Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jantra Thai

9 Ashley Street, Central Business Park, Braybrook

Just down the road is a bunch of warehouses and oddly a restaurant behind a big fence.  After reading a good write up about Jantra Thai on the Footscray Food Blog - thought we'd go check it out.  A little on the pricey side but the food and service have been fantastic.

Initially they had some issues with their liquor license but they got that sorted out so I believe they supply wine, beer and spirits with the option of BYO wine with a corkage charge. We didn't recognise the wines on the wine list so haven't sampled any of them.

So what's good on the menu?

Starting at entrees - there are chicken and prawn wontons

Boneless Chicken wrapped in Pandan leaves (you get 5 - so the picture below is an eating in progress)

Chicken (or vegetable) spring rolls
(You get 6 - 2 were snatched up before I remembered to grab my photo).

Other dishes (which I don't have photos of) include Satay Chicken, Curry Puffs, Blanket Prawns, Deep Fried Calamari.

Moving on to mains.

My partner always orders Chicken with Sweet Basil, Garlic and Chilli with Seasonal Vegetables

I used to get Prawns with Roasted Cashew Nuts and Dry Chilli with Onion and Seasonal Vegetables

But then I discovered their chef's special of Deep Fried Prawn in Batter with Tamarind and sweet chilli sauce.  (Two different visits are photographed below).

The taste has been consistent, although I do notice in the photos I seem to have gotten different number of prawns on different visits - and Jase was complaining about the amount of eggplant in his stir fry recently. Although that said I was full after my 6 prawns tonight. They are also generous with topping up our rice.

The service is fantastic. They are also active on Facebook - handy when I was hanging out for when they got their liquor license and I kept asking about it :)

The restaurant does seem reasonably quiet when we go but I imagine they do a fantastic trade during the day with nearby workers and their lunchtime $9 special (or about that).  They also do home delivery via menulog (although you can probably just order from their website directly).  Such a convenient location for us though!

Mr burger (truck)

Therry St, near the Vic Market, Melbourne.

So a lunch time of shopping, wondering what to eat and hey presto a broadsheet article that tells me there's a burger joint right near work.

Mr burger (truck) is a truck that has found a spot to park off a lane way near queen Vic market.

Great friendly service (although it does feel a bit weird when you order as you feel really short).  The food has been overall awesome (I've only had one overcooked burger/bun). When I've been there was two burger options. A standard one and a meat one (with bacon and BBQ sauce). I get the standard mr burger burger. The right amount of mayo and pickle! There's also now a vegetarian option for those inclined.

Here is the unveiling of my first burger and chips.  I probably ate some chips on the way back to work hence the greasy fingerprints on the box :)

Check out that pickle/mayo-y goodness :)

You need to check their status (they post on their website, facebook and twitter as to where they're going to be but it seems pretty consistent. At the market on market days!)

They also serve chips but I've had mixed experience with them.  A burger is around $10, the chips around $3.

Looking forward to going back there soon :)

Lok lok dumpling bar

510-512 Elizabeth St

Decided to give Lok Lok a go as its around the corner from work and I think I found it on urbanspoon (although it doesn't have the best rating on there - I think they did a groupon special and they treated the people with vouchers awfully).

Lok lok is one of those "not awesome service" but they do cheapish dumplings. Not tattersalls lane cheap but still good value. Just disappointed they stopped serving the free flasks of tea. You now need to spend $3 if you want tea :( and that's a small teapotful so I tend to run out.

My favourites there are:
- soup dumpling shau long bao
- wonton in chilli soup
- hong kong style prawn dumpling
- prawn and chive dumpling

There's also:
- spring rolls (sometimes hit n miss)
- spring onion pancake (similar to a potato cake without the batter)
- pork and prawn Sui mai (usually good sometimes meh)

Little scary that's off the top of my head but I do like my dumplings :)

They also do main dishes (like omelette on rice, soups and noodles).  For awhile I was enjoying the lok lok handmade noodles but then found them a bit too oily.

If you do go - note there is a little service/doorbell type thing on your table, be sure to use that to get service. :)

Unfortunately they do not serve alcohol here :(

Monday, January 14, 2013

T Square Club

Last week was the first week back at work after Christmas - so I was really disappointed when I arrived sleep deprived at work to find that the coffee shop at the bottom of the building was still away on holidays.  However there was a nice guy handing out 2 for 1 vouchers for coffee across the road.

So I lined up my coffee buddy to make a visit to T Square Club. It's near the corner of Victoria and Swanston Street (but towards the back of the building that's there). They have indoor seats but a nice outdoor section where you sit around a garden bed with herbs in there.

This is their pre-prepared food section.  They also cook fresh food too.

They have cool looking little (cast iron?) pots that I imagine they would stick under the grill to heat up and melt the cheese.  One of the dishes looked like Gnocchi - can't recall what the other one was, although looked a little on the "gourmet" size.

Their mochas are nice ($3.50), and a guy at work who drinks like 6 billion coffees a day has fallen in love with their cold drip coffee.  It also has the added danger of do we walk that little extra to the traffic lights or cross directly from work and play Frogger in the traffic :)


Last week's restaurant visit was to Mamak. I was a little skeptical as it only got 69% of likes on Urbanspoon. However a guy from work was keen to go there so we went and joined the queue. Maybe to our loss we didn't have roti or satay.

When we finally got to the doorway this was the view of the restaurant - still in a queue.  We almost lost our spot because after moving in further the waitress booted everyone outside, but I was comfy standing where I was and I wasn't blocking the doorway so we stayed there.  Of course the people before us on the list got shown through and then despite us telling the woman that the people in front of us were outside she then ignored us when it was our turn.  Got it sorted out though.

I think the best part of the restaurant is watching them making rotis in the windows - unfortunately some phone and skydrive issues (thanks for the delay microsoft in telling me my skydrive upload failed after I had removed the photo from my phone) I lost the photos I had of the front.  The rotis they were artistically making looked yummy, and came on a silver tray with dipping sauces.

Looking at the main prices - ouch!! (well when you're in the mood to spend about $10 on lunch :)) Thankfully they had a lunch specials menu which was a smaller server of the mains with rice.  I think the way to go is with a couple of extra people so you could order different stuff and share it.  Despite other reviews saying service and food coming out was stupidly quick we waited a while before asking the person wiping tables if we could order with them.  She then didn't acknowledge that I was talking when I placed my order, looking at my friend when he ordered.. which made it a bit weird - but at least she eventually read the order back to us.

I had the Sambal Udang which indeed came with a fiery sauce.  So for $12 I got I think 4 prawns, a little bit of coleslaw stuff and a stack of rice.  Was disappointed no roti came with their special and didn't feel like spending an extra $5.50 on it. I ended up scraping most of the sauce off because it was too spicey for me - but it tasted nice.

My friend had the Kari ayam (classic chicken curry).  I tried a bit of it and found the sauce nice and a little sweet.  It obviously had a decent kick to it as he was sweating profusely during the meal!  In terms of atmosphere we basically had to yell to one another to try to carry on a conversation.  So I'm not in a hurry to go back unless it was a quiet time.  I like being able to hear what the person across from me is saying, and the lunch special left me hungry.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Sweet Grass Bonsai Cafe

Again from Footscray Food blog I heard about a bonsai nursery that I had been riding past every day without noticing. Over the holidays I finally managed to find its doors open and go try it out.

Here's the menu (shame there's no food)

I felt a bit intrusive as it was just me and the guy working there, but sat and enjoyed the ambience of the place for awhile whilst enjoying a Vietnamese style iced coffee. 

There's no actual bonsai here for sale (that I could see) which is probably a good thing but there are plenty to look at!  

Oh I stand corrected there were probably some out the back for sale based on a blog post I just found on Consider the Sauce.

They also have a facebook page.

White guy cooks Thai

So I think a food truck is cool! Had tried the Taco Truck before and more recently Mr Burger as they've got a semi-permanent spot near Vic Market.  One of my favourite food bloggers posted about the White Guy Cooks Thai truck which is the first truck to be based in the west. With my partner away after christmas and the fact that would be in a local neighbourhood park I figured I would go check them out.

Their menu changes from day to day but here's what was available when I went.

It was a tough choice, but I had the Chicken and Waterchestnut Gyozas as the "main" with 2 corn cakes as the side.  

Next time I think I'd forgo the Corn Cakes and try the Prawn sliders.  The Gyozas however were awesome.  Nice and crispy and not oily. There was also a small amount of Asian coleslaw found underneath. There wasn't much of a wait either (though I did get there close to starting time :))

Here is the view from Footscray Park where I sat and ate my dinner.  This is the spot that overlooks where I have been doing outdoor workout sessions :)

Monday, January 7, 2013


One of my new years resolutions was to actually cook from the many many recipe books and magazines that I own - hence I've decided to blog about it!  To keep things hopefully interesting I will also be including places I visit, other food I try and wine enjoyed too :)