Sunday, April 30, 2017

Mama Bear Cafe @ Flemington [Melbourne] - Warehouse Style Cafe With Exposed Brick Walls & Whimsical Graffiti Mural

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My second trip to Melbourne was nothing but a journey about brunches and coffee. The Coffee Expo was the reason why I was here which gave me the chance to explore the cafes hiding in the suburbs of Melbourne! Something which I have missed in my last visit a few years ago.

Mama Bear Cafe at Flemington is just a few minutes walk from my accommodation. Its menu is quite extensive, offering many of the locals' favourites. Most importantly, it serves great coffees to the entire neighbourhood!

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Open Beef Brisket Sandwich 3.5/5

When our Open Beef Brisket Sandwich (AUD$17.50) came, we were rather shocked by the huge serving.At the same time, it did look sinfully indulgent with the mushroom, beef, overflowing cheese sliding off the toast underneath which was way too tiny for anything. Buried in between were caramelised onion and worcestershire pickled cucumber. The brisket was really tender and the field mushroom was just as meaty. Topped with not one but two fried eggs, this is definitely enough for 2 small eaters. Less sauce would have been better though, as the dish is a little too wet and soggy.

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Sweet Corn Fritters 3.5/5

I realised that the locals has a thing for Sweet Corn Fritters (AUD$17.50) which is not so common back home. I like how the fritters were being stacked up high into a tower with a tangy avocados cream as the base and comes complete with a poached egg. The sweet corns gives a chewy texture to the fritters and the surrounding vegetables - heirloom tomatoes, ribbon of carrot & zucchini lightened up the dish.

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Acai Bowl 4.2/5

This is where I had my very first Acai Bowl (AUD$13.90)! Wow, I must say I do love every bit of it and Mama Bear does it just the say it should be done. It has the crunch from the toasted muesli and chia seeds, the mellow aroma of the coconut, the balance in taste with the combination of the acai, the tart berries and freeze-dried orange.

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Belgium Waffles 2.8/5

We also had one of their special - Belgium Waffles with ham, bacon, banana, ice cream, fresh berries dressed with honey. Again, the portion was generous. There was enough sweet and savoury component in every bite. The grilled banana was a little disappointing as it was just too shrivelled.

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Tumeric Latte 3/5

Colourful lattes is one of their signatures, with variants such as beetroots, tumeric. Tumeric Latte is quite a popular spice here, perhaps of its healing properties. It comes in a 5oz cup. Taste is slightly too mild for me.

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I love the feel of this place. Its friendly and unpretentious service, a small cafe with just about everything to provide what the community needs to get their daily fuel.

Written and photography by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.


Mama Bear Cafe
528/531 Racecourse Road
Flemington VIC 3031
Melbourne, Australia
[Map]
Tel: (03) 93760386
Facebook

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 7am  - 330pm
Sat-Sun: 8am - 330pm

Friday, April 28, 2017

UNA @ One Rochester - A Gastronomic Journey Through Spain

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Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the city is the lush greenery that surround UNA at One Rochester that is housed in a historic colonial bungalow dating back to the late 1930s and 40s. The Spanish restaurant offers South and North cuisines, marrying the characteristic of the regions for its robust and wholesome flavours.

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Gambas Al Ajilo 4.5/5 and Patatas Bravas 3.5/5

From the tapas menu, we started with the Gambas Al Ajilo ($22) and Patatas Bravas ($10). My favourite is the fresh tiger prawns are sauteed in olive oil, white wine, garlic, chilli and parsley. Love the party of flavours which is kind of complex but yet beautiful firework to the palate.

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Fideua De Calamares 4/5

The Fideua De Calamares ($20) serves in a pan, comes with squid ink Spanish noodles and crispy calamari. This is my first time having it and I find that it resembles our local Chao Ta Bee Hoon with its crispy exterior and soft interior.

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Pulpo A La Parilla Con Papas Arrugadas Y Mojo 3.8/5

Don't be overwhelmed by the lengthy name of the dish. Pulpo A La Parilla Con Papas Arrugadas Y Mojo ($32) simply means grilled octopus with potatoes and coriander sauce. From what I understand from the kitchen, the octopus came from Spain and it is slow cooked in water with onions for around 65 minutes. I enjoyed how the slightly sweet and sharp sherry vinegar sauce complemented the smokey flavour of the grilled octopus. Unfortunately the texture was a bit chewy for me.

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Coca De Higos Y Foie Con Vermouth 4.2/5

If you like foie gras, you will enjoy the Coca De Higos Y Foie Con Vermouth ($26). The foie gras is paired with grilled figs and sits on a toasted Spanish flatbread. It is then dressed in a vermouth reduction. I enjoyed how the sweetness and crispiness of the flatbread held the creaminess of foie gras together. However I thought the grilled figs was a bit strange in the pairing.

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Paella De Chorizo Y Habitas 3.5/5

A staple Spanish dish is the paella and not to be missed is the Paella De Chorizo Y Habitas ($46/$66). The rice is infused with chorizo and saffron which added an extra layer of shine to the flavoursome paella. However I thought the texture of the rice was a bit on the moist side.

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Cochinillo Asado 4.2/5

One of my favourite Spanish dishes is the Cochinillo Asado ($36). It is really hard to resist the succulent suckling pig with thin crispy skin. The plate also comes with fresh citrus salad which helps to cut the greasiness.

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Pescado A La Parilla 4.2/5

Making a stunning entry is the Pescado A La Parilla ($42). The catch of the day is slow grilled without any marination. Just some simple seasoning to enjoy the natural flavour of the fish. It comes with a bowl of fennel salad on the side too.

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Queso Fresco Calabaza Y Membrillo 4/5

For dessert, we started with the Queso Fresco Calabaza Y Membrillo ($14) which is roasted pumpkin ice cream with fresh cream cheese mousse, quince jelly and caramelized walnuts. The roasted pumpkin ice cream is kind of unique, it felt more like a savoury dish. First taste was a bit weird but it slowly grown in me as the palate started to accept the new taste.

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Churros Con Chocolate Y Cafe 4.2/5

I am not really a big fan of churro but surprisingly I finished the a whole stick of the Churros Con Chocolate Y Cafe ($14). The crispy deep fried choux pastry is dusted with cinnamon and sugar nad this goes excellent with the dark chocolate sauce nad coffee infused cream.

Noted: This is an invited tasting.


UNA
One Rochester
1 Rochester Park
Singapore 139212
Tel: +65 67730070
Facebook
Website
Nearest MRT: Buona Vista (CC Line, EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sun: 5pm - 11pm
Sun Brunch: 11am - 3pm (once a month)

Direction: 
1) Alight at Buona Vista MRT station. Take Exit B or C. Walk to Star Vista. At Rochester Drive turn left. Continue on Rochester Drive to the end of the road. Cross the road and continue on Rochester Park. Walk to destination. Journey time about 10 minutes. [Map]

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