Milkcow

Milkcow is an ice cream shop that originated from South Korea, and has since expanded all the way down to Melbourne. It had a pop up store for a while in Emporium, and has since opened up its permanent location on Swanston Street.1

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Milky Honey

Wanting to try something simple, we opted for milky honey. The texture of the ice cream is definitely a lot creamier and silkier than the cheaper alternatives, and the organic honey added just a touch of sweetness.

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Caramel Pop

The popcorn in caramel pop had the additional crunchy texture from the popcorn, and the caramel was not overly sweet as it tend to be sometimes.

The ice cream in Milkcow err on the delicate side of things, I couldn’t find the prices listed on their website, but from memory, it was around the $6-$10 mark, which is quite pricey for what it is, at least for me, I’d much prefer to spend the same amount on some good quality gelato. However, if soft serve style ice cream is more your cup of tea, then by all means, do visit Milkcow for yourself!

How to get there:
Milkcow is located on Swanston Street, two minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Milkcow Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Arbory Bar and Eatery

Arbory serves up a wide range of cocktails and wine options, and a versatile menu to accompany the drinks. Overlooking the Yarra, it has a killer vibe whether in day or night. A few months ago, a group of us decided to have dinner here for a little celebration.

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Electra’s Elixir – $17.00

I always go for either a citrus-y or sweet cocktail, and this was the perfect balance of the two. I can’t remember the exact mix in this cocktail, but if you’re into fruity drinks that aren’t overly sweet, then definitely give this one a try.

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Southern Fried Chicken Burger w/ Chips – $16.00

Keeping things simple, I ordered the Southern fried chicken burger. There was nothing ‘Southern’ about this burger imho, however, it was nice and crispy, and the crinkle cut chips were fried well too.

Although the food is unremarkable at the Arbory, given its atmosphere and prime location, as well as its extensive range of cocktails, including Espresso Martini on tap (!!), I will definitely be returning.

How to get there:
Arbory Bar and Eatery is located on Flinders Walk, come out of the right exit (that I can’t remember), and it’s literally right outside Flinders St Station.

Arbory Bar and Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tim Ho Wan

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Tim Ho Wan, the Michelin-starred yum cha restaurant finally opened its doors to the public after various delays, and to say that Melbourne was excited is an understatement. The line that snaked outside restaurant meant that a wait is always expected, although it actually moves rather quickly.2

I’ve visited several times now, and can confirm that the quality is very consistent, and on par with its restaurant across the ocean. The concept at Tim Ho Wan is similar to Hong Kong Dim Sum, where you’re given a sheet of paper to mark what you wish to order, plates of food will magically start appearing in front of you after you hand the paper to one of the waiters.

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Braised Chicken Feet with Abalone Sauce – $6.80

The chicken feet is a milder rendition of the classic dish. Instead of being fried and then steamed, the chicken feet were simply braised in abalone sauce, resulting in, well, a milder flavour profile.

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Spring Roll with Egg White – $6.00

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Usually I would never order spring rolls, since it is such a pedestrian dish, but because we had a pescatarian amongst us, we had to take advantage of all the vegetarian and seafood options. It was a pleasant surprise though, the filling of egg white was very fluffy, and the spring roll was crunchy, but not overly oily as they tend to be.

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Baked Bun with BBQ Pork – $7.80

The signature dish of Tim Ho Wan, literally every table had a plate (or two) of the buns, and I can definitely see why. The crunchy shell paired with the sweet BBQ pork filling, give me three of these and lunch is sorted.

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Beancurd Skin Roll with Shrimp – $6.80

I passed on these since they had carrots inside, but according to those who tried it, although pleasant, it was nothing out of the ordinary.

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Prawn Dumplings – $8.30

The prawn dumplings were perfect, the skin were translucent but not gluggy, and the filling had a nice ratio of prawn to bamboo shoots.

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Spinach Dumplings with Shrimp – $7.80

The bright green colour of the spinach dumplings made them so pleasing to look at, and they tasted just as delicious. Another surprise favourite.

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Steamed Egg Cake – $5.80

I loved the fluffiness and delicate nature of this cake, however, one of my friend did find it too eggy.

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Vermicelli Roll with Shrimp – $7.80

The vermicelli roll, although not ground breaking, was executed well, the roll itself had integrity, and the filling, well, there was a lot of prawns.

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Wasabi Salad Prawn Dumplings – $7.80

Still confused about where exactly the salad is in this dish, but the crunchiness of the dumplings were delightful. I wish the wasabi mayo had more of a kick though.

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Vermicelli Roll with Pig’s Liver – $7.50

Another member of the four heavenly kings, the filling of pig’s liver, although unusual, was actually a bit dry.

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Tonic Medlar & Osmanthus Cake – $5.80

Besides looking extremely pretty, these slightly acidic cakes, with the floral aroma from the osmanthus, were a light but sweet end to the meal.

