Saint Crispin

For the last year or so when people approach me asking for a restaurant recommendation where they can experience a touch of fine dining without having to pay an arm and a leg for it, I have said to them hands down Saint Crispin is the place to try.  Although this Modern Australian restaurant only opened in 2013, it quickly gained a chef hat. I remember after dining there raving (and probably rambling) to my husband about how amazing the food was and that they were definitely on their way to two hats. Fast track a year and lo and behold Saint Crispin was awarded two hats 2014! Located in Collingwood, the restaurant is beautifully furnished with an open kitchen, marble bar and an exposed brick wall giving the interior a rustic feel when you walk in. The cleverly thought out contemporary menu changes regularly based on seasonal produce and presentation of each dish is impeccable with perfect combinations of ingredients.   You are given the option to choose either two courses for $50 AUD, three for $65 AUD, or try the chef’s tasting menu of five courses for $100 AUD. If you’re feeling really hungry, there is also the option of seven courses for $130 AUD.  I generally find the three course for $65 AUD perfect for me. Once you are finished with dinner, I recommend you head up the narrow staircase above Saint Crispin and down the slim corridor to the hidden gem of a bar Thomas Olive for a drink. You can ask one of the friendly waiters in the restaurant who can escort you up.  The little cosy bar is French influenced and has a good range of cocktails to choose from.  And hey, if you’re still feeling peckish you can order some snacks or dessert straight from the Saint Crispin kitchen! 

Saint Crispin
Approx $65 – $130 AUD per person
Address: 300 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
Phone: +61 9419 2202

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The raw chicken experience in Tokyo

Entrance to Hashidaya Honten
Entrance to Hashidaya Honten

During our trip to Tokyo we came across a traditional Japanese style restaurant, Hashidaya Honten located 5 minutes away from Shibuya station. Now the unique thing about this restaurant was that it specialised in chicken, cooked and raw. Although my husband was a bit hesitant to go after hearing that they served raw chicken, I was dying to try it out.  When and where else would we ever get to try raw chicken?  So after some convincing we headed out.  The entrance was not easy to find as the signs were in Japanese but we eventually found it.

Raw chicken salad
Raw chicken salad

Once we were seated and handed the menus we also realised that there were no English menus.  Fortunately a kind lady who was seated next to us was able to translate and placed the orders for us.  To ease into it we tried the raw chicken salad first.  It was deliciously refreshing and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Raw chicken, with cooked crispy skin
Raw chicken,with crispy skin

Next up was the raw chicken with crispy skin.  I have to say that with a squeeze of lime it actually tasted really good.  It had a chewy satisfying texture which was complimented with the crispy skin.

Oyakodon - chicken, egg and rice
Oyakodon – chicken, egg and rice

After being quite impressed with the raw chicken dishes we moved onto their famous Oyakodon dish.  This was the best chicken, egg and rice dish we’ve ever had.  The chicken was so tender and the egg was runny and cooked to perfection.  Overall the food was delicious and if we’re ever in Tokyo again we will definitely be making another stop here.

14417484831_013a8788e5_oHashidaya Honten
Address: 3-15-4 Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
Phone:+81 3-5774-4105

The Chobani craze


Chobani yoghurt seems to be all the rage these days. Before trying Chobani yohgurt out, I had been on a bit of a drought because the Greek style yoghurt I was previously buying from Aldi seems to have been discontinued. I was itchin’ for some nice Greek style yoghurt to be reintroduced into my life and boy did Chobani deliver!

I tried the passion fruit flavour first. I did the trademark lick from the bottom of the lid, this was good stuff! As all the fruit was underneath, I was pretty much trying plain Chobani yoghurt. Plain Greek style yoghurts are generally an acquired taste and don’t taste very good but Chobani was quite nice indeed. It had the perfect ratio of tangyness and sourness. The passion fruit at the bottom was very good too. I recommend mixing it all up as the passion fruit can be a little sweet. I also tried the mango flavour which wasn’t very nice, it was way too sweet for me and I didn’t find it enjoyable at all.

My recommendation is definitely to buy the plain fat free Chobani yoghurt and add your own fresh fruits. Some of my favorite combinations include adding strawberries/blueberries or simply just enjoy with blackberries. One blackberry per one big scoop of Chobani yoghurt is simply heaven! I also like to add fresh mango in, when they’re on special of course.

The plain fat free Chobani yoghurt not only goes well with fresh fruits but it’s seriously healthy too! 10.2g of protein per 100g, ranks it as one of the highest-protein yoghurt ever. It’s also really low in carbs (4.2g per 100g) and sugar (3.8g per 100g). Whilst the yoghurt itself is low in sugar, be mindful of the natural sugars you’re adding in from the fruits.

I normally buy the biggest tub (907 grams) as it works out cheaper and I know I can get through it in a week. I like to have some Chobani yogurt in between meals or after a nice workout sometimes. To me it’s guilt free indulgence and I definitely prefer the taste compared to a protein shake.

 Approx $7 AUD for 907 grams

Simply Spanish

We came across this by chance as we had plans to go to another tapas restaurant in South Melbourne however they were booked out and didn’t allow walk-ins.  A quick search on the internet for another place close by brought this little gem up which was only about a 5 minute walk away.  Nestled just on the edge of the South Melbourne market it was buzzing when we arrived and as we sat down we felt like we were in Spain all over again with the smells and the atmosphere of the streets of Madrid.  You have the option to sit indoors or outdoors but outside is where the buzz and experience is.

The tapas were delicious and served in just the right quantities.  I recommend the garlic prawns, fried balls of goats cheese served with beetroot relish, the squid ink and tiger prawn paella, pork belly and the sauteed mushrooms.  However everything we tried was impressive. If you have been to Spain and you want to have a taste of it in Melbourne then Simply Spanish is the place to be.

Squid ink and tiger prawn paella
Prawn and squid ink paella

Simply Spanish
Approx $50 AUD per person
Address: 116 Cecil St, South Melbourne VIC
Phone: +61 9682 6100

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