Melbourne, the food capital of Australia, where multi-cultural cuisines reign supreme. You've arrived at a food blog where good food has no boundaries - be it restaurants, cafes, takeaway joints and any other eating places. Recipes to try out with successes and failures blogged to no shame. The focus is on authentic Asian (Singapore) food found right here in the heart of Melbourne. Just remember, the best dining experience could surprise your tastebuds when you least expect it. Get ready to be surprised on my food journey. Bon Appétit!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chuckle Park Melbourne


Located in a little alley off Little Collins St, Chuckle Park is so Melbourne, we had to chuckle venture in.  It's no secret our alleyways play a huge part in the charm of our European city. Much the same has been said about how copycat NYC we are.

Chuckle Park is that wondrous mix of hare krishna, gaudy, hip, cool, hippie flower child garden paradise you dream of in a parallel universe of foodie hangout but in reality is a food truck with empty bottles and jars as decor.


 The honest truth is this place does not feel contrived. Although on the day we were there, there were a couple of tables of try-hards uncomfortably perched, no food just beer. But hey, takes all sorts. 

The menu consists of a small but interesting selection of food. To be honest, all I saw and the only thing that stood out in glaring bright Hollywood lights was the pulled pork sandwich. Sorry, slider. 


I wasn't actually expecting much. Afterall I thought the hipster quotient of the place was what it was about and the appeal wasn't so much food focused. But I changed my mind when I took and tasted my first bite of the slider. 

The pork was tender but still defined in texture. The flavour was subtle but makes perfect sense as the sharp bite of the cheese and tangy slaw cut through the meats. The juices of the pork did not dampen the buns. Really yum.


 Corn on a cob is corn on a cob. The natural sweetness needs nothing but a slather of butter and a sprinkling of salt. But boy, this is gooood. Parmesan, lime juice and a Chuckle Park dressing (I've forgotten, it's been THAT long since I've been there and this blog post has been sitting in "draft" mode). 

Do note though, these guys do NOT do takeaways. It's strictly dine-in only. If tall bar stools and laid-back service is not your "thing", then stay away. But come on, live a little.


 Chuckle Park was not the end of our sojourn...

As you can see, Snag Station round the corner serves up some pretty tempting fare in their Chilli Dog and Toulouse Dog ;)

Koko Black Chadstone - Chocolate Bliss


Koko Black in Chadstone Shopping Centre was closed for renovation for what felt like an eternity, was really mere weeks. But disruptive in ritual after a jaunt in the luxury precinct. I miss my hot dark chocolate in skim milk.


The new version of Koko Black is infinitely more swanky and contemporary than the old-school feel they are known for. The dark chocolate wood is still very much present in their cabinetry but there's a much lighter feel about the place. But wait, what is that I spot...


Nouveau chocolat?? Large shards of chocoate-covered brittle and honeycomb filled one of two counters in their new product area. Daddy loves his dark chocolate but his daughter LOVES honeycomb! Somehow I doubt this will be your run-of-the-mill Violet Crumble.

I was right.

The intense scent and taste of real honey hits as soon as I popped a tiny silver in my mouth. I was genuinely pleasantly surprised. Honeycomb is such a messy endeavour I don't bother making it. But rarely do real good honey form part of the recipe. 

Therein lies the problem I knew would happen. Can't stop at one...


So for the sake of my uncontrollable deranged craving dear readers, I was practically forced to purchase more. Variety is the key to every blog. 

The Cashew Brittle was of course made of salted caramel praline, none of that pedestrian plain sugar concoction. I must admit the milk chocolate itself is not out-of-place with Cadbury.


But of course, we've come this far, the Honeycomb with Milk Chocolate is an absolute necessity. For research purposes of course. How else would I discern the complicated science of pairings between dark and milk chocolate?

Sighing with pleasure, a sensation in the rarefied air of industrious company such as Hermes, Louis and Chanel, it doesn't really matter. Milk, dark or white, the honeycomb is the star of the show. Move over, peasant chocolate.

Pork Liver with Ginger and Spring Onion Recipe

The taste of liver might not be for everyone and certainly S avoids it like some gum disease. But I just love it done the Chinese style. It's so important to get it right. If you do, the smell of the condiments fills the house and it is just exhilarating to cook and savour the smell and taste.



Ingredients

- 300 gm liver 
- 10cm ginger
- 6 stalks spring onion
- spoonful of minced garlic
- 3 dashes of light soy
- 2 tablespoon of kecap manis
- 2 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 2 generous dashes of Chinese rice wine
- 1 teaspoon sugar

Method

1. Slice liver thinly. Blanch with hot running water. Set aside.
2. Slice ginger into strips and spring onion into 9cm stalks.
3. Heat wok up. Have all ingredients on hand.
4. Once wok has heated up, use sesame instead of veg oil.
5. Once the aroma of sesame oil hits the kitchen, add and stir fry ginger strips for a few minutes.
6. Add the spring onion and garlic to the mix. Fry for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
7. The Chinese rice wine goes in. The alcohol dissipates pretty quickly. 
8. Add sugar, kecap manis and soy sauce. Do a taste test. Ensure the sauce is hot.
9. Toss the liver in and cook for literally a couple of minutes.
10. Dish and enjoy!