A Porky Christmas: Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin

With Christmas only a month and a bit away, we thought we would share one of our Christmas dinner plans with you.
We have a tradition in our household of celebrating Christmas with decadent comfort food, all washed down with plenty of wine.

This year, we have a “crackling” pork recipe that is sure to impress. 

Roasted Pork Loin with perfect crackling
Serves 6

3.06 kg Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin, rind on
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
boiling water
  1. Pour boiling hot water all over the pork.
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels.
  3. Rub and massage liberal amounts of olive oil into the skin.
  4. Sprinkle salt all over the surface of the skin.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting trivet.
  6. Roast the pork at a temperature of 220 degrees celcius for the first hour.
  7. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 185 degrees celcius and continue cooking until the pork is ready (e.g. for a further 30 minutes).
  8. Transfer the meat to a warm plate. 
  9. Remove the strings from the pork.
  10. Serve!

The pork came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect. Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this roast pork was winter comfort food at its best. Golden brown, blistered and crunchy, the pork crackling had us fighting for the last piece.

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!
Or if you would like to find other porky recipe ideas, check out our posts about Murray Valley Pork's Rindless Scotch here or Murray Valley Pork's Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast here.

Gastrology bloggers tried the Rolled Pork Loin courtesy of MVP.

Culinary Cow

Culinary Cow is a food subscription service which provides exact amounts of fresh and sustainably sourced ingredients that are delivered straight to your door.  

Growing up in Tasmania, owner and creator of Culinary Cow, Alex Cowles has always enjoyed a passion for sustainable, delicious, simple and easy food. This passion (and a relocation to Melbourne) lead to the creation of Culinary Cow, which has recently opened after roughly 18 months of blood, sweat and tears.

The service is completely a la carte, giving the customer far more variety and flexibility. All you do is select the meals you are interested in and have the ingredients and recipes delivered straight to your door.

We loved having the full culinary experience while enjoying the quirkiness and fun in creating our own meals. 
We particularly enjoyed our Pesto Stuffed Chicken Breast wrapped in Prosciutto which was very easy to make and simply delicious. The convenience of having each item perfectly portioned meant that there was no waste and it was incredibly easy to assemble.

This "no waste" benefit from the Culinary Cow service sets it apart, in line with their commitment to a long-term sustainable approach as people only order what they want and get what they need. 

Their commitment to sustainability also extends through their packaging. The guys have created a short-term cool box using ice packs and air compression bags in cardboard boxes. Where others are using polystyrene, Culinary Cow uses recyclable brown cardboard boxes.

There is also a wine pairing option with each meal. This idea is soon to be transformed into customers being able to purchase specific wines to be delivered with their recipes.   
Their long-term aim is to grow their sustainability approach to product sourcing and to start the process they have even curated their own herb garden and plan on growing that to a vegie patch and then more.

Find out more about Culinary Cow here.

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Culinary Cow.

Proper & Son

Proper & Son is the new kid on the South Melbourne market block.
Possessing an eclectic familial charm, the café boasts a contemporary fit out of wooden furnishings, ceiling suspended lighting and an open kitchen where diners are able to peer in and be fascinated by what goes on behind the scenes. The result is an inspired, modern vibe.
Proper & Son is an establishment that proudly pays homage to quality Australian produce, as is successfully reflected in its dishes. Being based in South Melbourne Market, the menu lends itself to being created using the best ingredients available from the market.
Proper & Son delivers quality Toby’s Estate coffee to the public poured by adept baristas.
Salmon and leek squeak

The salmon and leek squeak was lovely.  The smoked salmon was fresh, the leek squeak was beautifully flavoured and the egg was perfectly poached.
Lamb shoulder, freekeh

We shared a salad of lamb shoulder and freekeh which was a medley of enlivening flavours and textures.
Field mushroom, haloumi and romesco roll

The field mushroom, haloumi and romesco roll was a stand out. Sandwiched between thick slices of toasted brioche were plump beautifully roasted mushrooms, crisp salty haloumi which matched beautifully with the romesco. Abundantly flavoursome and fresh, it was a triumph.
Proper & Son has succeeded in crafting a convivial atmosphere in which to enjoy a lazy brunch. The menu is delicious and caters for all kinds of appetites while the staff are friendly and affable.

Location: 13/322-326 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9699 7057
Cuisine: Modern Australian, Healthy Food, Cafe

Click to add a blog post for Proper & Son on Zomato

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of South Melbourne Market.

The Fast & Furious PHO24

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of PHO24.
PHO24 now has its first restaurant in Melbourne which is conveniently located opposite the Southern Cross Station on the corner of Little Bourke and Spencer Street. PHO24 prepares delicious bowls of chicken, fish or beef pho express-style, using only the freshest ingredients.
A household name in Vietnam PHO24 first opened in Saigon in 2003 and now have 73 vibrant eateries across Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Cambodia and Hong Kong. 
The kitchen space incorporates a unique design of nickel-plated vats, which control evaporation, flavour and temperature – creating a consistent clear amber broth that infuses the flavours of French, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines into the dishes.
Celebrating authentic Vietnamese flavours with a contemporary twist, the menu offers traditional staples such as rice paper rolls, spring rolls, banh mi and pho.
What sets this Vietnamese eatery apart is their ability to serve fresh ‘pho on the go’ in under a minute. Unlike most pho eateries, which invite you to sit at a table before a waitress brings you a menu, PHO24 is much more interactive. 
Set up like a traditional tuckshop, with an open kitchen and a canteen-style counter, the restaurant invites customers to observe the menu being prepared in front of them. After picking up a bowl of hot noodles, customers choose their own broth before cutting their own herbs and adding some extra condiments such as lemon, hoisin sauce and chili, all served in under a minute.
Slow-cooked pulled pork steamed buns

The Slow-cooked pulled pork steamed buns were an absolute winner. The fluffy, moist and slightly sweet buns were filled with an addictive medley of julienned carrots, fresh lettuce and tender morsels of pulled pork. The pulled pork was both tender and delicious, with caramel undertones courtesy of being slow-braised in an earthy Asian braising sauce.
Traditional Vietnamese pork banh mi 

The traditional Vietnamese pork banh mi was another highlight. The crunchy bread roll was shimmered with pâté and mayonnaise and filled with generous serves of smoked paprika pork, topped with a salad of sweet pickled carrots, cucumber, coriander and fresh chilli glossed in a hoi sin glaze. It was both fresh and very tasty.
Poached chicken pho

We enjoyed PHO24’s chicken Pho. Possessing a heartier and richer flavour than the traditional pho broth, the pho was an absolute delight.
With the aim of being the fastest and tastiest pho restaurant in the west, PHO24 incorporates the sous-vide process, ensuring its meats are moist, tender and consistently delicious day-to-day.
PHO24 has already carved a niche in a competitive market, having taken Melbourne’s culinary scene by storm and since January. Perfect for local workers, city dwellers, tourists and sports or music fans en route to Etihad Stadium, PHO24 is redefining how we eat Vietnam’s national dish.

Location: 656 Little Bourke St At Spencer Melbourne
Phone: 03 5915 9047
Cuisine: Vietnamese, Breakfast, Fast Food

Pho24 on Urbanspoon

Egg Unlimited - Little breads + catering

Gastrology were recently lucky enough to be able to cater a private function with some delicious hampers provided by Egg Unlimited, delivered straight to our door.
We found the choices available on the Egg Unlimited menu innovative and modern, with options suitable for a wide range of events from corporate lunches to high teas. We elected to sample 2 Wellbeing Hampers, an Against the Grain Hamper and a Bagel & Friend Hamper. 
Clearly made with love, each hamper was packaged securely sealing in their delicious contents and making the hampers very convenient – we simply removed the lids and served. 
Wellbeing 1 Hamper 
(Crispy skinned Atlantic salmon (6), Blanched broccolini tossed with sweet raisins and almonds (V) (12), Green zucchini and fresh mint omelette souffle (V) (6), Char grilled free range chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, coriander, olive oil, bay leaf and freshly cracked pepper (8), Two tubs of chef’s seasonal salads along with cucumber yoghurt (to serve) (V), House baked rolls to complement)

This hamper was an absolute stunner and our favourite hamper from the evening. The quality of the salmon was exemplary. The skin was perfectly seared to be very crisp while the flesh was delicate and moist. We loved how it was cooked simply, allowing the natural subtle sweetness of the salmon to be enjoyed. The blanched broccolini was fresh and we loved the addition of sweet raisin which complemented the dish as well as the almonds which added texture. The char grilled chicken was cooked to perfection and seasoned beautifully. 
Wellbeing 2 Hamper (Morrocan Lamb Fillets & tahini yoghurt sauce, Sugar & snow pea salad (GF,V), Calamari marinated in chilli ,garlic & coriander (GF), Freekah grain with sweet potato, leek, shanklish & maple (V), Omelette soufflé of sweet corn, chili and baby chervil (GF)(V), Two tubs and chef’s seasonal salads along with cucumber, yoghurt, Bag of spelt flour rolls to complement)

Another delicious hamper, we loved the high quality pieces of lamb which were cooked perfectly to a tender and juicy pink and the calamari which was bursting with flavour. The accompanying omelette souffle and seasonal salads exhibited a marvellous freshness and were each skilfully executed. 
Against the Grain Hamper 
(Rare roast Angus beef, anchovy butter, tomato relish and baby rocket tartlets (6), Green zucchini and torn mint omelette souffle (V) (6), Fresh green asparagus spears wrapped in goats curd and prosciutto (12), Prawn and Vietnamese mint rice paper rolls with lemongrass and marinated bean thread noodles (8), Char grilled free range chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, coriander, olive oil, bay leaf and cracked pepper (8)) 

A low carb hamper, this was yet another winner. The seemingly simple chicken was not only complex with layers of flavour, it was also perfectly cooked. The rare roast angus beef tartless were elegant and featured a beautiful depth of flavour - overall a skilfully executed, exceptionally flavoursome array of little bites. 
Bagel & Friend 
(Smoked salmon poppy seed bagel with crème fraiche and Lilliput capers (15), Baby pea and mint leaf torte (V) (15)) 

Continuing the trend for the evening, the Bagel & Friend hamper was delicious. The baby pea and mint tortes were creamy and decadent. We also loved the adorable little poppy seed bagels. The smoked salmon filling carried a rich depth of flavour - its subtle smokiness allowing the underlying taste of the salmon to be enjoyed. The little bagels were light and fluffy with a dense exterior - it went well with the salmon. The finishing touch of the crème fraiche and Lilliput capers, a classic accompaniment with smoked salmon, completed the bagels. 
This large selection of delicious canapés were perfect for sharing and were massive crowd pleasers. The flavour combinations were well matched and the high quality meats and fish were beautifully cooked - it was clear that these were sourced from quality producers and had been prepared with care. Egg Hampers made our function a roaring success and definitely impressed our guests. We look forward to trying their other delicious options for our future events. 

Learn more about Egg Unlimited here

What: Egg Unlimited - Boutique bakery and catering

Tadka Boom! - Indian Fusion Kitchen

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Tadka Boom!
Tadka Boom! is Melbourne’s first Indian Fusion Kitchen. Thanks to Lalitha and Ashwin Rajan's passion for high quality, healthy Indian food that is deliciously light, the dream for healthy Indian food is now a reality. Healthy. Light. Indian. Yes, these guys have cracked the code.
The ambience is modern and stylish, an extension of Tadka Boom!’s contemporary interpretation of Indian cuisine.
The menu is mouth-wateringly good and features all the flavours you know and love about Indian cuisine but without the unhealthy bits. Inspired by Mama Rajan’s home-style cooking, the food was healthy, light and fresh and features high quality ingredients to create subtle flavours.
Left: Masala Chips - Sweet potato chips coated in our Tadka salt
Right: Bombay Bites - Hand-rolled lentil & herb nuggets with coriander aioli
Brown basmati rice bowl with lentil dahl and Bombay bird (fiery six-spice chicken with mint coriander chutney)

The Bombay bird was sublime. The large nuggets of moist six-spice chicken were beautifully tender and contained the perfect amount of heat. The accompanying dahl was luxurious and full of flavour. Served on a fluffy bed of brown basmati rice, each spoonful was truly gratifying. We loved how light  the dish was compared to a regular curry.
11” Wholemeal roti wrap with Kid Kaboom! (15-hr slow-cooked lamb marinated in our special Kaboom! masala with raita yoghurt dressing) 

The Kid Kaboom! was absolutely moreish. The rich flavours were nicely mellowed out by the raita yoghurt dressing. Boasting a juicy tenderness and bountiful herbs, it was an absolute delight. The beautifully made wholemeal roti wrap was the perfect canvas for the Kaboom! masala which displayed the customary punchy flavours exhibited by Indian curries.  
Tandoori chicken salad

The tandoori chicken salad was yet another winner. The boneless pieces of chicken were tender, having been roasted to perfection. This was a rare, and welcomed, occasion where the salad contributed to the overall dish rather than just occupying space as a conventional side. In all, this dish was a beauty.  
Left: Nimbu Pani - Homemade lemon salted-sweet thirst quencher
Right: R.O.C. Tea - Raspberry, orange & cinnamon infused iced tea

We loved the house-made drinks - both recipes from Grandma Rajan. A salted-sweet lemon and mint water, and an infused fruit iced-tea, these drinks are commonly served to keep cool during the summer months in Madras.
Both the ice creams we sampled were delicious and beautifully made - rich, creamy, and amply sweet with a generous hit of spices (in the case of the Spice Cream) and pistachio and rosewater (in the case of the Pink Panther), they were the perfect spring indulgence.
Tadka Boom! delivers Indian cuisine like you have never tasted before by fusing the best of East and West. Healthy, fresh, light and full of the spices and flavours you know at an affordable price point, Tadka Boom! is a compelling proposition.

Location: 22 Goldsbrough Lane  Melbourne
Phone: 03 9600 1633
Cuisine: Indian, Salad, Fast Food

Tadka Boom! on Urbanspoon

Five Plus - The right blend

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Five Plus.
Smoothies have been an evolving trend for a couple of years now and has hit its stride in Melbourne with many operators opening multiple locations due to high demand. Five Plus is a welcomed addition to the scene, setting itself apart by offering smoothies with a difference.
The name ‘Five Plus’ refers to the five daily portions of fruit and vegetables nutritionists recommend we eat. The menu offers a variety of smoothies which focus on nutrition and maintaining a healthy body. 
The drinks strive to be nutritionally complete with benefits ranging from balanced pH and sugar levels, clearer skin, weight loss, increased mental clarity, diminished aches and pains, better sleep patterns, and better liver function. 
From left: “Sweet Heart” - Beetroot coconut water apple Banana ginger, “The Good Life” - Kale almond milk pineapple banana mint lime ice, “The Perfect Date” oats, almond, almond milk, banana, cinnamon and dates, “Peanut Butter Cup” oats, almond, almond milk, banana, house-made peanut butter and dates
One of our favourite green juices was “The Good Life”, which combines kale, almond milk, pineapple, banana, mint and lime to help boost your immune system, reduce the effects of allergies and assist with strengthening nails, hair and improving skin clarity.
We adored “The Perfect Date” and “Peanut Butter Cup” smoothies - which are the 2 great breakfast options on the menu. They each shared base ingredients of oats, almond, almond milk, banana and dates. The difference is “The Perfect Date” has aromatic cinnamon added to it while the “Peanut Butter Cup” has decadent house-made peanut butter. Both were incredibly satisfying and absolutely delicious.
The “Peanut Butter Cup” is particularly addictive. We loved the salty/sweet mixture which was just pure delight and a real treat. “The Perfect Date” on the other hand is something we could drink everyday instead of breakfast.
Vivian Lam, the founder of Five Plus, has tried and tested many combinations of fruit and vegetables to get the best balance between health benefits and great taste - and we think she’s got the Five Plus mixes just right.

Location: 265 Little Lonsdale St  Melbourne,
Link: www.fiveplussmoothie.com.au

Five Plus Smoothie on Urbanspoon

The Pantry Delicatessen Re-opens!

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of The Pantry Delicatessen.
The Pantry Delicatessen is back with a stunning new fit out and a colossal selection of delicious and healthy take-home food.
The huge range of seasonal take-home meals provides for everyone. Salads, soups, pastas, wet-dishes, roast; the list goes on! Restaurant quality food, cooked by restaurant chefs, caters to every taste.
The Pantry Delicatessen offers dozens of sweet choices. Pantry pastry chefs custom design unique treats which are only available at The Pantry Delicatessen.
The Pantry Delicatessen offers a large range of gluten-free, vegetarian and dairy-free options which makes the Delicatessen the perfect option for a healthy, hearty meal – prepared with love daily by our dedicated and talented chefs.
Recipes inspired by the world’s best chefs are adapted to the season and feature fresh and high quality ingredients.
The stunning new interior features timber-clad walls and a slick silky charcoal theme throughout; the decorative props, a mix of new and vintage were sourced from as far as the south of France.
There are many exciting food collaborations to come this year at The Pantry Delicatessen. Some will take the form of interactive food experiences with others hosting Australian food icons.
During our visit we selected a few delicious items: Sourdough from Burnham Bakery Bread, Miso Salmon with soba noodles and 2 delicious sweet treats – a cinnamon tea cake and a lemon meringue pie.

We loved the sourdough which was made using traditional techniques and baked in state-of-the-art ovens. Featuring a lovely thick crust, it was delicious when served with generous splashes of extra virgin olive oil.
The salmon and soba noodles were a healthy and delicious option. The salmon was tender and juicy and had a lovely umami flavour from the miso. The noodles were slippery and flavoured well.
The cinnamon tea cake and lemon meringue pie was absolutely lovely. The cinnamon tea cake was moist and had just the perfect level of sweetness while the lemon meringue pie struck the right chords with an expertly balanced sweetness from the meringue and tartness from the lemon.
We loved this new comfort food destination and cannot wait to return and further explore what The Pantry has to offer.

Location: 1 Church Street, Brighton
Phone: 03 9591 0393

Pantry on Urbanspoon

"Food is Medicine" by Eat Fit Food @ The Grain Store

Gastrology attended the event courtesy of Eat Fit Food.
Eat Fit Food recently launched The Health Kit winter event this July where the topic was 'Food Is Medicine".

Gastrology was privileged to attend the Melbourne seminar where we heard from inspiring thought leaders within the health industry.
Whilst we all have daily access to natural medical resources, many of us don’t completely utilise them. At the evening, we learned how to use food as medicine and prevent winter bugs rather than cure them.
We particularly loved and enjoyed hearing from Dr Claire Campbell, a Vascular and Endovascular Surgeon who took us through how many diseases are preventable through a healthy diet and lifestyle. 
She explained that the concept that food as medicine is not a fad or an alternative state of mind, and that it was simply basic science. If your body is fed with what it needs, it will endeavour to heal itself to bring it back to homeostasis. 
The other two presenters were Restaurateur and Chef Mike McEnearney who shared his latest passion, his Physic Garden and Nutritionist and Naturopath Cassie Mendoza-Jones who spoke about nourishing the body and soul through nutrition.
After the presentation, guests indulged in wholesome foods and left with plenty of inspiration as well as a take home a collection of unique and tasty goodies to share with family and friends.
Under the guidance of Chef Ingo Meissner, The Grain Store offers a memorable dining experience that focuses on fresh and local produce. It was the perfect backdrop for discussing food and its health properties while enjoying the fresh, healthy and delicious food prepared.

Images courtesy of Lani Holmberg.

The Grain Store on Urbanspoon

Winter Dinner - Murray Valley Pork Half Netted Shoulder

Gastrology bloggers tried the half netted shoulder courtesy of Murray Valley Pork.
Winter is the perfect time for decadent comfort food. With winter well and truly here, we thought we would share one of our favourite winter warming dinner recipes with you.

Roasted Half Netted Shoulder
Serves 6

2.04 kg Murray Valley Pork Half Netted Shoulder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
boiling water

  1. Pour boiling hot water all over the pork.
  2. Dry the pork with paper towels.
  3. Rub and massage liberal amounts of olive oil into the skin.
  4. Sprinkle salt all over the surface of the skin.
  5. Place the pork on a roasting trivet.
  6. Roast the pork at a temperature of 220 degrees celcius for the first hour.
  7. After an hour, reduce the temperature to 185 degrees celcius and continue cooking until the pork is ready (e.g. for a further 30 minutes).
  8. Transfer the meat to a warm plate. 
  9. Remove the strings from the pork.
  10. Serve!

The pork came out of the oven looking absolutely perfect. Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this roast pork was winter comfort food at its best. Golden brown, blistered and crunchy, the pork crackling had us fighting for the last piece.

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!

Or if you would like to find other porky recipe ideas, check out our posts about Murray Valley Pork's Rindless Scotch here; Murray Valley Pork's Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast here; or Murray Valley Pork Rolled Loin here.

Eat Fit Food - delivering healthy delicious meals daily to your home or office

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Eat Fit Food.
A typical day in the life of Eat Fit Food

Eat Fit Food introduces nutritionally balanced meals which are delivered fresh daily to individuals and corporates in both Sydney and Melbourne with plans to expand nationwide in the near future.

The leaders in creating innovative, fresh meals from scratch, Eat Fit Food’s food philosophy is simple - eat flavoursome and nourishing wholefoods.
Founded by Bianca Monley in 2002, Eat Fit Food was set up out of a passionate belief of eating well – even for people with a busy schedule! 

We enjoyed our fresh and healthy meals consisting of delicious but lean chicken breasts, low gi pancakes served with yogurt and berries, a smoothie and delicious raw cacao balls. Each free of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, additives and chemicals. 
Eat Fit Food is more than just a delivery service, also educating customers about how easy it is to improve their lives through eating healthy.

Eat Fit Food offers a variety of programs for both men and women. They are designed to reset eating behaviours, digestive function and nutrient absorption. All programs will also improve vitality, health and nutrition.
Eat Fit Food has also recently launched The Health Kit. A series of seasonal, fun, educational events we will be hosting in both Sydney and Melbourne. They are designed to bring the community together and create a wellness ripple effect. Our next event is in July and the Topic is “Food is Medicine” – stay tuned for our review of the event!
For more information, please visit their website: www.eatfitfood.com.au.

There's a new kid on the block that's MELT[ing] the hearts of pizza lovers

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of MELT.
A new concept in fast-casual dining, MELT has opened just in time for winter.
A creation of Dan and Elise Gold, MELT uses an assembly line format that lets patrons order one of the menu’s classic pizzas or create one of their own, choosing from a wide selection of fresh, artisanal toppings. 
The generously sized personal pizzas are then sent to a blazing 400 degree hot stone oven, where dedicated pizza makers ensure that the thin-crust pizzas are “super-fast baked” in a scant 120 seconds. 
MELT’s fast-casual environment is comfortably hip with architectural notes inspired by fire and foundries such as the terracotta tiles which adorn parts of the bright walls and the hot stone oven, the centrepiece of the eatery. Borosilicate glass hanging vases provide a clever accent against the comfortable wooden furnishing.
We loved how the pizzas are freshly made in every sense of the word. Each pizza starts with a perfectly proofed dough ball and is pressed into a pizza base right before your eyes.
Custom pizza: Crushed tomato base, chicken & prawns, mixed mushrooms, goats cheese, garlic oil

