mylifestylenews

2022-06-22

MONSTER KITCHEN & BAR - Nouvelle Vegetarian Winter Menu To Admire

We do have a penchant for meat however, we always have an open mind when it comes to food and Monster Kitchen & Bar is the perfect vehicle for you to reassess how delightful vegetarian food can be! mylifestylenews writes.


It is not often that we think about vegetarian food when dining out. Don’t get us wrong, we eat lots of leafy greens and never shy away from menu items that focus on the beloved vegetable. Canberra has been blessed with some interesting boutique hotels in recent years, but none have also established a strong reputation as much as the Ovolo Nishi has, with its stunning interior design heavily based on recycled materials.


The interior design of the whole hotel is very striking, but the arrival staircase from one side of the building is unforgettable, made out of recycled basketball floorboards. Once you have stopped gawking at such a beautiful entrance, you arrive in the main lobby area and note some key artworks that are diverse and then a left turn into the restaurant proper and you feel like you are entering a private premise, yet warm and welcoming.


With dim lighting, a huge fire pit makes the centre piece to warm up the room on a cold winter evening and some striking touches that show a quirky sense of style: inlaid stone floors, fabulous illuminated mirror wall lights that have a dazzling eclectic look and some old master style portraits on another wall that add a humorous ‘gravitas’.


It is pretty much full on yet has an ample space sectionized in the entire lounge area which is a series of nested spaces made of woven rough formed concrete structural lintels. The main dining Mosaic room houses giant original quirky yet arty artworks and together with the Salon tells a story of Australian immigration. It certainly has a lot to admire and to get inspired.


We could go on about this sense of style, but we were in attendance to sample their new winter set menu with a premium wine pairing and the stakes were high, as it has been a long time since we dined in a vegetarian restaurant. Monster Kitchen & Bar has established a reputation second to none and is widely talked about, but it is not just the food that is the focus.


Creating a restaurant buzz by going completely vegetarian, it was a leap of faith about two years ago to go plant based and they haven’t looked back. Each dish centres on a particular vegetable with local and seasonal produce prepared for sharing and some help from add on ingredients that add spice, brevity or texture and it all looks incredibly appetizing on the printed page. For those non-vegetarians, who knew it could sound so appetizing? Bring it on!


<Wildfire>
Ton, the restaurant supervisor took his liberty to organize us two signature cocktails from the bar and set the wildfire on flame when it was presented to the table came with Larios Gin, fresh pineapple, honey, coffee liquer, Campari, lime, Togarashi chilli, nutmeg and anise that may sound like too much complexity on palate with such an concoction, but it does work quite well to quench your thirst with the peppery chili kicking in gently.
 

<Cadillac>
The second cocktail came with Larios Gin, fresh pear, vanilla bean, Fino Sherry, lime, mint, pomegranate, sparkling blanc de blanc and bitters and it may well appear to some who favours their classic cosmopolitan and this would be your deluxe version by enjoying so.
 

<Monster’s Bao Bun>
This classic spongy half folded bun is filled with spiced cauliflower, siracha and pickles. The rich flavours are anchored by the cauliflower which has a charred flavour and it is deliciously appetizing and well paired with the classic and elegant NV Billecarte-Salmon French champagne.



<Beetroot Tartare>
Juicy and moist! This is a beautifully balanced dish with a combination of sheep’s yoghurt, pickled shallots and bronze fennel. It has a crunchiness to it, as the beetroot is not too soft and the shallots of fennel added another dimension. You've got to love beetroots to enjoy such a good beetroot dish. Paired with a glass of refreshing, half dry and somewhat fruity and sweet finishing 2016 German Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling, it is simply sensually yours to enjoy fullest.


<Celeriac & Fable “Meat” Wontons>
Wontons are a popular choice on any menu and these looked great, sitting in a broth of master stock, garnished with goji berries and a full bed of chives. It was the most perfect presentation and the master stock had a great aroma yet rather too sweet on the palate. The wontons were so crispy and the melange of flavours was very pleasant with a chosen pairing of the 2017 Tasmania Pressing Matters Pinot Noir for its cherry and plum flavours that is balanced by long lines of acidity and tannins.
 

