48H Pizza & Gnocchi Bar


Recently Davin and I were invited by the lovely owners of 48H, Fabio and Michele, to a complimentary Italian culinary experience. They proudly claim to be Melbourne’s first ever pizza and gnocchi bar and so we were quite excited to check it out.

Although this was a sponsored dinner, we reminded ourselves that we had to be honest with our thoughts on our experience. And of course we wanted to share this experience with you too!

Upon arrival, we were greeted warmly by Fabio, who shook both of our hands and welcomed us inside. The restaurant itself was lovely, with the rustic brick walls, wooden tables and a touch of modern lighting. It wasn’t too big of a restaurant so it gave you that cozy feel which we immediately liked.


Fabio gave us their menu and took his time talking us through all their dishes. He provided some recommendations then asked us if we were interested in trying anything in particular or if we were happy for them to decide on the dishes they wanted to serve us. We were more than happy for them to run with it as we were open to anything and everything!

He started off by pouring us some bubbles, their NV Prosecco ‘Tasi’ DOC imported from Veneto, Italy. Now I don’t normally drink sparkling white wine but this was exceptional. It was crisp and refreshing and actually went very well with the meal. They were very generous throughout the whole night with the pouring.


The first dish served was the salmon marinated for 48 hours and served with butter, black salt and herbs. It came with fresh, warm homemade bread. It was a lovely a dish and the olive oil that the salmon was marinated in was smooth and luscious, you could have plenty of it! The salmon portions was presented in a cute jar and was also very generous.


Next up was their potato activated charcoal gnocchi in gorgonzola (blue vein cheese) sauce, radicchio and vin cotto. Oh my gosh this dish was amazing! Those that know me know that I love all cheeses especially blue cheese. This sauce was made to perfection. You could really taste the blue vein but at the same time it was not too intrusive. The charcoal black gnocchi was also so soft, light and fluffy. It did not feel heavy at all and you could eat lots of it!

Fabio explained that all their gnocchi is made with gluten free flour which makes them lighter and easier to digest. You could really taste and feel this when you’re eating it. The only thing I would have to say is that the presentation could probably have been a bit better. But I cannot fault the dish.


We were then served one of their pizzas – the Lipari which consisted of Sicilian cherry tomato sauce, prawns, caper berries and organic oregano. Again this was an amazing dish and Davin’s favourite. The lightness and sweetness of the cherry tomato sauce combined with the perfectly cooked prawns and the thin and light pizza crust was a match made in heaven.

The pizza dough is where their 48H ethos comes in because they make sure that the dough is leavened for at least 48 hours to ensure that the pizza is light and aromatic. Again, you could really taste this.

Finally dessert was a twist of the traditional panna cotta where just the fatty part of the milk was used to create the dish. With the addition of blood orange syrup for sweetness, it made it a very interesting dessert.


Throughout the meal, Michele who is the chef, also often came out to happily talk with us about his dishes and the fresh produce he uses to maintain the high quality of the food. You can tell that both Michele and Fabio are so very passionate about their food.

Even though we expected the great service they provided because after all, we were invited, we did quietly observe around the restaurant and saw that they were also treating their customers around us with just as much care and respect. They seemed to be attentive, chatty and warm and welcoming to everyone which was a good sign.

Overall, it was an amazing experience. We really enjoyed Fabio and Michele’s hospitality and would definitely recommend 48h to others. Although the presentation of the dishes is probably not up to the level of other high quality restaurants, the food itself was top quality, fresh and tasty. So if you’re ever in the mood for some Italian, do check them out!


48H Pizza & Gnocchi Bar
Approx $40 AUD per person
Website: www.48h.com.au
Address: 373 Malvern Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141
Phone:+61 3 9824 2573

48H Pizza & Gnocchi Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jimmy and the Wolf Head East


Helen and I were invited to a ‘Beergustation’ dinner at Orient East. This event was named Jimmy and the Wolf Head East. The event consists of an eight course dinner with beer pairings from two breweries, Wolf of the Willows & Brewcult. Their marketing team emailed us and asked if we wanted to come. Even though we’re not huge beer drinkers, we were happy to attend!

(Note: this event was not sponsored, so we did have to pay $65 per person just like everyone else).

Orient East is attached to a hotel. Now restaurants attached to flashy hotels are quite a big thing in Asia and Europe. They are seen as more prestigious and generally offer decent food. Unfortunately in Australia, restaurants attached to nice hotels don’t seem to have the same stigma. We were eager to see if Orient East fell into this same category.

We got there and I must say things weren’t off to a good start at all. They didn’t have our booking! How they can offer us an invitation but not even have our names on the booking is mind boggling. Later they told us that they outsource their marketing to a third party company so there must have been some communication breakdown. All is forgiven as everyone makes mistakes and they did provide good service.


When we were finally settled, we waited a few more minutes for others to join us in the event and we were off! There was a sheet of all the dishes and beers for the night. The menu looked very appetizing indeed and we were mildly excited. I won’t go through all the courses in detail as I don’t want to bore you, however I will make a mention of some of the dishes we really enjoyed.

I was initially a bit concerned as I was worried that since it was Asian fusion and a beer event, that they would tailor the food more towards Caucasians. The fact that they served ox tongue as the second course definitely proved otherwise whilst also earning my respect. This is a very brave dish to serve, and shows that they are willing to venture out to what most would consider ‘the norm’. It certainly tasted better than it looked. The ox tongue was soft and succulent, flavours were spot on. I haven’t had some good ox tongue in a while, this dish was well executed. Other stand out dishes include the golden sand chicken wings and the lamb ribs.

P1020401Ox tongue with miso mushroom and black pepper praline

P1020433Lamb ribs – Szechuan rub and 5-spice shaobing biscuit

They certainly left the best dish to last though! The dessert was a doughnut with salted duck egg yolk custard. We saw this on the menu and was thinking to ourselves that the ingredients sound like a recipe for disaster. After we took our first bite, Helen and I just looked at each other with our eyes wide open! This could possibly be one of the best desserts we’ve ever had. It’s funny cause we’ve eaten at numerous hatted and Michelin star restaurants overseas, but we were blown away by this dessert because it’s seriously right up there. It had a tinge of saltiness and wasn’t overly sweet at all. It had a golden crispy outer layer and piping hot egg custard oozing out from the inside. My only regret was that the waitress said that all these dishes were a one off for this special event, therefore I am saddened by the fact that I will never get to eat this dessert again. I really wanted to take mum here to try it too.


Beers were spectacular. These craft beers are certainly different from the mainstream stuff. Hearing the guys from Brewcult talk about each of their beers so passionately was a great experience. They explained what tastes to look for and even serving temperatures. Even though we are both primarily wine and whiskey drinkers, we really enjoyed the beers. They were also extremely generous with the portions.


If any of you guys were wanting to taste some nice Asian fusion food, I’d highly recommend Orient East. Even though you won’t get to order the same dishes we had for this event, I’m sure they’ll produce high quality foods for their normal dinner seatings. Alternatively keep an eye out for their next food event and we may even see you there!

Orient East
Approx $40 AUD per person
Website: http://www.orienteast.com.au/
Address: 348 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004
Phone:+61 3 9685 2900

Orient East Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tommy Ruff Fish Bar


Finding a good fish and chips joint can be hard especially if you’re looking for something different and not the usual deep fried stuff that most offer. However we were recently pleasantly surprised when we came across a place that not only avoided frying all their produce, but cooked and presented it more naturally with almost a certain respect.

Tommy Ruff, located in Elsternwick (there is also one in Mordialloc) is owned by John Stamoulis and Helen Stamoulis who has been specialising in gourmet fish and chips for quite a while. Just to give you a bit of background, John’s father, Ipocrates Stamoulis was born on the island of Samos, in the Aegean sea and after migrating to Australia in the 1950s he worked in the seafood industry and then took ownership of his first fish and chips shop in 1969. Inspired by his father, John decided to enter the fish and chips business himself but with a gourmet twist and emphasis on displaying the beautiful produce he has to offer. He has since changed the traditional fish and chips view to a focus on flavour, health and quality produce.


The restaurant itself has a modern, casual and bright beach, fun feel to it with sea decorations wherever possible from fishing nets and fishing rods scattered along the walls, to newspaper clippings made into wallpaper – even the water jug was a large ceramic fish with its mouth as the opening for water!

Continuing with the nautical theme, the menus are available on the table and are blue themed, offering quite a variety of different seafood dishes to choose from. Having been a few times now we have tried a number of dishes so lets talk about them!


We have had the seafood chowder a couple of times now as a starter which consists of fish, prawns and mussels with warmly toasted bread for dipping. It also has a potato like consistency offering it a bit of thickness expected in a chowder. It is quite a large serving but quite hearty and tasty so you’ll easily gobble it all up!

Tommy’s tacos (fish or prawns), which come with Mexican salsa and slaw is also very nice with fresh tasting ingredients and also good for a starter. We have also ordered the vinaigrette oysters which I thoroughly enjoyed – their special vinaigrette sauce has the perfect tang and gets you ready for the mains!


I highly recommend the Chef’s seafood platter if you’re not sure what to order because the huge platter offers a bit of everything for a first timer. It includes the Tommy’s tacos, oysters, about 3 different grilled fishes, prawns, scallops, calamari and chips. The seafood is mostly grilled and not fried which is what we love about it and the produce is fresh! It is also not over flavoured with too much seasoning or sauces, allowing you to really taste the natural freshness of the seafood. However it is definitely not plain tasting either so I think the flavours have been balanced well.


I was also a big fan of the salmon burger which consisted of a lovely grilled salmon fillet with salad, lemon and dill sauce. With such simple, fresh ingredients, allowing the combination of natural flavours, it was a really enjoyable burger! I can’t also forget to mention the chips as they were of real high quality, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.


If you’re not too hungry for the seafood platter, you can also order one of their many grilled fish combos with chips and salad or rice and salad.

Overall, if you’re looking for something different from the usual fish and chips you are used to, do check out Tommy Ruff as they offer high quality seafood, presented very nicely. For the top quality produce and presentation, the prices are also very reasonable!


Tommy Ruff Fish Bar
Approx $30 AUD per person
(does not include the Chef’s seafood platter for 2 which is $72)
Website: http://www.tommyruff.com.au/
Address: 1/3 Carre St, Elsternwick VIC 3185
Phone:+61 3 9077 8815

Tommy Ruff Fish Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Santorini, Greece


When we first landed at Santorini airport and jumped into a taxi to head towards our hotel, we were starting to wonder if we had made the right choice with visiting this famous island. Our initial observations from the airport to the hotel was that the surroundings looked barren, dry and hilly. We were worried.

But after we settled into our lovely hotel and took a walk up the hilly roads to discover the white washed buildings overlooking the bluest of waters, our worries quickly disappeared. The scenery was not like the photos we had seen.. it was way better!

Santorini is probably the most famous and popular Greek island out of all the islands in the Aegean Sea and is about an hour’s flight from Athens. Our hotel was located in Fira and only a few minutes walking distance from the water. We found that getting around to all the recommended destinations was quite easy as they had regular buses that could take you all over the island. Getting from one end of the island to the other by bus only takes about one hour so we utilised the buses regularly to explore as much as we could over the few days we had. Oia, famous for their white washed buildings and blue roofs were just like out of a postcard.


However let’s not forget to talk about the food. The seafood in Santorini was the freshest of the fresh and cooked so simply with just light flavours so that you can really taste the natural goodness of the produce. We had the most awesome seafood platter at Volcano Blue restaurant and the best fish soup we’ve had to date. In fact it was so good that we came back the next day to have more. The seafood platter had everything we could ask for and it was all simply grilled – none of that fried stuff! It came with a light lemon dipping sauce to accentuate the natural flavours and we thoroughly enjoyed it with some cocktails.


We also went to Lucky’s Souvlakis which was a small shabby looking place on the outside but was so packed with people and buzzing inside, all enjoying their famous gyros and souvlakis while sitting on stools along their long counter. There’s probably only enough room for about 10 – 15 people inside but that didn’t stop people like us from pouring in! We enjoyed our pork gyros souvlakis with some chips and a nice cold beer.

The gyros was cooked in front of you on the rotisserie and their pita bread was warmly toasted giving you that crispy texture. With the addition of lettuce, onions, tomatoes and chips loaded inside the bread, you got that extra crunch and burst of flavours from the gyros and tzatziki.

Verdict? A pretty high quality and tasty souvlaki! It was also really cheap and so is a great place for a pit stop for a quick lunch or late night dinner! I also can’t forget to mention the lovely service we received from the friendly and warm staff. The family who worked there looked like they were truly enjoying what they were doing.


Santorini are known for their beautiful beaches and boy were there many to choose from! Not only do they have the usual white beaches which are probably not so different back at home, but they are known for their famous Red beach and Black beaches which are coloured from the red and black volcanic pebbles.

And so we visited one of their black beaches, Perissa beach, about 15 km south of Fira and easily accessible by taking one of the buses, known for its black sand and the massive Mesa Vouno rock which rises high in the distance. It had an abundance of sun lounge chairs and straw umbrellas. We lazed around with our cocktails for a good few hours and took in the tranquility and crystalline water.


But my absolute FAVOURITE beach and place in Santorini was the Red beach. The Red beach is probably the most famous and beautiful beaches in Santorini and is only a walk away from ancient ruins site of Akrotiri. This beach also makes you work a little harder before you see its beauty because you do have to walk along a rocky and steep path, up a cliff and back down again before you reach it. For someone as clumsy as myself, I was being extra careful not to slip and topple over!

When we got to the top and looking point of the cliff we were able to admire the stunning scenery of the beach. The beautiful red landscape of the volcanic rocks enclosed around this small and intimate beach was breathtaking. It gave us the motivation to keep walking so that we could get to our destination! As we gradually made our way down to the beach there were many sun lounges and umbrellas to choose from in which you pay a small fee to rent for the day.  We sunscreened up, dropped our belongings and jumped into the beautiful blue waters.


Overall, I have to say that Santorini was probably one of my favourite places on this Europe trip and I would definitely revisit. Not only was the food amazing and the scenery was stunning, the people there were so lovely and warm. It was also one of those places where we didn’t have to rush around in a bustling city and we were about to take our time, relax and just soak up the atmosphere. The weather was definitely beyond warm, it was hot! But even more of an excuse to take a dip in their crystal blue waters.



Volcano Blue
Website: volcanoblue.gr
Donkey street, Fira, Santorini, Greece
Phone: +30 2286 022850

Lucky’s Souvlakis
Dekigala, Fira 847 00, Greece

The Tippler & Co.

This was a restaurant Helen and I discovered upon returning from our first Europe trip. Trip Advisor is the preferred review site overseas, so out of curiosity I looked up what the top Melbourne restaurant was on Trip Advisor. To our surprise, it was The Tippler & Co! We had never heard of this restaurant before, so we were very curious as to why The Tippler & Co. were rated so highly by our international and local visitors. We made an online booking and when we got there we realised that a booking wasn’t really necessary. This continued to be a common pattern even until today. Out of habit I still call up to make a booking every time just in case. If you’re someone that links how busy a restaurant is to the quality of their food, The Tippler & Co. will throw that theory out the window because their food is amazing!

Pan Fried Gnocchi with sweet potato, sage burnt butter, lemon, pine nuts, goat’s chevre

The food is based on a sharing plate menu. They have a wide variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods which will appeal to a wide range of people. The menu also changes regularly so we do get excited when something new is added (and equally get disappointed when a great dish is taken off). I can tell when a restaurant gets their food right when I really enjoy their vegetarian dishes. I’m usually the type that goes looking for meat in a dish but I actually look forward to the veggie dishes here. As a matter of fact, one of my favourite and long standing dishes here is the roasted cauliflower salad! It consists of cauliflower, green beans, pine nuts, goji berries, quinoa, and tahini yoghurt. This salad is just so appetizing and I love how they just lightly roast the cauliflower. I’ve lost count of the amount of times other places have charred the cauliflower. Everything just goes so well together and being so healthy makes me feel good too. That’s until I move onto the smoked chicken ribs! Oh these were so good we ordered another serving last time we were here. They have a nice woody and smokey flavour that’s been fully embedded into the meat, it’s topped off with a barbeque sauce glaze. These are guaranteed to make you want to lick your fingers!







Their pan fried gnocchi is another stand out. Sage burnt butter with lemon forms the basis of this dish. How can any dish go wrong with these two ingredients together? It’s just not fair! Then sweet potato, pine nuts and little balls of goat cheese are added in. While you’re enjoying the perfectly cooked and fluffy gnocchi, the goat cheese just bursts in your mouth. As the goat cheese flavour mellows down, the sweetness of the potato takes over. The problem with a lot of gnocchi’s is that it can feel a bit heavy and bloated, no such problem here even with the goat cheese. Other dishes such as the spatchcock and the chunky beef & wild mushroom pie were also exceptional. And this is what The Tippler & Co. does so well, they just understand how food should taste. It’s never bland or overseasoned, they just hit the mark consistently and they do it so effortlessly. Their dishes remind me of some country style dishes. Whilst there are similarities with the taste and ingredients used, what I’m really thinking of is the way the food here makes me feel. The food here gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling, the same feeling I get when I’m having hearty country style dishes.

Chunky beef & wild mushroom pie – smoky cheddar scone, roast tomato ketchup

Now the big question on your mind right now is probably… price? Well it’s our go to place to take our friends because the prices here are really reasonable! The last thing we want is to make anyone feel uncomfortable with high food prices. The smaller items such as the roasted cauliflower salad and smoked chicken ribs are around the $10 mark, and the larger meals such as the pan fried gnocchi, pie and spatchcock are in the low $20 price range. Excellent value considering all the dishes come in very decent portions.

The service has always been excellent at The Tippler & Co. They seem to really enjoy their jobs and it shows in their level of service. They are attentive and also break down the waiting staff / customer barrier. My impressions of them are that they are honest and down to earth. If we over order they will be the first to let us know. Their menu knowledge is also impeccable and can pretty much answer any questions you may throw at them. All while still making the effort to come and have a chat with us about a wide range of topics. This is the service I feel most comfortable with and I really appreciate their efforts. One minor disadvantage of The Tippler & Co. is probably the location, it’s situated in East Melbourne and therefore a little far away from the CBD walking wise. However there is a bar here serving a wide range of spirits and beers which should make for a pretty good night! A part of me doesn’t want to give away this hidden gem of a restaurant, well what can I say, guess I’m just a generous person. Do give The Tippler & Co. a try and I’m sure they’ll fulfill your heart with warm and lovely foods.

Ginger and date pudding – salted butter caramel and fried ice cream

The Tippler & Co.
Approx $35 AUD per person
Website: www.thetipplerandco.com
58 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne, VIC 3002
Phone:+61 3 9416 0618

The Tippler & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Fine dining in Prague


When we were in the beautiful city of Prague a few months ago, we had the pleasure of dining at one of their Michelin star restaurants, Alcron.  There are only two Michellin star restaurants in Prague, both having been awarded a Michellin star each so we felt really lucky to be able to secure a booking at one of them.

Alcron is located in the Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel and is furnished beautifully with art decor and a fireplace from the 1930s. There are only 24 seats so not only did we feel lucky to get a booking, but as soon as you walk in, there is a real intimate and personal feel to the whole place.


The staff were very welcoming, warm and friendly. They provided us with menus and explained that we were able to choose and create our own set menu ranging from 3 courses, 4 courses or 5 courses from their a la carte selection.  They were so flexible and were happy for us to choose whatever dishes we wanted to make up our courses and also suggested that we could order a few dishes first before we decided on the next dishes, or even stop if we were feeling too full. They were also very open to talking through the menu. Of course we decided to go all out and went with their 5 courses!

Alcron Collage

The food that came out absolutely blew us away. The restaurant aims to use the freshest ingredients and to perfect all their dishes. We were in awe of not only the quality of the food and combination of ingredients but the presentation of each dish, which were all like pieces of artwork.

Some of the highlighted dishes captured above include the tuna sashmi with tapioca, daikon and parsley mayonaise, the organic goats’ cheese with baked leeks and beets which tasted so heavenly, the marinated Scottish salmon in dark rum with tabouleh and ginger infusion, and the lobster bisque with sweet corn and poached egg yolk. The lobster bisque was rich in lobster flavour, and the poached egg yolk gave it a creamy dimension. It was definitely one of the highlight dishes of the night.


The US-prime beef fillet and shoulder was complimented with a miso glaze and jasmine tea smoked potato puree. This was also a dish we really enjoyed as we found that the smoked potato puree went really well with the beef fillet. The combination of ingredients was exceptional.

Oh and have I mentioned the bread and butter? We had never come across a restaurant that offered such an extensive array of flavours. We had 9 different varieties of bread and 4 different kinds of butter to choose from. Some of the bread choices include pumpkin seed, green olive, black olive, onion, tomato, and the list goes on. Had we not been served their other dishes, we would have been happy eating just the bread and butter for dinner because it was so good!

We were so full from all the dishes that we had to settle for a very light dessert. We were really disappointed that we couldn’t fit their special ‘dessert painting’, which we could see another table thoroughly enjoying. This dessert painting was prepared right in front of them and the end result looked like something from an art gallery.

After trying numerous restaurants around the world, we came to the conclusion that this was the best 1 Michelin star restaurant we had dined at. The quality of the food in comparison to the price was unmatched. The dishes showed amazing cooking techniques and the presentation really wowed us from all aspects. We were also really impressed with the attentive and personalised service. I highly recommend Alcron to anyone visiting Prague!


Alcron Restaurant
Approx 1500 CZK / $85 AUD per person (excluding wine)
Website: www.alcron.cz/en
Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel, Štěpánská 40,, Nové Město, Nové Město, Praha 1
Phone: +420 222820000

Restaurace Alcron - Radisson Blu Alcron Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delicious Afghan Feast


We discovered how scrumptious and delicious Afghan food was a few years ago when we decided to visit the Afghan town of Dandenong, where there are an abundance of Afghan restaurants to choose from. Ever since we had our first taste, we’ve never looked back!  So I wanted to share one of my recommended restaurants to go to if you are ever in town or wish to try out the cuisine.

Pamir Restaurant, which is located in the heart of Dandenong on Lonsdale Street serves up authentic and hearty dishes of Afghan food. On arrival, the entrance is narrow and leads you upstairs to their open and spacious restaurant. Once you enter you’ll notice the beautiful and extravagant decor and surroundings. The furniture is handcrafted with solid wood and complimented with Afghan artwork and decorations throughout. Staff are very welcoming and friendly and like to check in and make sure you are happy with everything.


On this occasion we ordered one of their banquet specials which was $35 AU per head and included a bit of everything. It  came with steam cooked mantu, Afghani traditional rice, chicken and lamb kebab skewers, meatball Kofta, salad, dips and bread. All the dishes were amazing but the chicken kebab skewers in particular were to die for – the chicken itself was so super soft and tender. I also really enjoyed the Afghani rice here, the sweetness of the cranberries made it really appetizing.

The steamed mantu which are like Afghan dumplings with minced meat are also always a hit. Served with yoghurt, they tasted like soft, fluffy pillows, bursting with flavour. And of course I loved snacking away on the dips and warm bread which was probably why I felt so stuffed in the end but I couldn’t stop!

Overall, all the dishes were exceptional and we are always so full after an Afghan meal because they are ever so generous with their servings. As previously mentioned, the staff are all so friendly too which makes the whole experience worthwhile. I highly recommend checking it out as they never seem to disappoint us!


Pamir Restaurant
Approx $40 AUD per person
Website: www.pamirrestaurant.com.au
195 Lonsdale Street, Dandenong VIC 3175
Phone:+61 3 9792 0197

Pamir Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Noryangjin Fish Market in Seoul


When we were in Seoul, one of our top to-do things was to try out their famous live dancing octopus at the Noryangjin Fish Market, oh and of course their super fresh seafood!  Before travelling to South Korea, we had on many occasions watched people experience eating these wiggly octopuses on YouTube and discussed at lengths what we would do if we ever had the opportunity to try it. I remember seeing in the video clips the tentacles wrapping around the chopsticks while people would pop them in their mouths and quickly chew and swallow.  Well our time finally arrived!

