It's time for my February Unblogged Files! Feb was kinda a low-key month for me - apart from Chinese New Year, it was just a nice routine of work, the gym, and spending quality time with friends and family. Perhaps not the most exciting or dynamic time, but a very happy - and food-filled - time for me.
For a treaty weekday lunch, I snuck down to Earl Canteen. I know everyone goes on about their crisp pork belly sandwich (I've had it before and it is indeed nice), but looking at their menu, I was much more excited by the broccoli sandwich: long-cooked broccoli, smoked mozzarella, currant, balsamic & pinenut dressing. I do love the combo of currants and pine nuts!
|Earl Canteen's Broccoli Sandwich: long-cooked broccoli, smoked mozzarella, currant, balsamic & pinenut dressing - $10.50|
We spent a lovely night celebrating my cousin Catherine's birthday with dinner at Merchant Osteria Venezia and drinks at Lui Bar.
|Merchant Osteria Venezia|
Dinner at Merchant is always great, and the highlights on this visit were the perfectly-cooked, bouncy and tender, almond-crusted Coffin Bay scallops...
|Almond-crusted Coffin Bay Scallops - $16|
...and the pumpkin tortellini, swathed in burnt butter and decorated with crisp sage leaves.
|Pumpkin Tortellini - $25|
Another month, another visit to Beatrix. Nat's such a great baker - her Moroccan Snickers tart was incredible! It's a chocolate tart, with date caramel and a peanut cookie crust. Wow!
|Moroccan Snickers Tart - $8.50|
One night (the same night I baked the CNY peanut cookies, actually), we made a batch of David Lebovitz' salted butter caramels. Wow - total deliciousness, especially with the little snowfall of fleur de sel sprinkled on top. Do it!
|Salted butter caramels|
I tried Gong Cha bubble tea on the strong recommendations of my friends - the salty milk foam was strange for me at first, but now I love it.
|Oolong Tea with Milk Foam, extra pearl and coconut jelly|
Another midweek treat for me was a stop-in at Cupcake Central. I think these are the best cupcakes you can buy in Melbourne! Loved the passionfruit/mango and the banoffee pie flavours.
|Cupcake Central babycakes - $2.20 each|
Gong Bao chicken and beans with minced pork at the new Dainty Sichuan in the CBD. Oh yes.
|Gong Bao Chicken|
|Green beans with minced pork|
We fueled up for a road trip by stopping in at Baker in the Rye, on Carlisle Street. Having already eaten breakfast, I wasn't going to get anything for myself - but then I saw a sweet cheese pastry and was sold! I fell in love with Topfenstrudel during my travels in Austria, and now I can never pass up the opportunity for one when I see something similar here!
|Sweet cheese pastry|
On a warm night, we drove across for an ice-cream at Helado Juaja on Lygon street.
|Strawberries & Cream, Dulce de Leche with Walnuts|
I caught up with a friend for a quick lunch at Bali Bagus on Franklin Street. I don't often eat Indonesian food, and was really impressed by the sambal chicken - juicy, tender meat with crisp skin. I added a fried egg because I am Asian and that is how I roll!
|Sambal chicken at Bali Bagus|
Like all of Melbourne, I was in the city for White Night. But before checking out all the lights and art: DUMPLINGS at Shandong Mama!
|Flinders Street Station on White Night|
Finally, one morning last week I got up at the crack of dawn to attend the launch of the breakfast menu at the Meatball and Wine Bar. (Disclosure: this was complimentary). It was a lovely morning catching up with fellow food bloggers and tweeters before rushing off to work. The concept is quite simple: you choose your egg balls (creamy; charred corn and cheddar; or green), choose a sauce, and choose some sides. Or you can go the slider-route!
|Meatball and Wine bar breakfast|
The ladies I sat with all chose balls-and-sides, and I chose the super-cute sliders - creamy egg balls, bacon, and Italian tomato sauce in a lightly-toasted brioche bun. (There were 3 in the serve). You can read Gastronomel's post about the breakfast on her blog.
And we're done! I'm going to try to keep March low key - cafe catch-ups, a spa day, having friends over for cake, avoiding going out too much - but we'll see how that goes!