<Hokkaido Pumpkin>
A heart-warming dish that has the added flavours of smoked almond veloute, Comte cheese and roasted seeds. Presented on a halfmoon shape, the glutinous Japanese pumpkin was delicious and has it own very redolent flavour, the other accompanying ingredients were not a standout, but delicious nonetheless.  Paired with an artisan medium body 2020 French Jean Paul Dubost Gamay Beaujolais with its dark red fruits and savoury notes.

 
<Oyster & Shitake Mushrooms>
This was simply sensational and was accompanied with miso butter, smoked salsa verde, a sous vide egg cooked at 63 degrees and sourdough crackers. A superb combination that was delicious, unctuous and above all, just a perfect blend of flavours that danced on the tongue, with the flavours to die for! It is a rich main course dish with a depth of flavour that was totally unexpected, including the chimichurri dressing that was so piquant. It is totally worth it for an encore!
 

<Rhubarb & Custard >
This beautiful pre-dessert that really is a first dessert and with the addition of lavender, honey and rhubarb sorbet. The vanilla custard was silky smooth and creamy and the crunchy honey quenelles are simply fabulous, not only visionary stunning yet pleasing the palate entirely. It is a real stand out and a sensational dish!


<Pandan Ice Cream>
This dessert is also a worthy front runner for this evening. The ice cream also has pistachio cake, yoghurt, soft orange blossom meringue and coconut. This dessert has so many layers and no flavour is overly dominating, a well-balanced act but you have to let each flavour speak to you. The ingredients are subtle and create a lovely texture overall that is to be savoured until the last morsel. It is a fabulous dessert that shows excellence in culinary skill to understand flavours. A triumph!


A flight of four premium grade wines and one champagne were selected and served to match each course and we can think of no better way to enjoy the food than with perfectly matched wines. Each was a revelation to us, except for the Frogmore Creek Ice Riesling which we found too boring – something with a little more bite and less sweetness would be perfect. You will be pleasantly surprised how much plant-based cuisine can be elevated by the chosen wines, thanks to the culinary team putting those extra efforts by bringing multiple level of taste and personalities on the well-crafted new winter menu.


Our dedicated table host was Fiola and what a treasure she is. We had an incredible evening thanks to her attention to detail and engaging personality. In addition to her intimate knowledge about each course, she also has an in-depth knowledge about every wine pairing that is to be admired, so an all-rounder. Additionally, Ton was a gracious host and went out of his way to introduce us to the whole concept as well as ensured that our welcome and departure was perfect.
 

On a chilly winters evening, you will not find a warmer atmosphere to kick back and relax under the trusted hands of this culinary and front of house teams. All those naysayers out there that think vegetarian food doesn’t cut it need to hot foot it to Monster Bar & Kitchen and immerse yourselves in plant-based cuisine that really envelops your palate just as much as any other restaurant can. You truly do have something very special to look forward to!


Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Experience: 5/5
25 Edingburgh Avenue
Canberra ACT
 Australia
Tel: +61 2 6287 6192

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

2022-06-20

CHAUMET Presents Tiaras of Dreams - Dreaming of Tiaras

Chaumet celebrates the beauty of tiaras with an exceptionally creative pop-up book featuring ten fairytales in mesmerizing dioramas.


Tiaras are symbols of power and sophistication that Chaumet has mastered throughout 240 years of history - crowning the beauty of prestigious clients, from Napoleon’s wife, Empress Joséphine, to contemporary icons.

Celebrating their most emblematic examples, this exceptional piece of bookmaking features colorful illustrations and short stories. The ten tableaux, each highlighting one iconic Chaumet piece, invite readers to travel through space and time: strolling in the Malmaison garden with Napoleon and Joséphine; partying during the Roaring Twenties; wandering under the shade of Japanese cherry blossom trees; or dancing on a rooftop in contemporary Shanghai. Timeless and universal, the stories will appeal to a wide audience while intricate details of the laser-cut dioramas captivate the eye.


An invitation to daydream, these scenes reflect an enchanting tale that readers can discover in one sitting or indulge in separately, according to their mood. Available in French, English and Simplified Chinese, Tiaras of Dreams, Dreaming of Tiaras is written by Michèle Gazier and illustrated by Kristjana S. Williams.


2022-06-19

我愛美,這不是我的錯 「I Love Beauty, It’s Not My Fault」


我愛美,這不是我的錯
I Love Beauty, It’s Not My Fault



倾国倾城    是我大名
1932 5 11 日出生于沃盖拉的V先生非比寻常,在 50 年的职业生涯中,开创了属于自己的服装流派,形成了个人独特的美学理念,以无尽的形式表达将其理念,通过引入对未来的想像,使其连贯与当今潮流。同名品牌VALENTINO瞬即响彻了整个时尚界,打造自我大名。在时尚行业内,不使用自己姓氏作为品牌名称的做法被视为对同行的尊重,像Valentino Garavani先生那样能以如此普遍的方式成为进入集体想象的天才,令人敬佩。
 
 
 
银河巨星    单人匹马 
90岁生辰,接近跨越另一世纪,能viva活到此纪元,算得上人生一大盛事。一早已退隐看透繁华盛世的华伦天奴品牌创始人Valentino Garavani先生又如何选择为这华诞庆贺?!由他发起的 VALENTINO品牌经历了无数年的风华绝代,创作出一套又一套极具收藏价值,流芳百世的惊艳经典设计,至今仍然让不少V先生的倾慕者朝圣前来跪拜,沉醉于这银河巨星的设计系列底下。收了无数的迷,要曾经风靡全球的经典设计衣裳被活埋,绝对不是V先生的那杯茶,然而V先生一生又何曾吝啬过,深明和万众共赏自己荣获万千爱戴的历代创作,比起单人匹马,自我陶醉独唱来得更具意义的道理哲学。美好的东西,固然要公诸同好,实属佳选。
 
 
 
唯独是天姿国色          
不可一世 
为庆祝这特别的日子,日前在意大利家乡沃盖拉的Teatro Sociale社会剧院举办为期近一个月的一系列经典作品特别装置展览,展出Valentino Garavani先生从 20 世纪 60 年代到 21 世纪第一个十年的独家作品。展台中央摆放着一系列标志性的红色连衣裙:这些服装以创始人的名字命名,代表着品牌最富于影响力、最有辨识度、最受公众认可的标志性作品和色调。永恒不朽的天姿国色系列佳作,华丽尽显,倾国倾城高贵地不可一世。
 
 
 
时代花样璀璨     
胜过短暂漫天花火
90 岁华诞是一个值得庆祝的里程碑,此次的展览还有由 36 件典藏连衣裙组成的单色装置:每一件作品都能体现所处时代的精神。这是一种标志的象征,并象征着VALENTINO的女性既是演员,又是观众,她们没有角色的区别,都在全球视野范围内,代表着美和女性的气质。在这其中,伴随着这些独具气质的作品,还展示了诸多的研究、图纸、素 描、剪报、照片和文件等。它们反映了每款服装作品问世时的设计灵感,简短呈现了当年它们被感知的故事,被历史见证过的时代花样璀璨,胜过短暂的漫天花火。
 
 
 
天生我高贵艳丽到底
在目前品牌创意总监 Pierpaolo Piccioli 的创作推动下, 品牌已逐渐趋向年轻化,和多样性的标志体系,主攻和刻意千禧后群,品味和作品参次,和经典原创精髓设计理念越走越远,让品牌追随者边骂边买,甚至有些已转会。在你们骂得㷫恰恰之际,又忘我前往血拼,为品牌制作更多商机和带来可观的销售数字,PP一于少理,设计继续依然故我。品牌团队为此次的展览盛事,更特别设计了一款于官方线上平台独家发售的 Happy Birthday Mr. V」限量版连帽卫衣,将销售所得的净利润将捐赠给「Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti」基金会。衣服上引用了 Valentino Garavani 先生关于美的经典名言:「I Love Beauty, It’s Not My Fault- 我爱美,这不是我的错。天生高贵我艳丽到底,直接地反映了 V先生对时尚和生活审美,既生动又具有讽刺意味的总结留下V先生的时尚梵音。你未必Buy但仍然死忠有人会Buy
 

2022-06-09

ZAAB - Full of Bold Flavours

Located in the hipster precinct of Braddon where the nightlife of restaurants and bars has grown exponentially, ZAAB is a happening place with a take on Lao-Thai street food that you simply won’t want to miss. The gastronomy sojourn in ZAAB over the evening allowed us to taste the length and breadth of the culinary team although there are still some of the signature bests that we are to look forward to. If you are looking for a fun-filled venue that has an incredible buzz and don’t require a rarefied spice, then ZAAB is the deal! Who say Canberra dining is boring?!  mylifestylenews writes.


If it weren’t for the illuminated sign that was hard to miss, you could almost miss the entrance as it is a small street frontage with a dining balcony. We probably picked the busiest night to dine, being a Saturday at peak demand time and predictably the restaurant was full and from the sights and sounds it was clear that everyone was having a great time, so we also had great expectations.


ZAAB translates to delicious and spicy in Lao and Thai respectively. This South-East Asian eatery enhances and elevates food to a salivating level with rustic, bold, complex, big and rich pleasing flavours accompanied by some awesome cocktails. In ZAAB, the food is all about sharing and if you don’t, you will miss out on some great dishes that set a new benchmark in flavour combinations. It is a narrow internal space with tables situated quite close to each other, which in itself creates a vibe! One side of the long narrow dining room is the ZAAB signature well-stocked bar and a sizable open kitchen at the end of the restaurant and the other side is dominated by a huge wall mural which is anchored with banquette seating. The interior design is a retro take on some hipster bars and restaurants in Asia, set with a black base off which murals give an incredible pop of colour and then a polished concrete floor and simple white tabletops, so a clever mix of basics and some selective lighting over the bar and spot lit dining tables.


The black sliding gates decoration behind the bar are commonly seen and used in any Laos and Thai shops and unpredictably being used as a décor on the wall and instantly became a bold “art piece” installation of a very attractively set up bar that draws you in, which is no surprise, as apart from the food, ZAAB is renowned for its mixologists and stunning cocktails, so this is the focus for pairing with food, although there is a very chic wine list as well, if cocktails are not your thing. ZAAB award winning and stunning cocktails come in some unusual combinations of spirits and herbs that will challenge to make a decision and definitely worth exploring. The more than just a “degustation” set menu is relatively a good choice to explore the exotic and bold flavours of ZAAB’s gastronomy as the selection and variation are intended to urge you to explore the different intensities of their renown heartening dishes that will delight your palate. Otherwise, be selective on their big menu that is to guarantee you have enough room for its generous portions being served.


<Crazy Coconut> & <Watermelon Massacre> 
'Naturally we were initially more focused on the food and as our set course menu included a welcome cocktail, we got straight into the swing of things with two cocktails – a Crazy Coconut - a mix of Belenkaya vodka, lemon, strawberry, egg whites and coconut juice, the Crazy Coconut was not overly sweet and had such a zing that it was instantly addictive – think a more refreshed, light, less creamy and dominating of a more relaxed pina colada served on an actual coconut shell and a Watermelon Massacre - A mix of house-made citron vodka, watermelon juice, vanilla, apple and lemonade that was playfully packed into a made-to-order plastic drinking bag which immediately makes you realize that such an act was the motif from both the Laos-Thai culture way of enjoying their drinks from the street that was utterly and commonly used.


<Betel Leaf> 
To whet our appetite, the first bite appears to be a flavour of explosion that packs a punch and will have you salivating for more. Also known as Miang Kham where Miang translate to “food wrap in leaves” and Kham “a bite” and this “one bite wrap” is a common and heartfelt traditional delicacy from both Laos and Thailand introduced and reserved for the royal family in the past and now you can find this tasty little mouthful morsels at restaurants and local street food stalls. The condiments mixture consists of roasted coconut, peanut, ginger, lime, onion, galangal and shrimp paste reduction comparing to the vendor version that is more of a rough cut and chopped ingredient and condiments for a chunky and chewy palate (you truly need strong and healthy teeth to battle). ZAAB’s version is more refined although minus off the fiery chili padi yet still was a piquant mouthful that sets the palate off with some zingy flavour, thanks to the shrimp paste and the combination of those explosion condiments for a delicious experience of aroma, flavour and texture from a handful of Laos-Thai cuisine most loved ingredients.


<Kingfish Carpaccio> 
Kingfish itself is not a strong flavoured nor very fishy fish, slightly oily with a mild taste and soft flaky texture, but with the addition of pickled onion, kaffir lime leaf, aromatic rice powder and banana chilli relish, it was stunning! ZAAB culinary team cleverly puts all these ingredients atop the fish and they are not large in quantity, but instantly make a statement that compliments the carpaccio.


<Larb Bites> 
We went on to a culinary detour by ordering some additional side snackers from the a-la-carte menu. Larb is commonly served as a ground or minced meat salad which is the national dish of Laos along with green papaya salad and sticky rice and with further influence to the neighbouring country that mixed with zippy chilis, ground toasted rice, fish sauce, lime juice and fresh mint. ZAAB ditched the usual suspect by moulding the ground pork meat into a meat ball size and drenched with a bed of very tasty, slightly spicy and devilishly tamarind sauce, topped with deep fried basil and rice powder to enhance the meat flavour. Despite the meat was slightly on the dry side, Larb Bites still makes a good love bite.


<Chicken Satay> 
Now just when you think you have had your share of chicken satay, along comes ZAAB with a twist on this favourite. The chargrilled meaty chicken remained juicy and tender and the peanuts are still a key ingredient, but with the addition of turmeric and coconut, thick and creamy combine for an elevated street dish that is an absolute winner!


<Crispy Pork Belly> 
The five layers of fat and lean meat was well chosen to create this crispy pork belly dish, crispy on top, moist and juicy inside and well balanced on the palate without either chewy excess fat or the lean meat of its thin sliced mouthful portion, which is how it should be and the most ideal way to enjoy a good crispy pork belly. With the combination of sweet and sour pickled radish, red chili hoisin dressing, onion and micro herbs to compliment the rich savory of the meat is simply a winning formula.


<Lao Sausage> 
This pork sausage is handmade in house to a secret recipe and after the first bite, you'll know why! With a mix of dill, lemongrass, onion, ginger, charred baby carrot, tamarind and leafy greens and bird eye chili that will set your tongue on fire – in an extreme palatable way. This is the best pork sausage second to none and must not be missed.


<U.F.C Uncle’s Fried Chicken> 
Crunchy, crispy and meaty! Boneless thighs were chosen and beautifully deep fried to golden brown with a ZAAB spice blend, topped with a citrus dressing and chilli mayo. A satisfying delish bite!


<Ox Tongue Skewers> 
Back to the set menu continuation, the skewers of tongue meat were twice cooked with staranise and cinnamon, sliced to perfection for a smooth, creamy flavour accompanied by a small cup of tamarind and green chili puree. But first try without the sauce and then with, just so you know that the tongue is so enjoyable on its own too!
 

<Crying Tiger> 
This is no Tiger meat nor Tiger prawns! The medium rare cooked tender wagyu beef is another highlight of the set menu. With the addition of a citrus dressing, lime juice, fish sauce and chilli flakes, topped with aromatic rice powder and chopped spring onion, you are given another dimension in which to enjoy the beef and spice things up.


<Spring Thyme Negroni> 
To accompany the wagyu beef dish, we decided to go with the recommendation of having another cocktail which was a hit. Although it was an aperitif, the thyme infused Archie Rose Gin, Campari, Sweet Vermouth and herbal bitters had such a smoky and complex quality to it as well as to open your appetite that left us wanting more!


<Barramundi> 
Eye-catching and beautifully cooked and presented as though a dancing fish lay on a coral bed of charred watercress, with a bed of red chilli paste gravy, lemongrass, tamarind is another triumph of flavours. Barramundi flesh can be too firm if overly done and loses its own flavour, so the other ingredients are added in small quantities to allow you to enhance the fish and it works superbly. Topped with halved chargrilled brussels sprouts and well accompanied with a bowl of fragrant jasmine rice to balance up the complex palate.


<Confit Duck> 
This is a classic Asian spin with five spice, tropical curry blend, lychee, pineapple, cherry tomato and charred beans. It is the thigh and leg meat that was cooked to perfection and so rich in sweet taste from the five-spice used and a highlight on the palate that can also to be enjoyed on its own. This new add-on to the menu has a hint of spiciness that comes later from the tropical curry blend flavours that play the foil to the richness of the duck meat and the front and centre hit of star anise, which we love! You really need some rice to soak up the juice of the sauces, so ensure you indulge in this practice.


<Pistachio Fairyfloss Ice-cream> 
We probably shouldn’t have gone for dessert, given how many dishes we had tried, but the idea of ice-cream to cool down and refresh the palate after so many spicy and rich flavours just made sense to us. The vanilla ice-cream with caramelised coconut on top and the thick wads of fairy floss made for a perfect dessert. A very creative and eye-catching presentation!


  The front of the line team is quite switched on. Madeleine, Paige and Emma looked after us superbly, and answered all our tricky questions with aplomb. They took time to chat and helped us get to the root of the cuisine with explanations that enabled us to enjoy the evening more, as their passion became our delight! There are a lot of strong and bold flavours that make the food standout and the service team seem to be cruising at a high level, because they don’t miss a trick and make you feel so welcome. We needed to feel the warmth and vibe on such a cold night out and this intimate space is the perfect destination for a hip and good vibe with a modern twist on South-East Asian food. ZAAB is a must seek out place to dine. Mind you, Canberra does have good TASTE to offer!


Tried & Tested:
Location: 5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
Experience: 5/5

ZAAB
2/9 Lonsdale Street,
Braddon, Canberra, 
ACT, Australia
Tel: +61 2 6156 5638

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

2022-06-01

Rosenthal meets Versace Virtus Gala 2022 Novelties

In 2022 Rosenthal meets Versace expands the successful Virtus Gala series as full service décor. Black, white and gold are fused together on a tableware collection that explores Versace’s Barocco aesthetic. Inspired by the brand’s iconic designs, the new porcelain references elegant evening dresses and the sophisticated Virtus handbags. The iconic Barocco V is at the center of the tableware line, surrounded by stylized acanthus leaves. The mix-and-match of various plates, cups, bowls, jugs and gift items in Virtus Gala Black and Virtus Gala White provide a stylish contrast.

2022-05-25

Bella Hadid In Versace & Chopard @ The 75th Cannes Film Festival

Bella Hadid wore an archival Versace originally designed by Gianni Versace for Austrian soprano and mezzo-soprano, Helga Dernesch, for a performance of the opera Salomé at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, 1987 to the 75th Cannes Film Festival. The strapless gown features a draped bodice in black georgette and a panné velvet skirt. A flourish at the waist is crafted from a stiff taffeta band and closes at the back and shined in a pair of Chopard earrings in Fairmined-certified 18-carat white gold from the Red Carpet Collection featuring a pair of pear shaped diamonds totaling 18.05-carats and 5.82-carats of diamonds, along with a ring in 18-carat white gold featuring an oval-shaped diamond and diamonds, a ring in Fairmined-certified 18-carat white gold featuring a 8.52-carat oval-shaped diamond and diamonds and a ring in 18-carat white gold featuring a 7.03-carat emerald-cut diamond and diamonds, all from the Haute Joaillerie Collection.