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Friday, September 30, 2011

Bites: Sayers @ Leederville

DSC_1220Sunday morning started off gloomy with a dark overcast and slight drizzle at 8.  Stomach felt sucky and it has almost been 4 days then.  But no way was I going to let this persistent annoyance destroy the first Sunday of my holidays! So I slipped in a pair of nudies and off we were for brekkie!  Sayer’s has been on my radar since my sister mentioned it but we never had the time or opportunity :( . So Yobi’s presence was the perfect chance for us to try out this highly recommended cafe!

Sayer’s cafe was super busy and finding a place during the weekends can be challenging.  Fortunately, the friendly staff were helpful and found us a place after a reasonable 20 minutes wait.  Before sitting down, I looked around the cafe and liked the layout of the cafe which is pretty special.   To me, there were 3 main concepts that really worked well.  You could be sitting in your typical neighbourhood cafe sipping away on a cuppa or in a lane-style cafe or an open backyard alfresco.


The little alley which sits a decent group of two or three.



The backyard sitting area with a more open environment.


As we had a large group, the backyard sitting area was well to our cause and we gladly sat there.  Pets are allowed too I reckon.  Spotted this adorable cocker spaniel running around its owner while panicking because it was about to rain.


Worried and tangled!


Skipping on, we ordered a good selection of hot brekkie and it took them slightly longer than most places to have the food served.  My sister had already finished her drink before the food came!




For myself, I ordered the Sayers pork sausage with fried eggs, sweet potato crisp, mash and toasted Ciabatta @ $19.50. 


While I have lots of complains for ALL sausages that accompanies the big brekkie meals in Perth, it would be rather weird if I had complains for a sausage where the dish itself was centred around it.  Also, nothing can be more revolting than a cut-into-half sausage protruding out of a small pan screaming for attention while the gem of the dish (the green mash) sit hideously under a shrivelled tomato.  For me, I was not blown away by the pork sausage.  It did not taste superb in any way and was even difficult to cut.  Nevertheless, the bread did its job with the fried eggs.  Having every thing together brought a little chemistry which worked superb.  Tomato sweetness + the saltiness of the meat worked well with the eggs although most element did not standout individually.  But it must be pointed out though that the mash were the one of the yummiest mash I have EVER had.  Its not the consistency but rather that unique flavour from the combination of spices of whatever the had in it.  Real winner for me!



Yobi played conservative with a full serve scrambled eggs with toast ($11) and a side of smoked salmon ($5).  He did not have plenty of words for it and I reckon I would be the same like him if I ordered the same thing.  Not that this dish is simplistic or anything but yeah, its well cooked scrambled eggs which were sufficiently light and fluffy but more importantly, well seasoned and not overcooked! Or so says my sister which I think its true after having some of hers.


Ricotta & white chocolate hotcakes, sticky toffee apple, double cream & maple @ $16.50


Sticky toffee apple was good but perhaps a little seasoning would have added a little more ‘WoW’ factor.  Hotcakes were above average and the lovely sauce was definitely a worthy talk.  Overall, the dish was good together.  A little bit of apple followed with a small piece of hot cake doused with the sauce before being finished with a dollop of the cream was delicious!!


Big Brekkie @ $22.00!


While the price is definitely steeper than most places, the big brekkie definitely has its own uniqueness which makes is distinctive from others.  The mushroom for instance was different from your typical buttery-sweet mushrooms.  It was filled with a pine nut pesto which was really tasty but slightly too heavy.  The beans too, were delicious with a good amount of spices.  Hash brown was special but not really quite my type.  It had a good amount of onion, vege and I think bacon which really did not work for me.   



Poached eggs were perfectly cooked with a runny yolk!  Scrambled eggs were better than most places and was really cooked to perfection.  It was rich, fluffy and was slightly runny!  While these were the merits of the big brekkie, the bacon and chipolatas were unfortunately unenthusiastic.  Tasteless sausages were a let down while the bacon felt undercooked.  I would love to have seen two types of bacon.  One, a crispy fatty-skin bacon, while the other one like the bacon above.  But only one was present and did not really appeal.  Nevertheless, a request would perhaps allowed me to get what I wanted.


Overall, Sayers would be among my top breakfast cafes near the CBD area.  While I like Crumpets and John St. Cafe, this would be a qualified competitor.  However, close rivals the Imp and Toast should not be overlooked.  While price is concerned, Sayers would not be a place you can ideally call ‘CHEAP’  but is still decent for a Sunday brunch which fills your tummy till dinner.  Also, well-designed layout was another  ‘wow’ factor for me which had me smiling!  Definitely a good experience which would make me return over and over.  Perhaps little darling in the alley way, the housemates in the shop and all my homies in the backyard alfresco?



