Melbourne 2014 – Sea Salt

It’s a no brainer to have fish and chips whenever in Australia right? I missed Cicerello’s fish and chips so much after returning to Singapore, so I was mad craving for good fish and chips when I arrived in Australia. Mum’s favorite ‘western meal’ was also fish and chips so I did a search on my iPad when we were in the hotel and found Sea Salt near the hotel. Reviews online look good, so we trekked over to the shop.

IMG_4926 I took charge of ordering for the family, so for mum, it was fish and chips. You could choose to order ala carte (then you can choose which type of fish you fancy), or order the pack (AU$10.90) which comes with fish of the day by default. The batter was crispy not soggy, fish was fresh and fries were my favorite steak chips.

IMG_4925 My darling boyfriend settled for a salmon burger (AU$11.90) which was soooo good! The salmon patty was delightfully moist and meaty. I was a little upset that he didn’t offer me more bites. HAHA.

IMG_4924 Everything on the menu looked good and so I decided to share a fisherman’s basket (AU$15.90) with my dad. The grilled fish was fresh and moist, the calamari rings were tender, the prawns crunchy and sweet. Top notch quality seafood.

While we were there, there was also another Singaporean family at the next table praising the quality of the food!

Melbourne 2014 – The Pancake Parlour

I used to make pancakes frequently for breakfast when I was in Perth. I came across a fail-proof (& cheap!) recipe that produced fluffy pancakes every single time. In fact, my sister loves it so much that I have made a premix for her before, so that she can just add the wet ingredients in the morning. But nowadays, we hardly have time for morning pancakes.

On our last day in Melbourne, we went into the city in the morning to get some last minute souvenirs and stuff. Not before having breakfast! We had passed by The Pancake Parlour a couple of times during the week and I really wanted to come here to try the wide variety of pancakes.

The ambience reminded me of old school USA, with cowboys and milkmaids. HAHA.

IMG_5116 This was dad’s choice of breakfast: traditional bacon and eggs AU$16.90. Two buttermilk pancakes, rashers of bacon, 2 poached free-range eggs. Good choice dad!

IMG_5117 This was ZH’s: Jamaican banana AU$19.30. Golden fried banana, dribbled with maple flavored syrup, dusted with cinnamon and served with ice cream. YES. My boyfriend had ice-cream for breakfast AGAIN. Please don’t judge him.

IMG_5118 This was my choice: blueberry pancake with bacon and scrambled eggs AU$15.90. I knew I couldn’t finish my food if I ordered 2 pancakes, so I purposely ordered one pancake only.

IMG_5119 This was ordered by the joker of my mum who has the appetite of a sparrow, but yet she ordered the biggest set, Country Breakfast $19.70. Two buttermilk pancakes, whole rashers of bacon, grilled tomatoes, garlic butter mushrooms and two poached free-range eggs.

Melbourne 2014 – Miss Katie’s Crab Shack

On our way home from Yarra Valley, I decided we should have dinner at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. The location required a little walking from where we stayed and since the car lease was due the next morning, we should make full use of it! Unfortunately, my Google maps* failed me this time and we ended up walking up and down the entire street, searching for Miss Katie’s.

When we finally found the place (it was really just a stone’s throw away from QVM!), it was alive with lots of buzz. Lots of people, but we managed to get a table rather quickly and the waitress briefed us on the ordering process, seeing that we were new in town. We were hungry folks and so it didn’t take long for us to decide what to eat.

IMG_5104 A bucket of cold prawns (~AU$22). I think this was the special of that night and it was really good! The prawns were fresh, firm, crunchy and sweet. The waitress said we snagged the last bucket, and perhaps that made the prawns taste sweeter! LOL

IMG_5105 Jambalaya, AU$22. A traditional southern dish consisting of rice, seasonal vegetables and fresh seafood. I chose this dish, but unfortunately I didn’t really enjoy it. The combination of the rice in the soup/gravy/stew made me feel like I was eating porridge.

IMG_5106 Katie’s Low Country Boil AU$25. Australian blue swimmer crab, corn and smoked cranski. I left most of this to my dad and ZH because swimmer crabs are not meaty like Sri Lankan crabs and so I wasn’t going to fiddle with it. Too much work for so little meat.

IMG_5107 Chesapeake crab burger AU$15. 100g blue swimmer crab cake, fresh slaw, herb mayo, dill pickle on a bun. Fries for extra AU$5. This has got to be the highlight of the entire meal (besides the prawns)! The crab cake was hot and crispy, the crab meat sweet and tender – in fact, it now reminds me that it was pretty similar to Grub’s chilli crab burger special. No wonder I loved both!

Atmosphere-wise, Miss Katie’s is more like a drinking place, complete with a stage for bands to perform. The place is dark and from the outside, you probably wouldn’t step in with your family if you didn’t know what it had to offer. But the clientele is quite a good mix of families (with young kids) to young adults to blokes just out for a drink. Very diverse and unique experience.

*If you’re visiting the place and using Google maps to locate, please enter the address 238 Victoria St North Melbourne 3051 instead of entering “Miss Katie’s Crab Shack” because the wrong address is in the system.

Melbourne 2014 – Badger Creek Blueberry Farm

Berry farms have always been one of my favorite places to visit when traveling, but somehow, as I was telling Beatrice, I have a knack/penchant for going to the berry farms when it’s off season. So I hardly have a chance to do berry picking. BUMMER. Since I can’t pick berries, I shall eat berries! Like what we did at the Badger Creek Blueberry Farm.

We were the only visitors on a weekday morning, and so we had the luxury of the entire “cottage” to ourselves. Service was warm and welcoming and the snacks were delicious!

IMG_5090 Brownie, ordered by ZH as expected. I frankly wouldn’t have ordered the brownie because who goes to a berry farm for brownies?! But anyway, it was served warm (gooey insides, I like!) with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. YES. My boyfriend had a brownie AND ice-cream for BREAKFAST. Please don’t judge him.

IMG_5091 Mixed berry pancakes. Freshly cooked with a mixture of berries and ice-cream. The pancakes were soft and fluffy.

IMG_5092 English scones with berry jam and cream. I love cream with scones! The jam wasn’t too sweet or artificially flavored too.

IMG_5093 Raspberry friand with cream. ‘Twas good, but a little dry on the inside.

IMG_5088 While waiting for our food, ZH went to explore the surroundings a little and saw that the farm has this area to rear chickens! Free-range chicken, anyone?