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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Bites: Casual Thai Dining @ Piyawat The Sweetery, Victoria Park.

Piyawat the Sweetery first came under my radar a couple months back while I drove through the Vic Park strip. With its bright orange sign board saying “the Sweetery” I initially thought off it as a dessert only place.  I soon found out that they did proper meals too and decided to come in for lunch on a Thursday.

Piyawat the Sweetery has the usual one dish suspects with a few interesting additions.  For lunch, I enjoyed Crispy Prawn Tom Yam.  A dish that truely has its own bragging rights with its super creamy tom yum sauce being the highlight.  It was simply awesome when paired with fluffy steamed rice.  What more can you ask for?  Crispy prawns, and fragrant tom yam! Flavour bomb, Definitely not your traditional Thai dish but super potent and delicious!

We also ordered the Pad Thai Gai which is Pad Thai with Chicken.   While it did not blow me of my socks or anything, it was definitely cooked well. Which means it is one of the more decent ones out there.  I will go back and try their stir fry flat noodles the next time! My sis said it was pretty good when she went there.

Alas, Piyawat the Sweetery is known for their famous desserts.  Whether its the Mango Sticky Rice or their Dessert Toasts, the ending is always sweet here.  

Piyawat’s Thai Milk Tea Toast was the highlight of my meal. Probably the best I have had since my first encounter with the amazing buttery bread in Taiwan. Fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside with generous amount of butter. Then you have the silky Thai milk tea which was silky smooth and fragrant without an overpowering sweetness courtesy of the tea. Lastly, the coconut ice cream was generous bits of coconuts making it absolutely brilliant! So much to like on that dessert plate.  Very well executed and not just your boring toast with “vanilla” ice cream though sometimes that might be all you are craving for.

If you are looking for something new, fun and different to eat in town the definitely to the Victoria Park to try Piyawat the Sweetery.  Also note that Piyawat the Sweetery closes at 6pm every day folks, so definitely do not plan a dinner here unless they change their timing which you can always check on Zomato!

Piyawat The Sweetery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Bites: Sensational Izakaya @ Ichirin, Leeming.

It is another beautiful day for dining out in sunny Perth.  It was my sister’s birthday and her Japanese cravings kicked in.  After scouting around she decided on eating at Ichirin, a small suburban Izakaya in the southern suburb of Leeming.  

It is not my first time here and I know that Ichirin serves pretty decent food for good value.  Whether its a crunchy Karaage or Fresh Sashimi you crave for, Ichirin has it all.  Do note though that if you are coming in for their Omakase Menu aka “Trust the Chef”, that you book at least 2 nights in advance.  As we did not make it for the Omakase, dinner was going to be a simple Izakaya meal.  To start was some skilfully plated sashimi before going to a favourite of mine, the Agedashi Tofu.  Simply crisp on the outside and sitting in a bath of soy, radish and finely grated ginger.  Lean and tasty.

Then we go on to Ichirin’s Sashimi Carpaccio. Consisting of thinly sliced fish cook, this dish was almost like a Ceviche in the sense that the salmon that came out look slightly cooked by the Citrus Yuzu and Miso mixture.  Refreshing in every bite, one simply could not stop with one bite.  Then we stopped having the raw stuff as my dad calls it and move on to the more conventional warm dishes.  The usual suspects made their appearance such as the Chicken Karaage and Gyoza.

As simple as it seems, Ichirin’s execution of these classics were people-proof favourites.  Both juicy and moist on the inside, it was hard to fault.  But if I had to pick the winner, it would be the Gyoza as it skin was cooked spot on and the mince on the inside was sensationally seasoned.  The Karaage on the other hand, despite packing a load of crunch lacked an essential bite of ginger.  Still it was very good.

But my seafood odyssea has not ended yet.  This time with a sensational plate of octopus.  At this point we did not expect the meal to get better only to be surprised by a melt in your mouth octopus.  I looked on Ichirin’s website but could not find the name.

Not to be forgotten is the superb Teriyaki Beef Fillet.  The marriage between a balanced Teriyaki sauce and a tender beef makes for heaven in mouth when paired with fluffy steamed rice.  This was no different. 

After finishing the night with some Matcha Ice Cream topped with Azuki (red beans), we were on our way home from Ichirin.  A count of how many dishes we had, I had actually ordered about 9-10 dishes for the table with the crispy squid and tempura prawns not shown above.  Was it too much?  Definitely not as the Izakaya dining style consist of small plate in a social environment so you get more variety throughout the meal. The bill price at Ichirin? A very fair  $170 with two bowls of ice cream and rice for a group of 4.

Ichirin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Bites: Double Tonkotsu = Double Goodness? @ Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya, Perth.

When I was told that Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya sat in the spot of what used to be Shiro Izakaya, I was shocked as I felt that Shiro had really punched above its weight when it came to food quality.  It even brought the Ramen Burger to Perth!! Needless to say its time has passed and the start of an interesting ramen place excites me equally. This latest Japan import is a new contender in the local ramen scene.  Playing its authenticity card in a premium location, does Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya deliver?

First, the ordering process. Super simple with the modern touchscreen system replicating the ticketing booth’s of Japan.  A high degree of customisability and toppings makes eating at Kizuki Ramen a bliss even for the fussiest of eaters.  That day I tried Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya’s pride and joy, the famous Tonkotsu Ramen.  To do that, I ordered the Double Tonkotsu.
My noodles were cooked “normal” with the broth's sodium level “normal”.  Do two “normals” make one right?  For starters I loved the kick the broth served up.  That amazing thick porky broth was superbly hearty and tasty from the many hours.  Kizuki’s Double Tonkotsu also comes with heaps of garlic so you can actually see it floating amongst the lard on the soup which gives it a fragrance that cuts through the meatiness.  Chashu was tender and melted in my mouth immediately.  Surprising considering the thickness of it!  Noodles carried the right amount of bite.  Enjoyable!  The egg was faultless though I think if they had cut it, the food would look better.  I knew I would mess it up if I tried to cut it so I did not even bother.

A really quick hit and run lunch that cost me $18.  Was it worth the buck?  But before we go there, lets just set the ground the Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya served some amazing ramen.  I have heard previous feedbacks saying its too salty etc, but salt is a matter of preference.  In fact, most restaurants in Chinatown load up on sodium too so for me this was comparable.  The Tonkotsu broth at Kizuki Ramen had a really nice garlicky punch that I enjoyed and its richness was well-toned to my palate.  If you are looking for Tonkotsu, this might be it! Price point though is definitely on the higher side of things.  Back when Dosukoi was open, it set the price point for ramen at $10.  It was one of the cheapest ramen in town while the Nao Ramen establishment sat on a “pricey” $13.  With new places charging $15-18 a bowl, I suspect die-hard fans will go all out to try the latest in town.  But can these new ramen joints beat the classics for longevity?  Only time will tell.  I know for me that the Tonkatsu alone is worth a return to Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya.  In fact, this has got to be the best new ramen in town.

Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato