Mornington Market

The sun was shining, the birds were singing, it could have been the start to a wonderful day. Then we realised there were no places in inner Melbourne that did good taiyaki (Japanese fish-shaped red bean paste-filled waffle). So began our quest to find taiyaki. We found imagawayaki instead. At the Mornington Racecourse Market, held every second sunday of the month. Mark those dates down in your planner so you don’t miss out on potentially fantastic day trip featuring imagawayaki. Click here for website.

Here are some of the things we saw at the market. It just so happens they’re mostly food related. (Or all of them food-related.)

Cute as a button/ More nonsense analogies/ Colourful cupcakes

Buy some rock candy/ Can't believe it's sugar-free/ Tastes like normal sweet

They do a great sugarless candy range.

Are those free samples?/ In chocolate and butterscotch/ That's some good pudding

The pudding is great, especially the butterscotch pudding with butterscotch sauce. Most butterscotch sauces just taste like sugar, but this one tastes like butterscotch.

Bottles of sauces/ Bottled sauce is like cheating/ Either way, you win

Lots of preserves, sauces and jams are available at the Mornington market. We got a jar of jerk chicken paste from Elfred’s. Once that is used, I will hopefully get pictures up.

Hello star anise/ Dip bread in oil, then spice/ Good for cooking too

Spice mixes are also popular. Bush tomatoes are zingy.

Real lemonade stand/ Will they give me counselling?/ Flashback to Peanuts

It's shaken, not stirred/ The way to have lemonade/ Unlike martini

Ice-cold lemonade shaken, then poured. Tasty!

Calamari cone/ What's that? You want to be nommed?/ Om nomnom nomnom

Fantastic calamari. Rings of squid coated in a light batter, then fried until it is just cooked. Sometimes calamari can be cooked for to long and become rubbery. It isn’t over salted or peppered. The only qualms I have with it is the lack of oil drainage. But this store sells its calamari cones very quickly so there probably wasn’t enough time to drain it. The balsa wood chopsticks are also prone to splintering. But it does allow you to reach the calamari at the bottom of the cone easily.

Onto paella!

Mega paella/ Pan seems too deep to do job/ No rice crust bottom

Not quite right rice dish/ Missing roasted capsicum/ Missing soffrito

Prawns can be tasty/ But not when they are recooked/ Wish I got some crab

The paella was disappointing. Some of the rice is undercooked, especially the grains lodged inside the mussel shell, and there is no socarrat layer at the bottom. Soccarat is the toasty rice layer of the paella, and develops in a good paella. It’s only formed when the bottom of the paella pan is exposed to a high flame. On the up side, there seems to be a fair portion of seafood. There was a chicken wing, a mussel, some pipis and a prawn. Back to the downside, the chicken wing was average, it seemed to have been boiled so the charred/pan-fried taste isn’t there. The mussel and pipis weren’t bad. The prawn was precooked then cooked again, and overly salty.

A lamb souvlaki/ Lo and behold, a magpie/ Magpies eye your food

Chicken souvlaki/ Bread indicates quality/ That's some good bread there

To the item we’ve been waiting for: Imagawayaki!

Imagawayaki is a Japanese dessert found at festivals. It’s similar to taiyaki, a fish-shaped red bena paste-filled waffle. Instead of being more waffle-like, it is more similar to cake. Imagawayaki is also eaten in Taiwan (where’s it’s called wheel-cake/biscuit or red bean cake/biscuit. ‘Cake-biscuit’ being ‘bing’ in Chinese. Usually ‘bing’ is translated as biscuit, but I find it to be more similar to cake. To me, biscuits are flat and crunchy or hard. Red bean bing look like a hockey puck, but made of cake.) Red bean paste is the traditional filling for these cakes, but nowadays any sweet soft filling such as custard or flavoured pastes are also popular.

Imagawayaki (now shortened into imas) are made using a grill with depressions for the halves to cook in. Each side is grilled separately, combined together, then the batter in the middle is allowed to cook in order to fuse the two halves together. Refer to pictures for more detail/feast for the eyes/food porn:

The batter is fairly thick, but still pourable. In that jug is matcha (japanese green tea powder) batter. There was also vanilla and chocolate batter.

Pourable batter/ Best stored in a jug, not piped/ Less fiddling around

See the two rows of batter-filled depressions? Those are for the 2 halves of the cake. The row closest to the lady is fuller than the top row. These cakes will be on the bottom and have more heat from the grill to cook them. The further row will be the half that goes on top, receiving less heat. Therefore the top half needs to be more cooked than the bottom half.

Aaah! Overspillage/ Mini tongs for nifty work/ Fixes the problem

The top halves were just placed on top the bottom halves. The leftover liquidy congealing batter on the top halves are swivelled around to get the concealing batter onto the edges. When the top half is flipped onto the bottom half, the congealing batter on the edges seal over with the bottom half, sealing the filling inside the cake rather than being a custard sandwich. Sometimes the batter spills over the sides of the grill, but that’s easily fixed with a pair of mini tongs by pushing the batter back onto the edges of the imagawayaki.

A can-do gesture/ Time for some ima flipping/Thumbs up for good job

I love this picture. I don’t think it was an intentional thumbs-up either. It just looks like a thumbs-up from the angle and timing.

Imas go in bag/ To be consumed very soon/ Grabby hands are go

Imagawayaki. Serious business til the end

Onwards to tasting!

We ate these minutes after they came off the grill. (Those few minutes were spent looking for a surface to place the imagawayaki on, and photographing.)The crust is crunchy, and the inside is soft and fluffy without being floury. But it’s not only sponge-cake-like, but also moist with a pudding-like texture from the filling melding with the just-cooked batter. It’s not too sweet either. They’re warm, and smell like freshly baked goods. What else could I want?

On second thought, these look fantastic too. But those are in Los Angeles, USA. For a different sort of imagawayaki.

Classic vanilla/ The imagawayaki/ Has such a long name

Custard is smooth and has a light flavour, with little sugar. It offers the smooth creaminess while the batter offers the sweetness.

A choc-chip cookie/Not a cookie nor has chips/ A fabrication

Chocolate custard doesn’t have a very chocolatey flavour, but I suspect that might be too heavy for the batter, so I ejoyed the diluted chocolatey-ness.

Double chocolate/ Add chips for triple choc'late/ What makes quadruple?

Chocolate batter tastes like it relies only on cocoa, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The chocolate batter with chocolate custard definately reminds me of self-saucing chocolate pudding. It’s what got me thinking for words to describe the texture. Those words are pudding and fudge.

Filling has melted/ But that has its own charm points/ Warm custard for all

Double Japanese/ Matcha powder and red bean/ Do your flavour math

Sweeter green tea flavour than many matcha-favoured biscuits and candies, more like matcha sponge cakes. Sometimes I find matcha flavouring to be too subtle and gets lost with sugar and other flavourings, but I could taste the matcha flavouring in these imgawayaki. Score! The red bean paste is smooth, with some crushed beans for texture.

Despite the rain and cold, Mornington market was worth the trip just for the calamari and imagawayaki alone. Mornington market daytrip was a success!

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Sherlock Holmes

Name: Sherlock Holmes
Location: Basement, 415 Collins St, Melbourne 3000
Prices: $15-25 mains
Cost rating: 3/5
Taste rating: 9/10
Overall: 8/10

Sherlock Holmes is a English/Irish pub complete with a select beers list, good ol’ pub food, big TV screens to watch the football (or for rugby), lots of standing room and seems to be full every time I peek in. Sherlock Holmes doesn’t only the name for show. There’s also Moriarty’s corner, and the menu is separated into chapters or listed as Watson’s favourites. The walls are also lined with framed illustrations.

Moriarty's lair/ Plot the demise of Sherlock/ But have some beers first

We sat in the corner. On a hexagonal table. It almost looks like a poker table. I almost feel like a villain.

CHICKEN PARMA WITH HAM AND NAPOLI SAUCE, CHIPS AND SALAD
Taste: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.
Shoestring fries are crunchy. Chicken is crunchy on the outside, and juicy on the inside. Just what a parma should be.

A chicken parma/ Australian pub staple/ Copied from wiki

CORNED BEEF WITH MASHED POTATOES AND BRAISED CABBAGE
Taste: 6/10
Would I order it again? No.
Maybe I don’t see the appeal of boiled beef. I like corned beef rare, well peppered and seasoned, in a sandwiches (preferably with mustards and lettuce). But I wouldn’t want to eat hot corned beef for dinner.

The beef has a layer of fat around it to keep it tender, and it’s still pink on the inside. Generous portion of mash. This is what I think of when I think of English food. (Followed by bangers and mash, toad in the hole and yorkshire pudding. Then tikka masala.)

Cold and story day/ Eat buttery mash and hot beef/ Wash down with hot drinks

FISH AND CHIPS, WITH MUSHY PEAS
Taste: 7/10
Would I order it again? Yes.
I’ve had better wedges. The wedges I had didn’t have a crunchy exterior throughout its surface area, only around the skin of the potato. It also seems to be overfried, or fried at the wrong temperature.
The fish batter is crunchy, as expected of a beer-battered fish. I wish the fish was less soft and watery to support the beer-batter. The fish falls out of the batter coating when it is cut into smaller bite-sized pieces.
I’ve never had mushy peas before. It reminds me of avocado, with a different sort of creaminess. It was tasty, despite being what it is. ‘Mushy’ nevers sounds good in my books.

Fancy fish and chips/ Incomplete experience/ Without the seagulls

SCOTCH FILLET
Taste: ?/10
This is medium-rare. It was polished off with gusto, so it must have been tasty. The steak seems to be the soft kind that you can cut with a fork.

Soft or crusty steak?/ Open the great steak debate/ One way to find out...

GARLIC BREAD
Taste: 10/10
Would I order it again? Yes. Recommended.
I love garlic bread. I even like store-bought soggy garlic bread from the supermarket that you heat in the oven.

The garlic bread at Sherlock comes in larger slices than what I am used to, in a sort of a bread that I’m not familiar with. (The shape, thickness of crust and texture of inside.) But the exterior is crunchy, the inside is buttered to the edges, lightly garliced, lightly herbed and has some mustard seeds on it. I have never seen mustard seeds on garlic bread before, but it works very well. It was delicious!

Oh my, garlic bread/ The best garlicky entree/ Good in pizza form

The Sherlock Holmes on Urbanspoon

Docklands Gold Leaf yumcha

Location: Level 1 Star Circus Harbour Town, Docklands, 3008
Cost: $129 for 3 people, ordering a la carte from yumcha trolleys. That, my friends, was a lot steeper than I thought it’d be.
Cost rating: 2/5, expensive side of yumcha, but the best yumcha in the city.
Taste rating: 9.5/10
Overall rating: 9/10, minus one point from the lack of transparent pricing.

I do not know how much each item was, but the items can be divided into categories, getting more expensive in ascending order: small, medium, large, deluxe and special order. When you order a dish, your waiter will cross off the corresponding ‘size’ of the dish. At the end of yumcha, the dishes will be tallied up and then you part with your money.

Internal decor:

Long paper lanterns/ A river of glowing lights/ Guiding you to food

Gold Leaf is one of the best yumchas in the city area. As you can see in the picture, it’s packed. You should make a booking if you don’t want to be waiting for an hour. (We made a booking.)

Offering to you/ Oh god of prosperity/ Fine drop of water

I’m not sure which god this is, but he brings economic success. He also likes to drink. A lot. So at his alter, there should always be a cup of alcohol as an offering. (Nowadays the cups with water, to imitate rice wine.)

An important part of yumcha are the fishtanks. It’s like having dinner at the aquarium, except you can eat the things in the fishtanks.

King of his castle/ Resting upon other crabs/ Easy to fish out

Yumcha is literally ‘drink tea’ in cantonese chinese dialect. You can think of it like english high tea. You have tea, and you have food. While the tea is an essential part of the yumcha experience, the focus is on the food. Yumcha dishes are small dishes of neatly portioned morsels. The idea is to eat many different delicious things, drink delicious tea, have good company to eat and drink with, then company to squabble with for the bill. If you’ve never seen this strange and wonderful bill-competition thing occur before, watch out for a large table. It’s most likely to happen on large tables, with people from different families. One fond memory of bill-squabbling I have includes being bribed by my great-aunt to pass the bill to her so she could ‘look at it’. I got a free lunch and a preserved plum candy out of that.

Have some tea. Then read on for a la carte yumcha dishes.

A cup of hot tea/ Breathe in the fragrant vapour/ Unwind, and quench thirst

Soy sauce and chili/ Adjust your food to your tastes/ Get ready to eat.

Everybody has their own yumcha dish which they’ll consider the classics, and cannot leave without eating that dish. It’s a strange feeling: to feel unsatisfied yet satiated with food. For me, the classics include ‘fun cheung’ and ‘har gow’. For my usual lunching buddy, it is ‘dim sum’ and ‘char siu bao’. For our newcomer lunching buddy, it was fried taro puffs, chicken pie ‘gai pai’ and egg tarts. So, of course, we had all of those.

CHICKEN PIE/ GAI PAI
Score: 9/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

Shiny chicken pie/ Much more like a chicken tart/ Plus a sweet crumble

If you like chicken pie, you should order this. The chicken pie is a ubiquitous yumcha item. The chicken pie at Gold Leaf comprises of two types of pastry: Flaky and Crumbly. The flaky pastry forms the crunchy bottom to hold the chicken mix, and the crumbly pastry forms the lid over the chicken mix and lends itself well for that cracked pattern seen in the above picture.
It’s short, crumbly, flaky and melt-in-your-mouth without being gluggy. The chicken mix is pasty. I’ve never met a chinese chicken pie with large bits of chicken in it. There are only small bits and a chicken-flavoured roux filling the pie. The whole experience of the chicken pie is smooth, rich and melt-in-your-mouth. Personally, I prefer to have larger bits of chicken in a pie as a textural component.
The pastries and buns at Gold Leaf (GL) are excellent. We suspect the GL chain in Melbourne has taken the pastry chefs from the yumcha that was previously at Hyatt Hotel. Usually yumcha is more renounced for their steamed goods, not their pastries, but it is the reverse at GL. Not because the steamed goods are bad, but because the pastries are excellent. I am impressed.

CHAR SIU PUFF
Score: ?/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Gigantuous task/ One, two, three, argh, too many/ Counting the layers

I didn’t get to eat this. I was too full from other things to eat this. But I would order it again because the pastries were fantastic, and it looks like something that lives up to those standards. Just look at the layers, amazing.

EGGPLANT PRAWN
Score: 8-9/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Vegetable custard/ Why so delicious, eggplant?/ Silky smooth plus crunch

Pieces of eggplant slathered with finely minced prawn, fried, then steamed with a sweet garlicky sauce. The eggplant is silky, and its pulpy flesh gives way to become tender and crisp in the frying stage, then soaks up moisture and cooks in the broth of prawns and itself in the steaming process. The prawn mince is crunchy and its texture contrasts with the silky smooth eggplant. I docked two points for not frying the eggplant and prawn long enough to break down the fibres of the eggplant completely (until the eggplant resembles a custard), and for the eggplants being very slightly bitter. I am sure the latter point is just bad luck. Some people may feel that a short frying time is better. The trade off for the custard-like texture is the amount of oil that the eggplant absorbs. Eggplants absorb a lot of oil, it soaks it up like a sponge. (The oiliness can be helped by sufficient drainage of oil prior to steaming.) In the end, it’s up to taste.

BBQ PORK BUN/ CHAR SIU BAO
Score: 10/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Incoming trolley/ See trolley avoid traffic/ How do they do it?

