Sunday, 7 December 2014

Gingerboy, CBD

Gingerboy on Urbanspoon | Website 

Gingerboy is a popular South-East Asian restaurant in the CBD, in one of the side streets off Bourke St., easily accessible by tram 86 & 96 or a short walk from Parliament Station. It's known for its quirky interior designs and modern Australian take on hawker style Asian dishes, with dishes changing every few months to reflect the seasons.

As it's such a popular restaurant, you'll definitely have to book beforehand to grab a table - there's a pretty good online booking system on the Gingerboy website that send you reminders by text or email to confirm your booking, and also alerts you on the day of your booking. We went on a Monday around 6pm and the whole place was packed by about 6:30-7pm, with another sitting starting at 8pm.

The interior design of Gingerboy is quite funky and modern, with lots of small lights on the walls. When you first walk in, it feels like it'll be quite dark with the choice of d├ęcor, but there's lights above each table so it's not too bad. Despite it being filled with people and relatively loud music playing in the background, we didn't have to raise our voices at all to talk to each other, even though the restaurant itself doesn't seem very spacious. The service was really great, with attentive and friendly staff that always came to check up on us and see if we needed anything else. Another great little titbit was the complimentary small bowl of pickled cucumber that came at the start as the appetiser dish.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Pour Kids, Malvern

The Pour Kids on Urbanspoon | Website | Instagram

The Pour Kids is a small cafe in Malvern off one of the side streets on Glenferrie Rd, opposite Coles and close to another cafe I've blogged about in the past, Eden Espresso. It's easily accessible by tram 16, and there's plenty of parking at the Coles or Dan Murphys a little further down.

The cafe is quite brightly lit due to the large windows, and the interior design is very vibrant, from the large paintings on the walls to all the wooden chairs painted in different colours. Soft music played at times in the background, and there's a lively atmosphere from all the chatter from customers, but not too noisy that you had to raise your voices to hear each other. The service was really great, with friendly and attentive staff. We were waiting awhile for one of our friends to come, and the staff didn't push for us to order first, but someone would come to our table every now and then to see if we wanted anything.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Simon's Peiking Duck, Box Hill South

Simon's Peking Duck Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Simon's Peiking Duck is a very famous Asian restaurant in Box Hill South, best known for its Peking Duck dishes. It's located in a little shopping strip on Middleborough Road a little past Canterbury Road, close to Officeworks and Bunning's Warehouse. The best way to get to Simon's Peiking Duck is by car, or by bus 733/735.

The restaurant is very brightly lit with chinese paintings on the walls, and the atmosphere was very lively as there were quite a few customers when we were there. It was surprisingly full for a weeknight, which goes to show how popular it is. I was also surprised at the service, as most Asian restaurants aren't known for it. The staff were really warm and friendly, though we had to tell them three times that we wanted some water. When they did bring the water out, they also poured it for us, something else I wasn't expecting. The food also came out really fast, almost straight after we ordered, and you could watch as Simon himself cut the duck into pieces for each table.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Operator25, CBD

Operator25 on Urbanspoon| Website | Instagram

Operator25 is a cafe off La Trobe St between Queen and William St, close to Flagstaff Station and easily accessible by trams 24/30/35. It's located in a heritage listed building and was actually the where the first switchboard site in Melbourne was. Operator25 prides itself on using seasonal produce, with classic flavours that have a twist to them. They also specialise in a range of coffees, such as espresso based, pour over and cold drip coffees.

Two of the walls at Operator25 are decorated with wall art relating to coffee, and you can see the pipes on the ceilings, which have been painted white. The whole place feels quite spacious and is brightly lit, and is made up of long communal tables as well as some seating outside. Despite having music playing in the background and chatter from all the customers, we didn't have to raise our voices at all to hear one another, which was good. 

The service here however, was a little disappointing. We waited about 15 minutes for a table and another 15-20 for our food which was fine, but there was quite a bit of a wait for our menus initially and for our drinks, especially my apple & guava juice which I could see was just sitting in the fridge behind the counter. It took even longer to come than my friend's special cold drip coffee drink that had to be made, and I had to actually ask one of the staff for it when she bought over the food. She told us she'd see where it was, and it took another 5-10 minutes for them to then bring it to the communal table we were sitting at. Even then, they thought the drink was for the other group sitting at the table, and not ours. I did notice as well, the other group of people ordered their dishes after us, yet their staff member brought over their cutlery as soon as the order was place, whereas we only got ours when the food was served.

St Ali, South Melbourne

St Ali on Urbanspoon | Website | Instagram

St Ali is a famous cafe in the South Melbourne area, close to South Melbourne market off Claredon St and easily accessible by tram 12/96. It's best known for its coffee, though unfortunately as neither my friend or I are coffee drinkers, we didn't try it out. We did have an enjoyable experience here though, and will definitely be visiting again some time.

The cafe itself is situated in a warehouse so it's very wide and spacious, and quite brightly lit. As it is such a popular place, there's always lots of people, and we did find that we had to raise our voices to hear each other above the music. The whole place has a very arty, quirky vibe to it, with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. We went around 12pm on a Saturday and surprisingly didn't have to wait at all for a table. The service was really great; the food and drinks came out really quickly, and the staff were warm, attentive and friendly. There are a lot of large communal tables that take up most of the cafe, as well as several tables for up to four people.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Eden Espresso, Malvern

Eden Espresso on Urbanspoon | Website | Instagram

Eden Espresso is a small cafe on Glenferrie Rd in Malvern, in the shopping district just after High St and easily accessible by tram 16. I decided to visit this cafe as a friend wanted to try out brunch places in this area, and this was the one with the highest rating for brunch places in Malvern. Overall I was quite happy with my experience here.

