Miss Kasumi

Miss Kasumi is a beautiful contemporary Japanese restaurant in Kew. We were excited to be invited by the restaurant to try their menu as guests, as it has some rare dishes that you don’t usually see on a typical Japanese menu.

I really loved the way it was set up inside. It had a really romantic vibe. There were cherry blossoms framing different areas, and wonderful light features such as the clouds above the sushi bar.

The staff were really welcoming and very knowledgable about the menu.

They have a great looking drinks menu, and the mocktails sounded too good not to order.

This mocktail was delicious: a mango and peach yoghurt fizz. It was fruity and refreshing.

This mocktail sounded so interesting, we just had to try it. A warm orange and elderflower drink. It tasted sweet and floral.

Now, onto the food…

Umami fries ($6) (similar to the ones at Calia, except we liked these better) These were tuffle scented and sprinkled with nori. Crunchy, addictive and a great appetiser!

We also ordered some Jidori Kaarage ($14) (Japanese fried chicken) which was succulent on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

Smoky pork belly ($6) – an indulgent crumbed piece of pork belly, served with applewood smoke, so when you lift the lid, smoke drifts out, filling the air with applewood aroma. This was a very theatrical dish, and it tasted delicious. The pork belly was richly flavoured, with layers of crunchy crumb and spiced pork fat.

I thought the branding on the chopsticks was a nice touch, it shows that thought is put into every aspect of the restaurant.

The Salmon Carpaccio ($14) was thinly sliced salmon, with a soy dressing and topped with micro greens. The salmon was fantastic quality as it literally melted in your mouth, and the dressing was not overpowering. This was one of our favourite dishes of the night.

The wild mushroom pipe ($8.50) was also a highlight. Literally umami in a pastry pipe. Biting into the light flaky pastry uncovered a fragrant mix of wild mushrooms and truffle oil.

We also enjoyed the Angus tataki ($12) which had a delicious garlic vinegar dressing, and was another melt in mouth dish. I love all the micro greens in these dishes as they add texture and a light fresh zing.

Next, the amazing head chef, Lee, came over to our table to guide us through the beautiful sushi he had created for us, and ask us how the meal had gone so far.

Sushi and sashimi moriawase ($26)
How stunning is this? 😍
The fish was super fresh and the rice a perfect temperature and texture.

This is a must order when you visit!

Yummmm. I did not dip any of these into soy sauce, as there was so much flavour there already.

Lee also suggested that we try this delicacy that is rare to find on menus in Australia. He sources it specially, and even does not make a profit on it.

He passionately explained that he wants Miss Kasumi customers to experience unique flavours, innovative dishes and know that he sources only the best ingredients.

Patagonia Toothfish ($45) seriously was AMAZING. It was grilled simply and seasoned with sea salt, which was perfect. This generous serving of fish was so rich, fatty and indulgent. It was the nicest white fish that we had ever had. Basically, if butter was a fish, this would be it.

We feel really lucky to be invited to experience such a wonderful feast from such a fantastic restaurant. There was such attention to detail, invention and flair.

We think that Miss Kasumi is a great date night restaurant, and somewhere to go to have a special night out.

Rating 4.5/5

Miss Kasumi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goodfoodgoodkarma was invited to dine as guests of Miss Kasumi. All our opinions are our own.

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Gyoza Gyoza, Emporium

Gyoza Gyoza is located on Level 1 of the Emporium shopping centre in the Melbourne CBD. There are a few restaurants in the Gyoza Gyoza family around Melbourne, all with a slightly different menu or featured cuisine. I’ve been invited to review a few of them within the CBD, and this one has been my favourite so far.

The interior design of Gyoza Gyoza is stylish, dark with warm lighting and Japanese flair. When inside, you don’t sense that you are in a shopping centre as there is minimal noise, and different lighting. The restaurant is linked to the restaurant next door, Unabara which is also part of the Gyoza Gyoza family and which specialises in Lobster dishes and fabulous desserts.

The Gyoza Gyoza menu concept is all about Japanese tapas, all of which are priced at around $6.80 each. The idea is to grab a few drinks from their extensive drinks list, which has a Japanese focus but extends to your traditional spirits and liquors, and then order some tapas to share.

We wanted to try more dishes this time rather than drinks, but drinks that we have tried and enjoyed previously were on this menu, eg. the iced matcha/houjicha floats and the honey yuzu iced tea.

