Boxing Day

Address: 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

Opening hours: 7 days a week (11 am – late)

2012-12-26-501

Mr. D and I spent our Boxing Day shopping with our friends (Goon, KS and HY) in Melbourne CBD. The first thing we do when we reached the city is to fuel up our tummies at Chin Chin, a restaurant that serves South-East Asian cuisine. This place is usually very busy and crowded with long queues, a common sight at the restaurant. However, this time we managed to walk in and obtained a table almost immediately. Thanks to the shopaholics and bargain hunters who were more than willing to forgo their lunch so that they could grab the items they want before they ran out. We, on the other hand, needed to charge up first. I couldn’t sacrifice my tummy as it is equally and possibly even more important than my shopping. 😛

After studying the menu, we decided to order the kingfish sashimi for entree. We absolutely adored this dish as not only the fish was super fresh, the combination of the sweetness of the fish, the sourness from the lime with the fragrance from the coconut and thai basil were just perfect!

2012-12-26-503Kingfish sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and thai basil.

For our main dish, we ordered several dishes to share. We had the wagyu salad and it was just average as the flavor of the beef was masked out by the strong salad dressing. Mr. D thought that it was such a great waste of the wagyu.

2012-12-26-505Crying tiger: Wagyu salad with tamarind sauce.

Everyone at the table agreed that the Asian mushrooms stir fry was awesomely divine. Mushrooms always have a special place in my heart and in my opinion, the chef did justice to the mushrooms. The addition of coriander spice paste to the dish enhanced the flavor of the mushrooms and the taste was beyond words.

2012-12-26-508Asian mushrooms stir fry with coriander spice paste. I got too excited and forgot to take a photo of the dish before digging in.

Mr. D was deeply in love with the soft shell crab. Well matched flavors of sweet and spices, perfectly balanced and nothing overwhelming.

2012-12-26-509Dry red curry of soft shell crab with snakebeans, thai basil and kaffir lime leaf.

The sticky pork was caramelized perfectly with crispy aromatic skin and tender and moist inside.

2012-12-26-511Caramelized sticky pork with sour herb salad and chilli vinegar.

For dessert, all of us decided to share the palm sugar ice cream sundae. We thought that it was alright. Mr. D and KS thought that the addition of lime syrup was unnecessary or if added should be in little quantity as too much of  the lime syrup killed the palm sugar’s flavor. Overall, our lunch at Chin Chin was splendid and memorable. We are definitely coming back for more. 🙂

2012-12-26-512Palm sugar ice cream sundae with salted honeycomb & lime syrup.

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

After shopping for 2 hours, Mr. D, Goon, and KS needed coffee to re-charge. As it was still a public holiday, most of the coffee places were closed. So, Goon suggested to have our coffee break at Dining Hall in Melbourne Central.

Address: Level 2, Dining Hall, Melbourne Central, Cnr La Trobe & Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia.

Opening hours: 7 days a week (10 am-6 pm except Fri: 10 am-9 pm & Sun:10 am-5 pm)

The coffee at Plantation was excellent, robust and smells wonderful. A good place to have a cuppa after shopping. It’s actually not surprising as it’s managed by people from Sensory Lab which is also a part of St Ali (popular coffee spot for the coffee connoisseurs). Goon told me that cold drips is their specialty. Maybe I should try the next time I’m here.

2012-12-26-516Cappucino @ Plantation.

2012-12-26-517Affogato @ Plantation.

According to KS and Goon, the cupcake shop opposite the Plantation bakes good tasting cupcakes. KS recommended that I should give Cupcake Central a go and I happily obliged. I bought the mocha nut and cookies & cream while Vinnie went for the salted caramel and Goon tried the banoffee pie. To my delight, unlike most of the ones sold in the cupcake shops, the cupcakes at Cupcake Central were not overly sweet. The cakes were moist and as for the mocha and nut flavor, it had quite a distinctive mocha flavor and paired really well with the nuts. I couldn’t say the same for the cookies & cream, I felt that the ratio of the cookie crumbs and cream was not well balanced and therefore I couldn’t taste anything except for the cream. Goon’s banoffee pie cupcake was good with strong banana flavor while KS did not enjoy his salted caramel cupcake. He felt that the cake was just average, butter cream frosting was alright but he couldn’t appreciate the salted caramel.

2012-12-26-518 Salted caramel, banoffee pie cupcake, mocha nut babycake, and cookies & cream babycake @ Cupcake Central.

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