Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eating in Melbourne : Grace


SOOOO 2 Sundays ago ( lol quite long ah i know) I decided to finally dig deep into Melbourne's local brunch places. Started going to places where not all them international students crowd at! And what i found, was a gem.

Let me bring you to Grace. 

2014-04-13 09.44.16 1

Cafe : Grace
Location : 76 Rose St, Fitzroy
Price : average $15
Portion : decent portion that fills you up just right
Cuisine : Breakfast/Brunch

It's very easily missed but once you're walking along Rose Street you wouldn't miss this. Walking along Rose Street I couldn't help but feel like I was on a vacation. It was really chill and there weren't many people. Something that I really like honestly. I could remember the tall buildings shading the street from the sun, hipster vehicles and grafitis everywhere. Yes, somewhere I'd wanna hang.

2014-04-13 09.46.05 1

The photo doesn't exactly show but thats the exterior of the cafe. Super humble but super cool. It's a drawing of a face if you can't tell. With seats and benches outside just separating the outside walkway and the interior.

It felt like it would be nice to just sit there with a warm cup of coffee, having just enough sun to kiss the skin, and my best friend as we talk till the sun sets.

Welcome to Grace. 

2014-04-13 09.36.59 1

2014-04-13 09.27.18 1
Outdoor seating. This is inside an open container.

2014-04-13 09.41.03 1
array of cakes and sweets by the cashier

2014-04-13 08.50.18 1
Love the decor. 

2014-04-13 09.20.16 1
As we went to the outdoor seating I was completely drawn to these little ornaments on the table. I questioned whether were these put as planned or it just happened to blend well. All i knew was it's so pretty.

We proceeded to ordering and here's the review! 

2014-04-13 09.30.25 1
Latte ( $4 )

My usual. Cup of latte that warm the soul. Nope it definitely wasn't as heavenly as Dukes. But i remembered it leaning to the acidic side. It wasn't the BESTcup of latte with the BEST art. It was considerably okay I would say. All i know is Kenya beans aren't my kind of thing. 

Rating : 3/5

2014-04-13 08.59.02 1
Cold Drip Coffee ($4.5)

Basically an Americano if you're familiar to the Starbucks way of calling it. If not, iced long black would be it. 

Super little in calories, gives you a good caffeine punch as the cool drink quench your thirst. Sadly that day i wasn't into this taste so I didn't like it that much.

Rating : 2.5/5

2014-04-13 09.04.16 1
Loose leaf Chai Latte ($4? or $4.50)

I remembered I wasn't much of a chai drinker but found myself lately to have been secretly enjoying the cinnamony sweetness it brings. It was a good cup of chai but it could've been slightly warmer.

It's presentation totally won tho! Who would've ever thought of using a photo frame as a tray?!

Rating : 4/5

2014-04-13 08.55.42 1

2014-04-13 08.57.32 1
Still fascinated by this. 

2014-04-13 09.32.54 1
Pear, lime and ginger toddy. ( $5)

2014-04-13 09.22.38 1

This cup completely blew my mind.

No, I had no idea what it would taste like. But for sure when i sipped this cup of tea-like drink, I thought I was by the beach in Bali getting an aromatic massage, hearing the ocean waves rushing, and having the smell of the sea water lingering across my nose, every little breath - bliss.

It was something I'd never expected from a cup. 

Rating : 4.5/5


2014-04-13 06.39.25 2

2014-04-13 08.52.54 1
Field Mushrooms with Feta ($14 + $3)

Juicy sweet mushrooms with peppery rocket flavour, match-made on a plate. This plate had sooo many flavours going on. With the rich, slightly pungent feta, sourdough toast and toasted sunflower seeds that added a crunch to the whole dish, so enjoyable. Many flavours but all in the most humble ratio.

If I could describe this dish I would say Red Riding Hood's Brunch. It didn't feel like it was done in the city. It felt like a dish made for the laid back, hill-side friends as they come back with their freshly picked veges, cooking up an easy, classic, fuss-free Saturday brunch, having friends over.