Made from fresh produce, each element on our custom-made pizza was delicious. The house-made dough which was made from a recipe that does not utilise any oil, fat or sugar resulted in a pizza base which was light-as-air and crisp. We loved the use of this simple base which was the perfect canvas for the, meats, vegetables and sauce.
Classic pizza: Italian sausage - Free range Italian sausage, friarielli, fresh mozzarella, crushed tomato, extra virgin olive oil

The Italian sausage pizza was picture perfect in appearance and outstanding in taste. Layers of mozzarella were teamed with juicy crushed tomatoes and mellow friarielli leaves. Encircled with a puffy crisp crust, this pizza was superb.
Meatballs - Grass fed free range beef meatballs, spicy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, oven roasted capsicum, rocket
Superfood salad - Oven roasted sweet potato, beetroot, broccoli, red quinoa, white quinoa, red rice, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almond flakes with a yoghurt and tahini dressing. 

The superfood salad was yet another highlight of our evening. We savoured every moreish morsel.
Gelato by 7 Apples

For dessert, a selection of gelato by 7 Apples are available to end your visit on a sweet note. One of Melbourne’s premium gelato stores, 7 Apples’ gelato and sorbets are made fresh daily using fresh ingredients. We loved both the salted caramel and hazelnut gelato we had. The salted caramel gelato which Elise described as “life changing” was velvety and decadently sweet while the hazelnut gelato was a well-made and refreshing classic.
Dan and Elise are on to a winner - unbelievably good pizzas, lightning fast, at affordable prices, what’s not to love?

Location: 171 Chapel Street, Windsor
Phone: 03 9533 7110
Cuisine: Pizza, Salad, Sandwiches/Subs

 7 Apples Gelato on Urbanspoon Melt Pizza on Urbanspoon

Run free and carry on @ Frolic

Frolic's new Fitzroy store

Frolic Frozen Yoghurt has just opened a new store on Brunswick Street just in time for the warm weather.
Frolic's Camberwell store

We met passionate owner Rafi who explained that only the best and freshest ingredients are sourced for both his Frolic stores.

To ensure that guests have a consistent experience whether they are in the Fitzroy store or the Hawthorn store, Rafi takes pride in having invested in the best froyo machines available and carefully calibrating them to ensure the texture and consistency the yoghurt is perfect across the venues. 
To build a Frolic Froyo creation, guests can first choose from a selection of cup sizes, and fill that cup up with any yoghurt flavour they like.
Guests can then add to their favourite froyo flavour any combination of candy, fruit, nuts, or other treats from Frolic’s do-it-yourself toppings bar.

Our favourite froyo flavours were the coconut and the original (vanilla). 
The coconut froyo is beautifully creamy and there was an ample amount of sweetness that did not overpower the twang that comes with a good frozen yogurt. The coconut flavour was beautifully light and refreshing version. 
Frolic’s original (vanilla) flavour was delightful. The sweetness and the tanginess of the yogurt was perfectly balanced. 

By far our most favourite topping at Frolic was their Halva. It was the best Halva we have ever tasted. The heavily sesame-flavoured halva had an almost creamy consistency, a vanilla after-taste and was simply a beautiful addition to Frolic’s yoghurts. 
Frolic yoghurt is a self-serve, choose-your-own-toppings froyo store with 2 locations in Melbourne. Frolic offers a multitude of delicious, traditional and original froyo flavours to suit any taste. Customised with a generous selection of do-it-yourself toppings, Frolic provides a tailored experience that can either be extremely indulgent or innocent fun, self-served in a lively atmosphere.

  Frolic Yoghurt Fitzroy on Urbanspoon Frolic Yoghurt Camberwell on Urbanspoon

Review: Rice Workshop

Location: 238 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9650 6663
Link: http://riceworkshop.com.au/
Cuisine: Japanese
Overall Impression: 8.5/10
Japanese Chef, Tomohiro Suzuki has partnered with David Loh the creative spark behind Food Republik, ShopHouse Kitchen, Dessert Story and Taiwan Café, to bring Melbourne locals fast, healthy and fresh Japanese eating – the Rice Workshop.
Diners start by choosing a base dish (rice or noodle bowl) and then have the option of adding extra "toppings" from the counter.
From left: Tempura prawn, Takoyaki, Chicken karaage

The Rice Workshop offers five fresh and flavoursome base dishes, including a range of delicious bowls. The bowl options include the Beef, the Chicken, the Salmon, the Salad bowl and the Japanese Curry bowl.
Teriyaki Chicken bowl 

Diners can then choose to add a variety of extras to their delicious combo, such as miso soup and house made sauces. A signature addition to a Rice Workshop meal is the gently poached egg over stewed beef and rice. 
Ontama Salmon bowl

Simple and elegant in Japanese style, but big on statement design and flavour, Rice Workshop features 3D tiles, cubist lighting, backlit illumination, linear lines and bladelike wall details to offer different points of view for the casual diner. 
There is a lot to love about Rice Workshop. The food is fresh and tastes sensational. And what’s more, our meal was ready within a mere 2 minutes and almost everything on the menu is under the $10 mark.
The restaurant aims to keep the food experience delicious, affordable, fast and friendly – and from what we’ve experienced, it most certainly achieves those aims.
Situated between Tattersall’s Laneway and Little Bourke Street, Rice Workshop channels the Japanese eighties version take on fast food and take out and is a must visit destination for the epicurious on a budget.

 Rice Workshop on Urbanspoon
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of Rice Workshop.

A Porky Christmas: Murray Valley Pork Rindless Scotch

After the success of cooking up Murray Valley Pork’s Cranberry & Almond Loin Roast, we decided to be a little more adventurous. 
This time, we used Murray Valley Pork’s Rindless Scotch (also known as collar butt) which is rindless and boneless. 
We had just received some good news and we were in the mood to celebrate!
To start, we made a few home-made dips and a loaf of rosemary bread.
The pièce de résistance was our slow cooked Murray Valley Pork Rindless Scotch which we served on a bed of quinoa and spinach. We tweaked a Gordon Ramsay Pork Belly recipe (which you can find here) and the results were absolutely stunning!

Here is the recipe for it:

Slow-cooked Pork with fennel recipe
Serves 6


Black pepper
3 baby fennel bulbs, trimmed and roughly sliced
4 fresh bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 tsp cardamom pods, bashed
4 star anise
1 tbsp fennel seeds
Olive oil
500ml white wine
1l chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan/slowcooker)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  1. Put the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the hob with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork and cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with pepper and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds
  2. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom. Bring to the boil, then pour in enough stock to cover the pork and allow to boil again.
  3. Transfer the contents of the tray into a slowcooker  and cook on “low” for 7 hours.
  4. Transfer the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest. 
  5. Reduce some of the liquid contents from the slowcooker to make a sauce and add the mustard. Mix in with a whisk, then taste and adjust the flavours as necessary. Strain and pour the sauce into a jug. 
  6. Serve the rested pork with the sauce alongside.
The pork was sensational. We loved the fact that is was so lean, fresh and healthy. 

Fragrant, sweet and succulent, this pork was absolutely delicious. The meat was incredibly tender and just melted in our mouths. The accompanying sauce had a lovely depth of flavour. It was perfect for celebrating a special occasion. 

Get your hands on some Murray Valley Pork -> Find your nearest stockist here!
Gastrology bloggers tried the Rindless Scotch courtesy of MVP.