Local Eats - Sardi Cafe @ Sunday, April 30, 2017
Friday 21st April
Turns out I'm 1km from Sardi Cafe! It's at the end of my street and around the corner, though uphill so we trammed it. While I have never heard of this place according to the chats it's a very popular lunch spot in a residential area (there is nothing but houses around, like the ascot food store). Highly sort after made popular by bloggers as they were all invited to dine there. That is how you attract attention, though it doesn't impress me.
At 1pm on a Friday the place was bustling and full, business meetings, the office cafe and locals dropping by for a coffee. And us dropping by in between meetings.
Brekky Board $17.5 (+$2 for matcha latte upgrade) = $20
granola parfait, croissant w. jam, pea & haloumi fritter w poached egg & coffee
Gosh I don't know what to order being not a breakfast person, I want the choc dip waffles for food porn, but it's something that feeds the eye and not much else. In hindsight I want the 'Banana Bread French Toast w. mascarpone, maple roasted pears, salted caramel & almond crumble 16.' but still recovering from surgery my brain is fried. We after the waitress for recommendations, granola wasn't a good idea. Soft white bread dipped in cheese with avo was more what I was after (but obviously didn't occur to me at the time).
Matcha Green Tea Latte $4.50
We went for the signature matcha latte, I like my drinks like my men, not bitter and very sweet. Prominent matcha, creamy and perfect after a couple tablespoons of sugar, though it leaves me wondering how palm sugar would go, or condense milk. It's quite strong, much more than the blendy sticks.
There's an extensive brunch time drinks menu with all the teas/coffees/juices/smoothies and shakes! Still no coconut water though.
Pea & haloumi fritters w poached egg - The fritter with the perfect size for a sliders with beautiful yolk porn! Good though missing that special something, perhaps onion relish? It was a bit ordinary.
SARDI Granola - oats, buckinis, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, coconut flakes, hazelnuts & almonds toasted in coconut oil & honey W. coconut yoghurt & rhubarb compote
The parfait was better with all the textures, flavours and jazz sweetened with dried fruit. Dry almonds. It was quite a workout for my jaw, not recommended a week after dental surgery. If you like granola I'd definitely recommend this. I've never actually had
Lastly for lunch dessert/a sweet treat we had a mini croissant, so cute! Served with strawberry jam I'd like to add some cream too. I couldn't figure out how to slice it in half as it was so soft flaky pastry and a bit on the oily side.
While the space is quite small especially for how popular they are, there's more seats in the back. I'd imagine there would be lines on the weekend.
Overall it was good though nothing amazing, no rush. Unless you're here for those choc dip waffles which would be doughy like the American/Belgian ones rather than my preferred light and crispy from Black Ball.
Back from Dental Rehab. @ Friday, April 28, 2017
Friday 21st April
We're back! Sorta, Day 8 if I drop something on the floor its gone, I can't look up or down. It hurts. But not enough to stop us from going out for brunch! Though brunch turns out to be lunch, as we fluffed about (a specialty). I wasn't planning to go to the city but we were summoned.
Brunching. Muesli was a bad idea...
Is that an olive tree?
Back to the house to pick up my certificate in a gold cylinder then of to job interview I epically failed. There was a panel of 3 and the questions were hard... over to MRP we picked up a plain white night dress, for an art project. Down to Fed Sq for a free tuna toastie, yum! It was dark and I had a lot of bags, pictures didn't happen. Back up to Lindt, there isn't anything but filled choc eggs at lindt, they're very good though at $1 each, the white choc is less sweet than usual.
Back to the house by 7pm, the shortest city trip we've had! We were going to make cake when we when we had an episode. I felt as if sparks could fly out from my finger tips with blind range. Someone had stolen my egg! It was the last egg required for the cake!
And that is how we ended up having dinner at 11pm, and making cake at 1am.
Met up with bio guy for a dinner at 10pm (on a Friday) though almost everyone was closed except grill'd in the small town! We sneaked through the door minutes before the sign was flipped, and were lucky to order takeaway. Curry Camp closes at 9.30pm almost always - so early for me! But fine for a small town.
Bio guy made cake, it failed as the mixture separated into two layers instead of the one. This time we didn't line the tin on the sides and that worked out quite well, in that the sides didn't fold in.
$7 of Fruit
To market we went, probably not worth it unless you plan to buy lots or just happen to be in the area though. We sat back and observed the pros do it. Bought 7 lady finger bananas for $2 and 3 boxes of figs (pretty good ones, a mix of B & C grade) for $5! We stalked them as they were 2 for $5 at first. There was lots of green stuff and mushrooms and apples sold by the bag.
Bio guy is ridiculus, and has a distain (not fear) of trams so we took quite a hike to dinner, while rejuvinanted him. Like a dog he'd do anyything for food. There isn't much more to him than food and video games. *sigh*
We ordered a meal to share, chicken, chips and salad. Everything was delicious! This was at Kuku Mama, which we love to visit on Tuesdays before a movie, though today is Saturday.
Train and bus to Monash, we made it! 6.30pm Windsor to 7.30pm Monash Clayton. The HMS pinafore was well worth the trip! Yes I've seen it before but this is a show I'd like to see every time it comes to town.
Daniel's Doughnuts located near Spotlight is open 24/7! Part of the not so trendy towns being more upcoming, like GW. $3 donuts we shared the salted caramel which wasn't anywhere near as sweet as expected! And the custard with a fake lemon myrtle taste. Light and fluffy these are true donuts.
Bloggers' Event @ Okra Restaurant @ Thursday, April 27, 2017
Charlie & Co. dined as guests of Your Social Chef and Okra.
Thursday 20th April
Local gems are here are there, though like a diamond they may be hard to find among all the rhinestones of food porn which look spectacular but taste just like sugar, carbs laden full of artificial colours. From a local gem to hatted restaurant (chef’s hat in the 2016 Gault Millau guide), Okra "blends Thai, Malaysian, and Indonesian dishes into an irresistible Southeast Asian fusion menu" and has been featured in The Age Good Food Guide every year since opening 16 years ago in 2001, and it's not hard to see why.
Hosted by the man behind Okra, Lawrence and Mark of Your Social Chef we were introduced to a delicious array of delights that Okra has to offer.
While Okra looks small it's actually much larger than it appears with seats that go right to the back of the long house shaped restaurant, and there's more seats and a function room upstairs.
The function room upstairs.
Casava crackers & sambal chilli sauce
Khanom jeep - steamed chicken dumplings with yoghurt, soy and aioli
Sate sapi dan ayam - grilled satay beef and chicken skewers
Tangy oyster baked with a tangy salsa
Yum nua yang - thai eye fillet beef salad
Loh bak - beancurd rolls with five-spice pork
Tumis balachan with okra – chilli shrimp paste, fried shallots
This is Okra's namesake and signature dish, though I can't say I'm an okra fan, as it is quite seedy an slimy! Perhaps if you grew up eating it you'd like it though.
Pla sam rod - crispy whole snapper with tamarind, chilli, onion and garlic
While everything was amazing, this one this was the real highlight (of the mains). Fresh snapper with a thai marinade, that contrast of sweet, tangy tamarind with aromatic garlic & onion, though there's so much more to it than just the ingredients listed.
Served with coconut rice it was the bomb! This dish alone sees us returning! Oh and on size, this dish serves at least two. Surprisingly you could order this takeaway too, which we shall do.
Ayam bakar - Indonesian style grilled chicken
Lamb curry special with homemade roti chanai
In comparison to everything else we had the lamb curry paled, though normally holds its own light, being a classic winter dish. Mopped up with fresh, light and beautiful roti chanai. The flavours hit the right notes, the balance of creamy, spicy without being hot. I loved the eggplant which soaked up all the flavours.
We're on our way to over indulging, though the secret is just to eat a little of everything (except the salad, I totally devoured that), or run. Room for dessert? Always!
Dessert Platter (Perfect Sampling for 3-4 People)
Sago pudding tapioca topped with gulaa melaka and coconut cream (circle)
Sticky black rice with palm sugar syrup (square)
Durian, green tea, jackfruit and vanilla ice cream
What do you pick when you can't decide? A bit of everything to share! A fusion of a platter with fruits, ice cream and two classics.
Served warm the sticky rice and sago pudding covered in a coconuty caramel custard was creamy and with just the right sweetness, the contrast of textures and temperatures was a delight to the taste buds.
The real highlight was the durian ice cream, made in house unfortunately you can't buy this by the pint *devastated, hook me up if you know a durian dealer* using Musang King Durian this is the real deal. But if durian isn't for you there's a mid-strength green tea, and the classic vanilla.
A burst of flavour and delights summons up our evening at Okra tonight. Small bites with big flavour, everything from entrees to dessert was superb! While prices reflect the area and quality it is well worth the price.
Our recommendations? The oysters, satay skewers, and fish if we had to pick our top three. But lets add the salad and roti to the must try list as sides.
Located opposite the Rivoli Movies near Camberwell Junction, Okra's easy to get to with ample parking. On Sundays Okra offers a Malaysian Hawker style feast, with mains from $13 with a large variety to choose from, almost all the dishes are under $20 too. We can't wait to return soon!
Dental Hell Quater - Wisdom Teeth x General Anesthesia @ Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday 13th April
Special needs teeth, let's make a side entrance!
Arrival & Prep
The day has come. For dental surgery. We arrived at 7.40am, shortly after waiting for less than 15mins we saw the surgeon. Then the anesthesiologist (suited up), nurses then a 3rd nurse - four people.
The first few talked about what's happening, some paperwork then with the food loving nurse we were given a gown or two and locker. The gown is typical hospital sheet material and then there's a stripey school uniform inspired one. You could op to BYO outer gown which we did, highly recommend as it adds a calm (just makes you slightly less stressed). Note - wear easy slip on shoes, no heels or gladiator laces.
We (I, this was a solo journey) were given mouthwash that was so hot it burnt the sides of my tongue! Yes I do find toothpaste hot, it's a recent thing, I've used the same toothpaste for years. With our stuff in the locker we moved to the waiting room. Do not communicate with the others! Like exam stress it's contagious. Horror stories and stories of volcanic eruption - in your mouth!
It's very bright in here...
Up next we were led to a very brightly lit room, a huge one for the requirements, nothing like on Grey's Anatomy. Bigger and brighter, and less people. We took off our shoes and robe. Potentially flipped over the table (me, not the table) but we asked for help and got a step. The table was small, and I'm 5"!
A delightful warm thing was placed on my, a blanket idea but those air bags used to pad parcels to post, constantly blowing with warm air! Now all I need was a puppy!
The anesthesiologist checked my blood pressure then stuck something in my hand, an iv drip. That actually really hurt!! Its now 10-12hrs later and that still was the most pain I've endurance this round. Hurts more than a blood test. A month on there's still a mark on my hand.
Gas mask application, yucky air. Not food tastes.. was hoping for cinnamon buns (I'm after Accutes candle in that scent). Feeling sleepy? A little though I crashed like nothing even before.
Daniel? I saw him. That's all I remember...
I see a window. We didn't walk towards the light, I asked where's Daniel. He's gone...
In in a bed, sides up. Is this the same one? It's lower and the yellow airbag is a blanket (that's not yellow). A bit dizzy and my brain is as slow as my phone... *naps*.
Up again groggy. Drank the cordial. What is this? Drinks of my childhood but no more. Tastes like red jelly cups. My tastes have advanced. Haven't had cordial since bank home.
Blood everywhere, oh joy. On the railings, blankets, robe and me.
Oh gawd I need sunglasses and earplugs! I can hear children's program on tv, so loud and much! Yes like me, but not right now.
Craving key lime pie. Of all the desserts in Melbourne I picked a rare one... I haven't even thought about key lime this month. Completely out of the blue, we were closed to pavs - which I can eat!
Got dressed and moved to the discharge room with recliner, and tv ughh. What we need is a quiet place. Another blood pressure test, we were given info on meds and ready to go. Sore throat...
The smell of bananas makes me feel sick and like I'm going to throw up.
No one has key lime pie, not even MD... City driving really isn't a good idea.
Bought meds and some no chew hospital food. Nutrition/carb loading.
A couple doors down was Review! They said I can't go shopping on the same day, but I did it! Found a $54 black skirt for dance! Ok for work too, it flows. Only one of the two dresses I wanted was one sale, there's no more free postage if you buy in stores via transfer. :( We've got cherries on white, hoping to swap for black on the forums.
Surprisingly aldi had key lime pie! More like lemon, it really needs that blow torched Meringue top.
8pm Home! Still numb.
1.30am. Bed. More like pins and needles
What I ate: dry expensive coconut cake (from Safeway, not bought by me) mixed with passion fruit sorbet (aldi $1 single serve). Pitango orange soup (didn't like it) and pie filling. No crust.
Day 2 - My face is puffy and feels funny... eating soup but isn't not enough... I need more. Wanting all these things I can't have like... spaghetti meatballs, fish and chip and nuggets. Things I love (?) though don't crave too often
Had a jelly drink which made me itchy!! It was one of Yeo's.
Can't bend more than 30 degrees or get anything on the ground, hurts jaw...
This is what I looked like, the girl in yellow and green. Blob faced.
My face is puffy!! And it hurts/feels funny. The day was spent hiding in bed/procrastinating. We got up by 10pm but by 2am I felt a bit dizzy and disoriented and had a lie down...
Day 4 - Hibernation
11 Days Later - It still hurts a little when I move my head, shoes are a struggle as well as using the dishwasher
3-4 Weeks Later - It hurts on and off, week 3 check up said it was bit inflamed and to take more anti-inflammatory stuff.
We loved Pitango's soup range, though some are better than others (less watery).
Banh Mi @ Nhu Lan (Richmond) @ Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Tuesday 11th April
This looks interested, though doesn't come in chicken, pork only.
*click to enlarge*
At 5pm it was dead, though we hope still fresh. Back when I was at school (I graduated in 2011) rolls were $4 though these days they're $5. With complimentary pate.
We had the onion chicken, in that soft on the inside and crunchy bread roll that nhu lan is known for. Unfortunately it wasn't as crunchy as expected but I'm willing to give it another shot.
How long ago were these made?
We also ordered the pain au raisin which was a mistake. Instead of been crispy it was floppy and a dud, nothing remotely like Agatha's amazing pastries. I'm very iffy about asian bakeries to be honest, because the rules that apply to us don't seem to apply to them. In that second day baked goods need to be discounted/clearly labelled or just not sold.
Asian snacks, homemade, we often see them in quite a few asian shops.
The glutenous rice was a favorite as always, made off site delivered to some bakeries and shop, like the dessert soups. They range $3-$4.50, and some are more popular/rare than other.
Service was minimal, though adequate.
Two Interviews & Three Shows @ Monday, April 17, 2017
Monday 10th April
Job interview. We got lost, uber maps wasn't great either... fortunately others were late too. Train, bus and uber. The position is for marking standardized tests, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy 2017 (Naplan). Le beau and the teachers hate this test, as it ranks you against others in the state. Not how good you are, but how good you are compared to others. - That is life, most of the time.
It's ok not to be smart, some kids have other gifts, but this test is a downer if you're not an academic. This test is hard, how do you do well on it? Have a tutor who specifically trained you for this test.
Update - I got the job.
Lunch at Samurai end of day specials onion pancake $4, it's huge! This is a snack for two, it was good though got boring and was thicker than usual, oven baked it was a healthy choices beside the deep fried goodness and oily noodles.
