Random Tastes / Bites

This page is dedicated to one off dishes that I have tried at places and have not necessarily had a 3 course meal at, but the dish was still really great! Most of these dishes would be desserts – Yes, I have a massive sweet tooth! And one of the first things I do when I go into a restaurant is look at what their dessert menu has to offer. My all time favourite desserts are Pannacotta’s in various flavours (vanilla bean however is my fave) and the ever so simple Chocolate Ripple =)



Panda Coffee @ Nuts About CoffeePanda Cappuchino at Nuts About Coffee

Check out this cute little cafe in Blackburn, located near the station called Nuts About Coffee. Their coffee is delicious and has a creamy texture to it and look at the awesome coffee art they provide! How fitting for my Grazing Panda site =) At Nuts about Coffee, the staff and barista’s – Mike – are friendly and they serve both Organic and Fair Trade coffee. The prices are very reasonable and they give you a free side serve of sesame nut slice (which is equally yum!). The shop itself is cute and quaint and provides for a warm and cosy environment which is the perfect way to relax. It comes complete with a massive bear sitting down to go with the yellow walls and painted trees and art on the wall. There is also a little shop where you can various products (including that yummy sesame slice) and coffee beans.

80 South Parade
Mob No: 0433 323 326

Nuts About Coffee (Cafe) on Urbanspoon

White Chocolate Brownie with Fig Ice Cream, Poached Pear and Blue Cream Cheese at The Bohemian

From the description on the menu, this wasn’t what I was expecting when it came out. The brownie was warm and the Fig Ice Cream really enhanced the flavour of the brownie. I wasn’t a big fan of the Blue Cream Cheese ( I think the flavour of the Blue Cheese is a bit too strong for me, but for all you Blue Cheese lovers out there I’m sure you would have enjoyed this). The flower that came with it was edible as well! I think the presentation was fantastic too!

Where? :
Bohemian Bar & Restaurant
35 Dukes Walk
South Wharf
Tel No: 9682 0566

Bohemian Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Strawberries & Cream, Strawberry Jelly, Basil Ice

This is one of the most interesting combinations I have had in a dessert from Hare & Grace. This was a layered dessert that reminded me of a trifle. I was told by the friendly waitress that to get the full effect of this dessert you had to reach right to bottom and get every layer. The Basil Ice even though it sounds like it wouldn’t work in a dessert sense actually provides a refreshing taste for your palate amongst the sweetness of the strawberries and cream. Definitely yummy and highly recommended!

Where? :
Hare & Grace
525 Collins Street
Tel No: 9629 6755

Hare & Grace on Urbanspoon

Strawberry Pancakes with Ice Cream at Qube

Not your normal type of strawberry pancakes – I was impressed when this dish came out because the strawberries were cut into the shape of roses. Very ingenious! The pancakes were also very light and fluffy.

Where? :
127 Station St
Tel No: 9482 2226

Cafe Qube on Urbanspoon

House-made Chocolate Mousse at Mocha Jo’s

The yummiest chocolate mousses I have tasted and it is quite a decent serving size as well. Other chocolate mousses that I rate highly is the Nandos’ Chocolate mousse which has chocolate chip pieces in it. The fact this mousse is made in house makes it that much better!

Mocha Jo’s
87 Kings Way
Glen Waverly
Tel No: 9560 8444

Mocha Jo's on Urbanspoon

House-smoked Beetroot Cured Trout Salad with Baby Beetroot, Roasted Kipflers & Horseradish Cream Dressing at Threefold

Looking for a healthy option in the city – then try Threefold – this cute little cafe style place. They have three different types of salads to choose from as well as tarts and sandwiches. Beetroot has been a favourite of mine since mum used to feed me it all the time since I was little – so the salad I had (pictured above) was to my liking. I would have preferred a bit more dressing on it – but that’s just me.

381 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Tel No: 9614 8194

Threefold on Urbanspoon

Bread and Butter Pudding at The Premises

I am not usually a fan of Bread and Butter Pudding’s – but I saw the lady at the table next to me order this and it looked amazing when it came out. I had already ordered my meal of Eggs but decided to try this as my “dessert” at Brunch time =) The pudding was warm and fluffy and the cream was cool and this combination together with the mixed berries was delightful!

The Premises
202 Bellair St, Kensington
Tel No: 9376 7565

The Premises on Urbanspoon

Chocolate Ripple Cake

Testing out my cooking, well dessert making capabilities. This was my first attempt at making Chocolate Ripple (and I must say its not the hardest of desserts to make =p) for dinner at a friends house.

Curried eggs with Cauliflower, Pickles and Yoghurt Mint Sauce at Fandango Cafe

Tried out this cute little cafe situated on Errol Street in North Melbourne. Service is friendly! These curried eggs are different to the normal curried eggs consisting of curry powder and mayonnaise. It had curried Cauliflower with chilli together with the sweetness of the pickles and the warmth of the egg on Sourdough bread – truly yummy! Have to re-visit and try out some of the other interesting things on their menu which is like a kids picture story book.

Fandango Cafe
97 Errol St, North Melbourne
Tel No: 9329 0693

Fandango on Urbanspoon

Orecchiette with Eggplant, Tomato, Olives, Bocconcini at Lot 7

My favourite shape of pasta is the Orecchiette which is why I mainly ordered at this dish as well as the combination of ingredients did sound quite tasty. The serving sizes are huge at Lot 7 and the waiters are friendly and informative. Another standout dish from Lot 7 is the Mushroom Side. What I loved about this dish (aside from the shape of the pasta) – is the fried bread crumbs – it added texture to the dish as well as flavour.

Lot 7
95 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Tel No: 9654 7772

Lot 7 on Urbanspoon

Hand Rolled Gnocchi with Pear, Walnut and Gorgonzola

We tried out Il Fornaio for lunch on day and I am always a sucker when I see gnocchi on the menu and was a little intrigued by this combination. Never ever have I had pear with my gnocchi. Interesting combination but I must say not one of my favourites. The gnocchi is house-made but was a little tough – not as melt in your mouth as I would have liked. Want to go back and try other things from their extensive menu.

Il Fornaio
2 Acland St, St Kilda
Tel No: 9534 2922

Il Fornaio on Urbanspoon

Black Velvet Cupcake with a Hot Chocolate at Cupcake Central

There’s nothing better than quickly grabbing a delectable cupcake from Cupcake Central (locations at Melbourne Central and Hawthorn). These cupcakes are baked in house fresh every morning and are so moist and delicious. There are many different flavours of cupcakes such as Green Tea, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Tiramasu, Cherry Promegranate, as well as the usual flavours of Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, Vanilla etc. Love their old school designed store as well with the Tiffany coloured appliances and matching take-away cups to go with it.

You can even learn how to make these cupcakes and decorate them at their Melbourne Central store – Cupcake Central Workshop. Check them out!

Cupcake Central Workshop                                       Cupcake Central Cafe
Level 2, Dining Hall,                                                 Shop 7, 672 Glenferrie Road
Melbourne Central, Melbourne                                   Hawthorn

Tel No: 9077 4542

Cupcake Central Workshop on Urbanspoon

Frozen Young Coconut Juice with Lime and Kiwi at Miss Chu

With summer just around the corner you cannot look past this drink from Miss Chu. It is a Frozen Young Coconut drink and when I went there was an addition of lime and kiwi added to it. They are perfect on a hot summery day – a real thirst quencher! And the little umbrella on the side can let you imagine that you are on beach somewhere exotic…at least for a few minutes anyway =)

Miss Chu
Shop 2
297 Exhibition St, Melbourne
Tel No: 9077 1097

Miss Chu on Urbanspoon

Seafood Gyoza Ramen with Miso Soup and a side of Seafood Gyoza at Ramen Ya GPO

The biggest comfort for me is Ramen – especially during cold and dreary days in Melbourne or those days when you’re feeling a little under the weather. I think I went with a couple of days in a row of having Ramen because I love it that much! Especially with the addition of the hot chilli. There is something about the combination or the way that they make their Ramen here at Ramen Ya that is simply delicious. The noodles are cooked to perfection and the miso is one of the best I’ve tasted. Additionally, they have a loyalty program – have 4 Ramens’ and get a free serve of Green Tea Ice Cream – have 9 Ramens’ and get a free Ramen! They have now also opened up a branch at the top end of Bourke St.

