Fusion asian dishes, walk-in restaurant with no bookings except for one table of 10-12 people which means, waiting a long time to get a seat if you’re not there early. We went on a Friday night but some of the guys came late and at Chin Chin they won’t seat you unless the whole party is there. So we were told that the wait was 3hours. We were determined to dine at Chin Chin that night so we occupied ourselves for 3 hours and awaited a text message saying that our table was ready. We finally made it in and it did not disappoint.
When I think Tea House, I think tea pots and tea bags so everytime I passed Oriental TeaHouse I didn’t stop to think they ever served food which they absolutely do. I would their food selections as yum-cha style servings and dumplings are their specialty. But to showcase their food selections Oriental Tea House in Melbourne Central is currently running a special called “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”.
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Have you ever been wondering where to find some good South American food? Well in the heart of Vic Market (F Shed) you’ll find La Cantina. I would of never found this place if it wasn’t for my friend at work who took us there for lunch. They’re open when the Vic Market is open so that’s everyday except for Monday & Wednesday (for more info click here)
Love the South American vibe and the music makes you want to get up and start dancing. Across from the bar area there’s ample seating on the market side.
I’ve heard their coffees are pretty good which was evident when the coffee crowd was lining up grabbing their coffee fixes.
I love food and when I was eating this Chicken Burrito I was loving every moment of it, BOOM! I have to say it’s probably best burrito I’ve ever tasted but then again I’ve only had a few. The chicken was marinated well and the wrap was nice and soft and everything just went well together! It’s all homemade so you’re getting authentic South American food and I gurantee it will fill you up because it’s massive!
My friends had the Chacarero with the lot and I think that’s classified as a steak sandwhich. The picture below doesn’t do it justice but what’s inside is a thin marinated steak pattie, salsa, chopped tomatoes, mayonaise and guacamole. I had to have a bite and it was pretty damn tasty.
We also had some tappas chorizo and these chilli powdered chips. I’m not a fan of chilli but I had my Mexican Lime drink or Inca Kola on standby.
After lunch it was time for siesta! The burrito was the BOMB and the side tappas just topped it off.
La Cantina has been opened for around 3 years now. I wish I found this place earlier. All those trips down to the Vic Market wondering what to eat. I got to take a photo with the faces behind the counter and pictured on the right of me with the funky moustache is Christian Silva the owner of La Cantina.
If you’re umming and ahhhing about where to eat around the Vic Market precint or feel like a South American type of breakfast or lunch then La Cantina will satify your South American cravings. On a beautiful day with worn out feet from market shopping all morning then La Cantina is the place to sit back relax, sip on some coffee, beer or cocktails (yes they have liquor) and have some fresh homemade South American brunch. I highly recommend the Chicken or Beef Burrito!
Location: Shop 24, F Shed, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne 3000
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Care for some Churros?
If you look on the bar behind the menu’s you’ll find a little display with the Spanish Donuts truck which represents the one just around the corner off the Peel St end of the market where you can’t go past without being tempted to buy some Churros! See my post on the Churro Truck – Vic Market
Do you know of the Churro Truck permanently parked at the Victoria Market Peel St end? Of course you do because it’s the best churros and freshest churros around. Hordes of people stand there like zombies waiting for the churros to be freshly cooked because we all know churros are best when they’re warm.
The guys let me hop inside the truck and take some photos to see the churro cooking in action and so I could get some nice photos. When the churros are done they’re hung for a minute to let it cool slightly and then chopped into churro pieces and served fresh with a dusting of icing sugar and an optional choice of warm milk chocolate sauce.
The churro truck is open everyday except the days when Vic Market are closed which is Monday & Wednesday (see more info here) I like my churros plain with some icing sugar and passing the churro truck when I’m in the area I just have to get some. Say hello to the guys in the truck, they won’t bite.
Location: Peel Street, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne 3000
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If you’re hanging for some breakfast or lunch in the area why not try La Cantina? See my post here La Cantina – Vic Market – Burrito’s, BOOM!
When I say hidden, I really mean hidden. There’s no sign outside on the street, well none that I could see, so if you happen to stumble across this place by just walking through a door down Swanston St having a look what’s downstairs then you’ve done very well. How did I find out about this place? Unfortunately I didn’t stumble upon this place but it was pointed out by a friend who begged me to not put this on my blog because it’s such a hidden treasure. Oh well, sharing is caring.
The entrance is a bit shabby and their sign which from memory last time I went past wasn’t there so I guess it’s a little easier to find now.
But once you walk in, you feel like you’re in Korea. Well that’s what my partner said because she recently came back from there. As you walk in there’s cute little seating compartments, a bar and some casual seating area in front of the bar. My partner and I got to sit in this cute little booth for two. Sort of reminded me of the cupboard space underneath a staircase (I wasn’t paying much attention but it probably was the area underneath a staircase, lol)
Had some beef bulgogi which was my favourite and was very full of flavour and I loved the straw mushrooms on top.
Pork belly went super well with its accompanied sides but obviously very plain on its own. I think you’re supposed to wrap it in the cabbage and then add the sweet pickled radish or something that came with it. Should of asked, got excited because the menu said pork belly.
We also grabbed some beef soup which went well with what we got and hit the spot on a cold long winter night.
Then of course a whole bunch of sides which is why I love Korean food and restaurants. The side dish that I found weird because I hadn’t seen it served or tried it like that before was the ‘raw garlic’. Have you ever eaten garlic like that? Was weird but I quite liked it and helped with some of the spicy items.
I’m pretty sure its cash only, so make sure you bring some mulla and they probably don’t do bookings either. They’re open from 5pm every day and close til late.
I like Joomak’s interior and the food was okay but the prices were a bit steep for the amount you get. I would of liked to have tried some of their soju wine’s, cocktails and drinks but it wasn’t that type of night. The seating booths are cute but if you’ve got a big group, prepare to squish together. I didn’t know but the corner of Swanston St and A’beckett St in Melbourne hosts some funky looking Korean and Japanese restaurants. Might have to do a series on that area. But I do see myself going back to Joomak for some wine, cocktails and light nibblies.
Location:Basement 407-409 Swanston St Melbourne, 3000
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OMG, chocolate covered churros!!! That’s right with the help of Ashley from Food Pampering Yourself and Spanish Doughnuts I got to taste them all, well most of them! That’s why I’m all churro-ed out! So many different chocolate coverings and stuffing to make anyone go into a Churro Food Coma.
Here’s what I tried and a few more! They have milk chocolate churro, dark chocolate, white chocolate, tripple chocolate, caramel stuffed churro, custard stuffed churro, peanut butter stuffed churro, jam stuffed churros, plain churros and much more!
But my favourite type of churro is the plain type. I like em soft, crunchy, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with a side of milk, dark or white chocolate.I went to the store on Elizabeth St close to Flinders St, don’t expect a massive store where you can chomp away on churros because it’s a small express Churro outlet with a few tables outside but I guess it’s more for on the go cravings! If you love churro’s I dare you to try them all!
Spanish Doughnuts CHURRO EATING COMPETITION!
OKAY! If you’re a churro junkie and you think you can eat all the churro’s above and more then Spanish Doughnuts are holding their very first CHURRO EATING COMPETITION!!! Where you can win $1000 for eating the most churros in 2 minutes. That’s right, one thousand dollars! From me posting this you don’t have much time to register because registration closes just before 11am on the 13th of August 2011 where they’ll be randomly selecting 10 lucky contestants to partake in the Churro Eating Competition! They’ll announce this at their Westfield Doncaster store. Don’t worry you don’t have to be there, they’ll notify you by email. The actual competition will be held onSaturday the 20th of August, noon at Federation Square, Melbourne. So you better Register Now!
Don’t worry if you don’t make the cut, they’ll be giving out a whole lot of free Churros on the day and you’ll get to see 10 very eager churro eaters chomping on a whole lot of churro.
To sum up it up…
Registration: Closes at around 10:30am Saturday 13th August 2011. Click here to register!
Churro Eating Competition:
@ Federation Square
Saturday 20th August 2011
Anyways, got a churro craving or want a churro with a twist? Try out Spanish Doughnuts. They have a stall down at Flinders St Station as well so when you get off the train or while waiting for your train, maybe try each flavour and share it here.
If you haven’t had enough churro from this post, check out these posts from a few other bloggers:
Chillipadi – India in Melbourne Central and right next door you have Chilli-India, express indian food. I’ve been to Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam and enjoyed the hawker style Malaysian food there and I’ve been to Chillipadi Watergardens where the food and service was okay but what I really liked was the decor of the restaurant and the massive round table for banquets and functions (gotta revisit the place, forgot my camera last time). So I was pretty excited and had mixed feelings about Chillipadi at Melbourne Central.
