Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Beaver's Tail Social Club

This place is the cutest little cafe I have ever laid eyes on. Found via Urban Spoon and it just called out to be written about.

Looking for a nice breakfast place in St Kilda, there were a whole heap of suggestions, with established institutions like Galleon. But there was something about Beaver's Tail that caught my interest so we decided to take a gamble.

It's small, but that is the centre of its charm, along with the lovely couple who own and run the place. Every detail is gorgeous, eclectic with a bit of quirky fun. I would want to steal very item in the shop, if the owners weren't so darn lovely.

I have difficulties with caffeine, so I stuck the hot chocolate, which was hands down the best one I've ever had outside of Poland. As a reluctant caffeine abstainer, I always envy the effort that is put into elaborate, heavenly looking coffee, so I was very pleased that Beaver's Tail treat hot chocolate with just as much care and attention.

Mr Pham had a toastie that was lovely and just a little bit fancy. I was overjoyed to see one of my favourite breakfasts, often neglected by many establishment, of boiled egg and soldiers on the menu. To me a soft boiled egg and buttery toast to dip into it are one of life's greatest and simplest of pleasures. The eggs were perfect, which the chef very sweetly checked with me once I had cracked them open.

There is something very special about Beaver's Tail Social Club. It felt like having a lovely breakfast cooked for you by a very dear friend. But I think its most endearing quality was the feeling of a very warm welcome. Not thrown in your face by over zealous staff but from the sense of joy and happiness that resonated in everything, from the décor, the owners and the food.

Beaver's Tail Social Club on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Chin Chin

After crowd sourcing Melbourne restaurant recommendations on Facebook, one place came out on top... Chin Chin. So our first meal in Melbourne, it had to be.

Lucky for us, we were meeting with a Melbonite friend, who wisely headed there half an hour early to get us on the list. Thank goodness, because by the time we were seated there was a four hour wait. Four hours? The food was good, but not that good.

There is , however, a reason for the near hysteria this place has created. Firstly, it looks really cool inside. The interiors are as flash and funky as their website. The staff are extremely clued up on the food they are serving you, from how many dishes you should order, how to balance your choices and in depth information on each of the dishes that arrived at our table. And most importantly, the food is excellent.

Following expert advice, we ordered five dishes. Two entrées, a salad, a noodle dish and a larger meat dish. There was a mixture of Viet, Thai, Indian, Sir Lankan, Malaysian and Chinese influences to name a few. That might seem a bit muddled but it was mostly a beautiful flow of some of the finest aspects of Asian cuisine.

The highlights of the meal were definitely the pork 'roll ups' and the Crispy barramundi and green apple salad with caramelised pork, although a special mention must be given to the excellent (if a little tardy) cocktails that came up from the bar below.

The barramundi salad was simply mind blowing and the roll ups were fragrant, fresh and balanced. Although this place sets the tone of adventurous dinning I get the feeling it would be hard to resist ordering the same things again, when you know they are so darn good! And a return visit is definitely a must.

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Melbourne Day 1

Arrived in Melbourne this morning after a red eye from Perth, that I actually wished had been longer, and the first thing we did? ... Put on about five extra layers. It was so cold!

Dropped bags at hostel and headed to the sausage fest that is the Melbourne F1. And by sausage fest I mean both swarms of men AND free sausages. Or as Aussies call it a 'sausage sizzle'. Basically a sausage wrapped up in a piece of sliced loaf bread. Only on Australia.

Anyway, we looked at some pretty cars then hit the hay. After a much needed sleep we wandered around and checked out the neighbourhood, St Kilda, then headed into the city.

Dinner time!

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Someone's got a favourite new sushi joint!

After failing to pick up some sushi for lunch from our newly discovered local sushi place (it was closed!) I was a bit grumpy at my lovely man when he turned up with a 'cooked chuck'. So after a long day of tearing out our oven, amongst other things, we decided to wash off the paint and head out for a quick dinner.

With Sushi still in my mind, we decided to check out the relatively new Mr Munchies on Beaufort St and it was freakin awesome!

I have been truly impressed by the standard of Japanese food here in Australia. Back in the UK I thought Japanese food, of all kinds, was nice but nothing to pee your pants over. Clearly I just hadn't had the good stuff.

Just your average little Japanese place here is better than fancy pants places over in the UK and Mr Munchies is a great example of that. We had a Chicken Lover Roll ( grilled Teriyaki chicken, avocado, tamagoyaki topped with mayo, spring onion & karraage), one of the special rolls and a Mr Munchies Roll (tiger prawn fritters with crab sticks, sweet eggs and avocado served with chilli mayo). The Mr Munchies Roll we made large and thank goodness! It was the most delicious out of three awesome choices.

The staff were super friendly and seemed jazzed to be working in such an great place. The food was fresh and super tasty but, most importantly, it was great value for money. Now, I am a huge fan of Aisuru on William St but I have to say that Mr Munchies could actually better as well as cheaper.

From now on, just call me Mrs Munchies.

Mr. Munchies Sushi on Urbanspoon

Friday, 8 March 2013

Sunset City

This is where I live... pretty beautiful, isn't it?

I am still quite fresh to Australia. I only arrived in April of last year, so I admit that I am still filled with wonder of the beauty of the place. There are a lot of things to find beautiful here but my number one has to be the sky.

Not just the sunsets, although they are exceptional, but the sky in general. It is so enormous, so present. Maybe it's from living in London for so many years, with it's often less than sunny sky's or tall buildings everywhere you look, but I hardly ever seemed to notice the sky there. But here in Perth you can't help but look at it.

Always blue (almost!) in the day and ever changing cloud patterns. Even when its a rainy day, with dark clouds to rival London's worst, there is always a patch of blue to be found. It might be small, but it's there. Trust me, I run out side every time it clouds over just to test this theory and it's yet to be proved wrong.

Then, as the sun goes down, the spectacular and ever changing colours. People travel to Iceland and Norway to see the Northern Lights, well I think it should be the same here. Come and see nature at it's most beautiful with a West Australian sunset, you won't regret it.

Look at me going on about the weather. 'You can take the girl out of the UK...!'