***Miss L’s Melbourne Extravaganza Part 2 of 3***

For Part 1 of this post, click here! :)

Cumulus Inc

Website: www.cumulusinc.com.au

I was looking forward to a nice dinner here after hearing great reviews of this restaurant.  We arrived at 730pm and was told that there would be an hour’s wait for a table.  I looked around and the place was packed to the brim.  “I wouldn’t mind an hour’s wait”, I thought, the place was buzzing and it did looked so nice! We headed to the waiting area, a tiny square located in one corner of the restaurant and proceeded to order drinks.  My bestie bumped into her conference colleagues in that small corner.  They told her they came an hour before to put the name down and went walkies after.  They got a table not long after, I had ‘table-envy’.  One must have a strategy to dine in this place! :p

Our drinks:

  • Kelly’s brother apple cider ($8.50) – “plain”
  • Mexicola – Herencia Mexicana Reposada tequila, Havana blanco rum, passionfruit & fresh mint ($20) – “too rummy” (is that a good or bad thing? :P)
  • House made lemonade ($6.50) – “sour and thick lime flavour”

The Apple Cider I had was not that great, it tasted very plain.  I didn’t manage to finish it.  I thought of ordering another drink but alcohol with no food in the tummy does not go well with me so decided against it.

By this time, we had waited 1.5 hours and I was getting hungry and restless!  I faced the dilemma of either walking out or trusting the staff when they said it was not long to go, which they have repeated to us a few times in the half hour.  What does one do in this instance?  I probably would have walked out but my two buddies wanted to stay.  Out of courtesy I obliged.  Where would I go at this hour anyways? The staff, noticed our faces gave us a menu promptly and told us we could order while we waited (trying to instil some confidence!).

It was 930pm by the time we sat down.  “The food better come straightaway”, another thought.  How I wish I could verbalise some dissatisfaction at them but manners prevented me from doing so.  Fortunately the staff kept her promise and the food did come out quickly.  We had the following:

(STARTERS)

  • Smoked mussels, escabeche ($9)
  • Grilled octopus – smoked paprika & basil ($10)

The Smoked Mussels had a tasteful cream underlying the marinated flesh which was delightful to savour.  The Grilled Octopus though were too salty and slightly chewy for my liking.  So far so good!

Complimentary bread was given which were welcomed with delight.  They were fluffy and cold.

(FISH, MEAT & VEG)

  • Whole baked rainbow trout, coriander & toasted almonds ($28)
  • Roast Aylesbury duck breast, toasted grains, lentils & plum ($36)
  • Roast zucchini, smoked curd, honey & chardonnay vinegar ($16)

The Rainbow Trout was one of my favourite dish, tender whilst maintaining the moisture in the flesh.  It was especially great with the nuts!  Watch out for little bones protruding from the flesh though.  The Duck Breast was another great dish, with tender and succulent duck pieces.  The surprising dish for the night was the Roast Zucchini.  They have such amazing flavours, I love every bit of it.  Hard to imagine loving a veggie dish so much.  It was my favourite dish of the night! Could have ordered another plate!

(DESSERT)

  • Yoghurt cream, fresh berries & lemon sorbet ($16)
  • Madeleine, filled with lemon curd ($2.50 each)

The Yoghurt Cream was light and refreshing and a great dish to finish the night off.  I was more excited though with the Madeleine as Cumulus is famous for this.  There was a 15 minutes wait for these dainty things but very much worth it.  Almost like a sponge cake but not quite, they were warm and light with a tangy lemon taste.  I love them!  Great recommendation from my bestie!

Overall I really enjoyed dining here despite the long wait.  The staffs were very friendly, always smiling even whilst facing our sour faces at one stage.  They suggested dishes for us to order and even stopped us from ordering too much food.  It came as no surprise that they are packed out every weekend!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Telephone: 03 9650 1445

Address: 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

Lindt Chocolate Cafe

Website: www.lindt.com.au

Lindt Café, one of the quick stop we made in between our shopping spree for some dessert.  The shop itself is so lovely, vibrant, colourful and stacks of Lindt bunnies across the shelves.  It was all so cute!

The café further in the shop:

We only managed to fit an Opera Cake ($13) at this stop.  I really wanted to try this after watching Rocco from My Kitchen Rules made this last season and scored a 10/10 for it.  The Lindt version consisted of coffee cream and dark chocolate.  It did not disappoint.  Yum!

Lindt also offers a monthly Chocolate Creations Class in Melbourne and Sydney.  Sounds awesome!  Bring it to Perth!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Telephone: 03 99090 0009

Address: Shop T7 500 Chapel Street, South Yarra

Lindt Chocolate Cafe on Urbanspoon

China Red

Website: china-red.com.au

I met up with my bestie again before she headed back to Perth.  We decided to have dimsum at China Red.

This place is special because you can order the dimsum through a computer screen on the side wall.

