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.

LynnMel

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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.

Okami Wantirna

My siblings and I are quite fond of Japanese food, and so when we heard there was a local All You Can Eat Japanese restaurant, we decided to give it a go. What a mistake this was.

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First impressions are important, so it was quite disappointing for us to be led to a table with a only 2 adult chairs and a baby high chair. To clarify, I booked for three people, never once mentioning the word ‘child’ or ‘baby’, so I was quite confused when us 3 adults were led to this table. Did they automatically assume 3 people equaled a couple with a baby? I’m not too sure. Either way, being brought to a table with incorrect seating, and then having to consequently wait an additional 5-10 minutes for them to carry a chair from downstairs (I’m not too sure why they didn’t just grab a chair from one of the spare tables upstairs?) left a bad, first impression.

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The ‘All You Can Eat’ menu was quite limited in choices, and for some odd reason, was in incredibly bad shape.

After waiting for a couple minutes longer than we would’ve liked, we finally got to order.
Absurdly, for reasons unknown to myself or my siblings, the waitress had the audacity to question us with, “TWO PLATES? IT FEEDS SIX” when we decided to order two plates of the Sushi & Sashimi Platter. Although we initially felt worried that maybe two plates was too much as the photo on the menu did look like a lot of food, we stuck with our decision to have two plates, as well as couple other dishes. However, despite this, we found it incredibly rude to have a waitress question you with such an incredulous tone, especially at an All You Can Eat restaurant.

After about 15 minutes, we received our first dishes…
two plates of Beef Capraccio and one plate of Prawn Gyoza.

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Although the Beef Cappracio was nice, they drowned it in a bit too much ponzu sauce, making it less delicious than others I have tried.

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The Prawn Gyoza tasted very similar to the frozen ones I’ve bought at the shops, and my siblings also commented that it tasted as if it had been microwaved.

The worst part of the rest of the night was the w a i t i n g game. Although we saw dishes after dishes of food coming out, the waiters always seemed to walk right past us and to other tables. After another 15 minutes (now total of 30 minutes that we’ve been waiting!), we were getting quite hungry when our plate of takoyaki and seaweed salad showed up!

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May I say, this was the most pathetic looking takoyaki I had ever seen, with it’s lack of mayonnaise and stingy amount of bonito flakes on top?! However, despite its look, the takoyaki tasted quite good (or maybe we were just hungry from all that waiting?), and we decided to order another plate. The seaweed salad was fine, nothing different than what you would get at Sushi Sushi.

While we waited, we noticed that the wait staff seemed incredibly disorganised. To paint a clear picture, we were seated near the kitchen / staircase, where all food are served from, yet somehow, the wait staff would breeze past us to the back of the restaurant with plates of food, only for them to come back to our table with one or two dishes. Watching this happen continuously really made us wonder whether the wait staff even knew the table numbers and the orders that were meant for each? This became particularly annoying when we concluded that many of the dishes we had ordered had gone to other tables instead, which would explain our long wait times whilst other tables seemed to continuously have food arriving.

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Anyway, another 10 minutes passed (40 minutes in total since our first order), and our Seafood Tempura finally shows up …cold. How disappointing. The Chicken Kaarage follows shortly, after taking a nice trip around the restaurant only to come back to our table.

And just as we were about to ask WHERE our Sushi & Sashimi Platter was, ONE PLATE decided to show up!

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I’m not too sure how this was meant to feed SIX PEOPLE, but we promptly order two more plates, fearing that it would take ANOTHER 40 minutes to arrive. Note that we originally ordered two, but only one showed up. My brother did overhear a table nearby declaring they didn’t order a plate of sushi & sashimi when the waiter went to deliver it to them, so it is very likely that it was meant for us :/

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We received our plate of Vegetable Harumaki two minutes later, and it was definitely nothing to rave about.

At this point, I noticed that many other tables were receiving their ice cream orders, so again in fear of their long wait times, we decided to order our ice creams too. It was odd, yet I guess not so surprising at such an establishment, that they limited the black sesame and green tea ice cream to one scoop per person. Definitely not All You Can Eat, hey? So after successfully waving down a wait staff, we prompt ordered 3 green tea, 2 black sesame and 2 vanilla scoops. I am unsure why but the wait staff seemed quite confused and shocked that we were able to eat more than 1 scoop per person!

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And then FINALLY, after 45 minutes of waiting, we receive our Agedashi Tofu! At least it was hot…

15 minutes after this at 9:00pm, we received our lot of ice cream scoops, all in one rounds thankfully!

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And then 10 minutes later, we finally received our final two (or not final, because that original one still never made it to us) plates of Sushi & Sashimi! It was quite odd to have sushi and sashimi post-ice cream..

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To end the night, we went downstairs to pay, only to have to wait awkwardly while some staff, who I assume didn’t know how to use the register, avoided our looks for assistance uncomfortably. During this time, another group from upstairs seemingly took advantage of this situation, as they waltzed straight out of the restaurant without paying.

Overall, we had a pretty awful experience at Okami and we vow never to return. At $29.90 per person, the prices are reasonable, but with the quality of service and food, it really begs the question on whether it was really worth saving a couple of bucks to have a cheap ‘All You Can Eat’. The obvious answer is No.

We rate Okami Wantirna a 1/10.

Okami Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato