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Nshry cafe restaurant bar Middle Park Pier – Albert Park Melbourne

Nshry. its an odd name, for a cafe that makes dishes that are, well, just a little bit odd, but in a very gooooood way!

Its not often that I can say that I’ve had a truly exceptional meal, but at Nsry, I certainly did!

As the name, and the paper crane logo suggests, this cafe is a wee bit foreign in inspiration, most likely Asian.

Why do I think this? Mexican standards like chilli bean tacos end up deconstructed in a bowl, with rice inserted into the mix,  with the Korean favourite of a random egg cracked on top, Japanese panko crumbles feature prominently, as does wasabi, sesame mayo and all the other delicious things that make asian food truly delicious and great. Theres that, and the fact that the owner, Michael Nham (pictured below) comes from a Vietmanese and Taiwanese cultural background. Next time i go back, ill have to ask what inspiration is truly behind the name.

At first glance, the menu contains all sorts of typical standard cafe fare… but then you look closely, and you realise that its anything but a normal offering. its inspired, its different, and above all, its tasty. Tasty enough to write about with passion, that’s for certain. Nsry lunch menu

We chose the Taco rice bowl, and the “Umami” burger. They were expensive lunch options, at over $20, but hey, we had just gotten engaged, and the location at the foot of the pier looking over the beach, with the Spirit of Tasmania docked in the distance was a nice atmosphere.

A nice touch was that in the outdoor dining area, because it was a cold day, woolen blankets were supplied to wrap oneself in (or snuggle up in).

Anyway, back to the food. The Umami burger, which consisted of a beautiful marriage in a BIG fat intensely satisfying pattie consisted of a unique and well thought out mix of both Wagu and Angus beef, married with slow roasted tomato and onion jam came with a little selection of very, very exceptional sides- a sesame coleslaw with micropickles, and very crispy, very golden fat chips, and three dipping sauces, traditional sweet tomato, garlic aoli, and chilli mayo.

Anyhow, little did I know at the time, but this burger won a prize as burger of the the year, 2011, and little has changed about it ever since. You don’t mess with perfection, clearly.

The Umami Bruger of Nsry, middle park pier, Burger of the year, 2011.

Thanks to the following blog posts that I borrowed photos from:

http://theburgeradventure.com/2012/02/the-burger-of-the-year-2011/

https://www.timeout.com/melbourne/restaurants/nshry

http://www.bambinoweekend.com/nshry/

 

http://nshry.com.au/

129A Beaconsfield Parade

Albert Park, Victoria

03 9682 1077

Tuesday – Sunday

8am to 4pm

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Herkimer Diamond Engagement Ring Melbourne Australia Corky Saint Clair

This post is a little thank you to the inspired and insightfulJeweler Chris Bril, of Corky Saint Clair who created the ultimate token of my love (A 1.81ct Herkimer Diamond Solitaire Engagement ring. set in sterling silver) for the lass, to whom I proposed to on Saturday, while on a bike, in a subway, of all places.

Since making my decision to ask the most charming and beautiful friend I have in this world to marry me, I’d spent many months searching and agonising in Melbourne and beyond over exactly what engagement ring I was going to buy for the lass, not to mention a lot of stress over the cost.. and most of the options fit the bill- nice and sparkly and shiny.. but they were a little.. generic, and not quite me, or her, or us somehow.

While wandering Melbourne’s little niche and custom shops, I was in the old, and slightly dank Art Deco section of Flinders street subway, below Degraves street where there is a ratty collection of tiny, artisan shops, ensconced in wood and sensually curved glass… or.. well.. graffiti covered old skool galv B&D roller doors, when something really, really special sparkled alluringly in the depths of one of the shops.

What really caught my eye was a silver set engagement ring with quite a twist on it, that really made me look twice.

A handy book available on amazon on the exciting variations of Herkimer available on the market.

The stone was cut in a wonky, shonky looking way that suggested it was the apprentice jewel cutter’s first attempt at cutting a diamond, and he had royally ballsed it up.

But. it sure was different. I just could not look away. Looking more closely, it had a wild kind of ordered beauty that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but the clarity of the stone was exceptional, and it was impressive, but not obnoxious in size. It was as if the unusual cut had been actually made on purpose, and was not a product of incompetence, or an unfortunate accident… it… worked…

Next to it was a write up about the Diamond that was in the solitaire ring, which described it as a “Herkimer Diamond”.

The narrow and exclusive region in new york state, USA, that Herkimer diamonds are mined from

Pffttt. I thought. so, it’s a fake diamond, just a lousy cubic zirconia, or CZ.  I kept reading though, and discovered that it was anything but fake, it was the genuine article, alright, and genuine and unique in many more ways than the average carbon based diamond ever could be.

Herkimer diamonds come from upstate New York. They display unusually high brightness, clarity and hardness, and are formed over 400 million years in bubble pockets, or “vugs” in dolostone. The most authentic feature of them is that their shape, which looks like man made “cut” facets, but, amazingly, they are actually formed naturally, by the miracle of the mechanics of the earth and nature.

Every Herkimer has 18 individual and unique facets, and are actually are a naturally occurring, highly rare double terminated crystal. No two are exactly alike, or, for that matter, vaguely the same. That’s the way I feel about the lass, and our relationship- nothing compares, and I don’t doubt for a moment that I’ll ever in my lifetime meet another girl quite like her.

In the cabinet next to the display of the ring, was an excised cross section of a piece of dolomite stone, exposing a little cavity or bubble in the rock mass. Inside, was a the crystalline shining diamond of a Herkimer, nestled in the little pocket, as perfect and untouched as could be.

Video of a herkimer ring on facebook

 

In the Subway, which can be entered off Flinders and Degraves street, many of the little establishments

Subway Entrance off Degraves Street

eking out an existence seem to sell something just a little bit different, hand crafted, or rare second hand items of style, and at pretty reasonable prices.

Technically, the 1950’s pink tiled subway is called the “Campbell Arcade”, though few Melbourne residents might refer to it as such, and 2/3 of residents surveyed at one point had no idea the place even exists, despite being a very distinctive, and major part of the Flinders street station complex. The shopping strip has an interesting history, which is brought to life by a post by the blogger “danno”, which is worth a read if you are intrigued by history like me.

One of these quirky little shops is the esteemed Jeweler named “Corky Saint Clair“, whose unlikely insignia is denoted by a funny little power monster thingy. Apparently, it’s called the “Carrymonster”, though I have no darn idea why.

Corky’s after one of the regular subway floods

The owner and head jeweler is the aforementioned Chris Bril, who is a pleasant guy who quietly beavers away in the workshop part of the shop, while customers explore the surreal layout of his wares.

Broadsheet did an interview with Chris a while ago, which gives one some insight into the smiling man behind the soldering iron, pliers and files.

If you want your own ring,  for that special person in your ife you want to commit to, take a look at Herkimer solitaire rings at corky st clair melbourne

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Artisan Home baked Fruit banana bread of Ballarat

This bread is a bit special because it uses a special yeast starter culture derived from brewing- the sediment and liquids from a ginger beer plant, and a long, slow fermentation process, and its super easy to make, even for novice bread maker like myself.

I like eating this for breakfast, and it makes a great start to your day.

artisan_fruit_bread_ballarat

Ingredients:

400gm Flour

250 brewed ginger beer plant and sediment slurry

Handful of dried raisins or Sultanas

Dates (optional)

4 overripe bananas, mashed

Tablespoon Cinnamon.

50 grams whole-seed and ancient grain protein breakfast topper mix (i.e. 24/7 brand)

4 Tablespoons sugar

100ml + milk

Method:

  1. Combine flour, sugar and ginger beer plant slurry in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in sultanas, cinnamon and other fruit including bananas.
  3. Mix in seeds and protein breakfast topper mix sparingly- clumps, and surface seeds are great in this bread.
  4. Add milk if necessary to fully combine into a sticky dough consistency that is not too dry.
  5. Let stand, covered with a tea-towel for at least 2 hours, but preferably 12-24 hours for the yeast to consume the sugars and ferment.
  6. Shape mixture into a cobb loaf form (round) on a flat baking tray.
  7. Bake for 35-45 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius in a fan forced oven.

This bread is quite heavy and rich, slice thinly, and toast in the toaster, server with a glass of milk or hot earl grey tea, and is great for breakfast.

The bread will keep at room temprature and refrigerated for a number of days, but is nicest on the first day of course.

 

 

 

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