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. 
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Top Paddock // Richmond

I was really excited to check out Top Paddock because it’s a highly popular brunch place with great reviews. Their menu looks absolutely amazing and I just want to try pretty much everything. Of course I was also very excited to catch up with the wonderful company of my girlfriends too :)

When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly staff member (and had pleasant service throughout the rest of the stay). We needed to queue up (approx 11AM) and it was extremely busy/packed. We only waited for about 5 minutes because we ended up being seated on a round table (that fits 6) and had to sit opposite 3 other strangers. It was a little strange at first because you don’t get the comfort of privacy and space, however the people opposite us were quite friendly. It was also very loud so it was quite hard to hear their conversations vice versa.

Also, from my experience parking was a pain! Be prepared to pay $7.50 per hour for parking around that Richmond area. Top Paddock (1)It’s awesome how they have an extra cafe menu and a DAILY specials menu as well – it’s not given out to you at the table so you probably need to request it, or else it’s at the front counter (where the muffins are). When I was there, some of their specials included items such as, ‘Local pine mushrooms served on house made flatbread with taleggio cheese & a garlic, chilli + parsley oil 18.50’, ‘Whitebait tacos with corinder, chilli & corn salsa 18.00′, Chilli beef & bean pie with your choice of a side salad & tomato relish 15.00’ Just to name a few! They  also serve fresh juice and have a variety of salads available where you can add ocean trout as a side for $7.Top Paddock (2)Top Paddock Menu (Soooo many choices! All day brunch)Top Paddock (3) Gin and lime cured ocean trout with pickled baby beetroots, potato galette, poached eggs, leaves, goats curd & toast // $20

This was the dish I ordered and I waited in high anticipation for it. I’m  personally not a fan of goats curd/beetroots but I chose this dish for the ocean trout. I had high expectations and though it was a pretty good dish (the concept) there were a couple of big faults.

Not so good things: There was surprising quite a few bones in my trout (atleast 5) and pretty big ones too. I definitely would not have chocked on them but it did lower my view on the standard of Top Paddock. It did make me feel that they were too busy to ensure quality goes into their food – and I can be sympathetic knowing it’s a high pressure environment, but I’m not sure if as a customer I should be accepting. My ocean trout was slightly overcooked (you can probably tell by looking at the photo actually). Honestly I’m still surprised that their standard dropped (compared to other reviews I’ve read about this ocean trout!) but I didn’t want to make a fuss. I haven’t come across any other reviews that have mentioned bones so I’m hoping and willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.I was impressed by everything else – presentation, customer service, visual appearance of their store and their menu- so I  really want them to present great tasting food too!  It’s a shame because most people seem to have a great experience at Top Paddock.

Good things: Beautifully poached eggs, great tasting potato and my friends and I loved the presentation. We probably spent about 5-10 minutes taking photos of our food… I only wish there was more of that potato on my plate because I love how it’s layered so delicately.The pickled beetroot had a very unique and interesting flavour, I didn’t dislike it but I wasn’t a huge fan of the flavour combination of everything together. I didn’t really feel like the flavours were balanced out but again, I kind of think that it was just a lack of consistency on the day I went and bad luck to me.

Based on my the appearance of friend’s dishes and the other menu options, I am STILL convinced that I will come back (and I hope that perhaps it was just that once off experience). I’ll need to come back and hopefully it’s better tasting food next time.Top Paddock (4) Pan fried local snapper with a chilli-fried egg, avocado, tomato, lime and a corn tortilla // $19.50

This was Top Paddock’s other famous fish dish with a pan fried snapper! My friend found it quite simple, The avocado and lemon creates that fresh tone to the dish. Unfortunately her snapper was slightly over cooked too!TPTop Paddock – chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil, Adelaide green tomatoes, bacon, poached eggs & relish on toast // $22

This dish looks absolutely smashing! My friend really enjoyed it too. It’s definitely a more hearty option for brunch.Top Paddock (5)Other highly popular/recommended dishes at Top Paddock are:

Blueberry & ricotta hotcakes with berries, organic maple, seeds & double cream // 17.50

Grilled broccolini & sugar snaps with avocado, toasted almonds, poached eggs & heidi raclette on toast // 17.50

Ranger Valley Wagyu steak sandwhich with beetroot relish, tempura beetroot shoots, fresh horseradish & wasabi leaves // 20.00

Top Paddock on Urbanspoon

Red Cup Cafe // Box Hill

Red Cup Cafe has a lively and busy atmosphere. I received very nice service from the waiters and the food came out promptly (considering there was 8 of us!) but really the food is so overpriced for brunch.  Don’t get me wrong – the food tastes good, but in comparison to other brunch places I am so sure Red Cup Cafe can afford to charge their meals for a cheaper price. (Or it’s that they know they’ll definitely customers who are willing to pay and settle with that. – Kind of disappointing mentality though so I hope I’m wrong.) Most breakfast items average to be about $18, with coffee at $4.5. (Excluding the city most places I’ve been to for brunch would average to $14-16 for the usual Eggs Benedict/Florentine). Any additional sides cost $4. It’s not as though this place was more classier than other brunch places and it’s not as though they have a great rating on Urbanspoon either.

