melbourne, Victoria 3067
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 8528 6884

Mon to Sun: 11.30am-9.30pm





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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Tasting Menu Using Sunpork Fresh Foods

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Eureka 89 Courtesy of Sunpork Fresh Foods & KDPR Agency

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Pork was on parade in Melbourne this week as Sunpork Fresh Foods made its way to Eureka 89 to celebrate its expanding pre-prepared pork range. The idea of such expansion is for busy people to still be able to crop up delightful pork dishes without having to prep from start. Sunpork is Australia's biggest pork producer and they supply to many retailers including Woolworths. Senior PR Consultant Andrea mentioned that Sunpork's main farms are located in Queensland, and its processing is done within the same regions so the pork's freshness and quality is ensured because of lower lead times within its supply chain system. The privately owned company was developed by three Queenslander farmers and even though Sunpork has only been around for five years, they are pioneering in pre-prepared products as a driving competitive advantage.


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We were pleased to be enjoying a fine dining experience at Eureka 89 events and dining room and we were impressed with the beautiful setting KDPR has arranged for all the guests. I was here last year for my birthday dinner (read here), but was excited to be revisiting Eureka 89, this time at the functions and dining arena.


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The view was breathtaking from every angle as the whole dining space was surrounded by glass windows.


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Shredded Chicken Arancini, Lemon Aioli


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Mini Pork Schnitzel, Tomato Chutney


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Shredded Beef Empanada, Aji Dipping Sauce


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We were pleased with the beautiful table setting Eureka 89 and Sunpork has organized for us. We sampled a 6 course meal with pork in every course. Eureka 89's chef, Renee Martillano, was given an array of pre-prepared pork goods and she found it easy to prepare all the 6 course meal to the guests.



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Plate 1 - Pork Belly Rasher In Korean BBQ Sauce, Radish Slaw, Confit Apple, Apple Cream


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Plate 2 - Shredded Pork Croquette, Seared Scallop, Fennel Puree


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Plate 3 - Peri Peri Pork Schnitzel, Labneh, Braised Cos


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Plate 4 - Slow Cooked Pork Ribs In BBQ Sauce, Potato Rosti, Mushroom Crisps


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Plate 5 - Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Celeriac Puree, Grilled Fennel


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Plate 6 - Apple, Rhubarb, Fennel And Pork Skin Crumble


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Sunpork has been growing its pre prepared products and it is not limited to just pork products alone. These are some of the current products that they have been supplying and are available at Woolies:

- Slow Cooked & Shredded Roast Chicken
- Slow Cooked & Shredded BBQ Beef
- Slow Cooked & Shredded BBQ Pork
- Slow Cooked Pork Belly
- Pork Belly Rashers In Korean BBQ Sauce
- Sweet And Spicy BBQ Pork Ribs
- Seriously Tender Pork Leg Roast
- Smoked Pork Chops

Please visit Sunpork's website to view more ranges and what's available.


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We had tons of fun and seriously porked out after that serious pork session from the 6 courses of pork meals. We even had several pork canapes beforehand. Jan and I personally have been buying Sunpork products from Woolies ever since we moved to Australia and we love the quality of meat, even after defrosting them from the freezer sometimes.


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A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the event, it was smashing!

Check out #porkonparade and #sunpork on Instagram to see photos from other fellas who attended the event.










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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Blue Chillies

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Blue Chillies

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King Prawns

We really enjoyed the night at Blue Chillies and we had a scrumptious meal over glasses of juice and wine. Blue Chillies just turned 16 recently and tonight I was lucky enough to celebrate their special occasion along with other fellow bloggers. Being in such a competitive industry, it is for a known fact not an easy venture to be able to sustain a restaurant for such a long period of time and Blue Chillies have definitely defied all odds and made it work. They have great reputation for serving modern Malaysian food, taking traditional Malaysian flavours and elevating them in various ways. At Blue Chillies you can expect to see hawker styled dishes from the streets of Kuala Lumpur or Penang refined in both flavour and presentation.

The King Prawns above was a show stopper and a topic for conversation because of its unusual appearance and staging. The prawns look exceptional because it was deep fried in fine strands of glass noodles instead of the usual batter. It was laid in a bed of tomato puree with pineapple stacks in the middle which also helped to hold its stance.


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Yee Sang Salad

Yee Sang (Yu Sheng 鱼生 ) is usually served during Chinese New Year and the act of everyone on the table lifting and mixing the ingredients in dish would usually be referred to as doing a lou-hei or prosperity toss. The Yee Sand Salad at Blue Chillies did not have as much ingredients incorporated like the original styled Yee Sang. The original Yu Sheng usually has 25 or more ingredients included in the dish with each ingredient representing a particular good luck symbol. Typically these symbols are associated to wealth, success and good health. Serving us a Yee Sang Salad was an appropriate move as we are celebrating Blue Chillies's Birthday after all.


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Whitebait And Sweet Potato Fritters + Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab

We were pleased with the accumulation of mixed whitebaits and sweet potato, as we got the sweet and salty elements in every crunchy bite. We loved the fact that the oil was not retaining within, which also means that the dish was not too oily. We dipped the fritters on a chilli lime dipping sauce that has a little bit of chilli heat. The Black Pepper Soft Shell Crab on the other hand was paired with ground black peppercorn sauce that gave the crab an interesting flavour. We have never tried crabs and peppercorn together, but it sure sounded great and tasted amazing.


