Il Mio Pasta Cafe via Scoopon @ Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Monday 6th Feb
Through scoopon we bought $6 lunches from Il Mio Pasta Cafe for Any Pasta/ Risotto / Signature Pasta Dish. The catch? Well they're only open Mon - Fri: 11am-3pm, so it's in a weekday lunch food court.
The Pasta Menu







Cream Alfredo Risotto - Cream, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper)


Ordered a creamy risotto $10 which was way too soft, it was almost mushy and plain. As I forgot to add protein, so it was like over cooked rice and sauce. It didn't occur to me at the time that it was just a base, and add ons (at a price) are essential.




Chicken Mediterranean - Tender chicken pieces marinated in 

herbs and spices, tomatoes, mushrooms in a Napoli sugo

The pasta wasn't any better, though it had more than just carbs and sauce. Once again too soft, over cooked. High quantity, average quality. So much was jammed packed into the container that made it mushier, all cramped and packed in there (like the replacement buses on our line). There was some toppings at the top almost more as a garnish than throughout. 



Can't and won't eat this.


$12 wasted on mush.

Service was good though.  

The Sofia of Flagstaff. Don't, unless you have no taste and like mush. Or perhaps try a pizza instead. Even at $6 I wouldn't buy this. After a couple tablespoons it ended up in the back of the fridge.

There's good reviews on Scoopon though notice how they're all clustered. They look quite fake, I hate that they've stopped using zomato rating and have their own reviews from a smaller and in this case, fake pool. 

Il Mio Pasta Café Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Three Cooking Adventures @ Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Monday 6th February

It smells funny and the floor is dirty in here. I don't like this place. I wished no.7 aka the girl next door was here, she knows what she's doing. I wish I had worn boots. There were a few people we saw, the undesirables of society. But we did it, ventured into asian town. Sure the produce is cheaper but to me it's c-d grade. I've seen A grade, and I don't know where it actually comes from.. it's not the supermarket. Once I did a high profile event with ministers being on the guest list, they had the best fruit/veg I've ever seen, well comparable to a shop in Ripponlea which is quite expensive.

We shopped around for a few things on Victoria St and these were the cheapest prices we found, and where:



3.80 Sweet chili sauce at the 'Richmond Grocery Store' next to Bread Top. Jas loves this stuff, it's the only actually chili, sweet chili sauce we've ever had! One the store we went to also has a small 'I live alone' bottle, though I didn't note which store.It's the Pantai brand, which we had at a Thai place (with delicious green coconut curry!).



3.00 Palm sugar syrup at 'Asian Groceries' 164 Victoria st next to Thanh Nga Restaurant. We're making three layer iced tea! The recipe calls for palm sugar which comes in a solid block, but we're cheating with the liquid version, which isn't at Coles.



$3 Dessert Soups from Huong Huong Cake Shop. Next to stop 20 on the left. The side going up to the city, a stop away from north Richmond station. I love these dessert soups (that's what google translate calls them) though I'm really not sure how long ago they were made... as they were dusty... naturally the shop keeper says fresh today but I don't trust asians... (in terms of immigrant shop keepers). There are food safety rules that don't seem to apply to them...

How was it? Savory without the coconut milk which was sweet and oh so cool and creamy. Not enough corn though so I wouldn't get it again. Also it was freezer corn. For it to qualify to use the word corn in the title I believe it needs to be, the main/mostly contained ingredient to be corn.



Lunch at Il Mio Pasta Cafe, nope. Sofia in the city is our one line summary.

Tuesday




Tonight we went to an Illustration Workshop, Happy Houseplants. Hosted by Hannah Tyrell Designs at Soda Communications. We went through techniques, using fine liners, different pressures and tips on mix and matching plants, pots and designs. It was very relaxing (surprisingly even for me, as a maths person) and even I managed to draw a few decent ones. :P Hannah was great, very friendly and kept a good pace. Also with illustration workshops she also does watercolor ones!




Experimenting with Aldi's Stonemill Vanilla Extract, it's very liquidy - water like!


Back in the kitchen we made inadequate pb choc chip cookies, experimented with a mini cupcake pan but the top was cookie like while the bottom was wet so we had to flip them up-side-down. Our one day goals include making choc chip cookie cups!


*no pictures were taken* 

Dinner was a light salmon pasta, for a family of four... whoops. With a EV olive oil drizzle/based "sauce" it was very different from my usual tomato base. Would I make it again? Maybe. It was a very easy recipe though.

Wednesday

The best meetings involve cake! And this month's meet featured cupcakes from Cupcake Queens, a place we've recently heard about expanding now with six stores across Melbourne, with the South Melbourne being the newest location.

Fortunately within the team there's only one special person, and not a vegan, a gluten/dairy/sugar-free combo and so we ordered mostly normal ones along with dairy free. As a baker my basic ingredients are sugar and butter, and so I have never attempted dairy free cupcakes, though I'd imagine they involve apple sauce.

We shared a couple cupcakes:
Dairy free banana - Quite good for something that's dairy free, though denser than a cupcake leaning towards banana bread, it was still nice and moist the day after.
Dairy free choc - I didn't like this one, as it was dense  - though not dry.

Red velvet - Omg glitter!! With cream cheese frosting this one's a favorite! Quite fluffy, though not as much as cupcake central and little cupcakes. If I was close by and needed a cupcake I'd stop by!



A lovely evening at the bowl for a free MSO concert. I didn't finish the hat in time, but it'll be ready for the Saturday concert! We arrived a bit after 7pm, and it was fully packed though not sold out. Lines didn't stop till 8pm, so we sat back and watched the trail of ants. Got in during interval, and oh boy it was crowded! 


We simply had to go for Sleeping Beauty is my favorite ballet; followed by nutcracker and swan lake (though I have yet to see swan lake ). Paired with 1812 overture it was awesome! No actual canons though, just recordings. It was a hot summer's night, would I go again? Sure, but I'd sit far from the crowd on the side.


Friday



On Fridays we bake! And this time I let her pick the recipe. An Orange cake, a loaf cake that didn't rise evenly... we also forgot the poppy seeds and the frosting (cream cheese) was so runny it was more like a glaze. Next time we'll make it with the carrot cake frosting. Served warm it was beautiful, though still missing that poppy seed texture.



Coming up soon... our review on the Organic Butler Box... and...
Cupcakes Delivered! 

Saturday



Butternut Pumpkin Pasta! It's almost vegan and quite interesting.


Only when you're running late does all trains are replaced by buses. I missed three in a row. It saw me coming. Costs $50 to uber there. Three things away. Train train tram or tram bus tram. Fuuuccckkk. It is not my day. This is also why I don't think concert picnics. Life is stressful.


Two hours and six trams later I made it! For the last 15mins of the concert... Never again will we voluntarily travel when there are no trains. The planner said it was three trams away, though actually happened was, I took the tram in the wrong direction or ran to the train, hence missing the tram and then vice versa. 


Instead of a picnic in the park, it was a picnic in the playground surrounded by screaming little shits (one in particular, like he was just standing there, screaming). The plums and nectarines were good. 

Sunday


The Great Local Lunch. Vegetarian, vibrant and veggielicious! Great food, interesting company and one girl who was a bit of a vulture and refused to wait for me to take pictures, she also took my glass! But it's all about the food and not company. :P


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Charlie dined as a guest.
Wednesday 15th February



Summer Cocktails with Lillet's Presse Frose! 
Like an adult slushie but with wine, oh how fine!



A park by the sea, how lovely that'd be! In the concrete jungle out on the wharf comes a pop-up lawn boarded with white picket fences, red flowers, and green vines. There's a swing, lawn games and a bar! Just around the bend from DFO South Wharf it's the perfect spot for a drink after an afternoon of shopping!


Featuring Lillet, a French aperitif created by brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet in 1872 in the village of Podensac in Bordeaux. Made from 85% Bordeaux region wines (Semillon for the Blanc and for the Rosé, Merlot for the Rouge) and 15% liqueur with quinine and orange peel, Matured according to tradition in oak barrels. A lovely subtle blend of selected wines and fruit liqueurs! 

Served before a meal as an appetite stimulant, best served chilled (as you would a white wine) and can be enjoyed on its own over ice with optional orange slice, or in a cocktail. - Eat Love Savour


Rouge, Rose or Blanc? There's three fruity & fun cocktails to choose from.



The 'Presse' is a refreshing mix of rose, with lemon and grapefruit.
Served frozen like a slushie it's the perfect summer day's treat!

Live music in the background added to the relaxing vibes and we loved the nostalgic songs like 'The Tide is High' aka Lizzie McGuire theme song, our favourite show from middle school!





Lillet Blanc in particular is the perfect companion to appetizers such as smoked salmon, caviar, gruyere, and fresh fruit; though it's always a good idea to had food with drinks. There were oysters, chicken canapes, salmon on fried eggplant and my favourite - succulent juicy lamb ribs with a BBQ marinade! We'll definitively be returning to Common Man very soon!


Lillet Vine - Blanc based with tonic water, cucumber, strawberry and mint.
An upgrade from the classic combo for infused water after lunch!




Nothing says summer in the city like drinks by the water with a fruit platter! 
Except pineapple cups, though that's for a more on the beach, sand between our toes vibe.



Cocktails and Cheese! My absolute favourite feature at every party is always the perfect cheese platter, with seasonal figs and raisin toast which I've never thought to pair with cheese before! You haven't lived till you've tried raisin toast with blue cheese and muscat raisins in one bite!


Photo by Where To Tonight


Featuring a range of fun and fruity Lillet cocktails, the Lillet Secret Garden Pop Up Bar is open from noon and, here for a limited time only before turning into a outdoor cinema! Come on down for the perfect riverside spot for after shopping and/or pre-dinner drinks with Lillet!



Lillet, available in Rose, Rouge, and Blanc, and is avaliable at all Dan Murphy's stores, if you don't make it to the bar in time! We've also spotted at a quite a few dinner spots around the city!

Have you had a summer's worth of frose, in the sun with Lillet? It's not too late!


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Eat Local - Kopan Grill Japanese & Korean @ Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tuesday 20th September



In this little town, it's expensive. Though the trick is to go out for lunch, especially while you still can. As an adult who works 9-5pm you won't be able to sneak out for a leisurely meal. 

Kopan Grill - Korean & Japanese, just a block away from the station has been on our list since we first moved here, though we haven't gotten around it till now (yes a week-ish before moving houses). 




Lunch menus are awesome! For at Kopan from Tues-Fri 11.30am-3pm they have a lunch menu. More limited than the regular menu (which you can still order from) but cheaper than dinner!

Lunch ranges from $9.50 to about $13. They do have the same dishes available for dinner but you're looking at $15-ish dishes. Still a pretty good deal, especially as Miss Korea down the road is a bit more expensive. Options: dons (rice), curries (Jap style), udon and rice sets.



Our favourite table is by the window, the one with the best lighting!



These are 'main sets' which is your rice/meat/salad and a little entree, curry & rice, rice dishes (donburi) and udon. It's close to a bento, but not quite. They're $13 during lunch.



Bulgogi Set $13

On our first visit I had the set with Bulgogi (wiki says it is a Korean dish that usually consists of grilled marinated beef... in  a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, pepper, and other ingredients) which included rice, salad, edamame and a cube of tofu!

Bulgogi was what the friendly Korean waiter recommended when I asked a marinated beef dish. Well balanced with a soy base with a hint of sweetness, it was high quality and delicious. Yes I most definitely would get this dish again.



The tofu was deep fried with a crumb, sitting on a small dollop of Kewpie mayo with a drop of plum sauce on top. Small but delicious and the perfect sized!




Bio guy ordered the 'Beef Udon $12' which he consumed every last spoonful. 


In the background 'Kissing You' by Desire played. What a coincidence! For there's a 20th Anniversary Romeo & Juliet Concert we're going to later this week.



Thursday 29th September


Back again in the same week! The rush to tick things to go see/do/eat before moving houses! Luckily we're just moving two station/trams away.

Bio guy absolutely loved the udon he had the other day and highly recommended it. So this time I had the beef udon ($12) and he had the Sukiyaki ($11).



Sukiyaki $11 - Kinda like a beef don dish

"While the flavours were well balanced it wasn't outstanding (like the udon) but pleasant." - Lab partner. It is very odd to describe food as pleasant... What he means is that while it was good it wasn't as amazing as the udon, which over the course of a couple visits we have declared our favourite!




Beef Udon $12

Well marinated beef sprinkled with herb particles, atop springy udon noodles with a side of spinach, sitting in a hearty broth full of flavour. It was absolutely delicious! Three simple elements made into an all-time favourite! I'd get this again and recommend it! 



Wednesday 16th November




Beef Udon $11 

We're had dons, udon and now the finial dish before sharing a review. We'll of course be back as bio partner still lives up the street, and we're two stops away. But it's the last post for a comprehensive review.

A curry with a huge serving of rice and that same delicious bulgogi beef. Oh how I love that beef! Lite n' Easy beef to me is chewy and not exactly the best cut, so I order beef when I dine out. Japanese curries aren't hot like Indian ones, instead they're thicker and leans towards soupy but still thicker. There's a lot more rice than you can see, so this dish is the best value for money. It's quite good, not too salty.




Service was very friendly and prompt. With the restaurant being small, like most of the independent restaurants on main street, the deco is minimalistic to not overwhelm the cozy gallery like space.

Tip: Visit for lunch and sit by the window on the left side (in this picture). Best spot for lighting. That's what we love about lunch, great deals and lighting!

Where is it? On the block uphill from Camberwell Station, cloest to platform 3.

When's lunch? Tues-Fri 11.30am-3pm

What to order? That beef udon!!




What's your go to place for udon? Or any local gems? 
Do you have a favourite lunch spot, that has great lunch offers?

Kopan Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Earlier this year the Arts Center held an exhibition of Kylie Minogue (Australia's most well known singer, naturally an export as all famous people are here) and we took some pictures to share for those of you at home. I love the blue star dress, how amazing would it be as a ballgown?!

























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