The cafe itself isn't very big, but there's seating outside both in the front and back of the cafe. The way everything is placed however makes it look quite spacious, with the large tables and couches. There's a very cosy, home like feel to the cafe with the couches and lamp on one side, and soft music playing in the background. The decorations on the walls are quite simple but very cool - it is basically large coffee sacks that have been framed - I assume this reflects the different types of coffee used by the cafe. My friend and I went around 12:30pm on a Sunday and luckily didn't have to wait for a table.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Oscar Cooper, Prahran

Oscar Cooper on Urbanspoon | Website | Facebook

Oscar Cooper is a cafe in Prahran on Greville St., about a five minute walk from Prahran Station and tram 78/79 on Chapel St. It prides itself on the use of Victorian produce, and has a range of menu items that can be made gluten free to cater to those with dietary requirements.

The cafe itself isn't very big, but looks quite spacious and doesn't feel clustered, and there's also seating outside. Benches run along two sides of the cafe facing outwards, and there's also a large communal table in the middle and tables for two and four people along another wall. There's not much decorations on the walls, though one whole wall is designed with bricks, and there's large windows allowing natural light to seep in, making the whole place very bright. The soft music, together with the chatter from all the groups of people and the sounds of the kitchen, make for a warm atmsophere.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana, CBD

Maccaroni Trattoria Italiana on Urbanspoon | Website

Maccaroni Trattoria is an Italian restaurant located in the CBD, on Manchester Lane just off Collins St before Lindt Cafe and Tiffany & Co. It's part of three restaurants that specialises in traditional Italian cuisine; two are more of the main traditional pizzas/pastas (located in CBD and Clifton Hill), and one is a pastisserie with a range of traditional cakes and desserts.

The restaurant we visited in the CBD had a very homely feel to it, with simple decorations and soft music playing in the background. The whole atmosphere was very comfortable and relaxing; the perfect way to wind down after a long day or week. The service was great, we didn't have to wait too long for our food. The staff were friendly and attentive, coming to take our dishes almost straight after we'd finished and giving us more water when the first bottle had been finished.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Tall Timber, South Yarra

Tall Timber on Urbanspoon | Instagram

Tall Timber is a famous brunch cafe in South Yarra on Commercial Rd, easily accessible by tram 72 with lots of parking available on the side streets. It's quite a decently priced cafe that is always full of people, so be prepared for at least a fifteen minute wait for a table. This cafe has quite a good range of vegetarian options which is why I chose to visit it, as my friend is vegetarian and some cafes don't have that much of a variety to cater for vegetarians.

We went on a Sunday for brunch around 12pm, and waited about fifteen minutes for a table. There's seating both inside and in the courtyard behind the cafe itself, as well as a few seats outside for people who are waiting for a table. We chose to sit inside the cafe, which felt really spacious despite it being very busy and filled with people, and wasn't squashed at all. The cafe is quite brightly lit, with the white walls giving it a simplistic feel. There's not much decorations on the walls apart from some listings of special dishes, though behind counter there were lots of jars and wooden shelves.  However, as it was filled with people, it got quite noisy and we found that even with just two people, we had to raise our voices to hear each other clearly. 

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Vapiano: Spring Menu Tasting Event + Giveaway!

Earlier this week, I was invited to the Spring Menu Tasting Event by one of my favourite Italian restaurants, Vapiano. As usual, it was a great dining experience and so much fun to meet some fellow food bloggers! To celebrate this new menu, Vapiano and I are giving my lovely readers the chance to win one of four vouchers to try out some of these dishes for yourselves!

Each voucher entitles you and a friend to a choice of one of four main courses, as well as the white choc cheesecake with salted caramel and honeycomb; a homemade white chocolate cheesecake (with actual white chocolate bits) topped with a salted caramel sauce and honeycomb bits.

The other main dishes you can choose from are the Pizza Poporano - a mozzarella and tomato sauce based pizza consisting of Australian air-dried salted beef, rocket, shaved Parmesan and a drizzle of truffle olive oil;

Pasta Gamberi con Rosso - pasta of your choice with prawns, chilli, semi sun-dried tomatoes and a sun-dried tomato pesto;

Classic Pumpkin Soup - with your choice of parmesan, cream, croutons and basil, with freshly baked ciabatta (my favourite dish of the night!);

Risotto Pollo Levanto - creamy risotto with chicken, bacon, red onion, garlic and chilli, topped with parmesan and basil. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this dish, as the risotto had run out due to popularity on the night we were there.

To enter, simply leave a comment on my Instagram photo of the White Choc Cheesecake with the name of your favourite Italian dish. The winners will be picked randomly and sent a voucher.

Conditions of Entry:
  1. Must be following delightfullytasty on Instagram
  2. Must be living in Melbourne, Australia as this voucher is only valid for the Melbourne Vapiano restaurant. You must also be willing to provide your name and postal address so I can send the voucher to you :)
  3. Must be able to visit Vapiano (347 Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD) by Friday, October 31 as this is the last day that these specials are available.
Entries close at 11:59pm AEST on October 8, and winners will be notified via private message on Instagram by October 12. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment in this blog post or via any of the social media platforms.

Good luck!