Mega fluffy bun/ Well-risen, and pristine white/ A savoury cloud

Better than a cloud/ No clouds have char siu contents/ But rain is not bad

Char siu buns are tricky. There are a lot of components to it: char siu marinade flavour, barbequing the marinade pork strips, making the primary dough, cutting the primary dough with sugar, pleating the buns and steaming. There’s a lot of space to let your skill show.

The pork pieces are large, char siu sauce is balanced in terms of sweetness and mouth puckering-ness (from the plum sauce), bun itself is soft and fluffy. Also, it doesn’t stick to the roof of your mouth. (I know I pay too much attention to these things. They might not even be important.)

EGG TARTS
Score: 10/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

You are my sunshine/ Not a Golden Circle ad/ A plug for egg tarts

Egg tarts are important. Very important.
The pastry needs to be flaky and crunchy, and the egg filling needs to be smooth, custardy and have a sweet glaze on top so the egg mix doesn’t need to be too sweet. The egg tarts at GL are just that.

ICECREAM MOCHI
Score: 7/10
Would I order this again? No.

Edible snowball/ Crunchy, chewy and creamy/ They all start with 'C'.

Picture of inside/ Better take one for the team/ Time to eat mochi

Icecream is one of my favourite foods. I like mochi (a glutinous rice dumpling) too. See my posts on daifuku (stuffed mochi) and yukimi-daifuku (brand name of an icecream-stuffed mochi) for more information on mochi.
Red pill for  Red Bean Paste daifuku.
Blue pill for Yukimi Daifuku.
The mochi layer at GL is too thick and chewy, without the meltaway sensation. Mochi does become harder and have more structural rigidity when it cold, but in the case of yukimi daifuku, the mochi layer was much thinner to compensate for this. The mochi layer is also unstretchy, which gives it a chewy texture. There could have been more icecream in the mochi, but I can that would be difficult technique-wise. Usually this dessert would be filled with red bean, mung bean paste, lotus seed paste or a mix of crushed peanuts/coconut/sesame/sugar, and the mochi would be thick enough to compensate for the sweetness and texture of the filling. I do like to see restaurants keeping up with food trends, such as icecream mochi, which is why we ordered it in the first place. But GL still have a ways to go with their icecream mochi.

RICEPAPER PRAWN
Score: 10/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Like a summer roll/ Plus two of my fav'rite things/ Frying and mayo

I enjoyed this dimsum the most. It has minced prawn with lengths of carrots and spring onion, wrapped in ricepaper and seaweed, lightly battered then fried. The result is a delicious prawn-based dimsum, with several kinds of ‘crunchy’ textures in one. There is also sweet mayonnaise to go with it. I recommend this!

TARO PUFFS
Score: ?/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

A golden collar/ Maybe even a gold crown?/ Eat some taro puffs

Taro puffs are pretty awesome. Look at the pastry surrounding it, so lacy and delicate. I’d order it again because so far, GL was an impressive pastry track record. Some days I lament the lack of stomach space to fit all these delicious things in it.

TOFU SEAFOOD PARCEL
Score: 8/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Pescatarian/ Food of the land, food of sea/ Flashback to Totto

A parcel with a block of silken tofu with a fried exterior, with prawn mince, a whole prawn, wrapped in seaweed to keep it together, then topped off with fish roe. It’s a treat for those who like seafood. I don’t think the seaweed is necessary, but it does add some more visual appeal. Bu taste-wise, the seaweed becomes soggy and watery, detracting from the seafood.

(Totto reference: ‘Totto-chan’ is a book about a girl who goes to a school for different children. The principle starts a lunchtime rule of having “food from the land, and food from the sea” as part of a compete diet. It allowed parents feel like they were making a ‘good enough’ lunchbox for their kids, even if they couldn’t spend a lot of money on them. For example, a lunchbox of rice, an omelette and seaweed flakes sprinkled on the rice was a complete meal. )

DIMSUM
Score: ?/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Prep work is the key/ Better make your own pork mince/ Go get two sharp knives

Apparently it is very good, so I should order it again.

PRAWN DUMPLINGS/HAR GAO
Score: 9/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Translucent rice skin/ Watch the critics judge this one/ Yumcha gold standard

Never met a prawn dumpling I didn’t like. Crunchy prawn mince with bamboo shoots mixed throughout for more crunch, encased in a stretchy melt-in-your-mouth glutinous rice flour skin. Yumcha classic.

PORK CRACKLING AND JELLYFISH
Score: 9/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

A plate of textures/ Did you know that's jellyfish?/ Don't let that stop you.

Pork crackling and marinated preserved jellyfish is a traditional banquet appetiser. The pork skin is crispy without having bits that are chewy, and the flesh is sweet and tender. Not too salty either, but I don’t mind that. Especially when the pork has a glazed roasted underbelly. No qualms with the pork.
Preserved jellyfish is not a food that many people come across. I suspect many people don’t know what the noodle-like foodstuff around the pork is, and I relish every opportunity for people to eat jellyfish, then bring to their attention that they’ve eaten jellyfish. I get mixed reactions.
Jellyfish doesn’t have a taste of its own, it’s slightly alkaline, but not enough to bother people. It’s eaten for the texture. It’s cold, and crunchy, like thick-cut vermicelli only crunchier. I prefer jellyfish to be seasoned a little more than they do at GL, but it’s still tasty.

TRIPE
Score: 9/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Gateway to offal/ Like most cheap cuts, good in stews/ Inoffensive taste

Tripe is another one of those foods people seem to have divided opinions on. I like tripe when it’s cooked properly so that it’s tender and flavoursome. I don’t have any problems with eating tripe, but I do know some people refuse to eat offal. I think they’re missing out.
Tripe at GL is soft, tender and flavoursome. It’s not quite soft enough to bite through the tougher portions, but this isn’t a problem until you find a really large piece. The tougher bits of the tripe need to be cut into smaller portions, and that is my only qualm with GL tripe.

PRAWN RICE NOODLE/FUN CHEUNG
Score: 10/10
Would I order this again? Yes.

Hark, prawn noodle tube/ Or a rice-y rollover/ Or a steamed pastry?

These rice noodles are actually one huge sheet of glutinous rice flour batter, steamed then rolled around prawns. So in my mind, it isn’t a noodle, but what else can I call it? There’s something odd about the term ‘prawn noodle tube’. If you ever get the chance to see them beng made, it’s quite a task. It’s very easy to tear the sheet of noodle, and difficult to roll up noodles when it’s steaming hot.

The noodle sheet is thin, silky smooth and neatly rolled. The prawns are large, not those little prawns that you find in a lot of fried rice takeaways. (Even though I do like those little shrimp too.)

BEEF RICE NOODLE/FUN CHEUNG
Score: 9/10
Would I order this again? No.

Bad analogies/ Only serve to confuse you/Just call it 'fun cheung'

The only difference with the beef fun cheung and prawn fun cheung is the filling. Beef fun cheung has a soft beef mince mix with cornflour and spring onions in it. I prefer the beef mix to have less cornflour and flour binder and have some semblance of texture in my noodle tube, but GL seems to enjoy having a smooth consistancy in all its food.

That’s all for today’s yumcha haul. I recommend the ricepaper prawn and egg tarts. The ricepaper prawn rolls are a new addition to the traditional yumcha fare, and the egg tarts cover you for the baked goods.

Gold Leaf on Urbanspoon

Instameal: Gomtang beef ramen

Name: Gomtang beef stock ramen
Cost: $1.10
Contents: Wad of ramen, packet of soup base.
Spiciness: 0/10
Taste: Noodles 7/10, Soup 7/10
Would I buy it again? No. (Explanation below.) But recommended!

Shiny gold packet/ Representing product pic/ Witness rare instance

Shiny gold packet. Hard to miss.

Watch these two items/ Want to see a magic trick?/ Turn into ramen

Simple.

