Ras Dashen Ethiopian in Footscray @ Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Tuesday 24th May
Ras Dashen. Dinner out west, our third and final African restaurant in this series.
The only African restaurant out west with atmosphere! Warm lighting, a bar, hut deco style with kitsch decor, relevant things and then xmas baskets with things in them hanging on the wall.
While small and very cozy if full, there was actually another group of other patrons which is more than any other African place we've been to in this area. Normally when we're there on a Tuesday night, there's no one around.
What we ordered, I always like the platters, they look so much more fun and vibrant then ordering say just a bowl of rice. And you always get to try a few different things.
No.10. Soup/Fitfot - Beef and vegies soup served with bread or injera $12
5. Misto, a combo of x and y served as one dish, with x beong no.3 Khey Wot, spicy beef stew cooked in chili sauce and no.4 Alicha Wot, mild beef stew cooked with no chili
Jas picked two beef dishes, which this time was fully cooked. Spiced and filling. The darker one (no.3) had more spices and flavors, a little bit hot but nothing you'd need lots of water to accompany.
The two main dishes (beef and soup) was served with a garden salad, three wedges of lemon and four rolls of x bread. A white one which was sweeter and a darker more sour one. We both liked the first one which was closer to our white bread (think Wonder White).
I order the vegetable soup with beef. A generic soup alas. Till I bit the chili and sculled a pint of water, that was a surprise! Some pistachio ice cream would have been perfect then.
Service was very good, from the owner himself who was friendly, though he'd forgotten about the drinks we ordered. That or we were meant to pick them from the fridge ourselves.
Out of the three African places this had the best atmosphere (the others had none) and jas said caters for us as there were forks and spoons. :P African food is traditionally eaten with your hands, though the Tudors did that too. There was no pasta so no forks required.
Based on things we ate this is his favorite, I'm not sure as at the first two places I ordered the same dish and so expect the third to be similar had if I'd ordered the platter. But I can say the sizes were bigger and cheap at the first place as oppose to the second. We'll be back for the platters maybe. With the semester almost over we'll be moving back to the city.
Have you experienced African Cuisine? Which dishes would you recommend?
The Final Week of Semester @ Monday, May 30, 2016
Monday 23rd May
The ending for Castle totally sucked. Over in less than a minute, two two hour build up. The big bad was a guy we met exactly once, and in this season too. His motives? Unknown. It wasn't anything like the red john reveal, but then again the first big bad (Braken) was already killed off, and Caskette got their happy ending, it should have ended before astle's random missing time.
A study day, procrastination extraordinary I struggled to start, the start is always the hardest. Luckily I has a box of brownies to motivate me! Best washed down with a glass of milk. To me brownies are dense cakes, and so I'm not a fan, that is until we discovered there are "three basic types of brownies, depending on their texture: a) fudgy brownies, that are dense, b) cake-like brownies, that resemble the texture of cake, and c) chewy brownies, a cross between fudgy and cakey" - My Little Expat Kitchen.
Ed Dixon makes them fudgy, grab a plate as they're sure to collapse between your fingers. Being rich chocolaty goodness one is enough (till tomorrow :P).
A couple years ago in my early college days we experimented with the perfect fluffy cupcake recipe, which I almost mastered (just a bit oily). From similar series here's a guide to brownies.
Ras Dashen. Dinner our west, our third and final African restaurant. The only African restaurant out west with atmosphere! There was no dessert, but I bought the brownies with me (one for me, one for the love of my life that loves brownies, and one to share).
A trip to the spa, shopping and theatre (to buy tickets). After finals treats, though we've learnt life shouldn't be on hold for too long.
Using giftcards I bought a nice red bag for $14! Was $120-ish, down to $80. It's big and fits everything except a big water bottle, and clipboard. It even has a shoulder strap! Though a thin belt like one. I have a matching belt to this bag. :P
The theatre is $$$ and our budget is $$, so we're waiting for rush ticket offers towards the end of the year. Though for Matilda you can get $55 tickets for restricted view, it's a pole not pillar. $55 cash in person sounds good!
I am not a morning person, but if there's cake I'll be there! Morning tea at South Melbourne Market in support of the Cancer Council. Australia's Biggest Morning Tea.
The bald guy won a hair straightener, the woman before me a candy basket, and I won tickets for golfing towards Castlemaine. Jas gets them, as he loves his road trips. On the condition he brings me back cheese :P
Would have loved to swamp for a hair straightener though. There were also market vouchers and various services like nails, I'd prefer something I'd use, but I'm delighted to win all the same.
