Want Instagram worthy? The Glass Den

Place: The Glass Den

Address: 15 Urquhart St, Coburg,VIC 3058

Website: https://m.facebook.com/

TheGlassDenCoburg/

Summary Review: Straight off the bat Instagram worthy dishes, tummy worthy dishes and most of all service excellence cafe. Most of their food are fusion, asian inspired and a quirky touch of unusual ingredients like charcoal (Don’t be scared it’s more for colours). I highly recommend the following to try Donkka burger , Prawn Tempura Ramen, Bibimnao bowl , and for a sweet kick, try the Charcoal egg waffles. As funky as those dishes sounds, they don’t compromise on taste either, they’re really delicious. They also have friendly staff and efficient service. If you’re after the waffles, you need to let them know early when ordering dishes as it takes 20mins for it to make. You’ll see why as you read further on to this post. Overall I give this place a 9/10.

These days with the hype of social media, restaurants & cafes have carefully design dishes to ensure its trendy, vibrant & unique in its own way. Even spaces where good lighting are also being considered to capture great photos. Some of these are all good but taste should never be compromised, and this is what’s good about The Glass Den, they tick all the boxes, delicious food, Instagram worthy and excellent service.

Starting with my favourite dish The Donkka Burger is spicy fried pork cutlet served on a charcoal brioche bun with cos lettuce, pickled ginger, Granny Smith, coriander and charcoal aioli. Lotsa things going on there but you can up the ante and add jalapeno’s and avocado plus a side of sweetpotato fries. It’s messy to eat, but I love a good mess!

Another fave is the Prawn Tempura Ramen with enoki mushrooms, nori sheets, boiled egg and pickled daikon with broth that is in a little kettle.

We love a bit of theatre in our dish lol!

Another dish to try is the Bibimnao bowl, it’s their take on the popular Korean dish called “bibimbap”. It’s so pretty, so delicious but can be a bit rich at times as lotsa rich ingredients in like the kewpie mayo, egg and wakame.

It is a Bowl of goodness though, it has beef bulgogi, brown rice, quinoa, red cabbage, edamame, wakame, pickled carrots & yolk jelly in the centre. Definitely fills you up for longer when you have it.

So…are you ready for dessert? If you’re one to try almost everything in the menu including dessert then just go all out and have the Charcoal Egg Waffles.

This dish is like a garden, packed with every sweet ingredients you can think of.

The Charcoal Egg Waffles has passionfruit icecream, timtams, meringue kisses, matcha soil, chocolate soil, raspberry coolie, strawberries & edible flowers. It has a lot of ingredients, lots of flavour profile, but the great thing is each element has a purpose so the dish can be thoroughly enjoyed without it being sickly sweet. The waffles itself has a subtle taste therefore as you pick up each of the ingredient it becomes the flavour note of the waffle. For me the best part was the passionfruit icecream and timtams, who doesn’t love timtams right?

So I’ve been to the Glass Den twice and never felt disappointed, it has a cool, funky & relaxed environment where you can take your time and receive a great service. Overall this place calls for a 9/10.

The Glass Den Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Organic Pumpkin Soup

I love our backyard, in various seasons we harvest a small variety of fruit and veggies. Thanks to my wonderful mom who has a green thumb, this makes most of our veggies and fruit organic & at its best. So today we got to harvest a small pumpkin.

During winter days we love a good soup so here’s my simple recipe on how to make a pumpkin soup.

Ingredients :

  • 1 small whole pumpkin (approx 1kg)
  • 1 stalk of leeks
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Method:

1. Preheat the oven at 200c. (Fan-forced)
2. Peel and cut the pumpkin into wedges.
3. In a bowl add some olive oil to the pumpkin and add all the dry spices (paprika, cumin, salt,pepper and garlic powder). Toss until the pumpkin pieces are well coated. Once well coated place in a tray lined with baking paper.