A surprising one/ Not the typical beef taste/ Try it for yourself

The end product is a creamy beef bone-based stock with smooth soft noodles. It has some sesame seeds in it, but it doesn’t overpower the overall mild flavour. For people who use beef flavours as their standard for instant noodles (my favourite go-to flavour is seafood, as you may have guessed from the sheer amount of seafood instant noodles I have reviewed.), this is not your standard beef flavour. It doesn’t taste remotely like bovril. Or beef stock. It is something entirely different.
It would be a fantastic meal if I felt like something mild, creamy and simple. The reason I rated this instant noodle highly but wouldn’t buy again is purely from my tastes in instant noodles. (I have some strange likes and dislikes.) It’s a good place to start if you like tonkotsu broth (pork bone-based stock, it’s another creamy silky rich broth.), because it has that silky mouthfeel you find in ramen shops. I would use this as the standard.
Nonetheless, it is a tasty instant noolde, and I would recommend it!

Instameal: Nongshim potato noodle soup

Name: Nongshim Potato noodle soup
Cost: $1.20
Contents: Wad of potato starch noodles, 2 sachets: 1 soup base, 1 dried vegetables.
Spiciness: 0/10
Taste: Noodles 6/10, Broth: 8/10
Would I buy it again? No.

Potato noodle/ A meal of carbohydrates/ More carbs? Just add rice.

 

Back to potatoes/ Potato and wheat mixed/ This is not gnocchi

Stretchy, translucent / Mental texture dissonance/ Potato noodle

Potato starch noodles are chewier, springier noodles that can become cellophane-clear among some brangs. I didn’t like the chewy springy noodles as an instant noodle. They will stick together and form a clump in your bowl, and you have to exercise caution not to splatter your face/clothes with broth when extricating noodles from the broth. Especially if you’re a fast eater and have no patience for resistance in noodles.
But for those who are unfussed and don’t care for trying to suck down a bowl of noodles at record time through your nostrils, the noodle texture is something new. If you’re game for a slightly chewier and elastic noodle, try the potato noodles.

IR: Mango icebar

Name: I dub thee Mango Icebar.
Cost: $1
Score: 5/10, average. But if you want a cheapo mango icecream, you can settle for average.
Would I buy this again? No.
These are the most common icebars found in Melbourne asian grocery stores. They come in various flavours, and are usually the cheapest option.

I see you, Mango/ Both in text and in picture/ Less guesswork for me

Here’s a picture of the packet for your reference.

Not my favourite/ But it was mango flavoured/ And a warm day too

It’s bright orange! It’s not the zingy nectar-sweet mango flavour that I enjoy most from a mango icecream, but a more caramelly musky mango flavour. The texture is … flaky? It’s the kind of icebar where you can suck all the flavour from it and leave a flavourless ice left on the stick, and it begins to break off in lined-up icy needle blocks. If you’re not careful, the last bit can fall off when you try to eat around the stick. You have been warned.

IR: Lotte Watermelon

Name: I dub thee Lotte watermelon slice
Cost: $1
Score: 7/10, it wins points for its design and appeal to my novelties weakness
Would I buy it again? Yes

I wonder what flavour?/ Colour theme and motif win/ Don't need three guesses

But when it does come in different languages, the wrapper picture is the same. Same red and green watermelon-themed packaging. Look out for the watermelon slice-on-a-stick picture on the left side.

Summer on a stick/ But no match for the real thing /A charming design

Apart from beng watermelon flavoured, it looks like a watermelon! For those who have read Evangelion, this is the ice cream Asuka eats in one of the chapters. They exist, and you too can sample one.
The pink section tastes like watermelon, that bubblegummy artificial watermelon taste. The dark flecks in the pink section are seeds or nuts of some sort. Or chocolate. They were hard and crunchy, and had a nutty flavour to it. Just like watermelon seeds. (‘cept most people don’t eat the black watermelon seeds when eating watermelon.)
Lastly, the green rind section. This is my favourite part. It has an odd sort of flavour, that I can’t articulate well. But it is delicious.

Come summer time and I will have my icy watermelon slices in an icypole form! Twice the cooling power!