The Unblogged Files: April 20175/11/2017 07:52:00 PM
Hey guys! Woah, it's the 11th day of May already and I'm just posting my April Unblogged Files! I gotta admit this one totally snuck up on me. The end of April is always a busy time for me (the last day of April is actually my birthday), and it was only after the first week of May that I realised - whoops - April was actually already over! Well, better late than never! Let's do this thing.
Breakfasts! I was all about the açaí bowls and yogurt bowls this month. Not only do I wanna make the most of the fresh berries before they become prohibitively expensive, but I'm also obsessed with that peanut butter granola. I want it all the time!
Other breakfasts were hot cross buns, oatmeal, scrambled eggs with toast, toasted brioche, and even a lone avocado toast. (Obviously the subscription has stopped for the season - you'll see them again soon!)
Some weekday lunches. I tried to mix it up a bit this month with some new places. Zam Zam Cafe (364 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000) is awesome, and does really authentic Malaysian-Indian food, and Old Town White Coffee, despite being a chain, did a surprisingly good sar hor fan (flat rice noodles in egg gravy) and wan tan mee. I was craving this type of food after writing up my Singapore post!
|Clockwise from top left: Little Ramen Bar; Zam Zam Cafe; New Shanghai; Hanaichi; Old Town White Coffee|
A new city-based obsession: Kyo Tea House in Emporium. So many Japanese desserts, including matcha gelato in different strengths! I'm also excited about their big range of houjicha (roasted green tea) products. So far I've only had tea lattes and a soft serve, but I'm keen to try their full range of desserts!
|Matcha-Houjicha swirl soft serve|
Here are some homecooked dinners (and weekend lunches).
|Top: Pressure-cooker beef with noodles & glazed carrots; Fish fingers|
Middle: Oven-baked pork chop; Gingery hot duck salad
Bottom: Rack of lamb with roast veggies; Lentil soup and ham & cheese toastie
One day, I baked an old favourite: Nigella's dense chocolate loaf cake, from How to be a Domestic Goddess. I make this quite often - it's Sandra's favourite - and I'm sure I've mentioned it here many times before, but I don't think it would hurt to remind you just how good it is! Crackly top, squidgy insides, richly chocolatey. Heaven.
|Dense chocolate loaf cake|
We happened to do two weekends away in April. (As I mentioned in my Cornflake-Crusted French Toast post). The first was to the Dandenongs with buddies Jenni and James. We rented an AirB&B and just relaxed - hot tub, cheese platters, the French toast, Netflix, and a fab boozy lunch at Yering Station (38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glenn, VIC 3775). The highlight of the lunch, for me, was this behemoth of a slow-braised lamb shoulder, all melty and tender, with a sticky, delicious jus. (It comes with beans and chips, and is designed to share between two).
|Slow-braised lamb shoulder - $90 including sides of flat beans, almonds & chardonnay vinegar and thick cut chips, tomato & oregano salt|
The other weekend away was to a friend's holiday house for an even more chilled weekend. This was one of those times where we didn't leave the property and really switched off - we took a walk, we ate, we drank, we watched trashy movies and that was about it. Lovely! Of course the cornflake-crusted French toast made an appearance again, and here's a picture of the cheese and charcuterie platter of awesomeness that we enjoyed!
|Cheese and charcuterie platter of awesomeness|
And back to city life... one morning I went for brunch at Rustica Canteen (33 Guilford Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000). The eggs Benedict was incredible! Would definitely order again.
|Eggs Benedict - poached eggs, tabasco hollandaise, fennel & red radish salad on pumpkin sourdough & cured trout - $19|
One night we were going to Carlton for a friend's birthday drinks, so decided to get dinner beforehand at The Beaufort and Ike's (415-421 Rathdowne St, Carlton VIC 3053). This place has been on my list to visit for over two years (!), ever since I tried their delicious BBQ at a whisky-tasting event back in 2015. It was awesome! The chips, ribs and wings were all great, but the standout for me was the burnt-end pies. (Deep fried puff pastry - yessssss).
|The Beaufort and Ike's|
One afternoon we went to Prahran Market (163 Commercial Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141) for a little outing with our friend Jess. After the obligatory Market Lane coffee and wander through Fuji Mart, we had a walk through the market, and I was thrilled to see that the Turkish Delight stand had a huge display of "Mediterranean Snowballs". We know these as Mohrenköpfe in Germany, or you may have seen them in German supermarkets as Super Dickmann's (heh). Basically they're a sweet marshmallow filling on top of a crisp wafer, dipped in chocolate. We have these all the time in Germany and I'd never seen them here! I just had to buy one for Sandra. (Verdict: sehr gut!)
I also always love the Damien Pike stand, especially now that it's Autumn and more mushrooms are coming out.
I splashed out on some pine mushrooms, and I wanted to try some fresh porcini, but I had no idea how to cook them and they're about $10 per mushroom, so I'll be back once I've figured out the best way to cook them! (Suggestions in the comments please!)
For pine mushrooms however, my favourite way (and see the full recipe here) is to sauté them in butter with garlic, cream, and a squeeze of lemon. I had this for dinner, and then breakfast the next day.
|Breakfast: Pine mushrooms, buttered toast, scrambled eggs|
|Breakfast: Pine mushrooms, buttered toast, scrambled eggs|
Before seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (I love Baby Groot!), we stopped in for dinner at an old favourite, Monk and Me (9 Evans Pl, Hawthorn East VIC 3123). A short service announcement: their curry puffs are still the best. I love the crisp deep-fried puff pastry, and the punchy, deeply savoury sambal on the side.
|Monk and Me curry puffs|
And of course, the last week of April was full of birthday celebrations! I'll do a separate birthday post, but for now, please enjoy this photo of (some) of the birthday cake I made - a cocoa sour cream layer cake with chocolate cheesecake icing. (10 points to anyone who knows where the inspiration for this cake came from!)
Plans for May - recover from my birthday celebrations, celebrate my dad's birthday, celebrate Sandra's birthday, and a few little dinners in between!