Oh Melbourne, it’s becoming too hard to keep up with the awesome amount of Asian fusion restaurants popping up. Ever since our visits to Chin Chin, I have been drooling over whatever the Lucas Group does. Kong BBQ is the newest addition to the Lucas Group family. Arriving just before 12pm on a Tuesday and gloriously managing to secure seats, the small 60-seat restaurant quickly filled around us.
First to arrive were the Wagyu and Kimchi filled dumplings. While anything with both the words wagyu and dumplings in the one sentence felt like a no-brainer, these slippery suckers actually lacked complexity and perhaps went a bit soft on the kimchi.
In the background, the oriental bbq pit can be seen spluttering tall flames, filling the room with the scent of hot-coaled meaty goodness. Good things are to come.
Oddly enough, we found ourselves on the other side of the river last weekend near Springvale. Hungry, tired and cold, pho was really a no-brainer for a cheap lunch. After securing a park after what seemed like forever, we took our grumbling bellies to the nearest pho place. Usually we would pour over urbanspoon, have a few heated discussions and then attempt to make a semi-informed lunch decision. We were far too hungry for extensive research so we settled on the first sign that hinted pho was near – Pho Chu The.
We were promptly seated and shown menus. The menu here is quite a bit more extensive than your usual no-frills pho establishment and offers 3 tiers of pho sizes – small, medium and godzilla (aka large). I scoured the room for bowl sizes and decided that the large was probably far too much for even me to handle, however, I watched in awe as a dude meticulously devoured the entire bowl without even coming up for air.
I ordered the medium rare beef pho ($9) and Joe ordered a medium chicken and beef ($9). Joe can’t resist tacking on spring rolls to every pho meal we have so we hastily also ordered pork spring rolls and a couple of delicious, sickly-sweet, icy beverages in the form of lemon juice and coconut juice.
“Slurp louder” J demanded as we slurped up our delcious tonkotsu ramen upstairs in Melbourne’s latest popular ramen establishment, Fukuryu Ramen. We are both heading to Japan very soon so we have been practicing our audible slurp technique – in Japan it’s considered rude not to slurp loudly. Cultural nuances aside, Fukuryu Ramen, located just off China town up an unassuming flight of stairs, has quickly achieved popularity.
We ordered 2 regular Tonkotsu Ramen and an obligatory side of chicken karaage (fried crumbed chicken for those playing at home) from the girl who had the genki-style service truly down-pat.
Inside Fukuryu Ramen
Then the chicken karaage arrived in all of it’s crunchy, spicy glory. These little morsels were accompanied by a healthy dose of shredded cabbage.
So we’ve been on a bit of a hiatus of late…but we’ve been still out and about gorging ourselves around Melbourne quite decadently. The good news is that I’ve got a huge backlog of food blogging to catch up on – the bad news is that my laziness (and new job – yay) will probably mean the posts will take a while. Another bad news of note is that I managed to drown my blogging camera in water so I’ve had to shamefully rely on my phone to take food porn.
We’ve recently become a little obsessed with Japanese cuisine and Joe suggested we spent Easter slurping ramen. Who am I to argue with good advice? With some luck we found a urbanspoon adored ramen institution open on Easter Sunday and began our Kokoro Ramen slurpfest.
Prix Fixe is Philippa Sibley’s joint venture with restaurateur Jason M Jones. The concept is simple; ticketed dining where you book a table for a night and devour what the kitchen brings out. It is available as a 4 course dinner experience ($79) or a 3-course lunch ($49). Prix Fixe had blown a lot of air recently through social media channels with claims that they “created a magical dining room” and a “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” inspired menu, and naturally the hint of a Shakespearean dining adventure ensured we had booked tickets to the opening night well in advance.
I’d been whinging about getting a burger fix for about 2 weeks before finally revisiting the B.East. The first visit wasn’t blogged because we were too hungover/too ill to remember to take decent photos (pro-tip – The B.Easts burgers are a bonafide hangover slayer!). Noticing that they had a few spare tables out front on an early Thursday eve, we quickly nabbed one and began studying the menu.
The B.East is easy to fall in love with – they have an eclectic drink selection which includes ginger beer and alcoholic iced tea, they offer live music and the vibe is just right.
Do you like devouring the succulent flesh of Peking Duck? How about crispy skin, roasted to deep orange perfection? Have you ever said to yourself, “You know what, Marjorie? I’m fuckin’ going to just eat, like, five ducks tonight and I don’t care who knows it.”
Read on, dear friend.
Red Spice Road was one of those places we were really looking forward to dining in. Our expectations were incredibly high by the time we arrived at the doors of the McKillop st’s younger sibling located in QV as our stomachs groaned in hunger and anticipation.
After scanning the menu quickly, the realisation that I wanted to gorge myself on every single one of the menu items struck me. Luckily, RSR offers banquets so we selected the incredibly well priced $69 banquet.
Betel Leaf with Smoked Chicken
First to grace our palates was the wonderful Betel Leaf with Smoked Chicken Betel Leaf served with Avocado, Shallot and Lemongrass.
As we entered through the large doors of Syracuse via a small hidden Melbourne laneway, we could hear the gentle strumming of a guitar. Inside, the interior is a beautiful rendition of a 19th century fine dining room, with ornate archways and chandeliers hanging from their high soaring ceilings. Despite visiting on a Saturday evening, only a handful of tables were occupied by 8pm. We were opting for a lighter meal (to be fair on both my waistline and hip pocket) so we decided upon a few intriguing sharing plates and a couple of wines to converse over.
In my natural habitat, eating and drinking wine.
The first plate we ordered was the Hervey Bay scallop sashimi with yuzu, urchin cream, chicken skin. These delicious little morsels tantalised the tongue with creamy notes and crispy bundles of chicken skin. Unfortunately they were devoured before a decent photo could be snapped.
Flinders Island wallaby sausage
Next arrived the Wallaby sausage, ordered mainly because wallaby is rarely offered in restaurants. Surrounding the morsels of wallaby was watermelon pickled beetroot and lardo. The beetroots sweetness complemented the dense, peppery sausage quite well.
For christmas my parents graciously gifted me The Bellini Kitchen Master, which is very similar to the kitchen cult icon the Thermomix. It has been getting a serious work out and so far I’ve conjured up;
- Dulce De Leche
- Peanut Butter Cups/Slice
- Beetroot and Feta Dip
- Ham and Cheese Rolls
- Smoothies (this has become a daily ritual)
- Various lemongrass/chilli rubs