Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Coffee Exchange, Melbourne CBD


T's favorite cafe is an ubiquitous option near the top end of Little Collins and Spring. It doesn't have a flashy name or a flashy exterior, but it consistently does very good coffe and very good food. It has a wide range of take away as well as sit down options. 

 
Its close proximity to Parliament station makes it the perfect antidote to the morning slog for the many skirts and suits who passes this way everyday.

I know I'll definitely be back soon to try out the salted caramel croissants!
 
Coffee Exchange on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 15, 2014

Raw Trader, Melbourne CBD


Raw foods have been all the rage in Melbourne and I was quite excited to hear about Raw Trader opening up in the city. Their focus on sweet raw foods was the main draw card for me, as I have an insatiable sweet tooth that gets me into all sorts of trouble.
 
T brought me here one Saturday to cheer me up and I couldn’t help but break into a smile as soon as I saw the array of magnificent cakes & slices and beautiful desserts on offer. There is just something instantly cheerful about the idea of eating lots and lots of delicious guilt-free food.
 


We ordered one of the tasting platters as well as a smoothie. It’s quite a small place and there aren’t too many seats, but the staff are good at shuffling furniture and patrons around to create space.
 
We shared a table with two strangers which was quite an effective stopper on my aggressively passive tantrums, allowing us to appreciate the good food and regenerate some good will.
 
The tasting platter featured a slab of caramel slice, a slab of peppermint slice, and a bowl of coconut cream and mango chia seed pudding. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious everything tasted.
 
With each dessert, the flavors are obviously a tad different to the traditional versions, but they tasted like a different interpretation rather than an imitation. The other thing which struck me was the absence of heaviness which did not accompany each mouthful. I felt like I could eat endless servings of these desserts.
 

Raw Trader on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pastuso, Melbourne CBD

If I had a wishlist, I would have eating alpaca and tasting Peruvian cuisine in there. Both of which I would have accomplished by visiting Pastuso. C took me here for lunch recently and we arrived early around 12. The place hadn’t begun to fill out yet and we were greeted by a flurry of staff.
 
Still, it took them a while to read the table map on the computer and figure out where they were going to place us. It was as if the waiter was still learning the layout of the restaurant which is understandable given its very recent opening.
 
We were in a bit of a rush and glossed over the menu. The alpaca jumped out immediately, and we also ordered entrées of pork belly and swordfish ceviche, as well as a radicchio salad.
 
Ceviche was beautifully done with thin slices of swordfish and plenty of zesty flavours to tease open our taste buds.


The slow cooked pork belly was done in a spiced batter, with a purée. It was quite chunky and I would have preferred a bit more juice in the meat.


Alpaca tastes like a mix between lamb and duck, oddly enough. The version that we were served was quite firm and a few mouthfuls were enough to satisfy my curiosity.
 
The salad was much more exciting and I quite liked the mixture of radicchio, palm heart, heirloom tomatoes and passion fruit dressing.
 
 
Overall, I found the food engaging and I would revisit to sample some other items from the menu. Hopefully, they're able to refine both the food and the service. The fundamentals are there, but I think that Pastuso still requires a bit of fine-tuning to compete the likes of its nearby neighbors. 

Pastuso on Urbanspoon

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