Eat with Melody & Lynn: Random Snacks!

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It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Snack Review post… which is evident, as the above photo doesn’t accurately depict what food was actually eaten and reviewed! In this special and unorganised edition, I have Lynn guest starring to help me review some delicious snacks we found at her local Asian Grocer.

Lavabites

Unico Lava Bites: Choco Lava and Strawberry ($1 each)

Nothing attracts an Asian like a good sale. As soon as we entered the store, we were both immediately drawn to a basket of these cute boxes, advertised for $1 each.  We took one of each flavour.

Due to the price cut, neither of us really had high hopes of this cookie, but… it actually turned out okay! As expected, the filling was hardly gooey like that of a lava cake. But it did taste like a Hello Panda biscuit, so I consider it redeemed in my books. I really enjoyed the strawberry flavoured cookie, and thought it had a really nice crunch to it.  The chocolate was a little bit more average, but I believe, we still managed to finish both boxes easily.

Chips

Oishi: Ribbed Cracklings in Salt & Vinegar ($?)

This next purchase was Lynn’s choice of snack (mine was the Salted Egg ridges that we didn’t end up reviewing together). I was very excited when I saw these because I haven’t seen them around for quite a while, and so it was like a blast from the past! I love chips, and I’m a fan of salt & vinegar, so these were enjoyable enough. Funnily enough, I’m actually the opposite and not usually a fan of salt & vinegar, so this is probably the only salt & vinegar flavoured snack I have ever actively craved. 

However, they weren’t memorable? How dare you! I don’t remember too much about the flavour, but I do remember that they became a bit addictive once you kept eating them… but aren’t all chips the same??? The individual pieces tasted mostly the same as I remembered. One thing to note, though, was that the packs I used to buy were a mini version so they were way more palatable (as a whole pack) than this bigger pack we got. So even though we shared this pack, the vinegar flavour did get pretty strong and overwhelming for me by the time we finished it. 

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Xiao Mei Brown Sugar Milk Tea Ice Cream ($9.90)

Okay, so I have been seeing these ice cream everywhere online, but I was always too stingy to spend $10 for myself… but with Lynn enabling me, how could I say no? See, the thing is, a few years ago (back when the brown sugar milk tea trend hadn’t even been born), I bought a cheap box of “milk tea ice cream bars” and to say they were a disappointment would be an understatement – the pearls were soggy and the milk tea flavour was weak. So even though everyone has been raving about these brown sugar ones online, I was cautiously optimistic due to having been burnt that one time.

In short, these were delicious. I. LOVED. THEM.  The tapioca balls were still chewy and the milk tea flavoured ice cream tasted really good! It tasted exactly like the brown sugar milk tea drink, plus, it being extra cold made it taste even better. 11/10 FROM ME. The ice cream was quite melted by the time we took these photos, but it didn’t compromise the flavour (maybe it enhanced it??), so no complaints from me!

All in all, we had great fun eating these snacks whilst watching To All The Boys: PS. I Still Love You!

x

Meno Zero: Fruity Desserts!

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Earlier on in the year, Lynn and I visited Meno Zero Gelato and Dessert Bar in Doncaster East.
I had personally heard raving reviews about this place and being just down the road from where I work, I was eager to try it out so that I could investigate whether it was worth the sneaky trip down during my lunch break. I had their gelato earlier in the year with Ash so I was keen to try their pretty fruit desserts.

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They had quite a selection of desserts on display, and despite their giant Rocher calling out to me, we got the 3 fruity ones – Snow White, Chocolate Pear and Fragolina!

Having moved down from Sydney recently, I was missing KOI’s series of fruit desserts that used to be available right down the street from my house. So finding out Meno Zero had similar offerings was quite exciting!

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Fragolina – A base of pistachio sponge with strawberry cheesecake mousse and strawberry ($7.90)

The description for the Fragolina sounded just like something I would enjoy so I was quite excited to try it out. However, to my disappointment, the flavours of the cheesecake was way too strong for my liking. We both agreed that it was just too cheesy, and the pistachio base was an odd combination with the strawberry cheesecake.

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Snow White – A base of short bread with apple and salti caramel petit gateau ($7.90)

We were pleasantly surprised to find an actual apple piece inside this dessert, and while somewhat enjoyable, the top apple part had a very bitter taste which was a bit overwhelming at times. However, the caramel tart at the bottom was hands down the best thing I tasted, and dare I say, better than everything else we ordered!

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Chocolate Pear – Dark chocolate mousse, pear and vanilla sponge ($7.90)

Finally, the chocolate pear bore a strong resemblance to the one served at KOI, and although I haven’t had the opportunity to try them myself, Lynn raves about it. Unfortunately, it is with a heavy heart that we must report, it did not live up to its appearance, and to be honest, we were very disappointed. Although we both enjoyed the overall flavours of the dessert, it tasted as if it had been kept in the fridge for far too long, which always ruins a dish for me.

Alas, the similarities in Meno Zero’s and KOI’s ‘fruits’ sadly end in their suspiciously similar appearance, right down to the pear’s fruity center. The best way to describe Meno Zero’s fruit desserts, unfortunately, would be that they’re a poor man’s KOI. A very very poor man in fact.

As mentioned, their specialty is gelato, so our advice is to ignore the temptations of the pretty desserts and just go straight for the gelato. However, despite reviews saying their gelato is legit and tastes just like the ones in Italy, I can confirm that these are false reports. I visited Meno Zero to fix my gelato cravings shortly after returning from Italy, and while it was delicious, it no way compares to the ones served in Italy!

Meno Zero Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Review: White Mojo Plus+

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It is with great sadness that I must write yet another bad review about a restaurant.
The worst part about it is how good the food actually looks and the fact that there have been many others who absolutely enjoyed their time at White Mojo Plus+, Glen Waverley.

As someone who has frequented Kingsway nearly her whole life, I was quite excited when I heard that White Mojo was opening a branch up in Glenny! Finally, a trendy cafe that served good food that didn’t require me to drive 20 plus minutes to get to! Alas, such dreams were quickly shattered after my first experience here.

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I visited in late 2017 with my good friend, Lynn, who like me was excited to be WOW’d by White Mojo Plus+ (especially with multiple people having told me to go check it out after they had a positive dining experience there!)! As you can see, Lynn will share her comments in purpleas we review this tragedy together…

But before we get in to the food, the aesthetics of the place was really nice and really reminded me of a trendy, hipster cafe you would find in Fitzroy. The store took over the previous Asian grocer, Glorymart, which if you ever visited it, was actually quite a large space, so White Mojo Plus+ could definitely fit in the crowds! The space felt really under-utilised though, as the tables were all quite small and spaced quite far apart, but I guess it was great for aesthetic purposes.

We were really excited about the wide range of options they had on their menu,  so we decided to get two main dishes and one extra to share. However, the waiter who was taking our orders told us that he would recommend that we get at least five dishes as their portion sizes were “quite small”. As hungry as we were, five dishes sounded a bit much for two people… but we also didn’t want to end up with too little food, so we decided to go add an extra bowl of chips to fill us up. 

Note: Their menu and prices have changed since our visit (we didn’t get chips with our sliders for example).

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Kingsway Crab Roll – Soft shell crab, kimchi & kohlrabi slaw, pickled cucumber and chipotle mayo

Although reminiscent of a lobster roll, the choice of ingredients created an Asian-fusion flavour palette, which I am really not a huge fan of. The soft shell crab and mayo with the roll themselves were quite enjoyable, but only after I removed the slaw on top, which included seaweed salad. I understand where White Mojo Plus wanted to go with this, but it just didn’t quite appeal to me. Although I wasn’t a big fan of the slaw either, I’d probably have been more displeased had it been served without, as it would have simply looked like those $2 prawn rolls that you can get from Breadtop next door! I’m not sure if the slaw warrants the extra cost though. 

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Double Cheese Chilli Fries –  Thick cut chips, cheese sauce, chilli con carne, sour cream and shaved parmesan.

Lynn and I very clearly remember saying and pointing to the bowl of chips which was only $9.50, so you can imagine our surprise when this plate showed up! You could say that we were both too shocked to say anything at the time, but also that I was tempted by the sour cream and jalapeno. In hindsight, I am very glad that we decided to keep this as it ended up being the only thing I really enjoyed. In saying that, I have definitely had a lot tastier chilli cheese fries at other establishments!

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Bubble Gum Wagyu Slider – Bubble gum candied bacon, fried onion rings, charcoal aioli, cheddar, cornichon

In hindsight, bubble gum wagyu does sound quite crazy and I don’t know what we were expecting when we ordered it. But it was probably precisely the crazy factor that made us want to try it out! It was quite forgettable though, and hardly anything to write home about. 

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I had high hopes for the last dish when it came out, because I’m one of those weird people that like my food extra charred even though I know that eating too much of it is supposed to be bad for you! The marinade was tasty enough but the meat tasted/smelled “old”, kind of like meat with freezer-burn. To make things worse, the onion rings also smelled of “used oil”, which was really disappointing.

This was definitely a very  sad and disappointing way to end our four meals for the night. I absolutely hate that “fridge/freezer” taste, so this last meal was actually inedible for me. For a place that was so highly rated, Lynn and I were baffled at the experience we had just gone through…

We were quite glad we did not listen to the waiter’s recommendation that we ordered five dishes, because we could barely even finish the four we had – whether because of the portion sizes (which turned out to be pretty standard) or the rather underwhelming flavour, I don’t know. But given how much the meal was going to cost us, we still didn’t want to waste a single morsel of food!

Unfortunately, our plans for a ready-made lunch for the next day was ruined when the waiter said they cannot allow us to take-away any food as they did not have a takeaway food license. I would not have been quite as miffed about this, if not for the fact that we only ended up with extra food because the waiter pushed us into ordering more than we could reasonably finish in the first place!

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Whilst neither of us were 100% satisfied with the meal, we didn’t want to make a big fuss out of it so we decided to let it slide when the staff asked how our meal was. The staff, however, did not seem to be satisfied with our somewhat non-committal responses and kept pushing quite forcibly for us to elaborate, asking us for specific comments about each of the dishes we ate. Worse still, we were subjected to similar overenthusiastic questioning by two more staff members on our way out. Whilst I can appreciate their desire to improve, I thought it was a really weird way of doing so.

As new kids on the block, I was really disappointed in how this meal went.

I am unsure whether it was due to the fact that we chose to visit during dinner time, instead of brunch… but regardless, food and flavour should not be affected by the time of day.