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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Bites: A Malaysian Kopitiam Experience @ Lepak Kopitiam, Bateman

Lepak Kopitiam, is a Malaysian hawker that’s been operating in Bateman for the last year or so.  Heard off many times but never been, I was definitely keen to find out what this little suburban eatery had to offer.  Even better, the whole family was here this time so we ordered a pretty comprehensive spread!

For drinks, an all time favourite Teh C.

Served in a classic Kopitiam cup, the froth on top is just right and the taste yummy.  The flavour of the tea is slightly mild but no complains.  If you are wondering, the “C” in Teh C comes from the use of Carnation Evaporated Milk used in making the beverage!

Belacan Wings

Chicken wings are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.  The ones at Lepak Kopitiam, came looking super crispy with a delicious shrimp fragrance.   By itself, the wings felt a little too salty from the briny fragrance of the Belacan or Shrimp Paste, but if you dunk the wings into the accompanying Sweet Chilli, it actually was pretty good!

Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak makes another appearance on my blog again and I just cannot get enough of this Malaysian staple.  Fragrant coconut rice, paired with chicken curry, fiery sambal, crunchy anchovies, cucumber and a hard-boiled egg. Its essentially life in a plate.  You get something that has texture, taste, smell and is visually pleasing.  How did the one at Lepak Kopitiam, fare?  I reckon it everything was pretty good!  The rice though was a tad too wet.  But once, I had let is rest and release some of its steam, it was just right!  Sambal was really tasty too with heaps of anchovies in mine!  Would not mind having some Nasi Lemak from Lepak Kopitiam, now!

Singapore Fried Bee Hoon

Described as the “real Singapore” fried bee hoon made my heart chuckle as there seems to be an expectation in Australia that the Singaporean fried bee hoon is fried with curry powder!  This one came without and it was pretty decent.  Loaded with eggs, Chinese sausages, fish cakes and bean sprouts, this was pretty good!

Malaysian Curry Laksa

Dad ordered the Malaysian Curry Laksa. While I did not try any of it, dad said that it was not too their liking.  From the picture the soup looked pretty “lemak” or rich thanks to addition of coconut milk.  But dad preferred the topping of Yong Tau Foo rather than the BBQ Pork. So he will be sticking to his usual order the next time!

Char Kuey Teow

Another Malaysian favourite that’s often mentioned but rarely perfected.  Few criteria come together to make a good Char Kuey Teow.  The wok fried flavours, consistency of the noodles, and seasoning.  At Lepak Kopitiam, the noodles were of the right texture but I like my Kuey Teow a bit more fried where you get little clumps of Kuey Teow sticking with the eggs so that in each bite you get that Umami bomb.  While that was a matter of preference, it was the wok-fried flavours that were underwhelming and the lacked of balance in the seasoning that made it OK only. 

Lepak Kopitiam serves pretty decent hawker fare and was a nice spot especially if you leave nearby! It is safe to say that there is almost no restaurant that has satisfied me 100%.  Several places comes close to hitting the excellent 95% mark while most is a case of the good, the bad and the ugly.  Lepak Kopitiam was indifferent from this aspect except for the bit where it was really affordable by Australian standards.  My Nasi Lemak from Lepak Kopitiam was $10.  By comparisons, a Nasi Lemak is easily $14 outside!  What I liked that afternoon were the Belacan wings, Nasi Lemak and the Singapore Fried Noodles.  The OKs were the Curry Laksa. My dislikes were the Char Kuey Teow and another Claypot Yee Mee that was not pictured above!  Would I come back?  For the Nasi Lemak and chicken wings? Definitely yes!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bites: A Quick bite of Mushrooms @ Sapore, Belmont

A soon to be busy Sunday means I was going to need a quick place for breakfast.  Enough said, Perth has plenty of brunch spots to choose from but I was going to go out of my way for a feed.  This led me to Sapore, a neighbourhood staple that caught my eyes awhile back with its popular Mushroom Bruschetta gracing the social media.

Wild Mushroom Bruschetta.
If you see the picture and are thinking “where the hell are the mushrooms?”, so did I.  But first mouth in and it all made sense.  Amazingly juicy shrooms with that rich and aromatic truffle notes.  Then comes the tart goats cheese that was super creamy was slightly oozy from the heat of the shrooms.  So simple yet so much to like!

The quick breakfast at Sapore was pretty satisfying!  However, at first glance the menu is quite sedentary.  Saw a few things here and there which bore resemblance to the general brunch scene in Perth.  In saying that though, its the execution which makes a difference and that for me is why I enjoyed my Mushroom Bruschetta at Sapore that day.  In fact,  I am actually considering a return as  I have seen other things that I would like to try.  Even the hot chocolate there looks to be top notch with addition of Nutella!

Sapore Espresso Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bites: A Heart Bowl of Ramen @ Oceans Ramen and Donburi Bar, Northbridge

My stay in Perth was probably my last Winter experience this winter and no way was I going to go without having a bowl delicious ramen.  For this, I headed to Oceans Ramen on Roe Street in Northbridge.  From being a popular take-away in Fremantle to a humble lunch bar underneath my old office Hatch, Oceans have gone form strength to strength before finally occupying the old site of Arigataya Ramen as Oceans Ramen!

The reviews of Oceans Ramen has been less than impressive but I was still keener than ever to try!    Two ramen made their appearance that day.  The first being the Original Ramen with a Shoyu or Soy base.  Sadly, this does not come with a soy egg.  So without even hesitating, the Onsen Egg was added. 

Flavour wise it was pretty damn good.  It was not as salty as the ones you get from Nao or Dosukoi Ramen but still rich in that mild sweetness of the soy. Or maybe there was mirin? lol.  Still I only tried a bit and so my comments are hardly valid. 

Kogashi Ninniku Ramen was my pick for lunch.

Tempted by that uber black topping, I ordered the Kogashi Ninniku Ramen also known as the burned garlic ramen.  While I am more familiar with grounded black garlic, I was open to having this Kogashi style ramen.  This type of ramen is typically finished with a lard flambĂ©.  Not this time thought.  Otherwise the smoke detector would have rung!!! It was just simple ramen topped with black garlic oil.  Even then, it had the most fragrant flavours just sipping from the heart bowl of soup. Char Shu was amazingly tender and was of a similar standards to Dosukoi/Nao.  But what I liked even more at Oceans Ramen was that they serve raw minced garlic on every table.  I added a scoop and it was a massive flavour bomb that could kill every Vampire!  But why garlic I wondered?  So I googled and ended up watching a video online and apparently its quite a norm in Tokyo to have garlic on standby especially at the Ramen stands in the markets!  No explanations but perhaps it helps add flavour and reduce the porky-ness?  Thats only my two cents though!

I have probably said this a hundred times now but seriously, what is better than slurping ramen on a cool Monday afternoon?  While I was not blown off my socks or whatsoever, Oceans Ramen was an enjoyable experience for me.  The noodles were wavy, chewy with a nice bite that held the delicious broth nicely.  I also absolutely enjoyed the addition of the black garlic oil that brings back memories of the Hakata style ramen topped with black garlic oil which I enjoyed heaps.  Over all, nice!

Oceans Ramen and Donburi Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato