Friday, April 23, 2010

Asian Noodle House

Location: 34 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City [in the Sydney Building]

Cuisine: Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese

Another one of those highly acclaimed by locals and online as a place for a (relatively) cheap feed in Canberra is the Asian Noodle House.

There's a blackboard A-frame outside boasting that they have the "#1" laksa. So we just had to give it a shot.

Combination laksa

Undoubtedly one of the best laksas I have before, which is saying a lot since I have yet to truly experience really good food in Canberra. The soup was flavoursome but not too strong or too salty. There was a perfect hint of spiciness (and I'm sure you can ask them to up the spiciness for you if you wanted) and plenty of meat and vegies. The fried bean curd was soft and pretty much my favourite part of the dish because it had soaked up so much of the soup.

Pho tai

A nice attempt at making pho, but alas nothing like true authentic traditional pho from suburbs such as Springvale or Footscray. The flavours were almost right in the soup, and the rice noodles were pretty well cooked too. If they hadn't tried to pass it off as pho, it probably would have rated higher in my opinion.

Overall Impression: 7.5/10
Asian Noodle House on Urbanspoon


Location: 46 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra City

Because Canberra seems to have more cheap alcohol than food, I'm going to start integrating more bars into Gluttony Gluttony.

Northbar is one of the classier bars in Canberra. Another being Knightsbridge, which I have yet to suss out.

They specialise in vodka infusions, which come in a variety of flavours...

...and they're $3 each.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hotel Realm

Location: 18 National Circuit, Barton, ACT

This cost $4. And for house champagne, it was pretty good too - very much like moscato =D

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bluestone Restaurant and Bar

Location: 349 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Cuisine: Modern Australian/Pub

Was fortunate enough to dine at the Bluestone Lounge Bar.

Stylish but kept simple, New York-style basement fit:

We had lovely wood-fired pizzas...

My favourite was this smoked salmon, tiny capers, goats cheese and fresh dill pizza!

Overall Impression: 5.5/10
Casual and lovely ambience. The wood-fired pizzas were great. Beautiful thin crusts... Mmmm =)
Bluestone Restaurant Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mountain Goat Brewery

Location: Corner North St & Clarke St Richmond
Cuisine: Beer, pizzas, beer and more beer

Ever wondered how beer is made? On top of serving great beer and delicious pizzas, Mountain Goat Brewery runs free tours!

The bar:
The pizzas were delectable! Thin and crispy crusted and simply delicious! Overall Impression: 7/10
Delicious beer, great pizzas! The tour of the factory was really cool too. =) Great atmosphere.
Mountain Goat Brewery on Urbanspoon


Location: 179 Russell St, Melbourne
Cuisine: Japanese

Entree: Miso Soup

Main: Zaru Soba
A cold noodle dish served with sauce and thinly sliced cooked beef

This dish was served with soba tsuyu, which is a dipping sauce. The tsuyu had very strong kaeshi flavours (a sweeter version of the chinese soy sauce) and a hint of mirin. The way to eat this dish is to take some of the soba using chopsticks and dip it in tsuyu before eating it. It is also a good idea to mix wasabi into the sauce for added spice! I love cold soba on a hot day. Its incredibly refreshing and you can really taste the texture of the soba when it is chilled (the texture is quite different when you cook soba in soup because the noodle absorbs the soup). Teppansan does this dish quite well.
Main: Beef in Wafu sauce served with rice and vegetables

Overall Impression: 5.5/10
Casual dining. Friendly and quick service, very good value. Oh, and they make a delicious Okonomiyaki!

"The prices here make you think the restaurant has made a bill error in your favour."- Matt Preston, 5 February 2007
Teppansan Japanese Café on Urbanspoon

Yarra Valley Country Club

Location: 9-15 Templestowe Road, Bulleen
Cuisine: Australian pub

From the 'Specials' board: Grilled fish fillet served with crispy golden chips and salad
Simple dish.

From the main menu: Char-grilled Porterhouse with Mushroom Sauce served with crispy golden chips and salad
Cooked to our liking.

Overall Impression: 4/10
The staff were extremely friendly and the service was prompt. The food was not bad.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

European Bier Cafe

Location: 120 Exhibition St, Melbourne
Cuisine: Australian pub fare [traditional favourites] and many dishes with a strong European twist.

Char-grilled Kangaroo Loin Fillet cooked medium rare with honey roasted sweet potato, Spanish onion and capsicum coulis
The kangaroo was cooked to perfection. Beautifully tender. I was afraid there may be too much of a strong gamey taste but it didn't. I'm assuming the meat must have been extremely fresh to have avoided the haut goût taste. I personally, really liked the way it had been cooked. Unfortunately, the kangaroo lacked in flavour. They were too easy on the seasoning. Overall, still a pleasant dish that I would not mind ordering again.

Spanish Pub Paella, saffron and paprika infused rice with chorizo roast chicken, capsicums and prawns baked then served

Great flavours but I was disappointed. I had expected the dish to be served in a paellera (paella pan). And as it was served on a plate, it didn't have the beautifully crusty/slightly burnt bottom and it didn't have the infused aromas of being cooked over an open fire. It tasted like a nice risotto. Pleasant but still disappointing. In hindside, I should have read the descriptions on the menu properly because the chef really did deliver what he/she had promised =)

Overall Impression: 5.5/10
Nice, relaxed ambience, good food.
European Bier Cafe on Urbanspoon

Co Do

Location: 196 Victoria Street, Richmond
Cuisine: Vietnamese

I have been to Co Do a few times and don't remember ever being disappointed. It does a great Pho when I am feeling less adventurous and when I feel like trying something different, its menu serves up an array of delights that include a variety of noodle dishes [dropped rice noodles, rice vermicelli, egg nooodle etc etc etc), rice dishes and stir-fried dishes.

There is such a delightful buzz about this place.

I decided to order one of my very favourite dishes! Steamed mini pancakes with minced prawn and green bean paste.The steamed mini pancakes were soft and delicate. A very flavoursome dish that will set you back a mere $6.50.

Overall Impression: 7/10
Casual dining. Very good Vietnamese food. Entrees $5.50-$9; mains $9-$20.
Co Do on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 2, 2010


Location: 27-29 Crossley Street, Melbourne
Cuisine: South East Asian, Hawker

This was my second trip to Gingerboy. Having thoroughly enjoyed my first trip to Gingerboy (unreviewed), I was surprised that they managed to outperform my expectations from the last time.

Gingerboy is a hidden gem - it is tucked away in a small dingy alleyway you wouldn't really venture down unless you were in the know. The bright signage doesn't really reflect the interiors or the menu, but for that we're glad. The inside is contrastingly clean and classy looking. The downstairs sports a dining area and a bar, the upstairs has a few more tables, another bar, and a small lounge area.

We booked a table in the upstairs part of the restaurant, which turned out to be a good choice. Upstairs was quieter, perfect for a quiet dinner catch-up. We also had the near-exclusive attention of the barman (who doubled as our waiter for the night).

The food was amazing. Our first pick was the son-in-law eggs. Fellow food blog tummyrumbles recommended these eggs, which I tried on my first visit and love with them. They are a Gingerboy must-have. Nice and crisp on the outside, and smooth, creamy and gooey on the inside. The rule is that you load the eggs with the chilli jam and put the entire thing in your mouth. (Feel free to not do this, but at risk of the egg yolk exploding all over the place). This is heaven in one mouthful.

Son in law eggs, chilli jam and Asian herbs

Our other selection from the 'small dishes' list was the soy cured ocean trout. Not being a fan of raw fish in general (smoked salmon being an exception), this turned out to be almost as good as the eggs! The trout was sliced thinly, and heavily infused with a sweet soy flavour. The coconut caramel was beautiful. Light and coconutty, it was almost like a very mild Thai curry sauce, but cold. The pickled daikon and bean shoots added a nice contrasting crunch to the dish. By the end of this dish, we were practically drinking the sauce.

Soy cured ocean trout, tumeric, coconut caramel and pickled daikon

From the 'main dish' selection, we ordered the fried baby snapper and the pork belly (which I had previously ordered before).

Fried baby snapper, lime and red chilli bean sauce, lychee salad

The snapper was done quite well. The fish was well cooked - the skin was crispy and the flesh was soft. One of the waitresses even deboned the fish for us. The sauce again had the authentic south-east Asian flavours. Sweet, tangy and a little spicy. The lychee salad was an interesting but complimenting add to the dish.

Sweet and sour bangalow pork belly, cherry tomatoes and Thai basil

The pork belly dish had an amazing balance of flavours and textures. The pork belly itself, however, was a bit of a let down - the crackling was a little overcooked and that little bit too chewy and there was too much excess fat left on the pork. What should probably have been slow-cooked tasted more like it had been hurriedly cooking in a frying pan. The sauce rescued the dish with a beautiful sweet and sour sauce.

We are always excited about what the dessert menu contains, and we were extremely excited by the looks of the dessert share platter. This platter contained six samples of different desserts (of which, only five were shown on the dessert menu).

Gingerboy Dessert Share Plate (from left to right): steamed apple and vanilla buns with coconut custard; cinnamon sugared battered banana fritters with five spice ice-cream; tofu cheese cake, pandan jelly and black sesame base

The steam apple and vanilla buns were interesting, however, should probably have been renamed 'dumpling' instead of 'bun'. The wrapping was soggy and quite thin compared to what would be expected for a bun. The filling was softened apples, much like what would be found in an apple pie. The fresh slice of apple on the 'bun' did not really add much to the dish though and could probably left out.

The banana fritters were delicious though. Who doesn't like deep-fried sweet gooey goodness? The ice-cream wasn't too outstanding in that it tasted pretty much like cinnamon mixed into vanilla ice-cream and not very 'five spice' like.

The tofu cheesecake was odd. The flavours were new to us and somewhat strange tasting, but it was surprisingly nice. The black sesame base was sweet and crunchy and the pandan jelly complemented the composition well.

Gingerboy Dessert Share Plate (from left to right) : raspberry and passionfruit splice with with mint jelly; coconut sorbet; lemon pudding

The splice was again an interesting concoction and was almost like a cross between a slurpee and ice-cream. The raspberry flavour was sweet but not very overt, but the passionfruit flavours came through.

The coconut sorbet was absolutely amazing. The presentation was a little dull, but there was a strong infusion of coconut flavour. The only drawback was that the shot glass it was served in had an opening which was smaller than the spoons we were given to eat it with!

We also quite enjoyed the lemon pudding, which tasted a bit like the creamed rice at Bopha Devi but with a nice citric tang.

All in all, it was an enjoyable night. The service was pleasant, the decor was simple and classy (although high stools are not the most comfortable seating arrangements) and the food was pretty much, on the whole, amazing.

Overall Impression: 9/10

Gingerboy on Urbanspoon