La Cantina Vic Market – Burrito’s, BOOM!


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.

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 guarantee 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 sandwich. The picture below doesn’t do it justice but what’s inside is a thin marinated steak patties, salsa, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise 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 precinct or feel like a South American type of breakfast or lunch then La Cantina will satisfy 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

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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Miss Jen’s Secret Garden of Vegetable and Herbs

She gets super excited about growing her own vegetables and greens that she always runs off to Bunnings and buys seedlings and little plants to grow…probably her biggest proud and joy is her cherry tomatoes which she names. Yes she NAMES them, Tom and Tam. She’s persistent that the names are gender driven.

Why? Tom [left] is slightly taller and narrow build while Tam [right] grows wider and produces more fruit. Does anyone agree?

Unfortunately earlier this year the sun was too strong and they withered away…so here’s her next batch…Tom and Tam 2.0.

Look at the concentration in watering those tomatoes…any wrong move and these tomatoes might have the same fate as the previous…

Not satisfied with just cherry tomatoes, a bit of chilli and corriander is worth a shot…

With a bit of love and hypnotism, she may be able to pull this off…

I’ll have to update the progress on my Facebook Page…GOODLUCK!!!…

Whilst Miss Jen was gardening…I found myself mezmerized by the beautiful plants and scenery in the backyard…I thought i’d share a little bit of it here too…

Homemade Thai Green Curry

…the family gave it a thumbs up and they didn’t all rush to the toilet…

Melbourne Cup day I spent at home with the family, we didn’t consider dinner and as it drew closer to dinner time no one could be bothered dropping by the shopping centre or buying take out.

o we went through a few dishes we could cook. So we had chicken in the fridge, a few vegetables and whatever was in the pantry. I suggested the idea of cooking Thai Green Curry 🙂 But of course as The Learner Chef, I’ve never tried to cook a curry before. I thought to myself, what have I got myself into? The flavours could be terribly wrong, it could be too spicy, I could even poison my family. Luckily my sister pointed me in the right direction (pre-made green curry paste).

Here’s a snippet of how I cooked the curry, I couldn’t believe how easy it was but then again I could of challenged myself by making the green curry paste. Anyways, so I grabbed some straw beans from the fridge and my sister suggested to add some more vegetables like carrots and potatoes into the dish (great additions sister). Started off with cooking the chicken (around 500g) with some garlic and onions, seasoned with a tablespoon of fish sauce and after the chicken was cooked I popped in two teaspoons of pre-made green curry paste (I guess you can buy this from any asian/indian store and most likely your local supermarket).

After the curry paste infused with the chicken I added a can of coconut milk (400mL) then added the vegetables. I should of boiled the potatoes beforehand and added the beans in a couple minutes before the curry was ready but they still tasted great and soaked up the curry juices. To compliment the dish I served the curry with coconut rice. You can add more chilli or more green curry paste to make the dish spicier. I can’t handle spicy food as I begin to sweat and cry (not a pretty sight)

When I have time I’ll post up a recipe (very soon). By the way, the family gave it a thumbs up and they didn’t all rush to the toilet. So I will be definitely cooking this dish again but maybe next time I will try to make the curry paste myself. Definitely give this one a go, you’ll impress the family and impress yourself.