Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Grand Taipei Bakery, Box Hill MELB

First bakery I have visited within the lunch period last weekend and one that has been, apparently, around before I was even born. Deeply rooted within the Box Hill community, this bakery serves a decent range of savoury dishes in addition to their already popular selection of baked goodies.

The dining area is suited for small crowds and reminded me of a breakfast "cha chaan teng" experience that I was accustomed to in Hong Kong. A steady stream of customers poured into the bakery, each customer purchasing at least $20 worth of baked goods and some even walked out with at least two loaves of fluffy soft baked bread along with a couple of boxes containing glistening, baked pastries.

Chinese donut with omelette - I am not the type of person who craves for oily, fried items for breakfast but this is an exception. The combination of fried chinese donut enclosed by a thin layer of omelette sprinkled with chopped chives was addictive, especially when it briefly meets a semi sweet and salty soy dipping sauce.

Meatballs with homemade noodles - the sister wanted something comforting and this was her choice on the menu. Meatballs tasted homemade although could be improved on in terms of flavour. Noodles were cooked al dante, retaining a chewy yet soft texture. Broth was mildly flavoured and more suited for those opting for lighter meals.

Pineapple and Chinese melon slice - both types of fruit were made into a sticky, sweet jam consistency before being rolled into a crunchy, crumbly pastry.

Taro bun -

Custard bun, taro swiss roll, red bean bun and peanut cake. I loved every single item that I have bought and kudos for having a soft texture. Plus points for costing less than $2 each although I do think it would fare better with more filling stuffed into each of them:)

Definitely will be back for their breakfast items and have been notified that I should have tried their pork floss roll. Argh, next time it is.

Grand Taipei Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Carrington Cake Shop, Box Hill MELB

Cake season is just around the corner and having had my fair share of rich, decadent cakes, I was struck by a surge of excitement as I am now inspired to taste test Asian bakeries in search for a different perspective.

First up would be heading to Box Hill where just about every corner of the suburb screams oriental. The bakery's front is roughly the size of a medium sized bedroom and so, can be quite crammed if the site gets filled with customers.

With only a small corner for bread and sweet or savoury buns, the rest of the bakery is used for their cake displays as well as a fridge for cakes that customers have ordered. And just like most Asian establishments, cash is the only method of payment accepted.

Bought a custard bun and a half and half polo style bun that's partially filled with taro. Good amount of custard in the bun although it is slightly missing the freshly baked aroma, perhaps because it was in the afternoon by the time we arrived. On the flip side, buns here are definitely cheaper compared to other commercialized bakeries.

Pandan sponge cake and orange sponge cake - a little dry and could probably fare better with a bit more cream layered between the sponge layers. Pandan flavour was faint in my humble opinion but again, perhaps could be different had I bought a whole cake that would have been freshly prepared?

Carrington Cake Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, August 7, 2017

Ramen and Dumpling House, Mount Waverley MELB

Both K and I are big fans of dumplings and having been to quite a few familiar eateries with him, I made the executive decision of bringing him to Pinewood where parking and atmosphere wise, it's much more convenient and not as hectic compared to other popular areas.

Service is reasonably quick and prices are affordable for their dumplings and ala carte noodle/ rice dishes although prices for the ala carte savoury dishes could range from $16 to $18.

Pan fried dumplings - options include pork, beef or vegetarian. We had the pork version which was tasty but would have fared better with a bit more filling in the dumpling.

Fried tofu - K enjoyed this dish a lot, not sure if it's because he's been deprived of actual food from his long, tiring shifts at work hehe.

Deep fried squid - K politely asked if I was on a diet to which, clearly I was not, and we went ahead to order this. Good seasoning but the batter can be improved on for an added crunch factor. Wouldn't mind reordering this next time tho.

  Ramen and Dumpling House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 6, 2017

June-July: Food hauls and lunch boxes

Here are snippets from what's been happening from June to July for yours truly, in no particular order as usual:)

Best hair tie colour combination from H&M

Made strawberry scroll buns and they were delicious after coming out from the oven. Eventually became tougher as the days go by although homemade strawberry jam tasted 10x better than store bought versions.

Usual readings with a cup of tea

Craving for something sinful and indulged in this double coated strawberry magnum ice cream. So good and bad at the same time.

The sister wanted to trial a few sweet treats. Verdict? Raspberry cheesecake kit kat was ok, strawberry wafers were decent and Arnott's lemon crips were the bomb as usual.

Half priced Dove body wash - a different flavour each day.

Homebrand apple pie was err.... a bit flimsy and lacked body, in my opinion, although a cheap option if you are not looking at getting overly attached to any desserts but still need your weekly/ monthly sugar fix.

How would Uniqlo's ultra warm heat tech fare I wonder. A few more weeks before winter ends to try them out!

Bought this purely for its nice maroon shade and that it was on offer. Bonus points for extra fine merino wool quality too.

Baker's delight coffee and date loaf was surprisingly good. I like a bit of coffee scent to wake me up in the morning and this does the trick for me.

My second pair of Asics (first pair was too worn out and had long been discarded). Was initially a little hesitant as it was not on special but after running in them, I daresay their gel cushions reign supreme compared to other brands.

Homemade caramel slice - one of the best ones I have tasted although was a little runnier than what I liked it to be. Was buzzing on a sugar high after I finished one piece.

The start of my lunch box series for those wanting to eat healthier and reduce overspending on meals. Recipes can be found by clicking on the recipe tab on the right side of this page.

Sweet and sour pork balls and braised fish with tofu and vegetables. Loaded with vegetables.

Korean spicy chicken with crushed nuts and braised daikon with minced pork and shittake mushrooms.

Another grateful customer bought me a box of chocolates as a token of gratitude for helping her to certify her documents.

Kung pao chicken and orange chicken.

Oyakodon using leftover chicken and vegetables.

Another massive junk food haul. Maryland chocolate chip cookies were a little too dry and hard for my liking. Green's version fared a little better but by a small margin and had brownie points for a tantalizing orange aroma. Wagon wheels still take the cake home in my books as it's not overly sweet and was balanced in terms of strawberry jam, marshmallow and chocolate. Cadbury's mini rolls were surprisingly good and difficult to stop at just one bite.

WL's mum's homemade curry puffs were one of the better ones I have had and also the healthiest ones.

Apricot and date loaf from Baker's delight. I love how Baker's delight are always generous with their fruit portions although I did find the apricot bits a little sour.

Called in sick on my last week of work and made a banana cake with oat crumble as compensation.

Lost my favourite gym bottle at the gym and sadly, those plastic bottles crushed easily as I tend to chuck them in my bag. Bought a water bottle from Starbucks as not only was it much cheaper compared to other places but also had a pleasing pattern of Melbourne, a gentle reminder that I have finally settled myself well in this city:)

Wagon wheels are the best.

Post gym, covered in sweat and blood.

Pancake parlour's apple pie pancake was yummy, especially when it's been coated with a delectable butterscotch sauce.

Made the best pistachio and almond loaf cake and did not take any proper pictures with it using my camera. Will have to remake this again as it is truly delicious.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

April-May mobile updates

Past few months have whizzed by so quickly and alas, we have already passed the half way mark of the year. Having finally been able to settle myself comfortably, it's time to catch up on long overdue phone updates, in no particular order :)

Let's take a moment to appreciate my gym commitment - no job or male counterpart can ever distract me from smashing out my usual routine to the point where I am usually scrambling to prep myself before heading out. No time for make up or second thoughts on outfits haha.

The biggest dim sum portions can be found at Gold Leaf in Burwood, all tasting reasonably good as well:)

Homemade yam cake by WL's mum. I managed to finish half the box despite having had dinner prior.

The day the sister decided it was a good idea to purchase two dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts. My sugar levels sky rocketed through the roof that week.

Macarons, a favourite of mine, as reminded by WL.

Also more favourites - soya bean with grass jelly and ice blended red bean smoothie.

I have a very guilty addiction towards toasted bread and found it hard to stop at just one piece of this kaya toast that has been generously slathered in pandan kaya and cubes of butter. Peanut butter toast was decent and probably something I could easily whip up at home.

The day WL regretted bringing me food shopping. I spoilt myself with my favourite Ben & Jerry's and Magnum ice cream hehe.

Easter was celebrated with my discovery of Baker's Delight cinnamon and raisin toast and hot cross buns. I have been addicted to them ever since and am abashed by it.

My most symmetrical shaped matcha biscuits. Very impressed was I at my keen eye for detail *pats self on the back*

Lychee white chocolate flavoured macarons - a failed attempt as shells were too dry and filling was pathetically runny.

Cake was part of my weekly diet in autumn and one that I slightly regretted now that we are approaching spring.

The French edition of Adidas superstars. Am a big fan of this colour combination and am over the moon when it was gifted to me:)

WL's homemade porridge to fuel me through my cold.

Always do feel special whenever I get surprised by roses. #suchasucker

Homemade curry noodles from cafe 68.

Stir fry beef hor fun in the making - another failed attempt and one that I had to reattempt a bit later.

Kit kat chocolatory goods (a scaled down version), available at supermarkets. Favourite flavour would be the espresso one. Worth the hype? I might stick to my usual Cadbury bars.

Coming home to a takeaway plate of food. Happiness staring back at me.

Because Starbucks is such a fundamental part of my life and I cannot help by reincarnate those travelling moments spent at their cafe.

A big bowl of okonomiyaki mix, ready to sizzle on the frying pan.