Thursday, February 12, 2015

Eat. @ Jardin Tan and Play @ Botanical Gardens

Royal Botanical Gardens, Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra 3004 ph (03) 9691 3888

A day out to the Botanical Gardens brought an impromptu visit to Jardin Tan, the Shannon Bennett backed Vietnamese fusion restaurant that opened in the Gardens last year.  As such we didn't have a booking, and so could only order from the bar menu, but we didn't have any expectations so it wasn't a big deal.

We started off with some drinks, including an expensive but delicious coconut ($7).  Lemonades from a large dispenser was refreshing at $4 a glass.

And followed with a Vietnamese coffee.  Happy that it was a traditional Vietnamese drip coffee, although I did see other ice coffees served a cute beaker. 

We started with Cha GioThit Heo ($14) which was a Vietnamese pork spring roll.  This was quite delicious and had a bit of a spicy kick to them.  (Even without the chilli garnishing the rolls).  Unfortunately we only found that out after giving one to Bubs only to have him start crying and polish off an entire glass of lemonade to put out the fire.  Bad parents!

Next up another spicy dish in Ga Chien ($18) which was fried chicken with a firecracker sauce.  This was really more-ish and I definitely would have liked more for the price but I also recognise that this is no ordinary eatery at your local park.

We also shared a Banh Mi Tom Hum ($22) which was their lobster roll. This was very delicious.

We then ordered a dessert platter ($9) which came with 3 desserts randomly picked out by our server from their selection.  Macaron Monster however was very keen on their creme brulee so we ordered one of those as well ($4).  There was a mousse with passionfruit curd, a raspberry cream filled choux pastry and a coconut and palm sugar panna cotta if I recall correctly.  

After that we had a fabulous walk through the botanical gardens.  New things we have noticed include a gondola ride in the waterways ($65 for a family) and the children's play area.  We brought along our Timmy Junior which is a toy I remember from my childhood and the kids had a ball flying it and learning about kinetic energy from their science geek parents.

We returned to the outside cafe area of Jardin Tan for afternoon tea, and had a couple of donuts (blackberry jam and passionfruit curd).......

as well as some choc tops to cool off after an afternoon of fun.

All in all an afternoon at the botanical gardens is a free, fun place to go with kids.  The addition of Jardin Tan means that you have the option of dining in style, with delicious food in a lovely setting.  The food and prices are far, far away from what I remember of my own visits to the gardens when I was little!

Jardin Tan on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 6, 2015

Eat. @ Tall Timber

60 Commercial Rd, Prahran 3181 ph (03) 9676 9333

I won a voucher at the gorgeous Lou Salon on Greville St in our kinder's trivia night raffle, and took the opportunity to visit Tall Timber on my way there (sans kids!).  It was so nice having their beautiful mocha ($3.8) by myself!

The Brekkie Board ($16.5) is always perfect for someone like me who is no good at making up my mind, and a little bit of everything is always fun!  The Lime and Coconut museli that they use from The Wild was a standout.

I brought the kids back on the way to Prahran Market during the school holidays and besides having the brekkie board again we tried the lunch menu BBQ Pulled Pork brioche burger ($18).  A pretty burger ticking all the right boxes with a smokey pulled pork and pretty and refreshing slaw salad.

We ended with a sweet ice chocolate......

....and something sweet.  A Cobb Lane carrot cake hit the spot.  I love love love their carrot cake!

Another wonderful cafe for Prahran locals!

Tall Timber on Urbanspoon

Toilets - yes
Highchair - yes

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eat. @ The Merrywell (Downstairs Burger Bar)

Clarendon Street, Crown, South Bank ph (03) 9292 7468

During our "staycation" in Melbourne over Summer, we took advantage of the free tram zone in the Melbourne CBD and zipped all over town.  An impromptu visit to the South Bank area landed us at The Merrywell during happy hour so we ended up with burgers and fries for dinner.

The Happy Hour deal is pretty good.  For $15 you get a burger and pint.  There's a variety of beer on offer at The Merrywell but for us it was colourful pints of soft drinks with paper straws.

Hubby and the kids had the K.I.S.S Burgers, with a robust meat patty, mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, mayo and cheddar.  The patties are meaty and juicy and the burgers were simple as its name implies but pretty darn fabulous.

I had the MW Club which was a "Sam-wich" with buttermilk battered chicken, bacon, cheddar, tomato, and mayo in a damper roll.  A good alternative if you don't want a beef burger. 

Of course we had a side of fries and onion rings ($8) which went well with the burger and drinks.  Perfect bar meal. 

We also ordered a salted caramel shake ($7) which came with swirls of cream and a cherry on top.  Unfortunately when I took a sip I found a shard of glass (fortunate as it wasn't one of the kids who got it).  The staff was good though and was apologetic and it was replaced with a new one. 

A great burger bar, extra good during Happy Hour and a cool place to hang out after work.

The Merrywell on Urbanspoon