Addict Review

Happen to drive past this new kid on the block Addict on Johnston Street, Fitzroy. Was meeting up with some friends and suggested to try this place out. After just being here, I was filtering through the top 25 cafes in Melbourne from the Herald Sun, and Addict was in it.

A one page menu with usual breakfast stuff and Lunch items. Also a few specials on the board, which didn’t really tempt me. Coffee is from Clement Coffee, Market Lane and the chefs use to work at St Ali’s. Option for Almond milk is also on the cards.

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Addict Menu

Baristas pumping out coffee with their La Marzocco Linea Machine.

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Pretty good coffee at Addict

Coffee was good, no doubt. The size was a bit smaller than average i thought, maybe by 20ml. Being picky now!.

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Cafe Latte at Addict.

Menu seems quite extensive, well thought out and a bit different to the usual. Could see the corn fritters are back, maybe a little twist or something they learnt at St Ali perhaps? Our friends ordered a breakfast sharing board which is a great option if you’re going with your partner and they’re also a sweet tooth and you’re not sure whether you can order another sweet dish after your savoury.

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Breakfast Sharing board with crumbed mushrooms, hash nuggets, grilled cheese kransky, relish and French toast with berry coulis. + 1 egg!

Definitely a twist from St Ali’s Corn’s fritters with haloumi. I added bacon to mine. Haven’t had corn fritters for a while, and it didn’t disappoint. Corn fritters were not over fried which was a  plus. Maybe a bit more of a sauce would have been an extra plus.

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Corn fritters with kasundi, haloumi, poached eggs & a corianda and mizuna salad.

IK ordered this potato hash. The mushroom duxelles had great flavour, the potato hash was also crunchy and delicious. IK didn’t complain so must have been alright.

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Potato Hash, mushroom duxelles w roasted field mushroom, poached egg & caramelised onion.

Voted as one of the top 25 cafes by the herald sun. Was pretty good food. The service was a bit odd. Maybe its still new, found they were a bit abrupt at times. Easily fixed though im sure. Food was a bit on the slow side as well. However, great food and coffee!

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Rating : 14/20

Dish of the day –  hmm… hard one. maybe the mushrooms / corn fritters.

Would we come back ? – Yes!
Addict Food and Coffee on Urbanspoon

New Shanghai Emporium

I heard about this place from my hairdresser. She knew something about dumplings but couldn’t remember the name. I would have known if Din Tai Fung was coming to Melbourne. So went up to emporium to check it out. Located in the “food court” of emporium ( I know they don’t like calling this). Rather than food court, they like to call it “cafe court”, basically clusters of restaurants, cafes  congregating in one floor. E.g. EARL canteen, Jimmy Grants, Rice Workshop, I Love Pho, Chinta Ria etc. We were lucky there were no one at all lining up here. Theres a glass window where you can peer through and check out the chef’s rolling up the dough to make their Xiao Long Baos. This is our second time coming here, but brought some friends to sample some more dishes. Luckily we booked as there was a massive queue already.

Looking at the menu, found out its actually a chain restaurant based in Sydney. Seems like their speciality are dumplings but also typical Shanghai dishes. Prices are quite reasonable for their dumplings in particular. Xiao Long Bao – $7.50 for 8 pieces!

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Menu

The interior has been done up nicely to mimic old shanghai. With comical posters on the wall and lots of wooden furnishings. Soy sauce and vinegar are a must for the Xiao Long Baos.

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Soy and Vinegar
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Comic posters with random chinese writing on the walls.

Had to have a Tsing Tao with my meal. Reminiscing my time when I visited shanghai ordering beer at a local restaurant.

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Tsing Tao Beer

As with Chinese dishes, theres not sequence to what comes out first. Basically whatever is cooked first comes first.  first comes the Shanghai noodle with shredded pork. Didnt think there was enough pork and was a bit on the oily side. Hu Tong’s Shanghai noodle seems more fulfilling.

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Shanghai noodle stir fried with shredded pork & vegetable – $9.90

Stir-fried beans, another Chinese classic. Again bit oily and lacking some mince.

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Stir fried string bean with dried shrimps & soy sauce – $13.50

Their winning dishes are definitely their dumplings. Pan fried dumplings was crunchy on the bottom, and has nice hot sauce inside. Watch your mouth! What I like about these are that its not just sloppily rolled, but each one are uniform and cooked perfectly.

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Pan fried pork dumpling* (8pcs) – $9.90

This is something we couldn’t order between the two of us. We kept looking what other people ordered and I really think you first eat with your eyes. If everyone is ordering it, you should order it too! This deep fried barramundi had plenty of meat. Again it was oily but had plenty of flavour packed in it. A westerner’s favourite as they love their sweet and sour sauce. Goes well with rice!

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Deep fried barramundi topped with sweet & sour sauce sprinkled with pine nuts & mixed vegetable – $28

Calorie killer this next dish. Salted egg yolk with deep fried tofu. Salted egg goes well with prawns, chicken ribs as well. Never really tried it with Tofu. Very flavoursome but can be a it too fattening.

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Deep fried tofu coated with salted egg yolk – $16.80

We do get extremely picky when it comes to Xiao Long Bao. To this date, apart from when Hu Tong first opened, none of the xiao long bao in Melbourne has got my approval. We used to fly up to Sydney to Din Tai Fung to get our Xiao Long Bao fix. This aint bad, still not comparable to Din Tai fung standard. The skin remains slightly thicker and a bit too much filling inside. However, definitely one of the best you can get in Melbourne.

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New Shanghai Xiao Long Bao – Steamed mini pork bun * (8pcs) – $7.80

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Again, one of my other favourite dishes here. 2 Rules to a good pan fried pork bun. Crispy skin, and nice hot filling with soup inside. ITs hard to perfect it because you can overcook the skin and undercook the meat inside. These massive dumplings are so filling. You really need a couple of friends to join you.

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New Shanghai pan fried pork bun* (8pcs) – $10.50

Slightly disappointed with this dish. The duck was very salty, theres no need to dip it in the spice mix. The steamed buns were nice but thought it was over seasoned.

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Crispy salted and spiced duck served with steamed plain bread (half duck) – $31.80

Very chinese decor inside. don’t know if you’re meant to climb up there or what.

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Inside Decor

Almost demolished our meal.

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Can check out how they roll their dumplings out.

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Overall, I would come here for their dumplings. They have a few good dishes worth trying out as well. If you can’t fly to Sydney for din Tai Fung, its probably the next best alternative.

Tip – Book in advance for a table. Beaware of the opening hours. Stupid really but emporium only opens till like 7or 9pm depending on which day. Also go with more people if you want to try their bigger dishes like the duck and fish. Also don’t over order gluten!

Rating – 14.5/20

Dish of the day – Their pan fried dumplings and xiao long bao.

What doesn’t change ? – the amount of oil we chinese use!

Where else for dumplings ?

Hutong dumpling bar – 14-16 Market Lane, Melbourne. Used to have awesome Xiao Long Baos when they flew the chefs from Din Tai Fung over. Sadly, they couldn’t replicate their standards.

Mr Huang Jin – 525 Collins st, Melbourne. Perhaps the thinnest skin Xiao Long Baos you will get in Melbourne. Rivals to Hu Tong and New Shanghai. They also have the crab meat dumplings as well.

New Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Luxembourg Review

Another Andrew McConnell’s empire we wanted to conquer. Use to be where Golden Fields was. Don’t know if it was just rebranding their restaurant, or the old golden fields turned into supernormal. Something their marketing department has obviously decided to do. This French inspired restaurant still has similar layout as the old Golden Fields. Long bar table right across the restaurant (similar to Supernormal). The food from McConnell’s restaurants seem all to have great quality. We’re hoping much the same this time round.DSCF2096

One page menu with a range of small snacks, raw seafood, charcuterie, small and large plates. Like all restaurants nowadays, typical sharing type menu.  Couldn’t really choose so we decided to go for the Chef’s menu. We did have some oysters which were half price because we had it before 6:30 or something.

 

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Luxumbourg Menu

couldn’t go past some 1/2 priced oysters so ordered 1/2 a dozen. Came with some tabasco, red wine vinaigrette shallots and horseradish. think some where some Claire De Clune oysters. (same oysters we had at Supernormal  (see review here ).

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Oyster condiments
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1/2 priced Oysters!
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Happily demolished them

Another common theme with the McConnell’s empire is raw dishes. Here we have sea bream sashimi, horseradish, buttermilk and dill. chefs who were preparing it were right in front of us, so our mouths were salivating like no tomorrow. Could do with some more sauce i felt. Can be a bit dry with horse radish. Refreshing regardless.

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Sea bream sashimi, horseradish, buttermilk & dill

Comparable to the lobster roll at Supernormal. Think their lobster roll is better, but just looking back at this photo, remembered how tasty this was. Crunchy soft shell crab and some nice tartare to go with it. nom nom!

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Soft shell crab sandwich, tartare & iceberg

We were practically full after having this charcuterie. The terrine was massive.

