Chillipadi – India – Melbourne Central

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
Website: http://chillipadi.com.au
Opening Hours: Sunday to Wednesday (10am til late), Thursday to Saturday (10am-5am)

Ben & Jerry’s – Peace, Love & Ice-Cream

Sorry Hoyts, move over choc-top, say HELLO to BEN & JERRY’S!!! That’s right, went to the free ice-cream night at Ben & Jerry’s newly opened store at Highpoint Shopping Centre. Went early and there were people already lining up and the wait wasn’t long at all, should of gone back for seconds.I’ve only tried their Strawberry Cheesecake ice-cream before which was awesome and now I’ve tried Chunky Monkey with its walnuts, chunky chocolate bits and banana. Massive thumbs up for Chunky Monkey!So many flavours, more excuses to watch more movies at Hoyts. I hope they let you take Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream into the cinema.I hope Ben & Jerry’s is here to stay because we’ve seen the likes of Streets Ice-Cream and other sweet stores disappear from that area.

Gotta love Ben & Jerry’s

Slightly Overcooked Bistro Cheesecake Recipe – But Still Edible

As you can see, I slightly overcooked my first cheesecake 🙁
Well that’s what you get for not watching it while it baked…oooops~!!!

I never knew there were so many cheesecake recipes, I went the easy path and looked up some Cream Cheese Philadelphia Recipes which you can find here

Anyways here’s the recipe and method I used to cook my very first Cheesecake.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (185g) sweet biscuit crumbs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
90g butter, melted

Filling
3 x 250g PHILADELPHIA Block Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 eggs, lightly beaten

Tips
The best tips for making cheesecake can be found below (highly recommend watching before baking):

How To: Cheesecake Base
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftjwieCzWY&feature=player_embedded

How To: Perfect Cheesecake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUoLfMy-k2c&feature=player_embedded

Method

1. COMBINE the biscuit crumbs, cinnamon and butter in a small bowl.  

I used some Arnotts Marie biscuits and crushed them in a food processor then mixed it together with the cinnamon and butter and added some crushed walnuts too for added flavour and texture.

2. Press the crumb mixture into base of a fully greased and lined 24cm springform pan, chill.


3. BEAT the PHILLY and sugar with an electric mixer until just combined. Add the sour cream and beat until smooth. Gradually add the eggs and beat until just combined.

4. POUR the filling into the prepared base.  5.  Bake in a moderately slow oven 160ºC for 40-45 minutes or until cheesecake is just set. Allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar. Refrigerate overnight.

I recommend lowering the temperature to 150ºC and bake for around 30-40 minutes and most definitely keep watching it!

Here’s my finished product, as mentioned in the title, slightly overcooked but definitely didn’t hinder the taste. Dress it up with some strawberries and blueberries to hide the cracks that may have formed…hehehe…don’t laugh, I’m learning and you may have yourself a pretty nice looking cheesecake if you didn’t manage to burn it (slightly), like me 🙁

Lessons I’ve learnt:

  • Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!
  • Lower the oven tray closer to the bottom to prevent burning the top and sides
  • Lower my oven temperature because it’s a bit stronger than I think
  • Having a bowl of water at the bottom of the oven while baking creates a moist cooking environment
  • Keep an eye on your cake while baking!!!

A festive family feast on Christmas Eve

This year my family decided to have a fairly traditional westernized Christmas feast as much as possible. My mum decided to have ham, turkey and duck. Can you believe that? A bit overkill with the meat but you know what? It turned out well…let’s start off with the meats…

My sister prepared the turkey with some baked potatoes (great work with the turkey and potatoes). I don’t usually like turkey but I enjoyed this one…

My dad prepared the duck! First he boiled it, then placed it in the oven…

I told him that doesn’t look cooked, then he told me, “it’s only half way there”. I saw him brushing it with his marinade, then cooked it in the oven for a bit longer and the next thing I knew it was ready and boy did it taste good!!!

Everyone, meat my leg of ham!

That’s right, I cooked the leg of ham and everyone loved it. I felt quite chuffed!

Poked a bunch of holes into it to let the marinade seep into the ham and then marinated it in pineapple juice for 2 days. Before I placed it in the oven I brushed maple syrup all over the skin then every 5-10 minutes I brushed it with my pineapple and maple syrup mixture to keep it nice and moist.

It looks like the pig’s head but really, it’s pork leg…

I know I’m working backwards here but I can’t forget the wonderful entree we had…

Like Joseph’s restaurant @ The Harvest Picnic we prepared a maple syrup and walnut crushed sauce to drizzle on the oysters and of course some lemon and pepper sauce as well…I know a sweet maple sauce on oysters doesn’t make sense but you gotta try it…it’s delish!

Dad also prepared some fruit cheese with some juicy red currants for entree (nice for entree and after dinner)

Then my sister spoilt us with her array of desserts from leche flan (popular filipino dessert…which I’m determined to attempt and ace soon!), a rich and creamy choc ripple cake, beautiful pavlova and some sweet beans (often used for halo halo a filipino crushed ice drink…I’ll do a post one time)

OMG!!! What a feast!!! There were a few other things we had, such as salad, a creamy potato egg and corn salad and my mum can’t go without rice so we mixed up some fried rice for her…okay I admit I had some too.

Meet my family minus myself, as you can see we were all in the Christmas spirit and wore Christmas colours. My little nephew had a little elf outfit on. So cute!!!Then you have Miss Jen as a dorky christmas reindeer…Then me with dorky christmas reindeer!!!

I hope everyone had a fun filled Christmas with lots of joy, laughter and presents and my family and I wish everyone a great and awesome year