27 December 2012

Dessert Story - Adelaide, South Australia

After falling in love with Meet Fresh in Sydney, we were thrilled when we first found Dessert Story in Melbourne's Chinatown. We loved the Melbourne location so much that we kept going back so we couldn't believe our eyes when the first Adelaide location opened several months ago on Gouger Street. First Breadtop came to Adelaide, then Mother's Crepe, now this! Life is good.

Dessert Story

As you walk in, the glow of the orange lanterns welcomes you before the sheer size of the menu overwhelms you. There's certainly no lack of choices with Taiwanese and Hong Kong style desserts as well as drinks on offer. The vast majority of the menu is priced around $6-$8, which makes for a very reasonably priced dessert.

inside Dessert Story

The gigantic menu can be broken down into the following:

Taiwanese Desserts (in black bowl/plate) - 
Taro, Herbal Jelly, Black Glutinous Rice, Puddings, Tofu Puddings, Snow Ice and Crushed Ice.

Hong Kong Desserts (in orange bowl) - 
Sago or Black Pearl Soup, Tofu Pudding, Black Glutinous Rice, Grass Jelly, Ice Cream.

Fruit Smoothies (in clear plastic cup) - 
Drinks with some choices containing predefined ingredients or you can build your own combinations.

Choose your category, then choose the specific item number. It's best to order by number rather than name because the names are very similar. You may be asked if you'd like your dessert hot or cold. I generally go with cold because I like to eat the ice. If you choose hot it will come in a warm soup. After ordering at the counter, you'll be given a number on a little stand. Staff will compile the ingredients, find your number and deliver the order to your table.

Dessert Story front counter

I'm not a fan of the Herbal Jelly or the Grass Jelly. I think they must be an acquired taste in a similar way to Vegemite. I've tried most of the other categories and my pick of the entire menu is #15 - Taro Balls with Honey Bean, Coconut Jelly, Pearls ($6.80). I love the different textures and flavours. This one is quite filling as well so can be shared between two people if you're not overly hungry.

#15 Taro Balls with Honey Bean, Coconut Jelly, Pearls ($6.80)

The fruit smoothies are fun too, especially if you enjoy different textures in your drinks like pearls, jellies or fruit. Here's one of the set options: Mango Coconut drink ($5.90).

Mango Coconut drink ($5.90)

It's also important to note that the ice shaving machine is a penguin. This is awesome because he's cute (see red bow tie), appropriate (penguins and ice go together), and useful (he shaves ice for the cold desserts).

inside Dessert Story

I strongly believe that the negative reviews online are mostly due to the fact that people in Adelaide have no idea what to order. This is completely understandable as we've never had this kind of dessert shop in Adelaide before. It takes a bit of patience and adventure to navigate the myriad of choices, but it's well worth the effort. Dessert Story in Adelaide is one of my favourite stops for sweets because their desserts are different, affordable, and fun.

Dessert Story on Urbanspoon

17 November 2012

Relish'd Burger Bar - Adelaide, South Australia

Relish'd Burger Bar was started by the Marling family in October 2012 at Anzac Highway, Glenelg. They're already off to a great start and serving up some awesome burgers.

outside Relish'd Burger Bar

The surf theme works really well and gives the place a nice summery vibe.

inside Relish'd

The menu includes several types of burgers: moo (beef), chook (chicken), lamb, and vego. All burgers come topped with their namesake tomato relish, which is made onsite. They also offer chips, salads, a kids meal (called a Grom Pack) and coffee, tea & hot chocolate. On weekends, breakfast is available from 8-11am.

menu & kitchen

For our first visit, we started with a classic Relish'd Burger ($8.90). It comes with lettuce, tomato, spanish onion, fresh herb aioli & relish. Burgers come with a knife which keeps everything together and can be used for slicing it for easy consumption.

Relish'd Burger ($8.90)   snack size chips ($3)

The toasted Breadtop bun and freshly ground beef are key elements carefully selected and paired with excellent quality fresh veggies. The relish & aioli take the burger's flavour to the next level. This is one awesome burger and now holds the title of my favourite burger in Adelaide.

