Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Ten Ren's Tea Time

Greedy people will always be greedy. Even after a huge dimsum lunch (post coming up after this, hell lot of pictures to edit), we can STILL eat.

Anyway, after dimsum and a lot of walking around on Sunday, me, Sis, San, CC and JK decided to have more food. We decided on snacks because it would be less filling (let our minds play tricks on us ok...we're perfectly happy to let it) and popped by a Taiwanese-styled cafe, Ten Ren's Tea Time 天仁茗茶 for tea-snacks. Ten Ren's is a place that predominantly used to sell and serve all kinds of tea (ranging from inexpensive to super expensive, traditional to crazy new concoctions) but now they branched out into food, serving both full meals and snacks.

We chose three snacks to share (see, not that greedy after all). JK and Sis actually ate very little (or not at all). :D

First up, Ten Lu Tea Beef Wrap ($4.80).

Damn big ok.

Lots of stuff inside!

It was spiced beef pieces in a wrap with shredded carrots, spring onion and cucumbers. I have to say it's quite tasty, it has a lot of flavours and was spiced just right. The beef pieces were generous and there was a lot to go around. My only complaint was the difficulty of eating it! It was very big and armed with just chopsticks, we practically had to dissect the poor beef wrap to share it.

Next up, Spicy Pepper Chicken ($4.80).

Yay chicken!

Fragrant, crispy and yummy. Really crunchy on the outside and the chicken meat inside was tender and not overdone. I really like it, and so did San and CC.

Lastly, Taiwanese Spring Onion Pancake ($4.80).

A salty pancake. :D

Nothing really wow for this, but it was passable and rather tasty. :)

It's a nice place for hanging out, drinking tea and having snacks. Next time round I shall try their variety of teas. Since tea is good for me and all.

- Mouse


Ten Ren's Tea Time
146 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 9653 3268

Monday, 30 July 2007

Koko Black

Last Saturday, we had a impromptu after-dinner walk at Lygon street (we had dinner at home btw) coz its Saturday and we've been staying at home for the whole day. Besides, when ones speaks of Lygon street, places like Koko Black, Brunetti or Freddo's just popping into ur head, wittingly or unwittingly! This happens esp after u just had dinner and what more you can want, after dinner, at least willingly and happily? Of course dessert desu!! LOL.

Hence, we decided to stop at Koko Black, bearing in mind that we might be disappointed as was Saturday nite and also the place was quite packed when we arrived. But luckily, there was a table for the 3 of us upstairs at Koko Black =D

It says: Have you ever wondered why quality chocolate seems to literally melt in your mouth? This is because cocoa butter naturally melts at around 37 degree ~ the same temperature as your mouth and about the same as a tropical jungle.

Looking at the menu, our rationale were fighting with our gluttony as we were tempted to have EVERY dessert on it. Somehow in the end, our rationale (n the complaining of our purses) won. Hence, we ordered 2 desserts n 1 drink to share.

Strawberry Ice Cream Martini, $7.50

Iced Chocolate, $6.50

Chocolate flakes on top of it

Chocolate Moelleux with Raspberry Espuma, $14.00

Love the 3 of them. Simply irresistible! Maybe if I have to picky, for the moelleux, if only the raspberry sauce could b cold instead of slightly warm. Other than that, we were just contented with the food, service n environment!

Btw, Koko Black just opened a new salon at Collins street which mean now there are 5 Koko Black stores in Victoria and 1 in Canberra. Out of the 6, only Koko Black at Lygon St. is open til midnite (Friday & Saturday). We stayed until around 11.30pm and when we were leaving, there were still some ppl walking in. How nice it is to have this kinda place to hang out at this time besides bars, pubs or clubs.


167 Lygon Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Phone: (03) 93492775

Saturday, 28 July 2007


After dinner at M.O.O. Restaurant (scroll down for our review or click here), since it was still early(around 9pm), we decided to go to Koko Black at Lygon street. Too bad there wasn't any parking space near it and also Koko Black was practically packed with people inside. So, we head over to Brunetti instead to try our luck. Of course we managed to get a space to park the car after turning here n there a few times =) *thanks MM* Despite the fact that Brunetti was as busy as Koko Black, we were determined to get seats by waiting. Not long after, we got ourselves tables. Happy.

There are 2 Brunetti cafes in Melbourne ~ at Faraday st. & Flinders lane. This one at Faraday st. is much bigger and offering 4 sections of service and products -- coffee, pasticceria , gelati and restaurant. We were seated opposite the gelati section where Brunetti offers a variety of different gelati as well as freshly squeezed juices and smoothies. A lot of choices rite? Whenever I go over to their pasticceria section, I will hav a headache since I dunno what should i choose because of their wide variety of cookies, nougats, tarts, chocolates, cakes n etc. So this time I choose to just order a hot drink although I was tempted to get myself a cheeeeeeesecake(!!!).

inside Brunetti, near gelati section

our orders (back to front) ~ Italian Hot Chocolate, Spice Chai Latte, Portuguese Tart and Gelati

MM's Gelati (Bacio and Stracciatella)

Mouse's Italian Hot Chocolate

San's Spice Chai Latte

I had the spice chai latte ($3.50). I feel that the flavours weren't concentrated enuff and tasted as if it was a bit diluted. Mouse had the Italian Hot Chocolate, which was very very VERY chocolatey. It was really good and hearty for the first few sips, but was sort of overdone towards the end. But Mouse understood that that is the way Italian Hot Chocolate is supposed to be, therefore she will stick to the normal the next time! HAHAAHHAH. Also had the Portugese egg tart which is DRY DRY (hence not wet). Not good. (San : I think the egg tart was not bad, it would be much better if it was still warm!) Hello! MM guest-blogging!! San is lame. Erm...I had the gelati...it was ok, a bit on the sweet side without any actual flavour (i.e. sugary). Freddo's!! Please open up again soon...I need your ice cream. Despite that, I like the environment at Brunetti. It was very comfy and provide us quite a good place to drink coffees and hanging out with frens n family at the same time. All I can say is its another lovely nite out.

San wans a table full of cakes

Brunetti Cakes
194 - 204 Faraday Street
Carlton Vic 3053
Phone: (03) 9347 2801

M.O.O. (Money Order Office)

I celebrated my mum's birthday at M.O.O. (Money Order Office) this year and really enjoyed myself, and I've always been looking for a chance to go back with foodie greedy San and my sister. This morning we decided on a whim to go for dinner tonight, and hence we did just that.

All hidden and cool like an exclusive club.

AND when we reached there, I found out that I forgot to charge my camera like the idiot Mouse I am, and thank goodness San's Sony Ericsson mobile phone camera was rather reliable, unlike my crappy Samsung one (I don't hate my phone, I love it but no denying that the camera sucks almost as much as taugeh (dumb beansprouts/beanshoots)).

M.O.O. used to be a money order post office back in as early as the early 1800's and it's in a rather hidden part of the city. The restaurant had a very nice interior, with a mixture of archaic and modern styled decorum that maintained some sense of the original structure. There's a bar where a lot of people were standing and drinking tonight, and a dining area with the usual wooden tables and private little booth-styled tables. We got the little booths as they seat three people nicely.

The interior!

Interior again!

And obviously not outside!

We sat down and was promptly served. After much debating over the specials and the menu, we all decided to share an entrée, have a main each and share a dessert. Bread came first, served with olive oil as usual. Ordinary crusty bread, that's all I have to say.

That's all the bread we have...each.

For the entrée, I was adamant, ADAMANT on the Snails on Puff Pastry (1/2 dozen; $14). I had them the last time I went and I love them.

Not what you see in the garden eating your plants, these snails.

As gorgeous as I remembered them to be. The garlic parsley butter was superbly fragrant and buttery, soaking into the puff pastry and went very well with the chewy snails. The herb salad was really yummy as well, in fact San decided to swipe the pastry bite with a little of the herb salad and its dressing, and it tasted yummy as well. A complete satisfaction; I could actually order that as my main and be happy with it, BWAHAHA. I love snails when they're cooked and shell-less.

San had the Pheasant ($35) as her main upon the chef's recommendation.

I am a pheasant not a chicken.

It was grilled and served with parsley potatoes. San was not a big fan of meats the Western style, she had the dish because it was recommended. She reckoned it was only okay, even if she did really like the complimenting sauce. She thought the pheasant itself was a little dry and coarse to the bite...maybe a little overdone? I had a bite of it and I think I do like it, even though I agree with San's sentiment that it was a little dry. But I'm a bigger fan of breast meats than San - she's a "fat person" to quote her directly. And no, she (and I) doesn't mean her size - that woman is anything BUT fat.

Sis (also known as MM in San's posts) went for the
Cassoulet with Jumbo Quail ($36).

Served in a red pot.

And lids off to reveal the treasure!