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Mango Sago Pomelo – $6.00

My pick for dessert though would be the mango sago pomelo, there was nothing to fault with this classic combination of flavours, and the thickness of it all made me think that they actually used a lot of real mangoes!

1617Overall, there’s not much to fault with Tim Ho Wan in terms of the quality of the food, however, its menu is quite limited compared to other yum cha places, and the price is definitely higher. With that in mind, I’d still return, even if it were just for the baked BBQ pork buns alone, yup, they’re that good.

How to get there:

Tim Ho Wan is located in Village Centre Arcade in Chinatown, a short 10 minutes walk from Melbourne Central.

Tim Ho Wan Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hakata Gensuke

Having just gotten back to Melbourne after a trip to Japan and Korea (don’t worry, blog posts about that will be coming up), I thought it would be fitting to review a ramen restaurant, and not just any restaurant at that, Hakata Gensuke is often said to make the best bowl of ramen in Melbourne, having tried their classic pork ramen on various occasions, this time, we decided to visit its newest addition, specialising in chicken ramen.

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Black Tori Ramen – $13.00

The black tori ramen gets it colour from the black sesame paste added to the soup, as well as copious amount of special fried garlic, resulting in a very intense soup. Although the soup itself was on par to its pork counterpart, the chicken cha-shu just doesn’t have the same oomph as pork, I mean, it wasn’t dry by any means, however, it definitely wasn’t melt in your mouth either.

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Signature Tori Ramen w/ Soy-Marinated Egg – $12.00 + $2.00

Of course I also had to try their signature tori ramen. It still surprises me that the soup can be so full of collagen given that it’s made of chicken, the thickness is more obvious in this photo without the dramatic colour of the previous one. The egg was extremely flavoursome, the noodle was cooked perfectly, again, my only complaint is the chicken slices themselves.

I will pick pork over chicken ramen anyday personally, although if you are looking for something different, do come and try the chicken ramen at Hakata Gensuke for yourself.

How to get there:
Hakata Gensuke is located in an alleyway in QV, right across the road from Melbourne Central.

Hakata Gensuke Ramen Professionals Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Queensberry Pourhouse

Queensberry Pourhouse is pretty inconspicuous, hiding in the corner of Queensberry and Bouverie Street, I must’ve walked past it a bunch of times on the way to class. Earlier this year, I finally visited it when catching up with a friend.

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Flat White – $4.50

The coffee was pretty standard, although I think their specialty is the batch brew, but I wasn’t feeling adventurous enough on the day.

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Lamb Pie w/ Coffee Gravy and Tomato Sauce

Can’t seem to find this on the menu anymore, but from memory, it was a pretty delicious pie. The filling was quite flavoursome, and the pastry was buttery without being overly flakey. I was pretty iffy about the coffee gravy, but the light bitterness actually complimented the pie quite well.

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Mushroom Toastie – $12.50

My friend got the mushroom toastie, which had two types of mushrooms and two types of cheese, field and enoki mushrooms, and provolone and grana padano. She said the sandwich was quite mild, but with a good earthy flavour from the mushrooms. She did find the pickle a bit random though, and didn’t think it went with the toastie itself.

Although nothing out of the ordinary, given Queensberry Pourhouse’ proximity to uni, and its casual atmosphere, I can see myself returning from time to time.

How to get here:
Catch any tram from Flinders St Station, Federation Square side, and get off at stop #4 Queensberry St/Swanston St, the cafe is three minutes walk away.

Queensberry Pourhouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Aqua S

1It’s finally here! Aqua S opened its door of its first Melbourne store in QV a bit over two weeks ago, and apparently there are already lines forming! The ice cream store is quite small, with its classic instagrammable blue and white wall, opposite the wall space that is filled with polaroids, and a few small tables if you wish to eat in store. There are plenty of seats in QV though, so that isn’t a problem.

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Sea salt and Pandan – $4.50 (L)

I wanted to try something simple to test out the flavours, before I dive into the whole fairy floss and marshmallow scene. The sea salt is a permanent flavour at Aqua S, and I really liked it! The sweet and savoury soft serve was extremely smooth, and didn’t melt too quick either.

There are also a few additional flavours that rotate every two weeks, and we tried out the pandan one. For those of you who don’t know, pandan is pretty much like Asian vanilla, and it is a flavour that is often overshadowed by matcha in my opinion. The pandan soft serve was a milder counterpart to the sea salt, and was equally delicious.

At a reasonable price point, with flavours that change quite often, and a convenient location, I can see myself returning to Aqua S on a quite regular basis! I definitely want to try out some of the toppings on my next visit.

How to get there:
Aqua S is located on level 1 of QV, which is right opposite Melbourne Central.

Aqua S Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato