146-148 Little Bourke Street
The selection of food isn’t too big; you’d be silly to expect it to be for the price. But there are silver tureens of meats and stews, and a bright salad bar full of fresh greens and all the kimchi you could possibly eat.
Instinct took over as I approached the spread, forbidding me from taking more than a mouthful of each dish, so that I might try as many of them as possible. My first plate consisted of an unremarkable seaweed salad and kimchi, some sweet chicken pieces and sweeter pork strips, as well as a piece of crispy spicy chicken that is neither crispy nor spicy. The jap chae however, turned out to be surprisingly yummy. Despite being bland looking and with a noodle-to-vegetable ratio that was way off, the sweet potato noodles were satisfyingly chewy and fragrant with the generous use of sesame oil.
The second plate I carried back had a small mound of kimchi fried rice (a bit gluggy), a puddle of vegetable curry (a funny tasting cross between Japanese and Indian), two large pieces of delightfully silken tofu (fished from the tofu and seafood stew), and a couple more twists of the sweet pork whose flavour has grown on me.
I don’t think any of us expected Gogi to be absolutely amazing. But you really can’t go wrong with a decent spread of Asian dishes that invited you to eat as much as your stomach could handle for just $12.
Moving to a cosier location out of the wind, we found ourselves in San Churro.
And out comes some beautiful macarons from La Belle Miette, flawless and perfect, with smooth domes like painted eggshells sandwiching a wickedly creamy ganache. The shell cracks under our teeth, giving away to a center that stays sticky and elastic for a split second, before melting away in a delicious sugar rush.
And some adorable cupcakes from Cupcake Central. These were packed with flavour, the crumb moist and tender with a large dollop of soft cream cheese icing on top.
|Macaron and Custard Cupcake|
The special of the day was practically made for macaron-loving Bilge, who couldn’t stop cooing over the miniature confection. And hidden under the swirl of cream cheese was a luscious and silky pocket of custard. Cupcake Central has outdone itself once again.
|Banana Split Cupcake|
And a banana split flavoured cupcake for me, complete with a banana chip, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.
And when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I was presented with two vouchers for high tea at the Windsor. Thank you so much Sophia, Sneha, Kathy, Bilge, Sarah, Sandu, Jan, Minh-An, Nick, and Keith for making my 19th birthday a memorable one. I’m so lucky to have you guys in my life.