Sayers on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bites: Bua Siam @ Langford

The word ‘Thailand’ has always had an important meaning to me.  Whether it is  was about having Thailand as my neighbouring country, or having good Jimmy as a trustworthy buddy in Perth. So to add, I have always loved visiting Thailand and even have Thailand running through my veins! More importantly, I have a strong liking for Thai food and never would I turn down the opportunity to try any recommendations.  My friend recently celebrated his birthday at Bua Siam in Langford and he told me that he though it was pretty good.  1 month has lapsed and here I was.  Bua Siam for dinner with the peeps and Yobi!


To start our meal, we called for a serve of Thai fishcakes @ $8.90


To our dismay this dish did not turn out well leaving much to be desired; and to a certain extent, we were debating whether the fishcakes were bought frozen off the shelves.  Perhaps that explains 8 pieces for 9 dollars which is a very hard find nowadays.  Or at least when you are in Australia.



Next was the  Roast Duck red curry @ $21.  The sauce was thick, creamy and a little too sweet.  It had generous portions of fruits and vegetables, but was caught a little short on the duck meat.  Nevertheless, it still has a good taste but did not satisfy!



Then came the Beef Green Curry @ $19.  The green curry was good but I felt a little hint of bitterness in the sauce.  Not quite sure what went wrong but overall it was OK.  Beef slices were tender and not overly done.



And what is a Thai meal without the trademark Tom Yam Soup! We ordered a large bowl @ $15 and manage to dish out 8 small bowls for each of us.  While the soup did not taste exactly like Tom Yam, it was not all doom and gloom but failed to meet the standard set by S & T!  Sister commented that it tasted a little more like a HK style Borsch soup!



Another dish we ordered is a popular stir-fry dish,  the Pad Bai Ga Pow which to me is stir-fry meat with basil!  Unfortunately, this dish was not enchanted by that lovely smell when you finish of this sort of dish by stirring in the basil leaves with the fire off giving the blend meat a refreshing basil fragrance!  Rather unfortunate that it appealed to me more of a Chinese stir-fry than a Thai one :(!  Believe it or not, few people were still asking where was our Pad Bai Ga Pow even after this dish was served =.=!



We also ordered a steam fish with coriander, lime and chilli @ $26.  While the sauce was quite good, the fish meat was absolutely terrible.  It felt as if the fish was really old or perhaps they used  a fish which texture is unknown to me!  Perhaps I would go for the deep fried fish with three taste.  I reckon that would be something that suits me better!



Last but not the least, we ordered a minced meat salad (Larb) which I thought was one of the best dishes that day.  It had a good mixture of spices and sauces which went perfectly well with the rice.  But this was not what I expected because I would normally have the Larb with cabbage or lettuce.  Nevertheless, it was a good attempt even though it seems like the capsicums have gone astray into this dish.  However, some commented that it was a little too salty which was true, but with rice it was alright.


At the end of the meal, I felt full but hmm that sense of satisfaction just was not there.  It was as if I could still do another round.  Yobi on the other hand thought it was ok but it could have been better! I asked him for a score out of 10 and he reckon about a 6 although to me that was the maximum score I would have given. The little darling and her girls were now a little worried, perhaps more reluctant to go for Thai food if it is not S & T or perhaps Dusit Thai.  What can I say? Can’t blame them can I? haha even my sister’s facial expression was = @@!  But I reckon the main problem at the end of the day was that the intensity of the flavours have been tuned down to suit the Australian crowd rather than a Thai one.



Bua Siam Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bites: Tan Po Po @ Mount Lawley

It was 11 and without a proper brekkie, we were starving for some lunch.  In front of us was the place where Tan Po Po used to be but no one was in it.  Calling the shop various times, we were told that they were open.  So YobĂ­ suggested, maybe there was another entrance.  But obviously finding another entrance does not work when the shop has relocated to the other side of Beaufort street!  Oh and Yobi is back in town for the week.  With the little darling’s birthday soon, some good foodie action is sure to happen :)! 


Going back to Tan Po Po, I remember that the old shop used to be inside IGA:



But it has moved and a lady told us that it was just across the street now.



Starving and with little on his mind, I suggested that Yobi tried the much hyped double chicken Teriyaki which I thought was decent for its price of $7 dollars or so.


