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Tag Archives: melbourne foodie

July Favourites

It’s been such a fabulous and rewarding month filled with such amazing opportunities on the work front. I am thoroughly drained but it has all been so worth it.

After a few months of discussions, brainstorming and testing, I was finally able to announce my collaboration with Feastively. It is a joy that I cannot put into words to finally see my recipes as a meal box. And of course the thought that it would be of immense help to busy families to put healthy, fresh and delicious meals in 15 minutes on the table.

I have already done a blog post announcing the collaboration so you can read it all here. And to purchase my fresh box, visit the Feastively website. If any of you have already cooked with it, I would love to hear your feedback.

Visit the Feastively website to purchase my special Beef Mince Curry with potatoes, peas and served with steamed rice.

My Recipes as Fresh Meal Boxes – a Collaboration with Feastively; thespiceadventuress.com

The second highlight of the month was the opportunity to be one of the judges for an upcoming series called Zee TV Chef Diaries. Shot in Melbourne, it’s a cooking series for passionate home cooks to showcase their culinary talents. It was an incredible honour because judging someone else’s cooking is no easy task. But I was happy that I was able to do my best; an experience I will cherish forever.

And the third was being chosen as one of the Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018. Again a huge honour especially being in the company of some of the photographers that I have admired and learned from since the beginning of my blogging journey.

Top 30 Indian Food Photographers, 2018 - thespiceadventuress.com

There’s been a lot of recipe development that happened in July; it was a busy month again with lots of brand collaborations and the like. But one of my favourites was this simple Kerala platter with rice, parippu curry (Kerala style lentils); beetroot stir fry and mussels thoran (mussels stir fried with grated coconut and spices). It’s the taste of home!

Mussels thoran - thespiceadventuress.com

And time now for all other favourites for the month of July:

Most parents are often made to feel guilty about having just one child. I hope this article will make you feel better about the decision.

I have a little boy or I would have shopped this entire site. But I do buy for my nieces.

An easy peasy chicken noodle dish.

This kofta biryani is perfect for our Sunday lunch. And a long siesta thereafter….

I love taro (arbi), one of my favourite root vegetables.

A Vegan Wellington! How interesting….

Enchilada and a casserole….what a great idea!

Love gazpacho especially in summer but never tried a tomatillo version.

The best chicken sandwich I have seen in a long time

Totally making this pork burger

 

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Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review

Bear Brass is located on the banks of the Yarra River at Southbank. Needless to say, the restaurant offers spectacular views of the river and our beautiful city.

We visited the restaurant while showing around the city to my parents and Bear Brass was the perfect place to unwind and relax.

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

If it’s a sunny day, make sure you get a spot outside for the best view though you need to make a booking or get plain lucky especially during the warmer months. Bear Brass has plenty of space indoors and a nice ambience too.

The food is mostly modern Australian pub food with lots of twists and fusion drawing from the multicultural vibes of the city. Being a riverside bar, the drinks menu is pretty extensive too.

For drinks, I ordered a glass of the RedBank Prosecco (King Valley); the perfect drink for a hot summer day. And a chilled glass of Heineken too.

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

The cocktail menu looked really interesting so we tried out two – ‘A Cocktail named Alice’ (with 42 Below Vodka, Midori and Muddled Kiwi) and ‘Gucci Martini’ (Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka, Grey Goose Vodka, Paraiso Lychee Liqueur). Both were really delicious and refreshing…

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

To start with, we ordered the Grilled Chicken and Grain Salad, with pomegranate, mint and cumin yoghurt. The chicken felt a bit dry and underseasoned but the grain salad was outstanding with a delicious medley of flavours and textures.

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

We decided to try out the pizzas as it really stood out to us on the menu. The first one we tried was an Asian inspired one with prawns, chilli, crispy shallots and nam jim. The wood fired thin crusty pizza base was excellent and so were the toppings. A really delicious Asian inspired pizza that had an excellent balance of flavours.

The second one was the chicken, chipotle and chorizo; yet another fusion done to perfection. The chorizo was of excellent quality and the pizza was cooked to perfection.

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining (South Bank, Melbourne) – a Review - thespiceadventuress.com

Definitely impressed by the quality of pizzas; so highly recommended.

We also ordered the Fish n’ Chips served with homemade aioli. Unfortunately no photographs; we were busy gobbling it up.

So to summarize, Bear Brass is a great spot to stop by for food or drinks and enjoy it with beautiful views of the city…

Bear Brass Riverside Bar and Dining

Shop G3A  On the River
Southgate Restaurant & Shopping Precinct
Southbank , Melbourne

Phone: (03) 9682 3799
Website: http://www.bearbrass.com.au/

Timings:

Open Every Day
Monday to Friday 7.30am to late
Saturday & Sunday 8am to late

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all the food and drinks were paid for by me. 

BearBrass Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Little Oak Eatery (Malvern East) – a Review

Located on Waverley Road in Malvern East, Little Oak Eatery is a friendly neighbourhood café that has been around for about a year now. But last month, a new management has taken over and has bought about quite a few changes to make it the perfect neighbourhood and family friendly café in the area.

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We walked into Little Oak Eatery rather late for lunch, around 3pm. As we entered, one of the staff informed us that they would be able to serve us only coffee as the kitchen has closed for the day. We were a bit disappointed as the timings of the café said they were open till 4pm. She apologized and said that coffee, pastries and similar accompaniments were available but since we hadn’t had lunch, we stepped out saying that we will return at another time.

Within seconds, the owner of the café came out and invited us back inside saying that he can serve us lunch. He said that the kitchen was just beginning to close and since they hadn’t put anything away, they can still accommodate our orders. And so we were back inside and seated for lunch. Loved the customer service, the friendliness of the staff and their willingness to go that extra mile and serve us with a smile.

The café has a very inviting ambience; large windows ensure that the area is well lit. With plenty of space inside and outside, it is the perfect place to relax and stretch out your legs. A great space for families and also to catch up with friends over coffee.

Little Oak Eatery (Malvern, Melbourne) - a review - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Little Oak Eatery (Malvern, Melbourne) - a review - thespiceadventuress.com

Soon the drinks and lunch menu was bought out. Normally, I would try out the coffee but this time I was in the mood for something lighter and refreshing so ordered the Lemongrass and Ginger tea. And I was glad for it because it was a good quality tea brewed to perfection.

Lemongrass and Ginger tea - a review of Little Oak Eatery (Malvern) - thespiceadventuress.com

Little Oak Eatery has an all day breakfast menu that is served till 3pm daily and also a lunch menu. There are also daily specials depending on the fresh and seasonal produce available. They also have a small kids menu which has all the familiar comforting classics that you wish to see in your neighbourhood café.

So the little fellow ordered Egg Soldiers; nothing gets him more excited on a weekend than runny eggs. The dish arrived in style; two perfectly done eggs placed on an egg carton and a few pieces of good quality toasted sour dough bread, the whole thing placed on a rustic wooden board. Apart from it tasting delicious, I loved the fact that an everyday breakfast dish was presented in such a beautiful manner that even a child would appreciate it.

Egg Soldiers - a review of Little Oak Eatery (Malvern) - thespiceadventuress.com

My choice was the potato rosti with smoked salmon and pickled mustard served with two poached eggs. Loved everything about this dish. Clean flavours and good quality ingredients; a fine example of not much cooking required when you have good produce. The rosti was crispy outside and soft inside and paired deliciously with the heat from the mustard and the smoky saltiness of the salmon. And perfectly poached eggs to elevate it to a hearty meal.

Potato rosti with smoked salmon, pickled mustard and poached eggs - a review of Little Oak Eatery (Malvern) - thespiceadventuress.com

And the hubby chose to have the crispy grilled salmon with assorted veggies and salsa verde. The salmon was cooked beautifully; crispy skin with soft flaky flesh (would have preferred a slightly bigger portion though). Really fresh veggies cooked to perfection and the tangy, herby salsa verde to tie it all together.

Grilled salmon with assorted veggies and salsa verde - a review of Little Oak Eatery (Malvern) - thespiceadventuress.com

Overall, it was a delicious and highly satisfying meal. The owner mentioned that he was still adding more dishes to the menu to cater to a wider audience. He also said that he was planning on getting a liquor licence so that the café could operate on weekend nights too (that would be really great). If you are taking a look at their menu on the website, it reads rather limited but the in house menu has much more to offer.

We would definitely go back, especially on days when we just want to relax and indulge in simple yet delicious comfort food.

Little Oak Eatery

Shop 1
255 Waverley Road
Malvern East
Melbourne
Victoria 3145

Phone no: 03 9571 0429
Website: http://littleoakeatery.com.au/

Timings:
Monday to Sunday: 7.00am to 4.00pm

Disclaimer – This post was brought to you in association with Yarra Valley Farms. I dined at the restaurant as an anonymous diner and all the opinions expressed in the review are entirely mine.

 

Little Oak Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Caffe La Via, Malvern (Melbourne) – a Review

Established in 1999, Caffe La Via has always been a favourite with the locals but the new management who took over in 2012 decided to bring about a much needed change to keep up with the fast changing food scene of Melbourne.

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Yours truly….in the reflection

Richie Brownfield (St Ali collaborator) was bought in to spruce up the place and the result was a modern, contemporary interior with a feel good ambience that makes it an ideal place for catching up with friends over coffee or a relaxed, lazy lunch on the weekends.

