Foodie Mash Up Part 1 – Melbourne

My Foodie Mash Up posts are all about the places I do not think warrant a separate post. These are mainly revisits or instances where I couldn’t photograph, or taste, enough to waffle on for a full post (eg, group events or functions).

 

The first restaurant for this post is Bashuge in Carnegie. Much loved by KB2 when she lived in walking distance she hadn’t been back since she moved beach side last June.

 

I have visited Bashuge twice before with KB2 and was also keen to try it again. We had also planned to finally get KB1 there, but yet again she was off overseas and missed out (or not, depending on your point of view).

 

I think more renovations have been done, with booths being added, and each table had a hot plate built in to it.

I was asked if we would be having hot pot as the waiter was going to turn the hot plate on, but left it off when I said no hot pots for us.

We agreed to share two entrees and two main courses.

 

Now, it is a not-so-well-kept secret that I am addicted to curry puffs and always order them when they are on the menu. The below is Bashuge’s version.

Not really what I had in mind, but they were tasty.

 

I had to order dumplings (I think the ones I had at Bashuge on my first visit are what started my love affair with dumplings, as I hadn’t been a fan until then. KB2 is still not interested in them).

Bashuge still make a good dumpling.

 

Our first main dish was the Kong pao chicken (and it was rated one chilli in regards to its heat level).

It was nice but not overally flavoursome.

 

The second main was five spice braised beef (one chilli rating).

Every single piece of beef had a big piece of white fat attached to it. I am not sure if this is how it was supposed to be, but we both found it rather unpleasant.

 

The service was slow and inattentive and I had to practically jump out of our booth to get served. We asked if the owner, Kevin, was around, as KB2 wanted to say hi (she used to walk in and not even look at a menu, Kevin would just organise something for her). He was out the back cooking that evening, but did pop out to say hi.

 

We have discussed it since, and both agree that the food wasn’t as good as on previous visits. Whether that is because of what we chose, or the quality has slipped that badly, I do not know.


Bashuge Traditional Szechuan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

Moving into the Eastern suburbs, J and I had dinner with Teagan and Tim at The Firehouse in Ringwood. We have had excellent breakfasts there on two occasions (only one blogged about) and had been keen to try the dinner menu.

 

This dinner was before I brought my shiny new camera, so the photos are pretty bad (due to low lighting in the restaurant), but hey, this is the last post that will have photos from the old camera.

 

J and I were shown to our table next to the fireplace. Service throughout the night was friendly, professional and also patient (we took ages to order as we were too busy talking).

 

We kicked off with a shared anti-pasto board of local and imported ingredients (including cured meats, pickled vegetables, frittata etc).

Nothing blew me away, but it was good to nibble on.

 

For mains, both Tim and J had the burger: wagyu/angus beef pattie (cooked medium) with lettuce, caramelised onion, bacon, beetroot relish, tomato, vintage cheddar cheese and smokey bbq sauce on a brioche bun with triple cooked chips

J described it as just a burger.

 

Teagan had the crispy skinned oven baked harpuka fillet with chorizo, roasted fennel bulb, baby beets, goats curd and coriander sprouts.

And I had the baked rabbit arancini, kalamata olive paste, confit leek and fresh fenugreek.

Gotta say, I really really liked this dish. I did ask before ordering it whether the arancini balls contained rabbit, as that is what the menu description implied, and I was told yes, that is correct. It wasn’t. The arancini was filled with rice only and the rabbit was rich pieces of meat scattered throughout the dish. Either way, it was a hearty, tasty dish, and I would order it again.

 

I kept glancing at my wine glass, thinking there was a dirty mark on it. On closer inspection, it was a little bird, presumably marking the pour level. Too cute!

While I wouldn’t order the anti-pasto board again, and I don’t think J would order the burger, overall we had a lovely evening and I would go back to The Firehouse for dinner and try some of their other dishes, and maybe even dessert.
The Firehouse on Urbanspoon

 

Enough of the dinner posts, let’s do lunch!

 

A team mate recently left us to head overseas for a year, and he chose to have his farewell lunch at Crown Palace on the Burwood Highway next to the Vermont South shopping center. We had been here for a team lunch once before, after the same team mate and myself started with the company and I didn’t love it then, but was prepared to give it another chance (not that I really had any choice).

 

Yum Cha at Crown Palace is trolley style and the trolleys do come past quite regualry, and there seems to be a good variety of options (though every single dumpling had prawn it, so I did not get a dumpling fix that day).

 

I didn’t photograph every dish, but here is a selection of what we had.

And a shot of the orange decor.

The pick of the dishes I tasted were the rice noodles. I find it amusing that the staff always pull the trolleys up next to my colleague and speak to her in Chinese. She is not Chinese, and has no idea what they are saying, but that doesn’t bother them!

 

This place is always busy, but I am not sure why. I personally think the food is very average, and while it is cheap (we paid $17 each for a lot of dishes), I think I can spend that much, or less, in other nearby places and get better quality food. Cheap does not always equal good value.
Crown Palace on Urbanspoon

 

My next lunch is from The Black Toro’s cantina menu. You can hop online, order and pay for your lunch and nominate a pick-up time. As I have one place to buy lunch from within walking distance of my office, I thought I would give the cantina a try (plus it is no secret how much I love The Black Toro).

 

Ordering is easy, and payment is made using Paypal. Orders must be placed by 11am on the day required. I chose a 12-12:15 pick up time. At the time of writing, there were two soup options, six sandwiches, two salads, and two desserts to choose from. Jarritos drinks can also be ordered.

 

I drove down and found a park and entered the empty restaurant. I was greeted by a staff member and said I was there to pick up my cantina lunch. She did not ask my name, but said she would check on my order. I presume I was the only one who had ordered for that time slot (or for the whole day?). I had to wait about 10 minutes but I was then presented with a brown paper bag.

I drove back to the office and unwrapped my goodies.

As you can, my sandwich (the shredded lamb, arbol sauce and pickled veg) was starting to seep through the bag. But it was hearty and tasty.

For research purposes, I also ordered a peanut butter cheesecake cup.

Sadly, there was not a hint of peanut butter in this dessert, it was tasteless. I kept taking slower and smaller bites thinking it was just me, but no. I did get a reply from The Black Toro team after tweeting about it and they were going to look into it. I know how amazing their desserts normally are, so I think I just got unlucky this day.

 

While it was a good lunch, it was a 30 minute round trip to get down to the Kingsway, park, wait for lunch, and get back to office. Part of me thinks if I am going to bother to drive down there I might as well eat in at one of the many restaurants. If I worked closer however…

 

I have blogged about PappRich before and how much J and enjoyed our first lunch there. After the lunch at Crown Palace I suggested we go to PappaRich for our next team lunch (a monthly occurrence). My boss agreed and made a booking at the Nunawading branch (he had seen the lines at the Glen Waverly branch).

 

There is still definitely an issue with the sliding doors letting the cold in, and we never got asked if we had been before or given the spiel on how to order but I took over and gave everyone instructions and filled in the chit.

 

I had the dry egg noodles with curry chicken.

This is the same chicken I had with the roti canai on my first visit and while I liked this dish, I prefer it with the roti, not noodles.

 

One of my colleagues got a laska. She makes her own and was most impressed with PappaRich’s version.

TheBoss had the curry chicken with roti canai, and the other two team members had the tandoori chicken with roti canai and one of the specials with rice, chicken, prawns etc. I think everyone was happy and we all think it is good value for the quality.

 

Not two days after the team lunch, I was back at PappaRich, this time with J at Glen Waverley. J wanted something spicy, and while there are plenty of options on the Kingsway we knew what to expect at PappaRich.

 

I tried the mixed satay sticks (and got a serve of roti canai on the side).

The chicken was quite good, but the beef was a bit tough. So far I like the curry chicken with roti canai the best of the dishes I have tried at PappaRich, and I might stick to that from now on. I still think either branch is good for a quick tasty lunch.

The Black Toro on Urbanspoon

OK, I think that is about it for now. I will save the rest for Foodie Mash Up Part 2. :-)

2 Responses to “Foodie Mash Up Part 1 – Melbourne”

  1. Keren says:

    Oooh, it looks like The Firehouse has taken some of the ‘weirdness’ out of its menu and brought back items that actually sound like food … maybe we need to give it another go. We were there so often in the months after it opened that one of the waitresses started recognising us, so embarrassing. After two really bad experiences (including an after dinner visit one day where we couldn’t even find something on the dessert menu that we wanted!!), we gave up on it.

    I had a bird like that on the inside of my coffee cup the other week! It was perching right on top of my machiatto froth. So cute!

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