Ramen Ya GPO                                                  Ramen Ya on Bourke
Shop 25G Bourke St                                      Shop 9, The Paramount
Bourke St                                                            108 Bourke St, Melbourne
Tel No: 9654 5838                                            Tel No: 9662 1001

Ramen Ya on Urbanspoon

Belgian Waffles with Rhubarb Compote, Poached Vanilla Pear, Spiced Hazelnut Labna & Blueberry Maple Syrup at New York Tomato

If you are a fan of waffles – this is one place to definitely try them out – New York Tomato. New York Tomato is located in the side streets of Richmond and is a little hard to find, but I think is well worth it. The standout dish is definitely the waffles with its unique blend of flavours. New York Tomato is a double story cafe, with an outside courtyard area which is great for those summery days together with an upstairs area which has lounges and booths. The furniture is worn out and ragged – but you don’t really mind once the food comes out.

New York Tomato
Corner of New & York St

New York Tomato on Urbanspoon

Cheescake Bao at BAO NOW!

A Bao is a type of steamed, filled bun or bread-like item in various Chinese cuisines – where there can be a varieties of fillings as well. My friends and I stumbled across this newly opened cafe style shop after lunching at Silo by Joost (located next door). We were just walking past and the BAO Now! had literally been opened 30 minutes or so before. The place has a massive map on the wall with BAOs from all around the world located, so we decided to give it a try – we got one of the Dessert Bao – Cheesecake Bao – and it tasted delicious. It came warmed up and had a gooey centre and reminded me of a jam donut. There have been various Bao places opening up recently and they seem like the “in” thing at the moment. I definitely want to go back and try out the other flavoured Bao. Some flavours include – Chocolate Mousse, Cheesburger, Buffalo Chicken and Vanilla Slice.

119 Hardware St, Melbourne
Tel No: 9670 6394

Bao Now on Urbanspoon

Eggplant Fugazza – Roasted Eggplant, Grana Padano and Mozaarella Cheese, Fresh Basil, Napoli Sauce with Broccoli, Carrot, Corn Salad in a Basil Dressing at Fugazza

Fugazza is a small cafe located in Equitable Place in the heart of the Melbourne CBD. Fugazza recreates traditional Italian sandwiches. They make their bread in house and fresh everyday and their focaccia bread is are true to their origins and are baked not pressed to create the lightly crisp crunch on the outside. The Fugazzas (Tuscan Focaccia) are filled with the freshest of ingredients and taste delicious. They are quite modestly sized and you can either have half a Fugazza or a full one. There are also various combinations you can have – for example as I did – you can have half a Fugazza and the salad of the day – all for under $10! What a bargain. I am not usually a bread fan, but this is a definite must try. If you don’t fancy breads or focaccias – the menu also has a homemade vegetable soup (just like Nonna makes it) as well as salads. Also there is a dessert Fugazza for the dessert lovers out there – a Sweet Grape Fugazza – bread sweetened with honey and baked with grapes (and is 97% fat free, Low in GI!). The menu can be found at http://fugazza.com.au/our-food-and-drinks/

31 Equitable Place,  Melbourne
Tel No: 9939 4915

Fugazza on Urbanspoon

CRISPY SPICED CALAMARI – Scored calamari served with an Asian mix & aioli and SPANISH MUSSELS – Black Mussels steamed with Garlic, White Wine, Tomato & Smoked Chorizo served with Toasted San Fransisco Sourdough cob at Zest 89

Zest 89 is located in ever busy Kings Way in Glen Waverly. It is a modern cafe and bar, that has two levels of seating as well as outdoor seating. The atmosphere is relaxed and laid back for a casual catch up with a friend or even on a weekend morning for breakfast/ brunch. I had dinner here with a friend, as her favourite dish is the Spanish Mussels. I ordered the Crisy Spiced Calamari which was in a Salad form. The flavours were great and the salad was fresh. The Calamari was cooked perfectly and the flavour was great. I have come here for breakfast as well, and the service was slow and I wasn’t that impressed with the Breakfast, however I think dinner meals are their strong point.

89 Kings Way, Glen Waverley
Tel No: 9561 8918

Zest 89 on Urbanspoon

Vanilla Tapioca, Tropical Fruit, Young Coconut at Longrain

In Thailand and South East Asia, Tapioca desserts are very common. This Vanilla Tapioca is one of my favourite desserts and can be found at Longrain. I generally am a fan of Tapioca desserts and the combination here that Longrain creates has just the right amount of sweetness and the tapioca itself is cooked just right – not too squishy and not too tough. The tropical fruit adds another dimension, although I think the ice-cream doesn’t really need to be there. The Vanilla Tapioca is hero enough. This restaurant also has a great menu for lunch or dinner and as a huge fan of Thai food I really do like this restaurant.

40-44 Little Bourke Street,  Melbourne
Tel No: 9671 3151

Longrain Melbourne on Urbanspoon

Beetroot Rye Bagel with Dill Cream CheeseBeetroot Rye Bagel with Dill Flavoured Cream Cheese at Bowery to Williamsburg

Refer to https://thegrazingpanda.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/bowery-to-williamsburg-a-piece-of-nyc-in-melbourne/ for a Full Review of this fantastic place. The bagel is deliciously and freshly made every morning and the dill flavoured cream cheese is absolutely delightful. Together the combination is spectacular and has me craving one of these bagels every morning. I also got a take away latte which comes with a Hersheys Kisses chocolate. Double win! =) There are a variety of flavours of bagels – both sweet and savoury. Also you can get an addition of salmon added if you want as well.

16 Oliver Lane, Melbourne
Tel No: 9077 0162

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon

Twice baked French Toast with Creme Patissiere, Stewed Rhubarb and Pistachio
Twice baked French Toast with Creme Patissiere, Stewed Rhubarb and Pistachio
I went back to Three Bags Full on my way into work one morning and felt like a sweet breakkie dish – so I tried out the Twice baked French Toast with Creme Patissiere, Stewed Rhubarb and Pistachio. The dish was very fresh, tasty and filling. The combination and sweetness of the french toast with the rhubarb worked well together, and the Creme Patissiere was needed to cut some of the sweetness. The pistachios further added to the crunch of the twice baked french toast. I had a latte as well – which was nutty with tones of caramel and was overall a great coffee. I loved the look and feel of the place – especially the tea cup lights over the coffee counter.

Three Bags Full
60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford
Tel No: 9421 2732

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Roast Aubergine Salad with Beetroot, Feta & Chilli
Roast Aubergine Salad with Beetroot, Feta & Chilli

Smoked Trout Salad with Leek, Egg and Mustard Dressing
Smoked Trout Salad with Leek, Egg and Mustard Dressing

Von Haus is another Melbourne Laneway gem that has an intimate and homely vibe. The restaurant literally looks like a friends living room complete with a fireplace . There is limited seating – with a large communal table in the centre of the “living room” and tables for 2 around the rest of the space. It is cosy, warm, welcoming and rustic. You can have breakfast, lunch, nibbles and dinner here – all with an European inspiration running through them. The menu is written up on a chalkboard and can change daily. Von Haus is perfect for a quick coffee or relaxed drinks – most suitable for groups of 2 or 3 – with delicious homely food.

There was 4 of us the time we went, and we were seated at the end of the large communal table. We all ordered the salads that were on offer – I had the Roast Aubergine Salad with Beetroot, Feta and Chilli. I am usually not a fan of Aubergines however the feta and chilli combination drew me into ordering this combination. I was pleasantly surprised – the aubergine was roasted to the perfect consistency and the tangy feta and spice from the chilli together with the freshness of the greens and the dressing was delicious. The other girls enjoyed their choice of the Smoked Trout Salad with Leek, Egg and Mustard Dressing as well. Check it out for yourselves if you are after an intimate vibe with great atmosphere and great tasting food.

Von Haus
1A Crossley St, Melbourne
Tel No: 9662 2756

Von Haus on Urbanspoon


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