Ausome Eats

Ausome Eats

The good and the mediocre in Melbourne
Amelia PW
Amelia PW

(Calia, Emporium Melbourne)

The good thing (or bad, depending on how you look at it) is that the portions here borders on the small side, so despite us getting a starters and mains, there was more than enough room for dessert. And this was a beautifuuuuul end to the meal. It took some time to come (25 mins as stated on the menu and by the staff) but super worth it. The chocolate cake itself wasn't fantastic (had better, but definitely not the worse) but the matcha ganache that erupted from within when sliced was decadent and too good. It had good matcha flavour and complemented the cake perfectly. The ice cream scoop on top just made the dessert that much more easy to polish (like as if extra help was necessary). Wonderfully presented, and such an absolute delight to eat. This is a must order for me!

Food was good (though not crazy amazing) and I think what I loved best was the beautiful interiors and amazing service. We didn't feel rushed to finish the meal (though there was probably a long waiting list, and no we didn't exploit it), our waters were always filled, we were updated on the status of the lava cake. When it arrived and I whipped out my camera to do a mandatory food shot, the waitress quickly cleared the seasonings off the table. Apparently, it's the first retail/restaurant in Australia, and we had a good time looking and shopping for some interesting stuff they offered while waiting for our table. (Get the organic White chocolate covered Strawberries! I usually prefer Dark Chocolate but after getting and trying both, I thought that the White Chocolate complemted the strawberries better). They were having some Truffle Fair too, and the man very kindly explained to us about the ingredient and we couldn't help getting some after listening to his recipes.

1 Like

(Calia, Emporium Melbourne)

My least favourite of the lot, but only because I've been spoiled by better options in Singapore. The fish were definitely fresh, and they were generous with my favourite ikura. What impressed me most was the freshly grated wasabi, which I definitely appreciate! Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of the Japanese rice here, it was clumpy and dry (which wasn't a problem in the other bowls because I think they had sauces in it).

(Calia, Emprorium Melbourne)

Many would probably be familiar with this dish, and true enough, it was a very simple dish comprising a bowl of Japanese rice and lightly seared salmon. Nothing special, but ingredients were of good quality and that's all I could ask for, really.

1 Like

(Calia, Emporium Bowl)

My favourite bowl of the 3! We are very lucky to be able to get good sio bak in sunny Singapore, but here they have upped the game 675357 times with a beautifully cooked egg and their special sauce. It was satisfying to break the yolk, and even more so digging in with spoonfuls of everything. A very comforting dish with a touch of elegance, I feel that this is definitely the bowl to get here!

(Calia, Emporium Melbourne)

Deemed as one of the World's Best 50 Restaurants and with a menu designed by Michelin-starred chef Araya, I had very high expectations for this meal.

Ordered this which was on their specials menu. It made for a good starter, but I couldn't help thinking it was a waste of good meat because I feel that it might be better off seared as per a normal steak. It was crispy & I think the idea was for something light to graze on before the mains arrive.

1 Like

(Nando's, 339 Swanston Street)

We were absolutely starving after freezing our rear ends off while waiting for the penguins to make an appearance, so this couldn't come any sooner for us.
And when it did, it was polished off within a matter of minutes. I think it's much more well flavoured and moist than the chicken from Nando's Singapore, and the amazing variety of the Peri Peri sauce sure made the experience much more thrilling. I'm still not a huge fan, but my mother is!

(Daniel's Donuts, Springvale)

Yummy and relatively affordable doughnuts in the 'hood, so I can see why there's a line!
My favourite is their best-selling NZ cream and jam one, but the Mars Doughnut was pretty good too (recommended by the girl).

Very hip place with loud dance music being played. When I snapchatted it, my friends thought I was in a club but sadly, I'm only cool enough to be on a donut run. HUGE variety of doughnuts to choose from, so my advice is to get one of your friends to stay in line, while you take a pic of the choices and slowly decide while waiting. If not you would have been pressured to make a quick decision like me (though thankfully all of them were not too shabby).

3 Likes

Another recommendation by my foodie best friend, and once again, she's spot on.
The best pho I've had, and it's all because of the wonderfully flavoured broth. You can tell it's been tended to for hours because that soup was so packed with flavours.
Out of habit, I started adding lime and it unfortunately destroyed the bowl's beautiful flavours, but they very kindly gave me another small bowl of soup when I asked which I happily finished in addition to my big bowl. The tendons were good too, incredibly soft but still retaining a pleasant chew.

*you can ask for your side of beansprouts to be cooked if you dislike the 'raw' taste but personally, I like them just the way they are*

1 Like

(Left Field)

For the first time, I didn't have to spend hours perusing the menu deciding what to get, because my friend pointed this out to me and confidently said that she'll think I will like this one. And she was soooo right. So many ingredients but everything was so harmonious together. The kale salad was delightfully fresh and clean tasting, with texture from the peas and corn. And lest it gets too one-dimensional, the charred beetroot and pickled onions gave a nice, refreshing acidity. Eggs were beautifully poached as well, and I smiled in glee when the golden yolk dissipated into the salad when I sliced into them.They were so generous with the portion, that for the first time in my life, I was on the brink of getting kicked out of the Clean Plate Club. (but luckily I persevered).

If you like lamb, definitely go for either the Middle Eastern Lamb Fry-Up, or my favourite dish of the day (by the smallest of margins)- Braised Moroccan Lamb with Ancient Grain. The lamb was so, so tender and though lamb can be a very 'heavy' meat, the salad on the side with the very wonderful hummus and tahini made it wayyy too easy to finish.

The only reason why I didn't go back a second time during my trip is that it takes 1h to travel here without car (my friend drove that day). Don't get me wrong, I am one to travel for food (almost missed my flight cos I travelled an hour for my fav bagel in NY, but that's a story for another day) but sadly, my usual dining companions wouldn't. :(

1 Like

(Left Field- 358 Koornang Road, Carnegie)

To be very honest, I wasn't that excited when my best friend (who's been in Melbourne for quite some time) wanted to bring me to one of her favourite cafés for brunch, because quite frankly, the past few cafés that I've been to have been pretty underwhelming. But I should have trusted my friend's foodie instincts because it too, turned out to be one of my favourite cafés of all time.

Our drink orders were promptly taken the moment we sat down and before long I got to take the first sip of one of the best coffees I've had. I'm not going to say 'Oh, Melbourne has the best coffee' etc, because coffee (like taste in other food) is very subjective, and I also have had good coffees on our little island. I greatly enjoyed this coffee because it wasn't too acidic, and I especially loved the fact that the addition of milk didn't dilute the bold flavours of the coffee (most cappucinos I've had were far too milky for my liking, so I usually go for long blacks). AND the fact that they made a Triple Rosetta on my coffee already let on that the team spent time, love and effort on what they serve (when they could have just done a basic heart/single rosetta design which would undeniably have taken a shorter time).

1 Like

Didn't really like this appetiser, but it's probably because I still can't appreciate it (had this in USA before too, and it was the only thing I left unfinished on the otherwise highly enjoyable Meditterenean Platter).
Still, the tzaziki sauce on the side was a welcome addition to the table!

2 Likes

One of Melbourne's most reputable Greek restaurants, and I can see why.

I was incredibly happy with my decision to order "extra meat" because it was sooo good and they were really generous with the portion (got my yearly arm exercise attempting to carry the plate). The meat was understandably oily, but I could taste the quality compared to those at other places (which is why I would disagree with claims of the restaurant being overpriced). The tzaziki sauce was refreshing and tied everything wonderfully.

Despite it being full house on a weekday evening, service was extremely friendly :)

I followed my heart & it led me to the fridge.

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