KFL: Let’s eat some snacks!

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I am quite embarrassed to say that this post is year overdue but as this post took effort and money(!), I have decided that it needs to go up no matter how late! Better late than never, right?

My dear friend Irene and I are hardly ever in the same city/country at the same time, so when she visits Melbourne, we love to try out different snacks together. On this occasion, we visited the asian grocer, KFL in Doncaster East to look for some new and interesting snacks to try out! As you can see in the above photo, we got a little excited!

Custard-Cake

Custard Cream Cake (Made in Japan)

    M: I was very excited when I saw these in the freezer because I absolutely love mochi ice cream and thought it might have a similar creamy filling. Although my expectations weren’t met, I still ended up enjoying these and would eat these again without hesitation.

I: Since this came from the fridge I kind of expected it to be like mochi ice cream but with a more crumby/ cakey exterior. Instead it tasted more like someone had accidentally put one of those Lotte Custard Cream Pies into the freezer. The flavours were nice (as you would expect from something called ‘custard cake’), but nothing too exciting.

Drinks

JA Foods Mikan & Suntory Gokuri (Both Made in Japan)

I: I was a bit confused by my ‘pulpy mandarin drink’. It was definitely VERY pulpy and it didn’t taste like your usual citrus-juice-from-concentrate, but it didn’t taste much like fresh juice either.
I wasn’t too crazy about this, and would not buy again.

M: I had the pleasure of picking the grape soda which I knew I would like, because you can’t really go wrong with grape soda. It was nice, but it pretty much tasted exactly like all the other grape sodas I’ve had!

Numbing

Lays Numbing Spicy Hot Pot Chips (Made in China?)

I: YUM!! I’ve recently discovered (very belatedly as usual) the amazing flavours of Sichuan and these chips channeled these flavours quite nicely (though more garlic would always be appreciated on my end). Different, flavourful, addictive. Definitely my favourite of the lot, though I wish I had been more successful in posing with the fake mouth on the packaging.

M: I wholeheartedly agree with the above sentiments! While I wouldn’t go so far to say these were numbing, these were incredibly addictive and the only negative I’d have to say is that the packet sizing is way too small!

Mochi

Pie Cookies with Mochi (honey butter flavour) (Made in Taiwan)

M: When I saw these on the shelf, I immediately grabbed them because I hadn’t seen such a concoction before!? The cookie was quite dough-y and while it didn’t really remind me of a cookie per se, I found myself enjoying the texture of the overall cookie and ate another one shortly after.

I: So this was a bit new because it involved mochi in a chocolate chip cookie, and it tasted exactly like mochi in a chocolate chip cookie. I guess the fact that the chocolate chip cookie had to accommodate a piece of mochi in the middle meant that textually it had to be more cakey – I prefer cookies that are thin and chewy so I think in future I would probably just have a chocolate chip cookie and some mochi separately. Good novelty value though – and brownie points for thinking outside the box (or, in this case, inside the cookie)!

Orion Baked Potato Snacks (Made in Korea)

I: Potato chips, but blander. More like potato crackers? I believe these were not fried, so what you lose in taste value, maybe you gain in health points? Or so I’d like to believe, because I would probably only eat these when feeling too guilty about eating actual potato chips. I hear they are good with ketchup, though, so maybe some room for further exploration …

M: Interestingly I did not enjoy these on first bite, and as you just learnt, neither did Irene. However, since Irene kindly donated the rest of the packet to my household, I felt obligated to eat another packet the following day and although bland, its true potato taste became quite addictive the more I ate! My mum also really enjoyed these and it wasn’t too much later that I returned to KFL to purchase another box.

Milk Pudding

Milk Pudding Cake / Gyunyu Purin Cake (Made in Japan)

I: With the glossy exterior and ‘pudding’ in the name I thought these cakes would be a lot more creamy? Or soft and cottony – like a Japanese souffle cheesecake in texture. They were actually more of a sponge cake, which was tasty but not as exciting and different as I’d hoped.

M: I’m not too sure why but when I saw these, they reminded me of Tokyo Banana. Unfortunately they did not taste nearly as nice as Tokyo Banana, but more reminded me of an Asian Twinkie. I also thought they would be creamy, but alas, a cute sponge cake it was!

Gummy

Konnyaku Jelly Grapes (Made in Japan)

I: THESE WERE WEIRD. They were oddly shaped and when I squeezed the package I had the impression that they had melted into liquid jelly blobs. When I opened one of the individually-wrapped packs I discovered that they were in fact solid with the shape of liquid jelly blobs, which was a bit weird. They also tasted a bit weird, which was disappointing because I usually love grape jellies! Maybe their extra collagen content caused this flavour dysfunction, but in future I will forgo the potential beauty effects and buy proper tasting grape jellies.

M: These were definitely different from the grape jellies that I am used to, and I am unsure whether if it was the hot day but I had to squeeze these out of the packet directly in to my mouth because they were so sticky to handle! I wouldn’t go as far as to say they were horrible, because I ended up eating the remaining jellies in the packet (common occurrence in this post??) but I wouldn’t bother purchasing these again.

As I come to the end of this post, it seems that Irene is a lot more picky about her snacks than I am, and that I became the one to eat the unwanted leftovers!

What’s the weirdest snack you’ve ever had?

Mouriya Kobe Beef Dining

Hello true believers, Ash here to faceroll my keyboard until a blog post coalesces

One meal we had in Japan deserves special attention, more so than the rest. The place in question is called Mouriya, and being situated in the heart of Kobe, it was only fitting that they specialised in Kobe beef. Having already dabbled in the stuff in a couple other places and being aware that it is beyond scarce outside of the Nihons, we (mainly me) wanted to experience the absolute best of this delicacy, and in light of it being our last supper in Japan, we decided to go fancy.

神戸牛フィレステーキコース (Kobe Beef Fillet Steak Course)

Mouriya opened up their first location in 1885, and their longstanding success serves as a testament to the fact that are one of the most famous and well-regarded Kobe Beef restaurants.

  Other than the striking stained glass windows, another pleasant facet at the outset was the personal table service we got from the chef.  When choosing drinks he cheerily informed us that due to ongoing Whisky Festival celebrations, all their scotches were discounted and seeing as how we were already spending a pretty penny, decided to hit up the fancy stuff: Macallan.

前菜(Hors d’oeuvre): duck liver pate

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サラダ (Salad): Roast Kobe Beef Salad

スープ (Soup): French onion soup

 It soon became apparent that the cuisine was largely French-inspired,  and prepared with top Japanese produce. For hors d’oeuvre, we had some tantalising duck liver pate. Following that, we had some tasty roast Kobe beef salad and French onion soup, using what we were informed are the best Japanese sweet onions – which may sound a bit like hyperbole, but I can say it was some damn good soup.

フィレステーキ: Ashley: 150g of A5 Kobe Beef Filet Tenderloin Steak | Melody: 80g of A5 Kobe Beef  Filet Tenderloin Steak

Finally, ladies & gentleman, what you’ve all been waiting for, the main course: Kobe Beef Filet Tenderloin cooked medium-rare on sizzling hot plates. Other than it’s succulence and being super delicious, the fact that it’s A5 tenderloin says it all: SO GOOOOD.

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 I cannot praise this place enough. Seriously, the food and not to mention the service was some of the best I’ve ever had – if you plan to take a trip to the land of the rising sun soon and have even a passing interest in beef, make sure to pen Mouriya into your itinerary. While it may break the bank, you won’t regret your newly broken bank one bit.

Me and Mr Kobe Beef Grill Man

 Mouriya Kobe Beef Dining
http://www.mouriya.co.jp
Kakuten Bldg. 2F, 1-9-10 Kita Nagasa Dohri,
Chuo-ku Kobe-shi, 650-0012

Easey’s

Sup it’s Ash again to regale you with some Easey readin’ (and Mel too with her text in pink!!!) 

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Easey’s is the place where you can take it easy with an Easey Cheesy and a frothy or four, and that’s the Easey’s motto…
or at least in my mind it is…

Chowing down on some iconic Melbourne foods – burgs, dimmies and potato cakes – could not be done anywhere more appropriate than on that which Melbournians have our most emotional relationship with, our public transport system. Specifically in this case decommissioned train carriages that were inexplicably hoisted up onto a rooftop.

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The concept of the place is that the building is about 5 stories high and each floor offers something different. The ground is a bar with some retro gaems with a wholefoods place out back, the second floor is a pop-up fashion store which was yet to open when we went and the remaining floors are the Easey’s kitchen, the rooftop beer garden and the crown jewel, the train carriages. The linchpin of this mish-mash is that you can eat/drink errythang on erry floor. So if the train carriages are full you’re in luck, you can eat a burger  with a vegetarian friend at the whole foods place and watch them salivate.

We were pleasantly surprised when the elevator from the ground took us straight up onto a train carriage. There’s nothing like overlooking Melbourne from original train seats while smashing some  of our most cherished takeaway foods (except these are much better than what you had as a kid and don’t cost too much more). Follow that up with something  with a bit more of a twist – sexy old school milkshake flavored donuts – and  the resulting culinary experience is sublime.

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Unfortunately, the first time we went was on a Saturday causing a few unexpected problems.

We had booked for a train carriage at 2pm, but due to traffic etc, we were a bout 10 minutes late. Due to their extreme popularity, it seemed that our table was given away. We were told to sit outside, meaning a few outdoor tables between carriages (which was actually pretty sweet, if it wasn’t so cold that day!) until a table freed up. Waited approx 15 mins. 

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The above image is actually their ‘old menu’ now, as after being open for a week, Easey’s listened to some customer feedback and changed up their menu quite some bit. You can check it out here. Not gonna lie, I am slightly disappointed that the Easey Cheese now comes with salad and is therefore an additional $2, but oh well.

If people want salad in their burgers, they’ve now got it.

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We were all very disappointed to find out that their potato cakes and dim sims were both sold out by the time we were ready to make our order. But really, that just meant that Ash and I were going to have to make a second visit…which we actually did, about 4 days later on a Wednesday afternoon. 

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First Visit (Saturday): Easey Cheesey with added 2x bacon, beef patty and cheese ($16)

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Second Visit (Wednesday): Easey Cheesey with added 2x bacon, beef patty and cheese ($16)

While one can get lost in the surreal venue, we have to remember the endeavor in question, the endeavor of burg ingurgitation that is. The outside is a secret recipe potato bun which served as a tasty but perhaps less overbearing substitute for a brioche.  Nestled inside is SOFTNESS. EVERYTHING JUST MELTS IN YOUR MOUTH. Except the bacon, the bacon was crispy like well CRISPY BACON (sorry my metaphors are failing me). Anyway it’s a definitive burger and one that undoubtedly should be at the top of everyone’s ‘to try’ list.

You can wash down all that rocket sauce with Melbourne Bitter on tap (!!), which perhaps not the most distinguished beer is one closely entwined with the heart of this establishment, Jimmy. Melbourne Bitters throughout its unremarkable history has never been on tap.  That all changed conveniently just in time for its most vocal proponent, Jimmy, to serve it at the grand opening of his restaurant.

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First Visit (Saturday): Easey Cheesey with added bacon and jalapenos ($10)

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Second Visit (Wednesday): Easey Cheesy with added bacon and jalapenos ($10)

While I’m quite the burger fan by now, I still sometimes struggle to eat a burger due to size and/or taste. My burger at Easey’s was in fact very easy to eat. The size was perfect for me and the overall taste was so good that I don’t think I put it down once. As a spice lover, I did experiment with the two available Changz hot sauce and can confirm that they’re both good. I personally actually really liked the addition of the Changz Red Habanero to my burger!

Interesting to note, despite the burgs looking diff the second time around, they were just as delicious.

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The milkshake doughnut was hot and crunchy on the outside, reminiscent of a good jam doughnut, and perfectly gooey and sweet on the inside. Despite asking the waitress about the Blue Heaven doughnuts that were advertised on their Facebook page, we were served their oddly green coloured ones. After posting about it on my instagram, it turns out they were Lime flavoured which were still perfectly delicious. 

I knew that the Blue Heaven ones would be A M A Z I N G if these were already so good. 

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YES, THESE ARE “BLUE” HEAVEN DOUGHNUTS

On our second go around, we were promised Blue Heaven doughnuts BUT IMAGINE OUR DISPLEASURE WHEN WE WERE SERVED GREEN DOUGHNUTS AGAIN. So anyway we complained straight away about this ginormous problem, only to be reassured by someone with a certain managerial aura that they were indeed blue heaven, but joked that his cook had gone color-blind (who knows maybe it wasn’t a joke, looks pretty green to me). His words did not lead me astray and I enjoyed the best doughnut like eva, a green-colored-but-blue-heaven-flavored doughnut.

Being the sweet tooth in the relationship, I was incredibly pleased with these. 
I was correct – I liked the Lime flavoured ones, but I LOVED the Blue Heaven doughnuts. I have never enjoyed a doughnut more! They were so delicious that I decided to order another two for takeaway (Ash stole on tho :( )

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On our second visit, we managed to order the potato cakes. I have never had a beer-battered let alone a Melbourne Bitter battered Potato cake. The verdict? Like a normal potato cake BUT BETTER.

The golden batter was delightfully crunchy and it was def one of the best I’ve had.

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On a funny note, when we took the elevator down, we had an extra person try to join us but the elevator beeped stating we had exceeded the maximum KG…..which was 400kg. What even. All those burgers couldn’t have surely made six people total to 400kg, could it?? Either way, the sixth person stepped out and the elevator worked again haha. 

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Easeys are open for the long hours and proudly serve burgs for brekky, lunch and din. They also have an interesting brekky item of deep fried frostie (dat cereal) chicken & deep fried poptarts. As I’m not a morning person I’m afraid I won’t get to try them anytime soon. But then I think of those delectable burgs again and that regret becomes a distant memory. Easey’s is departing platform 1 now and this is one train you really don’t want to miss.

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@ENCEPHLON