Cafe Carpenter // Malvern East

 cc-tt-5After I saw the menu online, visiting Cafe Carpenter bumped to the top of my ‘to try’ list.  I was sucked in because there were so many delicious options and the photos of the food looked great! When we arrived I found that the cafe was a lot smaller than I had expected but it’s very cute  with stylish decorations. I wouldn’t come here with a big crowd but a small group of 2-4 would be perfect. We were pretty lucky it wasn’t busy when we arrived because I can imagine the wait for a seat would have taken awhile.cc-tt-2
Sweet Potato Noodles (Beef & Veg) // 16
The noodles had a very homely feel. It was clear that they used fresh ingredients but it was simple. I liked that the noodles weren’t soaked in oil (compared to the usual chap chae I’ve tried).
Continue reading

Advertisements

My Papparich Life

I have been to Papparich countless times BUT I’ve never done a blog post about it so I thought I’d finally do one XD I’ve tried Papparich in the city, the one in Nunawading, Glen Waverley and Doncaster. I’ll tell you what I think the differences are between them at the end of my post.

Papparich is a Malaysian restaurant with all their main dishes at the standard price of $11.90. They have a wide selection of drinks both fruity, milk based or coffees. They also have snack dishes such as fried chicken skin, eggs, satay sticks etc for varied prices. I’ve never tried it before but Papparich also sell yum cha small eats (quite costly though).  It’s all the same in all the franchises. Note: You come to Papparich for the FOOD, not for the service. When you arrive you’re given a menu and at your table there is a sheet of paper where you write your order down. Then you click a button and a waiter will come to you to get your paper. It’s pretty much self service but the food comes out VERY quickly – usually it takes longer to decide what to eat then to wait for your food! (I’ve waited less than 5 minutes on average). Now it’s time for the foood!  (Please excuse the bad quality phone pictures at the end+ a bit of my sloppy writing today – speed writing this post up!) Prich TT (1) Drinks! Hm sorry I have to say I didn’t like ANY of these. The soya milk one had some extra flavours in that tasted super artificial – nothing like the soy milk drinks I’ve had from Asian groceries (OR overseas – so I was pretty disappointed). The other two also tasted very artificial and sweet – but it didn’t taste sugary sweet, more so artificial sweetener type of sweet. I’m not sure if all their drinks are like this but I’ve been put off by them (plus they’re about $5-8 which I don’t think is really worth it.) I thought it would be nice to try and have on more special type of occasions, but I would RECOMMEND their teh tarik type of drinks – the milk based ones with TEA. Not their fruit based drinks – it doesn’t taste fresh, more like syrup based flavours. Prich TT (12) Curry Laksa Really delicious. I like the soup base and they stuff so many things inside the bowl (the roasted egg plant is really good and I don’t normally like egg plant!).  It’s not that spicy and it has the coconut flavour. Over the years the soup base has definitely improved. I actually didn’t like the Laska when I first tried it a few years ago because I found it quite bland and it wasn’t sweet at all. Now it’s a lot more flavoursome!Prich TT (13) Char Kuay Teow If you’re not a fan of spice, I would probably recommend you telling them no chilli. This wasn’t my dish but thought I’d show you what it looks like! Now for the not so good photos… :P

Continue reading

Balderdash Cafe // Port Melbourne

Balderdash Tanger (5)
It was time for another brunch adventure. This time we ventured out to Port Melbourne and thanks to my friend through good old urbanspoon she found Balderdash! The name really appealed to me because the game Balderdash is pretty fun so this place sounded quite intriguing. When we arrived we found the cafe right on the corner, it’s cosy,simple and nicely decorated with flowers. I could not remember the exact names of the dishes we ordered because the website menu is a little out of date but the overall concepts of the dishes are the same, they just alter the fillings or sauces slightly to the dish.Balderdash Tanger (3)
A flat tortilla with spicy refried beans, a house made salsa of avocado, tomato, red onion and topped with two free range fried eggs (Back by popular request) $16? (Friend’s dish)
My friend enjoyed her meal! She said she was pretty full after eating it and I imagine this dish has to be pretty good for it to be ‘back by request’. It looks fresh with the avocado salad and I personally love the zing onion brings to a dish.Balderdash Tanger (4)
Fritters made with corn, corn, zucchini & fire roasted peppers and served with avocado and goats cheese mash, chilli jam and a poached egg, $15.5 (My dish)
I on the other hand ordered the corn fritters. I was really looking forward to it because other reviewers have said it tasted good and I haven’t had much experience with corn fritters before. The menu said it was to come with chilli jam so I was a bit hesitant about the combination especially with avocado mash (it did sound a little strange) but I thought it was a perfect match. The rocket also tied the different foods together (I’m really happy there was rocket in this dish!). The chilli jam was not spicy, infact it really just tasted like tangy tomato relish. I wish there was more of it because it tasted so good. I was surprisingly quite full after eating this dish and I know I would happily come back and order this again. Balderdash Tanger (6)
Instead of salt and pepper shakers their salt and pepper comes in little round discs. The salt was really nice!Balderdash Tanger (1)
Overall I love the look of this cafe. It’s small, busy but cosy. The staff were quite friendly as they regularly checked up on us to see if we wanted any more drinks and they made sure we didn’t need to wait long to be served. The waiting time for the dish was about 15-20 minutes, but the corn fritters were very nice and I’d definitely recommend it.
Balderdash on Urbanspoon

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?

mb (2)
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!

Moka Pot Cafe (Good Food, Iffy Service)

Moka Pot Cafe
They provide breakfast, lunch and drinks (breakfast till 2:30PM!)
I’ve been to Moka Pot Cafe a few times and each time the food has been quite good. It’s definitely more costly than Aura Cafe but the food is probably just a tad better here – however their service is not (Aura has top notch service, friendly staff members who greet you and check on you once in awhile). I have to say at Moka Pot Cafe it’s been highly disappointing. I really don’t know why because Moka Pot Cafe is generally quite busy and has pretty good reviews on Urbanspoon – it’s a visually appealing place and it just SEEMS like a friendly environment so I get drawn to wanting to go in (it does look inviting from the outside) but the last two times I’ve gone, I haven’t really been greeted at the door, instead slightly ignored. I will continue this line of thought at the end of my blog post since it’s quite long (Don’t read it if you don’t like rants!). For now, moving onto the GOOD stuff – the foooood!!! 

The last time I came here, I ordered the Egyptian Eggs ( poached eggs, dukkah, spiced pumpkin, caramelised onion, spinach + toasted Turkish pide) and it was SO good. I really enjoyed the combination and they were generous with the amount of pumpkin they gave (cubed pumpkin). The flavours and spices went well together. I remember I thought that it may not be filling without toast but it was just right. I was so tempted to try it again, but decided to go for their Health Kick (though they had this special mushroom dish which sounded pretty good).

moka3Health Kick $16.9 // poached eggs served w/ confit tomato, smashed avocado, spinach, tomato relish on multigrain toast)
Disappointing smashed avo (quite a thin mushy layer of it), but I loved the tomato relish combo with the poached eggs and spinach. (SERIOUSLY YUMMY RELISH!!) Overall a good dish and quite filling too. (Fills you up more than the Egyptian Eggs). I like the concept of the dish with smashed avo because at other cafes you usually only have the option to get smashed avo by itself or just with eggs.moka2Big Breakfast 19.9// choice of poached, fried or scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, hash brown, mushrooms, oven roasted tomato, spinach + toast
I didn’t order this dish (bf did) and it looked very yummy! Nothing too special about it though. The negatives is that bacon (a lot of the pieces were quite burnt), but those scrambled eggs and mushrooms look very nice! It was a pretty big serving as well. 
Continue reading

Aura Cafe // Doncaster

aura (2)I caught up with my high school friends at Aura Cafe over some really nice food and conversations! The price range for brekky/brunch  is about $14-$17 not including drinks (however they do also have a great looking lunch menu).It’s been awhile since we last saw each other because we all have pretty different timetables and commitments so it was really nice to get together again! Despite our clashes in timetables, I love how we still make the effort to see each other and I know this friendship is truly a special one.aura (1)  Poached Special (Smoked Salmon, 3 Poached Eggs and Julienne Tomato salad)
I ordered this delicious looking dish and was really happy with it.  I was initially worried it wouldn’t be filling but there was a generous portion of smoked salmon. I’ve never had 3 poached eggs for brunch before, but I  really enjoyed everything together. The lemon helped the dish with it’s acidity making it taste fresher/lighter, and the tomato was a good way to combine everything. I also loved the presentation.aura (3) French Toast (Berries, Syrup and Cream)aura (4)Corn Fritters with Avoaura (5)Eggs Benedict

I’ve now been to Aura Cafe on multiple occasions and each time I’ve managed to try something different. I’ve enjoyed every meal I’ve had here and the service has always been great. The staff are friendly and like to check up on you to see how you’re finding the meal as well. The price is really good for the area and there is quite a large selection of dishes to choose from in the menu.

Aura on Urbanspoon