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Month: November, 2012

Melbourne Centrals Shopping day

Today was Melbourne Central’s shopping day which means discounts off everything. Although I didn’t buy anything I got heaps of gift ideas and here they are.
We also got a free feed of fruits, drinks and nibbles.
All the food trucks came.
Many thanks to Melbourne Central for putting this on.


Christmas gift ideas

All for under $50 and that you can easily take back home without breaking the rules.
1) Clothes
Most of them are from Sportsgirl and are lightweight so they are easy to carry in luggage
2) Wines
These wines are both from Brown brothers. They are a winery in Victoria. Don’t buy a lot of these as you might have to pay duty on these, but a couple of bottles of these are fine

2011 Limited Release Banksdale Chardonnay

This current release has a pale gold colour with subtle green hues and a delicate nose displaying nectarine and grapefruit notes with subtle cashew nut oak. Stonefruit characters follow through to the palate, which is fine and elegant, with an element of complexity from the oak. This wine will gain further depth and complexity with cellaring for up to 3 years.


2008 Cellar Door Pinot Grigio Rose

The 2008 rose is the first rose for Brown Brothers using the Pinot Grigio grape variety.

In the glass the wine is a bright, light strawberry colour. It boasts fresh aromas of watermelon, pear and subtle savoury characters, while the palate is crisp and racy with a delicate lively lift. True to Pinot Grigio style, this is best served well chilled and enjoyed within 1-3 years of vintage.

3) Accessories
For her
Leona Edminson stockings from Myer and online for $24.95. Leona Edminston is an Australian designer who designs lots of vintage things for ladies
And she also designs a lot of accessories for women such as these $40 pair of earrings 
And what about this hippie pink scarf from Australian company Just Jeans for about $20
And there is also this scarf also from the same company for the same price
Belt from Just Jeans for $20
Alannah Hill earrings for $39. You can buy this at Melbourne Central’s One day sale on Wednesday as there is an Alannah Hill store in Melbourne Central

For him:


Fedora hat from Just Jeans just for guys for $24.95
4) Other things
Eco Keep Cup for $12.95 available in all stores. You can buy this and other designs and that way you’ll never have use paper cups ever again. Some cafes give you a discount if you bring one of these in.

Kate Hill coin purse for $14.95. Available at DFO in the city. Good idea for keeping loose change
San Churro’s fondue set for 2. You can have heaps of fun with this


Your complete guide to pizza
Making pizza is cheap and easy. Outside you’d normally buy a large pizza for $20, but this recipe costs less than $15 depending on what you use as you can use just about anything to make pizza. I got the recipe from the Taste website (see sources).

Your complete guide to pizza

Photography by Mark O’Meara
Your complete guide to pizza

Photography by Mark O’Meara
      One of Italy’s greatest gifts to the world, pizza is the ultimate family food for eating and making – from kneading to stirring, there’s a job for everyone. Once you’ve mastered our classic dough and traditional tomato sauce, get into our tasty toppings, or be inventive and make up your own.

      Here’s what you need

      • A large bowl and a tea towel for proving dough
      • Specialty bread and pizza flour to give the dough a lighter texture
      • Polenta to keep the pizza crust dry and crisp
      • A pizza tray – you can use regular trays or a pizza stone (from kitchenware stores)
      • A pizza cutter or a large, sharp knife to slice up your pizza
      • A rolling pin for rolling out thin, round bases

      Try this basic pizza dough, and classic pizza sauce.

      Pizza tips & tricks

      Try these knead-to-know tips for pizza perfection.

      • Add salt to the dough mixture after the other dry ingredients. If added at the same time, it can make the yeast inactive.
      • Prove the dough in a warm, draught-free spot, otherwise it will take too long to rise.
      • Position oven shelves so one’s in the lowest slot and the other’s two slots higher.
      • Preheat the trays or pizza stones. This helps crisp the base.
      • Roll dough from the centre outwards, lifting and turning slightly as you go so your dough is even thickness.
      • Sprinkle polenta over the tray to stop pizza sticking and to make the base crisp and dry.
      • Place mozzarella on top of pizza sauce but under other toppings to help secure them.
      • Store leftover pizza sauce, topped with olive oil, in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

      Top till you drop!

      After you’ve spread your pizzas with the tomato sauce, try some of our favourite topping combos. Each tops two pizzas.

      Eggplant & prosciutto with rocket
      Garlic prawn & chorizo
      Chicken, pear & rocket
      Fresh pineapple & ham
      Salami, bocconcini & cherry tomato
      Roasted pumpkin & goats cheese


      Australian Good Taste – October 2010 , Page 134

      Recipe sourced from: (Accessed on 25/11/2012 at 12:50PM)

      Taste of Melbourne 2012 by Katherine

      The Taste of Melbourne event is something that happens once a year. It goes for four days. It starts on Thursday night and ends on Sunday.
      Unlike previous years when it was inside the Royal Exhibition Building, it was outside. I guess that they really wanted an outdoor dining style event, hence the beautiful Albert park lake.
      When it opened at 12pm noon today most of the customers including myself had to take the 112 tram and we walked really far ( there was something which happened on the number 96 tram hence there were no trams going that way). But when I finished all the trams were back to normal.
      There were lots of people there and the event was not hard to find. You take the number 96 tram ( you can also take the 112 tram but it is quite a walk to get there) and get off at stop 130 (where Mart 130 is ) and then you just walk on the grass area and across the road and there it is. You can hear the music from afar.
      Tickets were $30 on the door, but Friend A and I bought ours online for $25 each. There it included a free copy of gourmet Traveller magazine and the wine magazine as well as heaps of samples, apples and teas.
      We also bought some crowns. Crowns are the dining currency used at the Taste festival to buy dishes and wines. 1 crown is equal to $1.

      There were free picnic rugs for people who picnic in the Lilydale picnic area. Note: Lilydale is a chicken company.
      There were also a few wine bars and cocktail areas. Rekordling was one such fun area.
      There was a very big Nespresso area where people like myself got free coffee.
      One such place where people could get some tips on cooking was at the Bertoli kitchen stage right at the back. I didn’t get much of a chance to visit as it always packed with people.
      But I got to try some food though and here’s what I thought of it.
      The good
      * The gundowning’s 2 mini cones for two crowns- that was quite enjoyable and I got to try out two different flavours: I think of them was fig and the other was banana. I loved the banana flavour. Not too sure about the other one
      * Sake’s chirashi salad (I think it was 12 crowns)- it was really fresh and I loved the salmon and the crunchy bit on the top. It gave it the crunch that it needed
      * Laksa me’s dessert (8 crowns)- it wasn’t too sweet but it was overly potatoey hence it gave it a bit of a bland taste. I loved the pearls and the coconut.

      The bad
      * Mamasita’s bean tacos (8 crowns)- it was really bland and cold and I had to wait for ages and ages for this
      * Mahjong’s trio of dumplings (8 crowns)- it was all squashed and there was too much sauce in it. Perhaps it might be to cover their bland taste? But I loved the chilli in it though.

      I also had a mocktail at the Berri stand ($6 for this) and I got to watch them do it. It was a bit of long wait but I didn’t mind as the girl told me this beforehand and I went and explored other things whilst waiting.

      Can’t wait to return next year.

      Melbourne Music week

      This happens every year during November and this year it is set to be even bigger. It is a nine day music festival in the city.
      It all happens in a warehouse on the corner of latrobe and Elizabeth st. Here it was bustling with people and music.
      It is up some steel stairs so those that are wearing heels might find it difficult to climb them.
      There are four food stalls and a retro market there. Here all of the clothes and accessories are priced between $5-$20. Most of it is vintage.

