Goodovening

Some food trends come and go, but Korean fried chicken is here to stay, and I’m all for it – nothing brings satisfaction to the table quite like a plate of greasy chicken.

While there are some promising restaurants that can always be counted on, I had wanted to try out Goodovening for a while now. The restaurant had been packed on the few times that I had walked past, so we made sure to book beforehand.

The outdoor seating area was reminiscent of restaurants scattered on the streets of Seoul, being slightly elevated, lit dimly and the tables are set under clear covers, which means diners can sit outside all year round.

Complimentary

I have no idea what these were, and it’s hard to describe the taste. They were sort of tasteless to be honest, and quite hard, but were fun to nibble on nonetheless. We finished chewing on these quickly actually, and the waitress was more than happy to bring us more without us having to ask.

Fried Chicken (16 pcs, half original and half soy garlic) – $34.00

Of course, we had to test out the benchmark first with some fried chicken. The batter looked promising, and indeed had that light airiness that I have become accustomed to. We chose soy garlic for the flavoured half, and although the chicken had less sauce on it than other places, they were sweet and tangy, and the crispy batter was not compromised at all.

The chicken came with a cabbage coleslaw and we also order some chips ($5.00) with it, because hey, if you’re going to be frying chicken then you might as well fry some potatoes on the side!

Hot Chilli Cheese Chicken & Rice Ball – $25.00

Cheese make any food taste better, and Koreans are known for putting cheese over absolutely everything. The spicy chicken pieces were very punchy and had a nice kick to it, and the cheese added some creaminess to the dish.

Hot Chilli Cheese Chicken & Rice Ball – $25.00

Although nothing out of the ordinary, these rice balls were adorable and fun to eat with the chicken, and also helped to tame down the spiciness when needed.

Carbonara Chicken – $35.00

We’ve gone all out at this point, so what’s one more chicken dish? Carbona chicken is exactly as it sounds; the pan was filled with boneless fried chicken, fries and cabbage, all served on top of a thick and creamy carbonara sauce. This was indulgent to say the least, with the crunchy chicken paired especially well with the richness of the sauce. We all thoroughly enjoyed each and every bite of this.

The dinner actually turned out to be a surprise birthday dinner for me, my friends had bought me my favourite cake from Bibelot, and it was a really enjoyable night for all of us. My friend had asked one of the waiter to put the cake in the fridge at the beginning of the meal, along with some candles. At the end of our meal, the same waiter came out and plopped the cake box in the middle of the table, without opening the box or clearing out our chicken bone filled plates first. I was so confused by this point, and my friend had to ask him to bring out the candles and a lighter in two separate attempts. I mean it was a little odd, but we all had a good laugh about it. It probably just came down to a matter of miscommunication, but I guess just make sure that you ask the waiter to bring out the cake more clearly if you were also celebrating a birthday?

We tried out three styles of chicken at Goodovening, and maybe that seems like a lot, but the extensive menu actually made it really difficult to narrow our choices down. I’m definitely looking forward to returning, although it’ll be hard to not order the Chicken Carbonara again, I will try to venture out and try out some of the other chicken dishes on offer.

How to get here:
Goodovening is located on Queen Street, get off at Flagstaff station and the restaurant is around seven minutes walk away.

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

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Shanklin Cafe

Shanklin Cafe has intrigued me for a while now with its crazy high rating of 4.9 on Zomato. After skipping out on brunching for a while, I decided that it was maybe time to restore my faith in what used to be my favourite meal of the day with a visit to Shanklin.

The interior was right up my alley, being set in a restored Victorian style building, and a front yard that was perfect to bring your furry friend to. The inside was equally as pretty, carrying through the rustic use of exposed bricks, with a feature wall of blue and pink mosaic-esque tiles.

Iced Latte – $4.50

It was quite a warm day, and my dining partner chose to have an iced latte. We were a little confused as to how this was served, with a shot of espresso coupled with a larger glass that seemingly already had some coffee in it. Regardless, it was an icy brew that gave the right amount of caffeine kick.

Flat White – $4.00

My usual order of flat white was equally satisfying, being a dark roast that was easy to sip on.

Portobello Mushroom – $23.00

The portobello mushroom is said to be a must-order at Shanklin Cafe, and my friend was more than willing to try the dish, given her love towards mushrooms to start off with. The plate had a lot going on for it; the vibrant colour of the romesco sauce is what first stood out in the dish, which paired well with the earthiness of the juicy portobello mushrooms. The two poached eggs added sustenance, and the zaatar on both the mushrooms themselves and sprinkled over the top brought a Middle-Eastern touch.

Although not marked as such, I think this was a vegetarian dish, and a substantial one at that.

Pork Benny – $22.00

It’s always hard for me to say no when pork belly appears on the menu, and so it was a no-brainer to order the pork benny. The pieces of roasted pork belly was on the fatty side, which means that if you’re a eater of leaner cuts of meat, this may not be right for you. The hollandaise did prevent the dish from being too heavy though, and I did quite enjoy it.

Did I enjoy my meal at Shanklin? Sure. The food was hearty and classic, with innovative elements tied in. I did think that it was on the pricier side though, with most dishes being above the $20 mark, and if you were to order a drink too, the bill would easy rack up to around $30. That’s the thing with a lot of brunch places I think, not exactly over-priced, but not exactly bang for your buck either.

Maybe I’ve just grown out of the brunch phase, but I can’t really justify that sort of spending like I used to. I mean I’m still going to indulge in it here and there, but it certainly isn’t going to be a weekly thing anymore. Oh well, c’est la vie.

How to get here:
Shanklin is located on Tooronga Road, catch the #75 tram and get off at Tooronga Road/Riversdale Road, and the cafe is three minutes walk away.

