Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lord Of The Fries New Burgers & Menu (Chadstone)

Lord Of The Fries, one of Melbourne's best 'high end' fast food. Now that they're in Fitzroy, Chadstone, Chapel St and the city you've probably heard of them, and their menu has continued expanding. I've blogged about LOTF before, >HERE<,  where we saw their French Canadian fries (cheese and gravy) and veggie-chicken-nuggets. 
In case you didn't know, LOTF's selling point is that ALL of their food is vegetarian; the chips, burger patties, hot dogs and other snacks (and Kosher and Halal). And most of it is custom-vegan-able. But that wasn't what first attracted me, it was their amazing chips with gravy (French Canadian). LOTF is kind of 'high end' take away, with higher prices but larger servings and decent quality ingredients.  
Chicken Parma Burger - $7.27

Last week I tried the new, limited edition Chicken Parmagiana burger. All the burgers have four size options; mini, mini-double, big and big-double. I generally love chicken parma, it's one of my favourite foods in the world. The burger comes with a vegan chicken patty, vegan bacon, napoli sauce, cheese and onion.
The patty was very filling, but quite dense and oily. A suitable chicken substitute, but still not as delicious and tasty as real parma. They generously gave two slices of "grilled bacon", which tastes wicked. However the sauce, cheese and onion was barely noticeable, the sauce in particular could have been more generous. I wouldn't get this again, I'd rather try something else new there. 
Potato Cake & Chilli Poppers Munch Box -  $7.95
Also new to the LOTF menu are their Munch Boxes, a mixture of their signature fries and assorted side-snacks. The Munch Boxes are a good idea, you get to try a few different things, and the serve of chips is substantial enough to satisfy you. 
The potato cake was a let down, it was too tough and chewy, as if undercooked, and the chilli popper was lacking in flavour and kind of mushy... 
Kahuna Burger - $8.95

Today I tried the limited edition Kahuna Burger, which contains pineapple, bacon, cheese, onion, lettuce, lord's sauce, bbq sauce & patty. This sounds like everything I ever want in a burger, but egg would be nice. It was smaller than the Parma Burger, but really delicious, the bacon and pineapple particularly good! I will get this again next time!
Nuggets Munch Box - $5.95
I can assure you, these (non-meat) chicken nuggets are awesome! Tasty, deep fried, crispy; all my favourite tastes! The munch box comes with about 8 nuggets and some fries, to which we added BBQ sauce. The whole thing was great, no more need be said!

Lord Of The Fries have opened yet another store in Brunswick St, Fitzroy, with other stores in Chapel St, Elizabeth St, Flinders St, Melbourne Central and Chadstone Shopping Centre (my closest store).
For contact information and their complete menu and prices see the website: http://www.lordofthefries.com.au/

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Twelve Apostles & Great Ocean Road Tour, Victoria

Note: Blog re-opened after suspension due to privacy/security issues. Hopefully that's done with!

Have you heard of the Twelve Apostles (see Wiki >here<)? If you ever paid any attention at school you should have, for they do attract millions of visitors every year!

The Twelve Apostles are natural limestone-rock formations dotted along Victoria's Great Ocean Road drive. They once existed as part of the coast, but thousands of years of tidal erosion has worn the coast away, leaving only a few significant and marvellous formations.

As a local Victorian, I suppose it's kinda embarrassing that I haven't really seen them before. I took a road-trip up here a few years ago, but it was a rainy and miserable day - not good for tourist-hopping! So when my Mum found a deal for a commercial tour to see The Great Ocean Road we jumped on it (even my own mother who was born and raised here hadn't seen them!). I was particularly excited about the photographic opportunities it offered to the photographer within me! This blog post is really just a bit of information about the tour, and my snapshots!

It was an early start! 7AM departure, that means really early morning for a Sunday! Federation Square is a great spot for tour-pickup though, central for both tourists and locals. On our large tour coach were lots of international tourists, and us few locals.

The Twelve Apostles are one of the many sights along The Great Ocean Road drive (it's OK, before this I didn't know there was other stuff too..). Leaving from Melbourne, you soon pass through Geelong and then onto Anglesea. The seaside suburb of Lawn is where we stop for lunch.

Lunch was included in the cost of the tour, and was at a busy pub on the main street. I suppose this place has a deal with the tour company, but we were given a selection of main meals, including vegetarian options. I had chicken schnitzel; it was OK (not impressive).

After lunch it was finally time to see those most-famous APOSTLES! Today was perfect! The sun had just come out, and the coast looked amazing. A photographers dream!

These magnificent limestone structures were once part of the coast, but after years of wearing and tearing by the sea they are cast adrift. Apparently there aren't twelve any more, so it's kind of a privilege to see them at all! You can bet the landscape will look totally different by the time you bring your kids here.

We walked along the board-walks built for viewing the sight. It was beautiful, but I was most psyched that the weather had cleared up to make it a good time for photos! Us photographers are weird, we spend more time with our cameras figuring out the best ways to capture the scenery, while we miss what's around us now. What's better, long term enjoyment or short term fulfilment? (Duhh, they're both awesome!).

The Twelve Apostles aren't the only thing to see on The Great Ocean Road drive. We also had stops at the Loch Ard Gorge, Shipwreck Coast (so named for obvious reasons) and the London Bridge limestone formation which resembles a bridge (but it's no longer a bridge because it collapsed.... remember that children's song?). 

 Loch Ard Gorge - where hundreds of shipwrecks occurred

 Loch Ard Gorge

 London Bridge - The gap between the two structures used to be connected by a limestone 'bridge' (it collapsed o_o)

Seaside town of Port Campbell, our last coffee-break. Beautiful town for a holiday home (except in winter!)
It was a long day! The tour departing at  7AM and returning to the city at 9PM. I made good use of those long hours sitting on the bus by listening to podcasts of my school lectures! What a good student I am ^_^

We were taken by APT Tours, who I'd highly recommend! The APT tour office is located in Federation Square, at Russell Ct. The highlight was really the bus driver, who gave full commentary along the drive of interesting and useful information. The tour greatly outweighed my expectations, what a long and fantastic day! Now I can die happily knowing that I've seen Victoria's landmarks.  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Petaling St @ Clayton - Melbourne Food Review

Yay, time for another food review! I've missed these, which actually means I've missed going out to eat >_<
Since coming back to Melbourne I've been jonesing for Malaysian food. Weird, since I just spent three months there and was tired of eating it, then straight away miss it... Apparently I wasn't the only one though, since after my mum's first trip to Malaysia she also missed the food. So when her birthday rolled round last week, her first request was to go out to eat Malaysian food for dinner!

Actually, I don't really like eating Malaysian food here in Melbourne, for 2 reasons..
1) It's generally not very good. It's rare to find great Malaysian food here...
2) WAY overpriced. How can I pay RM30 for chicken rice, which I know I can get for RM4 in KL and it'll taste way better. 

Petaling Street Malaysian Hawker Food recently opened in Clayton, it's a cash only restaurant, which apparently also has branches in Swanston St, Box Hill, Glen Waverley and Glenferrie Rd. Petaling Street is the famous 'Chinatown' area in Kuala Lumpur. I've only been to Jalan Petaling once before, and the experience was so horrific I never want to return!

After having reviewed the menu for Petaling Street, I was excited, and being the 'Malaysian Expert' I got to choose what the group ordered (my Aussie family obviously doesn't know what anything is).

For entree we ordered Lobak, one of the favourite things I love in Malaysia. However, it turned out to be the most disappointing dish of the night. The filling tasted nothing like Lobak, just like fried mice-pork and garlic, no taste of spices or anything. Very underwhelming, don't order this...

However, it was only up from there!

Main # 1 - Deep fried whole fish with Thai style sauce. $10.80 (approximately).

A whole, small sized fish. The sauce was tasty and not too, apparentely these are a popular order. I generally prefer steamed fish to deep-fried though (which they also offered a few varieties of).

Main #2 - Mar Mite Pork Spare Ribs. $16.80

I love eating this in Malaysia, and I've never found it in Melbourne so had to try it. I didn't have high hopes, but surprisingly it was really good. In fact, it was AS GOOD AS THE BEST ONE I'VE EATIN IN MALAYSIA! Seriously! Mild, salty Marmite flavour combined with sweet sauce, on tender non-tough pork. The only difference is that these pieces didn't have too much bones, whereas in Malaysia they generally have heaps (I prefer it like this though). If I go back I'm definitely ordering this for myself!

Main #3 - Sizzling Minced Pork and Bean Curd. $15.80

This was really tasty, with minced pork and the bean curd cooked with egg, soy sauce, mushroom and onion. Very tasty and good, but too salty. Everyone liked it though.

Main #4 - Bak Kut Teh. $10.50

Ordering this is a risk, considering that Bak Kut Teh is my #1 favourite Malaysian food (so I'm a harsh critic) and I've never had one in Melbourne that wasn't disappointing (it's hard enough to find a really good one in Malaysia!). I'd prefer if it didn't have the tofu, and more pork instead... The taste? I'll put it like this... If I received this in Malaysia I would be angry... HOWEVER, it's the actually the best one I've ever tasted in Melbourne. So... if you really miss the BKT flavour it'll give you the hit, but don't expect it to be like back home...

Main # 5 - Vegetarian Curry Laksa. $9.50

One for the vegetarian members of the party, my sister said the taste was good but there was 'something missing' about it.

Main # 6 - Nasi Goreng

I didn't try it myself, but my very food-fussy friend described it as 'the best fried rice I've ever had'. So I guess it must be OK!

Dessert! Ice Kacang. $5

This was a huge ABC, we shared one amongst all of us coz we were full from dinner already. I usually don't like those 'colourful' Ais Kacang's (prefer gula melaka only), but I was pleasantly surprised. It tasted just like the ones I eat back in KL, it was freakin' nice! The only thing missing was green cendol-worms, but it definitely satisfies a 'missing-ABC-craving'!

Overall, I was really surprised how much I loved the food here, considering that I usually don't like Melbourne-Malaysian food. I don't know what the other restaurant branches were like, but I'd love to come back here to eat the Mar Mite Pork again. The service was sufficient and the food not too slow.

Petaling Street Malaysian Hawker Food (Clayton)
Shop 7/367-369 Clayton Road
Clayton (where McDonalds used to be!)
(03) 8521 3608
Open 7 Days, 11am-10pm