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I never actually got a chance to visit La Belle Miette on Hardware Lane in the city since my work place is so far out. Luckily, they had a pop-up store in Chadstone Shopping Centre before Christmas. I believe it’s still there but I’m unsure as I haven’t ventured to Chadstone SC for a few months.

I’ve heard good reviews about their macarons so it seemed like a great opportunity to give these ones a try. At the pop-up store, they had quite a number of flavours, I think around 15. Some of your standard like Vanilla and Hazelnut but some very interesting ones which you’ll see below.

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Here we have the Raspberry flavoured macaron, it was pleasant tasting as it had a slight tanginess to the filling with a crispy and soft inside. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. Luxbites Raspberry macaron I felt was way more flavourful and had a very nice zing (probably due to the fresh raspberries).

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Here’s where it gets interesting, La Belle Miette’s Bastille has a  Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant filling which was absolutely delicious. You can really taste the champagne in the cream, and my golly do I love it. The blackcurrant jelly adds texture and berry sweetness which is delightful to eat.

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La Belle Miette calls this one the Mariage Freres Earl Grey Chocolate and the tea flavour is strong in this one. If you like that slightly musty tea leaves taste (Earl Grey basically) you will definitely like this one. The chocolate isn’t too sweetness, I think they use dark chocolate or a higher percentage cocoa which in my opinion is preferable. I never really like milk chocolate all that much.

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For something a little more tropical, they have a Mango and Coconut macaron, I found the mango tasted a bit artificial but I would think they would use real mangos to make the filling. So I’m not sure why it tasted a a bit off. This coconut flavour was quite nice, it complements the mango well. A tad pina colada so it’s not really to my liking.

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While I was tasting this I was like what am I eating? Several minutes later, ding! POMEGRANATE. They call this Pimm’s & Pomegranate and I don’t really know what to think of it. It certainly isn’t too sweet, it has that fruity flavour but over than that I wasn’t too overly excited by it.

Impressions

I say La Belle Miette macarons are one of the better ones around. I do really enjoy the variety of macarons and that Moet macaron, although is pricier then the rest is one of my favourite macarons ever. Give them a try because they are bite sized punches of flavour.

La Belle Miette on Urbanspoon

La Belle Miette

Melbourne CBD

30 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000

Chadstone Shopping Centre

Malvern East VIC 3145 (Next to Seed/Sass & Bide)

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Cinta Raya is a newly opened (a year or so) Asian Restaurant that primarily serves Chinese/Malaysian cuisine. I believe it started off with more Asian-wide varieties of food, however they went through a change and now it serves mainly Chinese and Malaysian dishes. I too questioned why they had Vietnamese food on their menu, but now they they narrowed their focus, the food has turned out for the better. They are located in Scorseby, not too far away from Knox Shopping Centre and close by to a Woolworths and a few Asian Grocers. So if you’re exhausted from all your grocery shopping, you can take a short walk to Cinta Raya to serve a wide selection of Chinese/Malaysian dishes.

I ordered their Curry Laksa, and it was quite nice, slightly milder but rich enough. I found you could taste the spices through the soup so not too mild, but it’s not packed full of flavour. They include eggplant which adds a different taste to the base but also texturally it’s pleasant. I’m not sure if they still serve it with broccoli and carrots, but I thought it was an odd choice of vegetables to add. Definitely not your standard Curry Laksa ingredients, but nonetheless it was nice with all the tofu and chicken. Overall, it was nice, nothing standout and no disasters which is good. Portion size is also quite good, nothing to complain about.

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Their Seafood Hor Fun was quite good too, I think mainly with Hor Fun noodles they need to have a bit of that “Wok Flavour”, slightly charred and fried before adding in the egg sauce. This does just that, and it has all the usual ingredients you would fine in a Hor Fun. Well, apart from the broccoli and cauliflower. I haven’t been there too recently, so this might have changed. Overall, the egg sauce was quite good, definitely one of the better cooked dishes around town.
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At Cinta Raya, they also have a selection of main dishes you can order from. We ordered the sweet and sour crab dish. I found these again to have a good balance of flavours, not overly sweet and nicely cooked. The meat wasn’t overcooked at all, so I would order this again if I had the chance.
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We ordered the deep fried chicken pieces. I’m surprised it wasn’t drenched it oil, they managed to lightly (as light as you can imagine from deep frying that is) fry it with a nice thin crisp batter surrounding it. I think it’s pretty much your standard Chinese dish, and well, you can’t really go wrong with deep frying.
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I love this Balachan Chinese Spinach dish. They sauce is so good, it packs a good heat to it but not overly spicy. You get a nice tangy, sweet and sour flavour to the sauce with the spice that adds another element to the dish. I’m a big fan of this, and it’s just vegetables!

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We ordered their soy sauce duck dish with mushrooms and vegetables. I found the sauce to be a tad too salty for my liking, it was also not that great that the duck was a bit too tough and chewy. Duck should never be overcooked, it needs to be moist and tender. A  slightly disappointing dish to be honest.

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They used to serve complimentary Red Bean soup when they newly opened, however it appears they have stopped providing this, I’m not sure why. I found it to be slightly too sweet, and it masks the red bean flavour a bit. However, it was pleasant to be served this, it was like eating home cooked food.

Cinta Raya doesn’t stray too far from the normal Malaysian/Chinese cuisine, but what it does do, is cook delicious food for everyone to enjoy. It’s a popular restaurant, be warned, it is a small place. It can only fit under 10 tables, so either get it quick or you just might have to wait. Both their lunch and main meals are great, with a few low notes, but overall, I’d give Cinta Raya an overwhelmingly positive review.

Cinta Raya Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Cinta Raya

1381 Ferntree Gully Rd
Scoresby VIC 3179

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