Shanklin Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A25 Pizzeria

Italian food has become synonymous to summer days for me, since going to Italy itself is not happening anytime soon, I’ve settled for trying out some new Italian restaurants for the time being.

A25 has three locations in Melbourne already, and recently added some vegan options to their menu, which I was more than happy to try. The airy and funky space looked promising, and I was ready to dig in to some good ol’ pizza!

Aperol Spritz – $14.00

Aperol Spritz is my go-to drink in the warmer weather. It’s light, sparkling and fruity, what more can you ask for?

Truffle Porcini & Parmesan Fries – $8.50

The truffles fries came with the pungent smell of truffle, which means you’re either going to love them or hate them. I am personally a huge fan of truffle, and thought these were delectable.

Vegan Vegie Explosion – $20.00

Featuring a range of grilled vegies, the pizza surely looked promising. I thought the vegan mozzarella was actually pretty decent, I mean sure, it doesn’t exactly give off the same creamy taste, but it did the job. The vegies were quite sweet after being roasted, especially in the case of the roasted pumpkin and capsicum, and this was offset nicely by the brininess from the olives scattered across the pizza.

A25 – $25.00

With the titular A25 pizza touted as a favourite, I had to give it a go. The combination of prosciutto and fresh mozzarella is always a classic, and the homemade pesto and roasted pine nuts added some earthiness to the pizza.

With deals such as $15 pizza and pasta for weekday lunches, A25 has become a hotspot for those that work in offices closeby. Indeed, the outside terrace was filled with patreons grabbing a quick bite to eat during rush hour.

The expansion of the menu will certainly be appreciated by those that frequent the restaurant, as it means that they are able to bring friends who may have dietary requirements to dine with them, while still being able to get some traditional offerings themselves, a feat that has become harder to accomplish.

So next time you’re in need of a mixture of vagan and non-vegan options, why not give A25 a try in one of its three locations?

How to get here:
I visited the South Yarra location of A25, which is on Chapel Street. Catch tram #78 and get off at Malcolm Street/Chapel Street, and the restaurant is right next to the tram stop. Alternatively, catch the train on the Sandringham line and get off at South Yarra, and A25 is around 10 minutes walk away.

I dined as a guest of A25.

A25 Pizzeria - South Yarra Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

#ZOMATOXDIBELLACOFFEE | The Village Cafe

Earlier this week, I was invited for a coffee tasting at the Village Cafe, hosted by DiBella Coffee and Zomato, and being the coffee fanatic I am, I was ready to sacrifice some sleep considering all the coffee we were about to sample.12The tables were set beautifully with some VOSS water, Capi juice to be used as a palette cleanser, as well as almonds and dark chocolate, and let’s not forget the plates filled with both raw and roasted coffee beans!

The Village Cafe’s owner, Samil, otherwise known as Sam, welcomed us into his restaurant, and gave us a brief history of how he turned a lackluster cafe into a buzzing business over the span of three years, with his wife’s help in the kitchen, and a dedicated team at work.

Our teacher for the night was Moshi Tawil, a man with a lifetime of knowledge about green bean coffee, and is clearly passionate about coffee. He has been trading coffee for years, and travels frequently as part of his job, and his powerpoint about how coffee is cultivated left us all in awe.

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Citrus Tart

While Moshi continued with his coffee stories, the first dessert and coffee pairing was placed in front of us. The citrus tart had a very smooth lemon curd, and the pastry was very short, this would have been a tad sweet served on its own, however, it was balanced out by the coffee perfectly.

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Kenya Twiga AB Espresso

Moshi told us that there are five main categories when calibrating coffee; aroma, acidity, body, flavour and aftertaste. I’m not usually an espresso drinker, which means at the start, the only thing I can taste was bitter LOL. As the coffee cooled down though, the flavour of blueberry did come through, and although acidic, the aftertaste was very pleasant.

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Chocolate Lava Cake matched with Tanzania Shiwanda Estate AA Long Macchiato

Chocolate and coffee seriously go hand in hand, the long macchiato actually did have a chocolatey note, as well as cherry, from memory.

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So perfectly round!

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Not anymore!

Nothing beats the feeling of putting your fork through a chocolate lava cake and seeing the ooey gooey centre, this is definitely one decadent dessert!

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Sweet Kenaffe matched with House Blend Felici Latte

Last but certainly not least, we had moved onto a milk coffee at last, paired with Kenaffe, a Lebanese dessert made by Sam’s wife!

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Sweet Kenaffe

The kenaffe was very smooth in texture, and kind of reminded me of a vanilla slice, but with a mousse like texture if that makes sense. This was the least sweet of the three desserts, which is probably a good thing considering we were all reaching a sugar high by this stage.

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House Blend Felici Latte

The latte was smooth and had a lovely aroma, and I enjoyed it so much that I drank it all, probably not the wisest decision to down three cups of coffee in less than two hours, but oh well, it was worth it at the time.

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Macarons

After all that coffee and dessert, we were given more! None of us could fit in any more sweets at this point, but I did take two home. Unfortunately my mum stole them before I woke up the next morning, but I have it on her words that they went down a treat with a cup of tea!

I thoroughly enjoyed the night spent at the Village Cafe, and considering how much coffee I drink, I did not know enough about it before the masterclass! All of us were buzzing for hours after, but hey, what’s life without a little buzz?

How to get there:
The Village Cafe is located on Doncaster Road, get on tram #48 towards North Balwyn via Bridge Road, and get off at Stop #47, North Balwyn Shopping Centre/Doncaster Road, and the cafe is right across the road.

The Village Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato