Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Shyun Ramen Bar, Carnegie

Imagine my delight when I discovered Shyun Ramen Bar, Carnegie. As a huge fan of the original Shyun restaurant, I had high expectations for this new restaurant. Hubby and I decided to visit one weekday night, looking for some delicious ramen to warm our bellies.

To be honest, it didn't feel very comfortable at all as there were a lot of people and very little space. There was barely enough space for the staff to walk around and you could pretty much listen in on everyone else's conversations as the tables were arranged so close together. Still, I was very excited for the ramen!


I ordered the night's special, which was the soy chan pon, described as ramen in a creamy, rich broth served with a mixture of pork, seafood and vegetables. It looked promising when it arrived, but unfortunately it did not deliver as well as expected. The vegetables such as carrot, cabbage and bean sprouts took up most of the dish, and the seafood consisted of several tiny shrimp, some slices of fish cakes and a measly piece of cuttlefish. There was no doubt that the broth was rich, but overly so.


Hubby had the ramen in tori-gara miso, and he also commented that the broth was excessively salty. We couldn't finish our dishes and had to down a full glass of water each.

Perhaps the highlight of the night was the soft serve green tea ice cream. For $2, we nabbed a generous cone to share, and it was soft, smooth and delicious.

Ultimately, I think the original Shyun restaurant offers much better quality food, so while I wouldn't mind giving this bar a try, I certainly wouldn't be rushing back.

Shyun Ramen Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Garden Of Good And Evil, Cheltenham

Following our little outing at Ripponlea House & Gardens, Quyen and I headed over to The Garden Of Good And Evil, Cheltenham for a late lunch. Still feeling full from breakfast at Follow The Leader, I was happy to discover that this restaurant served tapas.



I didn't want anything too heavy, so I ordered the salt and pepper prawns. It was a modest dish, with the most basic of seasonings, and served with rocket and lime aioli. Regardless of its simplicity, it was very enjoyable, as the prawns were tender and their tails were crunchy. The lime aioli gave the dish a little extra zing.


To supplement the prawns, I also ordered a side of Spanish style street corn. I normally boil my corn and eat it plain (without butter, salt, pepper etc.) so this was a delicious change. Served on a mix of mayo, cheese shavings, lime wedges and a sprinkle of chilli powder, it was bursting with rich flavours. 



From top to bottom, Quyen had the chicken tortillas, spiced lamb ribs and the pork belly. I had one mouthful of the pork belly and it was delicious. It was soft, sweet and flavoursome, although the skin did stick to my teeth.

In conclusion, it was a lovely and cosy place that served great food. If I weren't so full from breakfast, I would have ordered a few other dishes as they all sounded very appetising. Also, there is a garden dining area down the back which I would love to experience the next time I dine here.

The Garden of Good & Evil on Urbanspoon

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Three Tiered Summer Dress

I've had this fabric sitting around in my craft cupboard for the longest time, so when I saw these tiered dresses on Yesstyle, I thought I would attempt to make one. I was half expecting it to fail (as with most of my sewing endeavours), but I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out!


Materials: 

2 metres of blue denim mottled jersey fabric from The Remnant Warehouse
Matching thread

What to do:

1. Using a fitted tank top, cut out front and back pieces of your first tier. Its length should be such that it ends below the bust and above the navel.

2. Hem the necklines for both pieces. 

3. Pin both pieces right sides together. Sew along the shoulders and the sides. 

4. Flip the first tier right side out. 

5. Cut out two pieces of fabric for the second tier. Its length should make the dress hit mid thigh. Its top opening should be about 5 inches wider than the first tier opening, and flaring out slightly. Place the pieces right sides together and sew along the sides. Sew a basting stitch all around its top opening (do not back stitch).

6. Pull the ends of the basting stitch to gather the fabric. Keep pulling and adjusting until the gathers are evenly distributed. The gathered opening should now be as wide as your first tier opening. 

7. Place the second tier with its gathered opening facing downwards. Slip the first tier between the two layers of the second tier such that all right sides face each other. 

