(i) Drinks with the effervescent CC at The Carlton Hotel:
The revamped Carlton Hotel like all the new melbourne bar variants on a large scale is a mix of faux edwardian/gothic/50s - 60s vintage and a bit of 70s and 80s revisionisim thrown in ... i.e. the whole "wow retro is cool" mindset which is a little passe (heroin is so ...)!! Oh and someone find me some free wall space to splash on some graffitti or pretend stencil art ... coz that will sooo up the hipster quotient.
Anyhoo, its still a nice outdoor area to imbibe and inhale ... and there was that girl in the leotard, shiny green mad hatter jacket and the 60s white boots! So maybe all this faux retro frippery is working after all!
Some pork thing
Flashy plastic outdoor area at the top
(ii) Dinner at Chuji soon after drinks at the Carlton Hotel
I love Izikayas. The more the merrier I say. There's nothing like pigging out but tricking your psyche into thinking that it has been in healthy moderation because the servings are small ... oh yeah right! (Did I mention I'm stacking it on??)
Just a small selection of what was actually consumed that night
(iii) CBA Friday night feed at Dong Que
We were inspired by a recent post by the ebullient Ms baklover of Footscray Food Blog to revisit this humble little cafe on the culinary byway which is Hopkins Street, Footscray. What I like about this place is that they don't pull any punches with their food ... none of that usual watered down for a western palate muck that masquerades as vietnamese/chinese ... and I've not been to vietnam myself, but I'm thinking that the menu here is a pretty good representation of vietnamese street food. Oh and the Bun Xiao is HUGE!!!
Goi Cuon par excellence
Excellent Dried beef and green papaya salad ... no ... seriously excellent!!!
Steamed rice paper roll with grilled pork
(iv) CBA Friday at Chef Lagenda
The owners of Chef Lagenda have terrific business acumen ... setting up shop next to the ridiculously popular Laksa King was an extremely wise decision as they can simply sit back and the overflow mops itself up ... in fact, you will find that Chef Lagenda now commands its own queue for a table. If you don't live on the eastern side of town, then these 2 flemington hot spots are the closest thing you're going to get to half decent Malaysian food. (There is of course Chomp Chomp in the city and Malaymas in Northcote.)
The food here is reasonable. I wouldn't necessarily call it mindblowing, but in many ways, beggars can't really be choosers. The only way you can experience top quality malaysian food is in situ, in the heat and bustle of a hawker centre/coffee shop/roadside stall with the longest queues!
But there was one big cross!! In our part of the world (i.e. SE Asia) when you order Hor Fun, it is a given that you are referring to Fried Hor Fun (malaysians, please feel free to correct me if this is not the case). If you wanted a soupy version of Hor Fun (i.e. Kway Teow Soup), you would then have to sprecify this accordingly. So it was to my utmost chagrin that our Hor Fun came to the table in a bowl! Sacrilege!!! And of course the waitress that we queried this with was from mainland China. But still, its pretty decent fare and worth a visit.
Dubious Hor Fun
And the Jewel in the Crown - Duck with Ginger - recommended!!!