Sunday, 27 December 2015

Shortshop Coffee & Donuts - Melbourne CBD - Melbourne, Australia

I’m back!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

I’ve been on a long hiatus as I found myself lacking the time to write and edit pictures. I also lost the motivation to post but here I am. Hopefully, I can gain back the momentum.

I was in Melbourne a few weeks ago for a short holiday to eat and explore.

Melbourne is a great dining destination as there is so much to try and eat. They have a wonderful cafe culture and shopping is good too, though Sydney is now catching up in these aspects.I got to try a few restaurants that I would definitely recommend such as Chin Chin Restaurant, Little Ramen Bar and Tip00. 

If you read my posts earlier in the year, you would have noticed I was there during the Australian Open for a few days. I decided to go again in December and the weather this time around was much warmer and nicer. I only had three days there but those days were packed from morning till night including a tour to the Great Ocean Road which took the whole day.

If you haven’t been to the Great Ocean Road then you have to go at least once in your life. I was in awe at the amazing views and the 12 Apostles which is really now 8 Apostles (shocking, I know), is just beautiful. I will show you a few photos I took and while it was a bit chilly, the sunshine remained throughout the day which was a bonus.

My best friend showed me some pictures from Instagram of a donut joint in Melbourne called Short Stop Donuts & Coffee. They looked awesomely delicious so we made sure we visited the place.

Short Stop is located in a little lane way off Little Lonsdale Street in the Melbourne CBD and can easily be found on Sutherland St, which is a not too far walk from the free city tram line.

It’s a modern little cafe with a minimalist interior. There are a few tables and a side bench. As seating is limited, it’s not very ideal for larger groups.  

Once you walk in, it smells so good from the donut production taking place on site. Staff are really warm and friendly.

The donut selection available here has a creative spin to it without being over the top. They offer freshly baked donuts in a number of flavours. I hear they sell out early so we ensured that we got there before midday to avoid the chance of them being sold out.

The ‘Cappuccino ($4.00) was a decent cup of coffee albeit a bit bitter. They also offer sparkling water instead of the usual still tap water.

The ‘Australian Honey and Sea Salt ($4.00)’ is a cruller style donut that is crisp on the outside and light on the inside. One bite and the donut melted in the mouth due to its airy structure. It’s dipped in an organic honey and milk glaze and then topped with sea salt flakes to give it that balance of sweet and salty.I really enjoyed eating this donut as it wasn't overly sweet and just right.

The traditional favourite, the ‘Boston Cream ($5.00)’ is a classic donut filled with a vanilla crème patisserie and then topped with dark chocolate icing. The cream was smooth and delectable.

I usually find most doughnuts dry, dense and heavy due to how it is cooked and the abundance of toppings they add to it but the donuts here were delicious. Their flavours are interesting and I wish we had the stomach capacity to try out more flavours. Till next time!

12 Sutherland St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Opening Hours
Monday- 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Tuesday - 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Wednesday - 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Thursday - 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday - 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Saturday - 9:30 AM to 4 PM
Sunday - 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM


Shortstop Coffee & Donuts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato.

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kelly's Bar and Grill - Miranda - Sydney, Australia

Another visit to Westfield Miranda, another restaurant to tick off the list. Kelly’s Bar and Grill is a recent addition to the dining precinct, originating from the eastern suburb of Bondi. They are well-known for their steak and ribs, following a similar concept to Hurricane's Grill.

After completing the hike from Bundeena to the Wedding Cake Rock, deciding on what to have for lunch was a difficult one. It was either try something new or eat at a restaurant we’ve been to before, and the votes went both ways.  We all knew we were starving and exhausted, but no one could make a decision. After suggesting Kelly’s Bar and Grill in Miranda, we all came to a mutual decision and Kelly's it was.

Surprisingly, for a Sunday lunch it was a full house and we had to wait for a table, albeit not very long.

The contemporary space is nicely decorated with wooden furnishings. Their style of cooking is based on the African style of cooking where the meat is basted in a special sauce for many hours then grilled to perfection.  

There are an array of dishes to choose from not just grilled meat but also vegetarian and seafood options too.

We started off with ‘Complimentary House Bread’ served with a side of butter. A huge loaf of freshly baked brioche style bread sat a top of a wooden board. 

When slathered with the side of butter, it melted within the warm bread and tasted like a sweet, buttery croissant.  For us hungry people, it was like heaven.

The ribs are available in either lamb or pork in a full rack only. What I like about Hurricane's Grill is the option to choose the half rack of ribs if you’re not very hungry, but here you aren’t given that choice. All items from the grilled section come with either a choice of chips, mashed potato or baked potato.

The ‘Pork Ribs 500g ($36.95)’is a delicious full rack of ribs basted in Kelly's special sauce. It sounds like a lot but it isn't really as it mainly consists of bones. 

The ribs were grilled nicely with a perfect char texture, leaving the soft and tender meat falling off the bone. The marinate was just right in terms of saltiness and sweetness.

The ‘Sirloin Steak ($26.95)’ is not your normal pub steak. It’s marinated in Kelly’s special sauce which makes the meat moist and gives it that extra flavour without the need for a side of sauce like you would usually need for a regular steak. Here it is ordered with a ‘Peppercorn Gravy ($2.95)’ which gives it a nice spice kick. The baked potato is soft and creamy on the inside and comes with a side of sour cream.

The ‘Grilled Chicken with Peri-Peri Sauce ($19.95)’ is served as half a chicken with the bones still intact and a side of peri-peri sauce. While the chicken was nicely grilled and the meat was still moist, it would have absorbed more flavours if it brushed with the sauce. The chips were deliciously golden and crunchy.

The ‘Side of Corn Cobs ($8.95) wasn’t really a side for one but more a side for four people as there were four decent pieces of steamed corn cobs. We asked for a side of butter which we thought would have been standard with corn. The corn was ultra-sweet and bursting with juices. Well worth ordering if you like eating corn.

The food is tasty and the ingredients used are fresh. Prices are on the steeper end but for the occasional event here and there it’s a good place to meet up as the food is generally liked by the majority and there is plenty of space. 

Level 3, Westfield Miranda
Kiora Rd
NSW 2228
Phone no: 02 9540 9447

Opening Hours
Monday – Friday: 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Saturday – Sunday: 12:00pm to 3:30pm
Monday – Sunday: 5:30pm Onwards


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Sunday, 5 July 2015

Chicken Maru - Hurstville - Sydney, Australia

KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN IN HURSTVILLE!!! Did that grab your attention? Yes, you read right. Finally, a KFC (Korean fried chicken) joint in the south of Sydney. We no longer have to drive out to Strathfield to satisfy our cravings.

Chicken Maru is a fried chicken restaurant franchise originating from Korea. They opened their first restaurant in Australia a month ago, in the suburb of Hurstville and we couldn't be happier. Located on Forest Road and directly next to the main bus interchange, on the first level above a pub, is Chicken Maru.

Koreans love their fried chicken and so do I.

The interior is reminiscent of the cafes in Korea, with bright lights, lots of space and cheerful decor. It lets off that warm and fuzzy vibe.

There are an array of options to choose from. Fried chicken comes in an assortment of flavours and that's we we love about KFC. There isn't just fried chicken but you can also order from a range of traditional Korean dishes.

The waiter suggested we order the half chickens to be able to try more and so we did. He said the most popular fried chicken dishes were the original, soy sauce and cheese. While many do like the cheese version, I'm not too keen on cheese so we gave that a miss.

A mini bowl of 'Pumpkin Soup' was provided complimentary for every diner. The soup was smooth and creamy but an unusual sight at a Korean restaurant.

'Original Chicken (H:$17/W:$32)' was the first to arrive at our table. Huge pieces of plump chicken coated in a crunchy golden batter, layered on top of a wooden board. It was pure perfection. When they say half chicken, you get half a chicken and all the pieces that make up that. It was consistently fried and each piece was crispy, juicy and tender. The whole chicken next time please!

The most important element was the flour coating and that did not disappoint. A lightly seasoned batter with a hint of spiciness. The chicken was deep fried so well that there was barely any greasy residue left on the paper.

The 'Soy Chicken with Chilli (H:$18/W:$34)' is the original fried chicken nicely coated with a soy sauce that wasn't overpowering or salty. This was one of our favourites for the night.

'Spicy Chicken (H:$18/W:$34)' is glazed with a sweet and sticky chilli sauce. We found that it wasn't very spicy but was more on the sweeter spectrum. It still retained the crunch factor but we prefered the other two flavours over this.

The 'pickled radish' is an essential side with fried chicken and without it, it's just not the same. It adds the acidity to a fatty meal and cleanses the palate, making you want to eat more chicken.

With fried chicken you need the accompanying beer and at Chicken Maru they have Korean beer. We were, should I say lucky, to grab the last bottle of 'Hite Beer ($5.00)' for the night.

The 'Hot Stone Bimimbap ($15.00)' was loaded with an abundance of ingredients. A signature Korean dish that we tend to order at every Korean restaurant that's similar to a fried rice. While it was tasty, the hot stone wasn't hot enough and lacked the heat to give the rice that crispiness you would usually get.

The tofu in the 'Spicy Soft Tofu Soup with Seafood ($13.00)' melted in the mouth. The spicy hot broth packs a punch and on a cold winters day, it is indeed comforting.

And if that wasn't enough food, we also got the mandatory sides.

Bring yourself with an empty stomach and you'll be rewarded with great food. It brings back memories of the food I ate in Korea as it's truly authentic and oh so delicious. Since it's still it its early stages of opening, service can be a bit slow and messy at times but staff were friendly and helpful. Now, I wouldn't mind some Samgyetang right now.

Level 1, 330/332 Forest Rd
Hurstville NSW 2220

Phone no: 02 9570 2569

Opening Hours
Open 7 Days
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am
Sunday: 11:00am - 10:00pm


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Monday, 29 June 2015

The Italian Kitchen - Miranda - Sydney, Australia

The Italian Kitchen is open as part of Westfield Miranda's multi-million dollar redevelopment. Popular restaurants such Mejico, Braza, Kazbah, Grill’d and Din Tai Fung have also established their presence in this precinct. 

Restaurateur Con Dedes, the owner of famous restaurants such as the Flying Fish and Watergrill, has teamed up with renowned chef Danny Russo, opening The Italian Kitchen in the Shire. A modern Italian restaurant in the south boasting a casual and sophisticated dining space. 

The open courtyard is filled with plenty of natural light and fresh air.

The concise menu showcases traditional Italian food, providing an assortment of options including antipastis, entrees, salads, mains and desserts. Pizza is cooked in a woodfired oven and pasta is made fresh on premises.

What grabbed our attention was the ‘Shoestring Chips ($8.50)’ with a truffle mayo. Who could say no to that? The fries were deep fried to a nice golden yellow and balanced with the right amount of salt. The accompanying truffle mayo was brilliant. 

The ‘Pollo Pizza ($23.00)’ is topped with chicken, mushrooms, roast peppers, ricotta cheese and a heap of rocket. A fluffy and light base with the right thickness and loaded with an abundance of fresh ingredients. This was delicious and a good portion size. 

To balance out our meal, we decided to order a lighter dish. The ‘Margherita Pizza ($20.00)’, while simple, was packed with a lot of flavor from the delectable tomato sauce, basil and buffalo mozzarella cheese. 

The ‘Seafood Linguine Pasta ($29.00)’ is made using freshly made linguine with prawns, calamari and mussels in a garlic and butter sauce. We enjoyed the overall creaminess and textures of the dish but the seafood must have shrunk during the cooking process and the portion was smaller than expected.

Photo courtesy of K

A must visit for those who are looking for authentic Italian food in a wonderful locale with a lively atmosphere. The perfect restaurant for a special occasion or gathering as it won’t break your budget. I definitely recommend this restaurant and will be visiting it very soon.

Level 2, Shop 2203/2204,
Westfield Miranda
Miranda NSW 2228

Phone no: 02 9188 2981

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 9:00pm


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