“Melbourne has such a nice coffee culture”

•March 28, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Oh dear oh dear, how many times did I hear this? Melbournians and their proud for their “coffee” culture.

I know it’s been a while since I wrote something and I promise more food posts are coming, and news on my end. This post is now under a new category: Coup de gueule. It’s a bit hard to translate from French to English but it’s like having a rant but in a more objective way, not just under anger. Well in France, when people have a coup de gueule it’s when they are not happy about something and they want to complain (fitting into the stereotype) but beyond that, to express themselves because never forget that when you brag about democracy it is only relevant under 3 main points: 1. You know what you are talking about, 2. You question your own point of view and 3. You FREAKING express your opinion. I’m just saying that because the lay-back way of life in Australia doesn’t really seem to fit in the latter but that’s another story. So, what is my coup de gueule about the Melbournian coffee culture?

 

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So I know my opinion is a very unpopular one in Melbourne seeing the reaction of people around me when I express my opinion about this topic but seeing people on Facebook sharing this stupid ranking of Melbourne having the best coffee in the world by …booking.com (really?) just gave me a stronger desire to share with the web my view on this.

First of all, booking.com…really? You really think that because some tourists said Melbourne has the best coffee in the world is enough to show it to everyone like a world cup trophy? It’s basically saying that your restaurant is way better than a 3-star Michelin because Urbanspoon has a better rating. The democratisation of these websites to give your opinion is a good thing, don’t get me wrong but there is a tradeoff. You take the risk of substituting professionalism by amateurism. For things like a hotel room, I think there is no problem, that’s why websites like tripadvisor seems to work so well but websites for restaurants, that’s another story. On Urbanspoon, how many times I’ve seen people talking about things they don’t know. You give me a ultra sweet thai curry rich with coconut milk and they will tell you that they had the best thai curry in the world. I think grotesque exaggeration is a thing in Melbourne, you can always see in restaurants or coffee shops ” the best … in the world”, I think that’s misleading publicity because it’s there is no restriction, everyone can write they have the best something in the world and that’s when it becomes really grotesque. That’s when you loose the meaning of words. In the end, that is one reason that motivated me to write restaurant posts on my blog and to put them on Urbanspoon so that hopefully I can dilute mediocrity by an opinion that I judge based on my friends to be valuable. Ask anyone around me if I took them to non-authentic disgusting restaurants AND when I don’t know about something, I won’t judge it in my blog.

Secondly, people keep talking about their coffee but have you ever stopped for a moment to think about your hot beverage components? In a cappuccino, you have about a third coffee, a third milk and a third foam. For a latte, you have probably a fifth of your beverage made of coffee, the rest is what? Milk. So when you have a latte (milk in italian), you’re drinking a coffee-flavored milk and not the opposite and not a coffee. Can you imagine talking to people who appreciate extremely old fancy whiskies and saying that you had a wonderful last night and when they ask if you have it straight or on the rocks and you reply “just with ice cubes and Coke”. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Well it’s the same with coffee. How can you tell that your actual coffee is delicious if you have 4/5 of milk in it. The thing is, I have nothing against a nice cappuccino in the morning, latte not so much but whatever makes you happy. The problem I have is that Melbourne has a latte culture, not a coffee culture. You may think it’s the same but no, words have meanings. If you have a coffee culture, then it would be like the italians. A Japanese friend who lived in Italy told me this “Do you know how to recognise a tourist in Italy?” I replied “no, how?”. She told me “Anyone who is having a cappuccino after breakfast is one””. So what do they drink for the rest of the day? Mainly expressos. When I asked my italian supervisor what he thinks about the latte culture in Melbourne, his answer was the following ” That’s freaking milk man, I don’t get their obsession with it”.  Once I got the comment saying that I was out of topic because in this person’s country, they serve instant coffee, therefore in Melbourne, there is a coffee culture…Well it’s like comparing instant noodles with a bowl of ramen from a restaurant, it’s not comparable.

If Melbourne had a true coffee culture, then most of the coffee shops would have different beans with adequate roastings and different origins to match the drink. For an espresso, I believe the roasting is quite different for a latte or an expresso because you need more bitterness and acidity for a latte as it will be diluted in milk. The good thing is that in Melbourne, true coffee shops exist with this diversity of beans, there is a very good one in South Melbourne market but most of them are the same thing because they serve the same drinks. When you walk among coffee shops during the day, you will see, it’s mainly latte. So when I was looking for a good expresso, I got something extremely bitter that in my opinion was not drinkable so they should not have put this on their menu. A separate comment more for the ladies out there. I always got the comment or question “is it true that french women are skinny?” ” how do they do it with all the food there?”. I read an article about this journalist who travels a lot between France and Australia and he compared eating habits between the 2 countries. Among the different interesting points he is raising, one caught my attention and is relevant to this post. You have a latte in the morning to work. Maybe another one at 10am for your break to wake you up. Then maybe a small one after lunch. Let’s be extreme and let’s imagine you’re having last one for a final break and a meet-up with your friend at 3pm or after work. Calculate all the calories you gather with 4 glasses of milk + sugar. A fair amount of calories for just a drink.

Last time, I had some good friends from the US that I picked up at their airport. We went to South Yarra to wait for their AirBnB apartment manager in a coffee shop. I ordered a ristretto. The waiter came back to me and ask me how I would like it served…I frowned. What do you mean how I would like it served, a ristretto is a more condensed version of an expresso. In theory, you need a machine that has more pressure than a normal one so that the extraction is done very fast as you have half of the volume of an expresso. So I asked the waited back “How do YOU serve it?”, he replied ” With ice”…ok…processing time…how the hell do you have ice in your ristretto, I was thinking maybe like a Ice Coffee with ice-cream and stuff. I told him “no ice, thanks, just the normal way”. Look at what I got

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A ristretto in this coffee shop in South Yarra is a double shot of expresso in a martini glass (presumably with crushed ice) that you drink with a straw. The very funny thing is that 5 minutes ago I was explaining my view of the melbournian coffee culture and 5 minutes after I got my South Yarra style Ristretto the apartment manager was explaining how we have such a strong culture for coffee here in Melbourne. I think I have never ordered a drink that supported my view in 2 separate conversations.

Bottom line is…you can have your latte at any time of the day, please enjoy yourself, this post is not here to tell you what to drink or who you are. Australia is a very young country so whatever they can create and enjoy they will appropriate it as their own culture and that’s fine but please, words have meanings. So before you show to the rest of the world how good is your coffee culture, think again. I’ll probably make enemies today but again, I’m not here to criticise but to put my opinion out there and it’s up to you to take it and to think about it.

Nobu, Japanese restaurant

•March 24, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Crown Complex, Southbank

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General

Nobu is among the most famous japanese restaurants in Melbourne. The story behind the success of Chef Nobu Matsuhisa is a pretty inspiring one. With a striking experience in Peru, you can see its influence in Nobu’s menu with modern dishes that mix south american and japanese cuisine.

However,  when I heard about the “franchise” Nobu (with 25 restaurants in the world) one question came immediately to my mind: is Nobu (the person) still a chef or became a businessman? To answer this question, I went myself to this renown restaurant to test its reputation…authenticity? creativity?

Atmosphere
1/4

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With a range of prices of this level, I was expecting a beautiful interior decoration and a very intimate dining experience. The decor was indeed appealing but the whole atmosphere was not  adequate for a personal dining experience.

The first feeling my girlfriend had when we went downstairs to the dinning room (upstairs being the bar) was “are we in a yumcha place?”. The place was packed with not much space between people and loud music in the background. When the waitress was speaking, we could barely hear what she was saying. I had to lean on the table or yell to chat with my gf. Because everyone has to speak up in this noisy basement, we could almost hear the conversation on the table beside…For this range of restaurant, Coco offers a more personal ambiance for a delightful experience.

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Service
3/3

Service was pretty good. We arrive on time for our booking but the table was not ready yet. Complimentary champagne helped to wait on the ground floor with the view on the Yarra river.

Despite the busy period, dishes came without a long wait, our waitress was efficient and explained us the dish ( when we could hear it). With such prices, you would expect excellent service and I think Nobu does not fail here. The only thing I would recommend is for the non-japanese staff  (most of them I think) to work on their japanese pronunciation. Hearing “irashaimase” with so many different tones and mispronunciations is not a good start to show authenticity to customers. It felt so weird; like the restaurant was overdoing to convince (themselves?) it is indeed a japanese restaurant.

Value for money/taste
3/10

Prices are very high and excellent service is not enough to justify such values. I need to be impressed at the first mouthful, to get a “woah” effect, to be blowed away, to levitate at the end of the meal. During most of the meal, I didn’t levitate a single nanometer above my chair. I’ll describe each dish we had and then put the price at the end so YOU can put this in perspective

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Oyster with a trio of sauces (6 pieces)

Oysters were very fresh and  tasty. Not too big but this doesn’t bother me, I prefer small and delicious oysters. The 3 sauces were interesting as they exhibit distinct flavors The first one with lemon, coriander and a bit of chili. This refreshing south american flavor matches with the oyster in a “classic” way (lemon juice/oyster) with a little kick at the end as the chili leaves a nice after-taste. The second one, more japanese with ponzu sauce is a classic japanese dressing for oysters that I really start to enjoy. It doesn’t replace my french favorite shallot vinegar with a dark bread, salty butter and dry white wine. The third one was made with an onion dressing that reminded me of how oysters are cooked or baked in Mainland China with more intense flavors. Quite interesting one.

$34…hum hum…..

IMG_1268Toro tartar with wasabi soy dressing and caviar

I was expecting a lot from this dish. Being in Japan for 6 months, Toro (fatty part of the tuna) is something you fall in love instantaneously. Unfortunately, no nostalgia hit me during this dish, served in a micro serve. We had a tea spoon to eat this, the caviar…well you can probably count them with the fingers of your hands and I’m not kidding. The tuna was tender but it didn’t melt the way I remember back in Japan with a strong tuna flavor that transports you into the sea.Tthe sauce is just an improved soy sauce with wasabi. That was merely at the level of a good negi-toro from a kaiten sushi in Japan but at least in Japan I wouldn’t have to pay…..$45! Yes, $45 for this! This is really crossing the line, this is really overpriced. I know toro is a rare item here but it doesn’t justify $45. If you can’t find a descent toro, either lower your price or just don’t serve it. With the overfishing of tuna, I would vote for the latter option.

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Scampi Inaniwa pasta salad tossed in ceviche dressing and creamy mentaiko

This dish was the best savory dish we had this night. The scampi were fully seasoned and very creamy, the perfect way to eat scampis. A full lobster-like flavor from each bite was something I would have enjoyed even more if the pasta or udon were not that bland. Ceviche dressing, you mean lemon juice? I have the chance to have a chilean girlfriend and I had plenty of ceviche (fish cured in lemon juice and herbs). I didn’t get any feeling of having a taste of ceviche mixed with these udon. So is “ceviche dressing” just a fancy name for lemon juice for non-initiated customers  who are easily impressed with names they don’t understand but are willing to pay the full price?

Beside this, I couldn’t taste much from the mentaiko (fish roe). I really enjoyed the texture of the udon and its firmness harmonises nicely with the scampi but I’m not sure if the chef was looking for a light citrus flavor to cleanse our palate or was just in lack of inspirations (and seasonings).

$40…..I wouldn’t pay that much for this dish, again, it’s because scampis are rare and highly seen as a small lobster but the dish needed more depth to justify $40. By the way, no need to remind you that there was ONE scampi.

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Soft Shell Crab with Umeshu Amazu Cherry Tomatoes, Peach Aji Amarilo Salsa

A failed attempt to mix Asia and South America. The soft shell crab was nicely fried (not difficult from all the soft-shell crabs I ate) but there was no magic with the sauce. Just pieces of peach mixed with white wine or umeshu ( I couldn’t tell to be honest) sitting beside. With a beautiful presentation, the sauce and the crab were two distinct items with no consonance on the plate leaving me baffled for…$28

IMG_1275The savior of the night, the dessert platter from Pastry chef Yuko.

I actually went there with this insurance. I have a friend who highly recommended the desserts at Nobu and I was honored to met Chef Yuko to receive a description of her piece of art. This is truly remarkable (and don’t forget I ate a lot of dessert in France and in Japan). There is too much happening on one dish but I’ll try my best to describe it:

Green tea financier – like a small compact sweet madelaine with delicious bitter contrast at the end with the green tea flavor

A japanese donut filled with melting chocolate and banana to die for and surprisingly not too heavy

A chocolate fondant and green tea ice cream – the chocolate used for the fondant is a high class french chocolate delivering full dark chocolate flavors. The fondant was served warmed with a melting core of chocolate in the middle. The cool green tea icecream is a delicious alternative to vanilla icecream with chocolate fondant.

Sweet light pudding with infused fruits and a little crispy biscuit.

Mandarin and mango sorbets were so refreshing, a good cleanser between these flavors.

A sort of green tea and peach parfait was also a delight with crispy crumbles contrasted with peach and green tea mousse.

My favourite was the Suntory whisky cappuccino layered with crunchy coffee crumble, coffee crème, milk ice cream and whisky foam. The whole coffee was visually recreated with so different layers all surprising in texture and in taste. Fantastic!

Only $28! I really don’t get it. For the whole meal, there were single dishes above $40 and here, we have a symphony of desserts for $28. I think they need to lower the savory dish prices if they want a consistent menu.

Authenticity
2/3

Hard one to score. It’s a weird mix. Dishes were trying to be creative but failed in my opinion. The cooking staff must be japanese from what I tasted. Fortunately, Chef Yuko is able to show you the beautiful dessert you can find in Japan, a patisserie inspired by France but well balanced with light textures and japanese green tea flavors.

Conclusion

9/20

I would never go  back to Nobu. You want a high class japanese restaurant? Continue your walk in Crown to go up in the towers for Coco. Your money will be better spent there. With such high prices, nothing has succeeded in impressing me beside the desserts of Chef Yuko.
Let’s face it, Nobu is a business, not a restaurant. The place is packed to make profit and forgets about the unique dining experience it should deliver. Nobu should visit Melbourne and do a bit of cleaning in how he envisions his melbournian restaurant. Nobu are for people who doesn’t know about japanese food and who is just looking for a place to impress by its reputation, people who are more focused on appearances than authenticity.

In my experience (it’s going to sound very funny and probably not politically correct), if you enter a japanese restaurant with non-japanese waiters, there is a high chance it’s either very tasty but very pricey or simply bland dishes covered by excellent service…Nobu is unfortunately a bit of both

Nobu on Urbanspoon

Roule galette, French creperie

•November 4, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Roule galette

26 Rebecca Walk, Melbourne

General

There are 2 Roule galette creperies. I went once to the one in Flinders lane and it was good. We are trying the one on Rebecca walk with a voucher.

Atmosphere
2/4


Casual creperie restaurant with photos of famous French singers. Location is pretty nice as you are just beside the Yarra river BUT there is one major drawback, it’s just beside the railways. It gets very noisy when the train passes. The place doesn’t have as much charm as the other restaurant in Flinders lane.

Service
2/3
Very friendly staff. There was only 2 persons working there so it took a bit of time to get our order but in general it was ok.

Value for money/Taste

6/10

This is a tough one and I’m judging based on the price on the menu, not based on our voucher. To be honest, the voucher was SO MUCH worth it.

First, how do they taste like?
Monsieur K
French Morbier cheese and prosciutto
It’s a bit simple but it works well. Morbier cheese is not a very strong cheese but it is enjoyable in galettes like this with prosciutto leaving a nice after taste. A bit simple for, I would expect maybe a third ingredients to make it more complex but that’s my personal opinion.

Lucas, Tartiflette
French Reblochon cheese melted on braised potatoes, bacon and onions

Well, what can I say. If you’ve been in France and you tried a tartiflette (baked potatoes with lardons, onions and heaps of Reblochon), you will certainly enjoy this galette as I did. It made me feel so homesick!

Because it’s using Reblochon, I was afraid to have a tiny amount of it in the filling but they were quite generous! Made my day! Picture braised potatoes with a light sweetness enhanced by the onions combined with bacon in a swirl of melted Reblochon, a cheese that melts very nicely with a well-balanced flavor, not too strong but with character…So good!

A cup of cidre doux and a glass of Petit Chablis to go with our galette.

So prices of these two galettes are $15 and $16. For this price, I think portions are a bit small BUT they are using french cheeses (quite expensive here) and with authentic flavours. So smaller quantity but good quality. Recipes are quite simple, that’s a -1 for me but we are in Melbourne and prices are relatively acceptable. I’m guessing if you want to be full, you’ll need a sweet crepe, both should be under $30 for an enjoyable meal.

Authenticity
3/3

I almost cried with my tartiflette galette and I was feeling homesick afterwards so yeah, it’s french enough.

Conclusion
13/20

Try it if you want to have a simple french galette!
Will I go back there? Well, despite a nice tartiflette galette, I find the rest a bit too simple to my taste especially for this range of price. It’s acceptable, not exciting.

Roule Galette on Urbanspoon

Japanese Gourmet Kenji

•November 2, 2012 • Leave a Comment


Japanese Gourmet Kenji

Kenji Japanese Gourmet

1405 TOORAK RD

Sushi counter

General

I am always interested in mid-range authentic japanese restaurants because in Melbourne it is hard to reach a high level with a medium budget. You can go to fancy places like Koko or Shiranui that offer delicious meals but be prepared to cry a bit when you see the bill.
In this category of mid-range japanese, Shyun (Carnegie) is my No 1. I’ll make a post later on (good excuse to go back there). So when I heard from my japanese friend that Kenji in Camberwell was similar, I was impatient to try.

Atmosphere
2.5/4
The ambiance is nice once you’re in the main dining area. I find it weird the way the restaurant is made. You enter through a first room for take-away with an open kitchen and food supplies. Big flaw, the toilets seem to be outside near garbage bins…
Beside this, the main dining area gives a rustic/japanese feeling. I love the sushi counter on the back, it’s like a theatre stage.


Service
2.5/3
The owner welcomed us warmly and staff were always there. We were there early so I can’t tell how well they manage things once they are busy. My kaizen-don came a bit late though, my girlfriend was half-way through her bento box but the manager came to apologize.

Value for money/Taste
6.5/10
Things are a bit more expensive than in Shyun (my reference). Menu is similar (for the warm food menu) but they do have a larger variety of seafood.

Hamburg bento box

The hamburg is the japanese version of a burger/beef patty. Softer than a western one but of course much juicier, this hamburg was not too bad, a taste of japanese fusion cuisine. The bento box on the menu sounded very exciting but when it came in, hum, it’s alright. The croquette was delicious though, it’s like deep-frying a portion of creamy mash potatoes to add this light crispy tempura feeling, really delicious. The rest was average.

Ikura and Uni gunkan maki. The highlights of my friday night!

The sea urchin were pretty good and relatively affordable. However, they were not the freshest I’ve tried. With sea urchins, I feel that the taste of it is extremely sensitive to its freshness. When it’s extremely fresh, you feel like surfing on an wave of an ocean of creaminess (like in Shiranui)! It’s absolutely wonderful. However, as soon as it gets less fresh, a stronger taste like old foie gras kicks in and spoil the whole feeling of sea urchin. Today’s urchins were not bad at all but not the best.

I LOVE IKURA! These salmon roes are like ruby pearls that pop in your mouth as you chew them, delivering an intense and refreshing sea flavor. Beside Japan, I never had the chance to eat such fresh ikura. Other times I ate ikura, they are often soggy and despite having an acceptable taste, they did not this popping effect. This overall disappointment finished today when I had the ikura from Kenji! They are so plump! It’s like a little firework in your mouth constantly releasing a sweet salmon flavor at each pop!

Bad note though: the seaweed used in the gunkan maki was very thick and hard. After chewing and enjoying the first culinary notes of these jewels from the sea, the symphony is a bit spoiled by a hard and thick sea weed taking ages to be dissolved in your mouth.

Gourmet Kaisen-don

When I saw this, I was “Wow”, maybe the successor of my Chirashi-don has finally arrived. Very beautiful in colours and the way pieces are “assembled”, it’s really a piece of art.
However, the general feeling was quite disappointing. It was good but it didn’t feel as fresh as in Shyun, you know the feeling of having a nice fresh piece of salmon in your mouth leaving you a nice greasy salmon taste mixed with soy sauce, well I didn’t have it here. It was not bad, but it didn’t reach a stage of nirvana. Uma-ebi good, tuna very acid, shrimp very salty, scallop good. The high price of this good looking kaizen-don is not good value for money unfortunately.

Homemade matcha cheesecake with red bean ice cream

Good match! Really like to taste the bitterness of the green tea cheesecake and to refresh it with the sweet flavour of cold red bean ice-cream.

Authenticity
3/3
Everything tasted proper japanese food, no doubt about this. I have spent enough time in Japan to know my japanese food and for a Melbournian restaurant, it’s a good authentic japanese one.
Conclusion
14.5/20
I’ll definitely go back for their ikura and maybe explore a bit more their menu. It’s not too bad, much better than the average japanese in Melbourne, I find things a bit expensive but not excessive. It just lacks a little something to make it a Shyun killer, what a pity. It’s worth giving it a shot.

Kenji Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

Lakes Entrance

•October 31, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Hi everyone

I just went back from a little trip in Lakes Entrance, it was a beautiful area to visit.
here is a quick slideshow to show you nice pictures of where we have been. I’ll post more later

Dont forget to turn on the HD, there is a nice video about a crazy encounter with a wild koala at the end

Dessert story, Glen Waverley, Hong Kong and Taiwanese desserts

•October 19, 2012 • 2 Comments


Dessert story

Dessert Story

72 KINGSWAY

General
I started to appreciate “modern” honkie and Taiwanese desserts only for a couple of years and I really love it!
Melbourne had unfortunately only few places for this. Dessert Story is expanding all over Melbourne and that’s good news! For western friends who never tried, Give it a shot, you’ll not regret it. I took 3 Chilean friends and they really enjoyed it even though they told me that they wouldn’t dare to try it as it looks totally different from western desserts.

Atmosphere
3.5/4
It  feels like being in Hong Kong in a dessert place in a fancy shopping centre. For a  dessert place, it looks great! Doesn’t want to do more than what they are. It’s a vivid place ideal for a short dessert break or simply to extend your lunch/dinner. However, it’s a very very busy place, if you prefer quiet places, it may be a bit difficult for you to enjoy.


Service
3/3
Even if the prices are so cheap, you feel being treated really correctly. I went there several times. People welcome you, show you the table. Desserts come to your table very fast despite the busy activity of the place. Once, we had to wait so we took a ticket and waited outside. I thought she would have forgotten us with so many new people entering the place but she came back to us. People here are more smiling so it’s nice.

Value for money
10/10
Super cheap! Desserts being between $6 and $12, they could be massive! I’m always so surprise to see how cheap and tasty the desserts are. Great job Dessert Story!

Grass jelly with sago and coconut milk –  refreshing dessert.
The grass jelly is always appreciated when you need something reinvigorating with a delicious herbal flavor. The coconut milk sweetens a bit the whole dessert and gives a smooth feeling in your mouth without making the whole thing creamy/thick in consistence. Sago adds in texture with these tiny chewy pearls. Well balanced dessert for less than $8

Green tea icecream with mango, sago and coconut milk
Similar comment than the first dessert. Despite the fact that I love green tea icecream, I think that it is a bit strong in this dessert. Mango and coconut milk give a sweet and creamy flavor. Green tea is I’m assuming that the bitter flavor cleanses your pallets from the rest, it’s not bad but I don’t think it matches perfectly; good examples would be   Japanese desserts where sweet red bean paste goes better with green tea icecream

These 2 desserts were more from Hong Kong. The coming two are from Taiwan.

Among the herbal jelly series, here is a classic one with Herbal Ice, Taro ball, and cream.
I can’t wait to have this in a hot summer day because it is so reviving! All ingredients bath into a light and cold herbal sirup with a velvety cream. The dessert contrasts between the chewy taro balls and pearls and the desire to slurp your grass jelly. Also the dessert is less sweet than the Hong Kong dessert but the stronger herbal flavor is here to compensate

Milk snow ice with crystal jelly and mango juice with popping pearl.
This is delicious! I’m guessing everyone has tried to catch a snowflake on the tip of the tongue and to let me melt. Well imagine this with flavours! This dessert is like eating creamy fruity snowflakes. I think it’s basically shaved ice creams with topping. The ice cream is very light and creamy, very enjoyable. On top of this, you have a mango sauce with pieces of mango to add a delicious fruity relish. In textures, you have crystal jelly that has a pleasant harder feeling but the best things are the popping pearls. It tasted like little grapefruit bombs delivering sweet, citrus and light bitter flavours to refresh the pallets.

In Dessert Story, it’s Christmas everyday!

Mango, coconut milk and red beans – Mango, coconut milk and crystal jelly
Perfect and yummy drinks for a hot day
Authenticity
2.5/3
I’m welcoming criticism from my honkie and Taiwanese friends but from what I have tried so far, it tastes like Hong Kong. I tried a Taiwanese dessert place with a Taiwanese friend in Sydney and it’s pretty similar but haven’t been to Taiwan to compare.
Conclusion
19/20

Yes! If you are curious about new exotic flavors for desserts or simply feeling having light  Asian desserts, it’s a very nice place to go. I think the hardest thing to do is how to resist to not go there after a big meal in the neighbourhood.
Be careful, it gets extremely busy so be prepared to queue in peak hours.

Bonne appétit!

19/10/2012
Dessert Story on Urbanspoon

Crazy Wing, Glen Waverley, Chinese BBQ

•October 3, 2012 • 2 Comments

269 SPRINGVALE RD, GLEN WAVERLEY, VIC

General
I went there with a All-you-can-eat chicken wings coupon. I heard about this Crazy Wing(s) place from friends so this voucher was a cheap way to try it. As we only tasted the chicken wings, I’ll only talk about this today. They have plenty of skewers and they also serve hot pots.

Atmosphere
2/4
Usual Chinese BBQ place, 10 tables. One good thing, the place has a good hood in the kitchen so we didn’t smell BBQ too much afterwards. The rest is just usual for a little casual Chinese restaurant.

Service
2/3
Service was ok, I appreciated the waiter who told us to only order 1 skewer of Crazy wings instead of 2 because it was very spicy…he was VERY right! However, having the staff having their meal just beside was quite unusual.

(Value for money) Chicken wings
3/10
Well we had a voucher so can’t tell but each chicken wings skewer was $2, I think it’s reasonable.
The thing I like about the Chinese BBQ is that they use charcoal, as other restaurants, they do the same here. There is a nice list of chicken wings with different flavors but when you start eating them…well, they taste ok but they all taste the same. From what I can taste and see in the kitchen, I’m assuming they marinate all the wings the same way. When they grill them, they add a bit of extra flavors but it’s just a bit of curry powder or brush it a bit with a different sauce. The original taste is ok, usual soy sauce, chili and cumin flavors. However, it felt very heavy later in the evening. Flavors were a bit strong, not balanced. It’s usual for Chinese BBQ to have strong flavors but this time it didn’t feel right.
2nd round, as you can “Delicious curry” is the third one from the bottom, the chef just sprinkle some curry powder and that’s it
Authenticity
2/3
Not much to say, yes it’s a Chinese BBQ but I’m not sure all the flavors are really authentic (Delicious curry was just curry powder on top of the wings for example). I have tried much tastier BBQ.

Conclusion
9/20

It’s only about the wings but the name of the place also suggests that it’s their main speciality so I would say…no
The place is ok but you can have much better Chinese BBQ. If somehow, you go there, one recommendation, DO NOT EAT THE CRAZY WINGS! It was flavorless with just a super spicy feeling, it burnt me for a good 5min and I just had a bite. At least, the waiter was kind enough to give me a warning.

Pass!

Thibaut

02/10/2012
Crazy Wing (The Glen) on Urbanspoon

 
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