A success to Sis, she really really liked it. A Cassoulet is a type of French baked dish with beans, usually with duck but M.O.O. had their variation with quail. Sis loved it and I tried some of it, gotta say the (haricot) bean mixture went really well with the meats. The bean mixture was spiced nicely with peppers and spices. There's also pork along with the quail and a strange looking sausage that was Sis's only complaint in the entire dish. San really slurped on the pork - and I don't blame her, very tender and juicy.

I had the Fish of the Day (price unknown) because Mouse should be eating lotssss of fish.

The Mouse Fish.

Served with olives, tomatoes and black olive mash, my fish was beautifully pan fried to perfection. The texture was succulent and yummy and the black olive mash complimented my fish nicely. The fish was seasoned just to the right taste as well. The tomatoes were grilled and very juicy and sweet to the bite. My only complaint was that the drizzle of olive oil was a little bit more than what I would've liked. Although I would rate my satisfaction to be quite high - higher than San with her dish. :D

Because Mouse should be eating veggies, we decided to order a side of veggies to share. I intended to order the Vine Tomato Salad or Sautéed Spinach but there was some miscommunication with the waitress, as it was noisy and she didn't hear us properly. She didn't reconfirmed with us and somehow put in an order for
Bitterleaf ($7).

These leaves are BITTER indeed...like eating some Chinese medicine mixture, blaah.

For non-fans of bitterness ANYWHERE, this side was NOT a success to any of us. We were cringing and trying our best to finish it and I had to take gulps of water along with it because I really cannot stand bitter things. Uragh. What a complete waste! The tomato salad sounded nice, too. :(

For dessert, we ordered the Vanilla Bavarois ($14), served with fresh strawberries and candied mint.

It's pretty delicious, cos it's pretty AND delicious.

WOW. Really fantastic! All three of us loved it. It was basically a custard style dessert with fresh strawberry sauce, strawberries and sorbet. It was cold and nice and very fruity. The custard wasn't sweet and had a hint of vanilla in its taste, leaving the sweetness for the fruit sauce and sorbet, hence everything was matched very well. A success with this dessert!

I think it's a satisfactory and rather lovely dining experience. Granted it was a little noisier than expected, but the ambiance was lovely, food was on the whole rather good and the staff was friendly enough. One of the hidden fine-dining places that should be given attention.

FYI, The Age Good Food Guide 2007 did review M.O.O., and gave it 14/20 - one point short of a chef hat.

As for why the price for my fish was unknown, it was because I had the Entertainment Card and got a free main for one main ordered. :D The Entertainment Booklet was a GREAT buy and proceeds go towards a range of charities, including the one I support full-heartedly, the Cancer Council of Victoria. It has great many discounts for many many food outlets, from fine dining to ordinary pizza places etc. Find out more HERE.

- Mouse


Driver Lane
318 Little Bourke Street
Phone: (03) 9639 3020

Friday, 27 July 2007

JWow Wine Bar

JWOW Wine Bar is located at QV, a basement location next to Strike Bowling Bar. Its quite a hidden place as initially I've walked passed it many times and yet did not notice its existence.

The decorum of the bar is influenced by the Asian culture, noted seen in the furniture where it was of the traditional Chinese-styled tables and chairs with silk cushions. Jwow's lightings are low and in general, it presents a comfy ambience. Besides, it is not overly crowded even during weekend (which i like) and also not too noisy(no blasting music altho they have music on the background) which makes conversation easier. As for the wines, the menu has only include some of their extensive wines from their wine library. So, if u wan something that is not on their menu, u can ask their staff about ur request.

For this nite (2 weeks ago and hence i don't remember some of the names of the drinks), we decided to go Jwow as MM n HW never been there b4. Some crunchy nuts (a bit spicy) being served a little while after we were seated. Our drinks:


MM's lychee cocktail (right)

HW's cocktail

Chez ordered some red wine which i forgot the name as well *sigh*. We were served some free yummy garlic breads too as they were trying out new nibble. OOoooo... Btw, my mojito was not bad, altho not the best i've tried and I like MM's lychee cocktail too. *review from The Age is here if u r interested*

A lovely nite out =)

San Wows

JWow Wine Bar (at QV)
243 Little Lonsdale Street
Victoria 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 5986

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Mouse Salad for Lunch

I had a supremely healthy lunch today and because it looked pretty, I shall post pictures!

