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!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Flavours of Melbourne Coffee Table Book

Flavours of Melbourne
Hardcover 2014 Edition
ISBN 978-0-9873712-8-7
RRP $69.99

This book is a romance novel and the ultimate love story. An ode to Melbourne if you will, but the universal language and visual delights surrender readers to the delicious melting pot of cultures we embrace in this beautiful and culinary city. 

The artistic direction speaks of Melbourne's diversity, creativity, cultural leanings and our intrinsic passion for EVERYTHING. It is our way of living, our lifestyles, we breathe it, we cook it, we frequent it, we eat it. Thank you Jonette George and Ethan Jenkins for your homage to our home and Kaitlyn Wilson and Bianca White for photographing the essence of every street and food haunt the book has highlighted. 

I cradled and flipped through the pages of this award-winning updated edition (2nd) compliments of the publisher. My first was pretty dog-eared. But I love the cover of the 2014 edition so much more. 

Every visitor to Melbourne speaks of our laneways and the cafes that are like hidden gems inside them. This book features a lot of the above but we have no shabby main street eateries either. Walking around Melbourne city is like discovering celebration of food in every form and Flavours of Melbourne captures it so perfectly in spirit of design, photography and words.

Meander through the laneways and the history and eateries with this book. It takes you there.

Most of the eateries are comfortingly familiar. As we flip through every page, we anticipate who or what was coming up. We reminisce, review and chatter excitedly. This book does that to you. The bonus is flipping the page after one of my favourite eateries to find a recipe from them! 

Wonderbao provided a sinfully delish roast pork gua bao recipe. But I'll definitely be trying 90 Secondi's Calzone Con Silverbeet, Pancetta, Anchovies and Olives.

And Red Spice Road's Barramundi with Pork Belly and Roast Shallot Green Nam Jim.

My imagination and inspiration run wild with these tauntingly tempting dishes. They are staring, daring and inviting. Now excuse me while I get lost in my copy of Flavours of Melbourne and journey through the familiar streets and the food they serve.

Get your copy from all good bookstores or buy online here.  This is one coffee table book that is a must-have on my coffee table.

*All images are copyrighted to Smudge Publishing and the Authors of Flavours of Melbourne

Indian Palace Takeaway

I have been having more and more of those days. Yes, THOSE days when long days at work, a million things to do for home and still more on the to-do list. Cooking generally relaxes me and as you, dear readers, know, I adore trying out new recipes. But not when we have zero fresh produce at home to cook with.

We have been caught out ordering via Menulog quite a few times, just because it's easy to order online and state exactly what special instructions you want for each dish by typing it out instead of repeating it again and again to some person on the phone. I have not tried other online food delivery order websites so cannot vouch for them, but I figure since Menulog is the No 1 site for this sort of thing and they seem to have the best restaurant and cafe network in Melbourne, I'll stick to what I know, merci!

We tend to order local so the food delivery is fast and stays warm or it's just easier if one of us is on the way home to drop by and pick up the order. So it's now just down to choices.

Today, we decided on an old favourite of ours, Indian Palace in Brighton.

We had Indian Palace years ago in Balmain, Sydney. It was delicious and it must be food kismet, I swear, because they opened a branch right here in Brighton, in Melbourne, where yours truly lives!

Sooo....we hit the know-it-by-heart-but-must-still-browse menu.

I know it bloats me some, but to me any North Indian cuisine is not complete without my staple, Garlic Naan. Light as a cloud but so satisfyingly chewy and doughy, I love the slathered garlic butter and the aroma is so addictive you literally eat it by itself.

We ordered an entree version of the Tandoori Lamb but it's really generous at 6 cutlets a serve. Marinated well and cooked to perfection, the tandoor oven has delivered one yummy slightly charred dish!

I know what you are thinking. How pedestrian butter chicken is. No. It's. Not. When made by Indian Palace. Rich unctuous sauce with a depth of flavour that will haunt your taste buds with tingling memories. The chicken is tender and succulent. The sauce smooth and spicy (we order our butter chicken very spicy).

My one and only regret EVER at Indian Palace was the entree of Mushrooms. Soggy with a strange flavour, I will not recommend this dish.

The beef and potato curry is overlooked for the more popular choices such as Vindaloo, Saag or Korma. But the rich tomato flavours mixed perfectly with the herbs and spices that provide such a saucy kick to the juicy and soft beef pieces and roasted potatoes, I do wonder all the time sometimes, why cook?

We receive plenty of emails a day requesting more info on a post or restaurant, so we do apologise if we are unable to reply to everyone. Please either download the Menulog App or go to their website to place an order or for more info. Yes, the website is legit and will not be swallowing your money! I have had heaps of fun ordering various cuisines there. Ahem, all for greedy research purposes.

* Meal compliments from Menulog