Seafood Noodle Soup @ Wonder Bowl @ Sunday, May 13, 2018

Charlie dined as a guest. 
Wednesday 9th May

With winter rapidly approaching, hello wet windy, hail & thundery days on the forecast, it's the perfect time to get those coats to the cleaners, condition those gloves, and go out for a hot comforting bowl of soup. 

Introducing Wonder Bowl with their fresh and quality noodle soups at affordable prices in the city (do I have to reference that? it's from their site, and it's true). Located opposite DonDon we've been curious though hesitant to drop by because there isn't much English other than the name, and the sign pointing up stairs. This is why we have jas, he encourages us to try new things that we wouldn't have gone near without him. 

How cool is this? It's like noodles hanging off a chopstick! 

The interior designers of Zumbo South Yarra and Vue de Monde, did Wonder Bowl too. A 120-seater eatery, minimalist with clean white spaces, high ceilings and bright lights it sets a lovely backdrop to the food - especially if you order the spicy soup.

I love anything in a jar! And here we have some fun drinks, including iced matcha lattes, and things we haven't heard of before. On the next page there's coke & all that, if you prefer to play it safe. 

But know that if you're going to get something spicy, that matcha latte is the way to go. *sorry something strange happened with the camera for the lighting, just had it serviced* 

Sides to share? Ticking that deep fried box, though there's also the eggs which aren't deep fried :P Yes these are all the entrees on offer, I love the clean bright very visual menu.

Herbal Tea Leaf Eggs - Hope you got your wet wipes, cause this one's a hands on dish. The flavour is quite nice and light, with a lovely cracked pattern from the tea infusing through the cracked egg shell. 

Deep Fried Fish Cake - Yum! could use more pepper but otherwise I really liked these, esp with the sweet chili sauce. This one's my favourite entree, other than the chicken.

Deep Fried Fish Ball - A bit chewy, wasn't really a fan but you can't say 
it doesn't look fun. What if we popped these in the soup instead?

Deep Fried Tofu Puffs - Clouds of tofu, this is tofu but as you've 
never known what it could be, @2wofatgirls loved these.

Deep Fried Chicken Spare Ribs - A crispy skin with a little spice, full of flavour, 
definitely get this, comes with a sweet chili mayo + chili sauce.

Wonder Bowl is unlike any other soup place in that unlike traditional noodle soups which has a pork/beef/stock, while WB's superior soup uses a seafood base. With thick vermicelli noodles and Chinese rice wine to create something special.

Created by Malaysian-born co-owner and noodle aficionado Steve Tan and friends, inspired by a noodle soup with a seafood base in China’s Guangzhou province, light and delicate yet full of rich seafood flavour. They was inspired and created their own version of the dish
combining thick vermicelli noodles with a home-style seafood broth and Chinese rice wine, the latter being the secret ingredient (and came the creation of the superior broth!). 

If you're not feeling like soup there's also dry noodles.

There's also a spicy version of the superior soup, inspired by the Sichuan ‘ma la’ hotpots as well as claypot yee mee, dry noodle dishes and crispy egg noodles with a variety of toppings.

Signature Seafood Combination in Superior Soup

The best selling dishes include 'superior noodle soup with drunken chicken' and the
'signature seafood combination with superior soup'. With so many options it was a challenge to pick one, cheated and went with the recommended seafood combo. The noodles were the perfect chewiness and the broth was light though still had flavour. Gawd how do you peel prawns though? With time and two forks, no fingers was my answer. I'll get the chicken next time. :P

How do you like your noodles? Are you a spicy fan?

Strawberry Winterland Ice Cream

We didn't get a picture of the dessert menu, though like entrees there's only a few, a mix of asian desserts and... ice cream. Strawberry toppings and vanilla, surprised there isn't matcha ice cream on the menu as it's the new salted caramel. We had the strawberry one, which was a berry, (boysenberry?) ice cream with strawberry sauce and pistachios.

We do like the seafood soup here, and can't wait to return to try the chicken one.

Have you been to Wonder Bowl? Next week's the perfect time to check them out! ;)

WONDER BOWL Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wonder Bowl - A Taste of Wonder. A Bowl of Perfection!
Level 1, 267 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 11:00am – 10:00pm

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Thursday 29th March
Charlie & Co, dined as guests.

This Thursday Lina & I journeyed out west, to Dosa Hut, a South Indian restaurant in Footscray West. There's more than a dozen Dosa Huts, mainly out west, one in the city, and even one in India!

Rated as the best Indian restaurant in Yarraville & the Maribyrnong area, we were excited. I do really like Indian food. Located on a strip we spotted at least 3 places offering dosa, though this one was definitely the most popular. Arriving for dinner at 7.30pm the line was almost out the door for takeaway.


Inside it was quite nice, normally Indian places are either no frills or white cloth fine dinning, though this was the happy brightly lit medium, that's still cheap and delicious.

The menu was extensive with a total offering of 161 dishes!! This is the biggest menu I have ever seen! There are around 90 dosas! This is pretty exciting as we don't often try things that are completely new, I don't know what most of the menu is. 

Seating is limited, so do book. Seated under a fairy light lit ceiling (that changed colours) it was lovely though the tables were a bit small, that or we ordered a bit much in one shot. I do like the design of the space, with the window on one side and mirror on the other. 

Mango lassi is the signature drink here, and I love it! There is literally a fridge full of it, perfect for cooling down with all the spices. There's also lemon lime bitters if you are that strange person (like Lina XD) who doesn't like mango...

No 1. Samosa

Starting with something familiar, a deep fried triangular/pyramid shaped pastry. This is probably one of the best ones I've had, as it wasn't spicy at all (I'm weak, sometimes I find toothpaste hot, that's my level). It tastes like a gourmet potato mash with chicken stuffing (but the good kind) with all those herbs, the rosemary was prominent. It was very different from samosas I've had at other Indian places. 

26. Sambar Idly

I have no idea what an idly is, so this was completely new. Google says it's "a type of savoury rice cake... made by steaming a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice." So this would fall under entrees. 

A savory steamed rice cake, like nothing I've had before. It came with a tahini like dip and spicy dip, that's familiar something then Crossways use in their dishes too, a certain spice. Lina quite liked eating these on their own without the dip too.

Dosa Hut specializes in Dosa and Biryani, and so we ordered one of each to share, these are main dishes. But what is a dosa? It's something I've had once and would describe as a very thin and big savory crepe with fillings. A South Indian dish "made from rice flour and ground pulses, typically served with a spiced vegetable filling".

101. Chef Special Dosa

Combo of masala, paneer, chicken & lamb

With 90 to choose from it was a challenge! Though our waitress recommenced the chef's special to share as it had three different filling within one. It was the perfect dish, with the combo of veggies but also meat. Served on a huge shiny tray with three sauces/dips including the tahini, and spicy red one from before. I'm not sure how you're meant to dip it?

The filling had what was listed on the menu, but also potato and spring onion, with plenty of flavour with all the spices wrapped up in a light savory crepe, it was fun to eat and yummy. Lina really liked it, and this is actually her very first time trying dosa. It was a bit salty for me (just a little), but balanced with a sip of mango lassi. I would most definitely order this again. 

77. Chicken 65 Biryani

Biryani is also a specialty at Dosa Hut, and for Lina a day isn't complete without a rice dish (coming from HK), and so we also had a Biryani to share.

It came presented on a huge shiny tray (why is everything shiny?) and very popular, with both our neighbours ordering them. The serving is huge! I feel as though it's 1.5-2 serving, (the rice) though needs more chicken. Which was spicy and on the bone, it only gets hotter says the waitress, though the raita certainly helps (a yoghurt sauce). We couldn't finish, it was that big! It was pretty tasty though pales in comparison to the dosa, as its in its league. 

Service was very friendly, and the waitress explained to us what the dishes are, and how spicy they are. It was a bit cold as I was right in front of the air con, so you know it won't be too hot in summer here. Some of the cutlery in the ikea holder wasn't clean, but we quickly got some new forks (which were clean).

Take away was very popular, city popular. If you want a table it's best to book as it's popular and the restaurant not that big, though very nice, under the almost star-lit ceiling. 

Dosa Hut delivers through menulog, ubereats and deliveroo. You can check out their website here, check out the menu, make bookings, etc. 

P.S. We got here on the 220 Sunshine bus from Footscray station. It also departs from outside QV in the city.

Dosa Hut Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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5 Tips on How to Bring the Hotel Home @ Thursday, February 22, 2018

By Carol from Road To Organized

To be honest my room looks like something out of Howl's Moving Castle, as I have so much craft supplies on every surface, flowers and things of inspiration and all. No I can't pop it into storage, because here out of sight and out of mind you'll never see it again. But I am working on popping everything into clear boxes and storing them where they stand.

We came across this article by Carol from Road To Organized, and it made me reflect on our last holiday, to Sage Hotel. There was no clutter, plenty of space to write, be it in the temperature controlled room full of light (we are vampires and live in front of a forest and never open the curtains at home, fear of dust and the truth, also burning) or downstairs in the communal space. Home is nothing like that, it's either screen time or bed. Nothing in between, not much room for anything but tripping and getting threads ripped out of you clothes, getting snagged on things (this is why we always wear aprons).

When we get our own place I'd love to have a separate study, craftroom and bedroom; and we'd actually use all these wonderful tips to create a hotel-like space with minimal clutter, though that's going to be quite a challenge, being the Queen of Clutter!

1. Clear-ish flat surfaces

Holiday accommodation only keeps the necessary on each surface. Those clutter free feels really impact on our relaxed state.

2. Keep only what you really love

The thing with the space we were staying in is, it had a whole collection of really cool ornaments, fresh flowers, original artworks and so on. And I loved pottering about looking at each piece. It made me think of the things that we have in our own décor. Do we really love each piece? Does it speak to us? What is it that gives it permission to stay in our home? What this does is, as we move through our space, we’re only surrounded by the things that we are really drawn to, and it makes us more comfortable in our space.

3. Softness and texture + light

Each soft surface had blankets and cushions so you could really cozy up in that space. The colours were somewhat neutral with splashes of colour and they were really inviting. White flowing curtains softened the space. It doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy stuff – use what you have. Think about how you use your own spaces. Do you like reading in your bedroom? Create a reading nook with blankets and cushions. Like sitting out looking at the view? What can you do to make the space more inviting for you?

4. Use the Good Stuff

From the unopened bath salts you have stashed in the back of the cupboard, to the crockery collection that you really love, start using the stuff that you keep for special occasions, on a more regular basis. Fill a basket with all those bath bombs and handmade soaps, and use them! Light those candles that are just for decoration.
Bring the Outside In

We spent most of our time in the sunroom overlooking the view, and I thought about our own patio that sits unused way too much. What can you do to make that a space you use more?

5. Add Flowers

So, I have a bit of a list now of what I want to do in our space, which mainly involves moving things around, and looking a little harder at each space and how it works for us. What can you do to your space that gives you those holiday feels?

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Summer Nights with Curry Camp (Camberwell) @ Thursday, February 08, 2018

Charlie & Co. dined as guests.
Thursday 1st Feb

There are many things we love about Camberwell, including having everything on main street (or close by), the gardens and local restaurants. It took us years to get here, though the pond had long been drained sadly - but we wouldn't have gotten there in time anyway. Tonight we were delighted to finally tick 'picnic at the park' off the list, with Curry Camp.

In our town Curry Camp is the place to go for Indian, and we're been here many times, you could almost say we're regulars, and that's something as we're always trying new places. But I find this is my favourite Indian restaurant, and even though we moved to Hawthorn, we still come back to Curry Camp, and bio guy would pick up takeaway on his way over for our sleepovers.

L-R: Butter Chicken, Pumpkin Masala, Malai Kofter
Naan, chicken tikka, samosa, rice, raita/chutney 

This is 'Deal One' ($32) from the takeaway menu with samosa x2, chicken tikka x2, one veg curry, one non-veg, rice, naan raita. We also ordered lassis ($12 for 3) and another main, and naan for one more. The deal serves two by the way.

Chicken Tikka & Samoas - Boneless chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices, 
cooked in a clay oven. Tender and full or flavour, a favorite starter. 

Samoas - For a vegetarian option (just one of a few) there's somosa's, spiced potatoes and peas stuffed in puff pastry. This one's a lot bigger than you think, and fun to eat. 

11. Butter Chicken (far left, warm orange, not in this picture)

Boneless chicken pieces cooked with spices and tomato based butter sauce

The butter chicken as perfect as always (this place is not only our local Indian place, they're a house favourite and I had 15+ neighbours). While I try to order new things, this is our default.

47. Malai Kofter - Cottage cheese, potato and spiced dumplings cooked in a creamy sauce
The malai kofter was similar to the samosa filling but with cottage cheese, in a lovely creamy sauce, though a hint sweeter than the butter chicken. 

49. Pumpkin Masala - Pumpkin cooked with aromatic spices
The pumpkin masla was a bit spicy for me though Andy thought it was just right. To cool down lassis (a yoghurty drink) were perfect, our favourite is the mango lassi.

Curry Camp is under new management as within the last week or so (at time if dinning experience), though nothing has changed, the menu has remained the same, the food just as good, service as welcoming, and shall continue to be our favourite Indian place. Don't be deceived by the lack of diners, most people are ordering takeaway (they're on everything: menulog, eatnow, deliveroo, foodora).

Located a block away (uphill, same side as the station) from Camberwell Station and on the 72 tram route the location is great, and you can park at the station or on a side street.

Open for Dinner Monday - Sunday, from 5pm.
796 Burke Road, Camberwell 

Curry Camp Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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