Thursday, December 18, 2014

Young & Preppy

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Today I am feeling preppy and happy. Not that I miss school at all, who would? I love the skirt I am wearing. It resembles the look of an aquatic paint, of flowers over marbled waters. I was unfortunate on this windy day that the skirt would flash me off giving me sudden panic attacks from time to time. But I remain thankful for the in-sewn safety shorts that comes with it. My knit here is my saver from unprepared chilly days. Its still cold sometimes these days, so remember to always play safe. This is a trusty old knit that I pair everything with, even when I am home in pajamas.

On a side note, Christmas is coming up. It would be my first time having Christmas in Melbourne this year. I have been having Michael Bublé play on repeat the past few days and its getting me all excited already. I would be spending more time out in the city just to soak in the vibe. Its a mindless but happiness guaranteed kind of activity to do this season. I hope you all are as thrilled as me planning out your Christmas day. Have a great week ahead!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lindt Cafe

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Hot Chocolate

Christmas is near so Jan dragged me to Lindt Cafe after a day of shopping because everyone is obliged to eat chocolates when the festive mood is up right? We got a do-it-yourself chocolate cup. Pour the melted chocolate syrup first before adding warm milk which had plenty of foam on top. This way we get to customise our own drink, sweeter or not so sweet? For me, the sweeter the better!


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Lindt Dessert Platter

Jan and I shared the dessert platter which consist of a brownie, a pot of chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream, three Lindor balls, Lindt Chocolate Cake, Chantilly Cream, one vanilla and one chocolate delice macarons.


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Lindor Balls

There are tons of Lindor Ball flavours to pick from at the store and we got one flavour each to bring home. Having eaten Lindor Balls many times, my favourite is the white chocolate (light green in colour with flower patterns). There was another that I really liked which was not available, get the black if you love extra dark chocolate. Warming up snuggling in an air conditioned room having Lindor balls as I type this.

P.s. Here's a shoutout to the Sydney Siege incident at Lindt Cafe which happened just yesterday. I could totally feel the change in atmosphere surrounding the city even in Melbourne. My heart and prayers go out to those whose family members have been affected. Lets pray for peace and strength in faith in this tragic period. And let us all show kindness and compassion, and break the walls of backlash against the Muslims especially on public transports. There is no need to feel afraid or ashamed to be wearing their religious attires. Every #illridewithyou hashtag counts in increasing awareness, voicing out that they still have our backs. Such positivity from the wider community can create support for the minorities and hopefully eliminate racism attacks.





Lindt Cafe
271 Collins Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3000
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9667 0900





Lindt Chocolate Café on Urbanspoon



Monday, December 15, 2014

Berth Restaurant & Events

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Jan and I wanted a whole new eating experience to celebrate our 100 monthsary this week. We picked a place by the docks that has the most amazing view. The restaurant is a stand alone glass house and you would be able to see yachts and sailboats park, sail and return as you eat.


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This was taken from where we were seating


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And this is the view right in front of the restaurant facing Etihad Stadium


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Dirty Granny Apple Cider, 7AUD

Back inside, Jan started out with a glass of cider that he found too bitter.


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Seafood Antipasto, 34AUD

Having been in Melbourne for quite some time, I haven't had the chance to try or find a restaurant that serves seafood platter. Fisherman's basket from all over town doesn't count. I haven't even been to any markets or private grocers to try their fresh fish produce, I know, I know.. there is still a lot that I have not tried.

The Seafood Antipasto comes with a chef selection of cold and hot seafood tapas with bunch of rockets and three various dips. The dips were amazing whatever the secret recipe was. There were two fish flakes and two potato cakes in the fry basket, pan fried calamari beside it and the most wonderful item on the platter was the scallops (top left). Fresh and deep fried prawns underneath. No stinky affair, it was very fresh. Folded smoked salmon, anchovies and capers in one bowl and two oysters on the right. Both Jan and I were very satisfied with the presentation and the taste of each of these cholesterol hefty dishes.


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Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder, 28AUD

After that starting platter, both Jan and I had this Lamb Shoulder main dish that comes with cauliflower puree underneath, 
flat bread, and salad on the side. The salad was a mixture of pomegranate, coriander, onions, lentils and finely cut almonds. The citrus of lemon made everything taste fresher and more pleasing than it already was. Believe me, we could have finished and ordered an extra plate of flat bread on the side if eating doesn't involve calorie counting.


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Jan completely satisfied after all that eating. But we couldn't leave without a taste of Berth Restaurant's dessert. After all we are celebrating a special event...


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Sticky Date Pudding, 10AUD

A warm Sticky Date Pudding served with a lake of warm butterscotch sauce. Cold vanilla bean ice cream on top and notice how the ice cream strategically falls along the pathed valley. Absolutely delicious.


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And a picture together to commemorate the continuous growth of our relationship. Tonight we look back and celebrate the many years of love and laughter. New milestone achieved and may we always keep the sparks alive.


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The restaurant is very spacious with a second floor upstairs. Upstairs is mostly booked for private functions such as weddings, christenings or other corporate events.


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Alfresco dining is also available but with the confusion of Melbourne summer weather, it was too cold and windy for anyone to stay out.


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Berth Restaurant opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I think the best time to come is right before sunset. Watching the sky from bright to orange, red and then dark, was one of the highlights of our night.





Berth Restaurant & Events
45 New Quay Promenade, Docklands
Melbourne, Victoria 3008
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9670 0199





Berth Restaurant & Events on Urbanspoon



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chuckle Park & Bar

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My girlfriend and I had eyed on Chuckle Park & Bar ever since we chanced upon it last year while strolling through aisle to aisles along Flinders. It was either raining, too cold or too crowded the past few times we intended to come. This time, we were lucky. It was a refreshing change, my first experience in a laneway bar. Those jars hanging from across both sides of the walls would light up at night and a romantic ambience would be easily achieved without having to try to hard. It was such a pity we did not come by during the late nights, but it was 7pm and it was dinner time. Since its the summer time, waiting till dark would mean that we could only eat after half past eight. But beware, Nothing gets in the way of hungry (secretly angsty) girls.



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Spanish Lentil Salad, 9AUD


The lentils were coated with oil generously, maybe a bit too much. Compared to fresh lentils, this very version was paprika smoked. Never in a million years would I have thought that lentils would pair so well with cheese, but it did. It was really nice the first few bites but I have to admit, this gets a little icky after a while.



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Mother Mary stands above the counter, of the... bar. Amen?



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Pulled Pork Roll, 11AUD


The pulled pork was slow cooked with a little hint of spice in there. The apple cabbage slaw was quite bitter. I have never liked purple cabbages and this one had too much of it. Take most of it out and I enjoyed the burger to my very last bite and we wished we could have more.



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Bar food is very reasonably priced here. When the weather is perfect, Chuckle Park & Bar would be a great hangout place, whether to share snacks, or just to hang and have a drink, maybe a couple.






Chuckle Park & Bar
322 Little Collins Street, CBD
Melbourne, Victoria 3141
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9650 4494

Mon to Sun: 12pm-1am





Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Dukes Coffee Roasters - Journeyman

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Mocha, 4.50AUD + Flat White, 4AUD + Hot Chocolate, 4.50AUD

Out and about with school mates down the other end of Chapel Street for a delicious brunch at Dukes Coffee Roasters, Journeyman. I ordered a mandatory cup of coffee since I am at a coffee roasting house. Dukes's blend was great, nutty and fabulous. Dukes's single origin coffee are roasted for espresso and filter purposes only. Come to think of it, I have always been too spiritless to ever try filtered coffees but I should soon.


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Toasted Waffles, 15AUD

My Toasted Waffles were amazing, they were drowned in sugar blueberry heaven. There was also plenty of cold cream to elevate the flavour and tone down the excess sweetness. Keeps me entirely satisfied.


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Avocado Hummus Toast, 18AUD

This savoury yet healthy dish is full of necessary protein from the bacon and eggs, fibre from the spinach, and good fats from the avocadoes. Its filling enough with one huge toast instead of two. The best part of it was the honey candied bacon. Either you eat bacon or you are wrong.


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Lamb Chorizo Meatballs, 18AUD

Pretty fancy plating, there is also de cabra sheep's cheese under all of that radicchio salad. I loved the Italian spiced tomato sugo, it goes really well with the lamb meatballs.


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Crispy Pork Croquette, 17AUD

We all also fell in love with the Crispy Pork Croquette and it tasted more fresh than savoury with grated apples on top of the hollandaise. Plenty of spinach and under the croquette and poached egg as well, absolutely yummo.


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My two new brunch buddies alongside Jan and Audy, meet Fred and Bel.


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There are tons of different blends available for making coffee at home. There are decaf options available as well.


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It was a simple brunch and service was quick and top notch. The whole space is in an elongated rectangle and I felt like doing the impossible and shift it to a square. I could only wish there was more space on private seats so we don't have to be distracted by walking waiters here and there all two hours long. Other than that, everything else was brilliant.





Dukes Coffee Roasters - Journeyman
169 Chapel Street, Windsor
Melbourne, Victoria 3181
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 521 4884

Mon to Fri: 6.30am-4pm
Sat to Sun: 7am-4.30pm





Journeyman on Urbanspoon



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Coombe - The Melba Estate

EveLovelle was invited to dine as guest at Coombe - The Melba Estate

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Coombe was bought over by Dame Nellie Melba, one of if not, the most coveted Australian operatic soprano in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Melba Estate features her house she built, a spacious garden, an art gallery, a cellar door and a spacious restaurant. The estate can house opera performances and private events such as wedding ceremonies or community gatherings.

On behalf of Two Hands Agency, Jan and I had the privilege to have morning tea and attend a tour around the estate. The cottage manager, Daniel Johnson, explained to us Dame Nellie Melba's life story, and how Yarra Valley was a sentimental area that lead to her purchasing a plot of land and designed her own house. For the love of fashion, she has her personal collections on display, from vintage Hermez and Cartier, and paintings she bought from renowned artists. You could already imagine she was one classy lady. After her passing, her estate is finally open to the public for display and to luxuriate in. What's over all that surrounding hedge, all secrets are unraveled and her legacy is to be continued.


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The first glance from the entrance features a restaurant on the right, a minimalistic and modern cellar door towards the left, and an art gallery right up front.


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The cellar door


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Art gallery


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The restaurant display is down to earth and has a modern cottage styled interior, where guests get to see views of high rise elm trees out the windows. Classy and intimate. There is plenty of space from tables to tables and the high ceiling made it all the more commodious. I could free my shoulders out and enjoy mirthful conversations comfortably.


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Fresh flowers taken from the The Melba Garden


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Coombe Restaurant does morning or evening high tea, brunch and dinner options. For brunch, they have a selection of sweet and savouries from Fromage Blanc Pancakes to grungy Yarra Valley Beef Burger or something lighter such as Pork, Crab and Chilli Folded Omelette. Lunch or dinner is more fancy and you could fine dine and have Duck Leg, Slow Cooked Goat, Seafood Risotto, Atlantic Salmon, or even a Whole Grilled Garfish.

If you want something to share, they do Charcuterie Plate that comes with sugar cured kangaroo and smoked duck meat in it, mini Happy Valley Pork Sliders, Prawn And Scallop Mosaic, and many more. Don't forget to end your meal with desserts. They serve decadent Dark Chocolate Fondant, opt for a signature with Peach Melba Magnum that would be perfect for the summertime, or Limoncello Tart for a tangy finish.


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Take a breath of fresh air outside before or after you dine. I could smell the earth from here, the fresh air is especially therapeutic.


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Before indulging on morning tea, Daniel gave us a tour on the estate's garden, one that Nellie Melba was proud to own.


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Thankfully its only the beginning of summer and we still get to enjoy fresh blooms of different colours.


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This swimming pool was built in 1913. You could see how the tall hedges surrounding the estate covering up the private pool from the public. The hedge was initially bought over with the idea of preventing strong winds that would wipe out Nellie Melba's fresh grown foods and flowers. Across the pool there was farm grown fresh citruses and figs. It was nice to pretend that life was carefree for a moment.


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A cool side of the hedge that fell over, ha ha, if the world could laugh along..


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Nellie Melba's house


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Staircase to the rooftop



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View from the rooftop. They intend to grow more flowers so that it would surround the whole plot. I mean, imagine walking down the aisle when sunnier skies are shining against a bed full of flowers.


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And as mythical as it looks, this is the largest and most beautiful oak tree in the estate.


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Back to the restaurant and now the eating begins..


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Head chef describing to us what's on the menu


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Top Tier: Fresh Baked Scones

Middle Tier: Peached Melba Jam Clotted Cream + Lemon Meringue Tartlet + Strawberry tartlet + Dark Chocolate Truffle + White Chocolate Truffle + Light Shortbread With Icing

Bottom Tier: Pork And Apple Sausage Rolls + Asparagus Dill Cream Cheese Pinwheel + Smoked Salmon Ribbon Sandwiches + Leek And Persian Feta Quiche + Coombe Farm Pate, Melba toast

Both Jan and I loved the whole eating experience, the ambiance, the food, the music and how kind and chatty everyone was. The scones were one of the best I have ever had, and it was the head chef's recipe that was passed down by his grandmother. What made it even more spectacular was the restaurant's signature Peach Melba Jam. I know once I finished the jar I received, I would be back to get another. Everything from the second tier was tasty as well, particularly the Lemon Meringue Tartlet, which was tangy, creamy and light. The chocolate truffles were to die for, and yes oh lord he had bestowed my tongue. Jan and my favourite part from the bottom tier was the Pork And Apple Sausage Rolls. We did not know what to expect, but it turned out to be extremely scrumptious, meaty, moist and we wished we could have more of it. It all sounds like I am merely pulling out descriptive words to entice you readers, but I assure you that we stepped both feet into food heaven.


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Dame Nellie Melba Blanc De Blanc 2011

The signature sparkling wine above is made at Coombe Farm Wines. It was a fruity infusion with strong effervescence exploding on my tongue, very refreshing indeed.


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Peony Tea

Peony Tea was Dame Nellie Melba's favourite tea, and it tasted a lot like chamomile tea.


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Soy Cappuccino

I couldn't decide if I love desserts with coffee or tea better.


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The Peach Melba Jam on the biscuit tasted exactly like one of my favourite biscuits of all time from Marks & Spencer, the Raspberry Viennese. Ah, memories..! I am definitely coming back here for more jam.


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And a mandatory touristy shot with the boyfriend. Thank you Two Hands Agency for inviting us and the people behind Coombe - The Melba Estate, for being such great hosts.


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The Melba Estate is a great sightseeing location to visit. Tackle lunch or dinner at the same time by dining in at Coombe. If you want a weekend off the city, or when friends of yours from out of town come by Melbourne, I suggest to make a tour to Yarra Valley and visit The Melba Estate. It will be worth it.





Coombe - The Melba Estate
673-675 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream
Melbourne, Victoria 3770
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9739 0173


Mon to Sun: 9am-5pm





Coombe - the Melba Estate on Urbanspoon



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