HOT: Sushi Hotaru, Melbourne CBD

This is the BEST sushi train place in Melbourne that I have ever been to, and I’m not afraid to say it! Sushi Hotaru presents decadent fresh flavours with a creative edge in each of their dishes. The fresh food, quality, flavour and not the mention, the PRICE is definitely value for money at $3 a plate and $7.90 for gold plates. As well as affordable prices for their side dishes e.g. udon noodles. The variety is spectacular with dishes that are able to be ordered on their iPad system or picked off the sushi train.

This place has got me craving and crawling back every week (I visit this place frequent this place just a little often, at least once a week :P )!

The service is mediocre and could be better,  not as good as Sakura Kaiten on Collins St. Today I went there with a group of 4 and they were able to separate our bills (as they always do), but the cashier seemed to be in a grumpy mood and was not open to resolve this issue. She wanted us to pay for the my friends table and wanted them to pay for our table. Weird, I know. So we resolved it by simply swapping our numbers, but she surely did not deal with it well. Enough about that, here comes the pictures and BONUS videos!

Sushi hotaru
Sushi hotaruSushi hotaruSushi hotaruIMG_5473The Low Down
Molly’s Must-haves: 
Salmon box, Soft Shell Crab Sushi, Octopus Balls
Price: $
Would I go again? I already go here once a week!
Rate: 16/20
Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon
Do you agree that Sushi Hotaru is a great Sushi Train place?
Leave your comments below!

HOT: China Bar Signature Buffet, Burwood East

Yum yum yum! I went here for lunch and it was delicious from times of 11.30am to 3pm for lunch. A large variety of asian food ranging from the simple salmon and avocado sushi to the delightful dumplings you find at yumcha. There is sure to be a variety of food that entices one of your senses, and I can speak true of this since I bought my uni friends who usually don’t eat asian food!

I went here for lunch with their 2 for 1 Facebook Special! So it was $20 per person (usual price: $30pp) for the unlimited buffet, dare I say it was definitely value for money. I don’t usually get too hungry for lunch so we made a 1pm booking which would finish at 3pm. I love the interior and the look of the restaurant as it is quite clean and tidy, surprising from the usual outtakes on buffet restaurants.

P.S If you don’t eat everything, you won’t get that hefty charge for leftovers! (I don’t condone this though haha)

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Yum! If you know me, you would know I absolutely love japanese food. The variety of sushi amazes me! There’s something for everyone!China Bar Buffet
Nothing like mixing sushi, muscles and stirfried beef!

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Can you tell? We love our Yumcha!
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Now for dessert, there was a large variety of desserts. I devoured them as you can see, after awhile they start tasting the same but I can’t complain. There’s jelly, chocolate, cakes, lychee, mango, creme brulee, mousse and so much more.

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The Low Down

Overall, a great place to bring friends, family or even a date. It’s a fun place to have a pick at everything and there’s something for everyone.

Molly’s Must-Haves: The sushi, yumcha and desserts
Rate: 15/20
Price: $$
Would I go again: Yes I would! Probably for dinner this time.

China Bar Signature on Urbanspoon

What did you guys think of China Bar Signature Buffet?

Would Love to Hear Your Comments Below!

 

HOT: Burwood Teppanyaki, Burwood East

This place is lovely! The interior and decor is so clean and inviting, but the portions are tiny.
My first Teppanyaki experience so I was super excited. I booked the night before for a 8.00pm session and they replied straight away via SMS to confirm.

They have two sides to this restaurant, the teppankyaki side and la crate menu side. We opted for the teppankyaki side because its their specialty.

We got the Set Menu which had:

Shiro Miso Soup with Baby Spinach & Tofu
Tobiko Garden Salad with Kaiso Seaweed
California Roll
200-250g Grilled Lobster Tail with Wasabi & Cream (share between two)
100g Atlantic Salmon Fillet
80-100g Chicken Thigh Fillet
Lamb Cutlet (1pc)
80-100g Australian Wagyu Beef Sirloin
Mixed Vegetables
Garlic Fried Rice
Finish with sweet Green Tea Ice Cream

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The place was really inviting, lots of black and red. The teppankyaki chefs were also dressed in these colours and watching the entertainment from other tables when we sat down was wonderful !

IMG_5529[1]Shiro Miso Soup with Baby Spinach & Tofu
Tobiko Garden Salad with Kaiso Seaweed
California Roll

These starters were delightful! The miso soup was nice and warm with pieces of tofu. The salad had a mixture of normal salad and seaweed salad, it was a delicious mix. The california rolls were a great starting piece to our meals.

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200-250g Grilled Lobster Tail with Wasabi & Cream (share between two)
100g Atlantic Salmon Fillet

Our teppankyaki chef came out and started cooking the lobster and fish. Oh how it smelt delicious!  How awesome does the lobster look! One word of caution, never wear fancy clothes because you’d end up stinking like bbq and most likely with food all over you *spoiler* haha. This was so yummy! It was very entertaining watching our chef cook. But the serves were so tiny, if you’re hungry do not expect to be full by the end of this.

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80-100g Chicken Thigh Fillet
Lamb Cutlet (1pc)

The lamb cutlet was so juicy and succulent. There’s nothing like eating food straight from the grill.

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FIRE! Our Teppankyaki Chef did a little trick which definitely sent eyes flying towards our table :P IMG_5536[1]

This is a combo of all the foods we ate! As you can see the servings are tiny as expected for teppankyaki places as its’ more the good food and the experience you’re there for! The Wagyu beef was the best out of the meals, it was that melt in your mouth experience cooked to your liking! Our table had a mixture of blue (raw), medium raw and medium. IMG_5537[1]

Now, the fun part. At teppankyaki you play with your food, and I mean that LITERALLY! Our chef stood all the eggs up on the grill and flung them to us with his spatula expecting us to catch it with a bowl. 3/8 people actually caught it! There was cracked eggs on the floors and tables! Us girls were more wary of it landing on our clothes and hair than anything.

Pieces of cooked egg omolette were also flicked from the grill to our mouths, we each had about 3 turns. It was hilarious to watch it hit people’s faces haha!!

The last game the chef threw bowls at us until we had a little tower of about 3. Then he’d fill a bowl with fried rice and throw it at you and expect you to catch it on top of the tower of bowls! Sometimes he would do it backwards or he would do it at a distance depending who it was haha! We all caught it, but it didn’t mean that the fried rice didn’t end up all over us! Those who were having their birthdays there also got special treatment and a nice surprise :) (A rice shower)

The Low Down

This was a really fun experience, definitely a great one in a while experience. I would say it is a great place to bring a group of friends or family, a lot of people were actually having their birthdays there, and you do get extra special treatment if it’s your birthday. The chef was entertaining, interactive and it was an amazing experience! The only place where wasting food, playing with food and getting food thrown at you is fun. But if you’re feeling hungry you won’t feel full when leaving.

Rate: 14/20
Molly’s MUST-HAVE’S: Wagyu beef pieces!
Price: $$$

Burwood Teppanyaki House on Urbanspoon

HOT: Cacao Green, Melbourne CBD

Finally a frozen yogurt that not only tastes nice, but is an healthy alternative to icecream! Cacao green is one of the best frozen yogurt places I’ve encountered so far, with their flavours and wide variety of toppings (80 cents each). Once you come here you’d never go back to other froyo places!

Cacao green sizes come in junior, regular and large, with flavours such as original, mango, chocolate hazelnut and other varieties depending on the season. They also now have sweet and savory waffles, coffee, tea, parfait, smoothies and heaps of other cool stuff for winter. You can also try out the flavours before buy, just ask and they’d give you a little cup of froyo to try!

Cheesecake with FROYO, how can you say no to that? :)

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frozen yogurt
Large Original Frozen Yogurt with Double Cheesecake and Strawberries – $10

Refreshing and delicious. Original with two sets of cheesecake and strawberry is the perfect complement for anyone who loves something sweet and light. I always have this with someone so it’s a great plate to share, try and have within the store to have it served on a pretty plate and you usually get more froyo too ;) compared to the takeaway cups.

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Large Original Frozen Yogurt with Double Cheesecake and Strawberries – $10
Large Mango Frozen Yogurt with Mango Popping and Strawberries – $10

Shows how I love my original! Tried out the mango recently, its a lovely flavour that is not too sweet but just the right amount. It was a nice change to try out as they no longer have mango pieces (probably because it isn’t mango season anymore). I got these both for $10 all up with my Entertainment Book voucher (Buy 1 get 1 free), totally worth it! Used both of the Cacao green vouchers already.

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Large Original Frozen Yogurt with Double Cheesecake – $10

Now, this is tallest froyo I’ve bought from Cacao! Lucky me as they usually give half the amount shown here. I had a massive brain freeze going through this mind you :P

The Low Down

Cacao Green, as I mentioned is one of the BEST frozen yogurt places I’ve tasted. It doesn’t have that sour taste that other places have (e.g Igloo Zoo Chadstone), but has a lovely taste put in Cacao’s words “sweet, tangy and refreshing” which I definitely agree with. Their variety of flavours, waffles and other complements are a force to be reckoned with, and I keep coming back for it time after time!

