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Turret Cafe Ballarat Revisited- Lunch treat- Sliders, Lamb Tagine, coffee & cake!

After our first trip to the turret, and watching all the mouth watering looking meals float effortlessly past our noses, propelled by the light footed and very suave staff at the turret cafe, we vowed to come back again next time we were in the area to try out the sumptuous and tempting lunchtime menu.

After agonizing over the menu for a while, and craning our necks to catch a glimpse of the day’s popular meals, we finally ordered.

It can be a little difficult to catch the eye of the staff when it’s busy, but that’s perfectly understandable. Wrestling with the cash register, and what looked like cantankerous old ladies pushing for a split bill on their table can take some time and patience.

Staff are polite and efficient, and the meals came out pretty quickly.

I wenWP_20170809_13_16_51_Pro (1)t with the lime, slaw and pulled pork slider burger special, as depicted alongside.

The brioche buns are really, really good- probably made fresh on site, and the burgers as a set, make up a pretty substantial meal, as one would expect, for around $25! I certainly didn’t feel hungry afterward.

What was saddening was that while the first slider burger bun was great.. the second and third seemed a bit bland and boring afterward- just a lack of variety I’m afraid. That, and I’d forgotten why I have not ordered a pulled pork bun for ages-

I’ve never been super-duper impressed by pulled pork. Bit of a gimmicky hipster Melbourne thing, and I was all porked out a few years ago as a result in the CBD. :(

That said, with 3 buns, 3 different sauces or variations would have been a nice touch.

Quite an ordering mistake on my behalf… what caught my eye immediately was the Moroccan lamb Tagine with almonds, but the lass wanted that, so I deferred to her and chose something else.

Yum! the Moroccan Lamb Tagine was absolutely delicious! great mix of spices, nice slow cooked lamb, and crispy almonds on top.WP_20170809_13_16_46_Pro (1)

We actually fought over the dish a little bit- fork for fork it was that good!

Spicy, delicious, hearty! underneath was a very nice cous cous, with little raisins and suchlike mixed in.

Either way, it was a great dish both of us woudl order again anytime!

 

 

 

WP_20170809_13_46_02_Pro (1)Despite feeling full, I still wanted the full experience, because the cake was that good last time!

This time around, I went with the macadamia lemon pie!

Ohyesss! delicious!

The cake was that tempting, we demolished half of it before the photo was taken (sorry folks!)

Probably not as special as the croissant raspberry chocolate cake sampled last visit… but totally up there as a very special treat!

 

There were still cakes to try, and menu items to sample, so we made another decree we would return again the following month!

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Construction Progress at old savoy tavern site melbourne opposite southern cross train station Fragrance group development

I was in Melbourne for the day, and happened to pass by the 1800m2 old savoy tavern site opposite southern cross Spencer street station, on the corner of Bourke street and Spencer street. (134-160 Spencer Street, West Melbourne)WP_20170815_17_08_03_Pro

Beyond the fence was a gigantic hole where the new building’s basement was being constructed into the bowels of the earth with huge pile drivers, concrete and steel.

Being built on the site by Fragrance group is a 68 story tower, which will house 660 apartments, and 160 hotel rooms.

Fragrance group is controlled by the billionare singapore businessman Koh Wee Meng, who also goes by the name James Koh.

The this is a significantly downscaled project compared to the original proposal, of a 300 metre high tower, which would have overshadowed the Yarra River, and housed over 1000 apartments, mostly of sub 40m2 “dogbox” proportions.  (see pic below from fairfax website)

find more at this link:

http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/approved-68floor-tower-for-savoy-tavern-site-on-corner-of-bourke-and-spencer-streets-20150514-gh1bwy.html

Pic: fairfax group.

Fragrance group bought the site off an Australian, Mark Rowsthorn who had held the site since 2005, who has acquired the property from the Republic of Nauru for the bargain knockdown price of $9.9m, and left the site derelict till 2014, when the original savoy tavern building was refurbished in conjunction with Sam Danish, who reportedly hopes to secure a presence in the new building, as trade at the pub was strong during it’s short revitalized history over the last couple years. Back in 1973, the savoy tavern apparently sold more litres of beer than any other single pub in the whole of the state of Victoria, highlighting the prominence of the site and commercial potential for any business which may operate there int he future.

Its first Australian acquisition was a site on Hobart’s historic waterfront, at 28-30 Davey Street, which it has grand plans to develop a 20 story hotel and conference center, designed by architect Samuel Haberle.

