Showing posts with label Travels. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travels. Show all posts

Friday, May 22, 2015

Food Tripping in Melbourne

melbourne | spicyicecream

Melbourne is one of my favourite places to visit, and it seemed crazy that I hadn't been there since 2012. I love that there are always your old favourite places to revisit, and always plenty of new ones too. While this was only a very quick trip, I was excited to try some of the new restaurants that have popped up in the meantime. This time I was travelling with my housemate K - a girly trip full of food, shopping, cocktails and exploring. So here's a collection of photos from my iPhone and camera of some of my favourite things that we ate.

doughboys, melbourne | spicyicecream
doughboys, melbourne | spicyicecream

Do you follow Doughboys on Instagram? You really should. I definitely knew that these doughnuts were something I had to try. Doughboys are available at several cafes around Melbourne, but I visited their main outpost at the Mercat Cross Hotel and got three to take home - Blue Roast, Butterscotch and Bullseye, which ended up being our favourite. You can also get a 'Doughsundae' with a scoop of Gelato Messina. Please please open up in Sydney!

Doughboys Doughnuts on Urbanspoon

Doughboys Doughnuts, 456 Queen St Melbourne

fancy hanksfancy hanks fancy sanga | spicyicecream

Also at the Mercat Cross Hotel I was happily surprised to find Fancy Hank's BBQ sharing the large light-filled space upstairs. I immediately wished I was hungrier or with a group of friends to allow me to try more of the meats on offer, and maybe some cocktails too. But I couldn't pass up the 'Fancy Sanga' with brisket, cheese, onion, pickles, mustard and sauce. I loved the barbeque sauce that I believe has a hint of coffee and the spicy mustard was perfect with the meat. And then I went back to the hotel to take a nap.

Fancy Hank's BBQ Joint on Urbanspoon

Fancy Hanks BBQ Joint, 456 Queen St Melbourne

supernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecreamsupernormal, melbourne | spicyicecream

I ended up at Supernormal not once, but twice. The first night I was dining solo and the staff were amazing, seating me at the bar and explaining that the kitchen could do half serves of any of the mains or desserts so I didn't miss out on trying anything. It turned a potentially awkward dinner alone into a really special one. I loved it so much that I dragged K back there the next night to try two dishes I'd wished I'd ordered! The Prawn and chicken dumplings were quite simply, some of the best that I've ever had. I loved the chilli vinegar sauce. I wish I could buy it in a bottle and put it on everything I eat.

We also had the Slow cooked szechuan lamb with spring onion pancakes and coriander paste, which was so delicious. The sauce was spicy and flavoursome and the meat just fell apart perfectly. A great dish to share. All of the desserts sounded incredible and I had a hard time choosing. The first night I tried the Fried custard with ginger syrup, but the people next to me had the Peanut butter parfait with salted caramel and soft chocolate and it looked amazing so I had to try it the next time. It is a classic combination of flavours that is so popular for a reason. It was a rich dessert but I enjoyed every spoonful. Definitely put Supernormal on the list for your next trip to Melbourne!

Supernormal on Urbanspoon

Supernormal, 180 Flinders Lane Melbourne

shortstop, melbourne | spicyicecream
shortstop, melbourne | spicyicecreamshortstop, melbourne | spicyicecream

My sole mission the next morning was to find coffee and doughnuts. At Shortstop, the coffee comes only 'black' or 'white' and I appreciated this simplicity in the age of 15 word coffee orders! As for the doughnuts, I tried the Coconut Lemon Meringue and Earl Grey glazed doughnuts, which were both almost perfect - super fresh, with fantastic unique flavours. Melbourne doughnut game is very strong, and Sydney definitely has some catching up to do.

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts on Urbanspoon

Shortstop Coffee & Doughnuts, 12 Sutherland St Melbourne

chapel st bazaar, melbourne | spicyicecreamchapel st bazaar, melbourne | spicyicecream

Chapel Street Bazaar was heaven for the vintage obsessed, housing everything from clothes to records to typewriters to toys and so much glorious retro kitchenware. I wanted to move in! Even though I wanted to buy everything and bring it home in a large truck, I was quite restrained and picked up a few special pieces that I'm sure you'll see in my posts soon. K bought some great vintage handbags!

Chapel Street Bazaar, 217 Chapel St, Prahran

kong bbq, melbourne | spicyicecream
kong bbq, melbourne | spicyicecream

One of my favourite meals of the trip was at Kong BBQ, by the creators of Chin Chin (which is coming to Sydney!!). Korean food and BBQ are both so on trend at the moment, and this fusion is popular for a reason. We wanted a way to try as much as possible, so this Bossam BBQ Tray made perfect sense - pulled chicken and pork, pork belly and beef brisket with lettuce, pickles, zucchini kimchi and walnut ssamjang. You can make your own lettuce wraps with any combination of meat and condiments that you like. So so good, and definitely worth a visit!

Kong BBQ on Urbanspoon

Kong BBQ, 599 Church St Richmond

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Venice, Los Angeles Part 1


I didn't really know what to expect from Los Angeles. Since we only had four days, we based ourselves in a fantastic Airbnb apartment near the beach in Venice and spent the time exploring Santa Monica and the fantastic restaurants and shops along Abbot Kinney Boulevard.

I was so glad we went for the more relaxed approach staying in one place rather than having to deal with crazy LA traffic when crossing town! It was soooo nice to have no plans but to explore, eat, shop and repeat.

kreation cafe, venice

Kreation Organic

Denea had been to this little organic cafe and juice bar before and said it was really good. We actually ended up there for brunch twice. It was a great, healthy way to start the day and the portions were enormous enough to share. After much indecision staring at the extensive juice menu, I started with a Green #2 juice and an espresso. The juice was delicious (yes I'm one of those weirdos who actually likes green juice), but unfortunately the coffee wasn't great.


The Kreation Club was a monster sandwich with Niman Ranch bacon, organic greens, tomato, hummus on multi-grain bread. Try as I might, I didn't even come close to finishing it, especially not with the side of delicious sautéed galic kale. I ate a lot of kale in LA and have replicated this dish a few times since I've been home.


This was the Cancun Salad with an added free range Chicken Kabob that was tremendously satisfying and big enough for the two of us to share for lunch. Organic baby greens with roasted corn and black bean salsa, tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a what looks like a whole avocado with a house made dressing on the side. Delicious and healthy too!


I really liked the decor and the friendly staff, my only complaint was a minor one, that the food took quite a long time to come out. They also have quite a few other locations in LA.


One interesting tidbit, this cool mural was in the laneway next door to the cafe, and I snapped this photo on our first visit. On our second visit it was all covered over in plastic and we suspected that they might be repainting it. Sure enough, I ventured past on my last day in Venice only to find a completely bare white wall! Sad!

Kreation Kafe on Urbanspoon

Kreation Cafe, 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291


I fell quite in love with super cute paper and stationary boutique Urbanic. I resisted spending an enormous amount of money, and just bought a few cute cards and notebooks. But really, I wanted to take everything home with me in my suitcase. Especially that ampersand light!! Oh my lord that would look so good in my bedroom!


If you're looking for great unique gifts, custom stationary for your wedding or event or cards ranging from sweet to cheeky, this is the place!


Urbanic, 1644 Abbott Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291

local 1205

How do you feel about dining solo? I had some amazing meals by myself in New York, but it felt a little different to be eating alone while in LA and Hawaii for some reason. Not in a bad way, just a different vibe. Local 1205 is described as a 'food lovers emporium' serving food from morning til late. At the juice bar you can get cold-pressed juices and smoothies, and inside they are serving up some pretty epic pizzas, sandwiches and seafood.

I liked the stripped back warehouse vibe with pops of colour from the bright red chairs, and the mini market set up in one corner of the restaurant featuring local gourmet products. I started with a homemade ginger lemonade, which was just perfect on a hot day.

local 1205

I've been watching quite a few episodes of Amazing Eats lately, and have established a clear correlation between deliciousness and messiness when you're dealing with sandwiches. The El Cubano was definitely both of those things!

Consisting of fall-apart slow roasted pork loin, Niman Ranch smoked ham, gruyere cheese, pickles and whole grain mustard on a Cuban roll, the flavours all worked so well together. This place is a winner. I wish I'd got the chance to try a few more of the delicious sounding items on the menu!


Local 1205 on Urbanspoon

Local 1205, 1205 Abbott Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291


One of the things I was looking forward to the most was trying some Mexican food in California. After missing out in San Francisco, I was determined to get my fill in LA. I visited Casalinda on Abbot Kinney for a quick, cheap lunch.

I chose beef, pork and shrimp tacos, which were all pretty darn delicious, but my favourite was definitely the pork. I'd also definitely recommend the watermelon juice, it's so refreshing!

Casa Linda on Urbanspoon

Casalinda, 1357 Abbott Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291


Stay tuned for Part 2 real soon, with lots more delicious Venice eats!

Monday, October 21, 2013

San Francisco


Leaving New York kind of sucked. After running late to the airport and the slowest crawl through security ever, I finally made my flight to SFO. Halfway through I was woken from a nap to find that the man sitting right next to me was having a seizure. There was a doctor on board but it lasted over 30 minutes and he couldn't work out the cause. The pilot had no choice but to divert to Chicago, where an ambulance met us on the tarmac and took him away for tests.

I was a little rattled, having been pinned in the window seat all that time! And I could hardly believe that I had two 'only in the movies' flying experiences within one week. I'm a little ashamed to say it, but I spent the first entire day in San Francisco in a funk, wishing I was still in NYC. I didn't even have a coffee, I didn't eat, I didn't leave the apartment. I sat on the balcony, skyped with a friend and waited for Denea to arrive.

golden gate bridge

It's a very different experience exploring a new place solo vs with a friend. We had two days and no real plan. Our first stop was the Golden Gate Bridge - mostly covered in fog. The weather was also a surprise. The first day was clear and sunny, but then the weather turned chilly, windy and very foggy, which our host said happened every summer in the Bay.


Ferry Building Markets

If you haven't already noticed, I loooove a farmers market. We were lucky enough to make it down to the Ferry Plaza Markets just before they shut up shop. After wandering around picking up some beautiful fresh produce (eggplants and okra for dinner), we definitely needed a coffee. I'd heard amazing things about the Blue Bottle Coffee Co, so I was thrilled to see their coffee cart outside, and also picked up a bag of coffee beans to bring home.


As everything started to close for the day we ventured inside to find a lot more deliciousness. Mushrooms from Far West Funghi, incredible artisan cheeses from Cowgirl Creamery, and the most delicious sandwich, the 'Mess Piggy' from Boccalone Salumeria, with pulled pork and spicy pickled peppers. Their tagline was 'tasty salted pig parts' - I mean how could we not!

And then we took a selfie.

ferry building

Boccalone on Urbanspoon

Ferry Building Marketplace, 1 Sausalito - San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA 94111, United States

tartine bakery, sf

Tartine Bakery

I've been long obsessed with the Tartine Bakery cookbooks, so visiting the bakery was definitely the #1 thing on my list to do in San Fran. The bakery itself was actually a lot smaller than I imagined, and the queue snaked out the door and around the corner. Probably for the best because I got massive dessert-related indecision while lining up, and couldn't decide what to order. 

tartine bakery, sf tartine bakery, sf

In the end, I had to get the Tres Leches cake, one of their most famous. Accompanied by a couple of glasses of Prosecco, of course. It was sweet, creamy, beautifully textured cake with a layer of pastry on top instead of the usual whipped cream or frosting. Definitely trying this recipe from the cookbook soon! I wish we'd had the stomach space to try one of their amazing looking croissants!

tartine bakery, sf

We arrived just after 4.30pm, which meant that their fresh breads by genius baker Chad Robertson were available, so we also picked up a small loaf of sourdough. We ate it with the epic truffled goat's cheese that we picked up from Cowgirl Creamery earlier and a few glasses of champagne. It was actually one of the best loaves of sourdough I think I've ever had, so I'd definitely recommend it if you're visiting. But be quick, they sell out!

tartine bakery, sf
Photo by Denea

Tartine Bakery on Urbanspoon

Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110, United States

mission cheese

The Mission District

After visiting Tartine, we wandered around the colourful Mission District, which was a highlight of the whole trip, and definitely somewhere I'd like to explore more one day. Mission Cheese was a fabulous looking wine and cheese bar serving up daily changing cheese flights, charcuterie and sandwiches.

dandelion chocolatedandelion chocolatedandelion chocolate

Another awesome looking place we stumbled across was Dandelion Small Batch Chocolate, where we sampled a few boutique chocolates made from bean to bar locally and try some bitter raw cacao. It was very interesting to see a little more of the chocolate-making process.

pirateshopmission wisdom

Unfortunately the Pirate Store was (quite) closed. We loved this sign! Wise advice on the streets of the Mission District. Another thing I wished we'd got to do was try some Mexican food. I've heard it's particularly amazing in this area.


I loved exploring the city with Denea and looking forward to visiting San Fran again one day soon. There is so much more to see - hopefully with slightly better weather next time! Stay tuned for the LA recap very soon xx


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