The Unblogged Files: May 2013, Melbourne Edition

5/17/2013 11:04:00 PM

Yo yo! So, I know what you're thinking: "Whaaat?! It's only halfway through May, what's Sarah doing with another Unblogged Files already?" You see, I just got to Germany this morning, for a three-week holiday! I've got many, many delicious meals planned, so I thought it would make sense to do an Unblogged Files covering all the eating from Melbourne from the first half of the month, and do full posts for the Europe-based eating after I get back!

The first half of May was very busy food-wise anyway: I had a week off between finishing up at my old job and starting my new one, my brother was back in town for a week for a whirlwind visit, and I was also trying to catch up with as many friends as possible before my holiday!

First thing: cookies. I made a batch of The Rock's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies (you can Google the recipe), replacing the suggested chocolate chips with a bar of Godiva Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate that my parents brought back from their most recent trip overseas. Wow.

The Rock's Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookies with Godiva Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate
I also made a batch of Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies to take when we visited our friends who've just had a (gorgeous!) baby. These biscuits are also known as Pierre Hermé's chocolate sablés (again, you can Google the recipe), and they're incredible! It's a richly dark chocolate shortbread, crisp and crumbly, studded with little pieces of finely chopped chocolate and the crunch of fleur de sel.
World Peace Cookies

My brother's visit home from Japan was a busy and food-filled week (well, we are Malaysian, after all). Apart from my birthday celebrations that I mentioned in my last Unblogged Files...

We had family Yum Cha at Tai Pan in Doncaster East...
Tai Pan Yum Cha
I happened to win a $95 voucher from Acland Street Cantina, so took my bro for lunch there. We really enjoyed it and I'll be blogging it in full, but for now check out this picture of their delicious (and giggle-inducing) salted caramel ice-cream churro taco.
Salted Caramel Ice-Cream Churros Taco - $12
We also had coffee at Sensory Lab (super Melbournian experience, IMHO).
Sensory Lab Coffee

And on his last night in town, I cooked dinner for the family, their favourite: Saffron-Scented Chicken Pilaf - a Nigella recipe from Forever Summer. It's the best! (My bro wrote a really nice Bliphoto entry about me and this dinner, you can read it here!)
Saffron-Scented Chicken Pilaf

Being so busy, I was totally slack in bringing my lunch to work, and visited Snag Stand a couple of times this month - I loved the "Das Bratwurst", which came with a bratwurst sausage, bacon-studded sauerkraut, onions and mustard - although I must say I felt conflicted about buying a grammatically incorrect lunch. (It's "Die Bratwurst!) The chips are very good too (even though I'd have to say Schnitz' are even better).
Left: Das Bratwurst
Top Right: American Classic
Bottom Right: Chips

Continuing on the "slack" theme, one morning I didn't even make my own breakfast (for shame!), and got a Croque Monsieur from Streat. At $8, it's more than I like to spend on breakfasts, but it was very buttery and tasty, and I loved the meaty ham and Gruyère cheese. A nice treat.
Croque Monsieur from Streat - $8

As I said above, I was trying to catch up with friends as much as possible before flying off to Germany - one night, we hit up Simon's Peiking Duck in Box Hill with some girlfriends and a bottle of pinot noir. SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS.
Simon's Peiking Duck
We did one duck between four, and ordered two dishes as well: General Tso's chicken and Chinese broccoli stir-fried with garlic. All dishes were uniformly impressive.
Clockwise from top left: Duck meat stir-fried with beanshoots, General Tso's chicken, Duck soup, Chinese broccoli stir-fried with garlic
After dinner, rather than having dessert at the restaurant, we stopped off at Leo's Supermarket and picked up two tubs of Ben & Jerry's and some waffle cones, and had that for dessert. Great idea! Normally I find Ben & Jerry's a bit sweet, but I can say without hesitation that their Clusterfluff flavour is fabulous! It's peanut butter ice-cream with peanut buttery swirls, marshmallow swirls and caramel cluster pieces.
Ben & Jerry's Clusterfluff & New York Super Fudge Chunk

Ice-cream cone!

Last Saturday night we celebrated my friend Adri's birthday with dinner at Touché Hombre - I wasn't expecting to love it (I get stressed out when restaurants have a no-booking policy!), but the food was really good and the atmosphere was nice and chilled. I'll be blogging it soon. I really liked the Tostada Pulpo - chargrilled octopus, crab claw, spring onion, coriander and pico de gallo on a crisp fried tortilla.
Touché Hombre's Tostada Pulpo - chargrilled octopus, crab claw, spring onion, coriander and pico de gallo on a crisp fried tortilla  - $13

To celebrate the new job, (and to save me cooking on my first day!) my friend Jess cooked us the most amazing dinner: sticky roast chicken with mashed potato, homemade gravy and beans/brussels sprouts/mushrooms with a feta vinaigrette. Perfect comfort food for the cold weather! (The mashed potato/gravy bowl thingo was Sandra's idea).
Roast chicken, mashed potato, homemade gravy, beans/brussels sprouts/mushrooms in a feta vinaigrette

A few treats from Burch & Purchese!
Left: Chocolate, mandarin, salted caramel
Right: explosive raspberry milk chocolate

For my dad's birthday, we took him to Mr Huang Jin in the Rialto Building for dumplings. Although it's pricer than your standard dumpling restaurant, the quality is very good. We liked the Xiao Long Bao... (we tried four different types: chilli, tea-smoked, pumpkin, and normal pork)...
Tea-smoked Xiao Long Bao
 ...and the sticky pork ribs.
Sticky Pork Ribs with Peas and Walnuts

Afterwards we went for drinks at The Lui Bar, on the 55th floor of The Rialto Building. My mum, who's not much of a drinker, just had a latte, which was one of those famous $10 coffees that come with a plate of petits fours. (There was a boule of eucalyptus ice-cream, a "lamington" made of chocolate mousse, a pink candy gum leaf, a piece of crisp chocolate, and a bourbon jelly lolly.) My dad proclaimed the coffee and petits fours such good value that he ordered another one for himself, on which they wrote "Happy Birthday". Yay! Also fabulous were the apple donuts and the macadamia martini, which came with some salted macadamia brittle. Happy Birthday Dad!
Clockwise from top left: Glenmorangie on the rocks, Petits Fours, Latte, Apple Donuts, Macadamia Martini with Salted Macadamia Brittle

And finally, we flew off to Germany!! Before driving off to the airport, we had a tasty breakfast at home of takeaway coffees, peanut butter and chocolate muffins, and ham and egg toasties from Porgie and Mr Jones.

And that was (the first half of) May! Follow me on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with my European eating adventures! Apart from being in Germany, I have a weekend in London coming up and a few days in Paris planned... and I'm going to buy some stretchy pants tomorrow. Tchüss!!

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  1. Have a great time in Europe! I'm sure there will be so much delicious food! :D

  2. ZOMG! Peanut butter chocolate muffins are, I'm sure, the best way to begin another German adventure. Can't wait to read about all the sausage (snicker) and dumpling balls (snicker) you partake in over there.

  3. Have an awesome trip to Europe! I'm super jealous! I'd love to go back or just be back on holidays and not at work :P Will be following your Instagram closely hehe



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