Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The Pour Kids

Address: 1E Winter Street, Malvern, Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9077 3847
Facebook: The Pour Kids

Ada and I caught up again the other day for breakfast near her place at The Pour Kids. I'd been drooling at pictures over this cafe for ages, and Ada was a regular at here, so I was happy to meet her at The Pour Kids. And I'm glad I did because I liked almost everything about this place. Let's start with the food....I ordered a Stacks On.

One of the fun and quirky things about The Pour Kids is the names of the dishes. They all have fun names that sound like titles of Children's story books, or cheeky little rhymes. The Stacks On dish was very much a piling up of house-made potato hashes, chorizo sausages, guacamole and roasted corn relish with a dab of sour cream to the side. I really loved the crispy hash with it's warm, shreds of potato. The corn relish really sweetened the flavours and the guac and sour cream gave it a smooth, creamy element. A warning though: Those chorizo sausages are very spicy! They were a tad bit too crispy for me, but everything else was wonderful about this dish!

Ada ordered the Duck for Cover, which comprised of prok sausages, burnt-butter gnoochi, fried egg and swiss chaud. As a regular, Ada knew exactly what she wanted...I developed serious food envy from the pillowy gnocchi on her plate which was wafting with the scent of butter. I also ordered a House-Brewed Chai, which was really frothy and spicy with Chai flavouring, though not too sweet.

My food envy was so serious that I decided to visit The Pour Kids with the intention of getting the Duck for Cover when I was close to the suburb later in the week. However, the weather was too hot for a filling meal, so I went with a lighter dish - Seeds the Day! The dish felt quite healthy and refreshing. It was pretty much a chia seed pudding topped with crunchy, toasted seeds, slices of strawberry and kiwi, raspberry compote and goji berries. It had the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness....I was so happy to have ordered this dish!

Here is the Chai I mentioned before. To quench my thirst on my second visit, I also ordered an iced latte. All very refreshing. 

Another thing I really liked about The Pour Kids was the fun interior design of the space. The walls were filled with black and white art reminiscent of Banksy's graffti style. In fact, the logo looked remarkably like a Banksy piece I'd seen somewhere on a wall in London! There were wooden chairs in pretty primary colours, unusual bouquets of flowers and lights in basket orbs that cast interesting shadows on the walls. 

Both the front and the back of the space were pretty, with the black table featuring a bunch of wooden rainbow stools to complement the rainbow chairs. The walls were all black and white with a beautiful patterned tile wall for the front counter. It really stood out from other cafes I had visited with its matching theme!

Did I love The Pour Kids? Yes, I did. The food was good, the space was beautiful and the waiter was really nice. I was a little unsure about how I felt about the waitress we had on my first visit because she was a bit blase about serving us. But it was pretty packed the first time I came. The second time I visited, it was quiet and the waiter was lovely. I will definately be back to visit again...I'm determined to try the rest of the dishes here, especially Ada's dish!


Service: 7/10
Ambience: 10/10
Food: 19/20

Worth Visiting? Excellent food, pretty space! A lot of love going out to The Pour Kids
Price: $$ (You're looking at an average of about $15 per dish - the cheapest dish is around $7.50)

The Pour Kids on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 5 February 2015


Address: Shop 4/19-37 A'Beckett Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000
Phone: (03) 9654 7887
Facebook: Wonderbao

We've been lucky enough to have Wonderbao with us for a couple of years now. I've been visiting whenever I have a bao craving. Some of you may ask, what is a 'bao'? It's the Chinese word for bun and it refers to the white steamed buns you find in restaurants and street vendors in China, Hong Kong and many other parts of Asia. These buns can be plain or filled with some delicious sweet or savoury filling. They can also come flat, like taco shells, to be served with slices of meat and vegetables. These are known as Gua Baos and are quite popular in Taiwan as street food. 

Since opening in 2012, Wonderbao has made the Gua Bao popular in Melbourne, serving three regular combinations, as well as some unique versions for events as such as the Night Noodle Market. With a craving for some baos the other day, I ventured in for a late lunch and ordered one of each of the different flavours.

In general, my favourite is the Roast Pork Belly Gua Bao. The bun is very soft and sweet plum sauce and pickled carrots are used to flavour the slice of pork belly, providing a zest that offsets the richness of the meat. The pork belly is soft and tender with a good balance of fat and meat. 

This goes for the pork in the Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao as well. The Braised Pork is the traditional flavour that you'd find if you were to visit a Taiwanese night market. I'd say that Wonderbao has been pretty faithful to the street snack, serving it with the exact same pickles and crushed peanuts. I'm not a fan of pickles in general but the coriander and peanuts make the bun agreeable.

The Fried Silky Tofu Gua Bao has a thick slice of fried tofu, which I like a lot. But the pickles are quite strong, so I have to pick them out whenever I buy this one.

On my last visit, I also ordered a warm soy milk so I could stay to read my book as it was too sunny to read outside. When I finished hanging around, I ordered another, more traditional bun as a dessert - a Nai Wong Bao, or in English, an egg custard bun. Wonderbao make really nice egg custard buns. The custard is thick and slightly more creamier than the other egg custards you get when you buy Nai Wong Baos. The buns are also fluffy and not at all dry like the ones you have to defrost yourself. 

I think I mentioned ordering a soy milk before? That's right, you can get warm or cold soy milk at Wonderbao. The warm soy milk comes in a cute Wonderbao cup. Or, if you're not a fan of Asian soy milk, they also have a bunch of other drinks (from Asian Grocery stores) on sale. I had to laugh when I saw that they'd called them F.O.B drinks! 

Wonderbao a nice space to sit and eat lunch or to grab take away from. I've had various degrees of friendliness from smiling and conversational staff to nonchalent-hipster types serving me...but the service is always quick and efficient. The store itself is pretty cute and a good place for a quick catch-up with friends. But it's very busy with university students around lunch time due to its affordable prices and convenient location...I'd wait till after 2 o'clock if you want to hang around in the space. But do I recommend Wonderbao? Hells yeah.


Service: 7/10
Ambience: 7/10
Food: 17/20

Worth Visiting? Cheap, quick, tasty, filling...What's not to like?
Price: $ (You're looking at $2-$5 per bun. Depending on which buns you order, you may just fill up on 1 or 2!)

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon