Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kangaroo steak

One thing on my list to try when I came to Australia was kangaroo as I was told it was high in protein and iron and had little fat, unlike other meats. The first time I saw it the colour of the meat did put me off as it was blood red. You can tell from the second photo down just how red it looked.

On my weekly shopping trip to Coles I walked through the meat counter and decided to try kangaroo. I bought three pieces for $5.66 which had been marinaded with garlic and herb. At home I heated up the pan, threw in some onion and pan fried the kangaroo steak. I found that it cooked a lot slower than beef as it had been tenderised. The first time I had to keep checking whether the inside was cooked or not. 

I read a few online articles about the best way to eat kangaroo and decided to cook it medium-rare. It tasted very similar to beef but not as chewy and was very juicy. When I cut into the steak it just oozed with flavour and tasted so good. Although my first bite of kangaroo tasted a bit like grass, can't explain why but it did. Nonetheless I would definitely eat kangaroo again and cooked differently.   

Bought from Coles 
Blood red colour
Rare in the center
Medium-rare kangaroo with salad
So juicy and delicious

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shuji Sushi

I sat at work craving sushi like mad and as soon as it hit 4.30pm I shot out of work in search for the closest sushi bar. Thinking about it now, I shouldn't have been so hasty. I saw Shuji Sushi was open on Commercial Road and stepped into the shop. It was small, quiet and looked very authentic but don't be fooled.

There wasn't much choice to pick from as it was the late afternoon but that was no excuse for the poor quality of sushi rolls. I wasn't impressed at all. I bought a smoked tuna roll, which had far too much carrot inside, that was the only thing I could taste and the mayonnaise inside wasn't evenly spread. Not only that but the nori was really chewy and tasted cheap. The second roll was tuna, avocado and cucumber, this wasn't much better. All I could taste was the avocado and the tuna was too dry, there wasn't enough mayonnaise inside. Lastly the filling inside the roll got less towards the end, which is cheeky as of course they stand the sushi roll up so you can't see the bottom.

So my lesson learnt is to never visit this chain again.

From the left: Smoked tuna, chicken teriyaki, tuna and avocado
The bottom of the sushi rolls, I felt robbed


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oishii Sushi

Oishii Sushi is probably one of my favourite chains to casually pick up sushi in Melbourne, where I usually go is the one in QV. The nori rolls are a bit longer than at most places and there selection is great. I've eaten here a lot and its usually when I've finished work and the sushi is at a discounted price. Two boxes of 4 sushi rolls cost $10, which I think is great value. The rice isn't dry, they are usually quite generous with the fillings and during the day the prices are average compared to most sushi eateries.

Working from left the nori rolls are: chicken teriyaki,avocado and carrot, tuna, prawn tempura, salmon, seafood inari topped with flying fish roe and wrapped with deep friend sweetened tofu, crab meat.

Selection of sushi rolls

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cafe Republic

Went here as it was a nice walk from work and I love the windows and mirrors as it really makes a restaurant more spacious and warm. The menu was good, great selection of food and perfect number of dishes available to not hinder any indecisive ones. I ordered the Wagu burger which was $19 I think and it came with fries. The burger itself was beef and had lots of herbs inside which gave it a punch of flavour, the only downside I would say was that the beef burger itself kept falling apart. The beef was thick and very juicy and I loved the onion ring inside, gave it a nice crunch. The chips was ok and came out piping hot. The meal was good and atmosphere was very relaxing. The only bad point we experienced was that my friend asked our waitress if we could bring our own drinks and if they uncap it for us, which we were told it was fine. Then my friend took cider in and they wouldn't allow it, just a bit annoying as my friend had asked the waitress and we couldn't drink it with our meal.

Rare steak (Camera quality is pants as I had to use my phone)

Ratings: 6.25/10
Service: 5/10
Presentation: 7/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 6/10

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seabath's Beachcomber Cafe

Beachcomber cafe is located on St Kilda beach and its a great place to pick something up and sit on the beach and eat. The food portions are very generous and cost only $5 for my cake slice which they put in a takeaway box. All the cakes looked delicious, the cheesecake I ate was the perfect summer dessert, never had one that had cream as a layer. It wasn't too heavy and I ended up saving half for the next day as the slice was so big. Also tried the mars bar cake which was very chocolatety. I wouldn't recommend it after a big meal as it was very rich and heavy.

Delicious cakes on display

Ratings: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Presentation: 6/10
Taste: 6/10
Value: 8/10

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Republica on St Kilda beach

Nothing like going to the beach and watching the sunset as you eat dinner. Republica sits on the promenade in trendy St Kilda. It was a beautiful day so my friend and I opted to sit outside and bask in the sunshine.

On certain days they have deals like burger for $10 and today was special steak for $12. The beef steak was good, had been grilled so you could taste some of the charred edges, it was tender, juicy and smelt great although I did ask for it to be cooked rare and it came out medium, as did my friends. There was garlic and herb butter than came with the beef, which I thought should have melted a bit before they served us the meal. That was ok, couldn't taste the herbs too much. The mash was delicious and complimented the beef so well, the consistency was thick but not heavy and just melted in your mouth. Glad it came with salad, which I think always makes a meal that extra bit nicer.

Republica is a really nice place to eat or drink in, loved the open seating area and its definitely a place where you can drink with friends or eat here with your family. Just beware that all card transactions have to be over $20.

View from sitting outside
Special steak for $12
'Beef steak with garlic and herb butter
Rating: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Presentation: 7/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 8/10

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Mamara Turkish restaurant

My first impression of seeing Mamara from the outside was that I thought it was a take away shop. Just the large sign and open window at the front made me initially think it was a fast food shop but when I stepped into the restaurant there was more to it. There were low lit lights, rows of  wooden tables and Turkish decorations on the walls. Mamara is situated on Chapel Street and is a fully licensed Turkish restaurant. The service was great, the waiters were polite and the food came out really quick, there were eight of us and all the food came out on time. 

I ordered mixed grill which was absolutely fantastic. This was a combination of doner, shish, chicken kebab, kofte and Pirzola, which was lamb cutlets. The Pirzola was my absolute favourite, it was so juicy, tender and full of flavour. I was so impressed with the food, my only negative was the kofte, it was a bit dry in comparison to the rest of the meats and I think there should have been a bit more rice to compliment the rest of the meal. I would high recommend the mixed grill to anyone and it cost $24, which I thought was very reasonable.

Mixed grill at Mamara restaurant
Ratings: 7.75
Service: 8/10
Presentation: 8/10
Taste: 8/10
Value: 7/10

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reminiscing about my cruise dining experience

Back in August I went on a cruise around the Bahamas with Royal Caribbean and wanted to post how good the food was on the ship and would highly recommend this trip to anyone. The food at dinner was like French fine dining, there was always a large choice available, food was presented well and tasted great and the service was brilliant. Unfortunately I was only able to take a few photos from the trip.

Escargots in garlic and herb sauce
Medium done steak with sour cream, potato and vegetables
Pavlova with strawberry sauce

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Lentil As Anything in St Kilda

This restaurant has a bit of a twist to it, its not like your typical restaurant where you pay a predetermined price for your meal but instead payment for food is seen more of as a donation. That's right, after you finish your meal there is a box on the counter where you pay what you believe the food is worth, which can be absolutely anything!
Inside Lentil As Anything
My choice was Pumpkin Curry a coconut cream based curry cooked with pumpkin, assorted spices, onion and garlic, served with rice, salad, yoghurt and bread. The meal was good but the curry would have been better if it was spicy and a bit more thicker. The rice was laced with saffron and so flavoursome, it complimented the curry so well. Overall it was a nice meal  and I would definitely come here again as I love the concept that what you pay is up to your own discretion.
Pumpkin curry
Donation box

Ratings: 7/10
Service - 6/10
Presentation - 8/10
Taste - 7/10
Value - N/A (You decide whether you think its of value)

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Borek at Queen Victoria Market

This market is a tourist attraction in itself and you can pick up a lot of cool bargains, but my favourite part has to be the anitpasti and food stall section. Every time I come here it is always packed out with people queuing up to make their order. The deli counters here are a foodie's dream and most goods can be picked up for a cheap price. One place which struck my attention was Boreks, a turkish deli which constantly has crowds of people gathering around to make their order. When the trays of Boreks come fresh out of the oven and straight onto the counter, within minutes they are all gone. I ordered spicy lamb and vegetable Borek for a cool $2.50 and a Borek cheese cigar for $2.

The lamb Borek was really yummy and I can see what all the rave was about, it tasted great and it was cheap! It was piping hot when I bought it and could smell the spices. To me it looked like a pannini, it was toasted and crunchy and I would have liked to seen more filling inside.

The cheese cigar was feta cheese rolled with filo pastry and deep fried. The pastry texture was so good, it was light and crunchy so just fell apart in my mouth. I didn't really like the taste of the feta, it was very plain and the pastry was very greasy, as you can probably see from the oil stains in the photo.

Spicy lamb and vegetable Borek

 Cheese cigar