Friday, October 08, 2010

LUNCH @ MINH XUONG SEAFOOD & BARBECUE RESTAURANT, 211 RUSSELL ST., MELBOURNE


When Andrew wanted to catch a bite before leaving for Sydney, I suggested Pacific BBQ across the QV. But Jaq said the Minh Xuong just across the road serves quite a variety, even though she has friends working in Pacific. So the recommendation sticks. So a few days later, we have to grab a quick lunch this comes to mind.


There's been a few casualties on this stretch since I was here last year. The chicken rice shop (Hawker's Cafe) is no more, and this Minh Xuong, a branch of Richmond, sits on an old restaurant that burnt down without any fire insurance (according to Uncle Tony).

I order the spicy chicken ribs while Sean has the braised roast pork belly with tofu. There's bountiful of rice on the plate, this much I can say. Beyond that, the chicken that I have tastes much like any ordinary fried chicken. Not like the one I remember. Ho-hum! There's no doubt that this place gives you value for money portion - too hefty for me, at least.
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Monday, October 04, 2010

LUNCH @ STALACTITES, 177-183 LONSDALE ST., MELBOURNE


This Greek joint at the corner of Russell and Lonsdale operates 24/7, and it seems to be packing them in most of the time, whenever I pass by. My sister has been hankering on Greek food for days, and this is her day.

Mixed Dips

Pita

Kalamari Platter

Homemade Spanakopita

Mixed Grill

Greek Garden Salad

Homemade Fish Soup

As one enters the restaurant, 2 big grills welcome from behind the counter tells you what this restaurant is all about, beside the cheesy stalactites ceiling. As my sister calls the shot, she has a double order for almost all the dishes as there 12 of us. Apart from the soup and the salad for dad, it's meat and meat all the way.

To start off, we have the tarama,melitzanosalata, tzatziki and hommus dips with pita. The kalamari is much like those you get in the Chinese/Vietnamese shop. The Spanakopita is to be reckoned with.

On the menu, it says the mixed grill is good for 2, but the 12 of us are struggling with the 2 plates that we have to doggy bag for the evening meal. The meat consists of marinated skewer of lamb fillet, marinated lamb giro from the spit, lamb cutlet and a homemade Greek rissole.

Finally there's the lamb souvlaki (below), which is Greek kebab on a pita wrap. This is much a reprise of the above: tender lamb from the spit with crisp lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki wrapped with pita.


Lamb Souuvlaki

TRUE DEFINITION

shit·head

[shit-hed] Show IPA
–noun Slang: Vulgar .
a stupid, inept, unlikable, or contemptible person.


See Below...






"Of all sculptures and statues in town, they have to poo-poo on mine!"
Captain Matthew Flinders RN

DESSERT @ PASSIONFLOWER MELBOURNE, SHOP 2, 168 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE


We're walking our way back home after the heavy lunch at Stalactites, we decide to pop in here. This is the Sydney success story that has made its way here. It's hardly few days old, and the congratulatory bouquets are still fresh in the shop. This is an East meets West kind of dessert shop, with Western favorites like ice cream, pancakes and crepes and marry them with Asian condiments like durian, lychee, ChinChow (Black Jelly), red beans etc.

Tiramisu

What's there about Tiramisu that we don't know about? It has a layers of sponge soaked in espresso coffee and liqueur, separated with mascapone cream, and tipped with strawberry slices (it's all from the menu). And then there's the less adventurous fruit combo with ice cream. That's the only order we have among 8 of us. Lucky for us, they let us stay and while the time away. We witness 2 customers having cones being shooed away; It's stated on the menu that on weekends, customers with less than $10 spend won't be afforded any seating within the premises. I think our orders meet the criteria, and it's a Monday.

Fruittilious

Sunday, October 03, 2010

DINNER @ HAN GUUK GUAN, 13A VICTORIA ST., MELBOURNE


The Doc has a thing about all things Korean and Japanese - from getting hair cut at Korean salon, listening to Japanese/Korean Pop, reading Manga, and movies; yet he doesn't understand a word of the language apart from name of dishes from the menu. Thus he leads us to this red-bricked of a warehouse, which is now home to a Sino-Korean restaurant. It has long rows of school cafeteria seating with sparse decor. If you're looking for an unromantic venue with your date, this is it!

Bimbimbap

But this place can take your relationship farther with its fill-up- your-tummy grub, which is easy on the pocket; like the mixed rice of assorted vegetables and beef with egg (above), all stirred into one convulsed bowl of giddy yum, to be taken with the accompanying pickles.

