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for all new international students

Month: September, 2011

a visit to prahran market


Prahran Market

This market is famous for their fresh fruit and vegetables as well as Jasper coffee. I went there with Miss Adriennely today in search of their Jasper coffee stall.

|I visited three places today as well as walk around the market. This market is in zone 1 on the number 72 tram. If you are coming from the city you can take the 72 tram to the market and the stop is outside the market. If you are coming from Pakenham/Frankston you can take the train to Toorak station and then the 72 tram bound for the city.
1) Aroma Bakery

Aroma Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

Adriennely and I went to visit this place. Adriennely wanted to go there. I wanted to visit the small cart outside the bakery.
The atmosphere and the food looked really good from the outside but that was about it. There was hardly anyone inside.
The staff there lacked knowledge. The shop was run by Asians who don’t know better. They brought me the wrong order twice on coffee. I ordered a piccolo and they came up twice with a single small latte. All the coffees were three dollars. A piccolo is a small 90 ml glass of coffee, made as a latte. Adriennely, who works in a coffee shop tried to convince them. When Adriennely left for work I tried her single skinny latte and I found hers to be just the same as mine.
Adriennely had a sweet potato pie ($5.50), which the serving staff was a bit slow on the uptake and I had a cheese and chive pastry with salad ($8.90- they tried to charge me ten dollars but I wasn’t fooled by sign on by the pastries). I couldn’t taste much of the chives in there. Adriennely’s pie tasted like it was microwaved and not freshly baked.
My salad was not fresh at all.
Disappointing. Will not be visiting there again. Shame, because Prahran Market has a lot of good places and is famous with the foodies. I went to wander around Prahran market and got to try a few things

2) Jasper coffee.
After Adriennely left and after a very disappointing coffee, I went around to visit the Jasper stall. Jasper is a famous brand of coffee in Australia and they have been operating for twenty years. 
Adriennely should come here as their coffee is very good. I got to try some samples. One of them was sweet and the other was bitter. They don’t have much food though, but they sure have good coffees. I hadn’t had a chance to order any coffee, but I sure will next time. I was too full from lunch and I wanted to try a gelati from Fritz Gelato which brings me to my next point.

Jasper Coffee on Urbanspoon

3) Fritz gelato.
Here this place is voted number one ice cream shop in Melbourne. I had an Entertainment book voucher for buy one ice cream get one free, but Adriennely had already gone. I can always use this with another friend. The lady there that served me was knowledgeable, not like the guys at aroma. She seemed to know which flavours go with which. She seemed a bit distracted and got an order mixed up for another customer.
I got the apple sorbet with the coconut gelato for $5 in a cup. The apple sorbet was very refreshing, but the coconut was a little bit too sweet for me. 

Fritz Gelato on Urbanspoon

Some other sights I saw and foods that I tasted at the Market

I think I will be back to try the coffee brewing class next Tuesday in Market lane coffee and maybe visit the Vietnamese cart. 

coffee products


Here are a few of the coffee products that I tried. Some of them are really useful and others are not. I’ve given them a rating of 1 (not recommended)- 5 (recommended). 2 is disappointing and will never buy, 3 is neutral, 4 is good and will buy again.
Coffee is tested on the strength and flavour of the beans. Aroma is also tested too.
1) Nescafe Cafe series mocha- $5-$7 for a packet of 10. It’s very watery and no chocolate flavour was in there. Grade: 2/5
2) Moccona coffee french style- this is really strong. This is good for students like myself who needs a strong coffee. It has a great sense of aroma. rating: 4/5
3) Unknown brand of coffee from the US- this has to be the worst coffee. I got this as a sample from World week and tried it. Did not like the flavour of it as well as the fact that it is weak. It was also really grainy- 1/5 
4) Jarrah blend of coffee- this coffee is flavoursome and has a tiny little bit of chocolate in there which is good for a cold winters day

Eat at The Boulevard cafe (Poyntons)


The Boulevard cafe is in a nice quiet spot on the Boulevard along the Maribynong river. Here it attracts walkers (such as myself), students (such as myself), families and the elderly that live in the surrounding areas. It is in zone 1 and the bus 467 is just around the corner and up a hill (if travelling from Moonee Ponds  station you just need to catch the bus outside the station and alight at the last stop). Or if you are travelling from the city and newmarket you can catch the 57 tram to Maribynong Park and then walk on the path for about 15 mins. Or you can ride your bike there and park it at the bike racks outside. There is car parking too. Today was the first day of the school holidays and there were a few parents with their young kids in there.
They do have a lovely courtyard outside and the cafe is inside the nursery, so you can see all the lovely plants as you enter the cafe.
The manager there is quite lovely and I think he really likes his customers. They are a part of the Entertainment book program where it is 25% off the total bill, but somehow I threw it out because the last time I went there the food was pretty average. I went there after my walk to enjoy a iced chocolate, seeing as it was a hot day. I figured I might give them another chance.

All the meals there are pretty pricey. The prices range from $7 (for a bowl of chips) to about $30. The salads were very pricey too. And I saw that someone ordered one of the salads and the serving looked tiny.
The service here was a tad slow. It took a while for me to get a menu and be seated. I think the waitress forgot to ask whether I was here for coffee or what. She did ask someone else later on if they were here for a coffee, and they WERE WHITE CAUCASIAN!!!!
The tiramisu that I ordered was darn expensive for a small piece! It was $8.30. It was a small piece with not much but lots of cream. So my guess was that it was only $4-$5 per piece. The iced chocolate however was decent and I can’t complain. This is much better than the one at Max Brenner where it can cost anywhere between $5 and $8. This one is not as sweet as the one at Max brenner which I love.
If you were to come here again, I’d advise you not get the tiramisu, but the other cakes and waffles as they are much better value. And go for the coffees (Cafe Mio range) and chocolates.
Boulevard Cafe (Poynton's) on Urbanspoon

sensory lab and lunch


Sensory Lab
Today I went to Sensory lab for my morning coffee. I felt that I needed my coffee after some rude guy on my tram pushed in when two people were getting out. He was really yelled at and there some sort of a fight. I among everyone else consider it impolite not to wait for people to get off the tram before they board.
I have read many reviews on Urbanspoon.com and found that everyone generally likes it. I have been past the place a few times and saw that they looked good and it was on my wishlist.
They have quite a few different origins and are happy to show you if you wait. I waited a while and they showed me and another person some of their origins. They have a place in South Yarra.

Sensory Lab on Urbanspoon

This looks a bit small for $4

Look how cute the sugar bowl is!

My piccolo- look how cute the cup is!

the outdoor area

So I went in today and ordered a piccolo and a ham and cheese croissant. I have never tried a piccolo before, but hey it was delish! The croissant was quite small for $4.  The piccolo was small for $3.80 but it was worth it.
The lady there was quite pleasant and so was the guy with the brown hair. Service was friendly and efficient and whilst I was waiting I wandered around the place taking pictures. Single origin coffees cost around $5 and sandwiches cost $8.50.
I would love to come here with my friends will happily recommend the place to Miss Adriennely.

Kim Sing restaurant
I went to Kim Sing in hopes for a cheap but good lunch with service. I have read on Urbanspoon.com that this restaurant was really good and they have $4-$8 meals here. What I didn’t know was they had hardly any service and dishes and tables took a while to clean. For all I know I could be sitting on a dirty table.
I had the vegetarian egg omelette ($6.60 for a large serve). Whilst the omelette was nice and filling with vegetables, the rice was a bit meh. It came from the big rice cooker out the front. It was under the omelette. On first impression I thought that there was no rice.
I like the open kitchen and all but I wish that they would clean the floors, tables and cutlery.

Look at the floor- I can see a dirty rag there!

More rubbish on the floor.

I hope the health inspector comes soon and fines them!

A dirty mark on the table which was there when I got there

Nespresso coffee tastings
After lunch I went to a shop called Nespresso. It is a boutique coffee shop where they blend their own coffees, (see previous post on Nespresso). I missed out on going to the Taste of Melbourne where they had their coffee tastings. So I made up for it by going today. I am still learning about coffee and developing my palate
I got to try two coffees; one is a decaffeinated coffee and the other is a ristretto in their new flavour.  The ristretto is small and very bitter. It is hard to taste sweetness in this. I didn’t know that a risoretto is quite small. I thought that it would be big with lots and lots of milk on top.
The decaf latte fared a bit better.

The machine

Nespresso’s brown and white sugar sticks

How cute is the spoon!

A ristretto set

Kim Sing on Urbanspoon

Morning tea @Grigons and Orr in north Melbourne.


I went to Grigons and Orr on my way to class this morning. I felt like a hot chocolate and a nice dose of scones. After having read about Grigons and Orr from other people’s blog I decided it was time for a visit.
Grigons and Orr is on the corner of Queensberry and Chetwynd sts North Melbourne and is in zone 1. It is also in the city saver zone. Take the number 57 tram and get off at the corner of Victoria and Chetwynd sts. It is about a one minutes walk from there.
This place attracts a lot of international students as well as local students. It also attracts inner city workers.They are also a little old fashioned grocery shop. This place really reminded me of the time when I was visiting friends at SHAC in 2008. It also reminds me of RUSU realfoods. It has this homely American feeling about it.
They do lots of home made meals some of which are gluten free and vegan. They also freshly bake their goods too which is nice to see.
They have Bonsoy and I’ve read that they make their own milk.
I had a hot chocolate ($3.50) and a plate of two big scones, jam and clotted cream ($4). I have been looking for the perfect scones and found them here in Grigons. They are a little bit crumbly but the jam and clotted cream goes well with them. The guy that served me said that they were baked an hour before I got here. It would have been nicer with the Devonshire tea, but I didn’t feel like it.
The hot chocolate was in one of the tall glass cups just like the ones at Max Brenner. The ones at Max Brenner charges around $6 for this and it is not as good as this (they are sickly sweet). The hot chocolate was homemade. My guess is that they used their own milk. Either way it was really good. It even had a hint of malt which I liked.

someone else’s blt. Doesn’t it look nice???

Someone else’s breakfast- I can’t remember what this is.

Worcheshire sauce

I’d might make a return visit with my friend soon and I encourage all RMIT and Melbourne Uni students as well as anyone that lives near or in North Melbourne to visit whenever they can.

Grigons & Orr on Urbanspoon

Coffee @ Starbucks in Bourke St


I went to Starbucks in Bourke st on my way to the tram stop to go to Bundoora. I had to wait for some time for the tram so I ducked into Starbucks. I was also enticed by the sign saying Orange Mochaccino now available. So I went in and bought that ($4.90 for a tall) and a gluten free cookie ($2.95).
Starbucks is moving to a new location in the cbd. The last trading day in the old location is today. The guys working there were fast and efficient and they had a lot of people. Some of them were old customers from the nearby Delifrance, which by the way has been closed for some time.
Starbucks roast their own coffee and they sell the coffee beans by the bag. They also sell coffee equipment and mugs.
The coffee had plenty of flavour to it. I loved the orange zest on the top, but it was a little too sweet for me. I like my mochas to be a little less sweet. I couldn’t quite taste the coffee beans in there.
I did like the cookie, it was very healthy and filling. It was not too sweet which was good and it was made locally.

someone else’s hot drink which looked good with all the cream

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

Cafe Fraus at North Melbourne


My friend B and I went to Cafe Fraus for lunch. B was in the mood for something not too heavy and I thought of crepes. Cafe Fraus came to my mind.
Cafe Fraus’s chocolates and their powder are sold here.There are twenty different varieties here and some of them you can take home. It got a good mention in the Age good cafe guide.
For my thick hot chocolate I had the zabaglione. It was really custardy and thick. What came to mind was custard. Nowhere in Melbourne with the exception of Cacao does anything like this. Even Max brenner’s does not have this. For their hot chocolates ($5.50) it is just a measly small cup compared to this. I’m not sure how much this is but it sure is good.

Café Fräus Crêpes & Chocolat on Urbanspoon

We shared a roasted vegetable crepe with breadsticks and a breakfast tasting plate. These are a bit more expensive than Roule Galette and Creperie Le triskel, but just ok. The sweet one was much better than the savoury one. The savoury one was hard to eat. The vegetables were good, just that the savoury one was a bit cold and too crunchy.

For the breakfast one I loved the honey and crepe. Not so sure about the fruits and the yoghurt. The yoghurt was a little sour and the fruits were not fresh.

This is a good place to study and have coffee and chocolates. Not so much for lunch and dinner. I’ll be back to try their sweet crepes and baked goods. It is in zone 1 and in the city saver zone. You can get the number 57 tram and get off at Victoria and Errol sts

Our bill came to about $32.90

Eat at Rusty Duck Larder Moonee Ponds


I finished my grocery shopping and my bill came out to $46.00. I only bought about 20 items. Not happy.
Anyway was waiting for my bus because I just missed it and the next one didn’t come for half an hour. I was starving! So what did I do? went across the road to the other side of the station and had lunch at the Rusty Duck Larder.

Aww! How beautiful is the decor

Here they have plenty of jams, coffee and water for you to take home

More jams and sauces

Here it was lovely and cosy and the fireplace and wood tables reminded me of the country in the old days. There was one big communual table for a big group or a family. Pity the fire wasn’t going.
The walls weren’t as noise cancelling as I thought they were. I could still hear the trains from outside. They do a lot of homemade goods and some of them especially the jams are for sale. There were a few baked goods for sale as well. The coffee is by Vittoria and the hot chocolate powder is by Fraus. They have quite a few sandwiches for lunch (priced between $6-$9) and some lovely cakes (priced between $5.50-$7) and biscuits on display. They do breakfasts from 7am-12pm on weekdays and on weekends from 8am-2pm. They do gluten free if you want, but just ask them. There are a few vegetarian meals on offer too.
They have limited outdoor seating as most of it is indoors.
The lady there that served me was lovely. She was fine with me taking a few pictures but I managed to sneak more in.
They do have an EFTPOS minimum spend of $10.
I ordered a egg and vegetable roti wrap, a yo-yo, a mocha and a cheesecake all of which came out to $17.10. The wrap was plain and simple which I liked. I did taste a hint of cheese in there. These are found in cafes all over Melbourne and it is quite common for to cafes to offer this to their customers.
The mocha was too coffee like.  I would have liked a little bit more chocolate in there. It was a little bit bitter.
The cheesecake ($5.50) was really nice. The same sort of cheesecake from Max Brenner would cost me nearly $10. But I think I like this version better. The jam tasted a little bit like it was canned, but the cheesecake filling was nice. The base was moist but a bit hard to cut through.
The yo- yo melted in my mouth and was heavenly. Om Om Om! How I enjoyed it!
I’d love to come here with Viet girl one day.
Miss Adriennely and the big group from Eat and Be merry for tommorrow we diet should eat here if they haven’t been. Also Eat, Play shop would like it too as it caters for children and has high chairs and enough pram room. They even have toilets and a change room.
There isn’t a whole lot of parking at the front of the cafe but you can easily take the train from the city or from Broadmeadows and it stops at Moonee Ponds (zone 1). Get off here and its across the road. Or you can take the tram (number 59 from Elizabeth st or Airport West) and get off at Moonee Ponds junction and then walk up Puckle st til you get to the train station and there it is.

The Rusty Duck Cafe & Larder on Urbanspoon

Clifton Hill- shopping and breakfast


I went to Clifton Hill on my way to RMIT Bundoora. It is a very friendly area located in zone 1. A few bus routes from Moonee Ponds and city go there as well as the number 86 tram from Bundoora RMIT and city goes there.
All the locals like to go past the very famous Queens parade. This is known for their good coffee shop Cavalleri and fruit shop Mecca Bros. There is also a few other shops too, such as a lovely florist shop and Bakers Delight.
First stop: Mecca Bros.

Here this is a greengroccer recommended by The Age shopping guide. Here they not only sell fruits and vegetables, they also sell dairy foods, breads, organic foods and pantry goods. Most of the grocceries were priced between $3-$12 per kg. I was able to sneak in a few pictures before I was told off.
I got an apple and two mandarins, as I forgot to bring fruits from home.
The lady that served me was just ok. But the guy there was friendly.
Second stop: Cavallini.

Cavallini is not only a cafe, its also a bakery specialising in homemade breads, pastries and other goods. You can buy bread from here. They also sell gelatis.
It was really crowded which was a good sign. Although they look like they don’t have a lot of seating there is seating at the back in the courtyard. Dogs are most welcome.
They are really good at doing macaroons as well and they have a special flavour of the week. This week’s flavour was chocolate mint. Here this was flavoursome and it was only $2.40. If you buy six of them you only pay $12.
I also bought a mocha with their flavour of the week and a chocolate crossaint with the recommendation from the lady that served me. Altogether it was $9.60 and it was worth every cent. The pastry was baked really nicely and I enjoyed my breakfast.
Although I couldn’t see the artwork of the mocha it was good. Not too sweet and not too coffee like. I can taste hints of coffee flavour. But I did spill some on myself on the tram.
Kudos to the friendly lady who recommended the crossaint to me. I will be back maybe with Miss Adriennely to try some of the savoury sandwiches.

Cavallini on Urbanspoon

Eat @ Affogato


I went to Affogato with a friend from Vietnam who is a new student here. Her name is ” Viet girl”. I have seen many good reviews on Urbanspoon.com and was keen on trying out their affogato (or italian coffee).
So we went on this sunny day and we both got to try the Affogato ($4.50 each). The Affogato, which we’ve never tried is a little bit bitter but with a bit of sugar its just right. The waiter said that we can pour the coffee over the ice cream and then wait for it to melt or you can eat it straightaway. Some of the other bloggers said that you get chocolate with it, but with ours we did not.
I also tried the French toast ($8.00 I think). It was sweet with just the right amount of maple syrup, but what I would have really liked was some strawberries and castor sugar with it. Viet girl had nothing, because she wasn’t hungry.
The waiter was a bit friendly, but was a bit clumsy. He dropped the coffee menu on the floor after I went up and requested it. He obviously forgot to bring it when he got us our breakfast menus.
The interior is really cool, but the outside more so. I wanted to sit outside but Viet girl wanted inside, so we were inside.
All in all I recommend this place to you, if you don’t mind the slow service. The place is not open for dinner but they are open for breakfast and lunch and you can study here. The atmosphere is quiet and cosy for students to study.

Affogato on Urbanspoon

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