Menya Got My Ox Tongue Wagging - Melbourne

In my circle of friends, it is general knowledge that if you go to Melbourne, you have to go to Menya Ramen to try their gyu tan don. As this trip was Mr. T's first time to Melbourne, Menya was high on our to-do list. The day finally came for Mr. T to have his first glorious taste of Menya's gyu tan don. We went on a Sunday morning, straight after Mass at St. Francis' Church, which was very close by. As mass ended a little earlier than expected, we became the very first customers at Menya.

Being the first customer of the day certainly had its perks, we got to sit wherever we want and the food came out quickly. Oh, and as I'm writing this Mr. T is reminding me to tell everyone about the fact that you get free fruit and mint infused water at Menya!

Gyoza ($7.30)

So, as if to draw the suspense of our gyu tan don, the gyoza was served first. The gyoza was great! The skin was nice and soft and the bottom had a nice crunch. The filling was also very tasty. The gyoza was the perfect moist, not too wet and sticky that the skin falls apart and not too dry.

Gyu Tan Don ($17.50)

So, to the reason we visited Menya Ramen, their gyu tan don. Ok, so this dish a little pricey, especially compared to everything else on the menu which was about $12-15. But, they are large portions. I did feel there was too much rice compared to the tongue, but now I'm nitpicking. Overall, the flavour of the tongue was delicious. The tongue is cut thinly so it melts in your mouth and it's not tough like how some barbecued tongue can get. The sauce on the tongue also melts onto the rice, so even the rice itself is tasty.

Overall, we were both satisfied by our meal. The gyu tan don tasted great and the portion was very generous!

Ratings: /10
Food: 8
Value: 7
Atmosphere: 7
Service: 7
Overall: 7.3/10

Restaurant information

Menya Ramen
437 Elizabeth Street
Ph: (03) 9328 8928

  Menya Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

It was No Simple Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

While Mr. T and I were planning our Melbourne trip, I knew that I would love to dine at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal! Lucky for me, Mr. T agreed! So we made a booking and I became even more excited for our Melbourne trip.

The night we were have dinner at Dinner was also the night of the Logies awards, this made finding the restaurant that much more difficult. But, we finally made it through the hubbub, into the calm atmosphere of Dinner. Now, Mr. T and I are not used to fine dining of this caliber, so we felt slightly out of place, but the staff made us feel welcomed and comfortable.

So let's get down to the food!

Meat Fruit ($38)

The entree I ordered was the meat fruit. This was a no brainer, we've seen a lot of photos of this dish and we've heard a lot of hype about it too. Well all the photos and hype was right. This was one delicious dish. The pate was silky smooth and the flavour was intense and delicious. There was definitely not enough bread for the pate, but fortunately they offered us more bread and we enthusiastically accepted. Also, I was amazed that the orange "skin" of the pate just melted in the mouth and it was flavourless, so it didn't disturb the tastiness of the pate.

Salamagundy ($37)

Mr. T ordered the salamagundy. Actually I made him order it. So this dish is made of chicken oysters with radish, horseradish cream, marrowbone and pickled walnuts. Before this night, I didn't know there was a part of the chicken called oysters, so this dinner was educational as it was delicious. Of course the chicken was tender and tasty and the horseradish cream added a nice zing to the dish. The pickled walnut added a nice crunch, so overall this dish was like a tasty and light chicken salad.

Roast Hapuka in Cider ($56)

For mains, I chose the roast hapuka as was recommended by our waitress. Well, I loved it. The fish was moist and so tender, I barely had to touch it and it fell apart. The hapuka itself was very subtly seasoned, but eaten with the cider sauce/soup, it was like an explosion of refined flavours. There were also mussels in this dish that was equally tender that I barely had to chew. I loved every element of this dish, down to the roast onions!

Roast Quail ($56)

Mr. T chose the roast quail (yes, he chose this dish all by himself). I'm not usually a big fan of quail, but this I liked. I only tried a little bit of this dish, but I loved what I tried. The quail was well cooked and the sauce was light and tangy. The pumpkin elements in this dish made it smell, taste and feel so homey and warming.

Tipsy Cake ($32)

Now, on to the desserts! Mr. T ordered the tipsy cake, again recommended by our waitress. The cake was so cute, it looked like a fluffy pillow, but perfectly golden. The brioche cake was like eating one tasty cloud and the pineapple was nicely caramelised. The cake was perfectly sweet and it went great with the sourness of the pineapple.

Eggs in Verjuice ($32)

As for me, I ordered the eggs in verjuice. The egg was like magic on a plate. It was a lot of fun cracking through the chocolate shell and finding what was inside. So inside is coconut pannacotta and coffee parfait as the egg white and verjuice and citrus mixture as the egg yolk. This dish was sweet, sour and bitter all at once, which was great. At times I found the verjuice and citrus mixture and little too sour, but the pannacotta balanced it nicely.

Then to bring our dinner to a close, they also served these tiny chocolate post-dessert desserts. It was made of chocolate ganache with chocolate biscotti. Everything on this dish was rich, and left a sweet after-taste after what was a great dinner.

Our dinner at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal was not just dinner, it was a whole experience and we loved every minute of it!

Ratings: /10
Food: 9.5
Value: 8
Atmosphere: 9
Service: 9
Overall: 8.9/10

Restaurant information

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Crown Towers
8 Whiteman Street
Ph: (03) 9292 5777
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I Challenge you to Rice Paper Scissors - Melbourne

So after all my hard work of making a feasible schedule for our Melbourne trip, Mr. T decided to throw the schedule out the window. We made a last minute decision to spend our third day in Melbourne checking out Great Ocean Road, to see the 12 Apostles. I had originally planned to lunch at Rice Paper Scissors on our third day, so we flipped our schedule and decided to try it for dinner on our first night in Melbourne instead. 

This probably wasn't the best idea as trying to get a table at Rice Paper Scissors on a Saturday night proved to be a challenge, but this made us want Rice Paper Scissors even more. So we waited for three quarters of an hour for our table. 

When we finally sat down, we were told that we could choose the "banquet" option, where we could choose five main dishes for two people for $65. This was perfect for us as we had chosen five dishes we wanted to try anyway.

Crying Tiger
Crispy Barramundi

The first two dishes to arrive were the Crying Tiger and Crispy Barramundi. The Crying Tiger has a misleading name, it's actually wagyu beef with a dipping sauce. The beef was not too tasty on its own, but after dipping in the sauce and wrapping it in the leaf, the flavour became more complex. The dipping sauce was tangy and tasty. 

The crispy barramundi was certainly crispy. We loved the apple salad on top of the fish which was sweet, sour and slightly spicy. The apple added a nice refreshing crunch to the dish. 

BBQ King Prawns

Then came the BBQ king prawns. The prawns were certainly large! It got a bit messy peeling the prawns, but they did give us a small bowl of water to clean our fingers with. The prawns were juicy and that dipping sauce was great! The sauce was pea-nutty, thick and tasty.

Prawn Dumpling

Duck Salad

The last dishes to be served were the dumplings and the duck salad. The dumplings were so-so. The filling of the dumpling was full of prawns, but I thought it lacked flavour. Most of the flavour came from the black bean and chilli dressing, but the black bean was a bit too salty. The dumplings were nice, but not great. The duck salad had to be our favourite dish of the night. The duck meat was tender and tasty and blended with the salad well. The salad was full of flavour, yet still light and refreshing.

To also satisfy our sweet tooth, we ordered one dessert to share. Not sure what this was called, but it was a mousse topped with chocolate soil and crushed peanuts. We liked the balance of textures, the smoothness of the mousse and the crunch of the toppings. The dessert was light, which was perfect as we were very full from the five main dishes!

Ratings: /10
Food: 7.5
Value: 7
Atmosphere: 7
Service: 7
Overall: 7.1/10

Restaurant information

Rice Paper Scissors
19 Liverpool Street
Ph: (03) 9663 9890

Rice Paper Scissors Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

All the Sweetness of Burch & Purchese - South Yarra (Melbourne)

After our delicious and satisfying lunch at Miss Jackson, Mr. T and I decided to walk along Chapel Street to check out the shops. It turns out Chapel Street is a very long street, brimming with life! There were every kind of shop and cafes you could think of. So after our long walk, we have, hopefully, burnt off the calories from our lunch, so we decided to treat ourselves with cake!

We chose to have our afternoon tea at Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio. This place is the cutest, however, the seating can be tricky as they only have outdoor seating, and not much at that. But we were lucky enough to get one table!

Chocolate & Cherry Cheesecake ($9.90)

Vanilla, Mascarpone, Orange & Pistachio ($9.90)

We chose two different cakes to try. This was no easy task as all of them looked appetizing! The cakes we chose were chocolate & cherry cheesecake and the vanilla, mascapone, orange and pistachio tart. The cherry and chocolate cheesecake was certainly pretty and it tasted great too. I thought the cookie base was a bit tough, but the cheesecake was smooth and the cherry jelly added a nice freshness to the cake.

The vanilla, mascarpone, orange & pistachio tart was our favourite. The colourful tempered chocolate added a nice texture and the pistachio flavour was great. The cream filling was the best part, it was smooth and tasted great!

We enjoyed our afternoon tea at Burch & Purhcese! The cakes looked so cute and the flavours were very creative.

Ratings: /10
Food: 8
Value: 6
Atmosphere: 6
Service: 7
Overall: 6.8/10

Cafe information

Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio
647 Chapel Street
South Yarra
Ph: (03) 9827 7060

 Burch & Purchese Sweet Studio Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Not Sorry Miss Jackson - St. Kilda (Melbourne)

Mr. T and I were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Melbourne over the Anzac Day "long" weekend. We had been planning this trip for the past few weeks. Of course we researched what to see and what to eat. One brunch place which consistently popped up was Miss Jackson. The photos on social media looked enticing and past customer reviews convinced us even more. Also, it was in the perfect location as we had planned to explore St. Kilda and Chapel Street on our first day in Melbourne.

We did make reservations for Miss Jackson ahead of time, but ended up arriving an hour before the reservation time, but the staff were very accommodating and welcoming anyway.

Buttermilk chicken ($15)

For myself, I ordered the buttermilk chicken. I was expecting some fried chicken on a bed of bacon on a flatbread. What come was very different. The bacon was very thick cut and the it was actually a wrap. The flavours did not disappoint though. The chicken was tender and very tasty. I thought the bacon was a bit too thick, but at least the saltiness was perfect. The wrap was also filled with avocado, rocket and dressed with aioli, so every bite was packed with flavour, and as it sounds, it was a very filling meal!

Fried rice ($17.50)

Mr. T cleverly ordered the fried rice. Clever because it was the best fried rice we've tasted in a long time! Even better than fried rice from a Chinese restaurant! This fried rice was also filled with delicious goodies such as mussels, pork belly and corn. We loved the charried chunks of rice that was very flavoursome and the pork belly was smoked perfectly and tasty. This dish exceeded all our expectations.

Overall, we highly enjoyed our meal. The service was great and the food were even better!

Ratings: /10
Food: 9
Value: 9
Atmosphere: 9
Service: 9
Overall: 9/10

Restaurant information

Miss Jackson
2/19 Grey Street
St Kilda
Ph: (03) 9534 8415 

Miss Jackson Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Self-Made Long Weekend at the Hamptons - City Beach

If you read my post on Chinta, then you'd remember me complaining about the lack of brunch of opportunities I've had. Well, to my surprise Mr. T was given a particular Monday off from work and he planned a brunch date at Hamptons! 

This place is absolutely beautiful. The dining area is decorated well and who could go past the sweeping view of the beach.

Confit Field Mushroom ($22)

After a good look at the menu, Mr. T surprised me even more by ordering the confit mushsroom, something I would not have picked for him. But, we both enjoyed it. The mushroom was tasty, but we thought it was rather watery. We loved the components of the dish, especially the crumbled toast that added a nice crunch. The dish was not over-seasoned so the flavours of each component was subtle, but worked well together.

New Orleans Fried Chicken ($22)

I ordered something a lot more unhealthy than the mushroom, the New Orleans Fried Chicken. The hero of the dish was definitely the fried chicken. It was like eating a sophisticated chicken popcorn with waffles. The chicken was cruncy and the batter was tasty and the chipotle hollandaise was creamy, perfectly spicy and tasty. The waffles itself was nothing special, the menu did say it was sweet potato waffles, but the sweet potato flavour was absent.

Overall, I loved the opportunity to brunch and Mr. T chose the perfect place for it. The service was also impeccable, they had quite difficult customers at the table next to us, but they handled it professionally while still being friendly. The food was enjoyable too!

Ratings: /10
Food: 7
Value: 7
Atmosphere: 8
Service: 8
Overall: 7.5/10

Restaurant information

179 Challenger Parade
City Beach
Ph: 9385 9588

Hamptons City Beach  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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