Punjabi Curry Cafe @ Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Charlie & Co. dined as guests.
Tuesday 3rd October
Located off Johnston St in Collingwood, Punjabi Curry Cafe specialize in authentic North Indian cuisine, with fresh ingredients and friendly staff. We love discovering new places, and so were delighted to dine in on a Tuesday evening.
Inside it's nice and warm, inviting datesworthy atmosphere with a fireplace (on a tv screen). It is also the biggest Indian restaurant I have ever seen!
They do take group bookings.
With part of the kitchen in a window at the back, you can see the chefs creating delicious things. Like dumplings, all the tandoori things and naan!
On arrival we were offered 'Papadams with Mint & Tamarind Chutney' *no picture because someone ate one before I took a picture*, and the chutney was amazing, a great accompaniment to the later dishes too. Where can we buy that in a bottle? :P
Chili Chicken (House Special)
Marinated chicken tossed with onions and capsicum in chef's special
homemade garlic chilli soy sauce. A classic indo-chinese fusion.
With a hint of heat I found the chili chicken seasoning perfect for someone who doesn't like it hot, succulent and tender chicken with plenty of flavour. While this on the entree menu, it could serve as a main too paired with rice/naan.
Paneer Tikka (4 Pcs) - Exotic marinated cottage cheese cooked in tandoor
The texture of this was quite interesting, as the sides were a bit harder being more exposed to the tandoor oven, a bit harder and squeaky almost. While the inside was still soft and quite similar in texture to a firmer paneer than we're familiar with. The flavours were a bit on the bland side, like tofu, especially after the chili chicken, but dipped in that tamarind chutney it was good.
Boneless and succulent chicken pieces cooked in butter sauce with coriander,
tomato and ginger to produce the most popular dish served from the kitchen
When it comes to Indian my go to is the butter chicken, to me it is the dish that determines if we shall return to try other dishes or not. Done wrong without that perfect balance it could be too sweet or salty. But it was just right! Rich and creamy with tender chicken I loved it, served with the 'Kashmiri Pulao' (see below, it's the rice).
Lamb Saag - Lamb cooked with mixed spices in pureed spinach
Fernando had the lamb saag, which also comes in a beef option. "I cannot explain Saag but for some reason I like it, the meat was tender and easy to work with, (have had really tough lamb saag before) and its got spinach in it but you can't even tell. Tastes way better than it looks.Needs more spice to be in my perfect hitbox." I do recall F asked for the chef to make it as hot as he'd have it himself, but that didn't happen.
Paired with the beautiful fruit and nuts rice, it took the spotlight away from the lamb. Go for the plain rice was Fernando's recommendation if you get the saag.
Kashmiri Pulao - Basmati rice cooked with dry fruits and nuts
An orange rice that's slightly sweet scattered with dry fruits and cashews, the raisins were perfect to add a little something to the rich and creamy butter chicken. I absolutely loved this rice as the side to the classic butter chicken, and would get them together again. Though I think it needed more mix ins, the rice.
When it comes to naan Fernando loves the garlic, which smells amazing, though I always found my preference to be the plain naan as I find the garlic too oily. He loved it, as there was plenty of garlic, and he usually asks for double.
As we don't normally have entrees when going out to an Indian restaurant it was more food than I can handle, and so we got part of it take away for breakfast the next day, and it was just as good then. So if you don't live locally I'd encourage takeaway for dinner and the next day. ;)
There is always room for dessert!
Gulab Jamun - Milk dumplings dipped in sugar syrup
Fernando had these milk dumplings, served warm, they were sweet but not too sweet. There was that balance between sweet and savory. The syrup proportions just right to accompany the soft and fluffy donuty (the airy type), balls. Being light they were the perfect finish for the evening.
Ras Malai - Milk dumplings dipped in sweet milk sauce
Meanwhile I also had milk dumplings, but they were quite different served in a sweet milky sauce. They resembled cardamon pistachio cheesecake! With the texture being like ricotta but not salty and drier. It was quite nice and I enjoyed them. The cardamon was what made the dessert amazing, it's sorta like rose water but different.
A lovely restaurant, the atmosphere as warm and inviting as the service, and great food. It's a local gem to share with friends and family, also perhaps a date! We're excited about returning/getting delivery.
What's your go to dish when you dine Indian?
Open for dinner every night, Punjabi Curry Cafe also offers delivery services to Melbourne CBD and local areas (including Hawthorn!) via ubereats and menulog.
Foodie Favourites - Zesty Pizza @ Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Charlie & Co. dined as guests.
Monday 18th September
Zesty Pizza on Main Street, Glenferrie near Auburn Station, is a small pizzeria with a big heart and wide range (we mean HUGE!). There's 34 pizzas on the menu and 12 of them are vegetarian, there's also calzones, burgers, pastas and other mains.
Something that sets them apart from the others is that they accomodate ALL dietary requirements whether it is intolerance to lactose, onion, garlic, nuts or something else. That's remarkable as no one either does that, not to that extent.
– Anything can be made GLUTEN FREE.
– Anything can be made VEGAN.
– Anything can be made NUTS FREE
No one we know does this, the vegans are generally not invited or expected to go BYO. My lactose and gluten intolerant neighbours/friends don't go for group pizza night, but now they can! Even FODMAP girl can find something that she likes.
Outside it's drizzling through it's lovely and warm in here, seated by the window watching the peak hour traffic go by. The traffic could been seen but not heard at all! Warm lighting filled the small but intimate space, pizza's mainly a takeaway thing, but you could book a table too here.
We ordered two pizzas to share, it was quite a decision with so many choices! I do love that there are so many vegetarian pizzas, as oppose to one 'The Vegetarian'. So many choices for Meatless Monday (lol, I had souv for lunch).
Animal Lover (M) $19.30
Homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, red onion, marinated mock chicken,
marinated vege sausage with tofu and BBQ sauce on top.
From the Premium Vegetarian section we were recommendation was the 'Animal Lover'. With a thin and crispy base, it was perfect. So many textures with a bbq sauce that tied it all together. The white thing on top, that's scrambled-looking tofu. The sausage was a bit like meat loaf in texture and the chicken fine, though isn't as good as real chicken :P
*there's something wrong with coding, new format. work in progress*
Chef's Special $19.30 (M)
Homemade pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, ham, onion, fresh capsicum,
hot salami, bacon, olives, chili flakes, oregano, drizzle of garlic and olive oil (spicy!)
Fernando had the 'Chef's Special' and loved it, so much so that this is the most comprehensive review I have ever seen from a +1.
Crust - Thin and crispy, light yet strong enough to hold itself with ease. This is what a good crust/base is, others have to go really thin to get that crispyness but this was right in the sweet spot.
Cheese - Amazing melt with monster cheese strings, nice coverage without being over powering and golden brown.
Oregano - Thin coverage to subtly add in that extra kick of flavour with every bite, works great with the chilli.
Chilli - After the second slice you begin to notice it - coming in quietly from the background is the heat and burn of the chilli. Slowly rising to a moderate level, it is the right amount of chilli as a background flavour/sensation to the pizza as you get further into your pizza.
Garlic - All across the pizza are little pockets of crushed garlic that go perfectly with the ingredients (notably the pepperoni) to sporadically boost the flavour of any given bite. As a huge fan of garlic these surprise patches were a big favourite.
Toppings were generous and well portioned, and as a result made the medium sized pizza deceptively filling (for the appetite of a boy), especially considering the light base. The medium serves two people in my opinion, for three people order two to share with a salad. While they aren't the biggest pizzas ever (the medium) they're very filling.
The combo of the perfect crust and all the fun but not crazy toppings, makes this place our favourite pizza place on main street! And there's a pizza place on every block, we've been to two others down the road. The most affordable with dine in options.
Look at that cheese!
Fernando polished off ten slices and doesn't have a dessert stomach. Weak XD. So I went on without him.
Mango Mousse (Vegan) $5.50
I love all things mango and coconut, and so this was no expection. With whipped coconut cream it was light and airy, like eating clouds of mango x coconut - two beautiful tropical fruits. In one line I'd describe it as mango lassi but like in a cloud form. Loved it!
Everything was delicious and very reasonable priced too, expect to spend a bit less than $20 for a medium pizza jam packed full of toppings. A little bit more for gluten-free, but it's totally worth it.
Located on the main street around the corner from Auburn Station it was very easy to get to. If you're dropping by for takeaway there's parking on main street after 6.30pm. Note - Dine in requires bookings, as they're often booked out during peaks.
Thank for the invitation, we had a lovely time and can't wait to return for more pizzas!
Zesty also have a liquor license, and serve wine!
580 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
Open for Dinners M-S, Lunch on Weekends
Hyped Up - King Castella Cakes @ Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Thursday 17th August
We're pretty sure our story ends with us being killed in an alleyway, on the way to food XD This isn't the first time we've taken questionable directions somewhere. Following the totally hyped up King Castella Cake lead us to Bourke x Spencer, and down this path next to the Alto.
Keep going all the way, cross the road, you'll see Holy Moley on your right, keep heading straight and under some residential towers you'll find King Castella in Rose Lane.
At certain times listed on the window you can get it fresh from the oven. If you buy it straight from the oven to make the most of it you need to serve it warm, eat it there and then. My friends either are at work or in rehab... If getting takeaway then drop by anytime. There was no line at 3pm.
If you get cream you have to eat it there and then, as the sponge is warm (I think, but then won't the cream melt ??) but the cream is cold. Either way it gets messy.
Castella Cake. It's a huge sponge cake. $10 without cream (recommend of you're going to carry it around all day) or $12 with. Let's see how the taste test goes. Note - My diary is A5.
It was huge! Ok A5, serves 8/8 slices. We split it with jas. Making it $5pp for A6 (a huge A4 quarter). A bit dry, though you're meant to steam microwave it back to life. I'd prefer our pandan chiffon though. It's softer. Not sure what the hype is all about.
The target audience is international Asians from the hard to get to out of the way location. It's pretty westside, and only open during daylight. Skip it and go for the pandan chiffon or perhaps something from Maxim's.
Did you try the king castella, or understand the hype?
They're making a green tea sponge soon.
Brunching with Lady MacBeth @ Monday, September 11, 2017
Monday 14th August
Two consecutive warm sunny days, could it be spring already? Or is this just a preview? Some years the first week of September it's still winter. I much prefer spring for I love all those light flowing fabrics and lace. Home was always spring by the Bay. Cardigan weather most of the time. It's time to bring out the blazers!
Spring is launched by MSFW though it's now MFW. The first week of September we always look forward to. I fondly remember our very first year, oh wait maybe it was the second. 2014. Priceline showbags, the glasshouse at qv and hub.
QV used to do an end of winter popup at the square with different themes and hold events there. One year it was a Swedish forest (minimalist) another was a beach, the third a garden! We went to a beautiful bridal tea and wedding dress runway.
In 2015 we were invited to the AH runway! Front row seats, lunch time with bubbles we haven't had the same privilege since sadly. They've been going downhill and have moved to Perth.
Father's Office. The outdoor area used to be smoking has been divided into a smoking/drinks only area and the other area for non-smoking. What happpend to no smoking anywhere on the premisis?
Dinner snacks at Father's Office. Tacos beef And veg. Veg was bean based and hot! The pulled beef was good. The arancini bad. Battered almost rather than crumbled coating. A bland ball of yellow rice. The gooey cheese added a slight saltiness. The other cheese had the texture of paper, dry and just no.
Movie Night - Orlando (1992)
Ok so Orlando falls into a deep sleep, how didn't they just bury him with a bell?
- There is a widespread notion that 'saved by the bell' originated as an expression that relates to people being buried alive. The idea was that, if someone were comatose and mistakenly pronounced dead and interred, they could, if they later revived, ring a bell that was attached to the coffin and be saved.
So many eras and costumes! I don't understand the changes though... from 1600 to Modern Day, he becomes a she. The Turkish part was funny, sweating and dying under the wigs and winter costumes XD
Thursday started with a meeting. An average hot chocolate along the way.
Meeting went over so we skipped the workshop and went to lunch.
Strolling we dropped by Zen without looking up reviews or much planing. Bring a student town there's many cheap eats. On this block alone there's Damso Korean and Zen that offers $10 lunch specials.
Castella Cake. It's a huge sponge cake.
Tiramisu at Basta. A Date Restaurant.
Dinner at Barolo
Dinner at Dondon no.10 now serving in black bowls rather than porcelain. Pretty good needs a sesame Kewpie dressing though for the salad. As always there's plenty of rice.
Brunching at The Train Yard.
Lohengrin. Set in 10th century Germany with a palette of muted colours for the ladies, divided up into waiting ladies/level 1 nuns, nuns and the common folk. Not high on costume porn or set design. There was a stage, steps and a projected background. I love my elaborate sets!
Realism and fantasy collide on a background of impending battle in which Elsa of Brabant is wrongly accused of her brother’s murder. Sailing in on a swan (deftly staged with magical projections in a rain of mist), an enigmatic knight arrives to defend her honour, precipitating a marriage with the caveat that Elsa is never to question his identity.
Naturally she asks, being the weak easily influenced damsel, by Lady Macbeth. He leaves, she dies. Though it was Lady Macbeth that stole the show!
Unlike in Mb it is he who gets killed off, while she lives and was manipulating him from the very start. Unlike in Mb where it was at first teamwork.
Hi. I'm Charlie. Capricorn. ISFJ. An Events Planner. An American, San Franciscan in Melbourne.
This is a blog about food, events, desserts, hot chocolate & cupcakes, shopping, and the occasional beauty product review in between. A lifestyle blog by an American in Melbourne.
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