(Despite the subject of post, there ain't no mouse meat or whatever, so relax. :D)

For lunch today, I made salad with sis. I got some gourmet lettuce cheap from Safeway two days ago, along with cherry tomatoes and celery sticks. Also got some herb and mustard turkey breast ham to put a little protein into my salad. :D

Sis felt like boiled eggs in her salad so we boiled a couple of eggs and cut those up into egg slices. I also fried the ham with very little amount of butter just to make it a little more fragrant and hot. Then we found mozzarella cheese in the fridge and decided to dump it all together.

For dressing, we used fat free Italian dressing! Wah, healthy to the max, dude! Wanted to use dijonnaise initially, but Sis thought it'll be healthier with the Italian dressing.

Veggies underneath all the other stuff.

All sorts of colours - it's good to eat colourful food!

Very yummy, very filling and with all the nutritional values! Vitamins galore! I wouldn't mind having this for lunch everyday and I'm not a very "vegetable" kind of person, as those who know me would know (yea yea bad of me, will try to love vegetables to death and all).

- Mouse

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Kimurakan Cafe

Kimurakan is one of my favourite lunching places for Japanese food - their lunch menu is quite extensive and the food is rather good - good value for money and good by itself!

We popped in for lunch a couple of days ago - and all, ALL THREE of us, feeling rather unadventurous and greedy - ordered the Kimurakan Bento ($12.50).



Heck lot of stuff in the bento. There was veggies for a salad, along with fried tofu. That makes up the veggie compartment and I have to say the tofu is rather ordinary fried tofu, nonetheless it all went well together with the veggies.

In the meat compartment there's a crab claw ball (the frozen unauthentic kind from Asian groceries but tasted damn good anyway), a fried pork chop (tonkatsu), fried chicken (tori karage), and a spring roll! Kinda unhealthy, I know (bad Mouse bad) but I really really like the chicken. Like yummmy. The pork is a little dry and tough though.

Seafood compartment consisted of two big prawns and an oyster. The prawns were tangy and meaty and not much comments on the oyster cos I'm not a big fan of. And there's also a gyoza (fried dumpling) to boot in the middle!

And of course, rice. :D

The bento box comes with your choice of Ice Lemon Tea, Coke, Green Tea or Miso Soup.

Pretty good deal. :D

- Mouse


Kimurakan Cafe
238 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000

Gin Khao Thai Food (#2)

Mostly picture less words post! Went to Gin Khao Thai Food (was reviewed once here) again for pad thai last week as Sis and San had enormous cravings for their pad thai. I was more than happy to go since I just got back to Melbourne but those two crazies had apparently had it two days ago or something. Oh well, if they want to.

Sis and San both had the Seafood and Chicken Pad Thai respectively. I wanted to go for maybe the Soft Shell Crab Curry but seeing the Chiang Mai noodles on the menu, I just could not resist. I love those noodles (and they are cheaper, too. HAHAHA.)! The only new thing we tried were the Son-In-Law Eggs.

Son-In-Law Eggs, cos daughters-in-law don't eat 'em.

The eggs were boiled and layered with fried coating, served with lettuce, mince prawns and tamarind. I really like them! They were yummy and tangy and I just love eggs on the whole. The minced prawn and tamarind mixture were tops.

And the rest of the food, you know we love. :D

My darling Chiang Mai Noooodles! I'm BACK and so are you! *weeps with joy* (that's how much I love it)

San's Chicken Pad Thai with Duck Chicken!

Sis's Seafood Pad Thai with big-ass prawns.

- Mouse


Gin Khao Thai Food
242 Swanston Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 3345

White Tomato

Am back in Melbourne!

Went for Korean food with Mad, San and my sister after Phantom of The Opera last Thursday! (For those in Melbourne who have yet to see the production - I say go go go go go because it's beautiful and marvelous and Anthony Warlow sdfksldfjlsd) We didn't have dinner prior to the show and when we finished, it was already pretty late so there were limited choices as to where we could grab a bite. Walking down Bourke Street, we saw that White Tomato was open so we popped in, abandoning our original plan of the much further away Supper Inn.

We ordered three dishes to share among us. And first up is the obligatory and traditional kimchi!

Kimchi ~

I'm not a mega fan of kimchi, so I'll leave it at that. The one in the middle - pickled seaweed - was pretty good.

Nice, red and spicy hot!

The seafood hot-pot with tofu was nice and hot on a very cold night - there were lots of tofu and enough prawns for everyone. My only complaint would be that there were only prawns and octopus - not nearly enough seafood for a self-proclaimed seafood hot-pot. But the sauce admittedly was nice and thick - Sis really enjoyed it.


