Pacos Tacos in Eastland’s Town Square is their second store in Melbourne, with their first located on Bourke Street in the CBD. However, their Eastland store has a slightly different menu with a smaller focus on cocktails and sharing dishes and a larger focus on main meals and entrees but both stores offering their range of tacos options.
Their Enchilada comes with BBQ chicken, brown rice, red mole, cheese, sour cream, and jalapenos. It’s quite a decent feed, and the combination of ingredients makes for a tasty enchilada. It just needed a few more jalapenos to make it pop.
Pacos Tacos’ Croquetas are basically deep fried sweet corn and pickled jalapeno croquettes with a chipotle sauce. I loved these crunchy croquetas and would happily just eat a few of these and some nachos.
Their Burritos comes with your choice of chicken, beef or pork with brown rice, black beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, jalapenos and a chipotle dressing. I didn’t find the burrito to be anything special, it was nice but again needed some heat to it because it was lacking in a bit of flavour.
The Pollo Frito (aka chicken wings) with a citrus and corn coating with hot sauce. These chicken wings were crispy and moist, and the hot sauce is a nice accompaniment to the wings.
Pacos Tacos in Eastland doesn’t really wow, but it does offer a good selection of Mexican dishes.
Town Square, Eastland Shopping Centre
R07/171-175 Maroondah Hwy
Ringwood VIC 3134
I grew up eating Agar Agar jelly as a kid, and would always see it featured in some form or another at potluck gatherings with friends and family. Sometimes it’d be flavoured but most of the time it’s jelly with some fresh fruit inside. These agar agar jellies have a bit more bite to it, and it’s why you can use jelly moulds to make these because they should come out of the moulds with ease and still hold its shape. You can also use agar agar powder as a vegan substitute for gelatin so there’s actually plenty of uses for it!
Makes: Around 16 Jellies
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour
600ml Lychee Syrup (From can of lychees in syrup)
5g Agar Agar Powder
Can of Lychees, Strained
1. Place the lychee syrup and agar agar powder into a saucepan and heat over low/medium heat until agar agar powder as dissolved completely.
2. Pour the mixture into a measuring cup so it’s easier to pour. Place a lychee into the jelly moulds then pour the mixture into jelly moulds to the top.
3. Place the moulds into the fridge for at least 1 hour or until set completely. Take out of the fridge and push the jellies out of the moulds and serve with in a bowl with some leftover lychee syrup and lychees or by itself.
Miss Korea Kitchen located along Burke Road in Camberwell, serves fresh, healthy and authentic Korean cuisine. They offer the typical Korean dishes such as Korean Fried Chicken, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Korean BBQ with customers being able to choose their protein (e.g. chicken, beef, pork or veg) with many of their offerings.
The Japchae at Miss Korea Kitchen is one of the better Japchae’s in Melbourne. It’s closest competitor and reigning champion is Don-Udon‘s flavourful Japchae. Here, the Japchae has that subtle work flavour with fresh vegetables and crispy lotus root on top. The flavour is a bit more subtle overall as compared to Don-Udon’s version but it’s tasty nonetheless. You can order their Japchae with Beef, Pork, Chicken, Tofu, Veg or Seafood which are pretty much all the options you could think of.
The best Cheese Buldak or Chicken and Cheese Bulgogi Hotplate is CJ Lunch Bar‘s offering. Here, I found the chicken to be overcooked and the seasoning unbalanced with the sauce being overly salty and needing just a bit of sweetness and more depth in flavour to match CJ Lunch Bar’s. The richness of the cheese though, helps complement the spiciness so that’s a definite plus.
I’m going to again, compare Miss Korea Kitchen’s Stone Pot Bibimbap with Don-Udon (Box Hill) where their Don-Udon has such amazing flavour to it from how they cook each of the components and the addition of the chilli paste. Miss Korea Kitchen’s Bibimbap isn’t bad, each element has flavour to it but it’s definitely not as flavourful as it could be.
I saw this Mini Patbingsu on the menu, which is basically a Korean version of an Ice Kachang or Japanese Kakigori. Their Patbingsu comes with chopped fruit, red bean, fruit syrup, condensed milk and wafers. For $8 it’s actually quite small and flavour wise it’s quite lacking. The shaved ice is very coarse with not enough condensed milk to add that richness it needs. The whipped cream topping lacks flavour as well so the overall result is a pretty bland and expensive dessert.
Ignoring the Patbingsu dessert, I found Miss Korea Kitchen to have overall tasty Korean dishes and it’s one of the better ones I’ve been to in Melbourne.
845 Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124
Located in Eastland’s Town Square, Kyoto Cafe provides a bit of Japanese flavour to Ringwood. Its interior is reminiscent of modern Japanese restaurants with its generous wood panelling all around. It has an open kitchen with kitchen-side dining, and room upstairs as well.
While Kyoto Cafe do offer a few Donburi’s (Rice bowls), they do have a more extensive Yakitori menu, as well as tapas dishes, sushi and bento choices. They also offer a few dessert options, most are displayed at the front of their restaurant which are basically a variety of cakes and cream puffs to choose from.
One of their bento options comes with fresh sashimi, tempura, chicken katsu and steamed egg with dipping sauces.
The sashimi were sliced into smaller pieces, but tasted quite fresh. The chicken katsu was crispy, and tender, while the tempura was also crisp with a light batter surrounding it and soft inside. There was also this odd vegetable wrap, I wasn’t fond of it and tasted a bit bland.
The steamed egg wasn’t as soft as I would have liked either and also was a tad under seasoned but still one of the better ones I’ve tried.
The Japanese Fried Chicken here has this very dark, sticky glaze on it. The chicken was tender and crisp but I wasn’t overly impressed by the flavour of the marinade. Just give me the normal Chicken Karaage.
To be honest, the main reason for coming to Kyoto Cafe was to try their desserts. The Yuzu cake had an amazingly punchy Yuzu flavour with a soft mouse layer, and a cake base.
The Green Tea cream puff wasn’t as crunchy as I’d like but it had a great Matcha cream flavour inside that kinda oozed out. The Black Sesame flavoured one is on the list to try!
The ambience at Kyoto Cafe makes for a great dining experience. The food here, while it may not be amazing, will give you a tasty meal and sometimes that’s all you’re after. The beautiful desserts don’t hurt either.
Eastland Shopping Centre
Level 3, 175 Maroondah Highway (Town Square)
Ringwood VIC 3134
Manchester Press is one of the popular coffee and bagel eateries in Melbourne. Tucked away in one of Melbourne’s laneways, it has an extensive variety of bagel dishes. Their open bagels, an adaption of the typical open faced sandwiches, is also an interesting option for diners. While there are also several options for those not feeling like a bagel like salads and breakfast bowls.
However, being an eatery known for its bagels you have to try it at least once. The Grilled Chorizo open bagel is served with melted cheese, tomato salsa and a side of pretzels and pickles. I loved the combination of the grilled chorizo with the fresh and tangy salsa, melted cheese and a bit dense bagel. The pretzels are a bit ??? but it adds to the kinda American charm and especially so with the pickle.
Manchester Press does bagels and it does them well.
8 Rankins Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000