4. Place the pumpkin in the oven and cook for 20mins.
5. Whilst the pumpkin is cooking, cut the stalk of the leeks into small pieces. Wash and drain.
6. Heat a pan with some olive oil and sauté the leeks until it reduced its size.
7. Once the pumpkin is golden brown, add them on to the cooking leeks and mix accordingly.


8. Add the chicken stock and a cup of water into the pumpkin and leek mixture and cook for another 15 mins or until the pumpkin is completely soft.

9. Once the pumpkin is soft, it’s time to taste and adjust the flavour as desired. This is also the best time to adjust the texture accordingly. Add more liquid if a thin water soup is desired or reduce the soup mixture further for a thicker chunkier soup texture.
10. Use a stick blender to liquify the soup or pour on to a blender as an alternative. 
11. Enjoy with some cream or meat as a topping.

Organic Pumpkin Soup

Its always great to be back – Touche Hombre Restaurant & Bar

Place: Touche Hombre Mexican Restaurant and Bar

Address: 233 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne 3000

Website: http://www.touchehombre.com.au/

Summary Review: One of the best Mexican restaurant in Melbourne that has a “secret” taco.. Yup! Ive had one too many of them and its always fun to have! There’s so many great aspects to this place, from food, to ambience, to service to all of the above that makes a good restaurant!  I’ve been to this place one too many times and always come back for the food. Every single meat dish is succulent and every veggie dish is nice & tasty. The place is also great for big crowds, awhile back we had our friends welcoming party and the staff are very accomodating with our request + superfriendly too! I love coming back here every now and then to check out new items in their menu. But trust me some classics are always the best to go for also.

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Yup! Im calling Touche Hombre as one of the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in Melbourne, I know that I probably haven’t dine at other Mexican restaurants out there, BUT I just keep coming back to this one, WHY? The food is super good!

The restaurant is situated at the heart of CBD, just off corner Lonsdale and Swanston St. They are open from 12pm – till late, so you can enjoy a nice casual lunch or dinner, or even some late night drinks and tapas style dishes on the side.

The dishes very from small to bigger portions, all designed for sharing. We started off with a some grilled corn on the cob, that is mouth-watering delicious! Grilled sweetcorn, herbs cheese & mexican mayo and some tanjin spice. Juicy, rich and tasty, good start to a great meal to come.

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ELOTES – BBQ’d corn on the cob, chipotle mayo, queso, line & tanjin

Another great appetizer was their Tostaditas (mini crispy tortillas), we had the Duck Tostaditas, and it was a flavour bomb, great savoury option to go for.

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PUEBLAN PATO MOLE – Duck, coriander cream, cotija cheese – $12 (2 bitesize per serve)

And ofcourse you gotta have tacos when you’re at a mexican restaurant! So got us some specials on the day, which is a Barramundi taco! it was tasty, fresh and fish cooked to perfection.

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Specials of the Day – Barramundi Taco

For the large dish to share we had the Touche Fried Chicken. If you like sweet and salty, which is my absolute favourite flavour combo, this one is for you! Bite size Crispy Fried Chicken thighs drizzled with agave sauce and mexican seasoning MMM mmmm! Drizzle with lime and sip some sangria and this will take you to the streets of Mexico. This dish is great for 2-3 people, but if you’re feeling greedy and just want to enjoy a bowl for yourself, feel free to do so!

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TOUCHE FRIED CHICKEN – $30

So as thefoodjoy friends always have a big appetite we didnt end our savoury journey there, we got ourselves some of their Secret Taco. This is probably one of the coolest concept they have in their menu. As it is a secret I wont spoil it by posting what we had but its basically. you order the taco and wont know whats in it, until it arrived. If you are daring enough to try the unexpectable, then this is for you. If not then still try! life should be fun and full of flavour. just like this secret taco…ssshh..

