Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam – Malaysian Hawker Style Food

ChilliPadi Mamak Kopitam sign
Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam is a great array of hawker style Malaysian food you would find along the streets and food stalls of Malayasia but on the outskirts of Melbourne in Flemmington. I’m a great fan of the Chillipadi restaurants in Melbourne and have enjoyed the popular Mamak restuarant in Sydney’s Chinatown. So I expected good things from this combination.

The seating area surrounds the round middle kitchen/bar and although they provide cutlery and chopsticks, they do encourage you to use your hands for a number of their dishes.

For lunch we decided to share a few dishes which in my opinion is the best way to eat Malaysian food. We tried the combination seafood noodles which was wonderful and slimey (just the way I like it)Combination Seafood Noodles
To try out different flavours we opted for the choose two or three curries. The curries were butter chicken, lamb, beef and crab. Attached to that was some naan bread, choices of rice, we chose plain and coconut rice and looking at the pictures there was this chickpea soup.

Mamak in Sydney is famous for it’s roti bread as the cooks display their technique in front for all to see as people line up outside the restaurant waiting for a seat (yup it’s that popular). But here at Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam we don’t have that display although I’d expect a similar quality and flavour. So we ordered some egg roti and it wasn’t a surprise that it was absolutely delightful and fit perfectly with our curries and I was ready to order more to just eat on its own.
Roti Bread
Curries for me, means hot food but Chillipadi are kind enough to let you know which curries or dishes are mild, hot or very hot by a chilli indicator on the menu.Chillipadi Menu
To alleviate the chilli (I’m very weak with chilli) we ordered some milky drinks which greatly helps to soothe your mouth. I ordered the Milo Dinosaur because it sounded cool and when it came out it was twice as large as the other drinks so it suited me well. They have a number of these milky con-cautions so choice is plentiful.Milo Monster Drink
I will definitely return to Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam and will try them out during dinner. Great food selection, prices are reasonable and the service is fair but I will definitely go back for that roti and wouldn’t mind trying some of the desserts. Flemmington has a number of eateries down Racecourse Road so if you’re looking for some casual dining down that area, give Chillipadi Mamak Kopitiam a go.

Location: 295 Raceourse Road, Kensington, 3031, (03) 9376 0228
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Bella Vedere – Fresh Produce from the Yarra Valley

Bella Vedere Sign Post
Bella Vedere, I learnt Italian when I was in high school and I definitely know Bella means Beautiful. With “Vedere”, I mistakenly thought it was Verde which is the colour Green in Italian so I had to look the word Vedere up. Google says it means ‘to see’, ‘to look at’, ‘meet’, ‘visit’, etc…

So If I put the two words together, “Bella Vedere”, I would say it means something like Beautiful To See. But I went further and consulted Google Translate and it told me it means Nice To See.

OK, enough Italian for today. Lets talk about Bella Vedere. Gary Cooper is part owner and head chef of Bella Vedere and has maintained a one hat Michelin rating for Bella Vedere three years in a row. I can’t believe I ate there and didn’t realise he was in the kitchen cooking my lunch (If I paid more attention I would of taken a photo with him).As you drive in, you’re greeted with a lovely town house building with some grape plantation on either side. The grapes were covered, most likely to protect the grapes as it was a week before harvest time when I went.The front is welcoming, with a small section on the right dedicated for wine tasting and on the left is the Bella Bakehouse for when you walk into the restaurant you are drawn in by the freshly baked bread.As you walk past the small bakery, you see a wall of local produce. Did I mention, Bella Vedere is known for using local produce that make up their menu and the menu always changes from season to season or available stock.In the back, they have their own garden where a number of their vegetables and fruits are sourced from. You can also see their neighbour from the garden which from memory was Oakridge Vineyard which looked spectacular.On the left hand side of the corridor directly after the jars of local produce you are tempted with freshly baked cakes and dessert. I think the first dessert pictured below is tiramisu. If you duck your head and have a peek inside the kitchen, the chef’s are very welcoming and are happy to say hello. The restaurant is nice and cosy, white clothed tables, dressed with cutlery for a three course meal, freshly baked bread and fresh flowers and produce from the garden. There’s also a bar and an open kitchen for all to see.The waiters were very helpful and polite and offered water and wine as we settled onto our table. There were 7 of us for lunch and we heard great things about this restaurant so we weren’t about to hold back. We started with entree…scampi…Ox Tounge salad…Thickly Cut chips with egg and another one with some special sauceWhile we were waiting for the food, some of us went outside to look at the garden and as everyone walked back in Miss J, casually started a convo with one of the chefs. Who convinced her to order some smoked or grilled eel that he was preparing. Later on we realised she was speaking to Gary Cooper. The eel’s skin was quite rubbery but was warned by Gary to take off the skin. I think the eel was grilled but it had a real smokey flavour to it which I didn’t mind.
Not onto the lunch mains…don’t let the pictures deceive you, these dishes were a treat and I would recommend all of them but then again, when you visit the restaurant, the menu most likely would of changed or there would be a slight variant.
Half a duck, looks small on photo but looked fairly large on the plate.Next we have quail. The entree serves one quail and the main serves two. If you’re not hungry I suggest just the one will satisfy you.A thinly slice minute cooked steak is next on the list which we though was going to be a small dish but it was fairly sized and filled up the two that ordered it. It looks thick on the photo, but it’s actually a thin slice of beef ontop of mash potato or vegetables.My favourite was probably the rabbit dish which I scabbed some off Miss J. The dish looks small on the photo but it was a generous serving of rabbit.Two of us were game enough to try something that sounds pretty disgusting but as foodies, we were up for anything. And that dish was “LAMB BRAINS“!!! I’m not pulling your leg, look at the pictures below. It was pure lamb brains with a nice tangy sauce.Here’s a close up of the lamb brains with the outer layer peeled off. YUMMMMM!!!I have to admit, it did get a bit sickening after the 5th piece. It would of been nice with some rice, in my opinion.

We made sure we made some room for dessert. A bit of tiramisu, strawberry cheesecake & a rich chocolate ganache cake with a biscuit casing.

I came with little expectation and an empty stomach and either way I definitely enjoyed the dishes, the setting, the service, the company and the fresh air of the country side. Make it a day trip, there’s definitely plenty to do in the Yarra Valley area. Make sure to visit some other places around the area such as Domaine Chandon, Little Creatures Brewery, The White Rabbit Brewery, Healsville Sanctuary and so much more.

Location:874 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream VIC 3770
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TableTopBBQ – Beef Rice Paper Rolls Recipe

The TableTopBBQ is great fun and Melbourne’s weather last Saturday was perfect for a BBQ which gave myself the idea of testing out the TableTopBBQ!!!!

Unboxing of the Table Top BBQ

You get three sauce plates inside, 4 sets of chopsticks and a very handy flip grill…


We were looking at eating a healthy lunch so we decided on Beef Rice Paper Rolls. Off to the butchers we went and bought some top-side beef and asked them to cut it into thin slices (I love the butchers, they’re so convenient).

Marinating the beef: add some lemongrass, fish sauce and a teaspoon of sugar…


Now how to fire up the TableTopBBQ:

Jiffy fire lighters are a must and are placed in the bottom section of the TableTopBBQ and add some newspaper to get it firing up.

Then add your coal in the middle section of the TableTopBBQ covering the holes as best as you can. You know when it’s ready to cook once the coal turns white and is steaming hot (when you hover your hand over it, not by touching it)…

Now let’s cook…you can place the beef in between the grill or top of the grill. I liked it in between the grill which made it super easy to flip when the bottom side was ready…

Look at that beef…

What you need to construct a Beef Rice Paper Roll (In order of placement):
1. Rice Paper (from your asian grocery)
2. Lettuce
3. Mint Leaves
4. Other leaves (optional)
5. Rice Vermicelli
6. Thinly Sliced Cucumbers
7. Pickled Radish (optional)
8. Beef

Here’s one I prepared earlier…

Rolling is easy as long as you didn’t go overboard with the stuffing. Roll the rice paper tightly 3/4 then fold the sides into the middle and complete the roll…

Dip the roll into some pre-prepared Vietnamese fish sauce or in Vietnamese it’s called “nuoc mam”. Google the recipe because it’s a synch.

Please mind my fish sauce, it has remnants of some rice vermicelli and looks like a piece of beef…

Take a bite into your Beef Rice Paper Roll and you’ll never want to order these again from any asian restaurant…

There’s other types of rice paper roll versions out there such as pork and prawn, vegetarian ones, etc but that can wait for another post.

The TableTopBBQ was super fun and easy to use but most of all cooked the beef nicely and evenly and gave it an authentic taste and feel of Vietnam. Can’t wait to have my next cooking adventure with the TableTopBBQ.