Oops… Break!

Another unintended long break again… Have been travelling in Australia hence the lack of access to wifi. Would love to post a few snippets of places i’ve been to as soon as i can, although it will not be anytime soon– sorry!

The Green Refectory

The Green Refectory is one of the best brunch spots I’ve been to in Melbourne… it is impressive in portion, price, and mostly importantly taste.

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Breakfast stack – can’t remember the exact ingredients but there were bacon, mash, spinach, grilled tomato, halloumi topped with a beautiful poached egg. It was freaking tasty??? I would definitely order this again!

I thought the portion didn’t look very big but it was actually quite filling.

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Flat white – it was good, although you can’t really trust my words because i don’t know how to judge coffee. I’m trying to learn how to though.

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On my second visit my friend and I decided to order 2 dishes to share between us. This is scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, and it was goooooooood. I thought the portion of the smoked salmon was pretty generous, and the scrambled eggs were yummy as well! My friend LOVED the mushrooms.

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Big breakfast – i failed to take a nicer shot of the dish because i was too excited to dig in. There were poached eggs, bacon, bread, grilled tomato, halloumi cheese, spinach, baked beans, sausage, mushrooms, onions… did i miss anything out? Was really impressed by the serving and the amount of ingredients this plate has. Definitely THE big breakfast. And yep, I was impressed by the taste as well. 2 thumbs up!

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Wanted to try some desserts because the display looked really tempting but… we were stuffed after our meal. Erm, at least we finished everything!

 

The Green Refectory serves the most affordable brunch I’ve had in Melbourne… good food, good price. What’s not to like?? Definitely worth multiple visits. I really need to go back soon to try their desserts.

Green Refectory on Urbanspoon

The Hardware Societe

FINALLY down to blogging about The Hardware Societe! Is this place of legendary status? I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t heard of the cafe.

My friend and I arrived at 11+ am on a Monday and there was already a queue.. and it was extra chilly that day which made the wait even more torturous! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait for long, managed to bypass a few people in front of us because we only needed 2 seats :)

We sat on the bar where we could see the staff preparing the food, which was cool but made me even more hungry… lol

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Chai latte – one of my favourite hot drinks. It was pretty darn good, I really liked it!

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I already knew what I wanted to order- the ever-popular baked eggs with chorizo. I really liked the presentation of the dish! It smelled SO good, and was indeed very tasty.

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Overall, I would say that the food @ Hardware Societe is good but not amazing. I would definitely visit again, but not if I had to queue for long. Y’know how some places are SO hyped that it raises your expectations to really high levels? Perhaps I would have been more pleased and satisfied if I didn’t keep looking at them food reviews online. But still… this place serves good stuff.

The Hardware Societe on Urbanspoon

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Updates

I’m seriously super behind on my updates! I have.. such a long list of places to write about that I’m striking off some just because. Would really love to start blogging regularly again soon, after completing my student duties! Just a few more weeks to go….

Stovetop

Stovetop is less than 5 minutes from where I stay, and it is almost always crowded every time I walk past. It has an overwhelmingly high rating on Urbanspoon so I was really looking forward to dining here. My friend and I came here on a Saturday afternoon and there were plenty of seats; our food and drinks arrived pretty quickly as well.

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Chai latte – yum! I think it’s because I’m a noob chai latte drinker but this is the first time I’ve seen such presentation of chai latte.

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Latkes sweet potato and chia with poached eggs, baba ganoush and rocket. Uh, well, I have never tried any dish like this before and I guess it was rather.. interesting? I can’t really describe how the dish tasted.. because I couldn’t exactly tell what I was putting into my mouth. The rocket leaves were too bitter for me though, so I’d have preferred another kind of salad.
[sorry for the badly taken picture, the dish was kind of un-photogenic]

Would I visit Stovetop again? Yeah, I should, especially since it is just down the road. I’ll definitely be back for the chai latte and to try the cinnamon waffles – it sounds so delish. The prices here are also very affordable, which is a good bonus! Also – I will just stick to ordering safe dishes next time.

Stovetop on Urbanspoon

Roule Galette

Roule Galette is one of the more popular creperies in Melbourne, and is was on my to-visit list of eateries despite the very mixed reviews on Urbanspoon. I have to admit that I am quite the crepe lover.. I would definitely choose crepes over waffles or pancakes, although I do love all of them.

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Theo (caramel, chocolate, almonds) – safe combination… you can’t go wrong with caramel and chocolate!

The crepes here are rather soft and chewy.. even softer than the usual crepes in Melbourne. Btw.. is this how crepes are supposed to taste like or have I been deluded my entire life? All the past crepes I’ve eaten are thin and (usually) crispy, not only in Singapore but in other countries as well.

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My friend ordered the Gourmande (ice cream, banana, strawberry, chocolate, almonds). I tried a little and it was pretty good. She liked it but both of us agreed that Le Triskel is better.

Saw many people on Urbanspoon commenting about the bad service, but the 2 ladies in the shop were pretty lovely to us. But I don’t know if it was because we were lucky, as this was our first visit?

Overall, I think Roule Galette is a pretty nice place.. the crepes are decent, but you can definitely find better tasting ones in Melbourne.

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

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Fandango

Yet another great cafe in North Melbourne! I have been wanting to visit Fandango ever since I saw a friend’s picture of their pancakes on Instagram… and I’m glad I did, because you know a cafe with a 93% rating on Urbanspoon can do no wrong :)

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Hot chocolate with marshmallows – not bad! I’m quite easy with hot chocs as long as they are not overly sweet, and this wasn’t.

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Pancakes – YUM! Cream cheese isn’t really my thing but I loved this combination of pancakes, cream cheese, maple syrup and strawberries. Party in the mouth! And you also know a dish is good when your friend takes a first bite and then proceeds to say “I’m coming back here again”.

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Pesto scrambled eggs – read from reviews that this was very good, and it was indeed! Definitely worth a second order.

Fandango is located a few doors down from the ever-popular Auction Rooms (which I have yet to try, the queue puts me off) along Errol Street. The food portions are decent and the prices are pretty affordable, in fact a little cheaper than usual brunch places. The fact that you don’t have to queue here to get seats (for 2) on a Sunday afternoon is a happy bonus.

 

Fandango on Urbanspoon

Wonderbao

Finally tried the baos at Wonderbao! I’ve eaten countless baos (steamed buns – usually white in colour) throughout my life (yup, Asian, lol) so yeah, of course I had to come here.

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I ordered the da pork bao and nai wong (egg custard) bao.
The da pork bao was pretty good; the fillings were rather little compared to the bao (or rather the bao was too thick), but I like bao so that’s fine for me. The nai wong bao was not bad as well, the custard was not too sweet and the size of the bao was just right.

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My first cup of soy milk in Melbourne! I really liked it, the soy bean taste was pretty strong and it wasn’t too sweet. So… people who prefer diluted or sugar-laden soy milk probably wouldn’t like this.

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Also tried the char siew bao on a separate visit and it was pretty average, nothing to shout about.

I haven’t tried the gua baos (I know, I should have!) but I definitely will on my next visit and update again.
Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

Chokolait

There are plenty of chocolate-based cafes in Melbourne… Koko Black, Ganache Chocolate, and many more. After trying out quite a few of them, I have to say that Chokolait is one of my favourites!

My friend and I went on a weekday afternoon and the place was almost empty. Is it because the cafe is rather hidden so it’s hard to ‘stumble upon’ it?

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Chocolate pavlova – yum! If you have a sweet tooth, this is definitely for you. This is my first time eating pavlova (yeah, what have I been doing? ha) so I can’t really compare it to anything. The white liquid looks like condensed milk but it’s actually double cream (I think). Decadent, yes….

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Extra shot because it looks so good… doesn’t it?

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Dark hot chocolate – so good! It was dark, rich and… chocolatey (duh)… The perfect beverage on a cold day. The serving is also bigger than almost all of the other hot chocolates I’ve had.

I’m definitely going back to try other desserts, like the chocolate mousse or cheesecake. The lady behind the counter and the man who served us our orders were really sweet and cheerful, it made my day :) Definitely worth a visit!
Chokolait on Urbanspoon

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Oriental Spoon

Oriental Spoon is a restaurant that I HAD to visit as I’m a really huge fan of Korean food.. From popular street snacks to desserts, I love them all! The place was not very crowded when we were there, but I’ve walked past the restaurant several times during lunch/dinner time and it is almost always crowded. With K-pop songs playing in the background and Korean servers attending to us, I really felt like I was in Korea again… Heh.

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Ddeokbokki – spicy rice cake with additional ramyeon. The serving was pretty big and it tasted quite good as well. This dish is definitely for sharing though.. I think it’s too heavy for any one person to finish it alone.

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Kimchi pancake – this pancakes were thicker than the normal Korean-style pancakes (which are usually quite thin and crispy), so I didn’t really like it. It wasn’t bad-tasting by any means, just not something I would order again.

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And the highlight! ‘Ban ban’ fried chicken – original and spicy sauce. I liked the spicy sauce one better, as the chicken pieces were generously coated with sauce, and thus less dry than the original chicken.  Overall I thought it was pretty good, but I’d say only order this dish if there are at least 3 people, or if you REALLY like fried chicken.

The prices are not exorbitant, but definitely not cheap either. However, you can definitely find a nice and satisfying Korean meal here.
Oriental Spoon on Urbanspoon

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