Izakaya Den // Russell Street

Often, special occasions are heightened by the anticipation of a delicious meal. This time I was really looking forward to trying out the set menu at Izakaya Den. It’s been a while since I’ve had really nice Japanese food and Izakaya Den has made an excellent name for itself. We chose the $55 Kuikku set menu (however we ended up adding extra a la carte options spontaneously, so it probably worked out to be similar to the $65-$75 mark with drinks). There were eleven ‘dishes’ inclusive of the set menu but they came out in groups. E.g. three dishes would come out at the same time, then there would be a slight break and then the next four dishes came out etc. We added on the scallop, prawn and dessert dishes separately.Can I just say how crazy their drink menu is? It’s not featured on the Zomato page, but trust me it is extensive. They have creative scroll menus (which if I’m to be critical, can be a bit annoying to look through) which is packed with Japanese alcoholic beverages. If you’re after something sweet and less ambitious I’d highly recommend the Kirin Fuji Apple Cider (absolutely delicious and refreshing.) Admittedly it is very sweet but tastes just like Fuji apple.
1. Sweet Corn ‘kaki-age’ with matcha salt
This was a good start to the meal. Simple but tasty – you can’t go wrong with corn right? The matcha salt (loving the colour) was a unique addition but I found the corn to have enough flavour on its own anyway.
2. Spicy Tuna Tataki
It might be difficult to tell but basically there was six of us and each person is allocated a fair share. E.g. with the tuna tataki there were 2 platters of 6 pieces, meaning 2 pieces of tuna each. There were 2 sauces; one sauce has a strong horseradish type of flavour (quite overpowering – a similar kick to wasabi but I really liked it), and the other a more subtle seafood mayo type of flavour. The tuna tataki is raved about on Zomato and it was decent. 3. Grilled Sweet Potato & Shittake Mushroom
Honestly there’s not a whole lot to say about this one. It’s simple and tasty but also not something I’d order at a premium restaurant (just because it’s not value for money). Normally $9 for the pair.4. Fantastic Prawns with Yuzu Mayonnaise (ordered separately, 3 for $12)
I believe seafood is definitely a strength of Izakaya Den. The ‘fantastic’ prawns did live up to its name being juicy and flavoursome. The yuzu wasn’t obvious to me but I’d recommend trying the prawns. They’re not stingy sized either. 5. Hervey Bay Scallops with Lemon Soy and Panko (ordered separately, 3 for $12)
This was also a highlight. The scallops were cooked perfectly. I would have preferred it without the panko (the scallops were cooked so nicely that I just wanted to enjoy the purity of it). I felt the panko took the scallop flavour away so I scraped most of mine off. Continue reading

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Don’t Tell Mama // Doncaster

Recently I came by Don’t Tell Mama again and thought I’d do a blog post! The main thing I like about Don’t Tell Mama is that it’s one the larger sized Korean restaurants in the suburbs. I’d usually book just in case but because it can cater a lot of people it’s not usually fully booked. I’ve tried a number of things from the menu and I’d recommend sticking to their ‘Stir-Fried Meal’ section because they’re pretty tasty and it comes with a bowl of rice. I’ve tried items from the menu from each section (except lunch) and I’ve just found the other things to be more disappointing.dtm-tt-1
Lovers -Sharing Dolsot Bibimbab For 2 // $26
You can choose your choice of meat from pork, prawn, beef, chicken, tofu etc. We chose the prawn and I was pretty disappointed by the bibimbab. It’s quite average and the taste is extremely plain. There’s not much flavour unless you DIY and eat it with other dishes. It’s okay as a ‘side’ but if you did order this as your own main I think you’d feel quite disappointed by the lack of flavour and seasoning. The plus side is that if you are someone who cares a lot about health then I’d recommend getting this dish. Most of the menu items at Don’t Tell Mama are pretty oily except for this one.dtm-tt-2
Beef Bulgogi // $16dtm-tt-3
Mild Pork Bulgogi // $16
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Udon Yasan // CBD

I was after a quick casual meal to fill up my hungry stomach the other night and stumbled across Udon Yasan. From the outside it looks like a quick service restaurant (like a fast food joint but of asian food haha). To be honest I didn’t expect much from it because it functions as a cheap self service diner. ud-tt-2
Medium bowl of Udon is $4.8, but with beef ($3) is $.78
The way it works is that you order your choice of noodles such as noodle soup, dry noodle, noodle with curry etc (and the meat you want) then you can add paid toppings (mostly fried options such as fried chicken, tempura, soft shell crab, but also things like egg). At the end of the aisle you pay and there’s also a section of all you can eat free toppings. //
My bowl of toppings // $0
There were more options but I opted for spring onions, wakame seaweed, bonito flakes and grated radish. You are also welcome to go back anytime to get more. There were also other options such as chilli flakes and ginger.
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Scarvelli // Balwyn (Revisit)

I went back to Scarvelli with a group of my girlfriends and had a pretty good time. The service and vibe of the place is still laid back and friendly.  It didn’t take too long for the food to come out either. s-tt-4
Goodlife bowl – kale, roasted cauliflower, sweet potato, quinoa, pomegranate, lime dressing & poached egg // $15
This is the dish I ordered. I’ve had the Goodlife bowl a couple times already but I haven’t tried this edition with the sweet potato and roasted cauliflower. I was super pleased because I’ve had this obsession with sweet potato recently and it was just delicious. I think this is probably the best breakfast option at Scarvelli. I love the combination of ingredients and they’re all veggies I like. The crispy kale is perfect ( I tried making it at home last week and it was so bitter and gross). I also love sweet pomegranate so yes basically everything in this bowl I liked separately, so altogether? It was the best! #bigfan
s-tt-1Paprika Fritters + Zucchini Spaghetti // $16
The rest of these dishes featured were my friend’s orders which I can’t really comment on except everyone mentioned food envy (over my dish) so I don’t think they were super impressed by their order. Continue reading

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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Walt Disney World Food!

Hi there! Over the past few months I’ve been trying all sorts of food around the Walt Disney World property. Here’s a post on some of the things I’ve tried and what I thought of it :) All the prices exclude tax.tt disney (17)
Location: Contemporary Resort
Dining: Contempo Cafe
Item: Spice-crusted Mahi Sandwhich (with Vegetable-style Coleslaw and Spicy Tartar Sauce on a Focaccia Roll with French Fries and Vegetable-style Coleslaw)
Price:$11.99
Thoughts: When I ordered this dish it was mainly enticed by the fact that it came with fries. Sadly majority of burgers and items on the menu don’t come with fries! You have to add it on for an additional $2.50 or so. Anyways! Mahi is a type of fish and it was extremely soft and tender. This was a really tasty fish burger with good seasoning of spices. I’d order it again.
tt disney (15)Location: Wilderness Lodge (Resort)
Dining: Whispering Canyon
Item: Slow-smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich (on a Brioche Roll, with Barbecue Sauce, and Western Slaw with sweet potato fries and homemade beans)
Price: $13.99
Thoughts: Probably one of my favourite meals at Disney. I would highly recommend this dish! (I really enjoyed other meals I’ve had at the Wilderness Lodge/Fort Wilderness too). I loved the sweet potato fries and the pulled pork flavours were spot on. The beans had a really smokey taste (probably similar to the sauce the pulled pork is marinated in). This is a value for money dish – incredibly filling and the experience at Whispering Canyon is quite fun too. The cast members poke fun at you and give you big quantities of things you ask for (e.g. ketchup).
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Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2015

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This year I had the opportunity to experience Disney World’s EPCOT’S annual ‘Food & Wine Festival’ held between September 25-November 16, 2015! Food and Wine at EPCOT is all about ‘Tasting Your Way Around The World. “Embark on a culinary adventure celebrating 20 years of culture and cuisine with the finest wine and beverage offerings at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, presented by CHASE®.”  …Which is exactly what I did do! I embarked on a culinary adventure and Epcot Food & Wine has been amazing.

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Countries featured have their own pavilions with about 3 different food options and wine options that showcase the country. Countries featured include: Africa, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China,  France, Germany, Greece, Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Patagonia,  Poland, Scotland, South Korea and some speciality gourmet food stands such as Chew Lab, Farm Fresh, Wine and Cheese stations etc.

The dishes are not very big (the plates are about the size of a regular plastic fork). Below are some of the tastings I was able to try and my thoughts. Continue reading

Baba Sus Cafe // Glen Iris

Baba Sus Cafe has been gaining more and more popularity within the past year. Famous for it’s green tea lattes and Hong Kong egg waffles I knew I had to come by and try it!BSC TT (1)
The green tea latte isn’t actually on the menu so if you would like to give it a go you need to specially request it! It can be bitter for some so I would recommend asking for some honey on the side. BSC TT (2)
#flatlay Continue reading

Shoya Nouvelle Wafu Cuisine // Chinatown Melbourne

Shoya is my go to ‘special occasions’ restaurant. I love coming here for their lunch sets because firstly it’s absolutely delicious but secondly it’s the only option I can afford at Shoya :P
This was my second time coming by and this time I tried a different lunch set called ‘UME’ including dessert which was a total of $32. You can access their menu by clicking here and there are approximately 7 options.Shoya TT (1) The meal began with complimentary Japanese style pickles and the first small dish was the Japanese egg custard (1). The custard has a silken tofu type texture – extremely soft , creamy and smooth. I finished it so quickly! The pickles were also really nice – wish I could have had unlimited pickles so I could have eaten it all throughout the meal #theywerethatgood.Shoya TT (2)
I love sashimi(2) so much and the standard of preparing fish at Shoya is quite high. They have a chef preparing the sashimi in front of you (if you’re seated at the stool area). This scallop was hands down the best scallop I’ve ever had. No joke! Super soft and fresh – I honestly haven’t had the luxury of having scallop prepared for me like this before and it was so good. After we received the sashimi we started getting our other dishes out around the same time. I did want them to slow down because I knew the food was going to start getting cold but I guess since it’s a reserved lunch set/time they needed to push out the food.Shoya TT (3)
In the ‘UME’ set they offer ‘seasonal grilled fish (3)‘ as part of the set and I was so pleasantly surprised when eel came out. I was hoping and hoping and hoping it would be eel but I didn’t want to get my hopes up (last time I didn’t get eel!). It was so delicious – I love eel! The sides of mushroom was flavoursome and a nice addition to it too. Shoya TT (4)
This was the tempura (4) (soy dipping sauce) which came with prawn and some vegetables. Nothing much to say but the batter was good and crispy. Shoya TT (5)
Our table was just full of food food, glorious food!Shoya TT (6) At this point I was getting SO stuffed but everything was tasting so delicious. This came out together and it was the teriyaki beef (5), steamed rice (6) and miso soup (7). The beef was cooked perfectly – very soft and tender and the taste was strong but matched the nice subtle flavours of the mixed steam rice. Nothing out of the ordinary for the miso soup but I just love the miso flavours of any miso soup so I was happy.Shoya TT (10)Anddddd last BUT NOT LEAST, DESSERT! We’re given the option of vanilla, black sesame or green tea icecream (8). My favourite ice cream flavour has been green tea for awhile now so of course I went with the green tea option! It was delish – great way to end the meal.

I was so full by the end of the meal but it was great. I highly recommend going to Shoya for a special occasion if you’re looking for something cheaper than fine dining yet still nice. The food is delicious and you’ll definitely be full by the end of it! There are quite a lot of different lunch options so if you’re a big eater choose the UME option (I think that has the most food!). Make sure you create a reservation – this is something you can conveniently do online and they’ll email you back a confirmation notice.  The cheapest lunch set is $24.80.

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3 Monkeys Place // Doncaster East

I had heard so much about 3 Monkeys Place before seeing it for myself so I was pretty excited to have brunch here. I didn’t know what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself at a pretty cute and relaxed cafe. I really liked the simple decor and the bright flowers on each of the tables.3mktt
It started raining after we arrived so it really was perfect timing. I had a hard time deciding what to order but in the end we agreed that there can always be future visits and I can always order something else next time. 3mp TT (3)
 ‘Charlie’s Burger’ with Chips and Siracha Mayo // 17
Charlie’s burger is made out of a spicy beef and pork patty along with the usual toppings of lettuce and tomato. I tried some of the siracha mayo and it was delicious – was a great tangy combination. Apparently the burger itself was quite filling but the patty could be more succulent and tender. These chips are the same chips you would get if you ordered the ‘Beer Battered Chips’ as a side.
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Porky Pig // 16
I ordered the ‘Porky Pig’ which has since then been updated. This picture however is the older version of the porky pig (main difference is that it is presented differently and now comes with CRISPY CRACKING #JELLY).  Porky Pig is basically pork belly with a radish salad and roti underneath. My favourite component of the dish was hands down the salad. I absolutely loved it – I wish I had the recipe. It was fresh, simple and I’d be pretty satisfied just eating a huge bowl of this salad.3mk tt2
Under the fried egg was my pork belly! Okay so I know pork belly is really fatty but I felt sooo unhealthy eating this. It was tasty but the fat content was quite heavy and didn’t feel that balanced with the salad. I liked the sweetest of the tamarind glaze.  The roti was a little disappointing but overall I was happy with the dish (mostly because of the salad).
3mp TT (1)
3 Monkeys is quite convenient in regards to parking so I’m sure I’ll be back. It has a nice environment and it’s appealing to the eye. It isn’t a cheap place to have brunch but the menu is fusion and offers

a change from a typical brunch menu

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