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Pork Ribs

The Pork Ribs had a little too much of not just bones but also soft bones on it, which made it a little hard to eat. However, the marinade of the Pork Ribs was sweet and beautifully caramelised.


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Rockling Fish

The Rockling Fish fillets was my favourite dish of the night. The fish was filleted perfectly and no bones were sighted. I love that little bit of heat with a pack of savoury flavour coming from the chilli, curry leaves and other spices. The buttered egg floss surrounding the fillets was a definite homerun and it tasted like salted egg fillets of fishes in general.


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Duck Rendang

Rendang is one of Malaysia's traditional dishes and Blue Chillies nailed the execution of cooking. The duck had to be slow cooked in roasted coconut and other Malaysian seasonings to soak in all that spices and flavours. The end result was a tender, soft meat which every much everyone was a fan of.


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Thrice Cooked Duck

Not once, not twice, but Thrice Cooked Duck was cooked in a blend of wild ginger flower, a little bit of lemongrass, with some heat from the chillies and a hint of acidity coming from the juice of lime. The meat was absolutely moist and juicy still, while its skin was super crispy and jam packed with its natural flavour.


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Black Sticky Rice Pudding

We ended off the night with a cup of Black Sticky Rice Pudding. In Malaysia you call this dessert Pulut Hitam, which also means black sticky rice drenched in coconut milk. Chef Ricky adds a little 
oomph to the dish and made sure to drizzle some flakes to give subtle nuances of that roasted flavour.


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It was so good to see so many familiar faces as usual, and we feel so at home dining at Blue Chillies. We do believe that Blue Chillies would be able to accommodate guests swiftly and professionally if you decide to have functions at this place that could accommodate up to 40 persons at one time.

Once again Happy Sweet 16 Blue Chillies and thanks for having us on your big day!






Blue Chillies
182 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Melbourne, Victoria 3065
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9417 0071

Mon to Thu: 12pm-2.30pm
                        6pm-10.30pm
Fri to Sat: 12pm-2.30pm
               6pm-11pm
Sun: 12pm-2.30pm
          6pm-10.30pm





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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Hobba

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Through the eye of the hungry wolves, we approached Hobba, a bustling cafe in Prahran. Hobba never fails to be filled up every weekend despite the spacious area that it has. It took us approximately 15-20 minutes to wait for a table on a fine Saturday morning. Gerrick Numan named Hobba as homage to his father. We thought that Hobba would just be another cafe to tick off our list, but everyone of us was extremely impressed with each and every dish that we ordered.


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Flat White, 3.50AUD

Coffee to start of the day. The coffee consistency was smooth and silky with bubbles hardly formed. Latte art wise it could be improved, we request a bigger heart.


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Mr Wolf's Wild Mushrooms, 18.50AUD

Not just your ordinary mushrooms, it was cooked together with sauteed onions and bacon lardons. The bacon fat managed to enhance the flavour giving the wild mushrooms that much needed umami taste even though mushrooms already have that umami flavour in its natural form. The fat used also thickened the texture of the jus. We loved the sprinkles of fresh Persian fetta as it freshens the dish. Another surprise was delivered by the poached egg that was slow cooked. Slow cooked method makes sure that the egg cooks in longer and in lower temperatures. This way, you end up with the yolk that barely thickens, and the white that is not as firm as if you would poach it normally. Its obvious to figure out the difference between a slow poached and a normal poached egg. The former is more translucent and wobbly, while the latter has a tight white membrane that holds the egg together and it would look completely opaque. With all these in mind, we were impressed with this humble, traditional dish elevated highly.


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Wolfpack Bite, 18.50AUD

This burger consists of 140 grams of porterhouse steak, doneness cooked to your liking. Not only you get beer battered chips as a side but also onion rings stacked on top of the steak. To tie the elements together, spicy horseradish mayo was given on a separate saucer. That's not the only sauces and seasoning you get, there's tomato relish and some aged cheddar underneath those rockets. We love the fact that the chips and onion rings weren't fried till it was all soggy or dry. This was simply a burger done perfect.


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Hobba Benedict

My favourite eggs benny has to sit on top of English muffins, just like this one right here. Although the menu listed Hobba Benedict, the description wrote fried eggs instead of poached. Turns out it was fried but the yolk centre was still runny. There's options to pick either ham hock or smoked salmon. The haloumi cheese crumb adds really great flavour to the egg and we loved the subtle saltiness that came from it. Sort of unseen but below the ham hock was cooked wilted spinach. The whole combination of each ingredient really suit our preference of a great brunch meal.


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Estro Cude Con Carne, 21.50AUD

Hobba is well known for its Con Carne and it even stole the limelight in pages of several local newspapers. Con Carne is a traditional Spanish chili stew. This particular one was cooked with confit brisket alongside tomatoes, beans, chili peppers and various spices to emp up the flavour. We fell crazy in love with the cheese croquette, with cheese fillings that oozes out like molten lava. That's not all the lava that you would get, there was more molten lava that comes out from the yolk of the hidden soft poached egg too. Always a guilty pleasure poking that gem.


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Hobba is yet another of those rustic cafe that exemplifies Melbourne's grunginess under one roof. You have not experience Melbourne if you have never entered a cafe like such. Overall we were charmed by Hobba, with its welcoming ambiance, cool wolf logo, and prompt service. Definitely Hobbalicious.






Hobba
428 Malvern Road, Prahran
Melbourne, Victoria 3181
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9510 8336

Mon to Sun: 7am-4pm






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