Monday, November 26, 2012

Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates - Kew East- review

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” 

― Charles M. Schulz

I could inhale and consume mountains of glorious chocolate every single day and never get sick of it. NEVER. Because of my addiction I have tried every type of artisan chocolate shop out there, but it was a little store on Maling Road that finally ended my search.
I don't know what has taken me so long to write this post as Xocolatl as been my favourite chocolate shop for YEARS. It is rather rude of me not to have shared my treasure. Please forgive me.

Every month, my three beautiful best friends and I would meet there rain, hail or in blistering heat to order some hot chocolates and a few small pieces (they ordered a few, I would order an entire box, naturally).

Not only did I find my favourite individual chocolates, I also found my favourite hot chocolate - luscious, THICK, and flavoured with exotic rose and heady spices - heaven I tell you!!!

Ever since my hubby relocated his business to High St Kew East, their Kew store has since become my local haunt; I go every week to get myself a box of nine (and that's showing restraint) lovingly crafted chocolates. I have sampled every single flavour they have, but to keep it short, I shall inform you of the ones I would buy over and over again - my most beloved.

I must start with my personal number 1 - the Rose Caramel (pictured above right in the middle).

the following below are also extremely delicious - you have been warned.

  • Popcorn caramel
  • Rose, lychee and strawberry
  • Apricot Gianduja
  • Tendre Praline
  • Cardamom
  • Lavender
  • Cinnamon
  • Salted caramel
  • Coconut
  • Creme Brulee
  • Sesame
  • Lime

They change flavours regularly and have such a diverse variety,from the more common raspberry truffle or praline to the most unusual such as:
  • Goat cheese and peach
  • Elvis (peanut butter and banana, another flavour much favoured by me).
  • Basil and champagne
  • Smoked olive oil
  • Strawberry Shortbread
  • the list goes on!
Do yourself a favour and head down to their Canterbury or Kew East shop and taste heaven in a morsel.
They have their Christmas editions currently in stock with everything from Christmas Tree printed chocolates to large Santas and even Babushkas!

Xocolatl Artisan Chocolates and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lil Boy Blue - Kew - review

I might be in the dark as to what's popped up in the greater Melbourne area, but when it comes to my local hood (Boroondara) I spot a new restaurant whilst driving like an eagle spots a tasty mouse.
And it was on a trip down to Leo's in Kew that I spotted this little gem.

As soon as I got home, I googled it, checked their menu (most important) and their opening hours. And what a lucky day for me that they are pretty much open all hours, very handy when you have an irregular napper for a kid.

So off we sauntered for a 5pm dinner on a Saturday with some familia, a baby and a cucumber (baby's pacifier, or so we hoped).

Our familia had some trouble spotting the cafe whilst driving, so do keep a lookout.
The interior is lovely with some very prominent shag-like carpeting squares on the wall. Whilst I thought they complimented the decor, my 14month old had a panic attack like no other and shrieked with fear whenever she looked up at them. To avoid this I had to sit her in my lap instead of the offered high chair, luckily I was on one of their benches so I could sit her next to me when it came to eating.

Their whole menu looked delicious, so we just picked willy-nilly and crossed our fingers.

chilli prawn soft tacos with coleslaw, avocado lime salsa & smoked paprika

 Mr.M thought these were delicious.
I thought the branded wrappers were adorable.

chickpea & sumac battered mushrooms with balsamic reduction

Oh my goodness I loved these. I loved these so much that I did not wait until they were cool enough to eat and as a result burnt the roof of my mouth, but it was worth it. The batter offers a lovely, salty and crisp coating to the meaty mushrooms with the reduction delivering a pleasant sweet tang. Yum.

chacuterie board; cured & smoked meats, pickled veg, terrine, pate, bread

The offered was gluten-free as we were also dining with a gluten-free eater.

pork belly cooked twice with sweet corn puree, caramelised apple, preserved lemon & caper dressing

E really enjoyed this. Mr.M had pork-belly-envy.

grain fed beef fillet w hand cut polenta chips, pickled swiss browns, baby beetroot & juniper infused jus

L thought this was nice and didn't even realise the chips were polenta.

special: baby chicken with potatoes

Mr.M said it was lovely, but upon seeing the pork belly, lamented his decision.

spring vegetable plate.
artichoke hearts, asparagus, broad beans, polenta chips, goats feta, truffle honey dressing & crispy shallots

A really lovely, hearty veggie dish. The truffle honey was such a nice touch and I adored it with the creamily tangy goats cheese and salty shallots. The veggies were all done well and the polenta chips added a nice textural element.

I wish we could have stayed for dessert, but Little Miss was having none of it.

The service was excellent and really friendly. The staff were dressed in their own hipster attire which gave the place a really casual vibe.

I enjoyed the food, service and the atmosphere and will definitely be back for a date night or even brekky or lunch!

Lil Boy Blue on Urbanspoon