Zouz Cafe (Invited)

Zouz Cafe is a very spacious cafe located in Camberwell. It has a spacious indoor spaces as well as outdoor spaces. They have three separates area, small indoor area near the barista, large indoor areas complete with spacious kids corner and charming outdoor area.

The owner said, they just went through renovation. I love the spaciness and airiness of the space. It;s charming without too much decoration and it does feel homey yet modern. The Kids Corner is part of the new renovation. This is officially the biggest kids corner at a cafe I have ever seen. They have huge jenga, cooking station, grocery station, train station and even small fuse balls and a couple of card games for the teenager.

Pancake - fluffy pancakes, salted caramel sauce, berry panna cotta, nutella, toasted almond flake ($18). Three stack of warm soft pancakes comes with jiggly fresh pannacotta. I do want a lil bit more salted caramel sauce cause at the end without the pannacotta it's slightly dry. I do love the toasted almond flake, generous berries and a touch nutella.

Grilled Calamari - roasted potato, grapes, chorizo, caramelised lemon, rocket, chermoula, fresh chilli ($18). The calamari is nicely flavoured but a touch over cooked. I love the addition of fresh grapes for acidity in conjunction with caramelised lemon. Crispy potato and generous chermoula mixed well with rocket. A slight spiciness also added a nice ending to the dish.

Shukshuka - Middle Eastern baked eggs, grilled chorizo, labna, za'atar. flat bread ($18). I would expect more eggs inside cause we only find one but the sauce it self is amazingly rich, have a nice kick at the end matched well with chorizo and flat bread.

At the end, the owner come in and talked to us for a short while. My husband even consider throwing my boy birthday in the venue. This is definitely a nice venue for mum and bubs or even large family gatherings.

Zouz Cafe
+6139889 0998
1420 Toorak Rd
Camberwell VIC 3124

Code 21 (Revisited-Invited)

Code 21 is a place I have invited before, this time I went in on a Sunday lunch time. I came in a ealier than my appointment but the manager gladly welcome us in. He gave us allowance of two meal and two drinks. That day I came in with my mom, husband and kids but we were not that hungry so we just decided to share the dishes.

Charcoal Crumbed Prawn Tacos - slaw, salsa in soft tortilla ($18.9). The prawn is a lil bit over cooked but it's uniquely wrapped in charcoal. We like the fresh apple salad that comes with the tortilla but I wish the tortilla is a bit warm.

Beef Short Rib Burger - hot chips, garlic aioli, pulled ribs meat, BBQ Sauce, house pickles, crunchy slaw, black bun, freshly grated manchego cheese, pickled chilli ($19). Love the melt in your mouth pulled ribs, stunningly made. Full of flavour with fluffy bun and generous cheese as well as aioli.

Code 21
+6138370 9078
2/21 Brunswick Rd
Brunswick East VIC 3057

Izakaya Jiro (Invited)

Izakaya Jiro is a traditional Japanese restaurant, reachable by walking from the station. Plenty of street parkings around, also in front of a tram line. The restaurants look quite small from the front but actually quite big once you enter the restaurant.

I arrived on a Tuesday dinner time. I love how comfortable the restaurants feels. Simple decorations but still attractive and hinting modern Japanese dining. Semi open kitchen adds a nice openess and charming feeling to the space. Started with yuzu shoju, love them so much. Fresh yuzu, does not have the bitterness normally appears in alcoholic drinks. My husband also ordered hot sake - Chikuha Noto Daiginjo Kochi.

Wagyu Beef Tataki - Lightly seared wagyu beef with thinly sliced onion and plum flavoured grated radish with a quail egg. ($12.8) and Spicy Salmon Avocado Salad - Seared salmon and fresh avocado with chilli miso dressing ($12.8). Both of these dishes are amazingly delicious. Well done in execution and flavours. Highly recommended for a fresh start.

Kushiyaki Combo - Yakitori, Tsukune, Gyu Kushi, Zucchini & Ebi ($15). The most popular is yakitori according to the staff, juicy chicken thigh that just melts in your mouth. I agreed. But the rest also delicious, juicy minced chicken ball and tender meat, fresh vegies as well as succulent prawn. What's not to like, really?

Sashimi Plate and Hotate Chilli Mayo - grilled Hokkaido scallops. Topped with Japanese chilli mayonnaise ($9.8).We love the fresh sashimi plate, it changes daily but they always have salmon tuna and kingfish. Stunning pieces of fish indeed. Izakaya Jiro does not take chilli lightly, whether in their salmon salad or grilled scallops, you can really taste the fire. I honestly, love it. Perfectly cooked scallops. Stunning dish indeed.

Shiitake Ebi Shinjo - Shiitake mushrooms stuffed with mashed prawns deep fried with light batter ($10.8), Grilled Mackarel and Sukiyaki wagyu beef. One of the most delicious mushroom tempura I have ever tasted even, so flavourful and crunchy, not just a simple mushroom dish. Must ordered! The mackarel and sukiyaki are the least of my favourite that night, not because it does not taste good but the other dishes are simply amazing.

Yuzu Sorbet and Black Sesame Pannacotta. Ended with a loud bang! Refreshing sticky yuzu sorbet that I can honestly eat everyday. My husband loves the rich jiggly pannacotta with matcha powder on top. Overall, we love this restaurant so much that we will back again soon!

Izakaya Jiro
+6139818 7163
830 Glenferrie Rd
Hawthorn VIC 3122