I was happy to be invited on Food Pamering Yourself’s 2nd Food Trail on a Wednesday night at Chillipadi-India so it was a relaxed setup and was able to share it with a good handful of other great food bloggers. We also got to meet Robert and Li (pictured) from Chillipadi who were wonderful hosts and Li explained and prepared the dishes for us and even gave us a good history lesson on Malaysian food and Malaysian heritage. Can’t thank Robert and Li enough for the wonderful feast they prepared for us with dishes from both Chillipadi-India and Chilli-India.I’ve been past many times but in case you can’t find it there’s 2 entrances to Chillipadi-India. One is through Melbourne Central right next to Max Brenner Chocolate and the other is on the corner of Lt Lonsdale St and Elizabeth St. You can’t miss it.
Now on to the food gawking! We started with some red wine and some of us ordered our own drinks.Here we have the Milo Dinosaur, I tried this at the Mamak Kopitiam restaurant and thought it looked cooler in the jar they served it in but it probably tasted the same.I ordered the Bandung which is apparently a popular Malaysian drink which consists of milk, rose syrup and basil seeds. I really liked it, it was nice and refreshing and helped me with the spicy food. Behind the bandung was the Ribena & Lychees drink which also looked nice and refreshing.Chicken Lobak, this was a great dish to start the night. Nice and soft with it’s chicken stuffing and bean curd skin.My picture doesn’t do the dish justice but this is a Duck Salad. The salad had slices of duck, walnuts, cherry tomatoes and some dressing.Pad Thai (Seafood) was cooked just the way I like it. Yumm! Update 15/06/11 7:25pm: This is actually Penang Fried Keuy Teow (thanks Ashely from Food Pampering for correcting me) Followed by some Fried soft tofu.Above is the Indonesian Beef Rendang which was a little spicy for me but I actually enjoyed it even thought got me a little flustered. I guess that’s why they’re called Chillipadi.Now I can’t remember what this was but it looked like layered roti with some filling. I should paid more attention. But I like anything with roti or roti like. Update 15/06/11 11:10am: This dish is Roti reuben, stuffed with chicken curry, mayo and sweet chilli sauce (from Ashley – I’m So Hungreeeee)Here we have prawns covered in flaky oats. Got the opportunity to get my hands dirty by peeling the skin or if you’re lazy or you like you can opt to eat the skin. I liked the prawns but the flaky bits didn’t do it for me.The Fish Curry was my favourite. Good amount of spice and the flavours all blended nicely and went well with the rice. From memory it had some vegetables and eggplant in it too. Will come back for this dish.To finish off our feast we had a calamari/seafood salad, at this point we were all pretty satisfied and couldn’t ask for me. But then we were introduced to one of the chefs at Chilli-India!We also got invited to watch him demonstrate some roti making.
Went back upstairs to find out, we were going to taste some more food from next door’s Chilli-India. Should of seen our faces, we were almost at the point of “time to release a button full” but our eyes still gleamed with excitement.I don’t know what it’s called but a long roti tissue dish came out with three types of dips. I think there was a coconut dip and a curry style dip and not sure what the other one was. The roti broke off easily and the dipping sauces were great. Good dish to have for a casual meetup or to start a feast off. Update 15/06/11 11:13am: This is called Dosai, made with rice flour.(from Ashley – I’m So Hungreeeee)Then we were served some Tandoori Chicken and some flavoured Basmati Rice. The chicken was good as you enjoyed the tandoori marinate and was nice and juicy.Followed by some super creamy Butter Chicken and roti chanai, my favourite. I could just eat roti and butter chicken all day long. Definitely come past for some of this.This was the final dish to arrive. Roti Tissue with chocolate syrup, condense milk and nuts to dress. We couldn’t keep our hands off it. Soft roti just breaks off and if the syrup and milk wasn’t enough you could take a dip at the pool of chocolate, milk and nuts at the bottom of the plate.To top off the wonderful feast we had, we were served some Green Tea infused with Rosemary. I’m not really into the infused flavours with green tea but this I liked! Where can I get some?We spent most of our time upstairs which had a beautiful array of wine bottles and Liquor for decor.There’s also a small balcony area upstairs with a good view of the alley or you can hire it out for private functions and also hire the upstairs area for functions (seats 60). Giving me ideas!
Good location, a favourite for the after clubbing scene being opened til 5:00am from Thursday to Saturday and a good range of food and prices according to your preference. I enjoyed the food, the company and Robert and Li were great. I would like to go back and have the full dining experience and try my favourites and more. Definitely recommend giving this place a go for a mix of Malaysian, Thai, Indian, Chinese and a bit of Japanese cuisine.
Location: Shop E07 Menzies Alley Melbourne Central, Crn Lt Lonsdale & Elizabeth, Melbourne.