The only downside was the toast. It was hard as a bark. 

Rating : 7.5/10

2014-04-13 09.07.28 1
Quark filled crepe w/ Berry Coulis ($14)

You can also choose lemon curd over berry coulis btw. :)

It was my first time having quark and I honestly don't have much thoughts on it. It felt like a lighter version of whipped cream. It gave the moisture yet doesn't make you feel like puking afterwards unlike whipped cream. And I guess it didn't have the artificial whipped cream taste as well. But for it's taste, I would say quark doesn't taste like much. 

However this dish was TO.DIE.FOR.

The quark although not sure what by itself tasted like, built up this dish. Crepes were thin, light and had a slight chewy texture that I adore. It reminded me of the pancakes I used to have when I was little. The slightly sweet and sour berry coulis left every bite interesting. The slight saltiness of the crepes, pairing with the sweet coulis = amazing. 

Every time when you think it might get too sweet, the slight slight slight sourness blends the whole thing together.

To describe this I would say it felt like the sweetest shades of pink and purple. Warm, fuzzy, girly, love. 

It felt like a love story. With every flavour jumbled, it still created a beautiful ending and memory. With every bite, it felt like a fairy-tale. 

Rating : 9/10

2014-04-13 09.11.20 1
Baked Eggs + Chorizo ($ 15 + $ 3)

The only thing that came to my mind when I ate this was home. It felt incredibly homely and warm. It felt like a cold fall day where a mother would bake eggs for lunch for her little children as dad reads his newspaper by the fireplace. The smell that fills the entire room. Brick walled, little sunlight shining through, vintage rugs. Yes, it felt like a vintage home.

I would think i felt this way because of the spices they used in it.They used a slight slight touch of cumin. Cumin to me, tastes rustic. 

But anywayyyy in real context, this dish has chickpeas adding texture, eggplant for a moisture burst. Really, this dish has every flavour ratio done perfectly as well. It would've been a really amazing dish if the eggs took slightly 2 mins off cooking time. Nevertheless, yums.

Rating 8/10

2014-04-13 09.38.43 1

2014-04-13 08.48.24 1

Overall I would say that my experience at Grace was very pleasant. Laughter, joy and memories filled the place. 

Not many people, cozy. It felt like a place having just enough of EVERYTHING. To put to simple words, I LOVED it.

Food : home-style, self-learnt chefs
Ambience : hipster and chill
Value for Money : definitely
Possibilities of Return : it would be a go to when i can't think of anything!

p/s : all photos were taken and edited on my Samsung Galaxy Note II

till then,

Grace on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 18, 2014

Eating In Melbourne : Dukes Coffee Roasters


Before I start, I apologize for the lack of photos. Reason is because .................. i forgot. LOL

I knew I had to, but I got a little too excited over food, as usual.

So anywayyy, Dukes is one hella fehmes brunch place in Melbie! I think their coffee got them famous. This was actually my 2nd time here. My first was last year when I went to Ben & Jerry's free cone day and since Dukes was located just a couple shops down, why not right.

My memory of the food and coffee then is very vague. SUOOOOOO, I decided to visit Dukes once more! :) Dukes is pretty famous. Almost all foodies would've at least heard of it before. But people don't usually go cuz it takes approx. 20 minutes to get to Chapel St from the city by tram. For me, it's pretty worth it tho!

Cafe : Dukes Coffee Roasters
Location : 169 Chapel Street, Windsor
Price : approx. $15- $20/main
Portion : Decent aussie brunch size
Cuisine : Breakfast/Brunch


Let's start with coffee. it's really simple. There's only 1 word to describe the coffee at Dukes. 


yes, i said it. THE BEST coffee I've EVER tasted. And I've had quite a number of coffees already. I remembered the times when people told me the coffee they had at some places were really smooth, and amazing. BUT THIS IS HANDS DOWN THE BEST. The coffee came at the MOST perfect temperature. The kind where you can still hold the latte glass and not get burnt. Sipping it without burning your tongue YET still warms your soul. But hey, I might just be lucky that day. 

The barista was also pretty skilled! My latte art came out clean like how I've always liked it to be! Speaking of coffee art, that day there was this friend of mine who told me how most Malaysians in Malaysia judge the coffee. Yes, by the appearance. I cracked up. It was so funny!! They can taste the most disgusting diluted coffee ever but as long as it has Jackie Chan's face on it, win liao lor!

Anyway coming back to Dukes' coffee..... omg. It's the MOST perfect blend of coffee I've ever tried. Perfect milk to coffee latte ratio. Nutty with a tiny tad of acidic taste of coffee to feel like you're still having coffee. Feels smooth as you sip it down your throat. In other words, BEST. 

The second I finished it I wanted another. Yes, IT WAS THAT GOOD. PLEASE, YOU READING THIS. JUST GO GET YOURSELF ONE. 

Honey Candied Bacon, Avocado Hummus Toast, Poached Eggs, Watercress, Dukkah
($ 18)

This was the dish that I was most looking forward to! Hallo? Honey.Candied.Bacon. I can't think of anything that sounds nicer that that concoction! The bacon tasted almost like bak gua (Chinese sweet-salty dried meat) I kid you not!! Only a little better cuz bak gua tends to get too sweet it makes my throat feel funny. It was firm yet still a little juicy.

It's like having bacon in carbonara. Carbonara is just okay, but every time you bite into a bacon bit, you'd feel like you just hit lottery once again. The bacon definitely was the main star of this dish and I feel it definitely pulled the whole dish to a new level.

Toast was really good too! The avocado hummus didn't have a very strong taste to it nevertheless I'd say it still complimented the whole thing really well. It added moisture to the dry toast. The creamy texture of the avo with the dukkah that added crunchiness to the dish, satisfied. 

However my only problem with this dish was THE EGGS. They were slightly overdone. Not impressed. But I believe I was unlucky (lol?) that day too. 

Overall I'd say this dish is like a corporate meeting. I've never been to any corporate meetings before but for SOME reason my thinking of a corporate meeting is people with suits that look cool, prim and proper, cool again, everyone seated in a oval shaped table, neat and tidy, rich? LOL Basically a leading company's corporate meeting that you see on TVs. The super cool ones. 

Ok sorry I think I've wasted 20 secs of your life letting you read that. HAHA But this dish is bold. It has every element complimenting each other AND the name honey candied bacon just wins it.

Rating : 8.5/10


Merguez sausage, lentils, sweet red and yellow peppers ($18?)

I'm not sure why but Urbanspoon doesn't have the latest menu and I'm not sure what this is even called exactly. I'm just naming the things I see in it. HAHA It prolly might be green beans, IDK. So I'm telling you first. I AM NOT SURE. LOL

But when this dish arrived I genuinely did not expect much from the looks of it. It looked too simple to taste right. Boy was I wrong. To put it to simpler word, I'd describe this as When Thai Meats Spain. Yes, it is THAT simple HAHA.

Let's take it this way. Merguez sausage is a Spanish thing. And in the lentils (I assume) they cooked it with basil. So yeah. You do the math now? It was simple but soooo fulfilling. I usually dig dishes with a lot of meat and 2 sausages usually wouldn't rock my boat but for some reason, the lentils ( I again assume ) left an amazing hearty feeling.

Like the honey bacon dish was satisfying, but this was fulfilling. Satisfied to me means, you're happy and content. But fulfilling is like filling your whole heart (and belly) to a point where you're SO happy and SO content you don't need anything else.

This was how it felt. It has all the right mixture of flavours once again. Sausages ticking off the sinful pleasures box, lentils to tick off the feeling healthy box (i know, how contradictory), basil to cut the richness of the dish, adding a refreshing boost to the pallete and sweet peppers obviously adding sweetness to compliment to salty sausage and a hint of spice ticking off my Malaysian palette crave. 

Rating : 8.5/10


All in all I'd say Dukes was money worth spending! Food and service were amazing, coffee was perfect and location, girls like me love. Chapel Street is a shopping precinct if you guys didn't know hehe. Imagine feeding your soul with amazing stuff then go shopping or vice versa, it'd feel like one hella good day I reckon!

Space is very much bigger and spacious than i remembered! We went there at around 2pm so not many people were there however I'd recommend you to avoid lunch hours cuz I have a feeling there'll be a large crowd!

Final Verdict :
Food : top quality brunch
Ambience : chillax aussie style
Value for Money : YES.
Possibilities of Return : anytime for that amazing coffee!

till then,
Dukes Coffee Roasters on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Eating in Melbourne : Chuckle Park


so it's been awhile since I've discovered this place and I couldn't help but think of it every time someone mentions to have dinner in the CBD!

The interior is obviously THA attraction! I've passed by this place in the day and night and can't help but feel captivated by the beauty of the lights/plants thingy hanging from above!

During the night, you'd see a queue which I suppose people are lining to get in the bar.

SO YEAH! One day I decided to FINALLY meet up with little Joey and baby Niao. Here, was where my Chuckle Park journey started. 

If you've watched the video you can see how much the emphasis is on decor rather than the food. LOL which is true! So here's my review on it

Cafe : Chuckle Park
Location : 322 Lt Collins Street, Melbourne
Price : $10 (approx.)
Portion : Tapas / Just enough
Cuisine : Spanish / Tapas



Greeted by amazing interior. It was enough to leave me interested. LOL

but just to give you a heads up, there's no such "Please wait to be seated" business there. Which my friends and I thought it was a little unusual to just rock up in a restaurant and score yourself a seat. 

for 3 minutes upon arriving, we were figuring out how the system worked. But yeah, basically go in, go up the van/counter to order, and then wait! They'll hand you a pebble which states your order number!

Oh and btw, i DID not take a lot of photos this time round cuz they look incredibly gross. (lighting prob) I feel bad even for the video, but heck, suan le ba yea? :B

Pulled Pork Roll ( $ 9.50 )

I was never into the pulled pork kinda thing before because 1. it's messy and 2. the meat is usually the chewy kind. I dont like. LOL

To describe the taste of this, I'd say it taste like a cab ride in Manipal.

not like I've been to Manipal but I think the pulled pork burger is loaded with spices! Which reminds me a lot of like India. Not to the point where you'd go ew, but more like a WOW kind of burst of flavour. From it's humbling appearance, it definitely wasn't how i expected it to be.

Not messy is one thing, but the cumin really left an impression. It's not a taste that people would like having everyday, but definitely an acquired taste that would make people occasionally crave for!

Rating : 6/10


Next would be the Frittatta Roll as seen in the video.

truth is, i just realised it's not the Frittata roll! LOLLLL

It's some meatball thingy. GAH i don't remember at all.

But anyway, I find that the meatball wrap is the nicest tasting out of everything I tried that day. It has just the right amount of spice to meat and veges, complimenting the dish really well. The only problem I had was when we were getting to the end of the wrap, the wrap gets SUPER hard. I felt like I was eating shaved tree barks.

To describe the taste, I'd say it tastes like Nonna's on a lazy day. 

You know, granny on a good mood = heavenly food. So to describe Nonna on a lazy day, it's basically when granny doesn't wanna give 2 shits to making it heaven. Obviously still yummers, but lacking that flight of stairs to heaven LOL

Rating : 7.5/10


Lastly, ELOTE!

Elote is basically grilled corn smeared with lime spiked mayo and then topped with parmesan or any sharp cheeses. I made this in my kitchen before and it is SO easy to put together. With that, my expectations on their elote was pretty high.

What a disappointment tho! Yes, the corn is sweet and juicy. But for a place that sells this simple thing, I expected a wild Mexican party in my mouth. Sadly what I experienced was only a Mexican bingo night. Yes, still fun and tolerable, but nothing exciting. 

The parmesan was at the least, corn i felt wasn't grilled well and defo no lime spiked mayo in there. 

