Monday, March 21, 2016

Eat. @ Chow City

287 Exhibition Street, Melbourne CBD ph (03) 9663 7898

Woohoo it's Fri-Yay night out with the girls again.  This time we went to Chow City for drinks and dinner.  As usual we chose a place with a good variety of shared plates and pescatarian options for my friend Sarah.  

As I was the designated driver I sipped on my Tropic Thunder mocktail ($9) whilst the girls got started on some wine. The menu was modern Australian Asian fusion with a lot of bar items but a decent number of dinner options.  We were too lazy to pick and choose so we opted for the $65 chow down chef's menu option.

First up some oysters with ponzu, salmon roe and spring onion. A good start with the drinks.

Next up some tuna baos, with confit tuna, tobiko, seaweed salad and nori.  I wouldn't have ordered this usually but the confit tuna was actually really delicious.  I usually get to order for the family, or even with friends since everyone knows I love my food.  It just goes to show sometimes it's good to let someone else have control and choose your dishes for you!

Then came the chef's special of the night, which was watermelon with kimchi, cream cheese, figs, pomegranate and cashew crumble.  I absolutely would not have ordered this if it wasn't for the chef's menu but dang it was delicious and refreshing.  I don't think I will order off the menu again.  Just bring me what ever is good!

Then we got a really decent serve each of the Calamari, marinated in buttermilk, chilli, garlic, with vietnamese mint and crispy garlic.  These were  amazing and we finished it all even thought we were starting to fill up.

The papaya salad came next and was topped with crispy soft shell crab, served with mint, basil, green bean, chilli, lime and peanuts.  I only had a little of this as I had pretty much under estimated the amount of food that would arrive given that this is a bar setting.  So yum.  2 large serves between the 4 of us.

Yes there is more!  The New Zealand King Salmon was slow cooked with peas, green bean, asparagus, and served in a warm citrus broth. (We also got given 2 serves of this between the 4 of us).  I found a new spot in my stomach for this delicious salmon, I just wished I had more room!  Even the veggies were super delicious with the broth.  

All this was served with a side of roquette with coconut snow, a large bowl of rice to share.......

And the best darn serve of shoe string fries I've had. The menu said it was seasoned with garlic salt and served with mayo, but there was a touch of sweetness which really made these fries amazing.

We all agreed that we're now too stuffed to walk back into the city for dessert, only to be told that there is dessert coming!  Each of us had a serve of the cream cheese cake, a soft fluffy mousse topped with caramel, raspberry and popcorn.

All in all it was such a fun night out, the staff were attentive and even tolerated the impromptu karaoke some of us got up to (I'm not pointing any fingers ladies, you know who you are!)  $65 was a pretty good deal and I would highly recommend Chow City for a casual and fun night out!  

Chow City Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Eat. @ Rubiki

204 Warrandyte Rd, Ringwood (03) 9879 0869

I live and work in the Eastern suburbs, and I've always been jealous of everyone working in the CBD or in the Fitzroy and Collingwood area, who have not just a few, but an abundance of great coffee and lunch places to visit.  That's why I'm extra thankful for Rubiki, which is a wonderful find in the leafy part of Ringwood and a stone's throw away from my work.

The mocha has looked different on different visits, but the quality has been consistent, even with their take-aways, which Hubby is appreciative of when I bring him a coffee to work!

I tried the Herb Encrusted seared tuna with a nicoise salad ($21) for a light (and low carb!) brunch, and really enjoyed it.  The tuna was perfectly seared, the salad was a nice change from the usual greens, and the trio of sauces were good fun!  The poached egg completed the dish nicely.

This week I tried the Rubiki Bacon and Egg Roll ($7.5) and was impressed that it was freshly made, served piping hot and with a good slab of bacon.

I have a feeling I will be a frequent visitor to Rubiki.  See you there!

Rubiki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Eat. @ Kitty Burns

24 Acacia Place, Abbotsford (03) 9427 0164

For our last weekday brunch roulette prior to Little Man starting prep (or as they call it nowadays "Foundation" *why why why?*) we headed down to Kitty Burns. 

This new cafe, like many around Melbourne these days, is on the ground floor or a mid sized apartment complex in Abbotsford.  I'd watched with anticipation as works went under way for the cafe, since we've often utilised the lovely bike path that winds its way along the Yarra past the new buildings around here.

The menu was quite varied, and offered lots of healthy choices like smoothies and raw cakes, as well as the decadent, like the luscious donuts sitting on the counter.  I ordered the Torched kingfish, with kimchi mayo, leek ash, sea succulents, with a roast sesame dressing, edamame beans and Japanese rice. ($22.5)  This is one of the more successful fusion lunch dishes I've had, and it's gorgeously plated.

Little Man shared lots of my brunch as always, but I did order him a Mac n Cheese ($8) off the Kids Under Twelve menu, which he in turned shared back with me.  This is a golden slab of crumbed mac n cheese, sprinkled with more cheese.  I don't think anything more needs to be said about that, and it obviously went down pretty well.

It was a raining and cold summer day, but the bright, cheery and beautifully designed interiors definitely marked a stark contrast to the dull weather. 

Kitty Burns Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 20, 2016

New things coming to Eat.Play.Shop.

Hi everyone!  I've been MIA for the last few months, busy handling health issues, work and family.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster ride, but hopefully (fingers crossed) everything is back on track, and I can spend some fun times hanging out on the blog again.  

