Shortstop is a popular donuts and coffee spot in the Melbourne CBD. Located on Sutherland Street and walking distance from Melbourne Central Station, the donuts there tend to be sold out before closing time so I’d recommend getting in there early or pre-ordering! At Shortstop, they usually have around 10 different donut flavours to choose from and their flavours do also change from time to time. Whilst the flavours may change, they usually have at least one of each type of donut (Raised, Cruller, Filled and Cake). The first time I visited Shortstop I had to try all the different types. Obviously.
I ordered the Thai Milk Tea (Raised), Maple Walnut & Brown Butter (Raised), Tiramisu (Filled), Cookies & Cream (Filled), Triple Matcha (Cake) and Australian Honey & Sea Salt (Cruller) which sadly, is not pictured above.
The Cake donuts are as you would think by the label given. They are cake shaped donuts. Freshly made, this Triple Matcha Cake donut is fluffy, with a bold matcha flavour to it with just a slight bitterness coming through. The white chocolate and matcha glaze is heavily on the sweet side but that’s par for the course for white chocolate and donuts in general. Love the matcha flavour but not the glaze so much.
Eaten the Shortstop donuts fresh is amazing and I highly recommend you don’t keep the donuts for too long after as the texture, taste does change a bit. The Maple Walnut & Brown Butter Raise donut is incredible. Like the best damn donut I’ve ever tried. Crunchy and toasty maple walnuts with the just sweet enough brown butter glaze on top of this so fluffy raised donut it’s the perfect combination.
The Thai Milk Tea donut is interesting and in a good way. I love fusing Asian flavours with traditionally Western food so this one works for me. The Thai Milk Tea flavour does come through but it’s a bit more subtle than I would have liked but again the donut is top notch. Fluffy and not dry.
The Tiramisu filled donut has a lovely coffee cream filling inside. The coffee flavour is surprisingly intense and might be a bit too strong for my liking with the fluffy donut. However, for those that love their coffee creams strong, this one is for you.
Usually you can’t go wrong with a Cookie & Cream flavour or filling, and this is no different. The Cookies & Cream filling is tasty, the flavour comes through perfectly and the cream is so light and delicious paired with the fluffy donut.
The Cruller’s are interesting. The texture of these donuts is quite airy which is nice, but the honey glaze is incredibly sweet. Too sweet to have the entire donut all to oneself to be honest. The sea salt seasoning does try and put the sweetness back in balance a bit but I wouldn’t order this particular flavour again.
Interesting flavours and more importantly tasty donuts. Donuts done right.
12 Sutherland Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Taiyaki is one of my favourite Japanese snacks. I remember trying it for the first time in a Japanese mall in the USA and absolutely wowed over the crispy exterior and fluffy dough with custard oozing out. So when I came back to Melbourne, I tried to find a good one here but to no avail as yet. I was so tempted to buy a Taiyaki pan on eBay but the cost of shipping would have set me back quite a bit, however, I was fortunate enough to come across a really light one on this street that sells all these commercial kitchenware in Asakusa, Tokyo. I found this recipe from Just One Cookbook that has a nice Taiyaki recipe which is easy enough to follow, and tastes great too.
Taiyaki (By Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook)
Makes: 5 Pieces
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour
150g Cake Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 Egg, Beaten
3 tbsp Caster Sugar
100g Red Bean Paste
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1. In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda.
2. Add the caster sugar to the flour mix whisk to combine.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg. Add the milk and whisk until well combined.
4. Add the egg and milk mixture to the dry mixture and whisk well. Place the batter in the refrigerator for at least an hour to rest.
5. Take the mixture out of the fridge and pour the batter into a measuring jug. The batter should be around 1 1/4 cups.
6. Place the Taiyaki pan over the stove, and heat the pan on low medium heat. Brush the pan with the vegetable oil.
7. Pour the batter into the mold to around 60% full. Make sure the batter covers all around the mold.
8. Roll the red bean paste into a cylindrical shape and place into the centre of the mold. Pour batter on top to cover it. Close the lid and immediately flip.
9. Cook the Taiyaki for around 2 to 2.5 minutes each side. Then flip and cook for another 2 to 2.5 minutes. Open the pan to check if the Taiyaki is golden in colour. Remove the Taiyaki from the mold and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Authenticity is Ba’get’s motto, mission and lifeblood. Ba’get is providing authentic Vietnamese food, made from recipes that have been handed down through the generations. Ba’get not only have a wide variety of their signature Vietnamese Rolls (Banh Mi) but they also offer Vermicelli Rice Bowls where you can choose your preferred meat or vegetarian option. Ba’get have recently introduced Vietnamese Broken Rice to their menu, and you can also choose your choice of meat/veg and a sauce to go with it.
Meal vouchers kindly provided by Ba’get
If you’ve never come to Ba’get, you wouldn’t pass the opportunity to try their Banh Mi. I ordered the Grilled Pork version but you get this with Grilled Meatballs, Grilled Chicken, Pulled Chicken, Tofu, Tomato Meatballs, Salad, Ham & Cheese, Salami and Cheese, Classic Meat, or even as a Breakfast Ba’get. Their Grilled Pork option has great flavour to the meat, a tad too dry for my liking but still tasty nonetheless.
Ba’get’s Grilled Chicken Broken Rice with Fish Sauce (Com tam) has all the components of a great Vietnamese Broken Rice. The grilled chicken has a lovely grilled flavour to it, but I find it a bit dry. The fish sauce with the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers does help bring it all together. You can also the Broken Rice with Grilled Pork or Tofu with your choice of Fish or Soy Sauce.
The Grilled Chicken Vermicelli Bowl (Bún thit nuong) is one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes, and especially so in the spring or summer months when a bowl of steaming hot Pho is out of the question. While Ba’get’s offering doesn’t have the same sweet and sour notes that I’m used to for the sauce, the fish sauce that you can order with this works well together. It’s still quite a refreshing meal!
You can order this with Grilled Pork, Tomato Meatballs, Pulled Chicken, Crisp Salad, Classic Meat, Grilled Meatballs, or Tofu with your choice of Soy, Hoisin or Fish Sauce.
Ba’get also offer Rice Paper Rolls, Pork & Taro Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Puffs, Sesame Donuts and of course Vietnamese Ice Coffee to go with your meal so there’s something for everyone.
While Ba’get may not match the highs that you may find in Vietnamese hubs like Richmond or Springvale, it does provide a decent option for Vietnamese food in Melbourne CBD, Watergardens and Werribee.
132 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ba’get – Elizabeth St
369 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
This is one of my favourite baked cheesecake recipes. It has a crunchy hazelnut base, a layer of black sesame filling, a layer of green tea filling, a green tea powder on top and it doesn’t feel very rich like some cheesecakes are. I’m so glad I found this recipe on Oh Sweet Day, who has some amazing looking recipes that I can’t wait to try too.
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake (by Oh Sweet Day)
Makes: One 8-inch Cake
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour plus overnight
Hazelnut Shortbread Crust
150g Hazelnuts, Toasted
85g Unsalted Butter (Cold), Cubed
125g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake
450g Cream Cheese, Softened
210ml Sour Cream, Room Temperature
180g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
4 tbsp Matcha Green Tea Powder (27g)
45g Black Sesame Powder
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line an 8-inch spring form pan.
2. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and then add to the food processor.
3. Place the unsalted butter, plain flour, caster sugar and salt into the food processor with the hazelnuts. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Place the crust mixture into the lined spring form pan and press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan so it is all combined. Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes or until just browned. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 145°C.
5. In a standing mixer, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, caster sugar, vanilla extra until combined.
6. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mixing until just combined before adding the next egg. Blend for another 2 minutes until well combined.
7. Divide the batter into two equal portions. Add two tablespoons of the matcha green tea powder to one and black sesame powder to the other. Mix until well combined.
8. Pour the black sesame batter into the pan. Then pour the green tea batter on top.
9. Position the rack in the centre of the oven and place the cheesecake on it. In a shallow pan, fill it with water and place it on the lower rack in the oven. Bake for an hour, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the centre is wobbly and wet looking. Turn off the oven with the door slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool completely. This may take at least an hour. Remove from the oven and chill in the fridge overnight.
10. Dust the remaining matcha green tea powder on top of the cheesecake just before serving.
Indochine on Carrington Road is a popular eatery in Box Hill serving an array of authentic Vietnamese dishes. You might be surprised to know that there are quite a number of Vietnamese restaurants in Box Hill such as the recently renovated Pho Huong Viet, Tien Dat, Pho 888, Tan Tan and the new kid on the block, Miss Saigon. Having tried a majority of these, nothing seems to compare to what you may come across in the Vietnamese hubs like Springvale, Richmond or Footscray.
The pho at Indochine is a mixed bag, while the broth is one of the better ones in Box Hill, it’s served at such a lukewarm temperature that you’d rather have a slightly poorer tasting Pho than order this again.
Having been disappointed in the tomato rice dishes in Richmond, I finally found a great one. It’s on par with what I ordered in Springvale. The tomato rice is fried nicely, not too wet and not too dry and cooked with scrambled egg. The crispy chicken at Indochine is also pretty tasty, crispy skin and maybe just slightly over cooked chicken. Served with a slice of lemon and extra salt, which I find you won’t really need anyway.
Come to Indochine for their tasty Vietnamese food but maybe not for their pho.
51 Carrington Road
Box Hill VIC 3128