Sunday, January 27, 2013

Eat. @ Akachochin

33 Dukes Walk, South Wharf 3006 ph (03) 9245 9900

I have always wanted to visit Akachochin (named after the distinctively Japanese Red Lanterns) after seeing beautiful pictures of the food there on instagram.  I love shopping at South Wharf DFO, but for some reason had never figured out that South Wharf Promenade is just on the other side of the building!  We've been here for lunch a couple of times now, and to our delight we have found delicious, freshly prepared food and surprisingly kid friendly service.

On weekdays, Akachochin offers a $20 set lunch menu.  Essentially this is a Bento set with miso soup and steamed rice, with a side of yasai ohitashi (pickled vegetables), with an entree choice of either salmon or kingfish sashimi, and a choice of main.  Pictured below is the one with the grilled chicken with a spicy teriyaki sauce.  

The chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was a perfect teriyaki sauce - not too salty, adequatetly sweet, with a hint of spiciness to make it interesting.  

Mini Me had the one with the grilled pork belly main.  I was really impressed that they thought to serve the sauce separately, as they were worried the sauce would be too spicy for children - something that I hadn't even thought of until they mentioned it! (Naughty Mummy!  Mini Me loved the sauce by the way, it wasn't too spicy for her!)

The other option for a main was a crumbed, fried fish fillet with a special tartare sauce.  There are also options available for vegetarians and for cold soba on the lunch menu.

On another occasion I tried the Fish Ochazuke ($15) from the regular menu, which was soy marinated sashimi on rice, served with hot green tea, wasabi, kizami-nori, spring onion and oshinko.  I quite liked this as a lunch, it felt like a bowlful of tasty, healthy Japanese comfort food.

We've also tried the Unagi Avacado Roll ($14 for 6 pieces).   I love unagi, and these rolls are a refreshing take, using cucumber as a wrap rather than nori.

We were fortunate enought to try their Nabeyaki Udon which was a special of the day during one of our visits.  A hot pot of udon topped with an abundance of seafood and a wonderful broth.

To be honest I had been really keen to try Akachochin but was worried that bringing kids there would be difficult, so was resigned to the fact it's one of those places I would eventually get to try on one of our rare dinner dates.  I'm really glad we tried lunch here, as the service was excellent and friendly, and we felt quite welcome (even the time we went as a party of 11, with 5 children, 3 of those 2 and under).  We kept the kids entertained at the table and got to enjoy some excellent freshly prepared Japanese food.  I'm already looking forward to my next shopping trip to South Wharf!

Toilet - Yes, spacious enough for a pram
Highchair - they have one!

Akachochin on Urbanspoon

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Eat. @ Breakfast Thieves

Shop 1, 420 Gore St, Fitzroy 3065 ph (03) 9416 4884

Hey I'm back!  I've had a 6 week break from blogging as multiple happenings over the holiday period had kept me otherwise occupied, but welcome to 2013 and I am looking forward to a bigger and better year!  To start things off I wanted to write about a cafe that has truly *ahem* stolen our hearts in the last few months - Breakfast Thieves.  I've been a couple of times in the recent months, once for a break by myself while Bubs slept in the pram, and another with the whole gang during a busy Saturday school holiday brunching hour.  Apart from the delicious food and coffee, the thing that has kept, and will keep on bringing me back is the friendly service.

With my recent "healthier lifestyle" I have been drinking skinny mocha's when I've been out.   The mochas here have been really good despite the use of lower fat milk.  In an effort to prevent Macaron Monster from knocking over a bottle of juice, I of course knocked over MY cup of coffee!  The staff was very nice - they quickly helped me clean up, and before I knew it another cup of mocha appeared.  It was much appreciated!

Hubby's cappuccino came in pretty blue cup and even prettier latte art.

I tried The Breakfast Chain ($16) the first time I was here.  This was a mini smorgasbord of breakfast goodies including two perfectly boiled gooey eggs with brioche soldiers, a side of vanilla yogurt with house made granola, and a fruit based side.  This was in the form of a fruit crumble when I visited the first time, and a summer fruit panzanella the next.  It's a perfect meal for someone like me, who can never decide what to have, so a little of everything is very enticing!  

It's also great for kids, and Mini Me and Macaron Monster shared this on my second visit. 

So much fun and deliciousness dipping the brioche soldiers into the gooey eggy goodness.

It was past 11:30am and the lunch menu had also kicked you, so Hubby did not hesitate to order the Kazman Wagyu Burger ($17).  The patty had wagyu and water chestnut, and came with a fried egg, green mango slaw, in a toasted brioche bun, with a side of hand cut chips and wasabi mayo.  I'm not one for veggie filled, herby type burgers but I was surprised at how well this combo worked!  Hubby has voted this one of his all time favourite wagyu burgers (the other being the one from Ezard.)  We were both totally blown away by the awesome chips and dip.

I don't usually take pics of already eaten food (I seem to be doing it a bit in this post!) but this burger is crazy good and looked amazing to boot.

We finished off the meal with the Brioche Pan Perdu ($16), a brioche French toast served with  raspberry coulis soaked cherries, white chocolate mascarpone and candied pistachios.  Every bite was melt in the mouth buttery eggy goodness, then you get the sweet tang of the cherries and then bang, the crunch of the pistachio.  So, so good and I will definitely order this again!

The service was prompt, friendly and efficient, and the staff was most accommodating with our kids and prams and little accidents.  They even had some good old fashioned Little Golden Books lying around for the kids.

I have no doubt this will be a favourite of ours throughout 2013!

Toilets - Yes, spacious and kid friendly
Highchair - Yes

Breakfast Thieves on Urbanspoon