Lunch, Macarons, Cupcakes, and some Very Special People

146-148 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
In the last exam-free week until mid-June, I accompanied some very special uni friends to Gogi to celebrate the birthdays of Bilge and myself.
Gogi is a small and serene Korean buffet located in the bustle of Chinatown. There’s a Korean BBQ option at night, but during the day, the restaurant is filled with people treating themselves to the $12 Lunch Buffet, which also comes with a free drink.
The selection of food isn’t too big; you’d be silly to expect it to be for the price. But there are silver tureens of meats and stews, and a bright salad bar full of fresh greens and all the kimchi you could possibly eat.
Plate One
Instinct took over as I approached the spread, forbidding me from taking more than a mouthful of each dish, so that I might try as many of them as possible. My first plate consisted of an unremarkable seaweed salad and kimchi, some sweet chicken pieces and sweeter pork strips, as well as a piece of crispy spicy chicken that is neither crispy nor spicy. The jap chae however, turned out to be surprisingly yummy. Despite being bland looking and with a noodle-to-vegetable ratio that was way off, the sweet potato noodles were satisfyingly chewy and fragrant with the generous use of sesame oil.
Plate Two
The second plate I carried back had a small mound of kimchi fried rice (a bit gluggy), a puddle of vegetable curry (a funny tasting cross between Japanese and Indian), two large pieces of delightfully silken tofu (fished from the tofu and seafood stew), and a couple more twists of the sweet pork whose flavour has grown on me.
Plate Three
Being healthy. 
I don’t think any of us expected Gogi to be absolutely amazing. But you really can’t go wrong with a decent spread of Asian dishes that invited you to eat as much as your stomach could handle for just $12. 
Rating: 11.5/20

GoGi on Urbanspoon

Moving to a cosier location out of the wind, we found ourselves in San Churro.
And out comes some beautiful macarons from La Belle Miette, flawless and perfect, with smooth domes like painted eggshells sandwiching a wickedly creamy ganache. The shell cracks under our teeth, giving away to a center that stays sticky and elastic for a split second, before melting away in a delicious sugar rush.  

La Belle Miette on Urbanspoon

And some adorable cupcakes from Cupcake Central. These were packed with flavour, the crumb moist and tender with a large dollop of soft cream cheese icing on top.

Macaron and Custard Cupcake
The special of the day was practically made for macaron-loving Bilge, who couldn’t stop cooing over the miniature confection. And hidden under the swirl of cream cheese was a luscious and silky pocket of custard. Cupcake Central has outdone itself once again.  
Banana Split Cupcake
And a banana split flavoured cupcake for me, complete with a banana chip, sprinkles, and a cherry on top. 

Cupcake Central Workshop on Urbanspoon

And when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, I was presented with two vouchers for high tea at the Windsor. Thank you so much Sophia, Sneha, Kathy, Bilge, Sarah, Sandu, Jan, Minh-An, Nick, and Keith for making my 19th birthday a memorable one. I’m so lucky to have you guys in my life.
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  • Reply Sneha 20/05/2012 at 5:02 am

    Can’t wait for the Windsor review!

    • Reply ming 22/05/2012 at 2:10 am

      And I can’t wait to eat all the desserts! :D

  • Reply Winston 20/05/2012 at 6:32 am

    Cupcakes are too cute! I hate to have a preconceived notion about a place before I try it, but I’m glad to have read your post and saw the selections for myself to confirm my suspicion haha. Am sure you had a great time with friends anyway. After all, that’s what matters more than the food =]

    • Reply ming 22/05/2012 at 2:11 am

      Have you tried the cupcakes from cupcake central? they’re absolutely amazing; they even have a coconut pandan flavoured one, which I’m sure you’d like :p

  • Reply momoandcoco 20/05/2012 at 10:10 am

    Gorgeous pics! What a great pre-exam treat! Our only excuse now is to indulge because of work. :) La Belle Miette is beautiful but can’t say we like Cupcake Central…apart from their red velvet cupcakes they are generally meh. We have blogged about them too, some time ago.

    • Reply ming 22/05/2012 at 2:11 am

      Thanks so much for dropping by; it’s a shame to hear that you didn’t like the cupcakes (I remember reading your review on it), but I definitely agree that the macarons are lovely. Do you know how they compare to luxbite?

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