Coffee is serious business at Caffe La Via; Sensory Lab beans brewed in a Gravimetric Black Eagle Machine, one of the very few in Melbourne. Apparently this stylish black and steel fellow is referred to as the Maserati of coffee machines. I did try out the coffee but more of that later; let’s get on to the food first.

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The menu leans heavily towards Italian but with plenty of modern Australian influence and also inspiration from some of Melbourne’s favourite cuisines. Head Chef Rajat Suri (ex Crown, Merrywell) has done a great job of using seasonal ingredients to create interesting twists to the menu.

On the beverages front, it is not just the coffee that hogs the limelight here. Caffe La Via has a really good wine list, featuring some of the best Australian wines for a very reasonable price. Dhruv (part owner and Manager) is passionate about wines and a trained sommelier; this reflects well in the choice of wines available. So make sure to ask him for recommendations like I did.

Based on the main courses that we had ordered, Dhruv suggested a glass of 2010 Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Cab-Merlot (Margaret River, WA) for my hubby and a glass of 2014 Momo Pinot Gris (Marlborough, NZ) for myself.

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2010 Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Cab-Merlot (Margaret River, WA)

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2014 Momo Pinot Gris (Marlborough, NZ)

We started the meal with Cream cheese stuffed whole jalapenos in tempura batter served with ranch sauce. It was brilliant; crispy and crunchy exterior that gave way to melting cheese finishing off with that nice kick of jalapeno heat in your throat. Does wonders to your taste buds…. Reminded me so much of the deep fried chilli fritters of India but different because of the light tempura batter and cream cheese stuffing. A must try if you can handle some heat…..

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Cream cheese stuffed whole jalapenos in tempura batter served with ranch sauce

Sensing our love for spices, Dhruv suggested to try out the Southern style chicken with Louisiana hot sauce batter, jalapeno slaw and peri mayo. Again a delicious starter; crispy fried chicken with a spicy flavourful coating and a wonderful slaw and mayo to accompany. Though it had a spicy coating, it was not fiery or overpowering, just flavourful.

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Southern style chicken with Louisiana hot sauce batter, jalapeno slaw and peri mayo

For mains, we got the 400gms Cape Grim Tasmanian grass fed Eye fillet with chimichurri and a basket of thick cut chips with homemade aioli. The fillet was just beautiful; the quality of the meat coupled with the perfect cooking time ensured that every slice was incredible. The chips were cooked to perfection and seasoned well with an equally delicious aioli. The chimichurri was good too, though I would have preferred a little more quantity.

 

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Cape Grim Tasmanian grass fed Eye fillet with chimichurri

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I cannot go past soft shell crabs these days; seems to be my new found food love. So I also ordered a soft shell black crab on Japanese Tang Zhong bun with homemade radish and vinaigrette slaw, citrus mayo and baby herbs. The crab was done to perfection; crunchy and so full of flavour. Special mention to the bun too; loved its texture. Not a big fan of the slaw but the rest of it more than made up in the flavour department.

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Soft shell black crab on Japanese Tang Zhong bun with homemade radish and vinaigrette slaw, citrus mayo and baby herbs

For dessert, we asked Dhruv for suggestions and it was a beautifully Baked Cheesecake with white chocolate, vanilla bean and raspberry that was bought out. Usually I don’t enjoy a cheesecake because I find a tanginess to it but this one was so light and refreshing. The frozen raspberry sorbet was mouth puckering but paired deliciously with the cheesecake. A must try for the cheesecake lovers!

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Baked Cheesecake with white chocolate, vanilla bean and raspberry

And we ended the meal with steaming hot cups of cappuccino. A sip of it and I was in coffee heaven. And we Melburnians never say a coffee is good if it is not outstanding. The aroma and that silky smooth texture were to die for. Don’t miss out on any chance to have coffee here.

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Great coffee, wine and food, that’s what Caffe La Via is all about. The menu might sound standard fare; but it is good food cooked beautifully using the best ingredients. It is a place where every member of the  family can pick out a favourite and have a good time. There is also a kid’s menu and they also cater to all dietary requirements.

Note – Making a reservation is recommended especially for weekend dinners or large groups.

Caffe La Via

252-254 Glenferrie Road
Malvern
VIC 3144
Phone: 03 9509 6373
Website: http://www.caffelavia.com/

Timings:
 
Monday to Wednesday: 6am – 10pm
Thursday to Saturday: 6am – 11pm
Sunday: 8am – 9.30pm

Disclaimer – I dined as a guest of Caffe La Via and The World Loves Melbourne but all the opinions expressed are entirely mine.

Caffe La Via Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

One Plus Piece Café (Balwyn, Melbourne) – a Review

Melbourne is an awesome city for brunch lovers like me. I love to sleep in on weekends and wake up rather late into the day and so I get excited everytime I hear of a café offering an amazing breakfast/brunch/lunch menu.

I have one complaint though; most places have less choice when it comes to savoury breakfasts when compared to the sweeter counterparts. And even when savoury is offered, there’s not much interesting going on beyond the egg bacon routine. But I have met my match at One Plus Piece Café; these guys love savoury and they do it just my way!

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Situated on Whitehorse Road, Balwyn, One Plus Piece Café is a quaint, unassuming space from the outside. But inside, it’s a Japanese anime lover’s paradise. Now I am not a big fan of Japanese anime but I do love the little figurines, dolls and art work. The interiors reminded me so much of the Dojo Ramen Bar, though on a smaller scale.

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On the menu is a nice little description on what ‘One Plus Piece’ stands for, a little pirate story that my son enjoyed reading and then trying to connect it with the décor around. The glasses that arrived on the table were rustic, pirate themed cans much to his delight!

There’s plenty of regular breakfast fare on the menu for those who want something familiar. But what sets this place really apart from the many cafes around is the Asian influence and twists to many of the dishes and these are what you need to really try out.

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I have heard that the coffee here is really good; a custom house blend roasted by 5 Senses. Usually I don’t let go of any opportunity to have a coffee but a few other signature drinks here beckoned me. It was a super hot day and so I chose the Tik Tok, a refreshing blend of apple, carrot, cucumber, celery, beetroot and ginger. It was delicious, ticked all the boxes for me especially with my love for vegetable juices. It was cold, delicious, refreshing and so good for you. I totally recommend this one.

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The boys decided to try out S.A.M – the only reason being the big fella’s name is Sam and the little fella loves sparkling apple juice. S.A.M was a very colourful drink, a signature drink made from organic sparkling apple juice and organic Japanese matcha. It was really good but I preferred the Tik Tok more; not a big fan of matcha yet.

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I was invited to try out the menu at One Plus Piece so we ordered only the drinks. The food we had was pre-selected by Chef Ryan who definitely seemed to understand our taste buds.

The highlight of the brunch experience was this dish – Mr. Franky which is a couple of roti rolls with ham and cheese, two perfectly fried eggs and topped with smashed avocado, sour cream, tomato salsa and a final drizzle of organic tomato relish. An absolute cracker of a dish, this is how I would love to brunch everyday. It was those toppings that took a very humble roti with eggs to a whole new level. It was spicy but just right, gooey runny eggs and that tomato relish was to die for. My son went totally gaga over this one and declared it his favourite dish ever.

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I am a big fan of Karage (Japanese fried chicken) and so I was thrilled when I got the Japanese fried chicken burger with chipotle mayo, cheese and mayo. The chicken was splendid; juicy inside with that crunchy exterior (the Japanese sure know how to fry stuff) but it was the chipotle mayo that I loved. You could actually taste the heat of the chipotle heat which made this a winning dish for me. Often when you order chipotle mayo, you do notice a colour difference but there’s hardly any flavour or heat kick. This one was full of flavour with that nice spicy kick which does wonders on your taste buds.

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The final dish we had was the One Piece – double chilli beef, double bacon, double cheese, caramelized onions, mushroom, lettuce and a secret 1 piece sauce. This is how burgers must be; meaty, juicy, cheesy and also spicy! Loved the burger but it was way too much for me to finish but the big boy was happy to oblige; in fact he was not keen on sharing it in the first place. Again a well made burger hitting all the right spots.

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Vegetarians need not get disappointed; there are quite good options on the menu like a mushroom omelette with chilli oil. Portobello mushroom burger, kale antioxidant salad etc and also some healthy smoothies to choose from. In fact, next time I am going to try out the mushroom omelette.

To summarize my experience, One Plus Piece is a great place to catch up for brunch with friends or family. Go beyond the regular fare and try out their signature Asian influenced dishes which are really amazing.  Definitely one to add to my brunch list.

One Plus Piece

266 Whitehorse Rd
Balwyn
VIC 3103

Phone no: (03) 9830 4459

Website:  facebook.com/pages/1-Piece

Timings:
Mon: 8 am to 5 pm
Tue: 8 am to 5 pm
Wed: 8 am to 5 pm
Thu: 8 am to 9 pm
Fri: 8 am to 9 pm
Sat: 8 am to 9 pm
Sun: 8 am to 5 pm

Disclaimer – I dined as a guest of One Plus Piece and The World Loves Melbourne, but all the opinions expressed are entirely mine.

One Plus Piece Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

 

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