Tuck Shop Take Away

Tuck Shop Take Away.

Tuck Shop Take Away – Caulfield North

There are hopscotch squares drawn in chalk outside on the footpath of the entrance of the shop. As you hop your way into Tuck Shop Take Away you are transported to a world of childhood nostalgia. The memories of school days flood back as you order your tuck shop meal. New friends, young love and exploration come to mind. Rebellion, broken hearts and bad acne do too but we’ll leave those memories in the past where they belong.

Tuckshop Hopscotch (Try to say this 5 times in a row - total tongue twister).

Tuckshop Hopscotch (Try to say this 5 times in a row – total tongue twister).

The shop was created by Clinton and Katrina, husband-wife duo who have worked with culinary superhero’s like Heston Blumenthal (The Fat Duck), Ben Shewry (Attica) and Shannon Bennett (Vue de Monde). I think the experience with these food stars have definitely rubbed off on the couple. Their menu is imaginative like Blumenthal, the ingredients used are fresh local produce like Shewry and the food produced is of the highest quality like Bennet.

Tuck Shop Take Away.

The Tuck Shop.

This oldskool college canteen makes you feel like a kid. As you get overly excited about the playful menu chalked on the blackboard behind the counter, you realise nothing has changed and you are still that kid at heart. Some of the menu options are burgers and hand cut fries (yum), nutella, peanut butter and redskin milkshakes (omg) and pulled pork with smoked cheddar bechamel jaffles (aahhhh!). (excuse me while I restrain myself). “I want to order everything!” said my brain.

Shake and dog.

Marvellous Max and the Nutella and Salted Caramel Milkshakes.

The burgers were yummy. The difference between the minor and the major is that the major has egg and bacon added. The buns are linseed dotted milk brioche (a little less sweet than your standard brioche), with a juicy beef pattie, iceburg lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheddar cheese and ‘the tuck shop sauce’ which is a 3-hit combo of mayo, mustard and tomato sauce. Match that up with a house made soda or organic milkshake and I’m theirs to keep.

For my vegie friends they have the ‘veggie wedgie’ with a lentil and rice burger. My mum said it was delish and as the saying goes ‘mothers are always right’. The hand-cut chips were yummy like my boyfriend in year 7 and oily like my skin in year 8. The ‘cuts’ are thinly carved hand-cut potatoes with the skins on. I like that they are thin chips with the skins on, because I’ve only ever had thick hand-cut fries with the skins on before.

Tuck Shop Take Away - Major burger & cuts.

Tuck Shop Take Away – Major burger & cuts.

The banana liquid cheesecake and salted caramel jaffle speaks for itself (delicious, delicious and deliciousness in a jaffle). Yum! I want to eat this for breakfast everyday for the rest of my life. My personal trainer said something about having a banana and toast for breakfast. (well this jaffle has banana and toast right?) We were cautioned that the jaffle was piping hot. After a few seconds of trying to wait for it to cool we had to eat it. The heavenly banana cheesecake salted caramel lava was absolutely amazing!

Tuck Shop Take Away - Desserts.

Tuck Shop Take Away – Sweeeet.

The choc chip cookies were yummy with big chunks of dark chocolate and crushed up kettle chips for a touch of salt. The crushed kettle chip bits had a crunchy chewy texture sort of like there were little bits of honey joys in the cookie. Loved it!

I didn’t know other people liked redskins as much as me until this place opened. Redskins milkshakes, redskins tart, chocolate brownies with redskins ganache. It was great! The redskin tart was my favourite! It tasted exactly like redskins lollies but in a smooth and creamy tart form. Yummo! They also have unusual but delicious soft-serve flavours like chocolate pretzel, popcorn and salted caramel.

Next time I visit tuck shop takeaway I’ll put my sunflower stack hat on and ride my bicycle in. I’ll transport my burger & cuts home in the straw basket at the front of my bike with my peanut butter milkshake sitting in the side pocket of my backpack. This will add to the nostalgia. The store is itty bitty but you can picnic at Caulfield Park which is close by. It’s a really fun place to grab a bite to eat and experience some deliciously creative food.

I heart Tuck Shop Take Away!

Olives x

Tuck Shop Take Away
Address: 273 Hawthorn Road, Caulfield North, Victoria
Website: https://www.facebook.com/TuckShopTakeAway
Phone: 0431 406 580
Trading Hours: Mon- Thurs: 11am-8pm Fri-Sat: 11am-9pm (Closed Sundays)

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Kimchi Grandma

Kimchi Grandma - Sae-woo-bo-keum (Spicy King Prawns)

Kimchi Grandma – Sae-woo-bo-keum (Spicy King Prawns).

Kimchi Grandma has been serving delicious Korean food for years. There are lots of Korean restaurants on Koornang road and this is one of the good ones. The Korean BBQ experience is fun because you get to cook the meat and vegetables yourself, but occasionally I’m just too lazy to cook and would rather have my food cooked for me. This is when I go to Kimchi Grandma. No mutated tables with in-built BBQ’s, just good ‘ol (cooked already) Korean food. To BBQ or not to BBQ, that is the question.  When I choose not to BBQ, the restaurant of my choice is Kimchi Grandma.

Kimchi Grandma - Korean Condiments

Kimchi Grandma – Korean Condiments.

They serve traditional Korean corn tea made from boiled roasted corn kernals. Love love love! It’s warm and calming and has a subtle corn flavour. Yum! Then they bring out five little bowls of Korean condiments. We were served the fish cakes, bean sprouts, asian slaw, seaweed and the famed kimchi. Korea’s national dish is spicy fermented cabbage commonly known as kimchi.

Kimchi Grandma - Dae-ji-bul-go-gi (spicy pork BBQ)

Kimchi Grandma – Dae-ji-bul-go-gi (spicy pork BBQ).

The Dae-ji-bul-go-gi (spicy pork BBQ) is my fave. It is really thin slices of pork marinated in a homemade traditional chilli-based sauce. It is so tasty! It’s spicy and flavorsome and needs a side of steamed rice to collected the flavour. The plain steamed rice is short and fluffy with a slight stickiness to it, which goes really well with any of the dishes.

Kimchi Grandma - Gal-bi (beef spareribs)

Kimchi Grandma – Gal-bi (beef spareribs).

The Gal-bi beef spare ribs were also yummy they are marinated in a thick sweet sticky soy sauce which is delicious. You sort of have to get your hands a little dirty with these because they are ribs on the bone and it a difficult task to eat them with your cutlery. So caution: don’t order these on a first date? Or do! It’s probably better to have your date accept you as a foodie from the get go.

Kimchi Grandma

Kimchi Grandma – Koornang Road, Carnegie.

The varnished floorboards, wooden tables and brick walls give the place a clean and modern feel. There is Korean art hung up along the walls that make the restaurant feel homely. If you’re planning to go to Kimchi Grandma for dinner on the weekend I would recommend you make a booking because it’s usually jam-packed. During the week, less packed. There are lots of Korean restaurants on Koornang Road but this is definitely one of the better ones.

I heart Kimchi Grandma!

Olives x

Kimchi Grandma
Address: 125 Koornang Road, Carnegie VIC 3163
Website: http://www.kimchigrandma.com.au
Phone: 03 9078 9813
Trading Hours: Mon- Sun 11.30am-3.30pm (Lunch) & 5pm-10.30pm (Dinner)

Kimchi Grandma on Urbanspoon

Mama Baba

Mama Baba - Gnocchi ossa bucco w ricotta salata.

Mama Baba – Gnocchi ossa bucco w ricotta salata.

Mama Baba is one of the many restaurants opened in Melbourne by the renowned MasterChef judge George Calombaris. He is known for traditional meals with a contemporary twist. Mama Baba is Italian and Greek inspired with a focus on fresh ingredients and humble food. The restaurant has an industrial feel with the high ceilings and simply decorated open space. It has a casual atmosphere and is a great place to catch up with friends for dinner.

Mama Baba in South Yarra.

Mama Baba in South Yarra.

As a starter I ordered the lamb arancini, sitting on spots of black tahini, surrounded by little herbini. (by herbini I mean micro herbs, I just wanted it all to rhyme) It had the warmth of a Sunday lamb roast compacted into a small deep-fried appetizer. The black tahini was delicious and a perfect sauce to accompany the tasty arancini bites.

Mama Baba - Lamb arancini w black tahini.

Mama Baba – Lamb arancini w black tahini.

The pork was cooked to perfection.  It was soft and succulent and the crackle had good crunch. The sweet quince sauce was smeared on the plate in the shape of planetary rings, which made me feel like I was eating a funnily shaped, deliciously tasty mini pork planet with a side of apple and witlof salad. The pork was juicy and full of flavour. Uncomplicated flavours and perfectly cooked meat, humble cooking at its best! My friend ordered the gnocci ossa bucca with ricotta salata, which was also a winner. It was your typical traditional, hearty home cooked meal that gives you that warm fuzzy feeling with each bite. Yum!

Mama Baba - Pork belly w quince sauce & apple and witlof salad.

Mama Baba – Pork belly w quince sauce & apple and witlof salad.

For dessert I ordered the lemon lime bitters pavlova. It was fun. It was basically a sherbet bomb in the form of a dessert. It was a contemporary twist on a traditional classic. It was served with lemon marscapone, lime sherbet and bitters jelly. The lime sherbet was an interesting sensation, each bite tasted like fizzy.

Mama Baba - Lemon lime bitters pavlova.

Mama Baba – Lemon lime bitters pavlova.

You are able to make a booking, which is good, but the bookings are scheduled in two-hour sessions, which is bad if you like to talk. It does give you enough time to comfortably eat your meal without feeling too rushed. The food is served promptly and the staff provides good service. I understand the logic behind two-hour sessions but I do prefer to enjoy my dinner without a time limit. On the plus side, if you’re catching up with friends and want to hang out a little longer after dinner, Chapel st. is just a walk down the road.

Olives x

Mama Baba
Address: 21 Daly St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Website: http://mamababa.com.au
Phone: 03 9207 7421
Trading Hours: Mon-Thu & Sat 6pm-Late, Fri & Sun 12pm-3pm & 5pm-Late

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The Local Taphouse

The Local Taphouse - Bar

The Local Taphouse

The local taphouse is all about great beer. The European inspired tavern specializes in craft beers. They have an extensive range of continually changing beers available, which would have any beer enthusiast feeling right at home.  You can talk beer with any of the staff members because they know a lot about beer and will happily assist you with choosing the right beer to compliment your meal. And if you want to take your love for beer to another level, you can join the ‘Ale Stars’ beer club where they discuss and taste rare beers in a social and relaxed setting once a month. The dark wooden walls of the tavern and lowly hung lights create a warm and intimate ambiance. Outside there is a nice outdoor roof terrace area.

The Local Taphouse - Outside area.

The Local Taphouse – Outside roof terrace.

It’s a great place for people to meet and catch up for a drink or two or three or four. In fact they offer tasting paddles so you can try samples of a range of different beers. It’s sort of like a dessert tasting plate but a beer version. These beer tasting paddles encourage you to be more adventurous and taste beers you haven’t tried before.  It’s fun to decide which ones you like and which ones you don’t like. It’s like a safeguard, which helps prevent you from ordering a whole glass of beer that is not to your taste. All beer aside, they can also cook up a quality meal. The menu makes it hard to order because everything sounds delicious.

The Local Taphouse - Southern fried chicken and cajun thick cut frites.

The Local Taphouse – Southern fried chicken and cajun thick cut frites.

We got some snacks to go with our ale, the southern fried chicken was super crunchy and served in an adorable little tin bucket with chilli mayo. The beer battered thick cut frites are a must! Original or Cajun spiced, they’re super crunchy and super tasty. You don’t have to be a beerologist to know that any beer goes hand in hand with thick cut fries.

The Local Taphouse - Tennessee pork belly sandwich w fennel and apple slaw.

The Local Taphouse – Tennessee pork belly sandwich w fennel and apple slaw.

The Tennessee BBQ pork belly sandwich with the fennel and apple slaw was the perfect meal to accompany my fruity ale. The pork belly melted into the sticky tennessee BBQ sauce and the sandwich soaked up the beautiful flavours. The shaved fennel, apple, radish and red onion went so well together as a slaw, it was crisp, fresh and zesty and it cut through the sweetness of the pork. Delicious! The local taphouse offers a casual environment with gourmet food. It is an awesome place to have good food and good beer with good friends.

I heart The Local Taphouse!

Olives x

The Local Taphouse
Address: 184 Carlisle Street, St Kilda 3182
Website: http://www.thelocal.com.au/MEL/
Phone: 03 9537 2633
Trading Hours: Monday – Sunday 12pm until not later than 1am (7 days)

The Local Taphouse on Urbanspoon

Chin Chin

Chin Chin - Melbourne

Chin Chin – Melbourne.

As you walk into Chin Chin the décor has a sophisticated feel with a strong arty presence. You can’t forget a gigantic bright pink neon light in the shape of a bunny on the wall. On top of their contemporary take on Bangkok street food they also showcase and support works from local, international, emerging and established artists. This place is all about fresh and well-balanced food. We ordered the chilli salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon as an entree. The chicken on its own seemed like ordinary fried chicken but when drizzled with a bit of lemon and dipped in the sauce, the flavours came alive. I was surprised at how delicious it could be for such a simple dish. My taste buds were excited and my palette was ready for the next dish.

Chin Chin - Chilli Salt Chicken Wings

Chin Chin – Chilli-salt chicken wings with coriander and fresh lemon.

The barramundi and caramelized pork salad was to follow and was equally as delicious. On the odd occasion I do make friends with salad, and this was one of those times. Hmm it’s probably not the kind of salad that you can eat on a diet and be proud of yourself, it’s not all that healthy but it is that delicious! The saltiness from the crispy fried barra and the sweetness from the melt-in-your-mouth caramelized pork combo is a perfect balance of flavours. It mixes perfectly with the fresh herbs and apple salad topped with Thai dressing and peanuts for crunch. Dream!

Chin Chin - Pad Thai noodles, Tom Kha & Barramundi and Caramelised Pork Salad

Chin Chin – Pad Thai noodles, Tom Kha & Barramundi and Caramelised Pork Salad.

The chicken green curry with salted duck egg and pea eggplant is delicious. It had special ingredients in the dish that made it stand out from other Thai green curries. Firstly the pea eggplants were adorable little baby eggplants that added flavor, secondly the salted duck eggs were so salty that they gave the curry that punch and thirdly the zucchinis were cooked in a way where they had crunch on the outside but were perfectly cooked in the center so the texture was like they exploded in your mouth as you bit into them. So good! The Massaman curry, Pad Thai Noodles and Tom Kha Soup were all yum but nothing out of the ordinary.

Chin Chin - Green curry and Massaman Curry.

Chin Chin – Green curry and Massaman Curry.

For dessert I had the coconut sago, it was like an adventure in each spoonful. It began with the rich coconut creamy sago paired with a scoop of corn ice-cream (with subtle bits of sweet corn pieces) then came the toffee crunch of the praline and the pop of the puffed rice. Absolutely delicious!

Chin Chin - Coconut Sago w sweet corn ice-cream, praline and puffed wild rice.

Chin Chin – Coconut Sago w sweet corn ice-cream, praline and puffed wild rice.

Chin Chin is always very busy during the evenings and there are no reservations (except if you book one table of 10-12 peeps). It’s a walk-in restaurant so you should either go while the sun is still out or be prepared to wait. During peak dinner times it is not uncommon to wait for an hour or two or even sometimes three hours eeek. But you can waste some time at the gogo bar in the hip and happening basement downstairs while you wait. Just leave your details upstairs and they call your mobile when your table’s ready. Note: You can’t have a person book the table while the others make their way to the restaurant. You all have to be present to join the queue to be seated. Drats! However if you’re eating as a pair you can be seated at the bar for dinner, less eating space but delicious none the less.

I heart Chin Chin!

Olives x

Chin Chin
Adress: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Website: http://www.chinchinrestaurant.com.au
Phone: 03 8663 2000
Trading Hours: Monday – Sunday 11am ’til late (7 days)

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