Langkawi Airport, Malaysia: Marrybrown

Since I have been travelling around Malaysia I have seen numerous Marrybrown’s, a fast food fried chicken chain restaurant, located especially in developed areas and airports.

Marrybrown has vibrant posters of fried popped chicken, plastered on their windows, the bright orange establishment creates a buzz just from their advertising.

At Langkawi Airport, after walking aimlessly around looking for something other than imported to leone or peanut m & m’s, I tried my first Marrybrown meal. The service was immediate and the cashier was attentive and helpful. The menu contained the typical fried chicken poppers, drumsticks, burgers and fries, but also contained a fish burger, fish and chips, creamy mushroom soup, plain rice and spicy porridge.y

To my surprise they even had a veggie patty burger, so for RM5.90 I ordered this, with a side of small fries, total RM7.90.

Upon sampling the fries I was convinced Marrybrown had learned the recipe for McDonald’s fries, as they were exactly the same in terms of appearance, texture, crunch and taste. Perhaps someone from deep inside McDonalds headquarters got a job at Marrybrown and utilised Mcdonald’s recipe, I would say McDonald’s may be required to involve a patent attorney if they want to keep their share of the fast food market.

The veggie patty burger had a very sweet and glossy bun and contained only a deep fried hash brown and lettuce. The lettuce and hash-brown were also exactly the same as McDonalds lettuce and hash-browns. If this veggie patty burger had McChicken sauce on it I would’ve enjoyed it immensely, but unfortunately the sauce-less burger felt incomplete.

I recommend Marrybrown to those who love fried chicken, and McDonalds fries and are perhaps at a busy Asian airport without any fruit.

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07000 Langkawi : 7th Roof Seafood Restaurant

After discovering our hotel at Aliah Residence had a terrible menu with limited variety and zero options for vegetarians, my vegan travel buddy and I took a walk down Kampung Kuala Teriang to look for other places to eat.

Kampung Kuala Teriang is a long road that heads to Langkawi Airport. There are a few small family owned eateries, all about 500 metres apart. We visited each one and were disappointed at the choice of food, service and lack of air con / fans. I was also tired of looking at the same colourful cheap plastic chairs. Most of these eateries only had five items on their menu’s, such as ayam and nasi goreng. My instinct told me this cuisine would’ve been home style authentic Malaysian and flavoursome, but we had special requests today and could not get past the language barrier.

After walking for about a kilometre along the busy road, moving to the swampy side of the road when a motorcycle or vehicle approached, we found 7th Roof. Often there is a family of cattle walking across this road and today we were lucky enough to see them cross a few times, my vegan friend scared for their safety. I assured her the cattle know what they are doing and must’ve crossed this road a thousand times.

7th roof was a touristy seafood restaurant, but we were pleased there was a small vegetarian section.

Apart from the mixed vegetables in garlic sauce, the rest of the dishes served are seafood, The squid with onions and a Malay style sauce was a bit overdone. However, the tiger prawns and lobster are only RN15 to RN25 per 100grams and there are many delicious sauces like garlic butter or curry to choose from.

The Choy Sum cooked with a potent garlic sauce was delicious, as were the crispy vegetable spring rolls with savoury spices.

I enjoyed the food here, as well as the the restaurant’s peaceful ambience. It was although the establishment was located in the middle of a rainforest, when in fact it is situated in a swampy area. There is anti mosquito coils underneath each table, however I guarantee you will get bitten here.
The free wifi was a positive incentive for us foreigners to come to this restaurant, but was temperamental. The waitress and owners spoke good English and Chinese and provided fantastic service, willing to cater for vegetarian/ vegan diets.

I recommend 7th Roof for those on romantic dates or groups wishing to share many seafood dishes.

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Auburn 3123: The Geebung

Currently I am in the Perhentian Islands relaxing and enjoying many authentic Malaysian curries, but back in Melbourne I attended ‘The Geebung’ for dinner with a potential suitor.

When it was suggested we go to ‘the Geebung’ I thought this was an Australian slang word for ‘Geelong’, however since the pub is located in Auburn, the upper class neighbouring suburb of Hawthorn, my presumption was incorrect. I do not understand why this venue has such a strange name, but apparently it has a great party vibe on Sunday nights.

This reminds me that basic spirits, house wine and pints of tap beer were $5 during happy hour, Friday night. I was impressed at the array of premium beers to choose from. The friendly bar staff will happily pour you a Mountain Goat, Fat Yak or James Squire Golden Ale.

The date turned into a friendly group hang out, and didn’t eventuate into anything further. The food however, was above average with above average prices. Modern Australian is on the menu at this upper class pub, with quinoa and vegetables instead of fried chips served as side dishes to meta and fish.

This was my first taste of sword fish, and I enjoyed it immensely. The fish was cooked to perfection (3-4 minutes pan fried on each side and then for 5 minutes in the oven I would say). I was surprised at how solid sword fish is, compared to other flakey and soft fish. The dish presented like a dogs breakfast, however the flavoursome quinoa and vegetables complimented the fish and reminded me to not judge a book by it’s cover.

After my main meal I moved outside to the little bustling beer garden and took a peek at the dessert menu. I’m not normally a sweet tooth, but I tried the chocolate mouse and it was spectacular.

I recommend The Geebung to those who don’t mind paying around $30 for a delicious pub meal that is modern, thoughtfully prepared and healthier than those found at the average pub.

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Geebung Polo Club on Urbanspoon

Brunswick East 3057: B-East

After a long discussion about what type of cuisine we wanted to eat for our early dinner, a partner of my friend recommended B’East for American style burgers and fries.

B’east is a relatively new establishment, located in Brunswick East on Lygon St. B’east is open for lunch and dinner and as a bar at night, with trivia on a Tuesday.

Just prior to leaving I had been suffering from an incredibly painful toothache and had taken a panadene for it.

On the drive to B’east I was nauseous, struggling to get excited about the prospect of lunch. I was hungry though, and when we arrived I ordered the roast pumpkin and blue cheese sliders ($7) with a side of fries. The mini burgers came out on a the ever trendy chopping board, the buns gleaming up at me insisting I eat them. Flavoursome and light, the sliders were a hit for me, even though the bread was shiny and obviously very sugary.
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According to my acquaintance, ‘The Morrissey’ veggie burger also had a very shiny bun and was splendid.
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The thick cut fries on the side were battered and deliciously crispy and fresh.

I tried some of my acquaintances poutine, worried that she would think I was similar to a seagull. I could not stop stealing chips covering in delicious gravy and cheese.
Unfortunately when I returned home I was violently ill in my bathroom, but this way in no way associated with my meal at B’east.
I recommend b’east to people with a hangover, it is reasonably priced and the thick cut chips are superb.

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The B.East on Urbanspoon

Flemington 3031: Dominos

After ordering a Beef Peri Peri pizza and Margarita with gluten free base, we waited 15 mins for the pizza. Unfortunately there was an error with the online tracker, causing us to assume the online tracker was broken.

When I arrived at the pizza shop, I was informed they had run out of garlic bread and had tried to call. I was not impressed, but they gave me a 1.25L coke instead.

The margarita pizza had a very thin and hard gluten-free crust, the tomato sauce tasted like ketchup, there was no sign of the extra mozzarella as in the description. Luckily it was cheaper 2-days, a promotional period on Monday’s and Tuesday’s when dominos has cheaper pizzas and combos.

Apparently the Peri Peri pizza was one of the better pizzas my friend has had from Dominos. I recommend only ordering form here if it’s a Monday or Tuesday and you only had $4.95 until pay day.

 

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Domino's Pizza Flemington on Urbanspoon

Fitzroy 3065: Yong Green Food

Vegetarian? Vegan? Gluten-free? Raw food? Organic? Clean eating? Paleo? Jenny Craig? Whatever your diet may be today, you will surely be able to eat something on the menu at Yong Green Food on Brunswick St, Melbourne.

The ‘raw’ menu contains items such as Hawaiian pizza made from macadamia bread with raw cashew cream and pineapple topping or rawsange; mixed raw vegetables with walnut bolognaise.

If raw isn’t your thing I can vouch for the mock meat chicken burger on Turkish bread or the mock tuna wrap with coleslaw, both under $12.

My favourite dish so far at Yong’s is the Oyster Mushroom Calamari Salad, an innovative dish of fried king oyster mushrooms served with jalapeño marinara and vegan aioli.

I’ve heard good things about the Dragon Bowl, the kimchi and the stir died veggies too.

If you have IBS or suffer from sensitivity to processed and preservative filled food and drink, I highly recommend Yong’s Green Food to you. Make sure you make a reservation.

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Yong Green Food on Urbanspoon

Melbourne 3000: Yamato Japanese

Tonight I had a date, I know it’s a long shot to find love online, but I am in my sixties now and I don’t particularly want to die alone. It was Tight Ass Tuesday for the Melbourne Comedy Festival and I was going to see a Japanese Ventriloquist. It was logical to go with the Japanese theme for the night and go somewhere fast and Japanese for dinner before the show. At the far end of Corrs Lane in China Town, there is a Japanese restaurant called Yamato.
Of course I had walked past and noted the eatery existed before, but had never been. Yamato is cosy, with tables and benches in every nook and cranny, made for tiny Japanese people, just like in Japan. Allbeit small, the seating arragement was comfortable.

The service was impeccable, the waitress poured our beers and took our order. Myself and my Tinder date sipped our O’Ryan beers, after deciding from an impressive list of imported Japanese beer. The restaurants’ walls were covered in Japanese monuments such as photos, masks and money cats, that steered our conversation in the direction of travel.

Our Agedashi tofu was served hot and had the classic silken firm texture and golden brown colour. The broth was delicious, as expected. When the main of Tofu Steak and vegetables arrived, I was dissapointed that there was a lack of vegetables apart from various types of onions. Nevertheless it tasted good.
I’m not certain about what my date ordered but there are some photos below in among the tofu and onions.

On the wall covered in Japanese decorations, I spotted a posted displaying a black premium beer – ‘Niggata, black beer 100% natural bottle condition.’ As a lover of dark beer, I can tell you that sipping this roasted, coffee-like malt was a holy experience.

As a light and quick meal, Yamato was good, but the range of imported beers is the only thing that would convince me to return. I would recommend it to people who love slimy or fried Japanese food, but personally I prefer Teppanyaki on a first date.

Please note I wasn’t having an optical illusion when I saw a sign for corkage charged at $15 per bottle

Yamato Japanese on Urbanspoon

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North Melbourne 3051: Di Bella Roasting house

On a sunny Saturday morning myself and a good friend drove to north Melbourne and took a quick stroll in the sun to Di Bella Roasting House. This warehouse turned coffee roasting cafe is a popular place for the many brunch and coffee lovers in North Melbourne. Large groups of mature aged men in Lycra can often be seen parking their expensive road bikes at Di Bella, possibly after riding 200km around the bay.
After waiting 15 minutes for a table for two we sat down and were immediately presented with menus.
The coffee is something to write home about. The lattes are impeccable and the pour over was also of a high quality. I ordered the chilli avocado on chargrilled sourdough toast with special tomatoes and a side of confit field mushroom. I have one word for this breakfast dish. Top notch. Actually that’s two words.

I recommend this place over auction rooms, the initial wait to get a table is worth it. A fantastic brunch experience.

Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse Melbourne on Urbanspoon

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Melbourne 3000: Purple Peanuts

Take your love for Japanese to the next level with modern fusions of Japanese and Australian cafe food at this bustling cafe in Melbourne. Purple Peanuts is incredibly busy and with good reason. The Tofu curry Don is not like your standard don, encapsulating chopped almonds and garnished with basil, these surprisingly non Japanese additions compliment the light curry well. If you’re passing by Southern Cross Station and you’re hungry for a sushi (nori) roll, by pass all the Tower Sushi’s around and purchase one (or two) rolls from Purple Peanuts. You’ll notice something different about these sushi rolls, but you won’t quite be able to make out why they have so much more flavour and don’t need to be drowned in soy sauce.

This cafe looks hectic but the service is fast (not to mention lovely) and orders come out within reasonable time. I recommend Purple Peanuts to anyone looking to escape the seemingly unescapable typical take away sushi, unhealthy burgers and Asian food down the Western side
of Melbourne CBD. Forget about lining up like a groupie at Roll’d and visit Purple Peanuts on your next lunch break.

Purple Peanuts Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Fitzroy 3065: Jimmy Grants

 Who is Jimmy Grant? Probably a man that moved to Melbourne in 1901 and sold Souvlaki’s in a fish and chip shop. In 2013 Australian Masterchef Judge George Calombaris’ and co opened this fancy eat in and take away souvlaki joint, Jimmy Grants. Perhaps he named it after his great uncle.

Anyway, why pay $9 at a kebab van for a felafel when you can go here and get your hit of potent garlic sauce, hummus, felafel and slaw wrapped in homemade souvlaki bread for $7? The sauce will still drip and you won’t look any better eating this drunk, but if you’re sober enough you will taste the difference. If you can get a seat inside try the $5 Greek Lager and have a side of fries crumbled with spices and feta.
Then if you feel like something sweet you can pick up a homemade Wagon Wheel here at the counter.
 

George, you have fulfilled the stomachs of many hungry hipster foodies after a night on the piss in Fitzroy.

Genius concept.

 

 

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Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon