Bridesmaid brunch at Gardiner & Field

It was probably a mistake to try the new Armadale venue, Gardiner & Field, on it’s first open weekend… especially after a good write-up in Broadsheet earlier this week…

I kinda thought that the old milk bar was going to transform into a cool cafe to give the girls at the Cubby House Canteen some healthy competition… but really, it’s not actually targeting the same crowd… or at least it shouldn’t be but obviously some of the Malvern Mums forgot that the little ones like a babycino and a swing-set as there were certainly a few kiddies filling the valuable real estate in the small cafe…

We knew we would have to wait and we were told 20 minutes… No problem. Five great friends and only one hangover (oh no… not the bride)… Half an hour later a very apologetic waitress explained that a group had finished but they just wouldn’t leave… Understandable. I hate being rushed out of places so we waited patiently for another 15 minutes and eventually sat down and ordered asap…

Spiced quinoa, pumpkin and chickpea fritters with flatbread, spiced yoghurt, coriander and poached eggs

Poached egg with prosciutto and a broad bean, peas, avo & fetta mash

I ordered the quinoa fritters on flatbread. Pretty much clean and lean too, except the flatbread… which was EXCELLENT!!! The whole dish was delish, except the eggs just felt a little out-of-place among all the other ingredients… and I am the one who loves weird stuff… The ladies told me the that broad bean eggs needed more fetta in the mash. Don’t hold back boys! Whack in some flavour or otherwise it’s just too healthy…. The coffee was great, served in really cute aqua cups.

For me this is a place I would return on a weekday… then again, these days I feel like I am writing that at the end of every breakfast story… Basically I just need to stop having hangovers and get up earlier! Dammit!

Gardiner and Field on Urbanspoon

Chilli time at Chin Chin…

Another dunch at another no-bookings restaurant… Dunch is a 3pm Friday lunch that allows us to get into the super popular restaurants and means we don’t have to go back to work!

Finally Frank goes to Chin Chin!

With the Friday lunch gang who survived the habenero chilli incident at Mamasita we were looking forward to more hot dishes ahead of us. The restaurant was absolutely packed. Even at 3pm. According to the waitress Chin Chin is actually packed from the minute it opens until the minute it closes every day. I believe her. Unlike our Mamasita experience we were not even slightly rushed through our meal. We sat at our table until 7pm stuffing ourselves with the ‘feed me’ menu (highly recommended but make sure you are hungry!)

A cocktail on a arrival… Do it!

Kingfish Sashimi with lime, chilli, coconut and thai basil

The papaya salad was really hot! We thought we could handle it and to our credit no one ordered milk but it was def the hottest dish of the day. The girls needed a ciggie break after this one just to calm the palate…?

Spicy hot green papaya salad with chargrilled red chilli, prawn floss and peanuts

Organic pork satay with cucumber, pineapple, crushed peanuts and 3 flavour sauce

Crispy skin duck with pickled cucumber and ginger salad and sesame salt and fresh lemon

Organic silken tofu salad with thai basil and hot, sweet, bitter dressing

The tofu was my favourite dish. Fried tofu is one of my favourite things ever and in combination with chilli and the dressing it was an absolute winner.

Massaman Curry – Hopkins River braised beef brisket with pink fir apple potatoes and crispy shallots

This was the first time I have tried Massaman curry. Another one of those times I wonder why the hell it took me so long. I have had it at least three times since!

Palm sugar ice-cream sundae with salted honeycomb and lime syrup

An obligatory dessert of course. YUM! We actually had two desserts the sundae above and the grilled banana roti bread with condensed milk and cinnamon sugar which was sensational but looked pretty average in my photo so just trust me, It’s a must-order. Now you understand why you need to be hungry to order ‘feed me’in fact, I think there was meant to be another course but we just couldn’t fit it in and still have room for dessert.

Chin Chin was every bit as good as the hype! I hate waiting for restaurants but I probably would wait in the cool downstairs bar for this one…. Or go again for Friday dunch of course.

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

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