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
Shanghai Street is famously known for their Xiao Long Bao. It’s one of the very popular eateries in Chinatown. While Shanghai Street is known for their Xiao Long Bao, their menu is extensive with a variety of Dim Sum offerings, dumplings, wontons, noodles, rice dishes and soups as well.
Their Xiao Long Bao has an incredibly tasty filling. It’s similar to that off a traditional Chinese dumpling, with the subtle taste of ginger. However, the bun is likened to that of a BBQ Pork Bun, which is light and fluffy. The combination is great, juicy pork filling with the fluffy exterior. Winner.
Shanghai Street’s fried rice is also very good. It has this very salty taste to but it’s very flavourful.
The Pork & Prawn Dumplings with a peanut and sesame sauce is quite interesting. A different combination that I’m used to and not entirely sure I like the mix of peanut sauce with dumplings. To be honest, I’d just have the dumplings with the standard vinegar/chilli oil instead. The filling was pretty good though, as it usually is with pork and prawns.
Shanghai Street excel in dumplings and they’ll have me as a returning customer.
146 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Nine Taiwanese Dessert House located on Swanston St is similar to Dessert Story, serving a variety of ice-y sweet treats and Bubble Tea drinks. What I love about Dessert Story is their ice machine for some of their “snow” menu options, has this delicious slightly sweet and milky shaved ice. This dessert house also has the same but is it as good?
Their Green Tea Snow Ice, comes with red bean, jasmine jelly, taro and sweet potato balls topped with a scoop of green tea ice cream. It’s decorated with this green syrup of sorts. The snow ice here isn’t too bad, it lacks the same creaminess that the Dessert Story ones have. It’s also very sweet all over, with this sort of odd fake taste to it. The jasmine jelly is nice though, and is the reason why I tried making Ooolong Tea Jelly, not too sweet but with this subtle tea flavour to it.
I liked their Taro Bubble Tea though, but the one they gave us was warm because they just cooked the taro so that was a bit disappointing. At least it’s real taro!
Maybe their other dessert options are better? First impressions weren’t too great, I might come back again but for now I’d still go to Dessert Story if I had the choice.
Nine Taiwanese Dessert House
268 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
The ramen at Hakata Gensuke on Russell St, Melbourne CBD is very reminiscent of what you’d find in a ramen restaurant in Japan. Signature & Black Tonkotsu are a few of their soup bases, but they also offer a red hot spicy soup to go with your ramen. What sets Hakata Gensuke apart from other Japanese noodle restaurants, is its add-ons. Pretty much all ingredients are add-on such as the Japanese style cooked eggs, Bean Shoots, Cha-Shu, Bamboo Shoots and Seaweed. You can also select the amount of noodles and even their softness if you like noodles with a bit more bite or etc, which is a first I’ve seen appear on their order menu.
If you want the lot, a meal can set you back $20 plus, though it is very appetising. It has all the ingredients you’d want in a ramen, but just for a bit extra.
You can see why Hakata Gensuke is so popular, commonly with queues at the front and it is justified. You don’t frequently find Tonkotsu on many menus, however value for money for me is still Momotaro Rahmen in Richmond.
168 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Mamasita’s popularity never seems to die down. Almost every night, you will find a line forming down the stairs and out into Collins Street, Melbourne. What Mamasita specialise in is Mexican cuisine and catered towards a younger demographic as you will find in the restaurant it feels more like a bar or pub at night. Once you try Mamasita, you’ll understand why people keep coming back for more.
We ordered the Camarones gigantes al ajillo, which is basically their grilled prawns placed on a toasted garlic and green almond sauce with garnish. The prawns here are cooked to perfection, still soft inside and crisp outside, and not too dry. The thickened sauce adds to the complexity of the prawns. Probably my only con for the dish is the prawns size which are to be honest small for the price you pay ($28) and you only receive 5 or 6 prawns which seems more like an entree than a “Comida para la familia” (Larger sharing plates)
The Pancita de cerdo ($25) was probably my favourite of the night. Basically it’s Guajillo braised pork belly with habanero cream, fried parsley & dressed with lime juice. The pork belly was amazing, succulent and tender. How it should be. Complementing the dish with the preserved onions, sauce and slightly crunchy parsley it certainly is a delight to eat. I’d also say this was much more satisfying than the prawns.
You can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and not order either a taco or quesadilla. Here is their “de Cordero” ($16), inside the quesadilla is braised lamb with queso criollo (cheese) and with a mint & jalapeño herb sauce and served with a slice of lemon. The lamb here is tender even in its shredded form but I found the flavour from the lamb to be a bit lacking. The herb sauce which was similar to a pesto added much needed flavour to the dish.
As a side salad, we ordered Ensalada de quinoa ($10) aka Quinoa salad was a pleasant salad. The quinoa still had bite to it, and with the addition of fresh spinach, corn, coriander made this a winner.
Atmosphere wise, I’m not fond of restaurants where you have to shout to talk with the person next to you and this is the case here. The other downside is the dim lighting that is prevalent in many restaurants in Melbourne.
Other than that, I found the food on the balance of things to be delicious but for the price paid to be slightly over priced and especially so for the grilled prawns mentioned earlier. I can see the attraction to this place but it definitely isn’t my idea of a good evening. Would I come back? I might …but not anytime soon.
Level 1, 11 Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
- Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
- Matcha White Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
- Marmalade Custard Cake
- Lychee Chiffon Cake
- Green Tea Crème Brûlée
- Mint Choc Chip Cookies
- Almond Butter Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream
- Lychee & White Chocolate Macarons
- Ginger & Orange Melting Moments
- Black Tea Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream Frosting