Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge fan of Japanese curry – it’s what I always bring to dinner parties and was my favourite meal at the dormitory I lived in Tokyo in 2009. So I was pretty excited to hear that there was such a thing as the Tokyo Curry Lab. Yes, it’s touristy-overpriced, but come on, look at that curry! I went for the eggplant, tomato and mince curry, which is one of the spicier options. As we sat at the funky stools, we learned about the history of curry on the creative paper placemats – it also had good tips for curry stain-removal! The curry came out on a huge plate and whilst it didn’t fill the whole plate, I couldn’t finish all of mine. There wasn’t a huge amount of eggplant, but it was topped with grated parmesan cheese (it sounds weird, but was really tasty). There was a real kick to the sauce and I kept it separate from the rice so I could use the rice to cool down. The flavours were strong and it was definitely not a standard Japanese curry, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Tokyo Curry Lab, Tokyo Tower, 4 Chome-2-8 Shibakoen, Minato, Tokyo Japan http://tokyocurrylab.jp/
You guys know how much I love a good fruit sorbet – anything fruity and I am totally there. After a catch up dinner at Golden Drum, we decided to go for a sneaky post-dinner-Frugii-run (that’s totally a thing). Presented with the usually amazing range of flavours, I predictably went for the fruity option – in this case, raspberry sorbet. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I still consider Frugii to be some of the best value icecream in town – the portions are huge and the flavour quality is unparalleled – this visit was no exception. My large cup of raspberry sorbet was a complete delight, with each mouthful evoking the experience of biting into fresh raspberries, although without being quite as messy. The intensity of the raspberry flavour was striking, and I love the texture of the sorbets here. You know it’s a sorbet, but there’s still a creaminess that stops it from being too icy, like some kind of perfect creamy-to-icy-ratio that only they know how to achieve. As always the store was busy, but with spillover seats out in the foyer it’s reasonably easy to snag a seat and enjoy your treat!
Frugii Dessert Laboratory, 30 Lonsdale Street, Braddon ACT, http://www.frugii.com/
I’m a bit behind on the Senorita Fox bandwagon – this dish was a huge feature on instagram when Ivy & the Fox first opened and is also on the menu at Fox & Bow. We snuck in and managed to grab a table inside on a chilly weekend morning, and this time I bypassed the drinks and went straight to the good stuff. This plate ($20) is packed with toast, grilled haloumi, two poached eggs, smoked salmon and avocado. Phew – it’s tiring just writing it all out! The toast was a bit hard to cut, but the eggs were perfectly poached and oh my, that haloumi was soooo tasty! The portion of salmon was surprisingly large, and it paired well with the avocado. I particularly liked that the avo had been rolled in a mix of black and white sesame seeds, although would suggest that this be noted on the menu for those with allergies. There were also a few pepitas scattered on the plate, which added a bit of extra flavour. I wasn’t sure what exactly the sauces under the toast were, but I’m sure they did their bit in the flavour department too. Overall a filling, fresh breakfast I’ll be back for.
Fox & Box, 4 Farrer Place, Farrer ACT http://www.foxandbow.com.au/
My brother and his partner tell me that Fudd’s has the best burger in Adelaide, and on my last visit they took me there to back up the claim. We arrived fairly early on a Saturday night and the place was already packed, so we sat in the outside area (which has great heating, thankfully!). We started with a bowl of chilli cheese fries ($10) to warm us up. The chilli had a nice amount of heat without being too much, and although it was drier than I like my chilli to be, that meant the chips stayed crisp, so I think the balance is right. Yum. I chose the Cheeseburger ($10) and on the waiter’s recommendation added bacon ($2) – this was a great decision. The burger is served on a milk bun with a huge patty, mustard, ketchup, Fudd’s sauce, pickles, red onion and cheddar cheese. The beef was absolutely delicious – although it was cooked through, so could have been a shade pinker – and had a great texture. The mix of sauces worked really well together, with the Fudd’s sauce rounding out the sharp mustard and ketchup. This is the sort of burger my Dad makes at home – hearty and tasty. Best burger in Adelaide? Pretty darn close.
Fudd’s, 3/40 Sandpiper Crescent, Aberfoyle Park, SA, no webiste
A Bite to Eat is one of my favourite Canberra cafes – the eclectic vibe here is so relaxed and the food is reliably good. I took Mum for a late lunch one Saturday afternoon. I ordered the ‘Morty’, which is part of the all day breakfast menu – clay-baked meatballs in a spicy, roasted tomato sauce with a poached egg and parmesan. Yum. Unfortunately we weren’t told there was a backlog in the kitchen, and after waiting for 45 minutes we were pretty frustrated and hungry. The food took another 10 minutes to come out after that, but, to be fair, both of our meals came together. Topped with crusty toast and a sprinkling of sprouts to lighten what would have otherwise been quite a heavy dish, the serving was actually very filling, depsite looking a bit small. Three tender, perfectly-cooked meatballs were inside, well-suited to the tomato sauce, although there was less of this than I would have ideally liked. The egg was cooked through by the time it got to the table, but brought something of the breakfast vibe. Whilst this wasn’t my best experience, the quality of the food didn’t suffer despite the delay, and I would order this dish again for sure.
A Bite to Eat, 8 Eggleston Crescent, Chifley, ACT http://www.abitetoeat.net.au/
PappaRich isn’t the first place I would think of as an icecream store – roti, curries, even mango lassi, yes, but icecream? Well, the stall in the food court at the Macquarie Centre sells just that (please correct me if I’ve got this wrong and it’s old branding on the stall!), and I happened to stop by after a very successful shopping stint. Whilst there were exciting flavours – including black sesame and durian, the latter of which I have yet to try – I kept my lactose-intolerant tummy happy with a dairy-free raspberry sorbet ($4.80 for a single scoop). The serve was a reasonable size and definitely enough of a sugar-hit to reenergise me for the afternoon. The sorbet had a somewhat icy texture, and was punctuated by the little raspberry seeds that some places seem to think are necessary to prove raspberry authenticity. Personally, I could do without the seeds, and I found the flavour intense but not as compelling as, say, Scroll, which has a top-notch raspberry flavour. I’d place this as middle-of-the-range, and would be curious to see if their icecream flavours are a notch better. Note that payment is by cash only and the staff are friendly and helpful.
Papparich, food court, Macquarie Centre, Macquarie Park NSW, http://www.papparich.net.au/
Despite the odd name, Eliana Lulu lured Mum and I in with its cozy buzz on a chilly Melbourne morning. We managed to snag a table against the wall, which was perfect for people watching. We both started out with fresh orange juices, which came in giant glasses and were beautifully sweet. We also both ordered the same thing, wanting a hearty, warming breakfast – the Spanish eggs ($16.50), with poached eggs in a chorizo, jamon, pea and tomato ragout. Served in an iron pan, the portion was huge and accompanied by two slices of thick bread – perfect for dipping. The eggs were perfectly poached and oozed into the ragout. I was really impressed by the quality of the chorizo and the jamon – these were clearly high grade meats and they shone amid the simple ingredient mix. The tomato ragout was exactly what you want on a cold morning – rich and well-seasoned – the kind of dish that warms you to the bone. Neither of us talked very much as we ate – a sure sign of excellent food – and Mum deemed this her favourite meal of our whole trip! Yum, yum, and yum.
Eliana Lulu, 7-9 Centre Place, Melbourne VIC, no website