CONE HEADS, MELBOURNE CBD
Chips and Gravy (R: $6.50, L: $7.90)
I arrived in Melbourne very late on Friday and the other girls wanted to get an early rest for the following day. Sadly, Huxtaburger CBD was closed and it was too cold to walk around so we stumbled upon a few fast food eateries close to our hotel and eventually settled on Cone Heads (not to be confused with that 90's comedy movie) because it's halal friendly. Sure it may not be the first thing that will pop up into your mind when you are in Melbourne but it actually has a few franchises including one that has just opened in Pakistan! It's the type of food that we can see ourselves eating after an epic night out clubbing. Despite the many layers of thick country style gravy coating the chips, it actually didn't get soggy. Was still quite crispy after we ate more of these chips back at the hotel. If you are a big fan of poutine, this is also available at Cone Heads. Perfect for a dirty, late night feed.
Shop 6, 2-26 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Sun-Thurs: 9:00am - 1:00am
Fri-Sat: 9:00am - 3:00am
BELLE'S HOT CHICKEN
A few week ago, I've had the pleasure of tasting Belle's Hot Chicken at Harpoon Harry's. Even though the wait a the pop up was agonising, it was worth it in the end. It was actually my second time tasting the Nashville-style hot chicken since I have also made a visit to the Fitzroy restaurant at the recent trip. The restaurant vibe had a similar noisy, pub-like vibe with a Melbourne hipster edge judging from the crowd and the atmosphere of the venue.
Bourbon Iced Tea
There were heaps of choices on the beverage menu - particularly wine. However, I was intrigued by their uniquely combined Bourbon Iced Tea. While there's that alcoholic taste from the bourbon liquor, the sweet ice tea makes it drinkable like a normal ice tea if straight bourbon isn't your strength. This is perfect to wash down after devouring the fried chicken pieces.
Belle's Hot Chicken Tenders with Mixed Pickles ($16.00)
For Belle's famous chicken, you get a choice of tenders, wings or dark meat (drumstick and thigh). At $16.00, the meat menu comes with a choice of 1 side for no extra cost. Feeling a little guilty about the food I've consumed all day, I opted for mixed pickles as my side dish. While it was called "mixed pickles", it was actually a variety of veggies with a sour taste that helps with the fatty flavour from the chicken. You also get to choose the level of spice for your chicken. FYI, I tried the hot level at Harpoon Harry and my tongue was already burning from that level let alone their hottest "Really f@$*in hot" flavour. At medium, I was already getting quick a kick from the spices though I thoroughly enjoyed its crumbled skin and tender chicken meat. Definitely one of my fave eats in Melbourne for this trip.
Belle's Hot Chicken
150 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9077 0788
Mon-Sun: 12:00pm - 10:00pm
This review was mostly through the perspective of my friends T and AC who were still hungry after our visit to Supernormal. On the other hand, I was too full but went along to check it out with them. I did have a small tasting of each of the bowls and from what I can tell, they were completely satisfied with the ramen at this joint.
Miso Ramen with Soft Shell Crab ($18.00) with extra Ajitama egg (additional $2.00)
The menu at Kokoro is 12 pages worth of food including many different types of ramen from various regions of Japan. It even gives you a bit of background history behind the origin of the ramen, which is pretty cool. There is even a ramen burger! GG. The miso ramen that T tried was based in the Sapporo region. It has a thick, tonkotsu pork broth with an additional miso paste for that tangy, slow-cooked flavour. This was served with an Ajitama egg (though T wanted more so he ordered an extra one!), bamboo shoot, spring onion, black fungi, sesame seeds and a thin, straight and firm egg noodle. Loved the colourful look of the broth and it seemed to be more flavoursome than some of the other miso ramens I've had in the past from what I've sampled. T gave this two thumbs up.
Shio Ramen - small ($7.80) with Soft Shell Crab ($8.00)
AC got a smaller bowl of the lighter, salt-based Shio Ramen. This type of ramen was based in the Nagahama region in the southern island of Japan. The broth was clearer and not as flavoursome as the miso ramen but AC seemed to enjoy this as well. Both bowls had that irresistably gooey egg and the guys have also opted for the soft shell version, which was highly recommended at Kokoro ramen. It was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and seemed to stood out so well in both bowls. The pork that came with the shio ramen was on the thick side and seemed quite tender from what I've tasted. It's a shame that I was quite full to get a proper experience at Kokoro Ramen but it was good to see the mates feeling so satisfied from their time here.
157 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9650 1215
Mon-Fri: 11:30am - 3:00pm, 5:00pm - 10:30pm
Sat: 11:30am - 10:30pm
Sun: 11:30am - 9:00pm
Stay tuned for the final Melbourne recap on The Random Foodie (for now) where I explore lots and lots of sweet stores in Melbourne CBD and South Yarra.