We had:

  • Shredded Turnip Pastry (4 pieces) – $6.80
  • Prawn Dumplings (3 pieces) – $7.80
  • Shanghai Shao Long Bao (8 pieces) – $9.80
  • Pan Fried Pork Buns (4 pieces) – $7.80

The food was on the average side.  The Pan Fried Pork Buns were disappointing; maybe because I had great memories of the ones I tried in China before and these are not comparable.  I like though how the Prawn Dumplings were shaped like gold fish.  I think it’s meant to signify prosperity in the Chinese culture.

One thing I noticed was the stoned face staff in this place.  They will not smile back even if you smile at them.  Strange!  We decided against having dessert here and went to another place further down the road.  That was also disappointing so I won’t blog about it :p

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Telephone: 03 9662 3688

Address: Shop 6, 206 Bourke Street, Melbourne

China Red on Urbanspoon

Mamasita

Website: www.mamasita.com.au

A great Mexican restaurant that came highly recommended so we thought we must visit!  We cut short our museum tour and rushed over there for lunch.  Maybe we should have gone a bit later as the place was filled with the working crowd!  Luckily there were still some spare seats near the bar.  The bar was huge!

I ordered a Mamasita Margarita ($17) to start with – El Jimador reposado, Cointreau, fresh lime on the rocks.

We asked the staff for his recommendations and basically ordered what he told us :)

  • Elotes Callejeros ($4.90 each) – “street style” chargrilled corn, queso, chipotle, mayo & lime
  • De Cangrejo ($16) – crab meat, avocado, cucumber, tamarind mayo & habanero
  • De Pescado ($6) – grilled fish, lime, achiote paste, red onion salsa & chipotle mayo
  • De Camarones ($7) – marinated prawns, red chilli & chipotle almond salsa

The Chargrilled corn was quite different from what I’d before.  I couldn’t decide whether I really like it or not – the juicy corns seemed to be covered by all the outer sauce and spice.  Hmm sometimes, things are better simpler.

My favourite was the Crab & Avocado tostaditas!  Crunchy base and topped with chunks of crab meat.  It was bursting with flavours with each bite.  I would order this again!

The Tacos were not as nice as expected, I think I prefer the crunchy base rather than the soft.  The Marinated Prawns filling was the better of the two.

Mamasita was definitely worth the visit.  It has a very nice ambience – lively music and the staff was also very friendly!  The people are so friendly in Melbourne.  We started chatting to the couple seated next to us and they were offering their food for us to try and gave her drink to my friend when she burned her lip eating the habanero on the tostaditas!  They even took the time to write down the restaurants they recommend for us to try.  Thank you guys :)

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

Telephone: 03 9650 3821

Address: Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne

Mamasita on Urbanspoon

Pop Restaurant & Bar

Website: www.poprestaurant.com.au

We were looking for a place to have dinner and decided to head towards Chinatown.  Before we got there, we stopped by at Hardware Lane and walked along the row of restaurants, as my friend wanted to experience how hosts throw freebies at patrons to entice them to dine in their restaurant.  ½ price drinks, entrée, dinner or even free entrée and free drinks, you name it!

My friend was enticed by Pop Restaurant and we ended up eating there.  Their offer was a free tapas entrée and selected cocktails.  However we found that they changed the tapas to something else (from what they described at the front) once we sat down.  Hmm, shrewd business dealing here!

Free Drinks:

  • Tequila Sunrise ($14)
  • Cosmopolitan ($14)
  • Monteiths Cider Pear ($7)

Free tapas – sausage and mash:

We ordered the following for dinner:

  • Duck Duo ($34)
  • Paella ($35)
  • Prawn and Scallop Tagliatelle ($34)

The Duck Duo came as pan roasted breast and confit leg with puy lentils, roasted figs and duck jus.  Looked and tasted good.  Was quite a substantial dish.

The Paella consisted of chicken, chorizo and peas.  It’s not the best I’d tasted; the rice and chicken were bland.  The only distinctive flavour was from the chorizo.

The Prawn and Scallop Tagliatelle was one of the best pasta I’d eaten.  The tagliatelle was handmade and sautéed in a sage & butter sauce.  The prawns and scallops were huge as well.  I just love the butter sauce.  A must order!

It was a hit and miss with this restaurant but the pasta was worth the visit!  I’m glad I came to dine here!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Telephone: 03 9642 1341

Address: 68 Hardware Lane, Melbourne

Pop Restaurant on Urbanspoon

PART 3 PREVIEW

It’s all about the coffee in this last part! Click here!

3 thoughts on “***Miss L’s Melbourne Extravaganza Part 2 of 3***

  1. Yum! I wouldn’t mind having dinner at Cumulus Inc again. The duck was the stand out dish for me as i really loved the toasted grains and lentils. The yoghurt cream was so refreshing! This time I will go there first, leave my name on the list, head back to the hotel and come back when the table is ready.

  2. Whats up! I simply would like to give a huge
    thumbs up for the great information you have right here on this post.
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