VIC Cider & Pork Festival

The Cider & Pork Festival was held for the first time in 2016. Held amongst the lush vineyards of Rochford Wines in the Yarra Valley, all things cider and pig were celebrated. Following the success of the festival in Western Australia, the Cider & Pork Festival was brought to food loving Victorians. The two-day feast includes 75 international and Australia ciders and 15 different food trucks and pop-up restaurants. Smoke rises from smoking contraptions, filling the the air with an intense smoky aroma. Free tastings of cider pour endlessly – from cloudy apple to mango and pear. Event attendees also had the opportunity to attend Masterclasses with cider connoisseurs and BBQ masters. Enjoy a cold one, listening to live entertainment. Roll out the picnic blanket, bring a group of mates and enjoy a day out over the Australia Day weekend. After all, what’s more Aussie than a bbq?  Continue reading VIC Cider & Pork Festival

Paradise Road – Glen Waverley

Paradise Road is where Glen Waverley locals go for Thai. Located on Coleman street, it’s right across from the hustle and bustle of Kingsway. A dinner stop following a road-trip from Phillip island, led us to this Eastside hub. With serious smoke rising from our sunburnt skin, good Thai better be on the agenda. The menu looks promising with copious categories of stir fries, curries and seafood. Variety is always king at Asian restaurants.  Soft shell crab, tick. Pineapple fried rice, tick. Thai Milk tea pannacotta, hello! Admittedly, I have a grievous pet peeve when it comes to Thai food in Melbourne. On the whole, it’s never terrible, but I feel that dishes – particularly curries are heavily tweaked to suit Western palates. This means excessive coconut cream, making me scream for the spice and aromatics of traditional Thai. Jinda Thai in Richmond passes the test with flying colours, deviating from the overly sweet. Does Paradise Road pass the test?

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Uncommon – New Cafe Opening in Windsor

Uncommon opens in Windsor, nonchalantly adding to the clean eating movement. Whilst other ‘healthy’ brunch cafes, spurt out the superfoods and latest marketing buzz words. Chef Matt Kennedy wants you to enjoy food, without knowing that it’s activewear approved. The aesthetics of the plating and the ingredients is reminiscent of the land. One can picture River Mint growing by a flowing river, the buzz of Aussie bees against Wattleseed honey and happy campers plucking Yarra Valley strawberries. At Uncommon, the emphasis is placed on fresh Australian produce. Not dissimilar to the food, the space is lean and green. Hanging succulents and greeneries are suspended from the ceiling. The glass exterior fills the cafe with natural light.  It’s like walking into your wealthy neighbour’s greenhouse. Finally, your eyes divert to the gleaming coffee machine, the beloved source of caffeine for many Windsorians (that should be a real word).

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Scroll Ice Cream – Windsor

Scroll Ice Cream is the story of every sea changer’s dream.  The story begins with a couple of mates,  travelling to Thailand delving into the world of humble street vendors. Serendipitously, they discover the theatrics of Cold Plate Ice Cream. The Thai vendors wowing foreigners with skills that rival those of a Teppanyaki chef. The thorough tip-tap of trowels, rapidly merges the milky mixture. The resulting paste spreads over the cold plate, instantaneously freezing. Sliding the trowel underneath the thin frozen layer, creates scrolls of ice cream, worth the elbow grease. If we must get technical, the immediate freeze minimises the formation of ice crystals, creating a smoother texture. Science Yo! The boys were inspired to bring the idea home, testing their initial creations at Taste of Melbourne. It’s a hit with the public and Scroll Ice Cream has exploded in popularity. The rest is history.

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Maui Whale Watching w/ Ultimate Whale Watch

Maui whale watching is one of the best in the world. The waters off Lahaina, become concentrated with the gentle beasts. During the winter months, it becomes a whale fraternity house.  A ritualistic rendezvous ensues, with male humpbacks performing mating rituals and exhibiting antagonistic behaviour. Sounds like a night club to me?  Females travel down to mate and give birth. These majestic beasts migrate from the freezing waters of Alaska, down to tropical Hawaii each year. It’s a long way to travel for a booty call. The surrounding islands – Maui, Lanai and Molokai form a shallow basin, ideal for mating and calving. Humpbacks prefer shallow waters for warmth, the above activities and the lack of predators. Juvenile humpbacks (i.e the clueless teenagers) start arriving in November. The arrival of mature adults peaks in February. Either way it’s pretty impossible not to see whales during this time. We joined Ultimate Whale Watch for an awe inspiring trip.

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From On High – Prahran

From On High joins the rank of Southside cafes dominating Melbourne. Owner Phil and Head Chef Alex Abraham, bring a touch of Middle Eastern flair alongside a host of comfort dishes. Expect instaworthy pikelet stacks to Sucuk Sausages. The pair have arrived from the burbs to implant a new local favourite. It’s a novel spin compared to the more traditional Station Street Cafe. The cosy space is far from brunch queues, with an understated interior. The green ‘From On High’ mural – the centrepiece against a relaxing bloggers brunch. PS if you’ve ever wandered how to spot a blogger, they dine with ginormous SLR cameras, hard to hide, slightly embarrassing,  but worth the image quality for sure ;).  Continue reading From On High – Prahran

Marina Bay Sands – Singapore

The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore is an architectural marvel. Shaped as a ship perched onto three 56-storey towers, this man-made wonder opened its doors in 2010, to the gargantuan amount of $5.2 billion. At Hungrycookie, we’re generally budget travellers, saving all that hard-earned cash on extravagant experiences rather than on accommodation. What’s the point of travelling, if you spend the whole time lounging at a resort? Marina Bay Sands is a worthy exception. Having finished a gruelling internship, myself and a few buddies were ready to experience a touch of luxury. Swimming in the infinity pool, is one of those once in a lifetime experiences that’s worth every dime.

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Zumbo’s Dessert Bar at Fancy Nance

Zumbo’s dessert bar is another sweet venture from Australia’s favourite dessert king. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the whimsical Fancy Nance is transformed into an an adult fairytale. The venue is complete with DJ, cocktails, popcorn and Zumbo’s masterful desserts. The amalgamation of vibrant pop art, a perfect setting for the bursts of serotonin travelling through diners sugar yearning brains –  #iquitsugar… hells no! The friendly flamingos approve of your decision to dump the bars, to spend your evenings with deconstructed tarts and quenelles.  Diners can choose from the a-la-carte, three course ($40) or five course ($60) set menu. We visited Fancy Nance with a group of 5, sharing the three course and five course menu. Incredible value, considering the calibre of the desserts! With two sittings at 6:30 and 8:30 pm, Zumbo’s dessert bar is a dreamy sugar hit for sweet tooths.  Continue reading Zumbo’s Dessert Bar at Fancy Nance

Oakridge Wines & Why I don’t understand Hen’s nights?

Oakridge Wines is a family owned estate, surrounded by panoramic views of lush vineyards and the rolling hills of the Dandenong Ranges. Founded in 1978, the winery isn’t as old as others in the region. But like any individual approaching their 40s, the mid life crisis beckons. Instead of age inappropriate clothing or an obnoxious convertible, Oakridge Wines has revamped their menu with the appointment of head chef Matt Stone. Well known for popularising sustainable dining, with recent stints at Silo and zero waste cafe Brothl, you can expect his green thumb and love of sustainable produce to follow. Armed with sous chef, Jo Barrett, the team adapts the menu seasonally, based on the  changing face of Yarra Valley produce. With suppliers stone’s throw away from the restaurant, diners can expect the freshest produce of the region served in surprisingly generous servings.

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Jack B Nimble – Maidstone

Jack B Nimble opened late 2015, awakening the gastronomic ghost town that is Maidstone. Apart from the neighbouring Los Latinos, there isn’t much to desire when it comes to cafes.  The drearily dull street, now has a contemporary local, ideal for a relaxing brunch amongst the minimalist decor. Jack B Nimble presents itself as a considered space, with an understated interior with touches of Japanese inspiration. A dainty kimono hangs as the cafe centrepiece and light timber tables fill the cosy space. Casual and homey, it’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of brunch queues and eager bloggers standing on chairs. If you’re a West-sider who can’t be bothered driving to the surrounding CBD burbs or even to Yarraville, Jack B Nimble will ease your brunch fixation with a tasty refined menu.  Continue reading Jack B Nimble – Maidstone

Food And Travel