Saturday, April 18, 2009

Melbourne Day 2: Belgium Beer Garden

After the averagely average Chinese meal on our first night in Melbourne, and the not so wonderful Yum Cha, we gave Roger his ultimatum, Get your act together or you are out of the race!

But of course we were just kiddinglah. We will never do that to our one and only designated driver. Actually, for that round he was just trying to take us to places where he hadn't tried before. So since it didn't work out that well, we thought that we'd better stick to the road well trodden.
With a name like Belgium Beer Garden, you must be thinking that we were going to get drunk. It's one of those places like Cookies that has a pub and a restaurant side by side. I guess it's one of those business ideas that retain the customers.

Gee, now that we're done with dinner, where should we go for drinks?
How about the pub there since it's inside the same restaurant?
Great idea! Why didn't I think of that?

The Belgium Beer Garden is on St Kilda Road, next to Wesley College, my previous high school. It has a rustic pub-like environment with a beautiful garden serving mainly Belgium Beer with a combination of French, Belgium, German Food.

Here's what we had for your viewing pleasure:

Salad Ligeous ~ Warm vegie in balsamic vineger and potatosa and bacon bits. Gorgeous!

Pot of mussels with Roquefort ~ Black Mussels cooked in Roquefort Blue Cheese Sauce. I would go for mariniere, the white wine version but was outnumbered. Well for some reasons Aussie black mussels are huge as compared to the French ones. In Paris, we got a little bucket, here we got a whole pot good for four at least. But the verdict is nice!

Roast pork belly with sauerkraut and apple ~ Crispy roast pork which is really crispy. So the verdict is Good!

Pan fried veal with mash. Very nicely done and tasty.

Choc mousse with orange bits ~ smooth and so very chocolatey. Glad we ordered one only to share.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What's Up in Melbourne: Plume Yum Cha

Tuesday afternoon was beautiful in Melbourne. The sun came out pretty strong and the sky was a beautiful blue of the perfect kind. My brother Roger took us out for yum cha at this place called Plume at High Point.

The place was pretty big as it was a stand alone building on its own but I guess there weren't a lot of people on a Tuesday afternoon. Despite that, as in any typical Chinese restaurant, there were a lot of hustle & bustle going on. Chinese customers can't help eating loud & talking loud in a Chinese retaurant. It's as if you're quiet, you'l lose out to the other table next to you.

But we were quite happy to have gotten to choose our food out of the cart which some restaurants nowadays don't do but instead ask you to order off the menu. This is the genuine yum cha experience except that the food could really be a lot better.

Because the place was not really full, the carts came back really quick, again, & again, and again. It came up to the point where the waitress was almost throwing the plates (as in any Chinese restaurants) onto our table even before we could start eating the last ones from her previous rounds. And we had to tell her to slow down. That's almost one stop short of telling her to STOP IT GIRL!

Har kow and siew mai ~ okie. so so.

Cheong Fun~ This is pretty good. Prawns are nice and juicy.

Salad prawns ~ fresh but really nothing too spectacular

Baked Oyster ~ really so so.

Brinjals with fish paste ~ I liked this one but I found it a little too corn-starchy.

Chicken Feet ~ sorry, average only.

Yam Puffs ~ Now this one is the ultimate disappointment. I know you need ammonia to puff but hey this one really over did it. It tasted like there was a clump of ammonia sitting in there & I couldn't even taste the yam filling.

Shark fin dumpling ~ ordinarily usual.

Scallops dumplings ~ skin a little thick and floury

Prawn rolls~ very average in taste and texture.

Fortunately, very fortunately, at the end of it all, we found something that saved the day.

Mango pudding and coconut jelly were the highlights. Nice.

But unfortunately, to be very very blunt, this place is way overpriced (we paid like AUD 90+ for this meal) and the taste is not all that great! The pieces are big alright for all kiasu Asians like us but hey, isn't dim sum supposed to be small, dainty and elegant reations which require skill and mastery?

Our meal last year at East Imperial at Rathdowne was definitely more elegant and the price is almost the same.

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