My favourite would be the Beef Bulgogi. It was wonderful - stir-fried to just the right amount of tenderness and sliced very thinly, so it was a nice mouthful of tasty tender beef. The sauce was pretty well-done, too.

Rice with kimchi bits.

The Kimchi fried rice was a little unusual. At my first bite it was good unusual but towards the end it became only okay unusual when the sauce got a little hot and salty. :P I liked how they fried it with seaweed, that was pretty new to me. Overall a good dish, but a tad too much salt I feel.

Would go back there again to try some other dishes! I do like the feel and atmosphere of the place.

I forgot the exact address for White Tomato and can't seem to find it online, so if anyone can point it out to me, that'll be great. FYI, it is on Bourke Street, nearer to the end of Russell Street intersection, near the National Bank branch on Bourke-Russell. :)

- Mouse

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Domino's (delivered)

At last me n MM had our pizzas!

Both of us have been wanting to eat pizza since June... but not until last Sunday that we got ourselves pizzas from Domino's *happy* Why wait til now? We've tried to order pizza online (due to sudden cravings for pizza) for supper at around 11pm something during one of the days last month, but, to our surprise, all of the pizza deliveries (Pizza Hut & Domino's) were closed at that time. I always thought that we can order pizza 24/7, or at least until midnite, from PZ & D. Apparently it is not. Up until now, I'm still not sure what time do PZ & D stop taking orders from phone/online. I should have asked when I called up for pizza delivered last Sunday! Nevermind...

Failing to order pizza that nite had made us crave for it more =D So, Me and MM decided to go Mark's Place (near Melb. Uni.) to have pizza for lunch the following week. Guess wat?? Mark's Place was closed that day for lunch!! Sigh.. our pizza's mission failed aggggainnn... fated i guess. Hahaha. * nothing else to be blamed =D *

Time flies.... and on last Sunday, my crave for pizza came back and I just NEED it. LOL. Since MM was having the craving as well, we ordered them with buy-1-free-1 voucher. I ordered the pizzas at around 7pm *as soon as I realised I want pizza. LOL* as I did not know when they will stop taking order online. I'm sure not as early as 7pm but earlier is better, I thought. I'm determined to eat them yea? hahaha.

Buy 1 Free 1 (large pizza), $17.95

Chicken Monaco(Front) & Meatball Monster (Back)

Chicken Monaco with Domino's Classic Crust

Meatball Monster Pizza with Domino's Thin'n'Crispy

I prefer the thin crust pizza

After devouring them * while watching some Korean series*, I can feel the satisfaction within myself =) We couldn't finish the 2 pizzas,btw, and have left half of each for next day's lunch. Happy.

San n her pizzas

Monday, 16 July 2007

Chinese pork dumplings ( Glutinous rice dumplings)

Another recent craving (for my durian craving's post, pls scroll down) is the Chinese Rice Dumplings, when my mum told me that she has made some for our family last month (during Dragon Boat Festival ). Its our family tradition to make those every year during this festival ( I will post up some food pics taken by Alf from my home back in Malaysia ~ thats his mission btw, given by me since I dun have the chance to eat them =( Thanks alot Alf!!) Hence, I got myself 2 of those when I saw them at Min Phat (Asian grocery near Victoria Market).

Chinese Rice Dumplings, $2.95 each

These dumplings are traditionally wrapped with bamboo leaves which give them a very unique fragrance and flavours. Now, some people also use other leaves like lotus leaves. The main ingredient is the glutinous rice and the side ingredients normally differ depending on the regions. The side ingredients can be pork,chestnuts, shrimps, chinese sausage, beans, eggs, peanuts and etc. There are several types of those dumplings too ~~ e.g pork dumplings, Nyonya dumplings and a few other types that I'm not very sure of their names.

They look quite yummy rite?

When I bought them, the description on the filling inside it is roughly like this: Pork, Peanuts, Yellow beans and Something something else that I dun remember now. Doesn't it sounds so appealing?

When I open them up, inside only has some yellow beans, a few peanuts and A SLICE OF FAT. Where is my pork?? I actually don't mind that much if they do not hav the mentioned side ingredients in it, if the dumplings itself is nice. However, the glutinous rice is pretty flavourless. NOT NICE at all. Probably is from different supplier because I've tried it b4 from another Asian grocery in the city which the dumplings tasted not bad. Hmm...

Despite of the dissapointment, I have fulfilled my cravings =D *sounds like a pregnant woman eh? LOL*

San always have lots of cravings