White Mojo Speciality Coffee & Roaster //Balwyn

TTWMOJO (1) Hi guys! Brunch season seems to have caught up with me  very recently and to kick it off I thought I’d share with you my latest experience at ‘White Mojo Speciality Coffee & Roaster’ in Balwyn. This is their second store – the original being in the city. You can catch their menu here. TTWMOJO (2)
Hot Matcha Latte // $6.00 &  Regular Latte // $4.00
To start we ordered drinks. I tried their matcha latte and was recommended by our waiter to get the hot version. He even offered to make it extra hot! I love matcha lattes but I’m usually quite hesitant to order it because I’m not sure if it’ll really be ‘matcha’ and if it’s just going to be sweet flavouring. I was pleasantly surprised at how rich the matcha flavour was and how there was a bitter edge to it. $6.00 is quite expensive but it was a special occasion and I’m relieved that it was a matcha latte to my liking. I know the picture doesn’t do it much justice but it was actually a very dark green colour,
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Sonley Stonegrill & Bar // Blackburn

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Recently I had a really nice meal at Sonley Stonegrill & Bar. The presentation is quite simplistic, clean and neat. They have a pretty quirky ceiling around the inner corner and some small posters of information about the company like the one below.

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This above explains what stonegrill is all about at Sonley’s; cooking meat on 400 degree heated natural volcanic stones!Sonely TangerTalks (3)
Sonley’s have plenty of options in their drinks menu which can all be found on their website.Sonely TangerTalks (5)
Basket of wedges // $9 with tomato sauce 
They were addictive and seasoned nicely with herbs
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Rocket Salad – Goat Cheese, Beetroot, Candied Walnut // $16
The dressing was really nice, sweet yet tangy which fit well with the rocket. I’m not a huge fan of goats cheese so I ate around that but we shared the salad so it was fine.Sonely TangerTalks (1)
The above feature the following mains: Marinated Skewers ($28) Porter House M5 ($48) and the Seafood combinations ($44)  
It was a very cool experience being able to cook meat the way you like but I wasn’t the best at cooking it! I think next time I’ll be much better at it because I’ll know what I’m in for. My advice is to leave some of your meat on a plate provided, and to then cook/cut what you can/will eat bits at a time instead of the whole thing at once. That way it makes it easier to control how well your meat is cooked. Each main comes with one sauce of your choice and complimentary house side. I chose herb garlic French butter and we all received nice seasonable vegetables. I loved the veggies!
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Apple Crumble, Butterscotch Sauce, Ice Cream // $12
Looks great but it wasn’t mine!
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Tiramisu // $12
The tiramisu was really delicious. I’ve been really liking tiramisu lately actually. I just love the layers of sponge cake that are soaked in coffee and liqueur. It’s a very interesting texture. I also like coffee flavoured sweets and for some reason I don’t seem to get sick on them (I usually get sick from drinking any type of coffee).

Verdict: I had a really great time at Sonley’s. The service was terrific and all the staff were quick, attentive, patient and friendly. They had conversations with us, laughed and acted interested in what we had to say (lol not sure if they actually were – but they seemed genuine and easy going). The food is quite expensive but it really depends on what cut of meat you buy (they definitely have quality meat available). It’s not somewhere I would have dinner normally but it’s definitely a suitable place in the suburbs for a more classy dinner experience. Parking is easy to find and for free too.

Pho + Chocolate

Recently I caught up with some old friends for dinner and dessert. Here is the unfolding of our little foodie adventure!

As we walked along Swanston Street, we decided to check out Melbourne Viet Noodle House (probably because the waiter actually saw us looking and came out encouraging us to go in). We had pretty friendly service throughout the night and 4 of us ordered very similar things! (Different combos of pho).vn (1)Chicken + Beef Pho (Beef stock) Small size $9
I ordered this dish (photo taken before adding bean sprouts). They were quite generous with the amount of onion they added into the dish (not all Vietnamese places even add onion to pho).  I thought it was quite average – not bad for pho – but also not the best. Having egg was also a nice touch to the dish. If you’re not particularly hungry small will be enough (but it’s not that big, so if you are hungry definitely go for the larger size)! (The next size up is only about a dollar extra). I liked the broth but probably not as much as what I’ve tried at Indochine or Super 888.  If you have any pho recommendations in the city please let me know :)vn (2)Tom Yum Noodle Soup
Our other friend ordered this dish! From memory there was no ‘large’ or ‘small’ option and this was definitely a larger bowl than the pho. I didn’t try any but she enjoyed it (so hopefully she did! haha).

Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Next stop! MAX BRENNER @ QV! Dessert time!
It was a special occasion but normally I wouldn’t prefer to go to Max Brenner’s for dessert. I don’t mind a coffee or a drink for a catch up but I find the pricing at Max Brenner’s to be quite expensive. it’s good if you share with others but if I was to pay on my own, I’d rather go somewhere else (say Koko Black)  for a similar cost (but that’s my personal preference!).

This night was a new dining experience for me however because I hadn’t tried the things we ordered. We decided to share between the 5 of us and ordered two things at QV. The queue was ridiculously long (this was approximately around 8:45PM and on a weeknight) and we probably waited for about 20 minutes. We were really fortunate to find a table but even after we ordered it still took about half an hour before any food came. The waiter was very friendly but everything just took so long! Either they’re understaffed or they don’t have enough room to cater for the amount of customers they have. Perhaps the Max Brenner’s in Melbourne central is less busy?

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Chocolate Fondue for Two 19.90 // Pure melted milk & dark chocolate served with strawberries, bananas, marshmallows & banana bread
I quite enjoyed the fondue! We requested for milk and dark chocolate pots. It was a guilty pleasure, but honestly and we all know it – it’s definitely something you can easily and simply do at home for a much cheaper price. I think it’s probably because I just typed up my budgeting for this month that I’m thinking so much about ‘worth’ haha so don’t mind me! Honestly speaking though, all you need is strawberries, marshmallows, other fruit, a bit of cake and some melted chocolate! The quantity they give you at MB is not much anyway, so for the same price you could probably get 3 times as much. I enjoyed the fondue, but there’s nothing much you can do to make it a spectacular fondue – it’s bound to taste good anywhere (right..? let me know if you’ve had any crazy bad fondue experiences outside before! eek).
mb (3)
Choc-Banana Pizza* 17.00 // Pure melted chocolate, caramelised pecans, bananas & marshmallows
This pizza definitely got more addictive as I ate it, but it was actually quite disappointing. The base of the pizza was very dry/flaky and bland – I’m not even sure what it was made out of, but the texture was definitely not what I was expecting. Like I mentioned before, the prizing is quite overpriced – $17 was not worth the actual quality/quantity of food. Looks pretty appetizing at least! Definitely a good combo with the fondue together. I guess for the experience it was definitely exciting – we probably spent 5 minutes just taking photos and having fun trying chocolate pizza! *What is this strange type of food?! Where is the cheese?!*

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar on Urbanspoon

Bottom line?  
Max Brenner is a great place for catching up,especially for late-nights and a chill environment but (in some ways similar to pancake parlour)- it’s just overpriced.
Viet Noodle House average Vietnamese place – very casual so don’t expect anything fancy! It’s good for what it offers.

I hope I didn’t offend anyone’s favourite eating spots in this entry!