Smokey Eggplant and Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Squid. The eggplant was super smooth and sticky and yummy. The squid was nice and tender.
Crispy Fried Soft Shell Crab with papaya salad and prawn crackers. My first soft shell crab! I liked it! Makes you feel like a real apex predator when you’re biting right through a crab. I didn’t like the papaya salad as much as I usually like Thai papaya salad. It didn’t have very much sauce, and I’m not sure it actually had any papaya? It seemed like it was mostly made out of apple or pear.
This place has been on my To Eat list for a long time but they don’t take reservations and always have lines. We went around 6PM on Australia Day and waited about 15 minutes for a table, which is better than usual I think. They have a bar area at the back where you can start drinking while you wait.
Salmon Nori Taco (grilled salmon belly, sushi rice, spicy napa cabbage, Japanese mayo, chilli oil) and a Sanchez Does Kyoto Japanese marg (tequila, yuzu, agave)
They are most famous for this taco. And it was actually really good. The deep fried nori makes a surprisingly good taco shell. The whole thing was pretty hefty with tons of great flavour and texture. I would definitely like to have another one sometime. I love salmon so much.
Tofu Bao (beetroot bao, tempura tofu, carrot remoulade, creamy spicy sauce, picked coriander). A nice fluffy soft bao with tasty crunchy fillings.
Pork Belly Pancake (48-hour miso glazed pork belly, sesame slaw). Sorry for terrible photo. It was different than what I expected and I forgot to take a picture until after I’d already ripped it in half to share with Scott. I don’t recommend trying to share this one.
The pork belly tasted kind of like peking duck. Delicious. Too small.
Scott enjoyed it.
House Hand Roll. Can’t remember what this had in it, but it was yummy and well made.
David Chang’s Ramen Gnocchi (wagyu bolognese, ramen potato gnocchi, salted buffalo ricotta). This was the one dish we were disappointed with. It was just so boring and soft. This dish definitely need a crunch element. It was just soft gnocchi with rich bolognese that had no defining texture, covered in soft cheese. It was also overly salty.
Pumpkin Toast (white chocolate and pumpkin ganache, honeycomb, yoghurt sorbet, spiced pumpkin ice cream). I don’t know why they call this “toast”. It was more like a blondie. Every part of this dessert was delicious. It was fun to try various elements together in different combinations. i loved the ganaches especially.
Scott loves fried chicken so I thought it would be a good place for a quick birthday dinner but apparently when you turn 40 you suddenly lose your appetite. Everything was delicious but he barely ate anything. Strange.
We got tteokbokki (one of the things we fell in love with on our trip to Korea), chips, and boneless chicken (1/2 sweet chili, and 1/2 spicy).
This was way too much food for us, haha. And far too spicy. The tteokbokki was awesome and bouncy and saucy but also quite spicy, especially when your mouth was already hot from the chicken. The chips were good and the cold banchan was somewhat relieving from the spice.
I want to go back again soon and order better. I would still get tteokbokki but for the chicken I would get soy garlic sauce instead of spicy, and ask for the sauce on the side instead of slathered.
Yeah Christmas was over two months ago…. but better late than never?
Scott did a truly excellent job of making a DIY cider advent calendar for me this year. He went all over the city tracking down dry ciders that I mostly haven’t even heard of before. I was so excited to open the paper bag each morning!
Anyway for my own records I’m going to rate all of them. Note, I prefer quite dry ciders in general.
Caple Rd Cider – 9/10 – bit funky, quite dry, the can described it as “oaky, smoky with subtle notes of leather”
Zeffer Crisp Apple Cider – 7/10 – forgot to make any notes
Young Henrys Cloudy Cider – 8/10 – quite pleasant
Golden Axe Apple Cider – 8/10 – surprisingly nice? I thought it was going to be too sweet but it wasn’t
Colonial Bertie Brewing Co Cold Pressed Apple Cider – 8/10 – good
Coldstream Apple Cider – 7/10 – fine. They’re from the Yarra Valley
Blue Elephant Co Cider No 2 – 9/10 – really dry, really nice, one of my favourites now
Arquiteka Apple Cider – 8/10 – so hipster, quite dry, nice, not super strong flavour
Empire Apple Cider – 8/10 – nice, quite dry
Lost Pippin Raw Tasmanian Scrumpy 2016 – 2/10 – flat, bad taste
Barossa Cider Co Apple Cider Squashed – 8/10 – legit tastes like apple juice
Sidra Del Verano Spanish Apple Cider – 5/10 – too sweet, kinda yuck
Sassy Cidre – 7/10 – surprising! Like a traditional French cider not a hipster cider at all like the design would sugest. Funky
Fournier Poire Cidre – 7/10 – sweetish, tastes exactly like juice
Pure Blonde Crisp Apple Cider – 5/10 – reduced sugar, reduced flavour
Daylesford Cider Farmhouse Dry – 6/10 – meh. Don’t really care for still ciders
Treehouse Cider – 9/10 – one of my very favourites that’s not too hard to find
2 Brothers Little Apple Cider – 6/10 – just didn’t like the taste
The Hills Cider Apple – 8/10 – a good standard cider
Pagan Cider – 8/10 – nice
Harcourt Apple Cider – 9/10 – very tasty
Huon Farmhouse Cider – 6/10 – tasted fine, a little funky, but not really a fan of still ciders
Cidre de Fouesnant Pur Jus Manoir de Kinkiz – ?/10 – this one had a cork! It was the one on Christmas Day and I forgot to write anything down
Aspall Suffolk Draught Cider – 8/10 – nice
Fog City Cloudy Cider – 8/10 – good!
Overall very good!! A lot of 8’s and 9’s there. Lots of new ones that I will look for when I’m shopping for cider. No still ciders though please, they just taste so flat and bad. Bubbles for lyfe.
Will I ever give a cider 10/10?? I’m not sure what that would take.
PS I made Scott a comic book advent calendar which I think he also enjoyed quite a bit.
I really enjoyed last years cider advent calendar, but I didn’t want to order it again if the ciders were going to be the same. So instead Scott made me one himself! What a good egg. He put together a great mix, many of which I had never tried before.
Here are my thoughts, again mostly for my own reference.
Mercury Draught Cider – 8/10 – better than I expected, pretty normal tasting, not too sweet
Pipsqueak Apple Cider – 9/10 – dry, tart, natural taste, great
Rekorderlig Apple Cider – 1/10 – smells like nail polish remover and doesn’t taste any better, couldn’t finish
Saxton Apple Cider – 8/10 – a bit funky like French cider
Montague Cider House – can’t remember
Monteith’s Crushed Apple Cider – 7/10 – a bit sweet
5 Seeds Crisp Apple Cider – 8/10 – fine
The Cider Lab Pink Lady Apple – 6.5/10 – ok. a little sweet, a little artificial tasting
Orchard Thieves Apple Cider – can’t remember
Spring Cider Co Apple & Pomegranate – 5/10 – this is cider watered down 50% with soda water, tastes fine but gets a half score for only being half cider
Strongbow Dry – 8/10 – fine
Pressman’s Original All Australian Apple Cider – 8/10 – very apple juice-y, nice
Little Green Apple Cider – 3/10 – nooooo, fake apple flavour, sweet, like Sommersby (my least favourite cider ever)
Bonamy’s Apple Cider – 6/10 – don’t like it that much, don’t know why exactly
Willie Smith Bone Dry Apple Cider – 7/10 – dry but not sure about fermented flavour
Twisted Sister Apple Cider – can’t remember
Batlow Cloudy Cider – 8/10 – good
James Squire Orchard Crush Apple – 8/10 – tart, has chunks, I still like it
Cheeky Rascal Passionfruit Cider – 6/10 – fine I guess, a little passionfruit flavour, sweet
Sunshack Feijoa Elderflower Cider – 6/10 – i just don’t think i really like feijoa or elderflower
Dr. Pilkington’s Miracle Cider – 9/10 – light taste, refreshing AF
Renberg Apple – 7/10 – Aldi version of Rekordelig, tastes ok
Cheeky Rascal Apple Lime Mint Chilli – 6/10 – not as spicy as i hoped