McCormick’s Grill Mates Event.

I am in no way a vegetarian, and I love to eat fatty foods. I know that I don’t post a lot of glorious meat, but this post will more than make up for that!

I was invited by McCormick to try their new Grill Mates range, at a BBQ event held at Beer Deluxe Hawthorn, and run by Chef Eric Luhning from BBQ School.

Chef Eric used the new American BBQ Grill Mates range to teach us some amazing BBQ techniques. There are some great flavours in the Grill Mates range – including Jalapeno Cheddar and Chipotle with roasted garlic!

A selection of the Grill Mates Range.

A nicely set table.

Chef Eric, working his magic.

BBQ Action!

So much meat! It was so delicious. Cooked for hours, until it melted in your mouth. We had burgers, quesadillas, brisket, pulled pork and oh, a little bit of salad.  The Grill Mates seasonings added some tasty flavours to the meat – I loved the sweetness of the brown sugar bourbon sauce with the beef brisket.  Eric showed us how to use the seasonings and they were simple – just rub them onto the meat and set it up on the barbecue, or even rub them onto steaks and burgers and cook using a grill pan. Easy as!



Everybody grabbing a bit of everything to eat! It was hectic there for a while. :p

To finish off the meal, Chef Eric had the fantastic idea of using the seasoning in chocolate brownies. They had a spicy kick and were amazing!

Thank you to Market Maker PR and McCormick Australia for inviting me to this delicious launch. All my opinions are my own. 

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Hotel consolacion. 

I’m feeling the travel bug again but I have to stay put this year! So, I’m looking through photos from my adventures last year. Such memories. Like this one from Spain.

We went to Spain for my cousins’ wedding and they had the most beautiful ceremony in the countryside; with delicious food, gorgeous accommodation, cute dogs and wonderful people.

It was held at the Hotel Consolacion, in the area of Matarraña, about 3 hours from Barcelona. A mixture of modern and historic luxury, with ‘box’ rooms set into a rocky cliff overlooking endless mountains, and an 18th century hermitage with a restaurant. Pretty amazing.

Have a look at some of the photos I took during our stay.


A beautiful setting for the dinner reception.

Seriously the best canapes I’ve had in my life.
  

Freshly baked bread with flecks of salt and rosemary.

Amazing foie gras.

Picture perfect burger for the children. I was jealous and may have stolen a chip.

Salted cod which was melt in mouth soft and creamy.

There was a heap more food, including some amazing desserts. Breakfast the next day was fresh and delicious, and we were told that the chef had won awards. Pretty awesome.

The countryside and little towns surrounding the hotel are well worth a visit, – so full of history and character. Plus the hotel itself is amazing. It has an 18th century chapel, a pool overlooking the countryside, a library, a bar and an open kitchen which guests can walk through.

I’m so glad that my cousins tied the knot in Spain, and in somewhere so quiet and romantic, in a sleepy area which you wouldn’t expect to be so magical! I would definitely go back there.

 

xoxox

 

Karma

Top Paddock, Richmond.

I wouldn’t be a food blogger in Melbourne if I didn’t blog about TOP PADDOCK at least once!

It is a pretty cafe – and massive. It sort of shocks me that people have to queue, because there are a lot of tables. This place is Pop-u-larr.

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The interior design is stunning, and the light that comes in through those ceiling to floor windows is perfect for photography.

Case in point:

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You know the deal here: this is the Blueberry and Ricotta Hotcake ($19), which is a work of art. You have to stare at it, admiringly for a minute before you eat it. So preeettty!

It was yummy, but very rich and mega sweet. Those seeds and berries on top add freshness to a heavy dish. It is a very large serving too. Share this one! Make it dessert…break..dessert…Breassert. What ever you decide to call it, do it.

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The Gin and Lime Cured Huon Ocean Trout Fillet ($20) is a must order. It is possibly one of my favourite breakfasts of all time. The trout was amazing and when mixed with the yolks of those perfectly poached eggs, a taste sensation. I made a lot of mmmm sounds.

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Here they are, two pretty dishes, striking a pose for the foodie paparazzi.

It was a lovely breakfast and I would definitely head back to Top Paddock again. Or even try The Kettle Black, their sister cafe.

So, believe the hype! The food really is worth lining up for. : )

xoxox

Karma
Top Paddock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Frank Green and me.

I think that things that are useful and practical don’t have to be ugly – things like hair brushes, pens, razors and re-usable coffee cups can be functional AND chic.

Which is why I love my Frank Green smart cup so much. I recently met up with the folks from Frank Green to have a look at their smart cups, and I’m so glad to know that a Melbourne company is producing such well designed and environmental friendly coffee vehicles!

Also, after trying mine out at one of the many cafes that accept it, I can say that it is also easy to clean – it can GO INTO THE DISHWASHER. Seriously, I’m excited. I’m so lazy – I hate hand washing stuff.

The cups are also BPA free, and non-toxic.

A note though: these cups do not suit tea – stick to coffee with them!

However, the coolest thing about them is that you can pay for your coffee USING YOUR CUP.  Just download the Cafepay app

Different cafes offer rewards and discounts, and you can gift coffees to your friends, which is nice. : )

Great stuff Frank Green!


xoxo Karma

Disclaimer: Frank Green gave me a Smart Cup to try, and I tested it for a month.

Fukuryu ramen, CBD.

There is nothing better than a bowl of hot ramen on a cold Melbourne night.

Fukuryu ramen is up some stairs on Corrs Lane. It is loud and buzzing, and busy busy busy. However, service is mega efficient and friendly.