Fragrance already has a 296 room hotel under construction on Macquarie street, and has plans for another hotel in collins street, pictured below.

Hobart is unsure about the appropriateness of this development on its historic waterfront precinct.

Fragrence goup collins street development proposal.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-24/hotel-plans-unveiled-for-hobart/7960086

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Healthy Choice 1000W kitchen mixer ebay australia review unboxing Lenoxx MMX150

A new recent WP_20170909_13_19_02_Proacquisition from eBay that arrived last week  is the bargain “Healthy Choice” branded 1000W power kitchen aid style stand planetary action kitchen mixer with 5lt stainless steel bowl, splash guard, egg whisk, mixing beater (k beater), dough hook and for some reason, a plastic spatula.  (Who knows why they bothered with a spatula!)

The instruction manual was even useful because it was written in understandable English for once!

The mixer also goes by the name of the Lenoxx 100oW MMX150
It was a present for the lass, who dearly wanted to make up a very special cake.

When picking up the box from big W using the very convenient click & collect service, we were a little concerned that the box the mixer came in was made of old cardboard and duct tape… but inside, the normal retail box was revealed, with the packaging still sealed, suggestive that we had received a brand new item for our money, as had been promised.(phew!)

WP_20170909_13_05_37_Pro  The machine inside the retail box was well packaged, with moulded styrofoam, and silky plastic baggies on all accessories, cords etc to prevent scratching, so it easily survived it’s probable role as the ball in the aussie post and woolworths distribution centre football match it probably went though on the way to its destination.

Visually and aesthetically, it’s a handsome machine, especially considering the bargain sub-$150 pricetag, and that we used one of ebay’s regular 20% off discount codes when using paypal.

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Build quality is not half bad for the price, with thick cast alloy attachment accessories (pictured above), a stainless bowl of a decent gauge which is not flimsy, and a pretty solid and high quality feeling “business end” on the planetary mixing action (see image below), and thoughtful design additions like VERY VERY sensitive and sticky suction cup feet, which, to my amazement, somehow even managed to develop a death like grip on the lightly oiled chopping board I initially perched it on for inspection.

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WP_20170909_13_22_28_ProMy only criticisms are fairly minor, in that the outer case of the machine itself and it’s controls aren’t of particularly heavy weight plastic-all the quality engineering and manufacturing budget for the machine clearly went into the essential working parts.

 

I’d say if it fell off the bench, or you were a bit rough with the controls there’s no doubt that it would end up cracked or broken- it’s not built for an abusive environment.

That said, most people look after their appliances, and it has those amazing sticky feet I mentioned earlier which would prevent any inadvertent kitchen kamikaze antics from this device- there’s no way it can “walk” and buck off the bench while unattended.




Notes on operation-

The control dial indicates four key speeds of operation- off, MIN, MID, and MAX, with about 10 apparent graduations in between, creating a theoretical 40 speed mixer.

In practice however, the mixer has about SIX main speeds, and the dial is digital, not analog in nature- What does this mean in english though? i.e. the position of the dial dictates a “target” speed for the machine- unlike on old sunbeam units like your grandma probably still uses, where moving the dial INSTANTLY feeds extra power immediately to the motor, or brakes the motor immediately, the digital controls on this machine are a fair bit more indirect- there are probably some fancy electronics in there which protects and STOPS the motor from being overloaded, or braking too sharply, causing damage to the motor and drivetrain- a very good thing!

What this ultimately means though is that this machine should last longer because the way the chef dials the controls abruptly simply cannot cause damage to the machine- it protects itself from abuse.

For example, smashing the dial up to MAX, from stationary, with the dough hook wodged in some very thick cake batter, will result in the machine Sloooowly working up to maximum speed at a rate that isn’t bad for the motor- the inbuilt intelligence in the unit also makes the mixer less prone to stalling when working hard, overspeed, or overheating.

Healthy choice mixer MMX150

Australian standard electrical compliance and manufacturer status.

Upon turning the machine over, a clearly legible, silver sticker on the base shows an RCM mark, which should be a clear indication that the machine has been professionally tested at an accredited test lab, and paperwork relating to the safety of the machine has been compiled- the mixer is clearly NOT a dodgy grey import, of questionable quality that is likely to kill you through electrocution, or burn your house down.

The RCM mark, and the fact that the machine was imported by a reputable electronics company, Lenoxx, which has been around for a long time gives the consumer a great deal of confidence that this is a quality and safe product, whose manufacturer warranty is likely to be honored if there is a problem.


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