Chance Visitor

Footscray is the multi cultural centre of Melbourne. Visit Footscray and try out the cheap and exotic food among the rows available. My visit to Footscray was to sample the Ethiopian cuisine made famous by Ethiopian immigrants who have settled in the area.

Cafe Lalibela has been a stalwart of the Cheap Eats guide for years now and seems to be the top choice if I wanted to try Ethiopian cuisine. The place itself is homey and done much nicer than the other food shops in the area. Very authentic feel with African artifacts displayed throughout.

Cafe Lalibelah

Wat is the traditional Ethiopian dish. Wat means stew. Each meat stew (wat) has a similar onion-and spice base featuring berbere which is a spicy chili paste. Wat can be prepared with chicken (doro) or beef (sik sik). It can also be vegetarian or even contain fish.

Instead of a stew, the meat or vegetables can be sauteed and this is called Tibs. Another Ethiopian dish is Kitfo, which consists of raw (or rare) ground beef marinated in mitmita ( a very spicy chili powder) and niter kibbeh ( seasoned clarified butter). This is kind of like a steak tartare and looked pretty strange to me. It looked just like a mound of raw minced beef which I wasn’t too adventurous to try!

Injeera and wat

We had Do-Ro WAT ($12) which is chicken stew marinated with spices and herbs simmered with hard boiled eggs, berbere ( spice mixture ), garlic, onions and niter kibbeh ( seasoned clarified butter ). For some legumes to balance the meat, we had Meser Wat ($12), lentil stew simmered in hot peppers, onions, garlic and spices, moderately cooked until they slightly blend with the sauce.

The meat is scooped onto a huge tray covered with injera. Injera is the traditional Ethiopian bread used in place of utensils. Injera is a thin but spongy flatbread as large as a tabletop. It is made from locally grown teff—the smallest grain in existence and found only in the African horn. It has a very tangy taste to it from the fermentation of teff. Be careful with this bread as it is very filling! 

Everyone on the tables shares their meal from the tray served. There’s an Ethiopian maxim: people who eat from the same plate never betray one another. You tear off a piece of the injera bread and use it to scoop up the wot or tibs from the communal tray. A bottle of Ethiopian beer would be a good way to wash down all the wot.

Summary : Ethiopian cuisine is an experience. The flavours of the injera bread and wats were all new to me as well as communal eating. Although Ethiopian cuisine didn’t really grab me, I was still very glad to have tried Cafe Lalibelah.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food : Wots

Cafe Lalibelah
91 Irving Street
Footscray VIC 3011
Tel : +61 3 9687 0300     


Bar Santo specialises in predominantly southern Italian cuisine, known for its simplicity and freshness combined with traditional cooking methods from the north. This little Italian bar in St. Kilda has nice views of the beach if you seat al-fresco.


Calamari Fritti – Fresh Calamari rings floured and fried and served with aioli $8

Salmon Risotto

Risotto al Salmone Affumicalo $19.50

Bar Santo Fish

Pesce al Cartoccio $29

Summary : The food we had here were indeed simply cooked. Just the freshness of the produce with herbs and seasoning. The food was a bit bland though, I had to grab hold of the salt and pepper shakers to season the risotto. Calamari could definitely be improved too as the breading was a bit soggy. What I liked about the food was the lightness in preparation though. The food wasn’t covered in heavy sauces and let the simplicity of the food’s flavours speak for itself.

Rating  : Chance Visitor
Food    : Nothing I would reorder again. Try something new on the menu.

Bar Santo
7 Fitzroy St
St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone : +61 (0)3 9534-1236

Gelato is Italian ice cream.

The rise in gelato’s popularity has a lot to do with fat and air. Gelato is made mainly with milk rather than cream and contains 7-8% butterfat depending on the ingredients.  In ice-cream, the fat comes from butterfat and cream, up to 18% since more cream is used.

The second difference between gelato and ice cream is its air content. Air gets whipped into ice cream as it churns much in the same way cream becomes whipped cream. Gelato, however, because it is made with milk rather than cream, does not expand. The high density of gelato allows for a higher intensity of flavor per bite. For this reason, high quality but subtle flavors like hazelnut and tiramisu are available to you in gelato but not in ice cream.

Trampoline is a popular gelato chain in Melbourne.

Trampoline interiors

The shop itself is fun and bright

Among all their yummy sounding flavors, my favorite is hazelnut roche since I’m such a hazelnut fan.

Trampoline flavors

Some of Trampoline’s flavors on display : Green Tea and Grape, Lime Pie, Coffee caramel, Strawberry, Chocolate Nougat, Spiced choc, Passionfruit and Yoghurt

Trampoline cone

A scoop of Spotty Dog ( chocolate ice cream with chocolate specks ) and Espresso.

Summary : Get inside a gelato shop and go crazy trying out the unique flavors.

Branches all around melbourne

San Churro interiors

San Churro is a spanish chocolate store which sells everything from hot chocolate, churros, handmade chocolates, chocolate shakes to ice cream.

San Churro shelves

The place itself was cozily done in wood and has shelves selling chocolate products and gift baskets.

San Churro chocolates San Churro Cakes

The handmade chocolates and cakes were very tempting but I ordered what seemed to be the ‘classic’ Spanish chocolate desserts, a hot chocolate and the churros.

Budha Baci

Budha Baci Aud5.20 – Hot chocolate infused with hazelnut. This is supposed to be rich and velvety. My cup wasn’t though. It just tasted of chocolate drinking powder.

San Churro churros

Spanish Hot Churros Aud 7.90 – The churros were burnt! The dark chocolate dip was lovely though.

Summary : A chocolate lover’s dream. Different kinds of chocolate choices for the chocoholic. There’s even a chocolate tasting platter. Nice concept and ambience for hanging out with friends. Quality seems to be erratic as my hot chocolate was not rich enough and I got a plateful of burnt churros. I would re-visit to try their other stuff and hopefully my plateful of churros won’t be burnt the next time around. I’m steering clear of the hot chocolate next time though.

Rating : Chance visitor
Food   : Churros with 3 types of chocolate dips

Chocolateria San Churros
Several branches in Melbourne and Sydney

Cantinetta Exteriors

I particularly like the ambience in Cantinetta Pasong Tamo and the Rockwell branch didn’t particulary strike me as something I would want to try out. I only got to try out the Rockwell branch when my family was shopping in Rockwell and wanted to eat in the area. Cantinetta came to mind as something my family might enjoy.

Cantinetta Interiors

Cheese shaving

Parmigiano cheese and prosciuto ham weighing station

Our orders :

Parmigiano Reggiano

Parmagiano Reggiano Php590 – The dippings really complemented the cheese but this is way too expensive for a few hundred grams of Parmagiano with Honey and Cream Balsamic. My suggestion is to buy good cheese from Santi’s and enjoy this at home!


Prosciutto d Sn Danile Php550 – We ordered melon slices to complement the prosciutto

Cantinetta Classica

Cantinetta Classica Php450 – Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Italian Sausage, Peppers and Minced Beef. I’m not raving about the pizza. Had better pizza in other places.


Contadina Php440 – Italian Sausage with Mushrooms in tomato sauce. Nothing great about this dish.


Tartufo Spaghetti Php510 – Better pasta dish. The pasta servings are generous.

Osso Bucco

Osso Bucco alla Milanese Php 920 – Classic Beef Stew served with Saffron Risotto. I find this expensive for a medium sized piece of meat.

Grilled Pork Chops

Costolette di Maiale Php 500 – Grilled Pork Chops. My first visit in Pasong Tamo was a better pork chop experience. Still I would give this another try.

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake Php230 – Nothing great.


Tiramisu Php240 – Not great at all. Not authentic.

Summary : As I’ve said, I particularly liked Cantinetta Pasong Tamo. My first visit was extremely enjoyable, shared a plate of Grilled Porkchops which was juicy and flavorsome. A bottle of good wine was also affordable at 1K. It is obvious that Cantinetta uses ingredients which are fresh and of quality. I  felt that some of their items are overpriced though and you need to keep track of the prices and order the specialties. If anyone has other dishes they rave about in Cantinetta, let me know. So far, I would only re-order the tartufo or the porkchops.

Rating : Chance Visitor
Food   :  Tartufo or Pork chops

Rockwell Drive, cor Estrella Street
Makati City
Tel – 632 4030145
Ground Floor, Karrivin Plaza
2316 Pasong Tamo Extension
Makati City
Tel : 632 8929873


Saw Basilio’s last weekend when I was visiting their neightbor Barcino . I made a mental note to myself that I should visit the place. I’ve visited it twice, first time for a round of drinks and check out the mini plates and the next day to try the lunch menu.

