25 May, 2015
Baby, it’s cold outside. It’s wet, it’s dark and it’s pouring with rain. Ramen is suddenly the only thing that makes sense. Hakata Gensuke ramen that is.
I must say, Ramen has to be one of my ultimate comfort foods. And the ramen at Hakata Gensuke is no exception. If anything, it's the rule. My Level 4 God Fire was wickedly spicy, a steaming bowl of Gensuke's silky tonkotsu broth with a secret blend of 'Spicy Fire' swimming with bouncy noodles and your basic trimmings. I also went for an added egg because really, who can say no to a gooey centered egg ? Seriously, I can not think of anything better to warm the soul on a chilly, grizzly day.
On the other end of the table was the Signature Tonkotsu - rich, cloudy and collagen-full pork bone broth served with thin noodles and an upgrade on the trimmings. For an extra $8, you get three more slices of fatty cha shu, seaweed and flavoured egg. All politely slurped up in no time.
We also grabbed ourselves some bite-sized Hakata Gyozas and Chicken Karaage. Juicy Hakata style fried chicken tossed in secret spices - so so luscious on the inside yet amazingly crispy on the outside. Oh man, biggest craving for this JFC right now.
Guys, hang up your dripping umbrella and wet jacket, shrug off those winter woes and fill up Hakata Gensuke. Best ramen in Melbourne I tell you.
860 Glenferrie Road
Hawthorn, VIC 3122
12 May, 2015
D'Elephant Thai is one of Chadstone Shopping Centre's newest restaurants, providing hungry shoppers affordable Thai cuisine in a casual and approachable space.
Red Duck Curry
Pad Kee Mao
As excited as I was to welcome a Thai joint to my favourite shopping centre, I couldn't help but to feel rather underwhelmed with their dishes. Regrettably, D'Elephant Thai's muted flavours and less than service made a less than desirable experience. Perhaps I was unlucky and just so happen to stumble in on a bad day ? Let's just hope it was my bad luck.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
1341 Dandenong Road
Chadstone, VIC 3148
07 May, 2015
Operator25 has got to be one of my favourite brunch spots. Big call, I know. But hey, what's not to like ? It pushes all the right buttons, from it's modern edge design, witty branding and graphics to it's inspiring menu with global accents taking Melbourne's brunch scene to the next level.
Served against all this playfulness is their serious passion for food and specialty coffee - two things these guys will never joke about. And believe me when I say that Operator25's new autumn menu is here to excite the senses. A great range of dishes to please anyone and everyone.
Balinese Pulled Pork Burger
I fell head over heels for it back in 2013 - it was love at first sight. Such tender, juicy pork that melted in your mouth, full of flavour thanks to a marinade boasting over 30 herbs and spices. Accompanied by a crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw, fresh springs of coriander and chilli mayo, this burger was simply divine. Can I please redial another one ?
This was a flavour powerhouse of a dish - salty smoked sardines on grilled rye, fitted with delicate slices of pickled cucumber, shards of manchego cheese and herbed up with parsley, rocket and dill.
#NOYOUHANGUP - Honey & fruit infused coffee, Grand Marnier,
Amaro Montenegro, orange bitters, tonic water, mint, orange peel
House Brewed Iced Tea - Hibiscus, chamomile, eucalypt honey
served with mint, segmented orange and nata de coco
Ras El Hanout Soft Polenta
The Ras El Hanout Soft Polenta was spectacular too and the epitome of an autumn dish. A spoonful of the soft creamy polenta felt just like a warm hug from the inside, contrasting wonderfully with the perfectly grilled octopus and chorizo patty. So much yes.
Spiced Chickpea Fritters
Beautifully fluffy spiced chickpea fritters served with herb tahini, tomato and cucumber salsa, cottage cheese, chipotle sauce, crisp flatbread and thick cut streaky bacon. I repeat, thick cut streaky bacon. Will you just look at that bacon !
For dessert, we moved onto one of Operator25's signature dishes, the Elderflower Sago. Visually pleasing to the eye and even more pleasing to the palette, we loved the playground of textures and intricate flavours of this dish - from the refreshing elderflower sago, bursting chia seeds, the tartness of rhubarb together with the sweetness of the strawberry compote, heavenly light white chocolate foam to the crunch of the freeze-dried mango. Absolute bliss.
Ginger and Date Bread
Last but not least was the dish that stole my heart. Oh so soft and moist ginger and date bread topped with a luscious mascarpone folded with caramelised banana, studded with a salted milk crumb and pomegranate molasses. Food porn at it's finest.
Operator25, you brew my mind. Over and over again.
confessions of a little piggy was invited to dine as a guest of Operator25
25 Wills Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000