Wednesday, August 15, 2007

New Experiences

After finding ourselves in the city after a lesson at CAE at 9.30 on Monday night, we were starving and frankly, the thought of food was the only thing keeping us from not going home due to exhaustion of busy-ness. C thought of Supper Inn, which excited me beyond belief. Supper Inn holds a bit of nostalgia for me, as it was the place where my parents took me the night before I was due to start orientation at uni a while ago. Also, in my two-and-half years in Melbourne, I had heard lots about the famed congee (or rice porridge) and I was itching to try it. At that point though, probably anything hot put in front of me would have been OK by me. Nonetheless, we trekked to Chinatown and up the rickety stairs, and after a 2 minute wait, we sat and ordered. C ordered a thousand-century egg and pork congee, whereas I went with the less conventional, but more appetizing (to me, at least) roast duck congee, as well as some fried dough sticks to go with it. Mmmm. The congee was flavourful even on its own, without any smidgen of MSG (or perhaps they just cooked it so well that I didn't taste it). The duck was delicious, tender and slim with barely any fat. The chinese donut, sliced into little bits, dunked into the congee was just the icing on top of the cake. Speaking of cake, we didn't have any cake, but we did have banana fritters with vanilla ice cream covered with some type of heavy syrup. I loved every bit about that meal, including the fact that it was mostly conducted in Cantonese, there were a large number of Caucasians there appreciating the authenticity of the food, and also I'd been waiting to eat this meal for a few years now. Though the congee was a little pricy ($6 each), the meal worked out to $10 for each of us, so we were pretty happy with it. Perusing the menu, C commented that a proper meal with dishes a la carte would probably have worked out to way more expensive. However, it was still delicious and I pronounce it one of the Best Meal Ever, the first of its kind here at The Secret Foodie. In fact, just thinking about it is making me hungry....

As for tonight, on the pretense of 'research', I trekked to the Moroccan Soup Bar accompanied with T, C and a bunch of other girls. We arrived at 6.20 to be told that they were all booked out (we forgot to book ahead of time), but if we could eat fast, we could have the tables that were reserved for 7.30 onwards. So we plonked down, and little glasses of sweet mint tea were handed to us as we waited for the rest of our group to turn up. I, of course, had heard all about this place for a long, long time and had, again, been meaning to try it out. We all decided to go for the $17.50 banquet, and platters of pita bread and dips were brought out to us. The hommus was a particular winner in my books, and other parts of the entree platter included marinated carrots, potatoes and olives, broccoli dip, tzatziki. As soon as we had wiped the last bit of hommus off the plate, more plates laden with beautiful looking food came out and were put in front of us. We had spicy vegetable stews with couscous, roasted eggplant, lentil stew with rice, a potato dish with rice, the famed chickpea bake and homemade dolmades. The meal became a bit of a blur, as everyone tried to juggle spooning food into their bowls, passing all the dishes around and trying to eat at the same time. Everyone loved the chickpea bake, whereas I, though enjoyable, had concluded that perhaps I just am not necessarily that partial to chickpeas. I don't know. It was still really very good though, and I loved the not-so-crispy-yet-not-soggy bits of baked pita bread in the dish. I particularly liked the spicy veggie stews with couscous. My utmost favourite part, though, was the cardamom sweetened coffee and the sweets that came at the end. We had a slice with pistachios, which was very nice. There was also a cream puff that looked rather like a spring roll which I didn't try, as I was more partial to the biscuit which was crumbly on the outside and had a nice dollop of sweet paste (perhaps date?) in the middle. Delicious. At that point, the 7.30 party arrived and we thought it might be prudent to scooch off so they could have their pre-booked table. Also we were just itching to go home to drink our bottle of wines in our bags.

Supper Inn Chinese Restaurant
15 Celestial Ave

Moroccan Soup Bar
183 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North


Truffle said...

I'm so glad to see you posting again! You write fantastic reviews. I've never been to but have been meaning to visit both of these places so it was wonderful reading this.

.+ shopaholic +. said...

Mmm.. your post is making me miss Supper Inn's porridge! I haven't been there in a while, but doesn't sound like the quality of the food has gone down. Btw, I thought $6 is pretty cheap for porridge though! ..or maybe I should start finding new places to eat my porridge..