A day at the office, an interview, crashing and three shows. All in a day, I like to make the most of my time left. I always thought the best compliment was "You're so pretty!" (Which I rarely ever hear, I'm not pretty but I have a great wardrobe and stuff, very materialistic). But then someone said something to me, a line that I've given but never received: you remind me of me when I was younger.
Update - Didn't get the job, but made it to round 2 interviews.
On the way to the shows we stopped for a quick and cheap dinner at Nhu Lan. While we're a regular at their Footscray store for years, we've never been to the Richmond one.
Three shows a night, that's what efficiently looks like. Unfortunately the first two shows were dud, though tickets were $5. The first made plenty of sex jokes and had the big o on stage. Nope. The second was a talk show host, he had no idea what he was doing.
Meanwhile at City Hall.
My last day of real food, till next Thursday (we've got dinner booked ).
Turns out you can't take pictures at the pool?! I was shooting a donut, if I wanted skin I'd go outside on a Friday night. People wear more to the pool than clubbing.
Temptation is everywhere. I need help. Chatime, the premium with pearls $5.50, the classic with black tea and light chewy tapioca pearls that have a hit of sweetness. They aren't though marbles of rubber I recall back home. Service was great from Kidson who made an attempt to look me up (forgot the card, as I didn't plan on going out today). At 11.30am it was very quiet. Quieter than Starbucks ever.
The day has come. For dental surgery. No pictures were taken before I wasn't fully mentally there and doubt I could have sneaked a camera into surgery, also there was blood everywhere.
They said I can't go shopping on the same day, but I did it! Found a $54 black skirt for dance! Ok for work too, it flows. Only one of the two dresses I wanted was one sale, there's no more free postage if you buy in stores via transfer. :( We've got cherries on white, hoping to swap for black on the forums.
Surprisingly aldi had key lime pie! More like lemon, it really needs that blow torched meringue top. Hospital food is gross, I do wonder how it compares to aeroplane food. A week of rest has been prescribed, but that doesn't stop us from catching up on adventures!
Student Lunch @ Pepper Lunch, Glenferrie @ Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday 4th April
It took three visits for us to find the pepper in pepper lunch XD our first visit to the Glenferrie branch just up the road from the house. Lured by the student deals we ordered the $7 beef dish. We've had the higher end ones and loved them, and so were interested in ordering what the average person might, to get a full review.
Check out our last visit to Pepper Lunch here.
The Glenferrie restaurant is located on the main street around the corner from the station and Swinburne, hence a student town with quite a few student deals we'll cover before the next big move.
Student deals available 11am - 5pm, perfect for a late lunch!
With the typical terrace style that's popular for houses in the area, it's small but front but goes far back. Everything looks deceptively small from the outside.
Self serve filtered water, hot and chilled.
Served in polystyrene cups. We prefer plastic but it's ok.
That's a very small fireplace. There's plenty of seats as the restaurant is a long house in style. My favorite spot? For lunch by the reclusive fireplace and by the window with no view. Great for lighting!
Loving these sauce toppers, so practical.
How to cook your food, part of the fun.
Student Deal Beef $7
Rice with corn, beef and an egg. As basic as it gets. The beef was chewier than I'm used to (though my love does call me a princess) though fine. Jas says it's similar to in japan as it's not always super tender, as I'm used to.
There wasn't soy sauce but there's garlic and a sweet sauce along with salt and pepper.
On its own the dish was bland with just pepper for seasoning, we need butter miso.
Though there's potential. Crispy rice was a delight to discover the first time!
This is as basic as it gets, it's also my go to dish in my first year at the boarding house (meals were provided, but there's a play kitchen too. And a division where you'd roaster the kitchen with students). Would I get this dish again? No as I've had it so many times I'm ready to level up! And have through my food journey. But this dish takes us back to basics.
Service was minimal and prompt, no card minimum and instructions in how to cook your dish is on the table. I was given a spoon, rather than knife and fork till I requested one.
We'll be back for? Dessert! Absolutely I love their soft serves.
Have you had lunch at Pepper lunch? What's your favourite cheap eat in town?
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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