The Teriyaki Chicken looked superb with two rows of chicken covered with Teriyaki sauce over steaming rice.  But I must suggest that the word double is  a bit tricky considering the chicken is not really all that much.  Chicken was not juicy because it was thin, but taste as far as I can recall is pretty good as its sauce is well-balanced.  For Yobi, he would have liked something not chicken ahah.  He did not quite like chicken but had no complains for the price he paid.

For me, whose stomach is still not at it’s best yet, I opted for something pretty light.  I went for the Agedashi Donburi.


The bean curd was OK.  It lacked that special batter consistency often seen in most places.  Its sauce was thicker than most but was welcoming with the bowl of soy rice!  The soy rice was a mixture of rice, mushrooms and carrot which was to me, all very healthy!   I would not complain too because like Yobi I too knew that $5 bucks cannot get me far in Perth.  Perhaps Meccas at best(although I would have liked that a lot).  Overall, it was OK.


But my vegetarian meal did not end here.  I also ordered potato croquettes as a side! You get two well sized croquettes for 3 bucks.


For me, this was my highlight of my trip to Tan Po Po!  The croquettes were empty with no fillings but its light panko crust and tasty mash was all rage.  I reckon I could do with 10 of these for lunch next time!


Overall, Tan Po Po’s price must come with suitable expectations.  If you seek a large serve of thick juicy Teriyaki chicken, prepare to travel 10kms more and pay 50% more.  Tan Po Po has its merits, which I believe is well accepted among its customers.  It feels authentic as it can be making this a favourite among the Mt Lawley residents.  This is good because I find that most Japanese restaurants here have that authenticity which has helped this particular Asian food beat its peers over in the Eastern States.  Verdict? I would come here again! Maybe next time I would get the Tempura bento or something else :)!



Tanpopo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bites: Old Cathay @ Victoria Park

Last Sunday, my sister decided have the Moon Cake festival dinner earlier since the little darling, and I were going to be super busy with our mid-semester tests during the mid-autumn festival itself.  Without much ado, we book a table for all of us at Old Cathay in Victoria Park which sits comfortable underneath the Monadelphous Office.  As we went in, I enjoyed the assurance of a large crowd at the restaurant.  But I suspect that part of the crowd was actually using coupons which were sold a couple of weeks ago!    Nevertheless, it did not matter much! I was going to eat here anyways :P!


The Menu



There was 7 of us that night, so we decided to order 6 dishes.  Some were blogger recommendations, others were simply what we felt like having :)


Our first dish was the Curry Fish Claypot with Lady’s Fingers @$24.50.  The sauce looked slightly pale at first which in contrast to its taste, was miles apart! The curry sauce was aromatic, rich and downright delicious!  It was well liked among us all.  However, things did not turn out so well for the fish due to the deplorable quality of the meat which had a horrible consistency.   After the first slice of fish, I never took another.  This left me with mixed feelings because it now seems that the hero material turned out to be the much coveted sauce and the lady’s finger instead of the fish.. now.. you would not pay $25 bucks for sauce and vegetables would you..


But before I could whine another word, the Sweet & Sour Pork @ $15.80 came!


Before I talk about this dish, let me talk about the TYPE of Sweet & Sour Pork I like.  It’s simple, the pork must still hold some crunch.  I hate a Sweet & Sour Pork dish where the batter uses baking powder which develops a soft batter which makes the meat look non-existent.  The sauce must not be overly sweet, and must be tangy!  By tangy I mean that sharp aroma when it first reaches the table!  And the one at Old Cathay had it all.  A typical Malaysian Sweet & Sour Pork which was YUMS!



The next dish was the Eggplant with Minced Pork and Salted Fish in Claypot @ $15.80!  While this dish sounded promising, the taste was slightly too salty for my liking.  Initially, I did not like it but after a few more pieces, I was like “Hey! This is actually quite good!”. This dish is one of those claypot styled eggplant dishes which admittedly, goes well with steamed rice!  But this deviated from my usual eggplant dish which is normally cooked with minced meat and preserved bean sauce.  Still yummy though!


After this came the star of the night, the Steamed Whole Herbal Chicken @ $34.80!


I know this picture totally sucks! But OMG, the herbal chicken was super nice!  While having corn starch mixed into the sauce was not the best way to go about it, everything else was undeniably good!  The chicken was soft, the skin sinfully tasty.  The herbs were just right!  And this kept us refilling our rice bowls! The little darling herself had 2 bowls while my sister definitely ruined her diet plan.  It was good, what more when we were starving!! Definitely a winner that night.



