Collective Espresso (Revisited-Invited 3)

Collective Espresso is a place that I have been invited many many many times before. I'm still happy and excited even cause their food are always good. As I mentioned in many of my reviews before, the cafe it's small, very limited indoor area and almost always busy. So when I went in on Sunday morning, I'm lucky enough to get one of their indoor tables as that day was super cold and a bit rainy.

Qipo Skewer Bar (Invited)

Qipo Skewer Bar located hidden in the alley of Melbourne CBD. Sutherland Street is normally much more busier during the day time, due to all the cafe's opened in the morning till 3/4pm. But at night, Qipo is the only one that's open besides the internet cafe in front of the place. Qipo, next to Melbourne Star Apartment specialise in sichuan hot pot.

Upon entering the place, I love all the gimmicks, starting from the logo everywhere. The projection light at the bottom of the stairs and on level two everything pretty much decorated towards the same theme. Loyi, the person who invited was not there that night but her partner assist me and my brother all night.

There are 3 steps upon ordering: 1. Select the soup based (Spicy, Tomato, Mushrooms,Seafood or Half Half) 2. Select sauce (optional $3/pp) 3. Select the ingredients you like from the fridge or from the menu. We opted for Half Spicy and Half Mushrooms, there's also options to pick your spiciness level. We both think that the spicy broth is best to just dip in the food rather than too sip in, cause it contains very strong sichuan pepper. We also would like stronger richer mushroom broth.

As for the sauce, I go in for my usual combinations; garlic, sesame oil, green onions, sesame seeds and dark soy sauce. As for my brother he uses sesame paste and sesame sauce instead of dark soy sauce, he also add chicken powder. They have a lot of sauces ingredients to choose from and it's amazing. We also got fried pork and jelly drinks from the staff. Love the crunchy fried pork! The jelly drink is nice but the toppings is a bit too random for me.

We ordered beef rolls and take various skewers from the refrigerator. It's a fun experience and the skewers added unique experience. The item in skewers are pretty small, so it will dip in nicely to the soup and it will allow you to eat more variety. But in terms of price per skewer it's a lil bit pricey.

Qipo Skewer Bar
+6139602 1390
Level1/280 Little Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000

Miss Ruby (Invited)

Miss Ruby is a charming cafe located in Bentleigh. Just a lil bit over one year old, miss ruby added a new modern addition to Centre Rd. They have three seperate spaces; in front outdoor space, long spacey airy indoor spaces with lil charming courtyard at the bank. I love the grey cement colour with a lil bit of pink an greeneries.

I haven't ordered porridge in a long time but my son loves porridge these days and I want to give him a try of a more refine porridge than my home made porridge. Porridge - orange and cinnamon scented, poached pear, Isa seeds, mixed berries & seasonal fruits ($13.9). A perfect warm dish for the winter, full of vitamins and nutritions. On top of that, their poached pear is so delicious, that I wish they put much more the dish.

Salt & Pepper Calamari - house salad, chips & sweet chilli mayo ($20.9). A classic dish that used to be available on a lot of cafe. I actually miss them. Delicious crunchy perfectly cooked calamari, also very well seasoned. The thinly cut chips is just as amazing, crunchy and addictive with creamy mayo. Yum!

Specials of the day; Mexican Chicken Benedict - pulled chicken, broccolini, homemade potato hash, hollandaise ($18.9). This dish, takes me off guard, in a very good way. Those potato hash is amazingly good, super crunchy but very well seasoned and melts in your mouth inside. Possibly, the best potato hash I have ever tasted this year. I would love more broccolini to balanced out the dish and to dip in into the generous hollandaise.

Miss Ruby
+6139557 5525
454 Centre Rd
Bentleigh VIC 3204

Shonan Kamakura (Invited)

Once I arrived at Shonan Kamakura, I remember I have been invited to the previous restaurant resides in the same place. James, the owner reach out to me via email to come and have a taste of their restaurant. Their staff was friendly and fast from beginning to end.

Uni Boom Boom (Revisited-Invited)

Uni Boom Boom is my go to restaurant for fresh uni in Melbourne. This is my second invite to the store. It's a given that they served the best uni in town cause it belongs to Pacific Sea Urchin, the first suppliers for Australia Sea Urchin. On top of that they also specialise in Bird's Nest product, abalone, toro and many more high quality product.

Cafe Piccante (Invited)

Cafe Piccante is a rustic cafe located in Fitzroy North. The cafe has three seperate spaces; indoor seatings in front part of the cafe, then middle after the kitchen towards the courtyard and semi outdoor courtyard at the back. I was seated in the middle but I do love their charming courtyard, I can see it's a charming place for private functions.

Nino & Joe's Pork & Fennel Sausages - creamy mash, caramelised onions, red wine gravy ($17.5). This is my favourite of the day, I honestly could eat this any day all day. My perfect comfort food to the bone. Super creamy fluffy mash with delicious caramelised onions, the onions it self makes me want more and more then topped with generous sausages.

Ian's Hungover - eggs your way, lamb cutlet, sausage, bacon, tomato, beans, mushrooms, avo, hollandaise on toast ($24). My husband ended up ordering big breakfast and yes, it's kinda become a pattern by now. It comes in a super generous portions and each component was seasoned nicely. That lam cutlet is delicious, perfectly cooked. I reckoned they have to make a lamb cutlet dish for sure.

Special of the day; French Toast - banana, maple , bacon ($17). Classic simple combinations but executed properly. Usually on sweet dish at a cafe, they go overboard with the decorations but this one is just nicely seating there. Abundant maple syrup with fluffy french toast, crispy bacon and super caramelised banana. Nicely done.

Cafe Piccante
+6139489 7459
216 St Georges Rd
Fitzroy North VIC 3068