Now that the kids are all at school, I've decided to take a slightly different direction with blogging.  There will still be many, many posts on eating out and eating in because, let's be honest, cooking and eating is just such a fun activity for the Eat.Play.Shop. Family that the blog would be very quiet without it!  But there are lots of things I want to write about but never used to post to the blog, like fitness, sports, design, photography and new trends, just to name a few, which I will start sharing here.  And most of all I want to share some posts on travelling with kids which is something that I'm really excited about!

So watch this space for something bright and new at Eat.Play.Shop.! (starting off with the colour scheme - I feel like we just repainted the walls in our house!)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Eat. @ Sweetie & Moustache Dessert Lounge & Bar

Level 3 - 4, 205 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD. ph (03) 8657 8681

The kids and I stumbled across this interesting little upstairs lounge (on top of Sugar Bun) on a search for afternoon tea spots on one of our trips to the city.  I think this sort of cafes are quite common in Asia but my kids haven't been to something like this before and found it quite fascinating.

The decor was quite cute and the red phone booth was a sweet little feature.  The counter was set up like a little French cafe.

Their lychee lemonade mocktails came with moustachioed straws much to the kids' delight.

I had a matcha latte which was pleasant but lacked a good matcha punch.  The cup was cute with the moustache motif but was chipped.

Personally I was lured upstairs with the promise of crepe cakes.  We ordered the Mille fruits, with layers of fresh fruit and cream layered between sheets of soft crepe.  It was delicious but pretty pricey at $10 a slice.

We also shared an impressive looking Honeycomb honey toast ($19).  To be honest it was quite delicious, with crispy yet soft cubes of bread, delicious ice-cream and sweet honey and custard, served in a shelled out half-loaf.  Again I thought it was a bit on the expensive side for what it is, but I did enjoy sharing the experience of trying something new with the kids for afternoon tea.

Sweetie & Moustache Dessert Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Eat. @ Home - Yumi's Anytime Dips and Recipe for Cheat's Nachos

I was lucky enough to be sent a lovely package to try out the new range of Yumi's Anytime Dips.  To be honest I was already a fan, since I sampled some of their new products at the Royal Melbourne Show this year.  My kids have been asking me to get some from the supermarket but I am a terrible shopper and get so distracted when I'm shopping that I always forget stuff I'm meant to buy!  

Anyway, they are a real hit and my 3 munchkins rubbed their hands in glee to find themselves let loose on all the 6 flavours at once.  I found the great thing about them is that the new squeeze packs mean it's super easy for the kids to get them from the fridge and serve up their own after school snacks, and no contamination from knives from different tubs, double dipping or little fingers means that the product lasts longer after the pouch is opened.  I've been unwell recently and these have been a lifesaver as the kids sorted themselves out after school whilst I rested.

My favourite flavour is the curried egg, but the kids can't get enough of the garlic aioli one.  I had the midnight munchies one night and made myself some Cheat's Nachos with Yumi's Anytime Spicy Salsa in under a minute.  Here's the (non) recipe, well it's so simple I shouldn't really call it a recipe! 

Cheat's Nachos

Yumi's Anytime Spicy Tomato Salsa
Corn chips
Half an avocado
Cheese (cheddar or colby works well), grated
Lite Sour Cream
  1. spread corn chips in one layer on your plate
  2. sprinkle a handful of whatever cheese you have in the fridge, I used cheddar
  3. pop in the microwave for 30-50 seconds until the cheese melts
  4. spoon on some mashed avocado, lite sour cream and a big squeeze of Yumi's Anytime Spicy Tomato Salsa and off you go!

Disclaimer : The Eat.Play.Shop. kids and I sampled Yumi's Anytime range of easy to use dips courtesy of Yumi's and Get Glossy.  Opinions are my own.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eat. @ Fat Boy Thai Kitchen

850 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn ph (03) 9818 7728

We stumbled across Fat Boy Thai Kitchen one day when we went for ramen at Hakata Gensuke but they were undergoing renovations.  The kids thought the name was hilarious and so we gave this place a try, and so happy to report that it was actually a really nice meal without any hype.

We started off with the fish cakes ($8.9).  Nothing fancy, but a tasty morsel of fish cake with a great sauce.

The crying tiger ($11.9) was a portion of marinated scotch fillet grilled medium.  Another tasty starter.

We couldn't go past the sticky pork ribs ($21.9) on the chef's recommendation in the menu.  These were fabulous, fall off the bone tender, with an amazing caramelised sauce with a touch of chilli.  The broccoli provided the healthy antidote.

We always order mussaman beef curry ($16.9) when we have Thai and that night was no exception.  The beef was tender and the sauce was perfect.  The kids loved this as it's not as spicy as the other curries, and it goes a long way with a nice bowl of jasmine rice.

Lastly we tried the red duck curry ($18.9).  You can't see much in the photo but here's some very nice pieces of roast duck in a delicious red sauce.  I always like the lychees in red curries as it gives a nice sharp contrast to the spicy curry.

We've been back a couple of times since the first time we stumbled across Fat Boy.  The service has always been courteous and efficient.  The upstairs area lets us come along with in bigger groups with friends and family and the lack of hype means we can go for a good feed of Thai food without too much planning or trouble.  Keep up the good work!

Fat Boy Thai Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato