Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

Ramen noodles

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.

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Ricotta gnocchi

Ricotta gnocchi

I lovelovelove gnocchi but I rarely make the potato version because it’s so difficult and time consuming to make.

You know the drill – you need to use potatoes grown and harvested by virgins under the light of the new moon, cooked gently over the flame of ten blessed candles, and kneaded with the delicateness of an butterfly wing, otherwise your gnocchi will be forever cursed to be heavy and gluey.

Fortunately potato gnocchi is not the only gnocchi in town.

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NZ: Nelson – Jester House Cafe

Cat

Back in January when we went to Nelson, one of the places Annette and Terry took us to was Jester House cafe. They won an award for top cafe in NZ in 2013/14.

You know how Melbourne cafes have a certain ~~thing~~ in common – the coffee, the food, a certain kind of aesthetic with the decor? Jester House Cafe is nothing like that. No blond wood, exposed bricks, or single origin coffee here.

They have a cafe cat – but more impressively and much more quirky – they also have tame eels! How many cafes do you know that can claim that?

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Prahran Market: Taste Prahran Market

Gelato top

Disclosure: I attended courtesy of Prahran Market.

Several weeks ago I wandered Prahran Market with a voucher booklet and a food paddle collecting food when I was invited to attend the Taste of Prahran Market event, part of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.

This event sells out extremely quickly each year, and now that I’ve done it, I can see why.

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Alaska: Skagway + Davidson Glacier

Skagway

Throwback to our Alaskan cruise holiday last year.

The second port was Skagway – a small town of about 900 people. The population doubles during the summer tourist season as it’s a popular stop for cruise ships, with almost a million visitors going through the town.

In 1898, due to the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway was the largest city in Alaska with a population of ~10,000, but the gold rush only lasted for three years.

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Roast pork loin with cous cous and prune stuffing

Pork loin

Ohhhh look it’s a cooking post. It’s been a while – because gasp – I’ve barely been cooking anything decent.

In fact, this roast pork is from Christmas lunch. Shameful, I know.

Yes, I don’t know what’s going on either. I’m just being lazy. Fortunately I’ve been stocking the freezer with plenty of prepared meals (shhhh they’re fancy ones, okay) so at least Alastair isn’t going hungry.

Personally I’d be happy with toast every day if I didn’t get nagged to eat proper food. Toast is great. Toast is the best food. Toast & me 5ever.

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Grey Goose: Taste by Appointment at Saint Crispin

Saint Crispin

Disclosure: Alastair and I attended courtesy of Grey Goose and f4 Consulting.

A few weeks ago, Alastair and I found ourselves in Collingwood, climbing possibly the steepest stairs in Melbourne to Saint Crispin’s private dining room.

The way up wasn’t much of a problem, but I did have a slight concern about how we would fare on the way down, considering we were there for Taste By Appointment, an evening created by Grey Goose to explore our personal tastes through a dinner and cocktail crafting class.

(Spoiler: the way down was absolutely fine, because the night was all rather classy and quite educational.)

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NZ: Nelson – Harbour Light Bistro

Restaurant view

Hello! We return to sunny, lovely, Nelson where on one of the evenings Annette and Terry took Alastair and I out to dinner.

This was our view during the night.

Oh Nelson, stop it.

We were at Harbour Lights Bistro, located on the waterfront (as you can probably tell from that photo) and it used to be a dairy (milkbar for the non-kiwis) before being converted into a restaurant. That view is wasted on a dairy, so I dare say it was a good change.

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MFWF: Flavours of Asia at Caulfield Racecourse

Wonderbao

Disclosure: I attended the previous courtesy of Melbourne Racing Club

March is almost upon us – and you know what that means – it’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival time! It officially kicks off on 27 February, and one of the first events happening is the Flavours of Asia Market Festival at the Sportingbet Blue Diamond Stakes Day at the Caulfield Racecourse.

On Thursday I attended a preview of the event. On the actual day, vendors will include Hammer & Tong, Hoy Pinoy, Wonderbao, Overdosa, Lankan Tucker, Uncle, Gogi and Eat the Chicken (menu at the bottom of this post) and a few of them were at the preview event to show us a sample of their food.

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