The rosemary sea salted chips are very moreish. In addition to their great flavour and chunky size, they're less greasy than normal fish and chip shop chips. Good thing we only bought the Snack Size ($3) because I could eat a truck load of these.

a peek inside the Relish'd Burger - fantastic stuff

We also enjoyed the BLT Chook burger ($11.90). Good quality chicken breast, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, fresh herb aioli & relish combine for another great burger.

BLT Chook Burger ($11.90)   snack size chips ($3)

We left feeling very satisfied and amazed. The food showed a lot of care and was packed full of excellent quality local ingredients. If you haven't tried these burgers, you're seriously missing out.

Relish'd Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

27 October 2012

David Jones Sushi Bar - Adelaide, South Australia

A dilemma for city workers on the go is where to buy a cheap, tasty, healthy, and quick lunch. One solution is take away sushi from the David Jones Sushi Bar.

Sushi Bar (left)

Look for the orange "Sushi Bar" sign located downstairs inside David Jones itself (not in the food court).

Sushi Bar

You will find a large glass case full of quality take away packs of sushi made daily. Packs range from medium to large in size and sell for about $8-14 per pack.

Sushi Boxes

There are also a number of single sushi rolls for $2.95 each such as Tempura Prawn, California Roll, Teriyaki Salmon & Avocado, Salmon & Avocado, Cooked Tuna & Avocado, Chicken Katsu, and Teriyaki Chicken & Avocado.


The take away sushi rolls come in a clear plastic wrapper for easy transport. A small plastic fish containing soy sauce is also enclosed. Here is the Teriyaki Chicken & Avocado roll ($2.95).

Teriyaki Chicken & Avocado Sushi Roll ($2.95)

Instead of the nori (seaweed) wrapping around the outside like most sushi rolls, the sushi rolls from David Jones have the rice on the outside and the nori on the inside. This is sometimes referred to as an "inside out" sushi roll. The result of this construction is a slightly different flavour and experience which I really enjoy. Protip: Do not remove the sushi from its wrapper but simply peel the wrapper open. The clear plastic will easily split down the seams on the sides. This method is demonstrated below with the Chicken Katsu roll ($2.95).

protip: peel back the clear wrapper

There's also an eat in menu available with a variety of made to order plates which look quite tasty, but the take away options seem to be the most popular. With so many places around Adelaide to buy sushi, it can be difficult to decide where to go. David Jones Sushi Bar is at the top of my list of tried and tested sushi favourites in the city.

Update 30 April 2014: Due to the closure of Food Glorious Food, David Jones Sushi has relocated to Cafe Delores in Renaissance Arcade!

David Jones Sushi Bar on Urbanspoon

24 September 2012

Tan Nhu Y Restaurant - Adelaide, South Australia

The area around Hanson Road offers some great Vietnamese options, but Tan Nhu Y (meaning "as you wish, as you like") is at the top of our list. Tan Nhu Y was closed for a couple of years for renovations and reopened in 2010. The new building has large windows facing Hanson Road, letting in plenty of light. Guests are warmly welcomed by owner Hang, a bright and bubbly personality who takes the place from good to great by ensuring her guests always enjoy their experience here.

inside Tan Nhu Y

The restaurant owners are Vietnamese and the chef is Chinese so the menu has an expansive range from both of these cuisines. We've tried a few Chinese dishes which were excellent, but the Vietnamese lunch specials and drinks are what have kept us coming back. The cold rolls are very fresh with a both prawn and pork fillings in every roll. A serve of 3 Cold Rolls is $6.20.

Cold Rolls (3 for $6.20)

I reckon half the fun of eating at a Vietnamese restaurant is exploring the drinks menu and one of my favourites is the classic Three Colour Bean Drink ($4).

Three Colour Bean Drink ($4)

They also offer a nice and thick Avocado Milkshake for $4.

Avocado Milkshake ($4)

But the absolute pick of the drinks menu is the Tropical Fruit Drink for $4.50. It comes in this bowl of a glass with a spoon and a straw so you can both eat and drink it to your heart's content. The drink contains actual fruit pieces such as jackfruit and lychee plus coconut cubes and various jellies in pretty colours with sweet coconut milk and shaved ice bringing it all together. I haven't seen this drink anywhere else, which is yet another reason why I'm a big fan of Tan Nhu Y.

Tropical Fruit Drink ($4.50)

On to the food...the lunch specials are awesome. Here's the Special Broken Rice (small - $10). You can get it with Pork Skin if you want, but we usually go without. I've not had a better broken rice plate anywhere. It's top notch every time.

Special Broken Rice (small - $10)

A new favourite dish of mine is Rice Vermicelli with Prawn-Pie on Sugar Cane (small - $12). If you dig under the noodles you'll find sliced cucumber, lettuce, and herbs. Pour the sauce and shredded carrot over the top and mix around for a great feast. This dish is also available with Spring Rolls or Steak instead of the Prawn-Pie if you prefer, but this one is my pick of the three.

Rice Vermicelli with Prawn-Pie on Sugar Cane (small - $12)

The pho (beef noodle soup) is also fantastic. If you're new to pho, I'd recommend the standard Sliced Rare Beef (small - $9). The broth is divine with great depth of flavour and has minimal oil. It's a very cleansing meal and leaves you feeling refreshed. Here is the Sliced Rare Beef & Cooked Beef Brisket Pho (small - $10).

Sliced Rare Beef & Cooked Beef Brisket Pho (small - $10)

A nice finishing touch is the complimentary Vietnamese jellies, which are brought to your table. These are not overly sweet, but rather a more subtle flavour with the emphasis on the texture.

Complimentary Vietnamese sweets

Pay a visit to Hang and her staff and you're sure to have an enjoyable meal. If there's anything you're unhappy with, just let her know and she'll happily replace it for you. Tan Nhu Y is open 7 days for dinner and Fri-Tues for lunch.

Tan Nhu Y Restaurant on Urbanspoon

05 September 2012

Blond Coffee - Angaston, South Australia

You'll find Blond Coffee situated at the corner of Murray Street and Sturt Street in Angaston, directly across the street from the Angaston Hotel.

Angaston Hotel across the road

Step inside to find plenty of space and seating.

inside Blond Coffee

Walk up to the counter to place your order. There's certainly no shortage of hot drinks to choose from, including coffees, T2 teas, chai lattes, and a variety of hot chocolates.

Drinks menu

On our most recent visit, Darren went with his usual Cafe Latte (large - $4.90).

Cafe Latte

I went with the White Hot Chocolate ($4.40). I especially enjoyed the amazing froth with bubbles that continued to burst for a few minutes after arriving at the table. The flavour was impressive too, very smooth and creamy as a white hot chocolate should be.

White Hot Chocolate

The breakfasts at Blond are brilliant. Darren's favourite is the Blond Big Breakfast ($21.50). Seems a little pricey for breakfast but the quality and quantity is all there so it's money well spent. You get Rosie's free range eggs cooked the way you like, Mount Pleasant bacon, breakfast sausages, spinach, mushrooms, tomato & sourdough toast.

Blond Big Breakfast ($21.50)

If you're looking for something smaller, go for the Scrambled Toastie ($10.50). It's filled with Rosie's free range scrambled eggs, Mount Pleasant bacon, tomato and cheddar cheese. I usually get strange looks if I ask for scrambled eggs in a breakfast sandwich, so I was delighted to find this sandwich on the menu. The cheese helped hold the egg in place so there were no problems with anything falling out.

Scrambled Egg Toastie

On another visit, I was lucky enough to find this special on the menu - Blond Potato Hash, Chorizo, Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion, topped w/a Poached Egg. The dish was delicious and refreshingly different from the usual standard bacon and egg breakfast. Specials change depending on the day so keep your eye on the specials board.

Blond Potato Hash, Chorizo, Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion, topped w/a Poached Egg

Before you leave, be sure to also check out the shop at the back of the cafe where you can buy gifts, T2 teas, and local produce such as Rosie's free range eggs and Mount Pleasant bacon.

seating & gifts

Blond Coffee is definitely my pick for breakfast in the Barossa Valley.

Blond Coffee on Urbanspoon

03 September 2012

La Cantina Co - Adelaide, South Australia

On 14 August 2012, hungry Adelaideans welcomed the newest food truck La Cantina Co with a nice long queue. The truck, cleverly named Truck Norris, was looking great with a shiny fitout and orange decor. They even had a working EFTPOS facility from day one. Very professional.

In the queue for first service

The large turnout presented a challenge for the 3 staff working in the truck. However, they were quite organised and did an excellent job for their first go. Quesadillas were also on the menu but these have since been scrapped and it's just tacos now. Probably for the best as the quesadillas were difficult to eat standing up. Here's the Chicken Taco (left) and Beef Taco (right) from the first ever service.

Chicken Taco (left), Beef Taco (right) ($4.50 each)

Week two was set to involve a showdown at high noon between La Cantina Co and Burger Theory in Hindmarsh Square. However, the driver of a black Porsche SUV decided to abandon his car for almost 3 hours in a 1 hour parking zone and poor Truck Norris was unable to fit. Apparently the Porsche driver was rightly told off by the angry taco mob when he finally returned but it was too late for me as I was already back at work by then. I vowed to return the following week.

parallel parking nightmare

The taco gods were smiling for week three which was, thankfully, free from parking dramas. The new chalkboard menu listed four different tacos at $5 each or 2 for $9:
  • Beef, black bean & chorizo with pico de gallo, cheese & guacamole
  • Smoked Chicken al cabron with pico de gallo, sour cream & corriander
  • Spiced Pork & potato with pineapple salsa & corriander
  • Zucchini & mushroom with cheese, lime & corriander


All sounded great and I couldn't decide so I ordered 4 tacos, one of each. This way I got to try them all and take some home for dinner as well. Protip: They reheat quite well in a skillet or fry pan on the stove top.

4 Tacos - Chicken, Beef, Pork & Vego (2 for $9)

You may have spotted Jarritos sodas around town. These are imported from Mexico and available from the truck for $4. Very refreshing!

Lime Jarritos ($4)

With great new additions such as La Cantina Co and the continuation of Splash Adelaide to the end of Dec 2012, the future of street food in Adelaide has never looked brighter.

La Cantina Co on Urbanspoon

26 August 2012

Muratti Cakes & Gateaux - Adelaide, South Australia

Muratti Cakes has been an Adelaide favourite since it first opened back in 1990. If you're near Prospect Road at Prospect, it's definitely worth stopping in for European style cakes, coffees & biscuits.

Muratti Cakes & Gateaux

The display case is full of biscuits, macarons, gateaux, cakes, tarts, crumbles and more. It's torture trying to decide between so many sweet temptations. If you want to share with friends and family, go for one of the full sized cakes on the bottom shelf. You're sure to find the perfect choice among the range of sizes, prices and flavours on offer. There's definitely something for everyone.

ooo lala

Or if you're like me and can't pick just one, go for a sampling of smaller individual cakes instead. The Blueberry Cheesecake ($4.90, top right in photo below) is my favourite for its dense, smooth, and creamy richness. Darren's favourite is the Mille Feuilles, which means "thousand sheets" ($5.20 - bottom left in photo below). It's an awesome French version of a vanilla slice made up of three layers of pastry with creme patissiere between. Also pictured is the Chocolate Blackberry ($6.80 - top left) and the Vanilla Bean ($6.80 - bottom right).


Another of our samplings of individual cakes consisted of (clockwise from center): Citron Flan ($4.80), French Cherry ($6.80), Blueberry Cheesecake ($4.90), Muratelli ($6.80), and Berry Apple ($6.80). Each cake is perfectly executed and definitely worth the calories.

Darren's cakes

We usually order our cakes to go, but I hear the coffee is worth staying for. If you don't have room for cake, you can always go with one of the various biscuits instead. Apparently the quality and selection of Muratti biscuits are admired almost as much as their cakes.

Muratti Cakes on Urbanspoon