Monday, September 22, 2014

Ilya Frozen Yogurt - (Frochella Invitation)

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Hey guys! So recently I was invited to Frochella, an event hosted by Ilya Frozen Yogurt. There were so many food bloggers around and I was an admirer of so many of them. Natasha, owner of Ilya Frozen Yogurt, assisted us when Jan and I came. If you think that Ilya stands for, I love Yogurt Always.. you are wrong. She told us that Ilya was a Russian Scientist that pioneered the search of probiotics and incorporate them into yogurt products. The result was that it helps to give you good bacteria and improve your digestion and overall a healthier immune system.


Natasha also mentioned that Ilya uses one of the lowest levels of sugar in the frozen yogurt market with lesser than a mere single percent. Ilya's yogurt is made onsite using unprocessed sugars, and downing on Stevia instead. They are also heavy supporters of Australia's local farms, using only the freshest organic milk for their yogurt. The idea is for the frozen yogurt to stay delicious and healthy without compromising on taste.



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We were all delighted to see how adorably decorated the place was. Froyo buffet galore!




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Hmm, test tubes?




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Thank you for the mini cheesecakes, these were amazing.



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The owners having their introduction session with us. It was pleasing to hear two young entrepreneurs explain on their business and having great passion towards a project.




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We tried 15 different frozen yogurts that night, it was madness. Here's the first eight featuring their in house specialties and current flavours. My favourites were the 'Get Lucky', which was tart infused with cookie dough, 'Empire State Of Mind', a freeze-dried coffee flavoured froyo that everyone wasn't a fan of but I was. It wasn't the creamy tiramisu textured yogurt, imagine sugarless Nescafe made into froyo. Yep. Everyone else loved the 'Katy Berry', a real mixture of mixed berries. My ultimate favourite from this menu list was the 'Sexy And I Know It', Dark but sweet vegan chocolate, I mean.. what's better than a healthy lustrous thick chocolate? Yum!



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We had a free flow of toppings to try out, you have no idea how many Kit Kat bars and Oreo biscuits I had that night. Guilty as charged.




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These weren't the only toppings, but this was what was on our table for picture sake.




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The next list of menu came and I had three favourites and two that I disliked very much. My most favourite frozen yogurt of the night was the 'Drop It Like Its Choc And Orange'. It had the richest dark and fruity flavour which I can't get my mind off. I'm definitely coming back to Ilya for this one. The second favourite was the 'Lana Del Grey' which was essentially mixing earl grey tea with cranberries. The taste was so unique and refreshing. My next favourite was the 'Purple Rain' infusing acai berries into the frozen yogurt, I still cannot understand anyone who doesn't love acai, they are the absolute bomb!


The one that I really disliked was the 'Where The Wild Rosemary Grows'. It is a rosemary cheesecake flavour which was albeit doughy and I thought it was too cheesy for a froyo. The most hated froyo of the night was the 'Like A Virgin Mary', pun seriously not intended. I am biased here because I disliked Bloody Mary to begin with. This had a heavy tomato flavour with tabasco spice and it tasted horrible to the mouth. Nay!



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With fellow food bloggers and nutritionist, Minty from WanderingMint and Shazrina from GrazingPanda, and our plus ones'.



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This makes me feel like I'm in an adorable kids play kitchen. Yes, we all felt young all over again.




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Thank you Ilya Frozen Yogurt for the take home froyos, I'm coming back for more once I am finished with these tubs. Since Ilya's froyos are considerably very healthy, I have all the more reason to come back and regain my youth (literally) from all that probiotics right? 



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Get some culture ya'll! I wished Ilya had more branches so it'd be convenient for everyone to try it. Nonetheless, it is worth the try if you pop by Elsternwick. The days are warming up and I am so excited to re-enjoy the frozen yogurt goodness at Ilya, especially the Choc-Orange flavour.





Ilya Frozen Yogurt
277 Glen Huntly Road, Elsternwick
Melbourne, Victoria 3185
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9077 1080





Ilya Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon



Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Stables Of Como

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Just had the most beautiful birthday brunch at The Stables Of Como with the close bunch. This was the third and final meal celebration for this year, I promise. Read the first two Birthday posts where I had meals on Eureka 89 and the Red Hot Wok here. I picked The Stables Of Como as it immediately took my attention with its large space (cafe, backyard garden, pond, historic house), beautiful decor and I was charmed with photos I saw online, imagining how bright white lights would seep through the windows from the morning sun. Yes, white lights are important for photos right? The Stables Of Como also does exclusive dining session in their grand ballrooms or simply by customising a private picnic session at their backyard garden by the pond. They have beautiful spaces that are perfect for the spring time. Unfortunately they do not take reservations during the weekend, but the space itself is huge so, rest assured, seats are not hard to get .




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I love it when a cafe does table settings to display cakes and other sugary stuff. We couldn't wait till the end to order dessert.