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Ive been coming to this restaurant for many years now, and I always love everything about it. As their menu changes every season, they seem to still stick to the traditional or spice up some old to something new and exciting, which is why I love coming back here. I highly recommend this place anyday or anytime of the year. Bookings are also highly suggested as it gets pretty packed.

Touché Hombre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The sun is out! Lets Eat and Drink! – Arbory Bar and Eatery Flinders

Place: Arbory Bar and Eatery

Address: Flinders Street Station, 1 Flinders Walk, Melbourne VIC 3000

Website: http://arbory.com.au/

Summary Review: Its spring! enjoy the sun, enjoy the river view, enjoy the food, enjoy it here at the Arbory! Situated along Flinders Street Station, facing the beautiful Yarra River view, Arbory is a modern Australian restaurant with a funky flare! Morning through to night, this place has got you covered, great variety of food for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. This place also has a bar which is great especially for Friday night drinks or just a casual mid afternoon drink with mates. The food is delicious! Highly recommend the burgers,they are a crowd favourite! Their menu changes depending on the season as well, when I went I had the Steak with Chimichurri sauce and Chickpea Batons! OMG! unbelievably delicious! Juicy steak, crunchy chickpea “chips” and a chimichurri sauce that makes the meat sing. Winner overall!

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The front menu says it all! Eat and Drink, simple as that! Arbory Eatery is a cool and casual bar and restaurant situated between the heritage listed Flinders Street Station and the famous Yarra River. An outdoor style where you can enjoy your dose of Vitamin D and Vitamin Happiness! This place is also great at night as it overlooks the stunning Yarra Riverside.

Arbory has Breakfast and an All Day Menu. The menu changes depending on the season, so there’s always something new to try. A few dishes that we got to try are their steak and also their duck cooked two ways. Both were absolutely delicious

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This dish here is the Porterhouse steak with Chimichurri sauce and Chickpea batons. Its A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, Steak was juicy and moist cooked to my liking. Perfectly paired wih the Chimichurri sauce for a nice tang! and the chickpea chips, yum! Crunchy outside and soft inside, if these were on all restaurant menus I would be happy to change from an old potato fry.

Another sensational dish they had was the Duck cooked in two ways: One was crumbed and the other one was pan-fried. Both cooked to perfection, tender and moist and had a good balanced season of salt and pepper, which is nice and simple. The meat was nicely paired with some salad and sauce.

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Overall the place is good, ambience , food , location and service. Will definitely come back for the burger! as it is highly recommend and a crowd favourite! Didnt get a chance to try as I was burgerred out for the week! LOL! But its on my list! Woo!

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Arbory Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Love a good steak – Rockpool Bar & Grill Melbourne 

Place: Rockpool Bar & Grill

Address: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank 

Website: http://www.rockpool.com/rockpoolbarandgrillmelbourne/

Summary Review: I love a good steak and this place can deliver a good one, simple as that. Definitely enjoyed the fine dining experience, being at Neil Perry’s restaurant gives you the luxury to relax, enjoy some wine and a great meal. The staff are very well dressed, loved the black and white uniform and very professional, attentive and informative through out. The food is amazing, I enjoyed the Wagyu topside steak, it was cooked to my liking and very well seasoned and rested. The sides, oh! Mac n cheese is a flavourbomb! Hands down one of the best in town. Overall the place is quite nice , we spent $159 for two, which I felt was reasonable given that the meal was filling even if they were not big portions. The highlight was the food, ambience and experience. So lovely!

  
Rockpool Bar and Grill is a popular restaurant of renown chef Neil Perry. Part of the Rockpool group are also restaurants such as Spice Temple,Rosetta, & Burger Project. This year I aim to try all of them because they are known for good food and great dining experience. So far I’ve been to Spice Temple which I really enjoyed and now for a good steak at the Rockpool restaurant.