      I sampled a lovely burger from Huxtaburger. Now I know that there is a store in Smith st in Fitzroy, but it seems that I can’t always get there when they are opened at 12pm. So when they had a stall in the city I thought that I’d come by.
      There was a lot of people in the line all waiting for their fix
      Their burger ($9 for the original one) did not disappoint, except it was a bit squashed. Oops my bad. And their chips (an extra $2) was lovely and the crinkle cut adds to the novelty.
      Now there is a cider bar which sells iced tea for $4. But I didn’t have a chance to try any of their drinks as I had to rush back to work.

      Huxtaburger on Urbanspoon

      Beatrix by Katherine

      It was a lovely Sunday late morning and I was on the way to the Taste of Melbourne festival by tram. I thought about having lunch at the festival but I figured that it was a tad bit expensive and there might be long waits for food.
      So I figured I would visit Beatrix a cafe in North Melbourne. It is just one block away from the corner of Abbotsford and Queensberry sts (57 tram) and a fifteen minute walk from North Melbourne station.
      I had always wanted to go there after reading the many rave reviews on Urbanspoon and the Age.
      On that very Sunday morning that I came it was busy, but not overly. As in I was able to find a table right in front of the cakes that says “Eat me”

      The toilets are outside, down the street and on the left hand side. They were hard to find at first, but don’t be afraid to ask the cafe staff.
      I had the famous “Beggibe roll” (a roll the comes with fried egg, bacon, caramelised apples, beetroot, lettuces and aioli all on a sourdough bun- $12). This is much better than the ones that most cafes have. I loved the bread that they use which was nice and soft and not like the hard and chewy ones you get outside. The rocket was quite nice and I loved the aioli. Loved the beetroot in this. You can see that they put a lot of effort into this. You can also opt for no bacon for the price of $11.
      Now Beatrix is also quite good at making teas so I got a pot of green tea ($3.60- tea powder is from Art of natural teas).
      I also went for one of their yummy meringues ($3.50). Heavenly says I. It was sticky though but light and fluffy.
      The next time when I come I should go for one of their cakes which changes daily. That and a cup of tea.

      Beatrix on Urbanspoon

      Secret recipe

      Secret recipe is a chain store. The one that I went to is in the city in Melbourne Central. They have been there ever since late 2010, but I never got the chance to visit until today. I have been too busy to visit.

      Secret recipe is a Malaysian restaurant but they do Western food as well.

      So today me and eight others all went there for cakes and drinks. It was someone’s birthday today. I have read that Secret recipe has many cakes and even has a cake special.

      It is run by Malaysians. The service was a tad bit slow and they did run out of the stuff to make one of my colleague coke spider drinks (this really infurriated her- they had all the ingredients there). One of my other colleagues got a coke.

      All the drinks and the food came out in drabs.

      One of my colleagues got a Nasi Goreng ($15.90 for a tiny serve of stuff). I got try his rice. It was coconut flavoured but dry and the egg was a little bit bland. I didn’t think he really liked the dish all that much.

      One of my other colleagues got a $7.90 cake and coffee special and hers was a cheesecake. The base was really soggy.

      I had an iced green tea ($5.50) and a mango delight cake which I loved. It was light and not too soggy. It had to be the best cake out of the two.
      The iced green tea was a bit weird though. Being a Malaysian restaurant I would have thought that they would have done it the Asian way of making the syrup and blending everything in there.

      I might just return next time and order the mango cake and this time a hot green tea.

      Secret Recipe - Melbourne Central on Urbanspoon

      Northern Soul

      Today I went a place called Northern Soul in Thornbury on my way to Bundoora.
      Northern Soul is a small cafe that has won many awards and great reviews.
      Northern Soul is on a tram line and is hard to find, but if you look closely on the left you’ll see it. They are a small cafe.
      There were kids running everywhere. Not a pleasant start to brunch and reading my papers. Hard to concentrate

      Like many Melbourne’s hot spots they open relatively early and close early.
      Like many of Melbourne’s cafes they only focus on coffees and teas and not much food. But what they have on the menu is cheap but great.
      I had the scrambled eggs on toast ($8). With that I added $15 worth of extras such as cheese and sausages. The eggs were a little bit plain so I added some tabasco sauce to it and all was fine. I loved the Meredith’s cheese though. Lovely and creamy. Very simple. I like this. But there’s no onions in there and I would love to have some.
      I also had their long black ($3). Their beans are from Tobys estate. It was nothing much to write home about.
      The cupcake which was a lemon flavoured one was a little too tangy for my liking. But it was moist.

      All in all I’d still prefer Lowlands (just a few doors up), but I might give this place another go for its sandwiches and salads. I loved the French bulldog waiting for its owners outside and wanting a slice of sausages and eggs

      Northern Soul on Urbanspoon

      Mr Nice Guy’s Bakeshop by Katherine

      There is a new bakeshop around town. It comes from the guys that brought you the cupcake shop in Prahran Market known as Mr Nice Guy.

      This bakeshop is on a tram line in Ascot Vale. They have only just been opened for a week now and already they are busy.

      I went in at 9am and was the only one there. But it wasn’t long for all the others to come and get their vegan goodness.

      The ladies at the counter were lovely and the smiling type. She also happy for me to take lots of pictures.

      She didn’t have to tell me where the bathroom was because I already saw it as soon as I walked in the door. It is just straight down the corridor and on my way there I saw their kitchen and how cute the old cash register was.

      I am told that the cinanmon bun is the most popular. Hence I have ordered this vegan goodness. They to do coffees here, unlike their Prahran store.

      What really interested me was that and their raw vegan cupcake which worked a treat with me.

      I also loved their vegan buns. But it was messy to eat. I loved the sweet, sticky gooeiness of it. Yummy. I could eat this everyday I thought.

      The long black was just alright. Mister nice guy uses Naked Espresso beans and their machine is just brand new.

      I can’t wait to try out more of their vegan goodness and Ascot Vale just needs another shop just like this and Silo. What would even better is if they opened one in the city or in Fitzroy.
      To all the haters of this shop, give them a chance. And I’m hoping that some other bloggers like myself would appreciate the place.

      Mister Nice Guy's Bakeshop on Urbanspoon

      Kitchen Inn

      I went to Kitchen Inn after hearing many rave things about its Kolo Mee and Kampua dishes. When I heard that a Malaysian shop specializing in Sibu food had opened in Melbourne CBD I thought that I’d try it and I was genuinely excited by the place.

       I haven’t had Kolo Mee before. This place is run by Chinese hence some of the people were not familiar with Malaysian food and didn’t understand me.
      The place was pretty packed with students and workers some of which are Asian.  The place is small and very cramped. And yes I was seated on a table with randoms. The randoms ordered some sort of noodle dish and spring rolls and I saw that they didn’t like their spring rolls. Why?
      I was served free tea but didn’t know until after ordering.
      There was virtaully no service not even a mere smile. You had to go up to the counter to order. And when I asked them to clean up the table they didn’t.:(.
      Oh yeah and my chopsticks were a little dirty. So instead of asking them for a clean pair I just cleaned in a cup of tea.
      This time I tried Kolo Mee for the first time. Kolo mee is Malaysian noodles from Sibu which has char siu, spring onions  pork floss and some sort of noodles which are handmade. These are really hard to find in Melbourne
      The Kolo Mee for which I paid $8.50 for it was small and sweet. The noodles were overcooked. And they charge $11 for prawns!!! Too dear so I went without. I noticed that other places charge like $9-$10 for a plate with seafood.
      The iced lemon which was $4 was in a small glass and it tasted like cordial. Not like the iced tea that I can get in a bottle from the supermarket.

      I could have walked out without paying but I was sitting right in front of the cashier and I had to pay for the mediocre service and food.

      I’m hoping that someone who works in Kitchen Inn will read these comments and improve their service and their food, as this place has a lot of potential and is the only place so far to serve Kolo Mee and kampua and other Sibu dishes. I wonder what others thought of this place. I can also see why some of the people on Urbanspoon hated it.

      Kitchen Inn on Urbanspoon

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