Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Noodle Markets, Melbourne CBD

We were all really excited about visiting the Noodle Markets as it opens up for another year on the grounds of Birrarung Marr, near Federation Square.
 
We were even more excited about visiting the Citi VIP area and using the Citi Concierge service to order from the sponsored restaurants. There are three on the Citi menu, being Burwood Teppanyaki House,  Hammer & Tong and Bokchoy Tang. I was happy with the trio because I’ve had good experiences at the first two and I was recently thinking about visiting the third.
 
We were a big group and ordered quite a few of the share packs from each of the vendors. Prices here aren’t cheap, but compared to the offerings at Taste of Melbourne, I found the prices to be cheaper.
 
The share packs offered decent value: for $35 we got 2xsoft shell crab burgers, a corn cob and a salad from Hammer & Tong. Similarly, we got 4x dumplings, 2xbuns, a skewer and a serve of Chinese sausage for $20 from Bokchoy Tang. Given that we were all suffering from extreme hunger, we also got some skewers from Burwood Teppanyaki House which were pretty fairly priced at 3x for $10.
 
 
 
 
Hammer and Tong’s soft shell crab burger was the highlight of the night and their sweet and sour corn cob came a close second! The skewers from Burwood Teppanyaki House were also really well done, as were the meats from Bokchoy Tang. However I found the dumplings to be slightly disappointing as the skin was too thick and there wasn’t enough filling. The others felt that the buns were also slightly underwhelming.
 
 

 

I would like to come back and try some of the other vendors, but 2 weeks is simply too short for me to work through the entire list of vendors and each of their offerings, which is what I would like to do. As it is often said, one can dream.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Cupcake Central, Melbourne CBD

I love cupcakes and I love Cupcake Central in particular. Their story is one of passion, entrepreneurship and inspiration. 

I was expectedly gleeful when R surprised me on Sunday with a delightful family of cupcakes. 

There was a cute looking iced doughnut Mama cupcake, and a safe and reliable cookies&cream Papa cupcake. They were surrounded by a Brady Bunch brood of mini cupcakes. 

R tells me that she tried to choose cupcakes that looked like me. Oh bless her, for that must be one of the sweetest thing that anyone has said to me. 

Supernormal, Melbourne CBD

Entrusted with the critically urgent task of finding a suitable venue for our signing dinner at 3pm in the afternoon, I started trawling for suitable venues. We needed a table at 9pm for 8 people and the clock was ticking.

Supernormal was at the top of my list because it struck the right balance between fancy v. cool and hip v. refined. 

I was also mindful of the fact that we could celebrate boisterously here and the venue was large enough that we wouldn't be causing a scene. Luckily for me, they could accommodate us and so calendar invites were promptly sent out.

A few more hours of work went by quickly and I was waiting patiently for dinner (ahem, I mean, for the signing).

At almost 8pm, I heard that there would be 4 more people joining the table. Seen those scenes in the movies where people dive for their phones, well that was me, with 10x the velocity. Because one does not simply expand dinner reservations in Melbourne 1hr before the anointed time. One begs and pleads to do so and hopes for the best. It must have been my lucky day because Supernormal accommodated this change and said they'll extend our table.
 
The meal was a good one, and the set menu included many of their signature offerings, including my favorite, the lobster roll. It was as creamy and soft and sweet and decadent as I remembered it, and I started to crave it as soon as I finished the last bite.
 
I also discovered the Sichuan lamb which was served as our main and I liked the combination of Western cooking techniques with Asian spices. The lamb was served in large cuts, which is not often seen in Asian cuisine, as traditional Asian dishes tend to employ slices or cubes of meat.
 
Finally, there was dessert and we were all blown away by the peanut butter parfait, served with salted caramel and soft chocolate. It was incredibly rich, and incredibly good. I think I've just found a new favorite!

 
Supernormal on Urbanspoon

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