Noryangjin Fish Market is easily accessible and located right next to Noryangjin Station. You can get there by taking the Metro line one and exiting at exit 1 at the station, then walk under the bridge and follow the crowd, they’ll take you straight there. The coolest thing about it is that it is open 24 hours!  The fish market is located in a massive open-air warehouse and there are just endless stalls of the freshest seafood for you to choose from. Also, because it’s a wholesale fish market, prices are considerably a lot cheaper than supermarkets too.


So after our amazement and awe of how many stalls of fresh seafood there was, we started exploring and getting lost in the huge warehouse. Almost everything was still alive and swimming or wiggling around so you are guaranteed that what you are getting is fresh. You can also bargain and haggle with the vendors for the right price and it was just fun watching people haggle. But we finally decided we wanted in on the action, so we ended up picking up the freshest king crab, assortment of sashimi and octopus.

The next best part about this market is that once you’ve purchased your items, there are many restaurants dotted around the warehouse which you can take your bag of fresh seafood to and they will cook you the most AMAZING feast! Yes you heard right! These restaurants around the warehouse are there just to cook the food that you buy. With a small fee of about $5 – $10 AUD, they’ll cook you up a storm and also serve your seafood with their side dishes like kimchi and rice. You can also buy beer and soju to go with your meal.  The king crab, which is what the market is famous for, was simply steamed, just showing of its sweet and succulent flavour. They will also make you a crab flavoured fried rice served in the crab shell which was so delicious!


Now onto the octopus. It has been a long standing tradition and is quite common in South Korea. As I’ve mentioned before, it is served really fresh! As soon as you hand it over to the staff at the restaurant, they will chop up the octopuses live and serve it on a plate still wiggling around. They give you a bowl of sesame oil and salt like sauce to dip the octopus in. Just by touching them with your chopsticks, you’ll cause a ripple of movement and wiggling around LONG after they’ve been chopped up. I have to say, it took a bit of courage to finally pop one of them into my mouth (and probably after Davin had already tried one and confirmed that he was still fine) but I finally did it, chewed really fast and got it down as fast as I could. The verdict? It was quite chewy and there wasn’t much flavour to it. I wouldn’t say it was delicious but I think it is something you just have to try if you’re ever there.

Overall the Noryangjin Fish Market is a place you must visit and experience if you’re ever in Seoul because you may not come across anything just like it. If I’m ever in Seoul again, I will definitely be back. My mouth is just watering now thinking about the delicious seafood feast I had there.


Noryangjin Fish Market
Approx 33,000 KRW / $40 AUD per person
688 Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-814-2211


Spilt Milk

Spilt Milk

We discovered Spilt Milk a few weeks ago and ever since then I have been dying to go back. Located in Carnegie, Melbourne, it is a very small and cute cafe with small wooden furnishings and open windows that you can sit along and people watch while you enjoy some food and a coffee. We arrived around 2:00 pm for a very late lunch so was able to sit down straight away. Staff were very friendly and handed us the menus for our perusal which consisted of menu items named after animals. We immediately noticed the price which was a lot cheaper than other good brunch/lunch places which is always a plus.

Spilt MIlk

Spilt Milk 2

Because of my love for potatoes, I instantly zeroed in on the Rhino which was a baked jacket potato with chicken (you can also opt for tuna), avocado, corn, sour cream, chives, truffle salt and chilli jam on the side. It was delicious! It felt like a very gourmet version of a spud but all the ingredients went so well together. I tried really hard not to scoff my dish too quickly as I wanted to savour every bite. Davin ordered the Salmon which had smoked salmon, smashed avocado, fetta, capers, red onion, dill, olive oil and lemon on toasted light rye. His dish was also very nice too and the ingredients were very fresh. We both agreed however that the Rhino was the highlight. I allowed Davin to have an extra bite of mine because I could tell he was longing for mine after the first bite. I also ordered a latte which was also quite nice and the temperature was perfect.  Staff were also very friendly and efficient and were happy for a chat. They also asked us how the food was and made sure we were happy with everything when we were paying for the bill. Overall it was a very cute cafe with great quality food and prices were very reasonable. Definitey drop by if you are ever in the area, I may even see you there!


Spilt Milk
Approx $20 AUD per person
288 Neerim Rd, Carnegie VIC 3163
Phone:+61 3 9571 8880

Spilt Milk Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Frogmore Creek Winery

Frogmore Winery

Last September for my birthday we took a trip to Hobart over a long weekend to celebrate and just get away. I had never been to Tasmania before but instantly fell in love with the beauty and quietness of the city. I loved the crisp air, the slow pace and the picturesque views, laneways and buildings. What I especially loved about it was the amazing food it had to offer. As usual we had done a bit of research before we left and had a rough idea of the restaurants we were going to visit. Frogmore Creek Winery was one we were quite keen on as we discovered that it was a one hat restaurant and it actually ended up more than exceeding our expectations. I can’t stress this enough but It. Was. Amazing!

The winery is located in Cambridge which was less than a 20 minute drive from the city centre so we hopped into our rental car and got there in no time for our lunch reservation. On arrival the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. The winery was set upon beautiful lush greenery surroundings with an abundance of growing grape wines and a lake in the distance with houses dotted along the water. Inside, the restaurant was clean and modern with wooden furnishings and wide windows allowing natural light in. Wine barrels were used as decorations inside and outside, to hold plants and as tables in the outdoor seating area.

Pulled pork lollipop entree
Pulled pork lollipop with brocolli jelly

Now onto the most important part! An a la carte menu was available but we decided on the chef’s choice set menu which is $85 per head and was happy to be surprised by whatever they had to offer. You must allow a good few hours to enjoy this degustation experience. The presentation and quality of the food was spectacular. Each dish was assembled with such detail and care like a work of art, it was too pretty to eat so of course I had to snap lots of photos before I ate! When I finally got around to the food, I was blown away… all the ingredients were fresh based on its changing produce and combined in its complexity worked so well, it’s obvious that the chef has put so much thought into the creation of each dish. I could talk about how great the food was all day as every dish was so good but some of our highlights was the 42 degree ocean trout with potato salad, poached egg, mizuna lettuce, seaweed cracker and miso dressing, the pulled pork lollipop with brocolli jelly which came out looking like a dessert so it really surprised our palates! And the the lemon lego dessert with basil ice cream and lemon pana cotta, it was divine and I felt like I was in food heaven!

Ocean trout
42 degree ocean trout with potato salad, poached egg, mizuna lettuce, seaweed cracker and miso dressing


Frogmore Creek dish

Lego lemon dessert
Lemon lego dessert with basil ice cream and lemon pana cotta

The service was exceptional too and was as expected from a fine dining restaurant. They were friendly, efficient and very switched on. Overall it was the best winery restaurant we have been to so far and we were very impressed. I highly, highly recommended if you’re ever in Tassie to check it out!


Frogmore Creek Winery
Approx $100 AU per person
20 Denholms Rd, Cambridge TAS 7170
Phone: +61 3 6248 5844
Website: www.frogmorecreek.com.au

Frogmore Creek Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yum Cha at Tao Tao House

Since it’s Sunday today, I thought it was only fitting that I post a yum cha review! Last weekend, Helen and I were really craving for some yum cha when we woke up. I was kind of sick of the bad quality yum cha we’ve been getting around our area, so I quickly jumped online to see if there were any other alternatives. I came across Tao Tao House through my research and quickly learned that the chef had worked at Flower Drum for nearly 20 years. He also worked at Golden Dragon Palace afterwards, another very reputable yum cha place. Quite an impressive resume there, I quickly called up Tao Tao House to make a booking.

Tao Tao House - Inside

When we arrived I noticed that Tao Tao House was a lot smaller than other yum cha places we go to. Normally yum cha establishments are huge with a sea of people, but this had a more smaller and intimate feel. The interior had a bit of a purple colour scheme happening with purple chairs and purple table clothes. A little different from other yum cha places, but it was quite nice and I quickly got used to it. The waiter seated us down straight away with some jasmine tea. One thing I hate about a lot of other yum cha places was the wait to get the first dishes on the table. No such problem here, a lady walked by with a tray of food and we were well on our way!

Tao Tao House - Yum Cha

Tao Tao House -

We quickly filled our table with food. The dishes we ordered were Har Gau (prawn dumping), scallop siu mai, chive prawn dumpling, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, chicken feet in black bean sauce, BBQ pork puffs, Xiao Long Bao (pork soup dumplings), prawn rice noodle roll and Chinese egg tarts. All the dishes were extremely high quality, and I was very impressed with both the taste and texture of each dish. Some of my highlights include the Har Gau, the prawns were very fresh inside and you could taste the prawn pieces in the dumpling. At some of the other yum cha places, the prawn in the dumpling can taste mushy. The Chinese broccoli was really crunchy and blanched perfectly. The oyster sauce was light, and flavoured the broccoli nicely without being salty. The chicken feet was so good! As soon as I tried one, there was a burst of flavour in my mouth. The prawn rice noodle roll had a very thin outing which just dropped over my chopstick when I picked it up. A lot of places make the rice noodle roll way too thick, which can taste very doughy and non appetizing. The prawns inside were once again very fresh. As much as we wanted to finish with a mango pudding, we were just too full. We enjoyed some fresh Chinese egg tarts for dessert. The pastry was very light and flaky. The egg filling inside was silky smooth and actually tasted like egg, and not just a sweet filling. Simply delicious…

Tao Tao House - Egg Tarts

It felt like there were a lot of staff there for a smallish place. We never had any trouble getting anyone’s attention, which can sometimes be a problem at really busy yum cha places. The customer service here was actually really good. They were not only switched on and very efficient, but also spoke nicely and were very friendly. A very pleasant surprise in the yum cha scene. The food kept coming out with next to no waiting time, and we got full pretty quickly. The price at Tao Tao House is a little more expensive, we found ourselves paying about $20 more between the two of us compared to other places. No complaints though, as the quality of the food justifies the price. This is the best yum cha I’ve had outside of Hong Kong. The search for great yum cha certainly doesn’t end here, I will continue to try other yum cha places in Melbourne and will definitely keep you guys up to date. I highly recommend Tao Tao House and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it too!

Tao Tao House
Approx $50 AUD per person
815 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: +61 3 9818 0968
Website: www.taotaohouse.com.au

Tao Tao House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mrs Kim’s Grill

Last weekend we were hungry but we were feeling too lazy to travel far for a good feed. So while we were driving aimlessly and naturally heading towards the city, we suddenly thought of the travel cooking show we watched earlier on South Korea and had a sudden urge for Korean food. So we turned off into Carnegie knowing there would be a few options there. Mrs Kim’s Grill stood out as a bright modern place amongst the other restaurants so we were naturally drawn to it. I discovered that it had only opened in 2013 by a Korean migrant who has been using traditional methods of marinating meat and who has been wanting to share her traditional food with everyone. She started off marinating meats for events and BBQs and when she gained a loyal, regular stream of customers, decided to open her own restaurant.

The interior was also furnished with modern decor and it looked really clean and spacious inside. We were seated upstairs and handed nice modern looking menus to peruse. The first thought that popped to mind was that prices were quite reasonable for Korean BBQ compared to others we’ve been to, particularly in the CBD. They have the a la carte menu where you can pick from a range of Mrs Kim’s marinated meats, or you can also choose from their set menu options where you pick the meat of your liking and it is served with a salad, soup of the day, butter vegie parcel and rice. Each set menu is $39 and is for 2 people. We settled on the Moo set which consisted of the marinated Gaibi beef ribs (350g) and skirt steak (250g). We also ordered an extra serving of the chilli marinated chicken (200g). Of course we can’t forget the unlimited complimentary side dishes that always comes with Korean food.

The staff were very efficient, fast and friendly. They brought out the BBQ equipment and cuts of meat pretty fast and started cooking and cutting the meats for us. The side dishes particularly the kim chi was quite good and the rice was super moist. But the highlight was of course the meats. The meats were so nicely flavoured and SOFT! They practically melted in my mouth. I was quite impressed with the quality of the food and overall service. Not to mention the reasonable price for the quality that was served. I also like the story behind the opening of this restaurant so we’ll definitely be back when we have another craving for Korean!


Mrs Kim’s Grill
Approx $30 AUD per person
136 Koornang Rd, Carnegie VIC 3163
Phone: +61 3 9563 4424
Website: www.mrskimsgrill.com

Mrs Kim's Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Seafood delight in Venice


Venice is a city well known for it’s seafood, but with over 1000 restaurants, it’s clearly a land mine for tourists hoping to find a good seafood meal. Apart from the obvious places offering ‘turista menus’, there are a lot of other places which present themselves as offering the finest Venetian foods. A lot of these restaurants lure vulnerable tourists in, whilst offering food that’s below par.

I was determined to not be another statistic and did research on finding an excellent seafood restaurant in Venice. My research led me to this beautiful, cosy, 9 table restaurant called Osteria alle Testiere. This seafood restaurant is highly regarded in numerous articles, rated highly on Trip Advisor and also feature in the Michelin guide. Sounds like a winning combination to me! We wandered in for a late lunch, hoping to not have to wait. A beautiful aroma of fresh seafood welcomed us. The atmosphere looked casual yet classy at the same time. The restaurant was full and bustling, we couldn’t wait to join in on the action and taste the food. We were warmly greeted by Luca Di Vita, owner of Osteria alle Testiere. He said we wouldn’t have to wait long, and that a table would be available soon. True to his words, 10 minutes later we were seated and extremely excited.

Steamed spider crab
Steamed spider crab

The menu was a seafood lover’s dream! We wanted nearly everything on the menu and was in a real predicament on deciding what to get and whether we would be able to finish the food. We finally decided to order the sword fish carpaccio, steamed spider crab, spaghetti with ‘bevarasse’ clams, prawns in sweet & sour ‘busara’ style, scallops with orange and cervere leeks, and mussels ‘cassopipa’ style. Now the first thing I’d like to mention is the seafood was FRESH. Apparently the dishes are designed around the fresh daily seafood. We ordered a really dry and crisp local Tuscany white to enjoy with our seafood.

Swordfish carpaccio
Swordfish carpaccio

I really loved all the dishes and couldn’t fault anything about them. The dishes were clean tasting and simplistic. I’m a firm believer that with good seafood dishes, the chef should allow for the seafood to shine and allow it’s natural flavours come through. I find that a lot of chefs try to do too much with seafood, whereas I feel as though the seasoning should only compliment and play a supporting role with the dish. Osteria alle Testiere has achieved this perfectly, with every dish I am tasting the freshness of the seafood without any overpowering flavours. The sword fish carpaccio had the perfect acidity, the sweetness of the steamed spider crab came through, perfectly cooked al dente spaghetti flavoured by the natural saltiness from the clams, and the sweet & sour ‘busara’ sauce with the prawns were just to die for. I was a bit skeptical with this sweet and sour sauce because I automatically think of the Chinese version, which can really take over the dish. This busara sauce was really light and allowed me to fully appreciate the prawns.

Mussels "cassopipa"style & Scallops with orange and Cervere leeks
Mussels “cassopipa”style & Scallops with orange and Cervere leaks

We finished off with their homemade panna cotta for dessert. We tried to savour every bite as this was honestly the best panna cotta we’ve ever had! It tasted so milky and creamy, other panna cotta we have had just taste sweet. The texture was the real highlight of this dessert though, it was so wobbly that I was quite surprised it could even hold it’s own weight. I had never seen one made this well before. The lemon sauce and fresh berries that came with it just topped it all off! I was actually a little depressed after eating the panna cotta, as I was quite convinced that I may never experience a one this good ever again.

Overall, I absolutely loved every moment at Osteria alle Testiere. Luca was extremely friendly and provided a personable service. His recommendations on the wine, food and portions were spot on. The highlight was definitely the seafood though. I would say that this was probably the best seafood meal I’ve ever had. Now one thing I would say is that the price is certainly not the cheapest, and it makes for quite an expensive lunch. It would always be nicer to come for dinner but it’s extremely hard to get a booking. I thought the price was worth it, because dining at Osteria alle Testiere was one of my most memorable food experiences on our trip.

Panna cotta

Osteria alle Testiere
Approx €70 EUR per person
Calle Del Mondo Novo Castello 5801
30122 Venezia VE, Italy
Phone: +390415227220
Website: http://www.osterialletestiere.it/Testiere/Welcome.html

Crabapple Kitchen


Crabapple Kitchen has been one of those places where we’ve walked or driven past numerous times while we were heading somewhere else but we’ve never actually thought to stop by and try out.  Well today was finally one of those days!  Upon arrival we already noticed that it was very busy however the waitress offered us seats at the bar which we were perfectly fine with it. Not very long after though a table opened up so we were able to move to it which probably worked out better in the end due to the amount of food we ordered!  My first impression of the surroundings was that it was a very cute cafe. The decor was lovely with the brick walls, pictures of cows and chalk boards. I was also surprised at how deep the restaurant was when we moved to a table.


Breakfast is served all day and they also offer a lunch menu. I started off with my regular latte but also ordered their citrus sunrise juice which had ruby grapefruit, watermelon and orange. The coffee was okay, it could have been a little stronger but the juice was delish!  For starters we ordered the crabapple sliders for two which had spanner crab, granny smith apples, radish, mustard cress and Kewpie mayonaise in a brioche bun – it was very nice and refreshing and the brioche bun was toasted warm and crispy.  We also ordered the spanner cerviche which was accompanied with salted cucumber, sheep’s milk yoghurt, seaweed caviar, fried shallots and kale salsa verde. The presentation of this dish was exceptional and all the ingredients combined together quite nicely making it a very lovely dish.

For mains we ordered the Istanbul Turkey breakfast experience which consisted of a large chargrilled flatbread, spiced ground lamb, dukkah poached egg, garlic yoghurt, salad of freekah, red onion, tomato and harissa – each bite I took was a burst of flavours. We also ordered from the lunch menu the Ripal’s roasted pork neck stuffed with pine nuts, raisins and sage, sweet corn puree, braised winter greens and chorizo crumbs.  The pork neck was reasonably soft and the sweet corn puree was very tasty and went well with the dish.

Crabapple sliders for two – spanner crab, granny smith apples, radish, mustard cress and Kewpie mayonaise in a brioche bun & Spanner cerviche with salted cucumber, sheep’s milk yoghurt, seaweed caviar, fried shallots and kale salsa verde
Ripal’s roasted pork neck stuffed with pine nuts, raisins and sage, sweet corn puree, braised winter greens and chorizo crumbs

Service overall was quite good, the staff were attentive, friendly and switched on. One thing I do regret is not trying out their wines as they won the award for 2015 Australia’s Wine List of the Year and it felt like everyone around me was drinking wine. However what a great excuse to come back to not only try out their wines but perhaps check out their Friday Night Flights. They apparently offer a five course dinner for AU $45 a person so if we do try it I’ll definitely let you know!

Crabapple Kitchen
Approx $45 AUD per person
659 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: +61 3 9078 5492
Website: www.crabapplekitchen.com.au

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Milk the Cow

Creme de la crop cheeseboard
Creme de la crop cheeseboard

If you are a lover of wine and cheese then you must drop by Milk the Cow and check it out. How can anyone resist such a  catchy name? It proudly states that it’s the first late night cheese shop and stays open as late as 1am on Friday, and Saturday and late most other days. They stock over 150 cheeses from around the world and have an ever changing selection. You can order cheese takeaway or sit and pick from the many cheeseboard combinations they offer, you can also pair it with a boutique wine from their wide selection. If you’re feeling overwhelmed they offer cheese and booze flights where they have already carefully chosen a set of cheeses and drinks to match. Don’t like wine? They have cheese flights for beer, cider, whisky and even sake! The cheese flights and cheesemonger boards change every Tuesday so if you’re a cheese lover like myself you know you’ll be experiencing something different each time you visit.

Baked Camembert and Mac’n’cheese

However not only do they offer a great selection of cheeses, if you’re feeling a little hungry you can also order the cheese fondue, baked Camembert or Mac’n’cheese with a twist. By now you’ll notice that the theme is cheese!  There are two locations, we went to the one located in St Kilda but there is also one located in Carlton.

When we arrived recently on a cold Friday night it was buzzing inside so we set ourselves up outside which was fine as they had heaters to keep us warm. Once we were seated, we were served complimentary glasses of mulled wine which I thought was a nice touch. Since I’m a die-hard cheese lover, I was so excited and overwhelmed when the menu was placed in front of me. I just wanted to order everything! Common sense took over so our party of 5 decided to settle on the Creme de la crop cheeseboard which consisted of their very best and rarest cheeses with Spanish quince paste, muscatel clusters, freshly baked bread and housemade lavosh. We also ordered the baked Camembert and Mac’n’cheese with Perigold truffle oil and Courvoisier VS cognac. Oh, and of course we got a couple of bottles of red. The cheeses from the Creme de la crop cheeseboard were exceptional and the hot dishes hit the spot for the cold day. Overall a great experience and will definitely revisit when I’m craving some good cheese with a glass of wine, or two!

Milk the Cow
Approx $ 45 AUD per person
157 Fitzroy St
St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone: +61 3 9537 2225
Website: www.milkthecow.com.au

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Cobs Popcorn


I absolutely love cheese popcorn. Ever since my first packet of cheese popcorn in primary school, I’ve been hooked! Throughout the years I’ve eaten numerous brands of cheese popcorn, and I’ve also seen these brands come and go. It reached the stage where it was getting extremely hard to even find a packet of cheese popcorn in my local supermarket. I had almost given up hope on finding good quality cheese popcorn until I accidently stumbled into Thomas Dux Grocer on Bridge Road, Richmond, Melbourne.

Sitting on a big shelf inside at Thomas Dux Grocer were an assortment of Cobs Popcorn. I had never had Cobs Popcorn before. The packets proudly state that it’s all natural and nothing artificial. The packaging was also beautifully presented and genuinely looked like a premium product. Whilst the packaging looked good, I was quite skeptical of how good it would taste because cheese popcorn was generally full of colouring and flavour enhancers. Nice tasting popcorn with no artifical colours and flavours?     SIGN ME UP!

I quickly snapped up a packet of cheddar cheese flavour, and got back to the car. I handed Helen the car keys and told her I needed a moment to try out this popcorn. She wasn’t overly happy about having to drive but this cheese popcorn needed my undivided attention. I opened the packet and was greeted with a pleasant cheddar cheese aroma. I popped one in my mouth, the crunch and flavour was just perfect! This was the cheese popcorn I’ve been waiting for all these years. Now I’ve tried Garrett Popcorn before, which many claim to be the best popcorn in the world. Whilst the initial 20 popcorns or so were really nice, the cheese flavour simply got too intense for me after that. Also I found myself needing to drink a considerable amount of water afterwards.

The Cobs cheddar cheese popcorn was nothing like that though. Each popcorn is perfectly coated with just the right amount of seasoning and definitely not too salty at all. It was enjoyable from the first to the last popcorn. Also because it’s all natural, I didn’t find myself scrambling for water afterwards from thirst. Another important thing which I’ve noticed with Cobs Popcorn is the low ratio of unpopped corn kernels. I’d be lucky to find 1 or 2 unpopped corn kernels whereas with some brands you’d literally find at least 10-20, no exaggeration! It’s never a nice experience biting into an unpopped corn kernel so I’m extremely happy with Cobs Popcorn’s quality control.

Whilst I am biased towards the cheddar cheese flavour, all their other flavours taste just as good! I highly recommend the sour cream and chives and nacho cheese flavours also. Helen’s personal favourite is the slightly salted, slightly sweet flavour. Whichever flavour you choose, you can’t go wrong with Cobs Popcorn. You can pick up the 100g packets for around $3.50 AUD to $4.50 AUD depending on where you shop. The Cobs Popcorn website has a list of stockists.

Alternatively just order from their website for $3.50 AUD each as they also offer free delivery (Within Australia and minimum purchase of 6 packets). My advice would be to purchase them off the website and enjoy with a good movie at home. I am also guilty of sneaking a packet or two into the cinemas… =)


Cobs Popcorn
Approx $3.50 – $4.50 AUD
Website: http://www.cobspopcorn.com.au/