8. Pin all around and sew the two layers together.

9. Flip the second tier right side out. 

10. Cut out two pieces of fabric for the third tier. Its length should bring the dress to the final desired length. Its top opening should be about 5 inches wider than the second tier bottom opening, and flaring out slightly. Place the pieces right sides together and sew along the sides. Sew a basting stitch all around its top opening (do not back stitch).

11. Pull the ends of the basting stitch to gather the fabric. Keep pulling and adjusting until the gathers are evenly distributed. The gathered opening should now be as wide as your second tier bottom opening.

12. Place the third tier with its gathered opening facing downwards. Slip the dress between two layers of the third tier such that all right sides face each other.

13. Pin all around and sew the two layers together.

14. Flip the third tier right side out. Hem the bottom and the sleeves. 

Although it's not perfect, I actually really love this dress as it is casual yet sweet! I see myself wearing this when I'm at home or running errands during summer. (Yes, it's actually winter here. I'm in denial.)

As this is the first time I am writing a sewing tutorial, I do apologise if the diagrams and explanations are a bit confusing. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like me to clarify any of the steps. I am by no means a sewing expert, but I thought I'd share my successful projects. Do send me pictures or links if you end up making one!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Follow The Leader, Ripponlea

Before setting off on our adventure at the Ripponlea House & Gardens, we stopped by Follow The Leader for something to eat. Just a short 5 minute drive from the estate, it was the perfect place for some breakfast to power ourselves up for the day.

As always, I ordered a cup of hot chocolate to warm my tummy up.
 

The sweet potato hash served with poached eggs, feta and green tomato jam was an easy choice to make. I found these ingredients to be a great combination as they introduced many different flavours and textures into the dish. The crunchiness and sweetness of the hash, the slightly runny poached eggs and the light citrus-y tang of the green tomato jam made the dish interesting and delicious. I was full but refreshed after finishing it.



Read what Quyen thought about her corn fritters here. (Spoiler alert: She loved it!)

It was a great start to our day, so if you are ever in the area, drop by for yummy, relaxing meal!

Follow the Leader Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Preserve Kitchen, Glen Iris

For our anniversary last week, hubby and I went out for a late dinner date at Preserve Kitchen, Glen Iris. It was a cold and wet night, but thankfully the parking lot around the corner was connected to the back of the restaurant. We managed to scuttle in without receiving too much damage from the rain!

The restaurant turned out to be much smaller than I had imagined. Seated in a snug little corner, we decided to order an entrée and main each as we were really hungry. In the meantime, we were served some freshly baked bread for starters. 

The first entrée for the night was the pan-seared scallops with celeriac purée and truffle oil. The dish had a good blend of textures, but needed a little more kick in terms of flavour.

Next, we ordered the Portalington mussels which we were told were a must-try. Classic ingredients such as white wine, garlic, chilli and tomato created a delicious, piquant broth in which the mussels were soaked. It was a delight to our tummies especially on a cold winter's night.


My main was the sumac-spiced chargrilled quail served with saffron risotto. While the quail was tender and tasty, nothing really stood out. I was expecting a more elegant spin to the dish and I was left slightly disappointed.



Hubby's main was the slow-roasted pork belly with greens, mushrooms and radish with chives salad. I had a small bite of the pork belly, and though it was flavoursome, I thought the crackling could have been crispier.


We shared one dessert, and I have to admit I probably ate 90% of it. The warm, soft-centred chocolate fondant with roasted coconut ice cream caught my eye, and can I just say it is the most sinful dessert ever? As I dug a hole in the light, spongy crust, chocolate just oozed from the centre. I was on cloud non after finishing the dessert, but I felt so, so guilty! If I were to be picky, I would have liked the crust to be thicker and the coconut ice cream to be less sweet, but otherwise, it was ridiculously divine.

On the whole, service was a little slow but the food was very enjoyable. It is definitely one of the better Modern Australian restaurants in the eastern suburbs, so do pop by if you are in search of a fine meal!

Preserve Kitchen on Urbanspoon