Nevertheless, it was a special occasion and I enjoyed my time there. Good company always makes it worth it :) I just wouldn’t go to Red Cup Cafe regularly especially as there are other places that serve similar things (e.g. Eggs Benedict) for a much cheaper price. I would be happier to pay the price if there was something different to explain why their food costs more than majority of brunch places selling very similar things. YET it’s still booming with customers! I thought that was interesting.

Here are some of the items we ordered :)
redcp (1)
MojoRojo// Smashed Avocado, Poached Eggs, Capsicum Sauce
Tasty and filling! This was my dish. The avo was really ripe, a lot of it mushed together and it had a strong lime taste, but put together with their eggs and capsicum sauce and it tasted good.
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Kids Pancakes // $5
They had an extra order by accident so I got to try their kid’s pancakes! It was SO good, seriously. They don’t have an adults version of this, but I’d recommend it if there was. I love the sauce. It’s sweet, caramel-like and buttery.
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Pancakes // Cream and Berry
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Baked Eggsredcp (5)
Eggs Benedict // Smoked Salmon, Spinach
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Eggs your way // Sunny side up, toast and baked beans

Red Cup Cafe on Urbanspoon

Luxbite // South Yarra

Luxbite Date!  As soon as I found out Luxbite was serving up green tea cheesecake I just couldn’t wait to try it! I actually recently made a very simple green tea cheesecake myself  and was really curious to see what Luxbite had come up with. This is my second visit to Luxbite, (the first time I went was for lunch and dessert), however this time it was just for cake! luxbite (2) Green tea Cheesecake Opéra style cake: Green tea Joconde, Japanese rice wine, pistachio ganache, cream cheese, salted green tea crumble
Can you see those epic layers?! I really enjoyed their green tea cheesecake because the layers together was such a good match. I tried each layer individually and I love their cake base (the sponge?).  The crumble didn’t have much salted green tea flavour to it, but you can definitely taste the green ta jaconde.  It’s the perfect level of sweetness for me and I would come back for a second! (If I had more money though :P it is pretty pricey!) luxbite (1) ‘Black is the New Gold’- black tea chocolate mousse/blackberrycreme/chocolate glaze luxbite (3)Overall, I had a great experience at Luxbite but really only due to the yummy tasting deserts and each other’s company.  It would have been nice if we were acknowledged when we walked in because it did feel slightly awkward not knowing if we should go straight to the counter and choose what we wanted since we weren’t given a menu. In the end we walked up to the counter and got menus ourselves. We definitely didn’t get much service today or acknowledgement today, but it was quiet and we didn’t have much of a need to get waited on except when ordering and receiving our desserts. They give you a huge water jug so there’s not really any particular reason to bother the staff – unless you’re just wanting to chat I guess!
I wish they had a guest bathroom but unfortunately they don’t. They do suggest a nearby bathroom block which is located in a neighbouring park so no need to worry if you do need to go! It is a very relaxed environment though so you could probably stay for hours without feeling the need to leave.

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

The Hardware Société // Melbourne

Recently my boyfriend and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary! We started the day by having brunch at ‘The Hardware Société ‘ in the Melbourne CBD.

 I was really looking forward to checking this place out. I have heard so much about it and have been meaning to go for a long long time!

“Coddled Eggs” $20
First impressions were good because the presentation is so lovely. It seems like everything they served came  out on a board! They gave us a a very generous amount of bread! To be honest I was disappointed with the coddled eggs – for something that is meant to be the start of the dish I think it was slightly overcooked. Luckily everything else was nice and tasty. I enjoyed the cured meats and overall everything went well together and I felt quite full and satisfied afterwards.

The highlight was the atmosphere and the service. We had a very nice waitress who was easy going and made nice but casual conversations with us. She definitely made me feel comfortable and welcomed. I want to come back  to try other foods bloggers have been raving about (e.g. their baked eggs) or check out their lunch menu. The Coddled Eggs dish was different to what I’d normally have for brunch so I’m happy I gave it a try however it’s not something I’d get again here.