Rate: 15/20
Molly’s Must-Haves: Original with cheesecake and strawberries (To Have In, not take-away)
Price: $

Cacao Green on Urbanspoon

HOT: The Black Toro – Glen Waverly

YUM! A beautiful mix of Mexican and modern Australia flavours is what you’ll find at the gem ”The Black Toro” in the heart of Glen . Opened recently in July 2012, this month marks its one year anniversary and it seems to be a continuing success with the locals!

The Black Toro has two sittings:
5.30pm – 8.00pm
8.00pm – late

We made a 6.00pm booking and the waitress reminded us when we arrived that we had to leave by the 8.00pm cross-over.
At 6.00pm, there were only two couples within the place but it soon quickly filled up.
The atmosphere and setting was relaxing and great. Lots of couples taking their loved ones out for a treat.

Since only two of us have been here before, we decided on the $45 set menu (without dessert). We asked our waiter what this consisted of, he said it was whatever the chef comes up with.

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Corn
Grilled corn on the cob with chipotle mayonnaise & toasted masa (2pcs) – $9
5/5

I must say, these are a MUST when you go to any mexican restaurant like The Black Toro or Mamasitas. Delicious, the dressing, cheese and the squirt of the lime OMG this was to die for. Love, love, love this.

CroquettesPotato and chorizo croquette with manchego foam - $8 for one
2/5

These were lovely croquettes with manchego foam, they were surprisingly filling. Inside was a smooth potato puree with tiny chorizo pieces. Nothing too special though, but worth a bite.

Beetroot SaladPickled beetroot salad, whipped goats cheese, puffed quinoa & caperberries – $18
1/5

This was a lovely mixture of colours and flavours. However, the beetroot salad did not a certain zing to it maybe because of the lack of dressing. The goats cheese lacked flavour, many of us thought it was just mayonnaise. It was a nice complementary dish with our other upcoming dishes, but honestly nothing special.

Tacos
Spicy pulled pork taco, shredded cabbage & sour cream (2pcs) – $12
4/5

Nothing says Mexican, more than Tacos Tacos! These were wonderfully crafted soft tacos with a mix of must have toppings. The pulled pork were deliciously marinated, tender and with the crunch of the cabbage and the squirt of the lime made it a pleasure to dig our hands into.

corn truffle
Mushroom sope with corn truffle, chive & ricotta salata (2pcs) – $12
2/5

These were cute corn truffle bases with mushrooms and ricotta salata which is a type of cheese. By the time we got to these, most of us were feeling quite full, but not satisfied (if that makes sense? haha). The mushrooms and cheese were a great combination but the corn truffle was a bit overwhelming after a while. It reminded me of buying pastry cups at Coles and filling it up with stuffing, so it wasn’t something I would have ordered.

Wagyu Burgers
Wagyu beef slider with toasted brioche, pickled cucumber, cheese and ancho ketchup (2pcs) – $14
4/5 LOVED IT!

These are a MUST-have when coming to The Black Toro. These were very cute but delicious little burgers/sliders jam-packed with succulent juices and flavours. They were a tad oily at the bases so watch the fingers, mostly because we ate them with our hands, whilst others ate it with a knife and fork. These were probably my favourite with the pork tacos, hella scrumptious.

chicken
Roasted whole chicken, mole poblano, charred lime, achiote rice – $40
3/5

The sauce was the most unique part of this dish. It was a mole poblano sauce which is a type of mexican sauce that consists of chocolate, nuts, onions and more. It had such a smooth and unique flavour that complemented the chicken greatly. Who would have thought, chocolate and chicken? Haha. It was a lovely dish, by this time our tummys were bulging out.

curry puffsCheesy Puff Pastries (Not on the menu) – 2/5

These were okay cheesy puffy pastries, definitely something to fill you up if the whole list of food we went through didn’t. They had a soft filling that was not overpowering and the crunch of the pastry had a lovely texture.

The Low-Down

Overall, it was a fantastic Modern Mexican Restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and clean surroundings. The set menu $45 was a definite favourite between all of us, due to the price, fun, flavours and variety. It was definitely gave a big bang for our buck. The food service was quick, we had a wonderful waiter who catered to all our needs and the sofa-type seats were a pleasure eat and relax in. Great place to take your date or have dinner with a group of friends!

Molly’s MUST-HAVES: Grilled Corn on Cob, Wagyu Beef Sliders and Pulled Pork Tacos | Get the Set Menu! $45
Rating: 16/20
Price: $$$
The Black Toro on Urbanspoon