Their menu is themed as contemporary comfort food. Multi-cultural but food we turn to for familiarity. It’s not an extensive menu yet as Basilio’s just did their grand opening last March. The server mentioned that a more comprehensive list would be coming out soon.

The mini-plates :

Crab Ravioli

Crab Ravioli Php 290 – Freshly rolled ravioli pasta with creamy crabmeat served with lemon-butter sauce, tomato salsa and eggplant caviar. Ravioli was chewy and nice. Nice bite from the orange rind included in the sauce.

Popcorn Shrimps

Basilio’s Popcorn shrimp Php 390 – Cajun spiced shrimp in cornmeal crust. Nice presentation, there was real popcorn in a glass! This was a letdown though. The crust wasn’t crispy enough worse!  I could taste the rancidity of used oil! This dish was overpriced and not worth it.

Buffalo Chicken Wings

Spicy Wings Php 360 – Buffalo style chicken wings with blue cheese fonduta. Pile on the blue cheese dressing to get the flavor out of the buffalo wings. The wings itself didn’t have much flavor by itself.

During our lunch, we ordered the mains below :


Complimentary bread – I liked how small and cute they looked. I wanted to pop one right into my mouth….but wait… Aaacckk… the bread was tough as in hard to chew and cold =(.

50 Cloves Chicken

50 clove garlic chicken Php 380 – Roasted half chicken marinated in lots of garlic and herbs, served with tomato rice and giblet gravy. Felt the garlic taste from the first bite. It was just the right amount of garlic and not too overpowering. They could have added more of the herbs though to add complexity to the taste of the chicken.

Pork Ribs

Grilled Pork Ribs Php 420 – Baby Back Pork Ribs with barbeque sauce served with country style mashed potatoes. Shella was right, I didnt notice it immediately but there wasn’t that much meat on the ribs. I thought I just got a thin part of the rib which Marite shared with me but I guess it wasn’t meaty all thoughout. It wasn’t tender too.

Seafood Pasta

Seafood Pasta Php 320 – Fresh seafood with spaghetti in a light olive oil-white wine sauce. I liked this best. I liked the balance of olive oil and white wine. I liked the tidbits of seafood on the pasta. They probably did it to cut costs but it worked for me.

Summary : My first visit trying out Basilio’s mini-plates was a letdown. It’s not good pulutan! The lunch dishes were better but not great. The dishes didn’t have that zing that would make you remember comfort food and want to come back again.

Rating   : Chance Visitor
Food     :  Haven’t ordered something that I would reorder again

Unit 151 Forbes Wood Height
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig
Tel : 856 2743

Five Cows Resto and Ice Cream Bar is a concept restaurant located at the Cinema level of Trinoma Mall.  There are five owners and most of the items served in the resto are dairy products which is why the name FIVE COWS. The place itself looks cozy with its white-washed rustic interiors.



Prawn Bisque Php 80 – Nothing much to say… it’s okay for an 80 peso shrimp bisque.


Lamborghini Php 275 – Honey wheat bread, shredded lamb chops, lettuce, onions tomatoes, mozzarella.

This sandwich is a bit on the dry side. A bit of butter, salt and pepper wouldn’t hurt.


Ferrero crunch supreme Php 180 – Classic vanilla ice cream mixed with crunchy bits and choco hazelnut filing .

I’m not a Nestle ice cream fan so it’s difficult for me to like any of the Five Cows desserts which has ice cream in it, no matter how clever the concoctions / presentations are. To be fair, the mix of coco crunch, hazelnut with the ice cream was good. I just didn’t like the taste of the ice cream itself.

 Summary : Kids and kids at heart would enjoy Five Cows. This is ice cream heaven for them.The kids can also watch their ice cream being mixed with the add-ons such as nuts, chocolate, marshmallow on to of a icy marble slab. They have such a eye-catching dessert menu of ice creams and cakes. No surprise, since the owners also own Nestle Ice Cream house in Aurora Boulevard. Ice cream desserts are what they do best.

Rating    :   Chance Visitor
Food      :   Pick an ice cream concoction which interests you just for the experience

Five Cows
4th Level, Ayala Trinoma Mall
North Avenue cor. EDSA Quezon City
Tel  :  901 3948

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