Disclosure: We attended the soft opening courtesy of Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen.
Ramen in Melbourne has been gradually getting better as more ramen focussed restaurants have been opening up.
The latest is Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen (IKR) and a couple of weeks ago I attended the soft opening with Alastair. As you probably know, there are numerous styles of ramen with different regions having different variations. IKR’s style is tonkotsu which originates from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu. Tonkotsu is made from a pork bone base, cooked at high heat for a long period of time until the soup is opaque, milky and creamy.
Disclosure: I attended courtesy of The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen & Q Strategies
The other week I headed down to Queen Victoria Market – and not to shop, as most people do.
Instead, I was there for a cooking class at The Fisher & Paykel Social Kitchen, a new venture that’s a dedicated, hands on cooking school located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queen Victoria Market.
The Westin is serving An Eclair Affair in the Lobby Lounge every afternoon until 30 June – and the point of difference? Instead of the usual little cakes and sandwiches, the afternoon tea comes with savoury and sweet eclairs. There are still scones (it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them, right?) with accompanying jam and cream, but the stars on the stand are the eclairs.
I keep wanting to call this cafe Bowery to Williamstown instead of Bowery to Willamsburg.
The real name is a homage to New York’s Bowery subway station, but I personally feel that the owners missed an opportunity to work in a reference to Melbourne. I’m sure that Willamsburg, New York is 100000% cooler than Williamstown, Melbourne, but so what?
Lots of things in life seem to be cyclical. Food wise, one of the trends lately is for more informal, cheaper dining, with most of the new restaurants opening lately being of a more casual nature. I’ve personally succumbed to this trend – you may have noticed a lack of fine dining on this blog this year.
In line with the more casual theme, The Aylesbury in Lonsdale Street recently closed and has been revamped as Bomba, a Spanish style bar and restaurant.
Disclosure: I dined courtesy of Mr Nice Guy and Zilla & Brook.
Mr Nice Guy could be run by two of the nicest people in hospitality. Owned by the same people behind Middle Fish – Pla Liamthong and David Holtum – Mr Nice Guy came from a desire to do a night time trade, something that Middle Fish was restricted from for a long time.
Where Middle Fish serves more traditional Thai food, Mr Nice Guy’s focus is a bit more fusion – incorporating Thai flavours with more modern cooking techniques.
I attended the QVM tour courtesy of Queen Vic Market and Little Big Marketing.
I always like to get to a market whenever we go overseas (see here, here, here, here, and here) because I’m such a food nerd that it’s my idea of a good time. (Sorry Alastair!).
Recently I did a tour of the Queen Victoria Market. I met my group and our guide, Cleve, at the tour office. It was a particularly cold and wet day, so we stayed in the shelter of the office while Cleve gave us a brief history of the Market.
One Friday night, I tagged along with Haz to a fashion event. The sparkling wine was free flowing, there were people dressed in strange outfits, pretty people were having their photos taken, but guess what?
There was no food.
I don’t know why I was surprised – it was a fashion event.
After the event, we were both quite hungry, so Hazzie’s suggestion of dumplings at ShanDong MaMa sounded perfect. Better than perfect.
ShanDong MaMa is a family run business tucked away in Mid City arcade in Chinatown, between Bourke and Little Bourke Street that serves dishes and dumplings from the Shandong Province in China.
There was a brief wait for a table, and by the time we were seated we were starving and ready to eat all the things.
Gangnam Pocha opened a couple of months ago on Bourke Street (it’s the restaurant with the cartoon figure who may or may not be PSY) and the interior is a bit strange. I don’t recall what was on the site before, but – judging by the patterned carpet and internal doors with stained glass windows – it might’ve been a pub or RSL.
I had dinner there a couple of weeks ago with Alastair, Haz, and Gaz. Gangnam Pocha’s point of difference from other Korean restaurants (apart from the kpop videos they show on a big screen – videos that don’t match the music piped through the speakers by the way) is that they serve Korean street food as well as other more usual dishes.