Maze by Gordan Ramsay

As both of us aren’t much of Hell’s Kitchen people, we arrived with no expectations and weren’t sure of what the lunch would be like here but the beautiful light lunch we were served was a perfect way to end our stay in Melbourne. Maze located in the new Crown Metropol, was a little hard to find (the only entrance we could find was through the taxi arrivals).

Upon arrival we were served drinks while waiting in the cushy lounges while they readied our table. We opted for the 4 Course lunch for $49 and soon enough we were served complimentary bread with seaweed butter. I couldn’t really taste the seaweed but the salty butter was delicious with the bread – now I love my carbs so I always have to stop myself from eating too much bread.
Lunch was off to an amazing start, my Yellow fin tuna tartar was pretty to look at and was light and refreshing. I loved everything about this dish – the tuna was fresh, the radish gave it a crunch and yuzu how I’ve missed you. Bill’s Smoked eel and local green asparagus on a bed of pressed apple was lovely and subtle, I think I’m starting to have a taste for eel now.
The slow cooked octopus was tender and very flavorsome with the chorizo and grilled capcisum but paled in comparison to the “Tête de cochon” which Bill had for his next course. The Tête de cochon was a crispy on the outside and revealed a tender pork terrine inside which matched well with the watermelon it came atop. Both of our 3rd courses were equally amazing. I had the Pan roasted John Dory a beautiful piece of fish, the flesh was soft and flaked at the touch hidden underneath a super crispy skin. It also came with a pumpkin mash which I loved. My favourite dish of the lot though was the Crispy roast pork belly which Bill ordered. The tender pork surrounded by a beautiful dashi broth was the dish of our day. For dessert I couldn’t go past the pannacotta and chose the coconut and white chocolate pannacotta with black olive caramel which sounded unusual but I’ll give it a try. I really enjoyed eating the pannacotta with the black olive caramel and mango granita and felt the pannacotta was missing something when I finished all the caramel. It also came with a small olive and rosemary friand which I strangely enjoyed – I’ve only recently started to like olives.  The other dessert choice was the Madagascan chocolate "jaffa" which came with puffed rice YUM!

I loved the light lunch at Maze and were pleasantly surprised by the Japanese influences, which could be why it appealed to my tastes so much. Maze offers an affordable lunch in a relaxed atmosphere, an airy space with high ceilings and a lot of natural light. I’d definitely come back for lunch whenever I’m I happen to be in Melbourne next.  

 

 

 

 
complimentary bread with seaweed butter

 
Yellow fin tuna tartar
white radish, yuzu. enoki mushrooms, black garlic

 
Smoked eel and local green asparagus
orange and miso, pressed apple, crispy shallot

 
“Tête de cochon”
watermelon, kohlrabi and crispy pigs ear

 
Slow cooked octopus
chorizo, grilled capsicum, nasturtiums

 
Pan-roasted John Dory
pumpkin, piquillo pepper, spiced red wine

 
Crispy roast pork belly
calvalo nero, soybeans, dashi

 
Madagascan chocolate "jaffa"
bayleaf sherbet, mandarin marmalade, black rice

NOT AN EGG – ITS THE SHERBET

 
Coconut and white chocolate pannacotta
mango and black olive caramel

 
 

Maze Melbourne on Urbanspoon

Roule Galette

Back to normal programming, just for a week because then I’ll be off to Japan.

After checking out of the hotel on our last day we headed out for breakfast. Initially we were going to a drop by a cafe on Degraves St but it was already crowded and instead found Roule Galette (Flinders Lane, Melbourne) – a tiny but very cosy and cute restaurant where our very charming waiters sang and danced along to french tunes all the while happily chatting away to each other in French and making our galettes.

Deciding it was a little too early for a crepe with chocolate and sugar, we both chose galettes (an authentic savoury pancake which comes from the French region of "Bretagne", made from buckwheat flour). I chose the traditional Brittany Complete Galette filled with ham, shredded cheese, butter and completed with an egg in the middle of the folded crepe. Bill on the other hand had a more decadent breakfast choosing the Saint Jacques, a galette with "Saute" de leek and extraordinary scallops from overseas. Initially I was a bit worried the scallops wouldn’t be cooked well, but they were big, fat, juicy and seared lightly, I especially loved the cream and leeks inside the crepe.

Roule Galette 
 
  
  
Complete Galette – filled with ham, shredded cheese, butter, egg

  

Saint Jacques – "Saute de leek" and extraordinary scallops from overseas

Though the food took a while to be served (I blame this on Bill’s Saint Jacques), the waiters were friendly and it was a lovely way to start our day.

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

MoVida Aqui and The Flan

We managed to score a table at Movida Aqui & Terrazza (500 Bourke St Level 1) where we over-ordered because we wanted to try everything on the menu. The space was huge and decorated with milk crates surrounding the bar tables and the open ktichen, the atmosphere was lively and happy. Definitely a fun way to finish the night 🙂

We took fairly long to decide what we wanted to order but we started off with a jug a sangria because Bill was craving something fruity… and a complimentary board of bread and olive oil for dipping. Soon the Tapa Clasicas started to arrive; I love calamari so I had to order the calamari sandwich which came with this beautiful garlicky mayonnaise while B wanted to try the anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet – I’m not a fan of anchovies but I didn’t want to take a bite out of Bill’s and just ordered one for myself too and I loved the cooling sensation of the tomato sorbet against the warmth of the anchovy, it also balanced out the saltiness of the anchovy so was very nice to eat. I also love potatoes, so the catalan potato bomb was next on my list and oh my god I could have had more of these little babies. These tasty morsels were crisp and perfect though I think the chorizo must have been minced (for some reason I expected to find a piece of chorizo in the middle much like an onigiri). And that was the end of our tapas.

I would have been happier if we had a few vege dishes but B is more of a meat guy than veges so we ordered the Jamones which he finished most of because it was too salty for me unless I ate it with bread which I already finished off (I’m preeettty sensitive to salt, I like sugar more). We also ordered the pork belly with truffle? (I forget) from the specials menu and was recommended by our waitress as a must-have, probably because the skin was so crunchy, the meat and peaches were so tender and juicy. The speed of food arriving at our table slowed down when we got to the raciones, so much that we ended up ordered an extra dish of croquetas filled with spicy pork and forgetting we were still waiting on our crab omelette..d’oh. Of course they both came at once, when we were practically stuffed to the brim, the crab omelette was light and fluffy but I couldn’t enjoy the croquetas as much because for one I was full and two I was already too much in love with the bomba.

We were unable to finish the croquetas and Bill was ready to call it a night but I still wanted dessert even though I was really really really full. B said he could only commit to one bite of dessert, and I was sure I couldn’t finish the rest of a dessert myself so we decided to just ask for the bill –  I guess Bill saw the sadness in my eyes and reasoned that we would regret not trying dessert here and ended up ordering the flan. The flan was the one dessert to rule them alllll, so simple but so fricken DELICIOUS, we both could not get enough of it, it had just the right amount of sweetness and went down so smoothly – I was fighting over each spoonful creme caramel with a man who said he could only commit to ONE BITE. I was so so glad we ended up ordering dessert :))))))) and I’ve actually been craving it ever since. – it was that good.

It was definitely a fun and casual night within the lively, spacious atmosphere of the restaurant. The service was attentive with the waiter refilling our sangria, bringing more ice and the waitress checking up on how we were going in terms of food. They were both also really patient when I was very indecisive about what foods to order… I’d love to go back again with more friends so I can try a wider variety of dishes.

  
Movida Aqui

  
Sangria

  
I spy croquetas

  
Bocadillo de calamares
Calamari sandwich with Basque guindilla and mayonnaise

  
Anchoa
Hand filleted Cantabrian Artisan anchovy on crouton with smoked tomato sorbet

  
Bomba
Catalan Potato bomb filled with chorizo

  
Jamones 50 grams served with pa amb tomaquet
Serrano ‘Montesano’ artisan mountain ham 24 months

  
Pork Belly (from the specials menu)

  
Crab Omelette (from the specials menu)

  
Croquetas
spicy pork croquettes

  
Flan
Crème caramel served with pestino
(haha check out the quality of this photo… you can tell the sangria worked it’s magic by now… but seriously guys even though its a crap photo it was DELICIOUS)
  

MoVida Aqui and Terraza on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Snacking Eats

Unfortunately we were only in Melbourne for the weekend so we made sure to make the most of it. After arriving we checked out the real reason we were in Melbourne – the ACMI Disney Dreams Come True exhibition (I am a die hard Classic Disney fan… The Little Mermaid is my favourite movie and Sleeping Beauty comes in at a close 2nd) 🙂 Last year when we were at Hong Kong Disneyland we walked into a discreet Animation gallery which we both absolutely loved. The walls of the tiny room were littered with drawings of Disney films some which were concept art, story sketches, sketches on graphite paper, celluloid pictures and small statues. The exhibition at the ACMI was a baajjjiirrrion times better – I was in heeeaven, if you’re a fan of Classic Disney then you should definitely check it out. After spending well over four hours there (there was LOTS to see, they even had films by Walt Disney explaining the process, and snippets of each film), we checked into our hotel and started to eat our way through the Melbourne CBD.

The Soup Place 
Walking through windy and cold Degraves St, we spotted a decent line at The Soup Place (Shop 14 Centre Place, 256-260 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) and decided on a hearty soup to warm us up. The tiny tucked away shop had laneway seating but we only managed to grab a seat inside the tiny little shop. B chose a Bacon, Potato and Leek soup which was far more tastier than my Minestrone soup which was bland, really salty and not chunky enough for my liking which were served with a plate of lightly toasted bread albeit a little stale. I ended up swapping soups with B even though he didn’t want my Minestrone either 🙂 That is love.
The Soup Place on Urbanspoon

The Sensory Lab
After a wee bit of shopping, trying on bags and clothes I needed a coffee break bad and Bill just needed to sit. The Sensory Lab (David Jones, 297 Little Collins St) is located inside David Jones, as soon as you walk in you’re welcomed by a barista at the "lab" – a row of syphon filters bubbling away. After seeing the syphon filters, I knew I had to have it. The friendly barista recommended a nutty coffee (sorry I forgot the blend) to try black with the syphon while Bill had a flat white. The waitress advised to drink the coffee over 15minutes as the more you let it rest the flavour deepens. I really enjoyed the coffee which came in the syphon, it was mild and easy to drink. Teehee I had fun pouring the coffee from the syphon to the cup too, even Bill wanted to have a go. They also sell a variety of coffee beans, tea and syphons and espressso machines.
Sensory Lab on Urbanspoon

Chokolait
Bill’s mum requested a box of chocolate from KoKo Black which we visited last time we were in Melbourne, on our way there through the Royal Arcade we stumbled upon Chokolait (Shop 8, 318 Little Collins St). Craving some hot chocolate to cure me of back pain, we bought two handmade Belgium truffles; one covered in cocoa and the other covered in chocolate flakes and I indulged in a Dark Hot Chokolait while Bill was more sensible and girly and ordered an Iced Strawberry. The Dark Hot Chokolait was freshly made to order and was thick and smooth and sadly I struggled to finish it. I much prefer Chokolait than Koko Black, the atmosphere is much warmer and the owners are really friendly, did you know they make all their cakes too? I feel that Chokolait provides a more personal and indulgent experience 🙂
Chokolait on Urbanspoon

 
Dreams Come True

 
Walked pass the Belgium Waffle Stand to…

 
The Soup Place

 
Minestrone Soup with side of bread (slightly stale)

 
Past some seedy alleys to…

 
The Sensory Lab

 
Syphon Coffee

 
Syphon Filter

 
Past some gothic buildings to..

 
Chokolait Belgium Truffles

 
Classic Dark Hot Chokolait

 
Iced Strawberry

 And then there was dinner…

Cumulus Inc.

What was I doing on the weekend that everyone was suffering a heatwave in Sydney…?  I was shivering in Melbourne.
Bill and  I hopped on a plane early Saturday morning, hopped off the plane in Melbourne and headed straight to Cumulus Inc. for breakfast XD A weekend away in Melbourne came at just the perfect time as I’d settled in a new job, Bill was about to start his new job, it was close to Valentines Day (hooow convenient.), hopefully it would be the start of good things to come.

Melbourne greeted us with rain and a cold 14degrees, it was quite dreary walking through Flinders Lane and seeing most restaurants close. I was so happy when we got to Cumulus Inc. (45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne) and entered the warm lofty hall/warehouse with an open kitchen and marble tops. We were lucky that though we had arrived at 930am, it was relatively empty… this changed withint 15mins as the place filled up with more early morning people. Usually if I eat out for breakfast I need to have a poached egg, but the poached egg they had on offer was paired with smoked salmon (which I don’t eat…I don’t eat any salmon except for shake) so I picked the Turkish baked eggs. It came out on a small cast iron pan and smelled delightful, the tomato and dukkah were so flavoursome but the labne was too sour for me and Bill happily ate that. Bill ordered one of the specials of the day which was toasted sandwich with pork belly and a side of cranberry sauce which he enjoyed as well. We also ordered two madeleines filled with lemon curd which were made fresh to order, coming out 20mins after we finished our breakfast all hot and sugary and was just what I needed to wake me up. Though the service was a bit slow, the turkish baked eggs and perfect lemon madeleines are worth the wait – I’d happily come here for a lazy breakfast anyday I’m in Melbourne. And that was the start of our weekend away.

 
 
Cumulus Inc

 
bubbles!

 
Turkish baked eggs, spiced tomato, dukkah, labne

 
Special of the day Pork belly toasted sandwich

 
Madeleine filled with lemon curd

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Laurent Patisserie, Melbourne

Day Five

Quick Macca’s breakfast since I needed to eat before I take my painkillers, and then brunch at Laurent Patisserie again, for a very decadent brunch. They didn’t have my croque monsieur or madame, so I had a cake XP Then we continued to do some last minute shopping and we’re off back to Sydney!

We arrived in Sydney at 4pm in the afternoon and then I went straight to the hospital since the inflammation and pain in my feet wasn’t going down anytime soon, and the bruising seemed to get worse as now the sole of my feet were blue too!! unbelievable! After spending 3hours at the hospital getting a consultation and an x-ray, it was revealed that I had fractured my 5th metatarsal bone of my left foot. There is a strong ligament attached to the base of the 5th metatarsal and apparently what I did was as I twisted my ankle/foot, the ankle rolled in and pulled on this ligament I pulled off the bone fragment? arienai itsuno!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe I actually broke my foot and I think I was in shock then. The doctor was obviously pretty pissed off at me demanding to know exactly how I did this and when it happened, he was chocked too because it was a really bad fracture in his opinion, he kept asking me whether I fell down the stairs and to tell him the truth if I did (I left out the bit where I walked on my foot for 3days to go shopping XP) So then I had to get my leg plastered up and I own a pair of crutches which I’m still trying to get used to, the stairs at home are a bitch and I’m pretty much bed-ridden since it’s too tiring to go out with crutches all day – they really hurt my armpits and my good leg gets tired from carrying my whole weight. Pretty pathetic I got tired walking from the carpark and through a restaruarnt to our table. I’m on strict orders NOT to put weight into my left leg and NEVER to walk on it… so I really should invest in a wheelchair if I decide to go out anywhere at all, I mean I still have 7weeks of healing left to go.


Laurent Patisserie


fancyschmancypassionfruitnamedcake

Van gogh ?

Goodbye Melbourneee

The result of flicking a moth in my hotel room.

Melbourne

Day Four

Shopping in Richmond/Fitzroy

City of Melbourne Museum

What Bill sees each night

Gold Exhibition

In the gold vaults

Coffee Break at Laurent Patisserrie – Lemon Baba

Happy with my roasted chestnuts =)

Loser wanted to go into “Dungeon Crawl” – gawd it was so lame

The Block Arcade


GPO



Looking awkward outside Genki

Waiting for our dinner – SUSHI

Gourmet Dessert for two XP – Apple Pie and Moscato

Foot Update


So soreeee