We started with one of my favourite Japanese street food snacks: okonomiyaki.

This is a savoury pancake filled with veggies and topped with mayo and a Japanese style BBQ sauce. I loved the way this okonomiyaki was served, sizzling away in its little skillet. It was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and I really appreciated that it wasn’t drowning in sauce (something that I have come across at other venues).

Of course we had to order some Gyoza from Gyoza Gyoza. They have a great selection of flavours to try, this is the steamed Chicken and Lemongrass Gyoza. The dumpling dough was silky, and fillings were fragrant. Very comforting dish, and I loved it.

How pretty is this salmon tartare? It had cucumber, tobiko, red onion, yuzu miso mayo and was wrapped up in crunchy pickled radish. What a genius combination – lots of texture and fresh flavour. Creamy, crunchy and an umami hit!

This tilapia sashimi with yuzu dressing was lightly flavoured, and had a slightly chewy texture. The dressing was refreshing and slightly sweet but still zingy.

The fried rice had veggies, tomato and egg in it – a simple comforting side dish.

Of course we had to order a serve of veggies for balance – this broccolli was perfectly crispy cooked and was delicious on its own as well as when dipped into the truffle mayo which accompanied it.

This tuna takaki was quite a small dish but also very rich in flavour – the miso mustard and the meatiness of the tuna really packed a punch. This was my actually my least favourite of the dishes.

You can’t do Japanese tapas without ordering yakitori! The chicken was tender, juicy and the light glaze added some caramelisation and sweetness. I woukdn’t have minded a little bit more char on the chicken, to make it even more tasty.

Gyoza Gyoza has a seriously epic made for the Insta dessert menu, which it shares with Unabara next door.

This amazing creation is matcha soft serve with popcorn, strawberries, cream, waffle cone shards and fairy floss! It was fun taking pictures of it – I took so many that it was difficult narrowing it down to one. 😛

It actually did not taste as sweet as it looks!

The matcha soft serve could have been smoother as it was a little icy, however the bitter/sweet matcha flavour was spot on.

The strawberries were fresh and the popcorn crunchy. I could have done without the cream though.

The fairy floss was fun to eat. Who doesn’t love a fluffy balloon of spun sugar?

I would go back and try some of the other desserts on their menu. They even have an afternoon tea set with a tower of delicious insta-worthy looking sweets.

We loved our visit to Gyoza Gyoza, the food was delicious, and the only fault that we could find is that while the food delivery was perfect, the actual service from the waiters wasn’t quite in sync, and was a bit slow. We visited during the Easter break, so they may have been short on staff though!

Thanks to Gyoza Gyoza for the invitation and for the delicious meal.

Gyoza Gyoza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ghislaine and One Step Straws

Ghislaine is an artisan milk tea shop, hidden away down Causeway lane in the Melbourne CBD.

It is seriously such a beautiful little shop, with red accents, flowers and a real Parisian feel to it.

The thing I enjoy most about Ghislaine, is that you can actually taste the tea in their drinks. Many bubble tea places are overly sweet and flavoured, and don’t get me wrong, I love me some crème brulee cheese matcha with brown sugar pearl, but it is refreshing to find a tea store with the point of difference. This flows through the fact that their menu only consists of around 10 drinks, and that many of their teas are served warm, rather than on ice like you would normally find in a bubble tea shop.

I went in on a Sunday afternoon, and was greeted by lovely friendly staff, who made great suggestions. I loved the sound of their ‘prairie’ tea – which is Mongolian salty milk tea. However, knowing that I was going to take some photos for a review and Instagram, I asked for their most Instagramable tea ( yes, I’m that person), and they suggested the Ghistrawberry, which is milk tea with sweet strawberry jam. So I ordered that, and because they are so wonderful – they made a complimentary prairie tea for me to try.

The strawberry milk tea WAS SO GOOD. Every second sip or so, you get a strawberry chunk mixed with milk tea, and it was such a great combination, reminiscent of scones with strawberry jam and cream. The tea was full flavoured, and not too sweet.

The prairie tea was an experience! It tasted like smoky, salty, sweet and buttered popcorn in tea. This is a traditional Mongolian recipe that I have wanted to try – it is a butter and salt topping with milk tea. It wasn’t my ‘ cup of tea’ (sorry, but I had to do it), but I can see it being lovely with some buttered toast on the side. I’m glad I tried it though!

Ghislaine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I went into Ghislaine specifically because I saw them on One Step Straw’s instagram.

One Step is a social enterprise created by students at Melbourne University which aims to take a step towards reducing plastic wastage, by replacing plastic straws with reusable stainless steel straws! You can see their straw in the photo above. I love it because it because it is perfectly made for bubble tea. It has the pointy sharp end, and is wide to allow for pearls/other toppings.

Another great thing I love about One Step Straws is that they donate 100% of their profits to charity.

They asked me a little while back if I would be a straw ambassador, and of course, I jumped at the chance to support such a great initiative. They have given me a code for 20% off their straws to share with you all.

Their straws come in a black velvet bag, and with a straw cleaning brush as well. I pop mine in the dishwasher, and then quickly use the brush to make sure it is completely clean. I always keep one in my bag, so whenever I order a smoothie or bubble tea, it is easily accessible.

The straws are great for smoothies as well.

I use the straw for my drinks at home too, like this iced mocha.

Check out their straws here, and use this code for 20% off : Gfgkins

Let me know if you get one, and about your bubble tea recommendations in Melbourne!

CHE Vietnamese desserts

There is nothing better than a steamy hot chocolate on a cold Melbourne day. Especially when the chocolate is really great quality.

I was walking down Lonsdale street just before Easter when I saw that CHE was making hot chocolates with egg foam, using Marou chocolate.

Marou chocolate is a beautiful single origin chocolate company based in Vietnam, and their chocolate is simply divine.

So yeah, I had to try CHE’s Egg Hot Chocolate!

Che specialise in Vietnamese desserts. They are very refreshing, full of texture and different flavours. I highly recommend checking their desserts out too.

You can take away or eat inside the bright cheerful space.

The hot chocolate was AWESOME. I’m so sad that it is only an Easter special!

The chocolate was rich, the milk steamed to a creamy consistency, and the egg foam made it so indulgent.

I’m going to go back and get another one soon, and try their egg coffee as well!

Of course I had to get a dessert, and so I picked out the caramel flan, topped with vietnamese coffee and crunchy sugar crystals. It was light, creamy, sweet and lightly caramelised.
I would have liked it even more if the caramel had a deeper darker flavour, but it was still delicious.

CHE is a great place to go when you want something sweet but different.

Rating: 4/5

CHE Desserts Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A25 pizzeria

‘Pizza is sexy’ is A25 pizzeria’s slogan, and I think that is 100% true. Melted cheese and any type of bread/dough is heaven, and when you add in tomato and fresh toppings, you know you are in for a good time.

A25 has three branches in Melbourne. We visited the CBD location, which is on the cnr of Hardware lane and Lonsdale street.

The great thing about A25 is that there something on the menu for everyone. They have certified gluten free options, delicious sounding vegan pizzas and lots of great meals for vegetarians. Plus we found the friendly staff really went out of their way to find out more information about dishes, and suggest alternative options for us (I’m allergic to nuts).

When we visited, the restaurant was buzzing with the lunch time rush and the smell of melted cheese was in the air.

You can eat outside in iconic hardware lane, but as it was quite a hot day, we ate inside in the shaded restaurant, which has a modern italian vibe to it.

We cooled down with with their fabulous mocktail ($10) which was made with pineapple & strawberry nectar, blood orange juice, coconut, soda, lemon and mint. So pretty and so refreshing, it tasted like we were on the beach of a sunny mediterranean island.

Who doesn’t love a mini umbrella in their drink? 😍

Food time! We ordered a pizza and pasta to share…

The pasta was from their specials board : a pesto seafood pasta. The pesto was herby and intense, just the way pesto should be. Seafood and pesto really go well together, and it is suprising that we don’t see it on more menus around town! It was the perfect pasta dish for a hot Melbourne day.

When we were choosing which pasta to order, there was a squid ink seafood fettuccine on the menu with chilli, garlic and olive oil which sounded delicious too. We have to order that one next time we visit.

We ordered the Piennolo pizza ($24) because it was topped with imported buffalo mozzarella and I love the melty cheesy puddles that this type of cheese transforms into on pizza. The pizza was also topped with parmesan, basil and cherry tomatoes.

I think this is a must order. I love classic pizzas with quality simple toppings and that are not overloaded with every flavour under the sun. This way every part of the pizza can be tasted – the thin slighly chewy pizza base, with crispy edges, the fragrant basil, rich pops of cherry tomato and of course, that heavenly creamy buffallo cheese. Sublime.

This was a seriously delicious lunch, with wonderfully friendly service.
A great place for a family gathering,
or for a work lunch as pizzas/pastas are only $15 Monday to Friday.

We will be back A25, and thank you for the generous invitation to try your menu.

A25 Pizzeria - CBD Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: We were invited by A25 to dine as guests of the restaurant. Our words and opinions are our own.

Kardo Cafe & Eatery

Moving to the city is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (other than marrying my wife of course). There are so many wonderful things to see and do literally right around the corner from where we live. As a foodie, I love that there is a new restaurant or cafe to visit every week!

Kardo opened pretty recently on Little Collins street near Southern Cross Station. It is slightly hidden away in a arcade but they seem to already have a loyal customer base, due to their friendly service and excellent food.

The menu has a Mediterranean influence. Think kofte burgers with paprika fries, breakfast platters with a side of freshly baked simit (turkish sesame seed crusted circle), grilled salmon with ancient grain salad, fish and sumac onion sandwich and more. Seriously everything on the menu sounds fresh and delicious.

You can customise juices/smoothies or select from the drinks menu. This one is our own creation: carrot, apple, ginger, orange and a bit of lemon (aprox $6.50). They made it perfectly balanced in flavour and it was a generous serving of juice.

Turkish coffee ($4) which I should have had at the end of the meal, but I was craving caffeine like crazy, so I had it before. It was rich, smooth, chocolatey and it came with a piece of Turkish delight (and the lovely owner brought us more flavours to try because we loved it so much). Definitely order this when you visit!

Now, onto the food…

Kardo bakes turkish bagel style pastries: Simit (sesame seed crusted) and Açma (soft dough twisted with olive paste and spices). I went a bit off menu and got an olive Açma filled with roasted tomato, mushrooms, turkish cheese and mixed greens. It was AMAZING. The picture does not do it justice – the bread was soft, warm, buttery and lightly olive flavored. The cheese was slightly melted and the tomatoes were juicy. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

This dish may seem simple – grilled salmon and salad. However, when simple is done right, it is one of the best things. The salmon was grilled with lemon and was cooked superbly. The salad was zesty with lots of texture and it was not over dressed ( one of my pet peeves). Yum.

I highly recommend Kardo as a spot for wholesome delicious food. We will visit again soon to try the rest of the menu!

Kardo Cafe & Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Oakleigh Doughnut Co.

I have something to admit: I hate Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I find that they just taste like sugar and artificial flavours. ALSO, how can you choose them over the amazing doughnut-eries that Melbourne has to offer?

The Oakleigh Doughnut Co is one of these small businesses which specialise in doughnuts.

They even have their own rainbow doughnut street art.

They have a local corner store sort of vibe, your one stop shop for doughnuts and coffee. You can eat inside, sit outside in the sunshine or take away.

Check out these doughnuts. They have cake based doughnuts and yeast-risen doughnuts, plus a range of doughnuts for vegans and even some gluten-free flavours. AND THEY ARE DELICIOUS.

With the help of friendly staff, who told us all about the different flavours, we chose 6 flavours for take away. Then we took advantage of the doughnut wall for some colourful photos.

They have a great range of freshly made flavours, with many inspired by the Greek community of Oakleigh – for example, the Bakladough, and the Galakdough, which are based on the traditional Greek pastries.

From left to right ( $4.5 each) : salted caramel, Galakdough ( Greek style custard), chocolate sprinkle, rose meringue, Oreo creme and passionfruit meringue (filled with passionfruit curd).

The dough in these doughnuts was fluffy, slightly sweet and the fillings were delicious. Our faves were the fresh rich custard and the crisp pastry topping of the Galakdough and the full flavoured and creamy passionfruit curd in the passionfruit doughnut.

These would be great to bring to a party or for a special dessert. Worth a visit after a shopping trip at Chadstone ( which is what we did!)

Rating: 4.5

The Oakleigh Doughnut Co Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: We were invited as guests of The Oakleigh Doughnut Co and all opinions are our own.