Wednesday, October 30, 2013

N2 Extreme Gelato - Melbourne

So this place isn't new to me. When it first opened in Sydney I kept nagging my BF about it and how we have to go when we are in Sydney...... That was over a year ago

Now N2 has hit Melbourne and having a sweet tooth I went to check it out again. For those of you who are new to the concept, N2 makes ice cream on the spot for you using liquid nitrogen. Hmmm is it just a gimmick??? Yes it is, but making the ice cream itself is a show .... but there are benefits of using liquid nitrogen to make the ice cream as it comes out a lot smoother due to small ice particles within the body of the ice cream. Now that you have the background, onto the main part; the ice cream flavours!

First up is Creme Brulee, this was the flavour that won first place in the recent world gelato tour. It has the flavours of a creme brulee and topped with burnt caramel (yes a flame torch on ice cream). This was extremely popular but it wasn't my favourite. The evident flavours of creme brulee is in the ice cream but in terms of taste i like something with a bit more excitement. That's not to say it was bad, it's just I liked the next 2 flavours a lot more.

 
Prezella and Pandan were definitely my 2 favourite flavours. Being the Asian that I am, I am a real sucker for flavours like Green Tea, Red Bean, Kaya and I'm normally disappointed when these are made into ice cream. Let's start with Pandan, this was a smooth pandan flavour with shortcake crumble in between. I love the fragrant taste of the Pandan and the shortcake was a good play on texture. I need to say though, I did notice inconsistency. I went 3 times over 4 days (yes call me nuts, but I do love my ice cream and I had different friends who wanted to try it) and the level of sweetness differed each day. The first time I got it, the Pandan flavour and sweetness was spot on. Then the second visit I found the ice cream to be sweeter.. Either way, I still liked it a lot.

Next is Prezella!! Nutella + Pretzel, chocolatey hazelnut goodness with salty pretzel bits. This combination just works magic. It may not be as complicated to make as the creme brulee but it's definitely something I had and loved... twice!

Cocolime, is coconut and lime sorbet which is a nice alternative if you don't want something too rich. There was also mango sorbet to cater for the lactose intolerant. Very velvety smooth mango flavour.

Black salted caramel was another option on the menu, this tasted like a very classic toffee flavour. The black salt is an interesting concept too. My friend who got this was even happy to pose for a photo! Quite rare that he ventures out to try these things with me, as he always complains my taste is too expensive. It was a rare moment I had to capture on camera!

Finally there was pavlova, very passionfruity. Not bad but it doesn't shine compare to the rest.


Overall 17/20, the price is decent for the gelato serving quality and size and being handmade! Best of all, the changing menu and watching them make it, is always fun!


  N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Shyun

Lucky for me, this place is not too far from where I live so I pop in every so often.

Unlike a lot of Japanese places in Melbourne, this place is actally run by actual Japanese people and  not just your usual Chinese people running a sushi shop. Based on the busy shopping strip of Koornang road, this place can be hard to get a table on the weekend and friday nights. Recently rennovated, they have an ipad ordering system in place that allows you to see pictures of what you are ordering.

I love their nasu dengaku (miso eggplant) so I always get that as an entree to start. Full of robust flavour and that mince meat just adds to the texture.

I recently have an obsession with Chirashi so I just had to try it here. Lots of fresh tuna, salmon, kingfish topped onto sushi rice. Nice and fresh and relatively healthy. This was a good change to the usual sashimi platter we get. Though I think in comparison to Koko, I still prefer Koko. Koko has better seasoning on the rice.

Soft shell crab roll is a MUST try here if you love soft shell crap. The spicy sauce on the side with wasabi, just takes it over the edge. YUM!

Tempura udon (the boy's favourite). Soft udon noodles which are cooked just right. Well covered tempura prawns and vegetables. If you like tempura udon, then it would appeal. However to me (never have liked tempura in soup), it just taste like a big bowl of soggy battered prawns and vegetables with silky udon noodles.

Overall 13/20. Good local joint to pick up a bite and still get quality Japanese food.



  Shyun on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Little Chloe

I read about this place in The Age a little while back. I do have a soft spot for steamed buns so when  found out they had a pork belly steam bun I was curious. Located in Malvern it was quite easy to find and park is not a nightmare (unlike for the brunch places in Richmond and Abbotsford).


The pork belly steam bun came with a shitake mushroom, cashews and wombok salad on the side. The actual steam bun had sliced pork belly with hoi sin sauce, picked carrots and cucumber. All those ingredients sound really nice and should be a good combination of flavours.... but I was disappointed. The pork belly was very fatty, so fatty that it made the bun a tad too soggy. There was far too much sauce in the bun. All I could really taste was just pork fat and hoi sin sauce. I think the concept and flavours are there, but refinement in the execution is required. 

To share, we got the hand cut chips with aioli. It was cripsy on the outside and fluffy on the inside (just the way I like it). Only thing the dampened the experience, I think the oil it was fried in has been reused too many times. I could taste that heavy oiliness the minute I put the chip in my mouth.

Also, got the thin crispy corn fritters with chirzo scrambled eggs, baked beans and avocado on toast. Unexpectedly I liked this a lot more than the steamed buns. The corn fritter are light and tasty. Chrizo scrambled eggs added that burst of flavour. This was a nice dish, but it was a bit too soggy, the sauce in the baked beans was a tad watery which made the rest of the dish a tad too wet.

The coffee was good but not outstanding. 

Overall it's a 12.5/20. This place has potential, good concepts and flavours but more attention to detail to smooth out those rough edges.


  Little Chloe on Urbanspoon