The table centerpiece was a beautiful bouquet, each different with a colourful native theme. For $5 you could take them home. I sat alone so they were mine, though a woman tried to get them from me, she was very unfriendly. No she didn't succeed. There were many communal tables, where I'd assume the person closest got to keep them.
It was a lovely event, for a great cause.
Back to school, but first lets get our make-up done! So a recap so far this week we've had our hair down (trim and basic blow wave), had a facial and now we're going makeup. We also went shopping, bought theatre tickets and went to the opera (later tonight). Despite everything being due we're having a good week.
Presentations were fine. I didn't stumble too much, but did do 1,000 miles an hour.
Two down only one thing left, due tomorrow. What shall we do tonight? There's a networking event on, though for people in the industry in a capacity that gives them influence in planning events, a guitar recital or... a $30 performance!
It's a new promo from the Arts Center. Kinda like rush tickets, there's only 20 (10 people can buy x2 each). So get in early! I got there at 5.45 and was 5th in line. Hoping to get similar tickets for Swan Lake. Grandpa in his 80s beside me was a singer, a busker who did it for pleasure, and sung in nursing homes, with a repertoire of over 360 songs! Wished I could sing, but no I'm actually musically challenged - I think. Am I?
My first music teacher excluded me from class, the first of many teachers who would, and I suppose it's kinda ruined it for me, and given me the perception that I'm challenged? That or no one ever taught me, though le beau was quite persistent. My art teacher, the second one also excluded me, though I still love art. The first art teacher was very tall was glasses and flaxen hair, she spoke in a gentle quiet voice and I thought she was an angel.
Subtitles in the sky...
Tonight's show was an opera, Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers). It was an enjoyable opera, though not one on my list. Jas recommends it while I'm on the fence, as it's not a must see for me, but at $30 count me in!
The last project was handed in today, only twice over the word count, whoops. Fingers crossed I passed. I failed last time, not because I didn't do the work, but because I failed in my performance.
May have accidentally bought a dress. Remember that when it says RRP it is the business who recommends their own damn price, how much they want to sell it for, not how much it's actually worth (material + labor). A dress was $250, down to $45. I like it but don't love it and have to get it taken up in multiple places, but still I bought it. Whoops. To me it was worth more like $30.
Off to the theatre tonight to see Tennessee Williams's 'The Glass Menagerie' (1944) . If the name sounds familiar it's because he wrote A Streetcar Named Desire (1947). It was very very good and the actress who plays the mother won an award.
Tonight's performance was Urinetown. It's about what you'd assume from the name. A satire musical referencing to politics and things like that. Not my style.
Our favourite charaters were the cops, sidekick and the narrator, who we've seen before last year in Thoroughly Modern Milly, as the singer.
Mass During Wartime was today's performance, at Monash.
How was your week? How are you spending SWOT VAC? :P
11pm Dinners @ Father's Office @ Sunday, May 29, 2016
Saturday 16th March
Dinner happened a bit after midnight, when coming from a party it's not normal to be starving, but the one we came from promised the usual but failed to deliver.
As we were still in the 20s theme and it was after 11pm Father's Office's was the place to dine. Let's get this party started was playing followed by I wanna dance with somebody who loves me. It's rare that places play music I like.
The new after 11pm menu. *click to enlarge*
The after 11pm half price menu has changed, damn I regret not buying lots of meals to freeze. It has become smaller, more limited with no more $13 rib eye and salmon. I love that salmon dish. With none of my favourites on the menu it was the perfect chance to try something new.
Something else new was the change in lighting. No more warm glow (yes!) more white lighting, less atmosphere but better for my photo. :P
Giant field mushroom, stuffed with macadamia and goats cheese $6.
When this arrived I thought it was dessert, being brown and potentially a chocolate cake. I was famished and ordered a three course meal after midnight, I also don't recall what some of the ingredients are.
It's a mix of macadamia and something else mixed up and laid out on top of a mushroom, sitting on a bed of leaves (basil?) with bits of goats cheese and cherry tomatoes garnishing the plate, and a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The dressing complimented the saltiness of the goats' cheese and the textures of smooth beautiful mushroom and the nuts.
Beef Taco Platter $12
Shredded beef served with salsa, guacamole, sour cream, jalapenos and five soft tortillas.
There is no way this platter is worth $24 normally! Pulled beef with a mild marinade, twice as much as needed for five tacos. While the jars are cute these were tiny and I really need a bowl of sour cream and salsa. Tiny jars held enough for two tacos, while there was enough beef for ten tacos! We really need to work on proportions. But other than that it was a very warm filling meal, a bit simple and hot (spicy). I'd like to add black beans.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake $4
Smooth pb baked cheesecake topped with a dark chocolate glaze.
I love cake, cheesecake too. Done in a NY style it was dense and beautiful though a bit too much for one person after an entree and main. I really enjoyed the richness of it though, and it was served with cream and a strawberry. At $8 normally this is still worth it.
A three course meal for $22, bargain! Father's Office always does great food, with the best prices after 11pm Wed-Sun. Even better on weekends as there's all night trains. We got home a bit after 2am.
The menu has changed and we've said goodbye to my beautiful cherry tart and other desserts, and hello pb cheesecake, vegan red velvet cake and caramel/nutella pie, among other newbies.
Saturday 23rd April
Whole crumbed tas. Camembert w beetroot chutney and crusty bread $7
Cheese on toasted brioche/baguette slides with something special to mix it up. Creamy with vinegary but sweet beetroot. Struggles with a tiny jar.
Fish and Chips $10.50
Seasonal white fish lightly coated in rosemary and ginger batter,
shallow fried. Served with shoestring fries and tartare sauce.
In hindsight I only wanted a quarter of this dish, but got two huge pieces of fish fried nicely with lots of chips, the freezer kind. Though for $10 I'm not fused. These were pretty good and I'd get them again.
Louisiana Wings - Creole spiced crumb, shallow fried with housemade chipotle mayo $10
Jas ordered the chicken wings which were nice, but we need more sauce preferably not a jar with a tiny opening! The crumb contained dry herbs and spices which weren't hot, with the chipotle giving it a kick.
Red Velvet Cake $4
Vegan, dairy free and gluten free. A light and fluffy red velvet cake
filled with fresh vegan cream cheese frosting.
What is it made of? Apple sauce, almond milk and rice/almond flour? This cake wasn't light, it was dense and weird. However the frosting didn't hurt my teeth as it normally does. I'm going to say I don't like it though because I prefer my perfectly fluffy cheese/buttercream cupcakes.
A three course dinner may not be the best idea at midnight, but it was very good as always. It's our favourite spot after a trip to the theatre on a Saturday night. The kitchen closes at 1am, so depending on what time you get there, you might want to order everything in one shot.
Will we be back? Yes, as always, though less frequent due to the reduced menu.
Burger Project @ St. Collins Lane @ Thursday, May 26, 2016
Thursday 19th May
There's a new shopping center in town? Necessary? No, there's already four of them (Melb Central, QV, Emporium, and Kino). But it's there, and with it comes international brands and one food joint - so far.
Burger Project, open 11am till 9pm with the 9pm restriction applied due to location.
We don't normally seek out recently opened places, but this one fit the theme of the night.
Dinner and show, we're off to see
The Burger Project has been one of the newest burger joints in town, recently opening a couple weeks ago at St Collins Lane (the new shopping center, with about 10 shops open).
Fast Food, Slow Food Values is what they're about, using patties made from 100% Grass fed beef sourced from Cape Grim Tasmania with no added hormones, no antibiotics, just happy healthy cows.
With winter around the corner, wet days come often, refreshing. That or I have a fever.
Lines weren't too long at 6pm, early for dinner though most tables were taken (tables designated for the burger place, there's plenty more tables not pictured). We came for takeaway, though couldn't resist stopping to take pictures as they have great overhead lighting. A light directly above each table!
Classic $9 - Grass fed beef, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce
We had the classic with a secret sauce? Either it was a dab of sauce or there was none. Had to stop at McD to get some. The bun was sweet but not super soft, overall disappointingly average. I prefer YOMG and motorhome. Though our favourite is forever Huxtaburger with Breadtop-like buns.
Dinner for $20. Most people would sub out the soft serve for a milkshake.
Chips (Regular) $3.50
The chips were about the salt rather than dipping. Being a chicken we picked normal salt :P There's also a chipotle chilli salt and sichuan pepper salt. Also a $1.50 dip with bacon. Not much to say here, they were good but nothing amazing.
Bounty Hunter Ice Cream $6 - Yum! Vanilla ice cream, quite soft serve like. With good quality Valrhona chocolate sauce that froze like ice magic, merged with toasted coconut and sprinkled with meringue bits.
Would we return? Only for dessert. Overall was quite average, not sure what's with the crowds other than it's new. All shiny and new I think is what gets people through the doors. Kinda disappointed really, as I expected it to be amazing.
Have you been to the Burger Project? Thoughts?
Hi. I'm Charlie. Capricorn. ISFJ. An Events Planner. An American, San Franciscan in Melbourne.
This is a blog about food, events, desserts, hot chocolate & cupcakes, shopping, and the occasional beauty product review in between. A lifestyle blog by an American in Melbourne.
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