 

wagyu topside 240g $49


I’ve always been a fan of Wagyu steaks, the topside is a secondary cut and it’s just as great as a primary cut in my opinion. A simple yet tasty charred of the meat paired with bearnaise sauce is delicious. They also have condiment sauces available such as Harissa, BBQ sauce & mustards. I dipped a piece of steak on Harissa and also BBQ, it was fab.
The other steak we ordered was the rib eye, it was again very delicious and melts in your mouth.  

Rib Eye on the bone 350g $60

 
  

Sides: Roasted Pumpkin & Sweet Potato and Mac n Cheese

 Our sides consists of the Mac n’Cheese, which is super super tasty. Neil Perry has the recipe from online and also his cookbooks but I was glad I tried it here because it was so yummy. Probably one of the best mac&cheese I had.

The other side dish was Roasted Pumpkin & Sweetpotato with Garlic Yoghurt and Burnt Butter. This also was a flavourbomb, simple yet tasty and can happily have 2 serves of each dish.

In terms of service it is definitely what I expected from a fine dining restaurant. Spot on, attentive, informative, friendly & professional.

Overall I highly recommend this restaurant it’s quite pricey,but you get what you paid for in my opinion. So if fine dining is your thing, this one’s for you.

Rockpool Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Im in Cloud 9 – Milkcow

Place: The Milkcow

Address: 1 Driver Lane, CBD Melbourne 3000

Website: N/a (checkout Zomato for details)

Summary Review: I’m lovin’ this new organic soft serve ice cream place. Not only did it looked very pretty and appetising but the texture is oh so milky and super soft. Taste wise it’s very pleasing In the palette, it’s not sickly sweet nor rich. I’m a sucker for fairy floss designed food and that’s probably the only sweet component to the icecream, but if you have a sweet tooth, best way to go. The icecream is quite expensive and probably justifiable by the fact that they use good quality ingredients and also the creative work putting together a boring soft serve and turning into a rockstar!


Yes definitely supper goodness inside! This newly opened organic soft serve icecream shop is rockin Melbourne streets at the moment.

Originated from Korea and landed to Australia this year and absolutely hitting it off!

From pretty decor to inside and out, you’d be curious to know what they have in store. 
  

Are you ready for this cuteness?

Santorini – soft serve with Oreos, hazelnuts,italian tropical syrup,& an umbrella made with fairy floss and chocolate stick

This one my friends is the Santorini soft serve and the one below is the Mont Blanc, both were so delicious. Creamy, super soft, not overly sweet. It was very pleasant.

Mont Blanc – Oreos, italia apple syrup,chocolate rocks soft serve surrounded by fairy floss

Some of the combinations are quite odd like the Oreos/chocolate and apples but they work well together.

Overall I highly recommend to pop by this store and have a try. It’s quite pricey but I think it’s fair with the quality ingredients used as well as the creative work to bring a boring soft serve to life!

Milkcow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

You can give me this everyday – Mr.Huang Jin Restaurant

Place: Mr. Huang Jin Restaurant

Address: The Archway 24 Katherine Place, Melbourne 3000

Website: N/A (Checkout Zomato)

Summary Review: Probably has one of the best dumplings I’ve ever had. There is a quite unique taste to all their traditional Taiwanese dishes, & often find ourselves saying “ohhhhh yum! What is that nice flavour ?” I highly recommend their Xiao long Bao dumplings and their Wontons in Chilli sauce. In the menu you will see “Mr. Huang Jin special pork” or “family secret sauce” on the description which is probably the quality ingredient or element that will make you go “mmmmm yum” at every bite. I also recommend the butterfish dish! It’s soo good! Overall the food is top notch & service is quite good too. The place is quite small so if you don’t have a booking, there is going to be a bit of a waits but it’s all worth it! It’s also a bit pricey than the other Taiwanese restaurant but you definitely get your money’s worth in taste and flavour.


This place is quite hidden and the only way to get there is to know your laneways and place very well in Melbourne. In saying that Google Maps can take you ovvvcourse!

This amazing gem has one of the best dumplings I’ve ever tried before! Probably topped my all time fave Din Tai fung restaurant too.

 

Pork Xiao Long Bao

Mr. Huang Jin’s Xiao long Bao is one of their popular dishes, so scrumptious, juicy & delicious. In the menu description you will see “Mr. Huang Jin’s special pork..” I think it must be truly special because it tasted very nice,in a way that it’s got a unique taste to the classic touch but better version. Whatever that taste is I’m definitely sold and gone back for more.

 

Pork and Prawn Wonton in Chilli sauce

Another wonderful dish is the Prawn and Pork Wontons with chilli sauce. Again top notch, fresh local prawns that is juicy and tasty wrapped in a thin freshly made wonton is soo delicious. Again on the description it had “the family secret chilli sauce” well right there says it all, coz again the taste is so unique. Sticking to its traditional flavour, but with the mr. Huang Jin’s unique touch of flavour.

 

Panfried butterfish with miso

The restaurant also has Taiwanese tapas, one that I tried is the Pan fried butterfish. I’ve never heard of a butter fish before but it melts like butter in your mouth. Wonderful and very pleasing in the palate.


Another Tapas was the TFC (Taiwanese fried chicken) very popular Taiwanese street food, most of the Taiwanese restaurant have these. Mr.Huang Jin has a very light crispy coat batter and the chicken melts in your mouth as well.

Basically the dishes are made with good quality ingredients. They are on a pricey range compare to other restaurants that serve the same dishes. But I think if your an individual who is after quality more than quantity,this is the place for you. The restaurant is quite small so if you don’t make a booking, expect a bit of a wait especially during busy times. But it’s worth the wait.

Mr Huang Jin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Operator25 Cafe – The place to be …

Place: Operator 25 

Address: 25 Wills St.Melbourne 3000

Website: http://www.operator25.com.au

Summary Review: Asian fusion brunch place, very popular, very good food, very good coffee/drinks variety. I couldn’t fault it from the moment I came to this place. Service was excellent, friendly and helpful staff and always attentive to their customers. Took me awhile to try this place but I was so happy that I got to try it and there was no queue outside! The highlight of my visit is the BBQ pork Benedict for breakfast. It’s so unique and clever way of taking the traditional eggs Benedict to a different level. I would definitely recommend this place when you’re after some unique brunch whether it’d be savoury or sweet.

  
I was happy to see that there is no line outside at 10am, so excited already.

  
Started the experience with this Kaya Green Tea Latte. It’s creamy, it’s tasty and not too sweet. Thought it was gonna be sweet because of the Kaya Jam (Kaya jam is a sweet coconut jam, very popular within Asian countries as a spread on the toast).

For breakfast I had the BBQ pork Benedict. It’s their Asian fusion take on the traditional eggs Benedict I loved loved loved this stuff!  

BBQ pork Benedict

 The dish was made of English muffin, pulled BBQ pork, poached eggs and wonton skin on top with lime and coriander hollandaise sauce. The best part of this dish was it’s not too heavy like the traditional eggs Benedict. I don’t know if it was the sauce that had the lime and coriander to cut through the richness, but I definitely finished it happily.

 

Tapioca & Potato Fritters +Kaischerflech


A friend of mine had this other dish called Tapioca and Potato fritters with satay sauce, broken egg, wilted green and dried tomatoes. We added some meat which is called Kaischerflech. Lol! Which I think is a thick bacon. Lots going on with this dish, the Asian kick to it is the tapioca and the satay sauce. Considering tapioca can be heavy on some Asian desserts, the fritters itself with the potatoes and tapioca are light and crispy. I was impressed. The elements to this dish go together very well. Very very clever thinking. 
Overall the atmosphere of this place is cool it’s a great place to visit over the weekend & enjoy a nice breakfast or lunch. 10/10

Operator25 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ponshu Kiroro – Japanese Hokkaido Fusion Restaurant

Place: Ponshu Kiroro Restaurant

Address: 9 Katherine Place, Melbourne 3000.