I’d recommend this place as a great cafe for GROUPs because majority of their tables fit 4+ people. In fact, being a couple makes it’s harder to get a table!

IMG_1786

Love the decor! AND the lights!IMG_1788

The Hardware Société on Urbanspoon

It was such a special day and I am so blessed to have him in my life. He is so patient and caring towards me and constantly making me laugh and smile. ^^There have definitely been tough times, but also many happy moments – all that I cherish because I’ve learnt and grown so much as a person! :) I really feel that God has been working so much in the both of us as individuals to be better people. Relationships are challenging, but I think that’s because we’re imperfect people. Imperfect people have expectations of others that won’t always be fulfilled but it’s how you deal with disappointments and what you do about it to support one another still. I say that’s why we need our lovingly Heavenly Father to be our focus so that because of His love, despite our imperfections, we can learn to love and respect others. It’s really because of God’s love that we even have a glimpse of what love is in the first place.

 

 

Momoco Sushi – All you can eat

Momocosushi sign

I went to Momoco Sushi with the family today for their ‘all you can eat‘ option. Each person gets to choose ONE small hot dish, ONE serving of dessert (icecream) and all you can eat sushi nori/salads which is pretty good if you like sashimi! I’ve looked at the Momoco prices for their regular meals and it’s not that cheap so I believe you can easily eat your moneys worth. It won’t be worth it if you’re not a big eater though/you don’t like raw fish! Better off ordering one of their mains :)

With the ‘all you can eat‘ option you are  given a form to fill out with all the sushi/salad choices and you put a number next to how many servings you want of that item.

My family and I have never gone out to eat Japanese altogether before so we were quite excited for our meal. Reading some of the reviews on Urbanspoon did leave me feeling slightly hesitant about dining here so I was really hopeful that my family and I would end up enjoying the food!

Momoco interior

When we arrived I was immediately impressed by the overall look of the restaurant. It’s quite spacious and decorated well. I like the modern dining atmosphere. Straight away it doesn’t look ‘cheap.’

@tangertalks

Sushiplatter

This platter was so good! I’m a HUGE fan of sashimi! Love it, love it, love it! Too bad everything they gave literally came with rice (probably them trying to save money and to fill us up with the rice) I think it would have been nice if they served up salmon sashimi by itself teehee (it’s probably too costly for them though).

Momoco sushi

The unfortunate thing was that they put all the sushi in one large serving plate, rather than separate it over a few plates across the long table. I assume it’s to save up on washing, but it made it difficult sharing the plate across the long table. I was also disappointed with the presentation of the sushi. The picture above is how it arrived and it doesn’t look as appetising as I think it really could! Taste was quite average,I liked the salmon sushi and the unagi (eel) sushi rolls the best! I didn’t really enjoy the California roll though,  they stuffed too much rice in it for my liking! You can see they’re quite fat so it probably won’t take you too long to get filled up.

tofu

takoyaki ball

These were two of the hot dishes I managed to get a snap of! (Other hot dishes included dishes such as roast eggplant, fried chicken, beef skewers etc) The top one is Agedashi tofu which was nice, soft and silky. The second dish is takoyaki balls which was good too, not as soft and ‘melt in your mouth’ takoyaki balls I’ve tried before but again satisfactory.

avocado

salads

This is the avocado salad and the cucumber/seaweed salad – they were very generous with the portions they gave us for each side dish.The cucumber is dressed with sesame dressing. These are just the perfect side dishes to your meal, I’m a big fan of tasty salads!

NG icecream

The icecream flavours they offer are green tea, black sesame and vanilla. I had the green tea but I also tried a bit of the black sesame. The green tea ice cream was so disappointing. It mainly tasted like vanilla icecream and looked like perhaps they tried to make it green tea by adding some powder and mixing it or colouring? So I was expecting the black sesame to be the same, but surprisingly it was GREAT. It tasted authentic so I’m really not sure what happened to their green tea ice cream :/ I’d definitely recommend getting black sesame if you go here!

Bottom line: Momoco Sushi is not bad but it’s not amazing. It’s overall quite average which to me means it’s decent – good enough for a night out where you can still enjoy each other’s company, get fed and feel good. If you have high expectations over the Japanese cuisine, you probably will enjoy some other restaurant like Shoya – Chinatown CBD, but this is the more affordable option for a large group of people. The green tea IS AMAZING though. It’s made fresh and it’s mixed with a combination of rice tea I believe.

Momoco Sushi on Urbanspoon