We were given a tracker beeper with a number on it and we chose a table towards the back.

We were thirsty! These delicious fizzy drinks came in some awesome flavours- melon, lychee and strawberry. We loved them (especially the lychee) – I remembered having them when I was younger from an Asian grocery store.

We ordered an entree of okonomi balls, which were pork belly and egg balls covered with Japanese BBQ sauce and kewpie mayo. They were good, but so rich, especially with all the sauce. Seriously struggled to finish them.

  

They do really great ramen here!  I like the serving sizes too – some ramen places serve too much – I always feel so bad leaving so much broth. I still didn’t finish my ramen here, but I got close.

We shared a traditional Tonkotsu ramen with pork bone broth and a miso ramen with a chicken and fish broth, and corn.

The Tonkotsu was so creamy and rich. It was wonderful. The egg in it was all melty and gooey and the pork was tender and melt-in mouth. Heavenly stuff! So warming too. It was super cold outside, so something to warm us up was needed!

The miso was lighter, and less rich, but by no means less delicious. Alice actually liked the lighter broth better, and I imagine a lot of people would. It had heaps of delicious vegetables too, plus that perfect egg.

I think Fukuryu is a great place to get your ramen fix! They also do soft shell crab mini burgers, fried chicken wings, and green tea parfait, so there is heaps of other things to try alongside your ramen.

I imagine it gets real busy during rush hours, so maybe try to head earlier or a bit later to avoid waiting in a queue.

xoxxo Karma

 

Fukuryu Ramen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: Zomato gave me a gift of some vouchers for being in the Top 25 in Melbourne, and this was one of them.Thank you Zomato! All my opinions are my own.

 

 

 

Old Mates Pizza and Pasta, South Melb.

Old Mates Pizza and Pasta is a small restaurant, which mainly runs as a take-away joint.


While it is small, it still has a nice dine-in space. I especially like the exposed brick wall and the metal stools.


We decided to dine in, with take-away boxes, so that we could continue eating at home if needed.

 

We ordered some drinks. They have a good selection – it isn’t just coke and sprite, which we appreciated.

The pizzas we ordered were delicious – the crust was thin and crunchy, just the way I like it.

The Kebab pizza  was awesome. It had spanish onion, cheese, lamb kebab meat and rocket plus it had a swirl of garlic sauce. Mmm. Garlic sauce.

 
The Prosciutto pizza was my favorite – It had spinach, prosciutto, bocconcini, goats cheese and fresh basil leaves. I love the way goats cheese melts. It is so creamy. The basil was genius and really, nothing beats the taste of basil, cheese and tomato. Add prosciutto and it just has to be a winner.

We also ordered some pasta. I must say, the pizza here is better than the pasta, though the pasta was still good.

We grabbed a Marinara and a Calabrese, of which the Calabrese was my favorite. It had a spicy kick to it, due to the chilli and hot salami. The Marinara needed more flavour to it- the seafood was too blended into the sauce.

Old Mates also do Nutella pizza, plus delivery – which sounds like a lethal combination!

What kind of pizza crust do you prefer? Thin and crispy or pillow-like and soft?

Old Mates Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

xoxo Karma

Disclaimer: Zomato gave me a gift of some vouchers for being in the Top 25 in Melbourne, and this was one of them.Thank you Zomato! All my opinions are my own.

Dip In Cafe, CBD.

I was recently invited to dine at Dip In Cafe by Zomato, and it was a such a cute place that I just had to blog about it.

Head down a lane way (McKillop Street) and then walk downstairs to this basement level cafe.


The wooden booths are adorable, and so are the cute vintage props placed around the cafe.



There is a gorgeous mural that spans an entire wall.

One thing I thought the cafe could work on was its lighting. It is quite dark in there, and the dark brown furniture (and floors) add to this. I like my brunch/breakfast places to be bright and light, to wake me up and give me energy. Also, the lack of light makes it hard to take photos, but here are some to give you an idea of the menu.

We ordered some drinks – a freshly made juice ($6) and an iced chocolate ($5.5)

As you may have guessed by the name of the cafe, Dip In specializes in dips (and bread bowls), so we made sure to try some!

We started off with some house made olive bread and dips – hummus and roasted eggplant. The dips tasted fresh and flavorful, but I kind of wish we had ordered different bread to go with it. The bread was nice on its own, but it was very sweet and fluffy – maybe not the best mix with the dips, texture and flavour wise.


I really felt like eating avocado, so I ordered the “Dip in the Smash” ($14.4) which was avocado served with herb infused goat feta, roasted pine nuts, lemon and chilli in a bread bowl. I added a poached egg for $2.

It was a lovely dish but I don’t think soft bread bowls are exactly my thing. I like a crunchy bread or cracker with my dips or avocado. In fact, I don’t even like fluffy white bread at all, dip or not. However, that is just my preference.

If you like soft fresh bread with avocado and cheese, then this is dish for you though!


Alice ordered the Mexican corn schnitzel ($15.9) which came with guacamole, tomato salsa, salad, chips and a tortilla. It was yum – the schnitzel was super crunchy and tasted awesome with the salsa and guac on it. I have to make corn schnitzel at home, it is a cool idea!

There are some great items on the menu, including a Shakshuka, acai bowl, burgers, salads and a “make your own” bread bowl.

I would head back to have some fresh dips with falafel and wagyu meatballs.

Thanks Zomato and Dip In for inviting me to try Dip In Cafe out!

 

Dip In Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato