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

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!

Sunday, 28 September 2014

I Love Pho 264, Richmond

I Love Pho 264 on Urbanspoon | Website 

I Love Pho 264 is one of the best known pho places in Melbourne, located in Richmond on Victoria St just past Church St and easily accessible by trams 12, 78, 79 and 109. It's a family owned business that prides itself using the freshest ingredients and making its pho 'one to beat'. I Love Pho is opened 7 days a week, from 9am - 1030pm.

The interior design of the restaurant is quite simple, the walls are mostly decorated with the menu and specials, as well as photos of the staff with customers. It's really brightly lit, and the place is always filled with customers, giving the whole place a warm and lively atmosphere for a relaxing dining experience. I did find it slightly confusing that the menu didn't have prices on it, just the items, and after looking at the signs on the walls, realised written in a small sign was that all pho dishes come in three sizes; small ($8.50), medium ($9.50) or large ($10.50).

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Urban Provedore, South Yarra

Urban Provedore on Urbanspoon | Website | Instagram

Urban Provedore is a relatively new cafe on Toorak Rd just before Chapel St, about a five minute walk from South Yarra station on the Sandringham/Frankston lines. It places emphasis on great quality products whether you eat in or take away, and great tasting and fresh dishes. I really like the message of Urban Provedore, "Just because you live a city life, shouldn't mean you miss out on the finest provincial produce available".

The cafe is very brightly lit, with large windows at the front allowing lots of natural light to also enter. The layout of the cafe gives it a very spacious, wide feel and the atmosphere is relaxed yet animated and lively, even though it's quite busy with people constantly coming in and out. There's a simple, minimalistic feel to the cafe - there aren't any decorations on the walls, but one side is filled with products that can be purchased. The service was really great; the staff were friendly and attentive, but not overbearing. We were waiting for one of our friends to arrive, and multiple staff came over to ask if we were ready to order.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

New Shanghai, Emporium

New Shanghai on Urbanspoon | Website | Instagram

New Shanghai is one of the new Chinese restaurants that has opened up in the Emporium, in the upstairs food court close to Rice Workshop and Bing Boy. I decided to visit after some of my friends had heard some pretty positive reviews about the place and the authenticity of its food, and was happy with my experience.

As it is quite a popular restaurant, you'll need to be prepared to wait about 20-30 minutes for a table. We went around 12:45pm on a Sunday, and were given a number which would be called out when a table was ready. We ended up waiting for about 25 minutes for a table; luckily they have lots of menus so you can start deciding what you want to get and order as soon as you sit down. I was surprised at how extensive the menu was, and the prices weren't too expensive given that it was in the Emporium.

New Shanghai has a typical setting of an Asian restaurant - very busy and quite noisy with all the customers. The decorations they had up on the walls were really cool - red shutters and simple lights that gave off a rustic feel like you would have at such dumpling houses in Asia. Service was pretty good, the staff walk around quite often so you don't have to wait too long to order, and the food came really quickly as well.