EVEN MORE Meals in Melbourne

The City, The Cuisine

Flower Drum

This restaurant is a Melbourne classic located in Chinatown.  It is a large restaurant located on the second floor of a warehouse-looking building on a small laneway in the midst of Chinatown.  Inside it is bigger than expected, separated by carved wooden screens.  The service is impeccable and the classic Chinese dishes are excellent.

Saute Chicken with Pine Nuts

Chicken with shiitake mushrooms, carrots, bamboo shoots, and pine nuts

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Eggplant in Spicy Salt

Fried eggplant in spicy salt stuffed with carrots, yam, pine nuts, and served with crispy enoki mushrooms

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Gai Lan in Shaoxing Wine

Chinese broccoli stir-fried in rice wine and ginger

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Singapore Noodles

Stir-fried Vermicelli noodles with prawns, BBQ pork, snow peas, shiitake mushrooms, onion, and chili

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‘Typhoon Shelter” Lamb Cutlets

Flinders Island saltbush lamb cutlets stir-fried with fried crispy garlic, chili, and scallions

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Great Ocean Road Brewhouse

Roast Lamb Dinner

Sliced roast lamb with roasted potatoes and seasonal steamed vegetables all covered in a rich gravy, served with a dollop of mint jelly

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Fish and Chips

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Mexican Chicken Parma

Basically nachos on top of a parma–an interesting idea…

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Chocolate Mousse in a Chocolate Shell with cream

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Chocolate Mud Cake with vanilla ice cream

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Sticky Date Pudding with vanilla ice cream

One of the best desserts I’ve had here!  So full of caramel and rich pudding–delectable!

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Shamrock Hotel

Eggs Benedict

Another day, another Eggs Benedict.  Almost too much bacon on this one, but nevertheless still delicious.

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Brekky Burger

Very Australian and super good– the bun was almost Brioche-y.

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Eggs and Bacon

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Queen Victoria Market

Hedgehog Slice

A super rich chocolate-y, fudge-y slice with pieces of shortbread biscuit interspersed throughout and with a layer of coconut shavings on top–absolutely amazing!

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Red Ochre Grill

Cripsy Onion Rings with Citrus Aioli

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Pulled Pork Burger

The pulled pork was not our favourite kind (we love the vinegar-y Carolina kind!) and it was also too sweet.  But the bun, fries, and salad were all great!

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Aussie Burger

This included the two most common Aussie items put on a burger: an egg and beetroot.  Even Macca’s serves burger with these items.

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Veal Schnitzel with Killpatrick Sauce

Killpatrick sauce is Worcestershire sauce with bacon and cheese.  The first bites were very good, but as is usually the case with Worchestershire sauce, it gets a bit much eventually.

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Chicken Parma

A solid parma with a sizable amount of ham; the chips and salad were good, as usual.

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Kulata Training Academy

This is a hands-on trade school for Indigenous youths.  It’s a great group and the food was very delicious.

Bacon and Egg Panini

With onion jam (the unusual, and most delicious, aspect)

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Desert Lime Melting Moment

Two shortbread cookies with a very generous swirl of buttercream–so rich!  The desert lime flavour was really good, definitely lime-y but with a hint of something else a little herb-like.

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EVEN MORE Meals in Melbourne

The City, The Cuisine

Oscar’s

Vegetable Lasagne

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Chicken Parm

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Lamb Pie with Peas and Potatoes

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L’Espresso

Avo Smash

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Eggs Benedict

My dad’s quest continues…

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Big Brekky

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Aroma of India

Mango Lassi

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Chicken Tikka Masala

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Chicken Korma

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Lamb Vindaloo

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Red Lion Restaurant

Vegetable Omelette

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Eggs Benedict

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Eggs and Toast with Bacon

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Persian Kebab House

Lamb Shashlik

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Ghormeh Sabzi

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Mahiche

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Parndana Hotel

Schnitzel with Marron in Creamy Garlic Sauce

Marron are a delicacy on Kangaroo Island.  It tastes similar to lobster.

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Chicken Parm

Delicious, and heart-shaped too!

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Mississippi Mud Cake

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Carrot Cake

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Hahndorf Inn

Wurstplatte

Comprising of bratwurst, debraciner, knockwurst,  bockwurst, case trainer, nurnberger bratwursts, sauerkraut, and Bavarian potato salad.

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Chicken Caesar Salad

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Kinder Surprise Egg

This candy is illegal in the US, so I had to give it a try while I have the chance.  The US has had a ban on candy with toys embedded in it since 1938.

The Haus

Hot Chocolate

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Eggs and Toast with Smoked Salmon

The salmon was from the Harris Smokehouse which is right up the street from this restaurant.

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Eggs and Toast with a Tomato Relish

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Pancakes with Banana, Maple Syrup, and Chantilly Cream

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Bacon

The smokiest and most-like-bacon-to-me bacon we’ve had here.  Bacon is usually served more like Canadian bacon.

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The Coffee Club

Corn Fritters with Bacon

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Eggs Benedict

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Ultimate Brekky Roll

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EVEN MORE Meals in Melbourne

The City, The Cuisine

Redcliffe Tavern-Barramundi with Roasted Potatoes and Balsamic Glaze

For a pub-like restaurant, the food was high-quality and very delicious–a little surprising to us.

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Fettuccini Alfredo

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Mexican Tortilla Bowl

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Settlers Inn Hotel-Seasame Honey Glazed Ribs with Chips and Salad

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Eastbank-Salt and Pepper Calamari

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Margherita Pizza

Continuing on my quest for the best margherita pizza…this one wasn’t fantastic.  It was good and definitely delicious, but not on my top list.

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Tagliatelle Bolognese

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 Tuna Nicoise

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Prosciutto and Rocket Salad

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Bar Bellaccino-Brekkie Roll

With coffee (not pictured), the best flat white in Australia so far!

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French Toast with Berries

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i-creamy Gelato-9-Scoop Gelato Platter

(top to bottom, left to right)  Coconut, Espresso, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Black Sesame, Milo, Thai Tea, Cookies and Cream, White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake, Cream Soda

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It is also served with a smaller platter of whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate shavings.

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Brown Sugar-Corn Fritters with Bacon and Pesto

One of our favorite CBD finds, Brown Sugar is hidden down a narrow laneway off Little Collins Street.  It’s small and cramped, but the food is amazing.

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Vanilla Pancakes with Berries

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Salmon and Pesto Risotto

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Rock, Paper, Scissors-Toast with Salmon and a Rosti

A rosti is like a potato cake, the fancy version of a hash brown.

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Rosti Breakfast

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Toast with Bacon and Avocado

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Government House-Australia Day Tea and Scones from the Country Women’s Association

We also got a small bag of the classic ANZAC Biscuits, an oat and golden syrup biscuit.

We found a new brand of tea we love– Bushell’s Blue Label, Australian tea that is really rich and dark.

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Ants Bistro-Prawn Toast

In the small, cramped streets of Chinatown, Ants Bistro is an authentic restaurant serving Asian classics.  We sat upstairs on a balcony with just a few tables, where we could look out over the rest of the restaurant.

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Spicy Beef Hotpot with Glass Noodles

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Schezuan Pork and Noodles

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Chicken and Vegetables on Crispy Noodles

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Crown Chinese New Year Street Festival-Twisty Potato

When you see people walking around with these creations, how can you not get one?  It actually tasted good too–just like a huge twisty chip.

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Hopetoun Tea Room

The Cuisine, The Culture

One of the many historic arcades in Melbourne CBD is the Block Arcade on Collins Street, which opened in 1892.  The Hopetoun Tea Rooms inside the Arcade opened during the same year, but its still going strong and seems to be getting only more popular.  Named for the governor at the time and his wife, Lord and Lady Hopetoun, the tea rooms were, and still are, known for their huge etched mirror, which used to hang outside the shop, but is now inside.  This mirror is the largest double-etched mirror in the world.  The decor feels very Victorian, with many tables squeezed into the small room, dark, but intricate wallpaper, and chandeliers providing most of the available light.

We enjoyed a luxurious afternoon high tea at the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.

The first course was the classic tiered trays with (from bottom to top) sandwiches, varied desserts, and fresh fruit.

First Tier
Quiche Lorraine
Vegetarian Quiche
Roast Beef Sirloin Sandwiches – Premium Roast Beef Sirloin with onion jam, tasty cheese, roquette, seeded mustard mayonnaise.
Hopetoun Tea Room Pinwheels – Tomato, cucumber, ham, seeded mustard, mayonnaise & egg on white & wholemeal
Smoked Salmon Sandwiches – Ribbons of smoked salmon sandwiches with dill cream cheese, cucumber, roquette on white & wholemeal
Second Tier – Petit Fours – An assortment of our Signature petit fours: strawberry cheesecake, miniature macarons, pistachio custard, mango slice, and chocolate mousse in a chocolate shell.
Third Tier – A selection of seasonal fresh fruit & berries, including mango, strawberries, blueberries, figs, pineapple, raspberries, kiwi, and watermelon.

The second and final course was the scones (2 for everyone!).  This course came with a new tea and the scones were served with double cream and mixed berry jam.  The cream and jam were gilding the lily on already fantastic scones; they were so buttery with light, but rich texture and not too sweet.

At the end of the tea, I was absolutely stuffed (I actually had to take one of my scones home), but everything was superbly scrumptious and the experience was simply amazing!

EVEN MORE Meals in Melbourne

The Cuisine

There is so much deliciousness in this city! Here’s some more.

This post also features some New Zealand food.

Mr. TulkTuna Baguette

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French Toast with Salted Caramel, Grilled Banana, and Vanilla Ricottaimg_5934

Eggs Benedictimg_5935

Rock, Paper, ScissorsToast with Smoked Salmonimg_6059

Shakshuka Baked Eggsimg_6061

Corn Fritters

An old standby.img_6062

Colonial Tramcar RestaurantCapsicum Dip and Hummus with Crackers

This whole experience was a delight: driving around Melbourne on a luxurious Victorian era tramcar while eating delicious food–what could be better?img_1651

Chicken Breast with Citrus Glaze, Scalloped Potatoes, and Mixed Vegetablesimg_1660

Beef Two Ways with a Red Wine Jus, Scalloped Potatoes, and Vegetablesimg_1661

A Trio of Desserts: Cheesecake with Fresh Berries, Walnut Chocolate Brownie, Pana Cottaimg_1664

Christmas-A Christmas Feast featuring prawns (cooked on the barbie!), lamb, kangaroo skewers (it tastes like beef/lamb), cherries (can’t have a Christmas here without them), and mango (another necessity)img_6108

And dessert! A traditional English pudding.img_6114

Coffee ClubChai Latteimg_6132

Mocha with Homemade Marshmallowsimg_6133

Mixed Berry Smoothieimg_6134

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Light Start Breakfast

A version of the traditional English full breakfast, especially with the tomato.img_6136

Eggs, Poached, and Toast with Bacon

Again, a tomato reminiscent of England.img_6137

Eggs Benedict

My dad has been trying Eggs Benedicts around the globe.img_6138

French Toast with Caramelized Bananaimg_6139

Musterer’s HutHam and Cheese Toastieimg_6301

Kiwi Juice

Very New Zealand-y and super delicious–who knew?img_6324

The BathhouseOysters with Cucumber Granita, Smoked Salmon on Toast, Kingfish Cevicheimg_6386

Duck Confit Steamed Bunsimg_6388

Buttery Potato Mashimg_6389

Rocket, Pear, Walnut Saladimg_6390

Seared Tuna, Prawns, Blue Codimg_6393

Green Lipped Mussels, Clamsimg_6394

Ricotta and Truffle Gnocchi with Pumpkin and Beetroot Pureesimg_6396

Balls and BanglesFur Ball Donut

A light fluffy donut coated in chocolate and covered in coconut–mmmmm.  Also, it’s super fun to fill your own donut with a syringe full of chocolate mousse.

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Erik’s Fish and ChipsDeep Fried Kiwi

Coated in cinnamon sugar, the kiwi inside was hot and soft; it tasted like a stewed apple. Yum!

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MORE Meals in Melbourne

The Cuisine

Here are some MORE snapshots of delicious Australian food.

Jack Greene-Pulled Pork Burger

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Greek Lamb Burger

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Wallaby Burger

Yep, wallaby.  It tastes a bit gamey but also kinda just like beef.  Really not half bad.

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Honey Badger Dessert Cafe-Black Panookie

A cookie baked in a pan=a panookie.  This cafe’s most popular dish is this one, and specifically, this flavor–chocolate.  A rich, fudge-y chocolate cookie with chocolate chips is topped with toasted marshmallow, a hearty scoop of chocolate ice cream, toasted graham cracker crumbs, almond slivers, and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.  S’mores in its best form.

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Machine Laundry Cafe-Latteimg_4673

Chai Tea

In cafe’s here, tea is always served with an individually steeped pot and lots of miniature accessories and additions.  This was my first time ordering chai and it came with frothed milk (it’s the little things!).

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Eggs Benedict

Supposedly the best eggs Benedict in Tasmania… they lived up to their name.

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French Toast

With cinnamon, macadamia nuts, a caramel bavarois, and an orange glaze–mmmm.

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Toast, Eggs, and Bacon 

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Lucky Ducks Cafe-Lasagna

I got the last serve of the night, so the piece was extra large.  It was also extra delicious.

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Seafood Stew

Being on an island, Tasmania, we had to try the seafood.  This stew had it all in one: prawns, mussels, clams, fish, etc.

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Fish and Chips

A classic found in almost any restaurant.

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Chocolate Caramel Cake

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Melbourne Bakehouse-Chocolate Mousse Cake

To celebrate on my mom’s birthday, November 7th, we picked up a small cake from the local bakery.  It was chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate mousse and a layer of caramel in the midst covered in chocolate frosted and coated with chocolate shavings.  Only one word can describe this cake: decadent.

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For even more decadence, we had dollop cream on the side.  It’s halfway between whipped cream and butter.fullsizeoutput_d65

The Exchange Hotel-Chicken and Mustard Pie

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Chicken Parm

Chicken parm is everywhere!  Apparently, this is one of the best in Melbourne, so I had to find out for myself.  I got the “regular” sized one which is enormous (the petite is half this size).  However, it was amazing and surely lived up to the claim.

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Schnitzel

Another food that is ubiquitous, especially at pubs/bars.  Also, side note, but I’ll eat anything served in a miniature version of the cooking implement (i.e. these chips).

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Grill’d

Moroccan Lamb Burger

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Crispy Bacon and Cheese Burger

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Caesar’s Palace Burger

A chicken caesar salad on a bun! With rosemary-coated chips. Yum!

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Melbourne Milkshakes

The City, The Cuisine

Milkshakes in Australia are over-the-top.

It all started in Canberra, the capital territory, in mid-2015 with Patissez, a small bakery that first made insane milkshakes and dubbed them “FreakShakes,”  a name which they are currently trying to trademark.  Due to the social media culture, customers (obviously!) posted a picture of the gorgeous milkshake they were going to devour.  Eye-catching, the pictures got tons of likes, which spurred other companies to follow the trend.

Now, a lot of tiny, mom-and-pop cafes all over the country have these crazy milkshakes as their main draw.

Melbourne especially, took on the milkshake trend, as it is the “culture capital” of the country.

I did some research and made a list of the most jaw-dropping milkshakes I knew I had to try.  Over the course of a month, I tried 9 milkshakes and became a bit of a connoisseur.

Today, I will be describing the milkshakes I’ve had based on 3 criteria: taste, design, and obscenity.  Every single time my milkshake order came out, my dad would say “That’s obscene.”  So, in honor of his comments, that is one of my categories.  It is equivalent to “over-the-top”-ness.

*ROYAL STACKS*

Salted Caramel

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Taste: 4/5

Design: 0/5

Obscenity: 0/5

img_3406I wanted a base milkshake so there would be some point of comparison.  This was a basic burger joint shake.  It was very frothy, creamy, and super flavorful (even if it did taste more like butterscotch).  There were no frills, which I wanted here.  After judging some others, this one was definitely thicker.

*CAFE LAFAYETTE*

Brownie and Double Chocolate-chocolate walnut brownie, Nutella, candied pop corn, pretzels and cream

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Taste: 5/5

Design: 5/5

Obscenity: 5/5

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At this modern cafe/coffee shop with an Asian flare, their milkshakes are one of the main draws.  This was my first one and I had no idea what to expect, so I was shocked when it came out.  There was a huge tower of caramel popcorn, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce, which made it a little bit hard to break into and eat.  A brownie with walnuts is hidden under the popcorn resting on the top of the glass.  Pretzels were welded on the side with melted chocolate.  The milkshake itself was thin but still rich, which was a nice difference in texture from all the crunchy toppings.  There was Nutella in the shake so it was slightly hazelnut flavored.

Matcha Matcha-matcha cake, jelly beans, KitKat, honey comb, pistachio and cream

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Taste: 2/5

Design: 4/5

Obscenity: 3.5/5

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Topping this milkshake was an edible violet, bits of honeycomb, powdered sugar, and jellybeans interspersed on a bed of whipped cream through which ran a criss-crossed KitKat.  I was not able to find any pistachio, which was promised on the menu.  Rimming the glass was a matcha cream which wasn’t sweet.  The matcha cake resting on top of the glass had only a light sweetness, but the strongest matcha flavor; it was kind of dense, slightly too much with the shake.  This milkshake was the thinnest and least milky out of those that I tried.  However, it was the sweetest one.  It only had light matcha flavor and was the least overwhelming and filling.  Overall this milkshake was the least insane of the Freakshakes I tried.

Berry Pavlova Forest-raspberry curd, mini donut, mixed berries, marshmallow and cream

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Taste: 4.5/5

Design: 4.5/5

Obscenity: 4/5

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The first thing you see are the berry-flavored homemade marshmallows, perfectly dusted with powdered sugar, that were skewered on a wooden stick (which was then inserted into the straw to make it stand up like it does).  Whipped cream with fresh strawberries and a fresh flower topped the milkshake.  There was raspberry cream/curd dripping down the sides and toasted marshmallow rimming the glass.  On top of the glass rested a jelly-filled donut; the donut was light and the jelly was super fresh and a nice gel-like texture.  Inside, the milkshake was very good.  Even though it had lots of fresh fruit in it, it was still creamy like a milkshake (and not like a smoothie).

*NAUGHTY BOY*

Pavlova-coconut and almond milk, passionfruit, kiwi, berries, mango with meringue and fairy floss

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Taste: 3.5/5

Design: 4/5

Obscenity: 3.5/5

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This glass was rimmed with passionfruit cream with which dried raspberries pieces were attached.  A ring of meringue was resting on the rim of the glass and piled on top of that were fresh strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream.  Topping off the whole thing was strawberry-flavored cotton candy, which was homespun and really delicious.  The milkshake was a bit disappointing as it was more like a fruit smoothie.  There were small pieces of dried fruit and meringue  mixed into the milkshake.  Overall this one was not as sweet because of the toppings, which were more fresh.  The Cafe Lafayette take on pavlova in a milkshake was marginally more successful.

Salted Caramel-Nutella, sticky date & rice pudding, peanut brittle and butterscotch cream topped with fairy floss

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Taste: 3/5

Design: 3.5/5

Obscenity: 3.5 /5

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Topping off this milkshake was whipped cream, sticky date/toffee pudding, and a butterscotch cream.  This time the cotton candy on top was caramel-flavored.  The rim had walnuts and peanut brittle stuck on with Nutella.   Caramel was dripped down the inside of the glass.  At the bottom was some sticky date/toffee pudding, which was a little strange as it kind of floated around.  The mostly vanilla milkshake with a hint of cinnamon had a thin texture, which was nice to balance out the heavy and rich toppings.  The milkshake itself was definitely the best part/flavor in this dish.  For the name, salted caramel did not seem to play a huge role in this milkshake.  It was more focused on the pudding.

*ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS*

4C-chocolate/coffee, cookies and cream

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Taste: 5/5

Design: 4/5

Obscenity: 4.5/5

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A full-sized Magnum bar outrageously topped this shake along with whipped cream and mini Oreos.  The rim was simple with chocolate sauce coated in cocoa.  The thin and milky milkshake was coffee-flavored.  It wasn’t too sweet and was a good balance to the rich and sweet toppings.  This one seems more simple, but the flavors were awesome and the milkshake itself was my favorite one of the lot.

Nutella Bliss

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Taste: 4/5

Design: 3/5

Obscenity: 4/5

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The milkshake itself was a very thin chocolate shake, which was super flavorful (one of the best actual milkshakes).  The topping was simple, but still extravagant–a huge Nutella-filled donut with powdered sugar.  With the generously sized shake, the large donut was almost too much.  The smaller (advertised as mini) donut at Cafe Lafayette was a much better balance.  The glass was rimmed with chocolate syrup and cocoa powder and chocolate syrup coated the inside of mug.

*LITTLE ROSE CAFE*

Gourmet Chocolate Peanut Butter

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Taste: 4/5

Design: 2/5

Obscenity: 1/5

img_4009This milkshake was very thick and creamy with pieces of dark chocolate within; they did kind of all sink to the bottom and have to be eaten with a spoon at the end (such a travesty).  There was a very good balance of the peanut and chocolate flavors.  The pirouette slid over the straw was a nice, slight decorative touch as well as the cocoa powder sprinkled on top.  Overall this is a good, classic milkshake, the type I would have expected before coming here to Melbourne.

To recap, here are my definitive rankings of milkshakes in Melbourne (from bottom to top, left to right).

Bikkies for Brekkie

The Cuisine, The Culture

Another day, another quintessential Australian brekkie food.

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Any food from the brand Sanitarium seems a little worrying, but fear not.  Weet-Bix, the brand’s main sell, is marketed as a health food (as illustrated by the 5-star health rating on the box).  High is fibre and low in sugar, the cereal biscuits are a favorite in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK.

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The size is a bit strange to me.  It’s weird to put 2 pieces of cereal in a bowl for a meal.

The dry texture is a bit like corrugated cardboard, but the taste is like any wheat-based cereal.  However, it would be hard to choke down an entire bikkie dry.

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I fixed mine spread with peanut butter and topped with bananas to add some creamy texture to cut the dryness.  They were a much more enjoyable eating experience with these additions, but what wouldn’t be?

Overall, I see Weet-Bix as a good base (more like toast) rather than a cereal for brekkie.

Meals in Melbourne

The Cuisine

Melbourne is known for its cafe (and coffee) culture.  We been to various eateries around the city,  and they have all been amazing.

Here are some snapshots of delicious Australian food.

Cafe LafayetteAvocado Smash

Avo smash is a huge deal here.  It’s served at every cafe we’ve been to.

Also, the egg yolks are super orange here.  I assumed that it was America who added something to the yolks to make it yellow, but it’s actually Australia who dyes their yolks orange through dye in the chickens’ feed.

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400 GradiCalamari Frittiimg_3621

Prosciutto Crudo de Parma

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Romana Pizza

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Old SaltFish and Chips

All of our local fish and chip shops have calamari, potato cakes, and dim sum that come with the classic English fare–it’s kinda strange.

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Little Rose CafeSmoked Ham and Swiss Cheese Jaffle and Gems w/ Tomato Sauce

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Boon Wurrung CafeBeef and Mushroom Homemade Meat Pie

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Rock, Paper, ScissorsPancakes

Apparently one of the dishes you have to eat in Melbourne.  Features grilled banana, strawberries, kiwi, and honeycomb, all on fluffy buttermilk pancakes.

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Bacon and Eggs

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Corn Fritter Stack

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Chili Eggs

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The Petty OfficerLatte

Coffee, coffee, coffee. It keeps this city running.  All the lattes here are served in short glasses–the better to see you with, my dear.

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Prickly PearChicken Parmesan Burger

Australians, and Melburnians, love their chicken parm.  In this suburb’s cafe, it was on a brioche bun with prosciutto, marinara sauce, melted cheese, and ranch dressing, served with sweet potato wedges.

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Trying Vegemite

The Cuisine

Well, I did it.  I tried (the dreaded) Vegemite.

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Vegemite is a paste made from brewers’ yeast extract, mixed with other flavors, of course. It was first invented in 1922 in Melbourne, VIC.  Some of the old, jingle-y commercials for Vegemite are pretty entertaining.  If you so choose, here’s “Happy Little Vegemite”— the original.

I ate my Vegemite the way you’re supposed to: on toasted bread with lots of butter and then a thin layer of Vegemite to top it all off.  To suggest how thin for one piece of bread, the serving size is 5 g.

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And the verdict?? Not that bad.  It’s very savory; it tastes sort of like soy sauce, Better Than Bullion, and malt vinegar.  It is strong in umami flavor, the fifth taste, and very, very salty.  I personally love salt and soy sauce, so the flavor isn’t that unlike other flavors I like.  There is something, maybe an aftertaste, that is something I’m not as familiar with, but in small amounts, I could get accustomed to it.