Phone: 03 9663 5688
Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday (10am til late), Thursday to Saturday (10am-5am)
Melbourne Exhibition Centre hosts the biggest and best shows, exhibitions and entertainment that come to Melbourne and the Good Food and Wine Show is not an exception.
Where to start? I had the opportunity to go on Friday night and again on Saturday. Boy, did I enjoy the not so busy Friday over the overly crowded getting push around crowd on Saturday. Put on your comfy shoes because you’ll be doing a whole lot of walking unless you’re watching a cooking show or eating at the central cafe tasting Marion or Poh’s recipes.
Unfortunately, I didn’t make time to eat at any of them because of the large amounts of tasters and samples I had at almost every stand and I had already made plans for a big dinner on both nights. But most importantly I took advantage of the necklace wine holder which I opted for just in case I get tipsy and leave the glass somewhere (come on, it can happen) Choose from the 5 different colours ($10) or opt for just a wine glass for $3. Either way, you’ll be making the most of the glass (trust me)
Don’t want to go to South Australia and visit the Barossa Valley? Then the GFSW brought them to you.Had a few too many drinks here and everywhere. There was a whole section (very large section) for just wine and beer, it was crazy but surprisingly tamed.
What I Loved at the Show
The following are the stands, products, food and drinks I loved at the GFWS 2011:
St-Germain is a liqueur infused with elderflower blossoms. If you haven’t tried elderflower before, you’re missing out. The elderflower just calls out to you when you have a sip.
You couldn’t have missed the MiniMelts ice-cream stand. I think I went past 2 or 3 times. I tried the banana split, bubblegum and the cookies & cream (favourite). I only see this ice-cream available at events and festivals. I want more.
I love Japanese sake, hot or cold. Their plum wine was too sweet for me but it was nice, maybe with something savoury. They sell their wine at Dan Murphy’s so definitely going to grab a couple of bottles for my next drink up.
Ingham’s Chicken & Turkey burgers probably had the longest line of people waiting all day but the wait wasn’t as long as I had thought as their samples were cooking non-stop throughout the day. Well done Ingham.
Appletisers!!!! A simple drink but sooo refreshing, right? I probably sampled this 5 times. OK I lie more like 7 or 8 times. A bit overkill with the number of girls stationed around a small table but who cares? I got my drinks and I was happy.
My finance and I are looking to renovate the kitchen so we couldn’t go past the Fisher & Paykel kitchen display, not that we’re looking for those types of kitchens but wouldn’t it be a dream to have one of these installed in your kitchen?That’s right, a draw fridge hidden away. Cool but not necessary. Another cool thing, was one of their quotes.
I’m a bit of a sucker when it comes to quick easy DIY things. Creative Gourmet’s Smoothie Cubes, yup the one on the commercial, did it for me. Went straight to Coles after the show, used the 1/2 price voucher and got me a couple of smoothie cubes for home.
And last but not least. Coopers Beer Garden, where everything stops, you get to relax and knock back a nice cold beer.Here’s the literal meaning of Cooper’s Beer Garden.
There were several spots you were definitely going to find a celebrity chef.
1. Celebrity Theatre – I saw Gary and George’s show – they pulled a few rude jokes (cover your ears kids) but they made me laugh, but the show wasn’t overly exciting. Sorry :)
2. GoodFood Magazine stage – Gary, George, Manu and more of them did cooking demos on this stage (get a bigger screen next time, couldn’t see the food)
3. The book signing area – Buy their book and get it signed!
4. Special guest appearances at a number of the stands – Got to take a picture with Poh Ling Yeow which was awesome! Her smile and laugh is infectious! And saw Callum briefly at one of the stands.
What I took home
You can’t go home empty handed from the show but you don’t want to drag the whole show with you while you walk around (unless you brought or bought a trolley), so when you’re ready to go home, track back to your favourite spots and pick up your shopping.
Here’s what I took home:
Rebello’s Cheeky Rascal Ciders – Three flavours of cider. Apple, apple & raspberry and apple & strawberry. I liked all three so I took a set home with me.
Who doesn’t like chocolate? I couldn’t turn down Ritter Sport’s chocolate’s 4 for $10 grabbing the butter biscuit, white chocolate, almond and my favourite cornflakes flavour. Brought it to work to share and it disappeared in a blink of an eye. Everyone enjoyed the cornflakes and butter biscuit chocolate.
