Counted as a fast food restaurant, in the foodcourt, of Chadstone Shopping Centre, Charlie & Co Burgers tend to be overlooked as a good burger joint. I tried it for the first time recently, and it wasn’t too bad. Not fantastic, but not terrible either.
I tried the Classic Charlie Burger and the husband and I got a side of Parmesan Truffle Fries. Fries were really nice. Probably could be a tiny bit more truffle-ey.
How about the burger? (you can’t tell in the picture but…) Mine was a little disappointing as I soon found out after picking it up, that the top and bottom buns had been switched around, and it quickly became rather a nightmare to eat. The top bun (on the bottom) was saturated in the sauce and burger juice, so dissolved pretty promptly as I picked it up. I was left with a burger mess all over my hands. Burger fail Charlie & Co. How do you get that wrong?
Anyway, hubby got the El Mexicano Burger, and he said it was good. Aside from the mess of my burger, the flavours were good and the burger was well-balanced. Just a pity about the dissolving bottom/top bun.
All up, a good, quick-ish (unless you are in the dinner/lunch rush at Chaddy) meal in a foodcourt. Maybe the stand-alone joints in the city fare a little better?
Tuck Shop Cafe and Take Away is a bit of a hidden gem. Not many talk about it on the burger scene front. Hubby and I decided to check out top 10 burgers in Melbourne on a day where we had serious burger cravings. Tuck Shop came up and was one of the more affordable and not in the city itself. We were also needing a quick take away as we were on our way to another event. So, we thought, why not?
Street out outside Tuck Shop
The menu is simple and affordable. It offers burgers, jaffles, milkshakes and other drinks. The minor burger is delicious and has almost everything you want. Adding bacon is available, and free range egg too.
We ordered the minor burger, a minor plus bacon and egg, large bag of cuts (their hand cut skin-on potato fries) and a Nutella milkshake. Although, the Redskin milkshake looked very interesting. I’m a sucker for Nutella anything. All your food comes in take away school lunch style packaging. The burgers were juicy and were pink inside. If you are not used to eating medium rare burgers, this might not be for you. The burger is more ‘sloppy joe’ and less ‘Grill’d’ style.
Cute simple school lunch-like packaging
Nutella milkshake – not huge, but very filling.
Hubby’s minor plus egg and bacon.
The menu is written on a blackboard in chalk. The decor contains many school-like items such as blackboard, and lockers. With wooden chairs reminiscent of school chairs. Seating is quite limited with one table that seats up to six, and two bar seating areas. Maybe seating a maximum of 10 people all up. Take away is definitely the most popular option.
Demographic at lunchtime was largely students (university age) and people who work nearby. Mostly people came in for take away, but there were some dine-in customers.
All up, a delicious experience. Nutella milkshake was delicious. The burgers were juicy and filling. Definitely worth a look, especially if you’re craving a burger on the go.
Today is the day – Eastland Ringwood has it’s grand opening day. After being somewhat of a ‘meh’ shopping centre, with not much to offer and a bit of a bad rep as to be where the bogans hang (maybe due to the train station, not sure)… it was good to see firsthand the new face lift on pretty much 80% of the building. I can say that I was pretty impressed with the place.
What really made this new Eastland special, was that it has some specialised retailers that you can only get in the city – H&M, Mecca Maxima, and makes the Eastern burbs more attractive to be living in. Also, it’s new roof level alfresco restaurant area really drew my attention. The open, relaxed area filled with new restaurants that I would love to try looks very promising. Reminds me of what Harbourtown could have been… Hmmm…
Exciting things for Eastland, but on its ‘Grand Opening’ Day, you could see that they were clearly struggling to get it to a decent crowd-receiving standard. Floors were construction dirty, unpolished, many stores outside were still closed and under construction, the car parking areas were largely blocked off due to construction. I spent 20 minutes after arriving at one of the entry points on Ringwood Street, literally going from parking entry to parking entry finding that the right turns into the centre were blocked off. No right turns at all. Traffic was atrocious. Went all the way around, down Ringwood Street, along the Ringwood Bypass, and onto Warrandyte Road, no entries right up until the last parking entry point closest to Maroondah Hwy where two large construction trucks blocked half the entering traffic into the centre. Grand Opening Day traffic control was not up to standard at all. It was ridiculous. Management needs to get onto that… or was anyone thinking about that at all?
I did a quick visit of about 1.5hrs and walked majority of the centre. Here is a quick low down on some of the big players at the new Eastland SC.
H&M ~ Excited that the suburbians now do not need to travel all the way into the city at QVB (and line up, last time I was there) to shop at H&M. They had all these bollards ready to receive the ‘crowds’ lining and were ready to be inundated with crazy excited shoppers, but pretty much didn’t use them, as there was a line of about 10 people, then none for the rest of the time. Inside the store was nice, and the expanse of the store was a bit mind boggling, by Australian standards. Only one floor, and this includes the H&M home section, which I can safely say, is one of my favourite areas. Demographic buying up big when I was in there was teenage, university females, and mothers and grandmothers. Obviously it was a working day, so probably more evenly spread in the evenings and weekends.
Mecca Maxima ~ First time in this store, ever. TBH, it is just like another version of Sephora? Correct me if I’m wrong, but it feels almost exactly the same. Anyway, quite crowded, they were handing out Mecca branded water and lollipops. Happy to see that Urban Decay, Hourglass, Too faced, Bare Minerals and Soap & Glory are finally readily available in the burbs too. Or, as some would argue, available in Melbourne in general. Exciting times.
Uniqlo ~ Went in for my brother’s benefit. It’s only 1 floor as well, but dare I say, bigger than Chadstone? Nicely set out, more spacious than the one in Chadstone, and with higher ceilings. Weirdly enough, wasn’t greeted to the same extent as the Emporium and Chadstone stores. Not one staff member said ‘Welcome to Uniqlo’. Maybe that has changed? Not sure. There were some ‘opening day’ specials, but not many.
Target ~ As impressive as the new one in Chadstone. Also has the T-shirt printing facility and Target Cafe. They were making free coffees, handing out balloons and had face painting today too.
Oroton ~ Impressive large store. Didn’t see much else.
Harris Scarfe ~ New, more spacious and better set out store. Hope it lasts, and spells a greater future for this struggling store.
MRP ~ New clothing store that is affordable. Never seen this brand before. Bit of a mix between Temt, Supre, Cotton on and Kmart? I guess. They had a live DJ playing outside their store.
Outdoor Alfresco area has the much anticipated Huxtaburger (which was closed and under renovations today), Hunky Dory (burgers and fish?), Robinsons bookstore – which I love!, Ang Ang (modern asian), Pacos Tacos (mexican), The Cellar Door (australian – looked interesting), Hunter & Barrel (bar – which was packed) and a new Gelati place (forgot the name…). Many others weren’t open so I didn’t check them out. But this whole area leads straight over the road from the Ringwood train station.
The ‘older’ section of Eastland was definitely quieter (near Kmart area). To be honest, my impression of the previous Eastland was pretty bad. Once the floors are polished, the rest of the shops and restaurants are open, the traffic and parking is sorted, it will be a really great place to shop. But for now, unless you are desperate for H&M or Mecca Maxima, don’t bother until the place is completely done, parking is fully functional and, the floors are cleaned.
Feels like what I imagine an American diner would feel like if i’d ever been to a legitimate one in America. The restaurant has posters, numberplates and red-white-blue decor. The booths give it a cosy feeling.
Menus are printed on a single sheet of A3 paper and are clear and easy to navigate around.
Their buffalo wings are a must try. Deliciously juicy with just the right amount of flavour. Highly recommended!
Come prepared to eat a decent amount. Large servings with generous chips on the side. This place really hits your American food craving spot. Can’t do it too often though. Wow, really craving this as i’m currently in a place that does not serve much of this sort of food.
Check it out if you live nearby or seriously crave some of this food.
These amazingly simple brown sugar cookies are quite decadent and rich. Using dark cocoa powder and brown sugar, it ensures the cookies are rich, yet not overly sweet. They go really well with a cup of tea or coffee.
Made these recently and they turned out really well!
1. Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or electric hand mixer), combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed. Approximately 5 – 7 minutes until light and fluffy.
2. Scrape down sides of the bowl and add remaining ingredients. Mix on low speed until just combined (approx 1 – 2 min).
3. Make tablespoon sized balls and place on a plate. Flatten mounds slightly and cover with plastic wrap.
4. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before baking. (Baking the warm dough will result in thinner, flatter, spread out cookies)
5. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking trays with baking paper or spray with cooking oil.
6. Place cookies onto the baking trays, spaced 4 cm apart (they will not spread too much).
7. Bake for 8 – 9 minutes, or until the edges have set and the tops are just setting. Rotate the trays at the 4 minute mark. Do not bake the cookies any longer than 10 minutes, as they will become hard, crumbly and crunchy. I look for the slight cracking of the edges.
8. Allow cookies to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool further.
Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Decided to try love4cre8ivity (on Instagram) recipe for Ramen Salad. Here it is, with my modifications!
1 medium (head) cabbage – chopped OR 2 bags of shredded cabbage (I used red cabbage this time)
1 bunch spring onions – chopped
3 large chicken breasts – cooked (steamed) and shredded
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 cup toasted crushed almonds
2 packs of oriental flavoured ramen (instant) noodles – uncooked and broken up
1/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 flavour packets (from Ramen noodles)
1. Mix all salad ingredients together.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together.
3. Pour dressing over salad.
4. Let the salad sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours before serving.
** Serve hot or cold **
Ate the ‘left overs’ the following day. Decided to heat it up in the microwave for about 2 minutes as there was chicken in it. My biology brain told me that eating chicken cold is not the best idea. I think it tasted even better the following day! I really loved the toasted sesame flavour. Super delicious!
Enjoy! Please let me know if you try this and how it turned out!