Cafes

Happy Snaps!

10/12/2010 09:20:00 PM

For the final in my series of Panasonic Lumix TZ10 posts, I thought I'd share some different pictures from various food-related adventures over the past few months.  Hope you enjoy them!!

The first picture is the stunning bar at JJ's Bar and Grill at Crown...

Ooh.. don't touch, kids!

Next up are shots from the birthday dinner I made for my friend Kristine back in (eeep!) July.  She specifically requested the meat-on-meat goodness of the pork wellington she'd seen on my blog.  For those of you who don't remember, my pork wellington was an improvised recipe - pork fillet wrapped in proscuitto, sealed in a pan, wrapped in homemade puff pastry and baked.  This time I changed it up a little, making a parmesan pastry (pastry recipe from Snowflakes and Schnapps).

Before baking

And out of the oven...


You'll see I added the birthday girl's initials to one of the rolls!  These were served with a rocket, parmesan, pear and walnut salad, a potato gratin and creamy mushroom sauce.

And for dessert, I made an old favourite, Nigella Lawson's chocolate fudge cake, this time with milk chocolate in the icing instead of dark chocolate.  And a little edible glitter sparkle for our Twilight-loving girl!

Huge slab of cake and a bit of self-loathing? Hehe.


I know every other blogger has been, and I daresay the hype has died down already, but I wanted to let y'all know that I really enjoyed 3 Bags Full, in Abbotsford.  We went late-ish on a Sunday arvo, and despite the long wait (first for a table, and then for our food to come out), the atmosphere was pleasant and staff were friendly and didn't forget about us. Food and coffee were great too.  Yay!
Cappuccino - Single Rosetta milk pattern
I was particularly impressed by my meal - cauliflower fritters with grilled halloumi, rocket and relish.  Really tasty, and full of some of my fave ingredients!  Must figure out a recipe for this to make at home.  I think the combo would work spectacularly as a little canapé or starter.


And now for something not quite as impressive as 3 Bags Full - Max Brenner.  Funny thing is, I used to love it!  I first visited the Max Brenner in Harrods back in '04.  This was after a mammoth trip around Europe, which was awesome, but really exhausting as well.  I was travelling solo around the continent, lugging my massive suitcase up and down rickety stairs in dodgy hostels, and at one point even had my camera stolen.  (I know, A-holes!)  But with all that adventure behind me, I was finally back in comfortable London (staying with an aunt), about to fly back home to Melbourne, and treated myself to some Max Brenner goodness.  I sat by myself on the top floor of Harrods, and enjoyed a rich suckao hot chocolate and a huge chocolate chip cookie. I felt like I was having the most decadent, indulgent treat ever.

You can imagine how excited I was when I came back and learnt that Max Brenner was opening up in Melbourne!  That was 6 years ago now, but I can honestly say it's never been that good here.  I mean, I like their food and drinks, but they are overpriced.  And the service has deteriorated greatly over the past few years.  It seems uniformly poor across the different outlets - confused, slow and inefficient, especially during busy periods.  If you're paying $6 for a hot chocolate, shouldn't table service be part of the deal?  Or at least a clean table? Or the ability to flag down a waiter if you want some water?

But, I suppose if you have a bit of cash to splash and you're not in a hurry to get anywhere, why not?  I went with some friends a couple of months ago, and had a pleasant enough time.  (I must say the company was far superior to the cafe experience!)  I can't remember if it was me or someone else in the group who suggested chocolate that day, but at any rate, apologies to the D-man for putting him through the stress of their ordering 'system'!  But having said all that... we did get our food in the end, and I definitely enjoyed it!
Molten chocolate pudding


Waffle with chocolate sauce - yum!


Hot chocolate in hug mug
I didn't order one that day, but my fave thing from Max Brenner is their chocolate babka.  Now that is something I should totally figure out how to make at home.

And finally, some pics from the Winter festival held at Southbank back in August.


This one seemed promising...

... but was rid-onk-ulously overpriced and just, well, a bit crap.  Looking back on it, I'm not sure what else I would have expected from a festival - cheap prices and no queues? - hardly.  But oh well, we live and learn.  I was not paying $8 for a paper cup of Gluhwein!  Not unless it's a proper Christmas market and there's snow and Bratwurstfilzl and Flammkuchen and roast chestnuts...  We stayed at the festival for about 20 minutes and then went for pho, hehe.

But not before one of these...


Hurricane Potato!
It's a potato, cut into a giant corkscrew shape and deep fried on a stick! Genius! Super-expensive at $5 (WTF!!) but I just had to try one.  Giant-deep-fried-potato defeats rational thought, every time.  It was crunchy and soft and yum!  I doused it liberally with paprika and salt for added deliciousness.

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7 comments

  1. i love the hurricane potato... guilty goodness!
    so this is gonna be the last of the lumix???

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  2. Ooh, that kinda reminds me of curly fries in Singapore. Haha.

    But 5 bucks is OMG EXXY for potato =(

    And I don't like Max Brenner. Give me Koko Black anytime!

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  3. OMG!Hurricane Potato! I want...

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  4. That potato is SO FREAKIN YUM! I had it at the Melbourne Good Food & Wine show. What's not to love about crispy, tasty, deep fried potato?!

    My favourite thing at Max Brenner is the chocolate babka too, though I always end up regretting ordering that plus a hot chocolate. Massive chocolate overload!

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  5. oh i miss the Max Brenner hug mugs! Such a simple concept, such a huge impact (on me anyway - I do love to hug my hot choc!)... and hurricane potato? ZOMGAMAZING.

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  6. i need one of those molten chocolate puddings!! they look delicious

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  7. @almostalwaysravenous - Yes, hurricane potato is seriously yum! Re: the Lumix, this was the last of my posts specifically for the campaign, (i.e. with the watermark and everything) but I'll still keep it!

    @Celeste - from A&W? I remember that from Msia when I was little. :)

    @Penny & @April - I know, right? Crunch crunch yum yum! One thing I *can't* try to make at home, haha.

    @Catty - I have some Nigella Lawson ice-cream bowls/hug mugs, but they're too big for hot choc. Can't see myself splashing out on Max Brenner ones though!

    @My Restaurants Melbourne - It was pretty yum!

    xox Sarah

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