Preshafruit is my kind of fruit juice, although as a diabetic it could be a little less sweet. The first time I came across this fruit juice was at Earl Canteen, never seen it before that. We took home the Apple & Raspberry 1L bottle :)
This was definitely an impulse buy but I like my peanut butter and jam sandwich’s and my fiance liked the carry container that came with it if we bought 2. Suckers!Last but not least, Gu Chocolate Puds was another surprising favourite where people were flocking to taste and once you tasted it you were automatically lured into buying everything.With a VIP pass to their stand I got to try their chocolate pudding with a generous ration of ganache in the middle. The chocolate was rich and nice but the ganache in the centre was the winner. I also tried their lime cheesecake which I absolutely loved, it had a nice zesty tinge to it and it was so smooth and creamy and the biscuit base complemented it well.So in the end, we ended up getting the Gu pack for $15 which included 2 of the chocolate bites (got Rocky Road & Caramel – Both very good) and a choice of the cheesecakes and pudding but we loved the lime cheesecakes so much we got THREE of them!!!
What I should of tried
Things I should of tried or regret not doing:
- Baking demo at the Sunbeam section. I need to learn the basics :)
- Poh or Marion’s Receipes. :(
- The hot chilli covered salami. OK, maybe not.
The GFWS was fun, plenty of food to try, celebrities to see and it was absolutely tiring. Word of advice, if you have kids or babies, go on Friday or Sunday. Less people and you’ll have more freedom with your prams. Now I can’t wait to try all the good things I took away from the weekend and all the new favourite food and drinks I want to try from the show.
A very special thank you to Ogilvy for the opportunity to personally meet Poh and James Lang (Director of GFWS) and for the Goodie bag and special VIP tastings from GU chocolate puds and much more.
I also liked the Malaysia Kitchen stand but my post was getting mega long so I did a seperate post on them. You can find that post here.
Malaysia Kitchen was one of my favourite stands where they hosted a good line-up of shows and showcased a number of fantastic Malaysian chefs and dishes. Malaysia Kitchen is all about promoting Malaysian food in Australia and yes we enjoy the food. Behind the stand they were sampling some really nice beef rangdang, hot Malaysian tea & roti bread from two very popular Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne.
Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam (Flemmington) – How cute are the Chillipadi boys (Friday and Sunday session) – Been to the Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam restaurant in Flemmington and I loved it (here’s my post on them – Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam)
Chai Restaurant (Carlton) – The line was long for this but was worth the wait (Saturday session) – Need to try this restaurant out.
Another highlight was watching Cheong Liew whip up a few dishes. Would of loved to taste them, they looked delicious. I was sad to miss out on seeing Adam Liaw as I really enjoyed watching him cook on Masterchef but I’m glad some of the other bloggers were able to do a post on him (Food Rehab)
Spending my time at the Malaysia Kitchen stand fired me up for my trip next week to Bangkok and Philippines, will be doing a 1 day stop-over to Kuala Lumpur. Can’t wait for the hawker style food in KL!!! (If I can, I’ll be posting my foodie and travel adventures on the go)
Anyways, I couldn’t stay at the stand forever so on with the show. See the rest of my review on the Good Food And Wine Show 2011 here.
Have you been to the Suzuki Night Market yet? Well next week (March 2nd 2011) is the last one until Nov later this year.
Do you go for the food? maybe for the entertainment? the great bargains? or maybe because of the awesome buzz you get being at the Suzuki Night Market! Whatever it is, it’s worth a visit, entry is FREE, plenty of parking at a low flat rate and it’s great to catch up with mates.
I love going for the food and for the people.
Gozleme is soo good and it’s perfect to share.
My new friend from Foooooodpamperingyourself recommended the crocodile burger so I gave it go. Seeing it get cooked on the BBQ made my mouth water and I had to try one. A little chewy, didn’t taste like chicken so it was satisfying to my tummy.
Another favourite are the Churros but then again, churros are easily available at your nearest San Churro’s cafe.
On a warm night, everywhere you look, you’ll see someone holding a Sangria. I found it a bit strong but, what the hell everyone has one, why not just hold onto it and look cool like everyone else.
I don’t know why, but another thing you see a number of people holding and eating are these potato twists! So I had to try one. Very simple concept, the flavours are simple, I think it’s because it looks different.
Another popular item is the dutch pancakes! I have to say, the cream, butter, chocolate and sugar they put on these things make it a deadly sugar overdose dessert!!!
There’s plenty more food available and great entertainment on both ends of the market. Arrive early to avoid the lines and goodluck finding a table after 7pm. If you haven’t been yet. Next week is the last one for a while. But then again, there’s always next time. Enjoy the rest of the food pics.
Actually I forgot to show you my friend’s creativity or immaturity. It’s all good, my friend’s and I think he’s alright.
Location:155 Victoria Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
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