Pickles Side Dishes


There's no doubt the Doc wants to introduce us to the Jajangmyeon, a Korean version of the Chinese Zha jiang mian. It's wheat noodle covered in thick black bean sauce with minced meat, served with julienned cucumber. Its variant, the Ganjajangmyeon, is noodle and the non-starchy sauce are served separately. In a way, this tastes like the Foochow Kampua Mee.


On a cold evening, nothing warms you up as a cauldron of the mutton stew. It's a rustic spicy number that will keep the snuffler at bay...

Mutton Jjigae Chongol

Samgyetang

...or the opposite, a light broth ginseng chicken soup with barley. One thing for sure, its service is as cold as the brick on a winter's day; those are not waiters - they don't wait on you - they are shufflers; they move things around only, but not necessarily the way you want it to be.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

LUNCH @ CHINA RED, SHOP 6, 206 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

This restaurant wasn't here when I was here last year. There seems to be a few turnover of new restaurants - it's a killer of a business. This restaurant has a ground floor seating and one down the basement. I don't know what to make of this place - one can't put a finger on its specialty; it has a bit of everything - regional food of China, and a bit of Dim-Sum - except Char Sui Bao (so Julian's Mom found out). It has a gimmick in the form of touch screen order menu on every table; so you don't have to bother the waiter. Everything is tabulated as one orders, and one's finger can get delirious over the punching in of orders so we found out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

JULIAN & TAMMY'S DINNER @ SHARK FIN INN, LT. BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

Six months after registering, Julian and Tammy give a bash on the 11th. Sept. 2010. The dinner format in terms of food (mandatory dishes) is pretty much the same as the previous night's banquet. But this time, all the dishes are individually served to each guest. What you see below are the dishes before they are served, and still on the serving trolley.

Monday, September 27, 2010

KENZAN @ GPO, SHOP 28G 350 BOURKE ST., MELBOURNE

What would a visit to Melbourne without stepping into Kenzan - the haute cuisine of fast food sushi? The sushi rolls may look the same as others, its prices may be comparable to other sushi shops, but the devil's in the details. Just like a fast food joint, you queue up to place and pay for your order, while picking up the ready made, on display sushi, rolls and bento sushi. Other cooked rice or noodle dishes take a while to be delivered to one's table. It's the innate nature of its food and place (the dim corridor of its eating area) that gives the place a special kind of feel; the seatings may be crowded at times, and yet unobtrusive.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

TONY Q's BIRTHDAY @ DRAGON BOAT PALACE, 149 LONSDALE ST., MELBOURNE

This is my mum's brother's birthday. And it's held at his favorite restaurant, 'cos my sis., who has been here about a week earlier, has been treated for lunch and dim-sum at this place 3 times prior to this occasion; it makes one wonder whether he has a stake in the place.

This is the first of 2 birthday and a wedding dinners we are to attend in Australia. But I'm giving the one in Sydney a miss. A few of us flew in from K.L., Kuching, Sibu and K.K. for this bash, and the aunt and family from Sydney drove here.

The menu for the evening is very much like the Old School issued standard fare, but with a twist at the end. It starts with Chinese cold-cuts from the restaurant's BBQ section. Followed by sharks fin soup, steamed oyster, done 2 ways (garlic & chilli), and lobster with noodle; they are all individually served one after the other.

Friday, September 17, 2010

LUNCH @ LIP CAFÉ, 226 WATERDALE RD., IVANHOE NORTH SHOPPING STRIP, MELBOURNE

Andrew called a few days earlier saying he'd ask Julian to cook something for lunch on Friday; I said, it's your call so long as there's something to eat when we're there.

Having arrived the previous night, after a 22 hours journey, starting 4 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. the next day, I still managed to get up at 7; still I'm luckier than Jonathan, my next seat journeyman, who had to rough the night in the airport before making his way to his girlfriend in Zealand the morning after. By the time I was having lunch, i think, he was still somewhere over the Tasman Sea.

The next morning, the Doc drove us to Julian's cafe for lunch. This little outfit is six months old. It serves breakfast and lunch with a bit of his own baked cakes cookies and cupcakes in between. Its eclectic menu offers a twist from the norm. But we weren't here for its normal fare.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

HERBAL CRUSTED LAMB CUTLETS


There's a new recipe up on Kongkay2

Sunday, September 05, 2010

LAI THONG (HOME SOUP) UPDATE


There's an update on my all-time favorite soup of mine.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

ABOUT THIS BLOG

As the name implies, it's all about nothing! Kongkaying is like grasping in the air - more like hot air with occasional fartulence. Hopefully, something aromatic will come out of it! If not...

May the Farce be With You!

BAG OF TRICKS

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