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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bites: The Groper and His Wife @ City Beach.

For a long time now I have been craving for a good serve of fish and chips!  But with the iconic Cicerello’s being worthy only for it’s pensioner’s special, I was in need of a new haunt.  Luckily enough, my needs were answered with the return of the Groper and his Wife at City Beach.  Today, I paid a visit to the revamped restaurant which is now in the hands of Aaron and his wife. 


The Groper & his wife is not your typical neighbourhood takeaway! I liked what I saw, and could not wait to taste what was about to come!


Seeing the menu left me with a typically eaters dilemma!  WHAT DO I CHOOSE?  But no worries!  The Groper & his wife packed a small serve of Italian squid, a stuffed giant prawn and a serve of Peri Peri crumbled snapper into a takeaway box, all very carefully separated!


How did the little darling and I find the food?


Let’s start with the Peri Peri battered snapper!


While the Peri Peri spices were least evident, the fish itself was a plausible star.  Fresh snapper fillets is a specialty at this eatery.  The Groper & his wife sources their fish from WA; bringing them directly from the harbour  before filleting it on site and cooking it to perfection!  I had two different bites on the fish.  One bite just by itself, and the other, with a squeeze of lemon! It was just so yummy!  A bit of an exaggeration for battered fish but  it was good! Oh, and do not forget to try the fish in the 5 other methods they have to offer! I think there were two grilled ones, a plain battered one and two crumbled one!



These delicious squid rings sautéed in a hearty tomato sauce was the highlight of my lunch!  The sauce was an absolute delicacy!  Instead of using the cream sauces, I instinctively dipped my chips into this sauce.  What can I say?  It is a must have as a side dish!  The squids themselves were cooked just right.  Not raw at all yet not overcooked with a rubbery consistency.  Honestly, I would not mind having the squid with my pasta!

The last of the trio was the large prawns.


The large prawns is stuffed with seasoned spinach mousse! It was pretty yums but didn’t have that added complexity my tongue was hoping for.  Never the less, it was still alright!

And how can we forget the chips!


The Groper & his wife makes one of the best chips I have ever eaten.  Officially! Darling  quickly fell in love with what it had to offer.  It was super crunchy! And to my joy, not greasy!  It was GOOOD!  And do not forget to help yourself to a serve of the restaurant’s homemade tartare sauce!


And guess what?


Cholesterol free oils~~ Truth be said, I thought most oils were cholesterol free hehe!


But that was not all that the little darling and I ordered.  To add a little freshness to the meal, we also had a serve of Dutch Potato Salad.


A very un-salad salad!  Tastes  good anyway, and that is all that matters!


Oh and rejoice!  This place does not requires you to go home to soggy fries and fish!  They actually have a pretty impressive sitting area!

There was enough sitting areas for all.  Quite funnily it was described as a little sitting place!  This sitting area could easily fit 30-40 people? :)


Once the little darling and I were done, the shop owner Aaron asked me about his food.  Easy! The food was fantastic!  The fish was definitely a highlight that the Groper & his wife can continue to boast if it keeps its quality constant.  The Italian squid, was one of the best squids I have ever eaten, and the sauce, WOW!  Once I was done today, I quickly pounced on the internet to get some useable vouchers for the future.  It was quite tempting really, only $36 bucks for a serve of 4 snappers etc. But I was not the only one.  There are 500 people already! Quite a sale I must insist!  Can’t wait for the next time!



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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bites: Cinnamon Club @ Leederville

Indian food.  The food almost everyone adores.  There is no such thing as ‘anything’ when it comes to good Indian food.  As a Malaysian, I love good Indian food, and this is where the fuss is.  We do not compare like with like.  So to explain, in Malaysia a good Indian food must not only satisfy the ‘Indian’ requirement, but the Malaysian requirement too.  This applied to Chinese food as well.  It must be Chinese yet Malaysian.  That’s the many elements of brilliance that you will find in Malaysia (from Gordon Ramsay). Most Indian restaurants here look the same but I’m not going to be fooled by any Indian restaurant which claims its food is good, and neither am I going to be intimidated by its Indian authenticity just because it consumes Indian labour.  Have a chat with any Indian taxi driver and you will know that finding good Indian food is like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Today is a girl’s birthday and Yvonne’s choice for the night was the $38 dollar Regal Banquet at the Cinnamon Club located at Leederville.  While she chose the venue, my tongue was still its own judge tonight.

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The Banquet started with little snacks which were decent but not substantial enough to satisfy our growling tummies!  You had unlimited refills though!


Papadams with 4 types of dip.  I know one was a fresh tasting tomato raita, a mango chutney, a minty yoghurt and some really really horrible red mixture which tended to be a little kimchee-ish.


The dips!


While the tomato raita and the mango chutney were delicious, the red coloured dip was a nightmare.  At first, YiHeng thought it would be extremely delectable and so he ambitiously spooned a large serve on his pappadams.  His reaction at the first bite was priceless and he decided against trying that red dip ever again ahahhahah!  The green dip did not taste  good as well and among the 8 of us who had it, few thought it was nice!!


Then comes my highlight of the night! The shared platter appetizers!


While the samosas were mediocre at best, the sheesh kebab was absolutely delicious!  My sister thought it could be more tender but for me, it ticked all the right boxes!  I loved the spices in the meat, the texture was just right and it was yummy with a pinch of spiciness!  The chicken Tikka was OK in my opinion.  I would have liked it to taste a little drier with a Tandoori style texture.  The seasoning was a lot milder than I would have liked it to be too! However, the tenderness in each bite was something worth mentioning!  Unlike its Tandoori counterpart, the chicken Tikka was really tender!


Truth be said, at this point all I wanted was another serve of the entrees! But unfortunately, the appetizers were not refillable! DAMN!!! But that was ok, the mains did not take long to be served.  The first main out was the Rogan Josh which till the end of the dinner was still mistaken for Lamb Korma!


WHY? Because the meat felt totally blend and mild which was definitely not the traits of a typical Rogan Josh! To me, Rogan Josh enjoys the privilege of having the acidity from the tomatoes along with the sweetness that it carries.  The meat in this Rogan Josh was overcooked and not at all soft!  Something quite unexpected from an Indian restaurant which boasts to have served several famous people such as politicians, business people and people from the entertainment industry.  So what happens when a dish is not yummy at all?  Well, it is the only curry that did not require a refill that night!


At that point where I had the Rogan Josh, my hopes to find a jewel in Leederville was at the brink of no hope!!!


that was until I had the Butter Chicken!! Its verdict? WIN!  Tender chicken fillets in a yummy Indian curry butter sauce.  It was good with a controlled level of sweetness.  Not as sweet as the one served in Maya Masala!  Also, the dish with finished with a lash of milk/cream which gave the sauce a creamier consistency!  A really enjoyable dish that night!  It was good with both the rice and the naan.



But that is not all! The Aloo Gobi was an absolute stunner too!  This simple curry vegetable dish was so yummy!  Cauliflower has never tasted to so awesome before! I have to admit that all my life, Indian food has always been good in making me eat vegetables I dislike! Cucumbers in Indian salads are usually yummy; so is the cauliflower in this dish!  It was well received by everyone! It was not too soft and yet, not undercooked. GOOD!  Oh and not to forget, I really liked the Saffron rice too! It carries with it a nice fragrant!  I found it very enjoyable with the curry!  Good chemistry!



We also had a beef Vindaloo which I thought was OK only.  Not bad, but for that price, I do not think it is worth it!  I think the meat was tough!   Wonder what did Kelvin think about it’/?  Now that I think of it again, I feel that the one that Kelvin used to  bring back from his workplace was just as good as this one!


Besides the Vindaloo, little darling also ordered a chicken Biryani which was super pricey but extremely yummy too!  Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of that for some reason ahah!  To wrap things up, I would rate my experience as follows!


It was good with unacceptable flaws.  An Indian restaurant with only 1 out of 3 curry making the mark just does not sounds right!  But with the Aloo Gobi coming into the equation, then we have a 2 out of 4 being good!  Putting in the 2 out of 3 appetizer that we liked, we then have 4 out of 7 being yummy! Finishing things up with the yummy garlic Naan and Saffron rice, the score then becomes 6 out of 9!  Now this does not sounds too bad at all does it not?  And do not forget the Chicken Biryani which give this restaurant a grand total of 7 out of 10!  Hence the thumbs up with that bandage!  And so that all of you know, the little darling accidentally injured her thumb while cutting fruits for herself *emo*!


Some other picture from the night!


Yvonne and my sister!



Happy Couple!



The mates! YiHeng, Jim, and JiaHui



Cinnamon Club on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bites: Atrium’s Buffet @ Intercontinental Burswood.

Last week, Yi Heng and Jim celebrated their birthday! To celebrate this double joy, we decided to spoil them with a good buffet dinner, or at least people in town think its good hehe! So was it good enough for us?  Well, read on below :P!


The Atrium over the past year has undergone significant changes to improve its appeal to the public.  To improve its ageing decor, the Atrium has adopted an oriental styling which is pretty wow compared to the few times I have eaten here over the past years.  But of course, the price has also increased from $50 or 55 to $65. 


The buffet at Atrium showcased an array of mouth watering dishes. There was a selection of Asian, Western and European dishes.  While the Oriental stiry-fry dishes were pretty plain, the Chinese roast meat was quite good.  Only the Peking Duck I must insist! Unlimited Peking duck ;)!


Mmmm delicious and crispy duck skin with vegetables and sauce all wrapped up in fresh pancakes!  The skin was good, but I have to say, the duck marinade was nothing to shout about!!


For my sister and most of my friends, the unlimited sashimi was all the rage that night!


Layers of fresh salmon slices!  Atrium also had tuna on their line up!  While my sister was totally in love with the salmon, Jia Sheng thought that the tuna at Atrium was one of the best in Perth!  His comparison?  The super yummy Kanta @ Langford!


Nevertheless, I am never keen on fish! So my choice at the seafood counter was the crabs! Cooked crabs with cocktail sauce has always been a favourite of mine with prawns coming in second!  However, YiHeng aka fishman was not happy with the crabs as they were not sweet.  At first I did not understand why!  But after eating 3 crabs, I soon saw the truth in his comment! The crabs were a mix of good and bad.  Some of it tasted blend while others tasted sweet!


Cold food! Crabs!


Anyone keen on steaks, roasts and stew?


ahaha this was purposely plated for picture purposes, because after this plate, I took no more pictures of all the dessert which I had!


The beef medallions were cooked really well cooked with a pink middle.  Nevertheless, it was still lacking in juiciness!  Maybe it just was not the correct part to use!  However, Kelvin says that the roast lamb from the carver was yummy!  And do not forget the corn which everyone though was juicy and sweet! I had none though.  I was terribly misguided by the corn’s pale colour!!


Then comes the sweet ending of the night! The desserts!  There were cakes, heaps of them! Profiteroles which darling called cream puffs!  Apple crumble! Belgian Waffles! Fruits! Fondues! OMG!  Everything sweet!  Did we like it?  I think it was a yes!  Even Darling says yes!


After eating, it was time for some pictures :)!


Jimmy, Darling and Jia Sheng!



William, YiHeng and Jia Hui!  Edwin was here too but went incognito when I asked for a second shot!



The Bruneians!! Vanessa and Kelvin!


Hope the birthday boys enjoyed our treat!  And to my readers, sorry that I missed out on the dessert pictures.  But here is another blog which has really good dessert pictures :)!!

Libertine Eats




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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bites: Koko Black @ Claremont

Over my two trips to Melbourne, I have miraculously missed the much hyped Koko Black which is part of the chocolate circle which cocoa lovers so very often mention.  But Í have no reason to fret over this as Koko Black has arrived in Perth.  Over the last few months, I have been visiting this chocolate boutique regularly, each time for a different beverage and bite. 


Putting impressions first, Koko Black located at Claremont Quarters looks impressive even from the outside.  It has a nice wooden floor! And a small little enclosure which diners can watch the chocolatier make the chocolates.  Also, the service shows the emphasis Koko Black has put into their boutique outlet.  A waitress occasionally comes to fill our glasses, which is a good thing for me because chocolates makes me thirsty!! @@!

Firstly and the most important thing for any chocolate lounge/cafe/boutique or whatever extensions you can think of, would be.. the hot chocolate!


The hot chocolate here is fabulously presented! A crafty design graces the delicious layer of froth.  Underneath this tempting layer lies the heart and soul of this winter warmer which is perfect for all seasons too!  Instead of emphasising on sweetness, Koko Black has an added cocoa strength to its hot chocolate which creates its very own unique taste.  While fishman loved every bit of it, it got a thumbs down from us (sis, darling, Nee and I).  While the first mouth sends you to heaven, the second, third, fourth and so on becomes a burden!  With a good accompaniment of quality desserts and pastries available upon ordering, the hot chocolate easily becomes abandoned when the tummy is filled.   Proven true for my sister at the very least.  She ordered a trio of taste which has became a very popular menu item for our visit each time!



Seen above, the trio of taste cost about $9.50.  It lets you choose three fine desserts or pastries.  In the picture above, we have the Opera Cake, the Brulee tart, and the Tomato savoury tart.  The Opera cake has become an addiction for fishman and Nee with its very delicious and creamy, not to forget smooth texture in each layer.  It is so damn delicious I have to admit! Luckily Koko Black exercise damage control by limiting the size of the desserts!!!  However, my love affair with the Brulee seems endless.  Little darling and I fell head over heels with this yummy tartlet! A must try for everyone! It turned out that my sister enjoyed the tart a great deal too! At least more than the rest of the cakes!  (Note:  the Brulee tartlet seems to suffer from a severe quality inconsistency.  Varying layer of sugar – mostly too thick or a solidified custard layer =(   )


Other things I’ve tried here includes the White chocolate Pannacotta which is really yummy!! Darling puts it on the same level as the Brulee tart! I also tried the Belgian Spoil which is not something I would order again.  It was mehhhh! Mediocre at the very best!  I also tried the Hazelnut hot chocolate which smelt good but did not meet expectations!  I also remember Nee Nee trying the Lite Hot Chocolate which our friends describe as a high class version of ‘Milo’! 


Overall, I have to say that all the hot drinks here failed to meet my expectations(or at least those I have tried).  Nevertheless, personal preference is a key reason for the dismissal of the hot chocolate.  I felt that the chocolate tasted slightly off.  It was not something that I am used to!  Not that I do no appreciate the uniqueness of it, but errhhh??  The chocolate turned our rather sickening.  That also applies to the iced chocolate.  Finishing a cup of hot chocolate here could easily leave you in a state of coma!! Rather than further explaining myself, I would recommend readers to give Koko Black a try ;)!  Really, it is a must.  As for the trio of taste, my pick would be the Pennacotta, the Brulee tartlet and the Opera Cake.  Lastly, if you are really determined to not have the hot chocolate, opt for a pot of tea with a side serve of honey for sweetening instead of sugar!!)


Owww yeahhhhhhhhhhhh!  And lastly, thanks to my sis for the photos! She now uses a similar camera to mine =.=!!



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