Chin Chin

14 Oct

It seems every dining publication you open you are bound to find a feature piece on Chin Chin – the Asian hawker style slash awesome bar slash super cool decor place that has openend up on Flinders Lane.

Don’t bother calling to make a reservation. Chin Chin is one addition to the growing list of restaurants who serve customers on a first come first served basis.

Feel like a spot of dinner at 7.30? You’ll probably be swamped in a huge line waiting to see what the fuss is about.

My secret is to go there first thing for early lunch (it opens at 11 AM) or visit in the downtime between 3-5 when the lunch crowd has left and the dinner crowd is yet to devour the place.

I have been 3 times now and each time I have been shown to a table straight away.

So anyway on to the food.

The hype is dead on – this place is a knock out.

Check out a few of the photos and let your tongue salivate.

Roti bread and rice

Son in law eggs

Tofu salad

Penang curry with eggplant

Ingredients for the DIY spring roll

Finished product: DIY spring roll

Special coconut ice drink

The offerings aren’t too bad as far as veggie options go. There’s a few selections in each section and they are all extremely delicious.

Special shout out to the son in law eggs (amazing) and the DIY spring rolls. The only thing I would suggest is perhaps putting a little more eggplant in the curry, I counted about 2 pieces in the whole bowl!

Counting down the days until I can frequent Chin Chin once again.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 9/10
Service: 7/10

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

El Burro

8 Oct

My hometown, Williamstown, has been described before as a gastronomic wasteland.

Harsh words yes. But sadly mainly true.

Being such a popular tourist spot, the place is littered with joints serving poor quality, pub style parmas and chips and cafe food at its worst.

So when El Burro, a tiny restaurant serving Spanish tapas opened in the heart of the tourist trap Nelson Place, it was met with excitement and hesitation by locals.

For too long locals have ventured out to sample what Willy has on offer and subsequently been stung too many times by woeful service and food to match.

How do I know this? I was one of them! Until El Burro changed my opinion completely.

The staff here actually, surprise surprise, give a damn about the food they are serving. They also care about the customers. Each time they have  gone out of their way to make sure my friends and I were always enjoying ourselves.

Fried goats cheese with mint and beetroot salad

There are heaps of vegetarian options, even a vegetarian paella which is pretty hard to come by.

The standouts for me though are the pesto and parmesan arincini balls served with rocket and aioli, the fried goats cheese balls, the amazing sangria and the churros with chocolate dipping sauce.

Parmesan and pesto arancini balls

El Burro has become a frequent local hang out for my group of friends and I, hence why there are so many photos over lots of different times!

Potato Salad with poached egg

Beetroot salad with fetta

Pumpkin, rocket, goats cheese and pinenut salad

'Bambi' cocktail

Homemade dips with bread


Churros with chocolate dipping sauce

Creme Caramel

Monday nights are $8 tapas nights and the weekend lunches are all $8 tapas as well. I’ve also tried their cocktails which are awesome on a Saturday night before heading out.

I fully recommend getting down to this place not just for the great food, but because we should be supporting local businesses that care about the stuff they’re serving!

All of the frustrated Williamstowners will understand where I’m coming from.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 7/10
Service: 9/10
El Burro on Urbanspoon


8 Oct

There’s nothing I love more than a superb noodle dish.

Unfortunately, I find few places in Melbourne really pull their weight in the noodles department.

My prayers were answered when Mopho came along.

Tucked in a pokey lane near Chapel St and off Toorak Road is the relative newcomer with awesome interior, furniture and lovely staff.

I have been a few times now, each time sampling the different veg options and each time leaving full and satisfied.

Okay, yes I am aware, I was just ranting and raving over the noodles at this joint, then I blog about the silken tofu dish instead?

This is partly because I forgot to take photos of the noodle dishes I have had there and partly because the silken tofu dish is just so damn good, you have to know about it!

Now the dish is served with all kinds of gorgeous things as well as a delicious sauce that goes great over the brown rice they serve on the side.

There is a healthy amount of vegetarian options, with quite a few of the noodle dishes happily prepared meat free.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Decor/interior: 8.5/10
Service: 9/10

MoPho Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon


7 Oct

Mizusu’s is a wonderful little Japanese cafe nestled in the heart of the gorgeous South Melbourne. It’s both a restaurant and a take away shop with yummy Japanese tapas.

I’ve visited it a few times and each time I can’t go past the mixed vegetable stirfry with tofu and cashew nuts with sweet chilli sauce.

I complete the meal with a serve of their delicious biodynamic brown rice and a green tea.


Stir fried veggies & tofu with sweet chilli sauce

Biodynamic brown rice

Japanese green tea


Vegetarian options: 6/10
Food: 7/10
Decor/interior: 7/10
Service: 7/10

Misuzu's on Urbanspoon


7 Oct

Mamasita opens its doors at 5 PM on Saturdays.

I was attending a film at 6.30, so I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to head down and try Mamasita early – minus the famous crowds.

I turned up at 4.50 to be greeted by a line 15 deep. I was shocked – my supposed ingenious plan was not so genious at all.

Reluctantly I lined up. I felt like my 15 year old self lining up amongst sweaty teens to see the hottest touring US band.

But instead of the band, I was lining up to eat Mexican food.

Crazy? Perhaps. Worth it? Definitely.

The food was fab, I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ordered and found the staff extremely helpful and friendly, without being annoying.

There are heaps of veggo options and EVERYTHING is gluten free! Special mention for the soft taco and the corn.

Anyway enough of my blabbing – check out the pics.

'de Frijoles con nopales' - baked black beans, cactus, ‘pico de gallo’ & queso fresco

'de Champiñones' mushrooms, roasted corn, spinach, epazote & goat's cheese

'de Maíz' sweet corn, black beans, epazote, jalapeño salsa & queso fresco

'Elotes callejeros' street Style‛ chargrilled corn, queso, chipotle mayonnaise & lime

Tortilla chips with guacamole and salsa

Vegetarian options: 8/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 9/10

Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Chilli India

7 Aug

Indian is hands down one of my favourite cuisines.

The tantalising, exciting. flavours. The spice. The HUGE amount of vegetarian options that are always on offer. There’s nothing not to love about Indian food. (Okay not entirely true – I don’t love the huge amount of calories in every dish!)

I am always on the search for great, traditional Indian food after travelling to the subcontinent last year where I sampled some of the most amazing flavours!

It’s fair to say that Chilli India, tucked away in a little alley in Melbourne Central, is pretty close to what I ate abroad.

Don’t be put off by the simple cafeteria style seating, the best food is usually from the most simple looking places!

Indian food is usually correlated with thick, heavy curries and papadams, but there is so much more to this amazing cuisine.

South Indian food is one of my favourites – in particular dosas, which are thin pancakes filled with stuffing and are broken off in pieces with your fingers and dunked into sauces.

This is exactly what I ordered as well as my old favourite – eggplant masala.


There is a huge selection of stuffings for the dosas but I picked the spiced egg and it was delicious!

Their eggplant masala is also the best one I’ve had in Melbourne.

Eggplant Masala

No Indian meal is complete without some saffron rice and garlic naan! Superb!


Saffron rice

If you’re up for some Indian, I DEFINITELY recommend giving this place a try.

I didn’t manage to get a photo this time, but order the chilli paneer as well – amazing.

Indian is the perfect cuisine for us veg heads- there are more veg options than meat ones which is a nice change!

Vegetarian options: 10/10
Food: 9/10
Decor/interior: 4/10
Service: 8/10

Chilli India on Urbanspoon

Le Chien

7 Aug

Le Chien has fast become a foodie/critic’s favourite.

Which is great for me because it’s situated in Seddon – nice and close to get to!

There are three things you’ll notice on your first visit.

1: the awesome art deco on the walls.

2: how BUSY this place is!

Le Chien place is ALWAYS full. Be prepared to be squished against the window on the bar stools or wait about 10 minutes for a table.

And 3: Le Chien make a mean breakfast.

I have been there on numerous occasions and each time I have (embarrassingly) ordered the same thing because it is so damn good!

I order the Promite Special – poached eggs, avocado, tomato on sour dough toast and I order some extras of feta cheese and homemade onion jam.

The feta cheese is to die for! So soft and creamy.

My dish

This is my favourite dish, hits the spot every time and it is the PERFECT hangover cure.

Mum orders the scrambled eggs with chilli on sourdough with sides of avocado and onion jam as well (if you visit you MUST get the onion jam!).

Scrambled eggs

I’m usually pretty hesitant to ever order scrambled eggs at cafes because they usually come out overcooked and I like them soft and mushy. Le Chien get the balance just right – perfect scrambled eggs.

I probably will venture out and try something new soon, but in the meantime Le Chien’s consistency means that I am always sure I am going to have a great brunch.

Vegetarian options: 7/10
Food: 8/10
Decor/interior: 8/10
Service: 7/10

Le Chien on Urbanspoon