The Unblogged Files: November 2017

12/17/2017 11:21:00 AM

Second last Unblogged files of the year! The year has just flown past. Let's do this!


Top row: Avo toast, granola yogurt, banana pancakes
Middle: Chia pudding parfait, PB & banana toast, Reese's PB cereal
Bottom: Avo toast, granola yogurt, Quark on toast

I also did lots of smoothie bowls in the heat.

Clockwise from top left: Acai bowl, dragonfruit bowl, choc-avo mousse bowl, coconut bowl

I bought a few lunches in November, but I gotta admit they weren't that exciting. So moving right along to some homecooked dinners! I almost forgot how good Nigella's linguine with chilli, crab and watercress is. Perfect summer supper!

Clockwise from top left: Pixel avo on toast; Feta & garlic roast potatoes w/ a fried egg; Jambalaya (said in a Newman voice); Palak paneer with paratha; Linguine with chilli, crab and watercress; Salmon with potato salad

Many coffees. (And lots of donuts and pastries, it would seem).


One night I caught up with friend Jean and Surya for a seafood feast at Claypots Barbarossa (79 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000). This unassuming little restaurant in Hardware Lane does some seriously good seafood. I loved their garlic tiger prawns, the clams in sherry, the spaghetti marinara, and the Moroccan seafood couscous. So good!

Claypots Barbarossa

Surprise cookie delivery from Sandra! Yay! These personalised cookies are from Sweet Mickie and they were a super sweet sweet treat!

Sweet Mickie Cookies

One weekend, I took a little trip away to Launceston with two of my oldest friends. So much good food and wine! One of the highlights was lunch at Josef Chromy Winery. Blogpost to come.

Josef Chromy Winery

I'm currently obsessed with the Thai fried rice from iSpicy (Shop 19, 674 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn, VIC 3122), which I've UberEats'd a bunch of times. You can choose different proteins with it; I love it with crispy pork belly. Also, their food is seriously hot, every time I order from there, I have to remind myself: "Sarah, don't be a hero, choose mild".

Fried rice

I went to a cheesemaking class at The Craft and Co (390 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066), and it was really fun and informative! (Disclosure: complimentary invite). We made our own feta, marinated feta, and even quark! Look at my feta, looks totes professional amirite?

Homemade cheese

For our final Brunch Club date of the year, my friend Emma and I went to Beatrix (688 Queensberry Street. North Melbourne 3051)! I hadn't visited in a little while and they're still the best! The ciabatta of the day was the fabulous GoGo (which I assume is named after bad-ass Japanese schoolgirl assassin GoGo Yubari) - Japanese-style fried chicken with cos lettuce, housemade Kewpie mayo and togarashi salt.

The Gogo Ciabatta - Japanese fried Milawa free range chicken breast with housemade "kewpie" mayonnaise, cos and togarashi pepper salt.

We even managed to convince my friend Alaina to skip the gym and join us for cake, heh. That lemon ricotta sponge was heavenly!

Ricotta Lemon sponge; Chiffon cake; PeeStinger (bee sting cake with peanut butter custard)

Now, Sandra was away in New York for most of November (and most of October, actually), but the upside is that she came back with loads of foodie gifts for me! Hooray! Reese's! Graham crackers! Nutter Butters!

Gifts from the US

My friend Jenni was also alone at home with her partner working overseas, so we had a treat yo' self evening - foot reflexology massages followed by a decadent dinner of cheese, garlicky dips and sparkling rosé prosecco. (And yup, that's the feta and marinated feta I made myself!)

Cheese! Rosé prosecco

And I made Nigella's chocolate chip cookie dough pots for dessert. Yum.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pots

I attended quite a few events in November. I already told you about the cheesemaking class, but there was also the launch of Mama Manoush (177 Lygon St, Brunswick East 3057). This is a trendy Lebanese restaurant and bar, and even though it was a stand-up canapé launch party, there was a serious amount of food! I can highly recommend any and all dishes involving deep-fried cheese (haloumi chips and cheese and pastry cigars), and the chocolate-covered baklava. Def want to go back for a full meal!

Mama Manoush

Mercedes have recently collaborated with St Ali to launch a concept store and cafe at the base of the Rialto Towers - Mercedes me (525 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000). Car enthusiasts can interact with the brand, food enthusiasts can enjoy St Ali's famous coffee and brunch dishes. We tried a range of delicious dishes at the launch event, and the standout was definitely the waffles. Here they were served as a canapé - wholemeal spelt waffles, topped with chicken liver pâté and caramelised blood orange. Incredible. So tender and fluffy! (They sell plain buttermilk waffles on the regular menu too - WANT).

Brinner! Chicken liver pâté & wholemeal spelt waffle w confit blood orange; avocado & vegemite/coffee BBQ sauce on caramelised brioche; crispy blood cake, truffle egg & chlorophyll dressing on toast; cold-smoked salmon; roe, crispy potato, dill cream, pickled shallot

Sweet & Sour - roasted portobello mushroom, green onion, potato, whipped ricotta, fried slow egg

Another great event was a launch dinner at Green Man's Arms (418 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053), a pub in Carlton doing high quality vegetarian food with an Israeli focus. (You may remember Green Man's Arms was previously The Roving Marrow). Expect food like Yemeni lamuh flatbread with crisp falafel, ethereally light and fluffy house made couscous, and smooth and creamy hummus. Highlight of the evening for me, however, were these incredible pomme frites - smashed and fried new potatoes, all crisp and shardy on the outside, and fluffy within.

Pomme frites

A truly excellent party was Reymond Communications' Christmas Party / Fifth Birthday Celebration at Neptune Food and Wine (212 High St, Windsor VIC 3181). Congratulations to Joanna and the team on a great year! (Incidentally, the food and drinks at Neptune were great - those Nduja Jaffles!)

Reymond Communications Fifth Birthday Party

Ok, back to some regular meals!

Big dinner at New Shanghai in Chadstone. I normally go to the one in Emporium for quick lunches, so it was nice to go in a big group and try lots of dishes. Obviously the dumplings are great, but so were the salted egg yolk tofu and the crispy skin chicken with garlic and chilli sauce.

New Shanghai

We were farewelling my boss this month, and we had a team lunch at Sichuan House (22-26 Corrs Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000). It had been a while since I'd smashed a giant Sichuan feast, and I forgot how much I love it! Even though it was a 35 degree day, whoops. We had spicy cold noodles, deep fried pork ribs, fish in chilli oil, mapo tofu, chilli beef skewers and fish fragrant eggplant. What a feast!

Sichuan House

And that was November! Phew! December plans? A little trip to Uluru, much end-of-year shennanigans, catch-ups with friends, and Christmas! Sandra's parents are coming for Christmas too so we'll be playing tourist in our own town! Hooray!

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My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.