Horoki Casual Dining Bar – Evening Delights

“Casual dining bar” is exactly what it suggests, not overally large dishes, one dish won’t fill you up so this is a bar you go to for late afternoon or as an after dinner bite. Above is a rice noodle with roe dressed with strips of seaweed. Below we have a beautiful sashimi salad which doesn’t disappoint….

The dishes are delicately prepared and presented to please. The raw fish melts in your mouth and the seaweed and salad is refreshingly delightful…

I crave for tataki and it looks like the more expensive types of Japanese/Korean restaurants like to use quail egg instead of chicken egg. I don’t mind either but quail is probably the preferred. Sorry for the blurry pictures (iPhone 3GS) but you can imagine the setting to be lightly lit and the bar itself is tiny and would fit a maximum or 30 people or probably less. I highly recommend this place. It’s a must if you’re in the area or if you’re up for a casual dining experience with delicately made Japanese food. The dishes are a bit pricey but absolutely worth it.

Location: 19 Liverpool St Melbourne, 3000

Show Google Map

 

Harvest Picnic Werribee Mansion – Picnic For All

The name itself Harvest Picnic already sounds fun then having it at Werribee Mansion gives it sense of eeriness and family fun. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t the best as you can see from the sky but I sure did enjoy the atmosphere, food and drinks.

Band

What’s a festival/family event without some latino entertainment…

Latino Dancing

Lots of local produce, fruits and vegetables, wine and tasty treats…

Local Produce

Fresh Vegetables

Tasty Treats

Neff‘s cooking demonstrations were great to watch and my partner and I were privilege to watch Shane Delia, chef and owner of Maha Bar & Grill…

Shane Delia Neff Stand

Shane has a great down to earth personality and after watching him I’m eager to visit his restaurant in the heart of the Melbourne CBD…

Shane Delia

The media and marketing world has its perks and one of those perks is getting VIP access to events, especially events with lots of food and wine, all thanks to the wonderful people at Neff and to my beautiful partner Miss Jen. The Joseph’s Restaurant Marquee was a delight…

Joseph's Restaurant

Neff Sign

They served a gorgeous line-up of food and an absolutely generous serving of oysters 🙂

Oysters BucketThe oysters came with an optional sauce (maple syrup and walnuts). I know what a weird combination but for some reason it works. They also had watermelon juice as an alternative sauce which baffled me even more but I didn’t end up trying it because I was hooked on the maple syrup walnut concoction.
Oysters

Near the end of the event they served out the most appetising cheese platter that I’ve come across which served my ultimate favourite cheese “Camembert” *smiles all round*

Cheese Platter

And before leaving for the day, we had to get a picture the giant strawberry (should of taken some cream from the Joseph’s Marquee to have with my giant strawberry)…

Giant Strawberry

Harvest picnic is a fun day out for the family and friends, I think there was even a group of girls celebrating their hen’s. The tickets are a bit expensive seeing that you need to buy food at most stalls and the weather wasn’t smash hot but managed to not pour down rain. I would say it’s worth taking the family and friends out to Harvest Picnic which happens twice a year, one in Werribee Mansion in November and one at Hanging Rock in February. I guess a bonus for the entry fee is that you get free entry to the Mansion. That place is creepy, but that’s another post.

Mandala Restaurant – Asian Flavours

Nice and cosy vibrant restaurant with a wonderful array of Asian flavours and tasty dishes. I did admire and applaud their presentation of their entree and desserts although our main dishes had the salad dumped on top of the meat or main dish which disappointed me. The other annoying thing was our main dishes had a side salad that had the same flavours and mixture as our ordered side salad. Does that make sense? Well it does to me and got sick of eating the same salad over and over again. So I recommend to just enjoy the salad that comes with your main.

Enough whinging, now on with the dishes. First we started off with some Salt and Pepper Squid (with asian slaw and soy vinegar), Momos (pan fried pork dumplings with sesame tomato dip) and some Apple Chaat (spiced potato, fried lentil, yogurt raita, mint and tamarind chutney). The dipping sauces did it for me for the entrees and I couldn’t wait for my lamb main.

We shared our mains and ordered a Chilli Caramel Pork Hock (with asian herb salad and orange caramel), Slow Cooked Lamb Shank (with spiced bokchoy, wombok and market vegetables) and ordered a  (with pickled plum, toasted peanuts, cherry tomato). I thought the Chilli Caramel Pork was a bit too sweet although worked well with the salad. The slow cooked lamb shank was just as I expected and melted in my mouth and the soft shell crab hardly disappoints but this time it was a little salty for my liking.

Dessert is my favourite part of every meal and because I’m a diabetic it is often a rare occasion for my partner to allow me to have dessert so I cherished it “like a fat kid loves cake”. Dessert went a little something like this Pistachio Kulfi (with wild berries and mango puree) and Mandala Melt (strawberry, pistachio and mascarpone). I know my favourite part of the night was the dessert but I reckon the desserts were fantastic and I’d go back to try those desserts again but for a challenge I might try cook something similar to those desserts.

Mandala was definitely worth the visit but the mains somewhat disappointed me. I would definitely recommend trying their desserts and to have a walk down to the toilet as the little journey on the stone path was quite pleasant or on a beautiful warm night you could ask to sit outside and watch everyone go to the toilet 🙂

For more information and booking information you can visit site (it also includes their full menu)

http://mandalarestaurant.com.au

Location:133 Commercial Road, South Yarra 3141, Melbourne, Australia

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Pudding with Candied Orange Zest and Creme Chantilly

What mouthful to say but what a mouth watering dessert.

I decided to cook-a-long with George on Friday and boy did I get my hands dirty. I prepared all my ingredients, measured up all that was required and had all the cooking utensils, bowls and appliances ready.

The time to start finally came and George didn’t waste any time and started mixing all the ingredients for the hazelnut pudding. I tried to keep up, although I had limited viewing angle to the TV but I still somewhat managed to keep up. Luckily a TV commercial came up and I was able to just catch up and place the pudding in the oven with the chocolate sauce sitting on top of the pudding. Then came the orange zest and Creme Chantilly.

The orange zest was fine but having to watch that and not let it burn on the stove whilst whisking the creme Chantilly was a bit hectic and I found myself almost over cooking the zest but unfortunately over whisking the creme Chantilly.

Platting up was fun although the zest was quite warm and it melted my Creme Chantilly, so I had to take the picture quickly. It was fun but at the same time messy and hectic. I would love to try this dessert again, although at my own pace.  Recipe from Masterchef Cook-A-Long.