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Selection of charcuterie

Quite liked our pre main dish. Smoked duck with 2 types of radicchio (as you can it can be quite bitter) some cooked, some fresh. Add some acidity with the grapes does make a killing combination. Probably the dish of the day for me.

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Radicchio, smoked duck breast, grapes & walnut

Could hardly hold my stomach now but still got this to go through. Now we asians are picky when eating chicken. Westerners always like having the breast, asians the thigh. They did wrap chicken thigh in a fillet which was extremely succulent and soft. I thought the breast part was going to be a bit rough and dry, but they poached this to perfect. It was soft, juicy and had great flavour as well. Brussell Sprouts is not IK’s favourite but i liked it because i hardly eat it!

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½ roast chicken, bacon, Brussels sprouts & chestnut

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Forgot we had some salad to accompany it. So full right now.

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Mixed leaf salad

Ok IK obviously saved some space for the desserts. This Mille-feuille was delicious, crunchy. I wished they had bit more sauce again. Quince and creme was delicious as well.

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Mille-feuille, spiced quince & brown sugar cream

how about pumpkin for dessert? Haven’t had a pumpkin dessert for a while, but shows savoury ingredients can make good desserts as well. Great idea to use the pumpkin seeds to add some texture to the dish. Ice-cream on the side. Probably the better dessert out of the two.

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Pumpkin tart with ice-cream

IK was in desperate need for a coffee. not bad for restaurant quality coffee.

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Rating – 14.5/20

What we thought – You’d wonder whether the more restaurants you open, the quality will start to go downhill. I think Andrew McConnell is quite clever to seem to make every restaurant slightly different. They all seem like a different restaurant but when you look closely they have subtle similarities with the menu/decor.  The Food was overall quite good. Did prefer a bit more sauce with some of their dishes. Especially if its a European/French restaurant. Also thought the chef’s menu was a bit too much especially after the Charcuterie.

Will I come back again – Yes probably!

Deal of the day – 1/2 price oysters.

Luxembourg on Urbanspoon

Itali.co Review

IK felt like Italian, so I ventured to St Kilda to Itali.Co. I also wanted extra frequent flyer points, so booked through the qantas.com/restaurants site. For those who don’t know, if you book through the site, you can get up to 100 points per diner. Book August this month and get extra 50 points from qantas. Its run by dimmi, so pretty much search any restaurant you can book from dimmi. Mostly famous for its pizzas, there are also some mains, pastas and entrees to share. Staff are mostly Italian, and theres plenty of Italian wines / beers as well.

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Itali.co menu

IK wanted pizza, so we ordered pizza! We always get the BUNGA BUNGA. Have to say, they have arguably the best pizzas in Melbourne in our opinion. Thin crust, great fresh ingredients and pizza on a stand. What more can you ask?

BUNGA BUNGA Fior di latte, tomato, berkshire sausage, porcini mushroom & parmesan (Awarded best pizza 2013)
BUNGA BUNGA – Fior di latte, tomato, berkshire sausage, porcini mushroom & parmesan (Awarded best pizza 2013)

I think the pasta dish was a rigatoni Buratta. Had cherry tomatos, burrata cheese, basil and i think for this one had some sausage as well. We should have ordered the Spaghettini Del Golfo which was our favourite. (pretty much a spaghettini marinara with a twist).

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Rigatoni Burrata

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This was a pretty quick meal, we’re already onto desserts! When you think of tiramisu, you always associate it with the sponge cake, coffee, kah lua etc. However, turned out to be a mixed berry tiramisu. To be honest, i think they should stick with the original tiramisu.

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TIRAMISÙ AI FRUTTI DI BOSCO – Mixed berry Tiramisu

The rocket and pear had great harmony. Maybe should try this recipe at home!

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RUCOLA E GORGONZOLA Rocket leaves and pear dressed in a gorgonzola dressing

Italians are known to be charmers arent they?

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It was still quite early. WE booked for 6:00pm and there were people eating already. Quite alot of families. Theres quite a few long tables and one round table which had a lazy susan.  Nice modern deco and pretty good pizzas overall.

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Inside Itali.co. Lots of families during the early sitting.

Overall, good Italian food especially their pizzas and pastas. Theres not alot of variety with the mains. Still, definitely one of our favourite Italian restaurants.

Dish of the day – Bunga Bunga PIzza. Must have!

Dish we shouldn’t have ordered? – Tiramisu.

What we needed – a bigger table! Still didn’t have enough space despite having a stand for the pizza.

Will we come back – no brainer!

Rating – 14.5/20

Italico on Urbanspoon