Tag Archives : Lunch

Spaghetti w Baby Calamari & Cherry Tomatoes {Speedy Recipe}

Spaghetti with Baby Calamari and Cherry Tomatoes


  • 1 handful spaghetti
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 baby calamari (4” long), cleaned and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 small red chilli, sliced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in in a large frying pan on medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and chilli to the pan, cook until soft but not coloured.
  4. Add baby calamari and cook for half a minute. Add wine. Mix.
  5. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until soft.
  6. Drain the cooked spaghetti and add to the frying pan.
  7. Stir and add parsley. Taste. Add salt & pepper.
  8. Turn off heat. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil.
  9. Rest the spaghetti for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Serve with

  1. White wine
  2. Oh what the hell, the rest of the bottle of that wine. You’re home alone anyway.

Ingredient Notes

I’m sure it’s not en vogue but I actually quite like to buy frozen packs of baby calamari from Thailand from Asian frozen shops (there are a few Asian groceries that specialise in frozen food) – I find that these baby calamari are really nice and tender and great for quick cooking. At this point I’m not even sure if they are actually baby calamari or they are a type of calamari that are sold this size. I suppose eating baby seafood is never a great idea but this size of calamari feature quite heavily in Thai seafood dishes.

The Docklands Food Guide #DocklandsEats


Someone has to do it, and it might as well be me.

About a year ago, I accepted a new job in Docklands. Never having really been to the area, I wasn’t quite prepared just how terrible the lunch situation in Docklands would be.

So you may have heard about how Docklands is a soulless stretch of city extension – where not a shred of culture had quite reached it. Food is awful and expensive, coffee terrible.

Yes. And no.

Yes, when I started here, I was absolutely flabberghasted that hot lunches are $15 and, well, quality and taste a bit left to be desired.  The good news is that Docklands has gone through a bit of a transformation. The past thirteen months have brought on a few pleasing developments in terms of quality food and coffee. Yes, there actually are good coffees in Docklands. The bad news remains though, Docklands is still a soulless stretch of city extension and lunches are still heavily overpriced (forget cheap eats, ain’t no such thing) and it’s still not, well, cool. But really, it’s full of office workers and people who live here are basically expat workers. It’s not getting cooler anytime soon.


But having said that, there are some good eats to be found. I will be posting a Docklands food place review on a weekly basis for the next few months. Meanwhile, for a more real-time eating, try #DocklandsEats hashtag on my Instagram account @katspat.

Stay tune for the Docklands Food Guide series where I go through a few, okay, a lot of the Docklands cafes and restaurants. This series has been thirteen months in coming.

Ratee Thai, Port Phillip Arcade, CBD { Melbourne Food Review } 3

Stir-fried vegetables with basil and chilli (pad gaprow pak)

(Stir-fried vegetables of choice with chilli and basil sauce – pad gaprow – and fried egg – $11?)

Believe me when I say this: you don’t truly appreciate the cliche ‘time flies’ until you become a full time carer of a newborn baby almost-toddler. So when I had every intention to blog about a few places that I (used to) lunch at as a salarywoman in the City, I hadn’t realise how much time had passed since then. So here I am – 9 months into my 12-month maternity leave. I think I might just get to it before I go back to work in December and then find out that all of these places are either gone or no longer the same!

Ratee Thai, Port Phillip Arcade, Flinders Street

(The green circles spell out ‘Ratee Thai’ from the alphabet/vowels panel – very cute)

Ratee Thai is one of the many eating outlets that make up the Mecca of cheap eats that is known Port Phillip Arcade which is situated on Flinders Street just near the Swanston Street corner (you can also enter from Flinders Lane). Their clientele is a mix bag of office workers and Thai uni students – always a good sign for a Thai restaurant. Its fit-out consists of charming communal tables with its wall adorned with the Thai alphabets (in case you’ve wonder what it’s all about!)

Port Phillip Arcade also happened to be the mid point between my (former) work place and Josh’s. So we used to end up there a lot for lunch. Yes, folks, I was one of those people who have lunch with their partners almost everyday. You can decide whether it’s sweet or sad.

Pad si-ew (stir fried rice noodles with soy sauce)

(Pad Si-ew  – stir fried rice noodles with chicken, egg and Chinese broccoli with sweet soy sauce – $10?)

Ratee Thai has a varied menu. You can go with the Wok Bar option – choosing your own meat, vegetables, sauce and noodle/rice; you can choose from the Classic option – a choice of the popular Thai dishes such as pad thai, pad gaprow, pad si-ew, tom yum, etc.; or you can simply grab a plate of bain marie choices. (more…)

Melbourne Food Review: Min Lokal, Fitzroy 3

Min Lokal, Fitzroy

Min Lokal is a popular cafe with the Fitzroy locals for its charming, quaint little space in the backstreet location, nestling itself on the mostly residential George street.

As all of the write-ups on Min Lokal will tell you, its name is Swedish for ‘my local’. A lovely, non-Swedish but very much Melburnian sentiment. I am one of those people who adore Ikea and its quirky Swedishness, so I get the gist of how something suddenly becomes cool when it is Swedised (see what I did there?)

Baked Eggs - Dooba

(Dooba baked eggs – with minced beef, pumpkin and North African spices – $17.00)

The menu itself is hardly Swedish. Min Lokal serves a typical brunch menu – eggs, toasts, muesli, muffins, salads, sandwiches – with its own interesting twists. I visited there one Friday afternoon with a local, Joyce (of Melbourne Hot or Not) for our regular mum & bub catch up session. Joyce had been previously and didn’t think the world of it but she chose it for its proximity and its lovely spacious communal table to accommodate her gorgeous little bub.

As it was well past lunch time on a Friday, the cafe, rather uncharacteristically from what I heard, was not busy and we got ourselves a corner of the large communal table. The space was indeed lovely and uncluttered with large wooden communal table and comfortable wooden stools. Our waiter was nice and appropriately clucky (note to waitstaff: we mums love it when you pay attention to our bubs) and brought us water as neither of us had ordered drinks as I only had half hour to spend on lunch.

As I have heard good things about their baked eggs, I decided on the Dooba – baked eggs with minced beef and pumpkin sauce with North African spices served with rye toasts. Starving, I tucked straight into the baked eggs. The very first bite of the meat was very pleasant – rich and warm from its spices. The egg yolk was runny but the white was slightly rubbery as I progressed in the dish. Although it was the first time I ever had baked egg, I suspect that it wasn’t at all bad for a baked egg dish and Min Lokal deserved its reputation for its baked eggs.

As lovely as it was though, I was less thrilled with the portion size versus the price comparison.

Haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas

(Haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas – $16.00)

Joyce had opted for the haloumi salad with radicchio, chorizo and chickpeas. She let me have a bite and it was also a good solid dish. The composition of the warm salad ingredients was perfect for a brunch dish. Unfortunately, I think it portion, again, was disappointingly small for its price.

Overall, while I found the food, service and space at Min Lokal to be very pleasant for a leisurely lunching spot, I found it to be overpriced, poor value and possibly not worth all the raves about it.

But if it were min lokal, maybe I’d give it another go.

Min Lokal
Address: 422 George St., Fitzroy VIC 3065 [ Google Map ]
Phone number: (03) 9417 0333

Min Lokal on Urbanspoon

Read what other bloggers thought of Min Lokal:

  1. “… it pleases us”
  2. Addictive & Consuming
  3. Where’s the Beef
  4. Fitzroyalty
  5. Melbourne Coffee Review

This time last year I ate at: Syracuse Wine Bar and Restaurant, Melbourne CBD

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