Summary Review: Cute and cozy restaurant located in one of the hidden laneways/place in Melbourne. The restaurant is a Japanese Hokkaido Fusion with dishes well presented and well balanced flavours. This place seemed very busy during lunchtime especially on a Friday. We had the Kiroro lunch set, which was amazing! Probably the one of the best place that makes the chicken karaage (bite size fried chicken) tender and moist and packed with flavour. I love the fusion style mainly because it takes on a modern flair to the traditional Japanese Hokkaido dishes. Highly recommend to try if you craving for Japanese style food.

  
Ponshu Kiroro is a very cute Japanese restaurant, from the restaurant logo on the baby sheep, were already drawn to it. The place serves Japanese Hokkaido fusion dishes with a vibrant and modern style of plating. 

I have to say the Kiroro Lunch set that we had was delicious and everything on this small plates of goodness were all gone and consumed happily in our tummies. 

 

kiroro lunch set ($18.5)


The Kiroro lunch set consist of sushi parfait which is the one on the glass. You get to choose which parfait you like all of them are sashimi style. I had the spicy tuna and you also get to choose a sauce that goes with it. I choose the sweet soy to complement and balance the spicy fish. Together with the parfait as you can see has rice and eggs which goes well altogether. Who doesn’t like eggs? Lol! Next to it is the chunky vege miso soup. I love chunky soup in general so I was enjoying it very much. The set also comes which some chicken, you also get an option to choose between the fried chicken which I have on the image above or the chicken cracker. I don’t know what the chicken cracker but I might try it next time…As a sucker for edamame, I was also happy to see this on my plate, this beans are tossed in garlic and red chilli. Yum tum tum, it’s modern take on the traditional steamed plain edamame.
We also ordered another sushi which is soooo damn cute! 

snowman monaka sushi ($8)

How cute is that? This sushi is made of Crispy Sapporo waffle with sushi rice, egg and edamame. Basically it’s what we ate in the set but it a snowman form! As good as it looks, I found this a bit bland, definitely needs some soy on the side or maybe toss the rice in light soy and assemble inside the waffle. But texture wise and presentation wise spot on!

Because he is soo cute I gotta have to take photos on different angle!    

Overall I love the concept of this restaurant so many dishes on the menu that I would like to try and would definitely come back for more delicious Japanese fusion. 

 

the menu

 
The menu for references on my next visit or to entice you readers to try the place too 😉 

 

Ponshu Kiroro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Pork Sinigang the easy way

Pork Sinigang (Pork Tamarind Soup) is a traditional Filipino dish which is loved by many. There’s many versions of this dish but one thing that makes it amazing is the sour soup base. So here’s an easy recipe to make this delicious dish that can warm you during those cold winter nights. 


Ingredients:

  • 1kg pork ribs 
  • 1 onion (cut in quarter) 
  • 1 tomato (cut in quarter) 
  • 1 pack of Mama Sita’s instant tamarind soup powder
  • 4 sweet chillies
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1/4 kg green beans
  • 2 tsp Fishsauce
  • 2 tbsp Salt

Method:

  1. Place the pork ribs on a pot with water. Let it boil to simmer to remove the scum.
  2.  Drain the liquid and wash the meat. Place the meat back into the pot and pour liquid and put the onions, tomatoes, & salt. 
  3. Place the pot back on to the stove and let it simmer.
  4. Once simmering put half of the packet of the Mama Sita’s instant tamarind soup powder and let it boil until the meat is tender. (Adjust the amount of powder according to the sour level desired. More powder the sour the soup becomes) 
  5. Once the meat is tender, add some fish sauce, let it simmer.
  6. Add the all vegetables and let it simmer again for 5 mins until the vegetables are cooked. 
  7. Serve with white rice and a side of fish sauce.