Next was the Sizzling Beancurd with  Shredded Chicken and Mushrooms @ $16.80!! This dish was quite atypical.  Nothing outstanding unfortunately! Next time I will try out their Giu Fei Beancurd which is popular among diners there! Could that be my replacement for the Fuzhou Beancurd @ Hawkers?  The last dish for the night was the Sambal Longbean @ $14.80 which turned out mediocre only.  At least for me, the beans just were not up to expectations! Next time, I will request for Sambal Spinach or Kangkung instead! 


To end the night, we ordered a few desserts to share. Being in a Malaysian restaurant, it was only normally that were ordered something which reminds us of home! And we surely did!


A trio of ice creams which are a close remake of the Ice Cream Potong in Malaysia! The jackfruit (yellow), pandan (green) and taro (purple)!  The waitress told us that the ice creams were homemade.  After tasting them all, I liked the jackfruit the best.  It had that necessary taste and fragrant.  The pandan taste was a little too mild while the taro was missing that little saltiness that most taro ice cream has! 


After enjoying a good meal, we were satisfied.  While most of the food were delicious, (only naturaly considering the chef is Malaysian) a few things needs to be done to improve the vegetable dishes and the curry fish.  To sum it all, Old Cathay is a good eat with decors that are equally impressive and worth boasting.  The waitress were eager to serve unlike a few restaurants which I will not point out.  Overall, I was satisfied and its definitely a restaurant which I will be visiting again shortly!  Before finishing and paying, sister and I naughtily dropped a request for Durian Ice Cream to be put on the menu.  For most Malaysians, Durian Ice Cream will definitely be a treat.  And I also need to thank the little darling’s dad who treated us that night.  Hohohoo! Free meal xD!



Old Cathay on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bites: Tasty House @ Northbridge.

After attending a graduation last week,  I was hungry beyond hungry when it finished.  So was my sis and Kevin!  Undecided on where to go at first, we finally decided to settle for some Chinese along Roe St.  Our choice for the night was Tasty House as we were craving some crabs and my sister said they were having a promotion.  I have eaten here plenty of times.  To date, perhaps 30 times?  I come here often for supper and occasionally dinner.  Honestly, it serves SOME genuinely good food although some dishes had turned out very horribly before (see my order list below).  Luckily enough, it did not fail when my stomach was at its most needy state.


To start the stomach a little, sis ordered the beef and coriander soup!:


The soup was delicious although for a few moments I contemplated on whether I was drinking soup or sauce.  Crunchy coriander bits and beef mince made this a welcoming appetizer for a hungry tummy!



Mud Crabs cooked with XO Sauce and Vermicelli was yummy!  The noodles were every bit tasty!  I love this style of cooking the crabs!  Back home in Malaysia, this is easily comparable to the Kam Heong crabs cooked with Vermicelli.  Two very similar dishes originating for two different countries! YUMS!  Funnily enough, we ordered some rice to go with the dish!  And that was because:


The crabs had a good amount of eggs in it!  Lucky or not hehe I’m all smiles to a loaded crab! And at the same time the crab was pretty big! I think it was like 1.2kg each?  I’d have to admit though, that the seafood in Australia has never been all that great although the scallops and mussels here are quite a treat!  Besides this dish, we also ordered a spinach dish which was cooked with fermented bean sauce (fu-yi) and it which turned out beautifully!  All in all, what we had for dinner was every bit satisfying!  The dinner ended with a sweet note thanks to the complementary red bean pancake which was yummylicious despite being sold in frozen packets!


So, what are some of the best things to be ordered here?  Well if you are coming for late nights supper, I would recommend to you the baked cheese rice with ham and chicken in cream sauce. On the other hand, darling is a big fan of their salted egg and pork porridge which is supper good too!  But if you are here on a dinner occasion, there are plenty of dishes which you could try.  My recent favourite is the OX Tail in Red Wine sauce which is a hearty Asian styled stew which goes well with rice; especially during cold days.  Other beef dishes which turned out well was the black pepper steak and the scotch fillet with XO Sauce and snow peas.  Do note that the Scotch fillet with XO sauce and snow peas is a wildcard which can be superb at times and awful!  As for seafood, I need not go further down the menu when I see the salted egg prawns! A definite prawn dish if I were to call prawns! Do note that the prawns here are not overly fresh as with other restaurant around town.  Be it prawns in a Chinese restaurant or Western, they tend to have that artificial crunch in them which is non-existent when I pick my prawns from the markets.


Sorry if this post was too long for its own good! I realised that Tasty House has been treated quite unfairly and thought that it deserved better Smile!


On a side note, this month is going to be a busy one! With mid semester tests and the little darling’s birthday coming up, there is surely to be  a few days extra that I will be eating out!  So keep a look out ;)!



Tasty House on Urbanspoon