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If outdoor is more of your thing, dine outside. Twenty degree weather while soaking in the morning sun can be so fulfilling. And of course, with a cup of caffeine in hand.



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Larsen & Thompson Loose Leaf Tea (Earl Grey), 3.80AUD + Vanilla Milkshake, 7AUD  + Iced Coffee, 5AUD + Cappuccino, 3.80AUD + Flat White, 3.80AUD + Hot Chocolate, 4.80AUD

We started our day right with milkshake, tea and coffees. The coffee blend was strong and lovely.



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Smashed Avocado, 17AUD


Felisa went for the classic mushed avocado, light and fluffy. It came with thyme, feta, onions, buttered mushrooms and basil on two grain toast. Uncomplicated, easy, but bursting with all the right flavours.



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Rumbled Eggs With Pancetta, 17AUD


I loved my Rumbled Eggs and it still had that dark yolk runny texture. The Pancetta was a little bit saltier than expected but the grated truffle pecorino made up for it. Its a little unusual to have these eggs without bread but on Dr Marty's crumpets instead. Overall, I still liked it.



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Banana Hotcake, 16AUD


My eyes went straight to the Banana Hotcakes, but having too much cakes and desserts from the previous day (and the more days to come), I told myself no Eve, No! Rach went for it instead. It was to me, the tastiest dish out of the rest of the bunch. Simply because the hotcakes were not the regular buttermilk ones, its the legit banana bread type of hotcakes. Oh my dear lord, it was heavenly when I tried a bite and I regretted with deciding to 'cut-down' with the sugar intake theology. I thought the maple mascarpone, fresh bananas and berries with more berry compote were collectively outstanding, tasty enough to make me want to come back for this anytime soon. My, my, the pistachio praline were the amazing bits I can't take my heart off of it.



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Grilled Wagyu Rump, 21AUD


Audy and Patrick were the grizzly boys preying on the Wagyu Rump, tamed down with red pepper broad bean, smoked tomato salsa with sourdough crisps. Medium rare and consistently pinkish, absolutely yummy.



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Shakshouka, 17AUD + Chorizo, 3AUD


Jan's option was predictable. He saw someone ordered the Shakshouka and it looked ginormous. One look and that's it, its chemistry, he was meant to have it. He loved every bite The Stables Of Como's Shakshouka variation had to offer. And with Jan you always have to satisfy him with huge portions. The base spiced tomato was cooked with wilted greens and onions and drizzled with feta. Paired with two poached eggs and he added chorizo because, well.. men eat meats. The flatbread was also tasty and we both thought, for this special variation of shakshouka, it paired better than it would with the regular sourdough.



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Ploughman's Smoked Ham Hock, 17.50AUD


The Stables Of Como's Ham Hock (Hog's joint) was mashed and paired it with the sourdough, aged cheddar, cornichons (French gherkins), piccalilli (Indian pickles). Poor Desmond he did not like his order. I still haven't have the guts to try Ham Hock, or even be willing to spend on it for myself yet. What do you guys think? Is Ham Hock good, bad, or there's nothing too special about it?




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Lyonnaise Salad, 17.50AUD


Yan had her eyes on the Lyonnaise Salad consisting of smoked duck pancetta, white anchovies, broad beans, kipfler potatoes and a poached egg on top. The duck was smokin, yum.



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Lemon Slice, 4.90AUD + Wagon Wheel, 5.50AUD

We just had to share two desserts among the girls. We all preferred the Lemon Slice much more than the Wagon Wheel, oh and its cheaper too. 4.90AUD was a pretty good deal.




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Mandatory group shot. Everybody was too busy taking pictures, because well that's what we Asians do right? Nope, its my Birthday so I am allowed to take as many pictures as I like!



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After brunch, we strolled around The Stables and saw a beautiful fountain, pond and the flower garden. We also took a good view of the Como Historic Mansion, where it used to accommodate Australia's wealthiest pioneer families. So much history, so much beauty and so much deliciousness in one place. I feel blessed for a moment at the time, and believed that life takes you to unexpected places, but love brings you home.


Thank you Patrick for the following pictures, regardless of the candid or the posey, it all turned out beautiful. With all that shutter and aperture modifications as well with your telescope lens, my little Stuart (Canon) can never achieve this effect.



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"In life you will realise that there is a purpose for every person that you meet. Some are there to test you, some will use you, some will teach you and some will bring the best out of you." - Anonymous


Being soaked with this bunch always calls for an adventure, I think I found my people.






The Stables Of Como
Corner Williams Road & Lechlade Avenue, Como House Grounds, South Yarra
Melbourne, Victoria 3141
Australia

Tel: +(61) 03 9827 6886

Mon to Sat: 9am-5pm
Sun: 10am-5pm






The Stables of Como on Urbanspoon



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