Rating : 5/10


now you're wondering, Hey Dilys, so what is EXACTLY edible and enjoyable there? Truth is, i have NO idea. They don't exactly have a kitchen so i wouldn't blame them on their bad food. I'd prolly go back there for drinks one day cuz to me it seems like that's their forte. 

and ambience is one thing, don't expect romantic jazzy music either. IT'S A BAR. The video lied. LOL but it was an enjoyable ambience as compared to the food

anyway overall 
Final Verdict :
Food : not worth the calories
Ambience : wanna feel hippy?
Value for Money : not on food defo
Possibilities of Return : YEP! for drinks one day!

till then,
Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eating in Melbourne : Fandango


so anyway if you're new to me, you'd probably have never come across my blog at all! Truth is, it has been 2 years since I last updated it! That is, the moment i stepped into Australia! 

I've always loved to jot down my life, share with people the things I see. I've always loved food and I love bringing people around trying new food!

There, the reason for a re-birth of my blog. LOL but this time, focusing on FOOD.

Anyway 3 weeks ago I went to this cafe called Fandango. Yea, that's pretty long ago. Like i mentioned, this post is COMPLETELY not planned. I just happened to film that day thinking I would have an impromptu day like today.... well does that mean it's planned then? urgh idk. 

Cafe : Fandango
Location : 97 Errol Street, North Melbourne, VIC.
Price : $15 - $20 (approx.)
Portion : Generous
Cuisine : Modern Australian

The ambience in this place is pretty chill. We went on a weekday, lunch hour and there weren't any queues which was surprising having known how high the ratings were for Fandango.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable time spent. Us by the corner.


Regular Latte.

As for the latte, I don't quite remember the taste. But I remember it being pretty good! That probably means it's not leaning too much on the acidic side. 

Rating : 4.5/5

Chai Latte.

Personally, I hate chai latte. I just CANNOT stand the taste of it! Don't get me wrong, I am pretty adventurous and I can cultivate different tastes pretty quickly. But chai..... has always stopped my palette party. Until this one came along. 

1. Presentation is SUPER CUTE!

The latte was kept warm all the way. And the taste of chai wasn't overwhelming at all! It was the perfect ratio to chai, milk and honey! Or it could just be that my friend was super good at mixing it. LOL

I for once, enjoyed Chai Latte!

Rating : 4/5

Mains : 

Beetroot Eggs ( $19.80 )

Basically a beetroot + feta relish, button mushrooms, poached eggs, watercress on sourdough toast!
The beetroot was AMAZING. Rich and fattening, sinful but beautiful. It goes on so well with the sourdough toast! Eggs were NOT poached to perfection as seen in the video. Utter disappointment.
Generally, this is a nice dish. The portion is hugeeee! But you can tend to get a little bit sick cuz of the richness. And for 16 dollars, I don't think it's a decent price. After all, everything on this plate can be DIYed easily!

Rating : 8/10

Pesto Scrambled ( $19.80 )

I've never tried eggs and pesto before so this was pretty interesting! I thought. lol 
The dish came out looking really good as seen in the photo!
Bacon was cooked to perfection. I prefer bacon to not be on the crispy side cuz then it tends to be dry and crunchy. However, the bacon from Fandango was crispy on the edges but still had a meaty texture to it.

Eggs were fluffy and nice but i didn't taste a lot of pesto. Considerably oily though.

Grilled tomatoes weren't amazing but when everything was put together, it tasted really good!
All the flavours complimented each other which made the dining experience better!

Rating : 8.5/10

All in all, I'd say this place is really good if you stay close by and want a decent brunch.

However, the menu is very limited. I'm okay if you're fancy limited. But Fandango seems to lack specialty. Sure, pesto and scrambled eggs, I've never heard before. But it's so doable for people. We don't even need to think of how the recipe goes. It's pretty obvious.

I guess this is because of the price. Paying more than $15 for an eggy breakfast that i can whip up myself, I'd rather not. 

Final Verdict :
Food : Yummy but ordinary
Ambience : Cozy
Value for Money : Not exactly
Possibilities of Coming Back : Perhaps No

till then,

Fandango on Urbanspoon